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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lost in Transition

You may or may not have noticed that I didn't blog last week. No matter if you noticed or not - I noticed. Then, my 6WS entry was "it's not quitting if it's over." I was sure to add a note that my words did not pertain to Joe and/or our marriage. So, what's up?

I'm in a period of transition and I'm struggling a bit to cope with it. And by "a bit" I mean "a whole lot." All in a period of a week, I am:
  • starting the process of (likely) saying goodbye to a project that has been a huge presence in my life for the last two years
  • taking steps to start an Etsy shop
  • beginning another online writing class
  • taking a second writing class via video
  • reconsidering my approach to freelancing
  • actively working on my book again
  • planning to refocus our consulting business on a different audience of clients
  • drastically changing up my daily routine

Joe sometimes refers to me as Rut Girl because change brings about massive anxiety. This time is no exception. I'm doubting decisions, questioning plans, and occasionally cowering in the corner feeling terrified. But I believe I'm getting better because there are also moments when I feel very excited and empowered and I can't wait to tear into the next thing on my list.

The best part is looking at that list and feeling grateful that I have the freedom to choose each of those activities. They involve some sadness and a lot of hard work. They also involve pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. However, there's a time when I would've been so paralyzed by the very idea of it all that I wouldn't be able to function. I realize that it's a luxury to decide which of these activities I want to spend my time on. I also realize that I only have that luxury because my husband is made of awesome (which is another good reason not to "quit" him via 6WS).

That's where I'm at right now. As a not-so-tiny aside, I'm also approaching a time of year when I historically struggle with depression. There are plenty of projects to keep me distracted so between the items above, my amazing husband and a herd of ridiculously wonderful friends, perhaps my March can be one of less Madness and more Magic.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Six Word Saturday


it's not quitting if it's over

This has nothing to do with Joe.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Six Word Saturday


Husband returns tonight - destroy the evidence!!!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pavlov's Cat

Most people are familiar with Pavlov's Dog. A million years ago, some old guy with nothing better to do teased dogs with food and non-food and then measured how much they drooled. He then realized that drooling wasn't dependent on the presence of food - the dogs were being conditioned to anticipate the food based on the appearance of the scientists. It's the whole conditioned stimulus and response thing and it somehow resulted in dogs drooling whenever they heard a metronome.

Today I am going to tell you about Pavlov's Cat.

His name is Rusty and his conditioned stimulus is the sound of our security system chiming to indicate that it is being turned on or off. And he doesn't drool - he goes running for the door that leads to the screened porch. I believe it has reached the point of being a conditioned response; I'm not even sure he realizes he's doing it.

We didn't train him this way on purpose. We all know that you can't deliberately train a cat to do anything. But most mornings, Joe wakes up, goes downstairs, turns off the alarm and lets Rusty out on the screened porch as long as it's not too cold. We haven't had much of a winter this year but it's been too cold to leave that door open or even cracked most days. And this leaves a certain Rusty-kitty literally (and you can trust me on "literally" because it's one of my pet peeves when people use it incorrectly) SCREAMING for his porch.

Joe's more generous with opening the porch door than I am. This girl gets cold too easily! So with Joe gone, Rusty is experiencing extreme withdrawls.

But it hasn't changed his response. Any time I change the alarm status, I can count on hearing "DING DING DING" followed by "Ka-THUMP (kitty jumps off bed) badump badump badump (kitty runs for the door)." If only I could condition him to something useful. Like fetch me a coffee. Or wash the dishes. I'd put up with a little cold air for that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running Amok and Alone

On Saturday, I shared that my husband is in India and I am running amok. I realized as soon as he booked the trip that he would be away for Valentine's Day.

Now, is Valentine's Day really a big deal to us? No. Is it even a big deal to me? Nah. Did I stick out my lower lip and pout and flutter my lashes like it was a big deal? Duh!

We've been fortunate that my husband doesn't travel a lot for work. We've never spent any of the big holidays apart, by which I mean Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays and anniversaries. With the exception of the first year we were together (he was away at college), the only birthday we've spent apart was his birthday last year - he opted to fly to California for a job interview. Since it was his birthday, I figured that was his choice.

But, back to Valentine's Day. I made him a card and slipped it into his suitcase after he had packed. Since he arrived in India on Saturday night, he probably found it before today but that's fine. The truth is that I've been known to slip random notes and cards into his luggage regardless of whether or not there's a supposedly special occasion. Which is probably why February 14th isn't that big of a deal to us in general. On this trip, it just gave me a theme for the little something I sent along to let him know I'll be thinking about him.

Since he's away, I'm going to spend some time this week sending "love notes" to some friends. I'm in the midst of a little delayed holiday gift exchange with my bookclub ladies (yay #jhbc!) and I actually love that we postponed our target to mid-February. Valentine's is about so much more to me than just romantic love - the flurry of notes and packages bouncing around the country between this little group of friends is maybe what I love most about this time of year.

Just, you know, don't let Joe know that. I'm hoping my pout translates via Skype. ;)

So Happy Valentine's Day, aka Happy Hallmark Excuse to Do Nice Things For The People You Love Day.

P.S. Several folks asked on Saturday what I mean by "amok." A lot of reading and writing and sleeping in the center of the bed. Yeah, I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Six Word Saturday


Husband in India, I'm running amok



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, February 09, 2012

Why the ER Should Forgive My Debt

Remember two and a half months ago when Joe was in the ER and had his appendix out and then two weeks later I was in the ER for dehydration and then 10 days later I was in the urgent care because I tried to sew my finger onto a scarf? Seriously, this girl knows how to celebrate the holidays! We've received and paid (or set up a payment plan) all of those bills, except for my ER bill. We received an initial statement (you know, the kind that says in large letters THIS IS NOT A BILL) indicating they would submit around $4k in charges to the insurance and then nothing happened.

Today, I would like to present my case for why they should forgive my bill completely.

1. When I arrived at the ER, I filled out their little form to enter me into the computer system. Two hours or so later, Joe asked if they would be calling me soon because we had been waiting a long time. They had never put me in the system, despite having my form in their pile of papers. They then rushed me through as the next patient and straight to a bed for treatment, everyone along the line apologizing profusely and calling me a saint for my patience. I did not make a big deal of this since once the mistake was discovered, they reacted properly to make it as right as they could. I even got an apology note in my release papers.

2. My husband has already set up a payment plan with the same hospital for the eleventy bajillion dollars we owed for the removal of his appendix. Can't we through in a little dehydration visit for free?

3. After two months of receiving no bill and daily stalking occasionally checking the insurance website but seeing no submissions, I actually had to call them this week and say "Could you please send me a bill so I can give you some money?" They had the wrong insurance policy number. Would they have waited indefinitely if I hadn't called? I think the fact that I had to call and ask for a bill should mean my debt is forgiven.

4. Isn't there some statute of limitiations on billing? Like if I don't receive a bill in a timely fashion for services rendered, too bad for them?

My guess is that I'll have to pay them somewhere between $85 (the amount left to reach my deductible for the year) and $872, which would be my deductible remainder plus 20% of the $4k. I'm assuming they'll discount the bill considerably once the insurance gets hold of it, so hopefully it won't be too bad.

Especially after the discount I'll get for reasons 1-4 above. Right?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Jealous of Prison Inmates - No More!

Are you watching the new show, Alcatraz? Or, are you familiar with what an Alcatraz prison cell looks like?


Image from this site

Their cells look like that.

Anyways, we started watching this show when it premiered a few weeks ago. Overall, I'm not sure that it's amazing. But they keep showing those cells. And what I see is those two shelves. Awesome bookshelves. I'm SO envious of those inmates with their bookshelves.

Or, I was jealous of their bookshelves.

Last week, I went to Target and bought three inexpensive bookshelves for less than $20 each. I assembled them and put all my crap on them and I'm quite pleased.

Even more pleasing? I'm no longer considering doing something to necessitate a prison sentence just to have a place to store my books. Awesome.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Six Word Saturday


organizing my things organizes my brain



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, February 02, 2012

Answering 21 Questions

This is the second part of last week's post.

I tweeted the following:

Let's do this - you ask me some questions, I'll answer them in tomorrow's post. Anything you like. You have 30 minutes.

I answered the two reasonable questions from normal people last Tuesday. Which leaves for today the twenty one questions asked by my "friend" Sarah. She saw my tweet as a challenge and she rose to the occasion. Since I promised (and she seemed fine with me dragging them out a bit), here are my answers to the random questions she came up with.

How many apples can you balance on your forehead at once?

I'm going to guess one. I didn't have any apples handy to try but I was able to balance one cell phone and all the cat hair you can eat on my forehead.

What is the first book you chose to read more than once- not including Dr. Suess. That's too easy.

Probably Anne of Green Gables.

What tv show have you watched the most episodes of?

I watched the entire series of Lost. And all seven or eight seasons of 24. Most recently, I'm up to the middle of Season 6 of How I Met Your Mother, which I only started about two months ago.

If you were trapped on a desert island, and could have any man- other than Joe- there with you, how long before you killed him?

However long it took for him to kill all spiders/creepy crawlies plus about three seconds.

Why are pin cushions shaped like tomatoes with a strawberry? And is it a strawberry or a pepper? There's debate on that, here.

First, it's definitely a strawberry. I'm not as sure on the "why" but I imagine whoever made the first pin cushion had leftover red fabric which is why we got a tomato instead of a lemon or lime.

How would you fill in the blank: "I like my coffee like I like my _____."?

Oxygen. (aka: always available)

What is your secret method for keeping cut flowers alive?

I keep that method secret even from me. My secret is to replace them frequently.

What do monkeys and mammoths have in common?

Both look adorable in little bowties and top hats.

If one of them had to disappear, PBS or NPR?

PBS. Only because I'm currently obsessed with StoryCorps on NPR.

How often do you turn your camera horizontally when doing art photography?

24.7% of the time.

Should leather jackets be pink or teal?

No.

Should shirts have words printed on them?

Not in public.

What's the worst thing (you're going to have to work hard on this one) about not being in an office setting anymore?

I have to pay for my own coffee.

Mechanical or wood?

Mechanical for writing. Wood for drawing/sketching.

What's the best pickup line you've ever used?

Maybe you've been eaten here before.

Kathy Griffin- with or without bangs?

I prefer my Kathy Griffin with Anderson Cooper. Bangs optional.

What kind of accents do accent walls have?

Croatian.

When are rose petals "too much"?

When they turn moldy and start to smell bad.

What is too old for long hair? For dudes, specifically.

I prefer my men with fairly short hair. I'm going to go with thirteen.

When is the last time you were pleased with a candid photo of yourself?

Two years ago.

What's the best time of day to stop drinking?

Probably BEFORE I open myself up to thirty minutes of questions on Twitter.

NAILED IT!