Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Crappy Week...

I’ve had a really crappy week so far.  Some of it is personal and some of it is work-related.  The personal stuff worries me and the work stuff mostly pisses me off.

The worst thing is I can’t even remember what day it is. This is not good. Oh, sure, part of the concern is that I worry that I’m losin’ my mind.  But mostly I’m concerned because I can’t figure out how many days I have to endure until it’s the weekend.

It’s rainy and it’s cold. And my umbrella broke on the way into the office this morning and collapsed on my head.  If I had a better sense of humor these days, it might have made me laugh, but instead I walked into the office shaking water off my formerly coiffed hair and grumbling about stupid, cheap umbrellas.

Oh, and it’s supposed to snow later, which probably means that the temperature is planning to drop and we’ll have a nice little layer of ice under that new fallen snow.  Oh goodie. 

Like most Midwesterners around this point in the season, I’m well and truly sick of winter.   

As for my personal problems, well, they’re not really my problems at all.  But they’re surely worth worrying about.  I have a friend who’s facing triple-bypass surgery this Friday.  And, yes, I know that physicians perform this type of surgery every day and maybe they could do it with one hand tied behind their back and with one eye closed – but when it’s a friend on the operating table, it’s still cause for worry.  Not only that, but my cousin is also in the hospital with serious heart problems.  We’ve been saying so many prayers, I think we all have God on speed-dial.

And then there is work.  Right before lunch I found out that the vendor-from-hell I’m forced to deal with screwed up again.  This should not surprise me and yet it does. Day after day, month after month, year after year. He probably has the worst case of ADHD I have ever encountered and cannot focus on anything longer than a nanosecond. 

Do not ask me how he’s managed to build a business.  Oh…wait.  That’s right – his father built the business.  He is, perhaps, merely running it into the ground. 

I have tried putting double- and triple-checks in place. I fax him. When he doesn’t “see” the fax, I email him. Then he tells me he never received the email. I attach “Read Receipt” notices to his emails, but he elects to not notify me that he has read the email.  I call him to alert him that a fax is coming or an email has been sent – but he doesn’t answer his phone and evidently doesn’t listen to the voicemail.  And nothing is EVER his fault.

It’s enough to cause a person to run screaming from the building.

Unfortunately, it made me run to Kroger instead and purchase, in addition to my healthy salad, a slice of red velvet cake.  Oh, great, just what I need. A guilt trip to add to my megabag of frustration!

But…I must admit…the red velvet cake was pretty darn tasty.  And it lulled me into a sugar coma that made me forget my vendor-from-hell.

Well, at least until I returned to the office and had to deal with the situation and tap dance my way through another quickie fix and an apology.

And then I looked on Facebook and saw this cartoon:

It shouldn’t have – but it made me laugh. Out loud. Thank goodness no one was around to hear me because I think there was a tiny note of hysteria in the laughter.  But still.  Those little magical endorphins that are released with laughter coursed through my body and made me feel better. 

Plus, I imagined throwing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs at my attention-span-of-a-gnat vendor - and that made me giggle, too.

And  a little while later – after my boss realized I wasn’t going to run screaming from the building permanently, he came back to my office and handed me a little “bonus” and told me to take my husband out to dinner.  Nice.

Now if I can just keep on keepin’ on through the end of my week – I may just make it. 

Oh, and yes, I DO know what day of the week it is.  Not that I figured it out on my own. The UPS guy was just here and wished me a Happy Hump Day. 

He probably wondered why I looked at him with such relief and said, “You’re a lifesaver!”  

Thank goodness for UPS guys, eh?! the post-it note above says, "When nothing goes right...go left."  Either that - or maybe there's nowhere to go but up?  That'd work, too.

Happy Hump Day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tired of Being Sick. And Sick of Being Tired.

For years I have been promising myself a winter vacation to someplace sunny and warm and preferably tropical to get a break from the cold and snow and ice that is winter in Ohio.  But years have passed and I have never taken this tropical vacation.  And then sometime around mid-April I do a mental head slap and think, Heyyyy, I missed it. Again!

So last month Vince and I had an unexpected opportunity to fly to North Carolina to attend the wedding of one of my best friends.  And, yeah, okay, it’d be a stretch to call North Carolina “tropical” – but it does qualify as somewhere warm.

We had a wonderful time, but I confess that I have been officially cured of my desire to travel during the winter months.

Why?  Because I have been sick on and off since we returned.  Mostly “on.”  And I am most definitely sick and tired of being sick. And tired.

When we were on the plane, I heard so many people coughing and hacking and sneezing and I just knew those cooties were headed in my direction with the sole intent of infiltrating my sinuses.  I tried to stave it off by downing mass quantities of zinc and Vitamin C and Airborne tablets.  I tried not touching my nose or eyes or mouth before, during and after the flight. And I tried scrubbing my hands until they were all scaly and cracked and in desperate need of an intense moisturizer.   

Did any of that help? Of course not. I still caught the stinkin’ cold.

I was off work and in bed for two days. I missed bowling that Sunday evening because one little trip to Costco earlier in the day did me in and I needed to go home and rest.

And when I showed up at bowling the following Sunday, my teammates still thought I was sick.  They refused to slap me high fives lest they come in contact with my cooties.  And this was still in January, mind you.

Finally, around the first of February, I started to feel better. 

But then a few days later I started getting that sore throat, swollen glands feeling you get before you catch a cold.

Again?  Really??

So once again, I started downing Cold-Eze tablets.  And, interestingly, the symptoms never truly developed into a full-blown cold. 

But a week later, I stated coughing in earnest. Again. I was blowing my nose and going through our winter quota of Kleenex. Again.  So I finally gave in and went to the doctor. 

Now I’m not one of those people who run to the doctor for every little sniffle. I know that antibiotics don’t work on the common cold. And I don’t like forking over my $25 co-pay for someone to tell me I need to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Yet I was sick and tired of waking up at 3AM with coughing fits that disturbed not only me, but my husband, both cats and probably a neighbor or two. So I finally gave in and trotted myself over to the physician’s office. 

I was prescribed a wonderful cough medicine with codeine that allows me to sleep almost all through the night.  And I was given an antibiotic for the sinus infection. 

However, because I’d had a prior sinus infection in November, the doctor didn’t want to prescribe the same antibiotic that I’d taken a mere three months prior.

So I took the new pill and headed off to work.

After a little while I started feeling really bad – lethargic and jittery at the same time. I was nauseous.  And I couldn’t think clearly.

Finally, it occurred to me in my foggy state that I was having a reaction to the antibiotic. 

So I called the doctor’s office. And they told me not to take any more of that medication. They said I was having a reaction to the antibiotic. And they said they’d prescribe something else for me.

Well, no duh. I told them I was having a reaction.  And like I would even consider taking a second pill when the first one was doing such a number on me.

Fortunately, the new antibiotics seem to be working just fine.  I’m starting to feel better. And I am not keeping the entire neighborhood up all night from the sound of my coughing. 

I even made it to bowling last night, although my teammates would only go as far as a celebratory “elbow bump” rather than a high five.  And I can’t be sure, but I thought I detected the faint scent of Lysol disinfectant and their antibacterial hand gel every time I returned to my seat.

Ah well. I can’t say as I blame ‘em.

I’m just hoping that I’m finished with the whole germ thing for the year.  I’m tired of being sick. And sick of being tired. 

And I really want to be high-fived when I bowl a strike. There just isn’t the same sense of satisfaction from an elbow bump.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Continuing Adventures of Twinks and Jinx

So we had a vet appointment last night at 6 o’clock for the felines.  It was a new vet, so we were asked to be there 10-15 minutes early to fill out some paperwork.  No problem, right? 

Uh, no. That would be oh-so-wrong.

I left work a little early so I’d be home in plenty of time to corral the cats and get them in their cat carriers.  What I didn’t count on was that bright sunshine in the middle of winter in Columbus, Ohio, is evidently just as treacherous as black ice. 

People were driving approximately 3.2 miles per hour on a freeway despite the fact that there was not a single fender bender or a solitary car sporting a flat tire off the side of the road waiting for Triple A. 

I don’t know, perhaps people around here haven’t seen the sun in so long they weren’t sure what the big yellow thing in the sky was.  Or maybe they stashed their sunglasses somewhere last August and the shades haven’t turned up since and the sun was blinding those drivers on our eastbound commute.  But considering that the sun still sets in the west, this should not have been an issue.  Unless, of course, drivers were peering in their rearview mirrors the entire time. This could explain the problem.

So I arrived home about 10 minutes later than I had anticipated.  I left the car running and kept my winter coat on so as not to delay our departure.

My master plan was to bring the pet carriers up to our mudroom as close to the garage door as possible. I’d open the carrier doors wide so I wouldn’t later have to fumble around trying to open them with one hand, while holding a wriggling, pissed-off cat in the other.  The next step in my plan was to loudly shake the bag of kitty treats so as to entice them into the mudroom where I would then shut the door to the room to trap them and thus they’d be unable to escape my clutches.  I could then, at my leisure, stuff them into their carriers. 

Yeah, like any of this worked.

Well, except that I was able to accomplish Step 1.  I brought the carriers up to the mudroom and opened the pet carrier doors.

The flaw in my plan is that cats have acute hearing and that first tiny, almost-silent clink-clink of the pet carrier doors alerted them to impending doom.

They fled.

Twinks, however, was lured out of her hiding place by the rattle of the treats bag.  But she’s a quick little bugger and was able to snatch the treat off the floor and scamper out of the room before I could shut the door to the mudroom.


My second attempt to trap her, resulted in successfully closing her off in the master bathroom.  Mission almost accomplished!  The pet carrier, of course, was still in the mudroom.  But I figured that was a minor point and at least she was sequestered somewhere where she couldn’t escape.

Now my search for the elusive Jinx began.  Jinx, by the way, has perfected the art of hiding.  At the very hint of someone approaching the front door, she darts under beds or hides in closets or disappears under dressers.  We don’t see her again until long after the visitor has arrived back at their own home and is relaxing on the couch in their PJs watching the 11 o’clock news.

By this point, I was starting to get a little panicky because I couldn’t imagine that we could possibly get to the clinic on time.  And Vince was getting a little frustrated with my ineffectiveness at getting the cats into their carriers and/or my ever increasingly panicked state. Hey, I never professed to be The Cat Whisperer, nor do I have powers that allow me to divine which of the four beds Jinx may have been hiding under.

But she wasn’t under a bed at all.  Fortunately, I spied her twitching little nose under the dresser in the lower level bedroom-slash-office.  How she fits her body inside and underneath that thing, I have no clue.  But it’s nearly impossible to get her out.

I closed the bedroom-slash-office door and somehow managed to get her out from underneath the dresser, but she promptly scampered under the bed and backed her little furry body up against the wall where I had no hope of reaching her. 

I calmly called to her in a soothing voice. No luck.  I placed cat treats on the carpet to lure her out.  She normally can’t resist them, but, nooooo.  Not this time. Of course, I then knelt on the treats, effectively grinding them into the knees of my black slacks.

Fortunately, Vince came to my rescue and stepped into the fray.  He walked into the room carrying two long cardboard Christmas wrapping paper rolls and he shooed Jinx into the bathroom. He then picked her up by the scruff of her neck and walked upstairs and calmly deposited her in her cat carrier.  He then walked into the master bathroom and did the same to Twinklebelle. 

Whatta guy.

I, meanwhile, was a disheveled mess. My hair was sticking up on one side where I’d been lying on the carpet trying to locate Jinx under the bed.  I had cat-treat dusty knees. And I had sweat dripping off my nose from running around the house in my winter coat.

With not a spare moment left to primp – or, truthfully, at least try to look a little less like a crazy lady – I grabbed one of the carriers, Vince grabbed the other and off we went.

The cats meowed and howled like we were torturing them the entire drive over. Thankfully, it was only a short trip to the vet’s office.  But once they were in the office getting examined, they were little angels.

Personally, I think they did this on purpose to get back at me and cement my crazy-cat-lady image in the vet’s mind – but that’s just a guess.

I was relieved that the cats are healthy and won’t need to go back to the vet for another year.  I was thankful that Vince was home and there to catch the cats.  But mostly?  Well, mostly I was grateful for the margarita I ordered to help me forget the whole ordeal.