Archive for May, 2008

A Public Health Warning

*Cough, cough, cough*

I didn’t go to work today (see the time stamp…it’s the middle of the day!). I’m sick. So very very very sick. I have a completely debilitating case of need-a-day-off-itis. So, look out world; I suspect it is highly contagious.

So shit happened at work last week: A wonderful invitation to do something out of the norm, but which I am absolutely qualified for; followed by a broken promise, which was a very personal slap in the face. I was singled out, and everyone (except the manager responsible) agrees it was wrong and unfair. I was hurt by it, and it was all I could do to hold myself together long enough to get through the day. I cried and cried and cried when I got home. But I’ll survive, and I’m viewing this incident as a reminder that I’m not supposed to work there forever and using it as the kick in the pants to go do something.

So, I’m spending the day sitting on my couch, looking up job openings, and writing cover letters. Wish me luck!

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I Did It!

“The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years.
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music.
My heart wants to sing every song it hears.”

~Rogers and Hammerstein (The Sound of Music)

Well, maybe not the sound of music so much as the sounds of me cheering!! I made it up that big hill between here and work, with a headwind, no less. It came early in my ride, so it wasn’t even the worst hill I survived today. I am totally confident that I can ride to work tomorrow.

After going up that hill (about 10 minutes north of here), I turned on OCRd and headed SW, up and down a few more hills and past the transfer station by the quarries. One of the quarries has been drained – wonder if they were looking for another body or if they are finally trying to do something about the smell out there. The transfer station used to dump stuff into a couple of the quarries, and twice a year (spring and fall) when the quarries go through their seasonal convective overturns, the whole area really really stinks.

Anyway, this road is hilly, and narrow – especially at the bridges over the quarries. I got to the end of OCRd and turned back onto the road I started on, came by the cement plant, the road construction (that I had totally forgotten about…I wouldn’t have gone all the way out there if I had remembered), the movie theater, and downhill back into downtown.

I learned several things today:

1) I’m stronger than I know. That giant mountain was only an ant hill.
2) My breathable windbreaker isn’t.
3) The streetsweepers need to come back and clear the winter sand off the shoulders.
4) The Lowes by the movie theater finally opened.
5) The ice cream place across from the movie theater wasn’t run out of town by a chain restaurant.

Things I need to learn:

1) How to get my feet into my toe-clips sooner. They drag on the ground when they are upside down.
2) How to drink and ride. No, not that kind of drinking! I mean how to maneuver the water bottle out of the cage, get water into my mouth, and get the bottle back in the cage while still avoiding potholes and moving in a straight line.
3) The proper etiquette (for lack of a better term) for intersections.

Things other people need to learn:

1) The driver of a White Mercury Mariner needs to learn that honking at a cyclist is rude and dangerous. I was traveling in a straight line in the breakdown lane, and therefore not in your way. I knew you was there; I could hear you coming up behind me. And then you honk while flying by me? Does you honk at every car you pass? Fuck You. And your gas guzzling tank and your overweight McDonalds-scarfing kids in the back seat (ok, I made that second part up).
2) The driver of a Black Yukon could use a similar lesson, although this honking did occur on a much narrower road, where I was to the left of the white line. Actually this was probably worse, since I had a much smaller margin of error. Share the road people!
3) Japanese import “motorcycles” aren’t the real deal. And revving one of those engines just calls attention to the fact that you don’t know the difference between a mosquito and a hog. (Damn, I’m becoming a redneck!)

Total bike time: 57minutes
Estimated distance: 10 miles?

Look!

See that? Isn’t it pretty? And it’s mine, ALL MINE!!! Woo-Hoo!! The bike is a 2008 Trek 1.2 WSD, Trek’s entry level designed-for-a-female road bike. Yep, a real road bike, with skinny smooth tires and curlicue handlebars.

I’ve never had a road bike before, but I’ve wanted one for so long. I kept putting off purchasing one, because they are so expensive (yes, way more so than a mountain bike or a hybrid), but although I complained about the price, I was never closer to actually getting one. I finally realized that, in my head, I may never be able to justify the price, and if I really wanted one, I should just go get it and figure out how to pay for it later. So I did! And by the way, where is that economic stimulus payment already?

I’ve already been out on it a couple times, and I will go out today to, providing the rain holds off…I’m still a little afraid of those tiny tires! It feels so light and smooth and nearly effortless, compared with my old piece of junk hybrid. And because I bought it from a bike shop (as opposed to, say, Wally-World) there were experts to help me find the right fit. I tried a couple sizes and brands, and I could really notice a difference in the geometry. I get free adjustments and tune-ups for a year, and all the components have been tweaked to fit me.

I’m panning to use this bike to train for my big triathlon debut…you know…someday. And I’m planning to ride it to work. The trip is about seven miles, one way, but it has one big huge hill, that I don’t yet know if I can do. I plan to find that out this weekend, and if all goes well, I’ll be riding to work on Monday! I have two coworkers who also live in this town and are talking about riding to work throughout the summer, so that should be fun, and we’ll help keep each other motivated. I’m going to have some killer legs and a smokin’ behind (oh, yeah, I bought the shorts, too), and I won’t be buying so much gas for the station wagon.

I’m so excited!! See you on the road!

Apparently, I’m a horrible person.

Or, that’s what I’ve been told anyway.

There was a funeral this afternoon. I knew the man had died, I knew the funeral was today, I knew plenty of others who were going, but I chose not to go. So why didn’t I go? Simple: I didn’t know the man!

So what’s the fuss? Well, this man was the founder (40? 50? years ago) of the company I work for. His son bought the company in the 80’s, and for many years the father would frequently come by to see what was going on. I work for the son, but the father hasn’t been around much in several years.

Apparently, I’m a selfish, thoughtless, heartless, bitch, because I didn’t feel it was necessary for me to be at the funeral. From a coworker-friend, I received a lecture about how she didn’t know him either, but that she was going because she cares about our boss and his family. I should have gone to demonstrate my loyalty to the company.

What the hell? I demonstrated my loyalty to the company by actually working to the end of the day, while most others skipped out early to shower, change, and get a good parking spot!

I offered my condolences to my boss, his wife, and his sister a week ago. I feel I met my obligations as an employee and as a member of the human race, and I don’t really understand what the big deal is. There were others who didn’t go either; I wonder if they did/will get the same lecture.

Drugs

So (as if anyone is keeping score), the fact that my apartment is relatively clean and the fact that I am researching and asking questions about future employment, are probably good signs that the Zoloft is working. Maybe? I’ve been on taking it for a week now (this is new drug/dosage #5 since February), and I have to go back to the expensive psychiatrist next week. I have to see my regular councilor on Wednesday; I should really just fire her and be done with it. How does one go about finding a councilor they click with? I’m 0-2 now, and pretty skeptical that this whole industry is just a scam.

a poorly written ramble

There was a party after work on Friday to celebrate the completion of a beautiful, yet lengthy project. While waiting for it to start, I was chatting with Red-Headed Friend and New Girl, who are both among the small group of sub-thirty-year-olds who work there. They have a different job title than I, which I consider superior to mine, although I’ve been assured that is not true, and it shouldn’t matter because I don’t want their job any more than I want mine!

Anyway, they were discussing things I have trouble relating to. They are both seriously thinking of buying houses in the woods out of town. I sometimes wish that I had a house, but I’m not settled enough in my head to settle in a house. And I definitely wouldn’t want to live outside of downtown hickville! I need some kind of human interaction, and I like being able to walk places. These coworkers have moved around a bit, and always returned to this area, so they are finally confident that this is the place they want to be. Having never really lived in many other places, I’m still pretty confident that this is not the place I want to be, but my coworkers looked at me like I had three heads and said that I don’t appreciate the beauty of this place, how nowhere else is like this. Ok, but maybe there are other beautiful places too, and frankly, a little not like this this might be good for me.

They also went on and on about how we work for such a wonderful company, but that the old-timers whine so much because they’ve lost touch with the real world. It doesn’t matter how great the company is if the job isn’t what I want to do. Oh, and my job really does suck compared to theirs, but they’ve lost touch if they think I have it easy, huffing chemicals and working through tendinitis. Good for them that they’ve figured out their calling in life; I wish I could do the same.

I get short-lived inspirations of what I might want to do, but generally I find out what it takes to get there and have to abandon that thought. Lately, I’ve been thinking about working in a hospital lab, performing chemistry experiments on people’s body fluids. No, it’s not creepy! I don’t want to suck their blood, and it is an actual job. My local hospital even has current openings, but they require a specific certification. I was thinking that with my math/science background and all the lab courses that I have taken I might need some kind of 2-week course in hospital safety practices. No. I’d need a whole ‘nother degree, associates for the lower level position, bachelors for the higher, to qualify to take the certification exam. Really? Are you kidding me? I wonder how many of the courses I’ve already taken could be applied toward that degree. But still!! I really really really don’t want to go back to school. It just wasn’t my thing. I don’t learn like that, with a disinterested person droning on and on at the students. I learn by doing. You know what they say, ‘Life is not a spectator sport’. So I guess I’ll cross this job off the list.