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Monday, January 30, 2012

Roger

I'm a bowling alley baby.  My parents were both bowlers, and my dad was even the night manager at the bowling alley when I was really little.  Yep, from a young age, the sound of bowling balls speeding towards the wooden pins was familiar.  The crashes of the pins as the ball plowed through them was just background noise.  I knew the bowlers, the cooks, and the bartenders.  I knew which of the arcade games was most likely to be working.  I knew that when I got tired, a few chairs put together made a good bed, and a few coats served nicely as a pillow and blanket.  The bowling alley sounds were a lullaby as I napped in the crowded building.

I also knew how to get treats just for being cute.  It was known that if the owner was there when I showed up, I'd get a dollar, just for being on the planet.  Then there was the bartender.  Without fail he was at his post behind the bar making sure that the bowlers were provided with their snacks and alcohol.  Being far too young to drink didn't stop me from being a frequent visitor to that bar.  My sister and I would hop up on the bar stools, spin them around a few time, then give the bartender our best little girl smiles.  All we'd have to say was, "Hi Roger" and we were rewarded with a pretzel rod.  Roger would always give them to us like it was a big secret while telling us not to tell our parents.  We'd giggle and run off with our prizes as little girls are apt to do.  Sometimes we were not the little angels we liked to think we were.  We'd be running too much or having an argument with each other and be forced to sit.  It was torture watching all the excitement going on while we just had to sit there.  On occasions like that, Roger would sneak over with a special treat.  A cherry coke.  The real kind with cherry syrup mixed with fountain coke.  He'd put a few cherries in it and make sure one sank to the bottom so we'd have that special surprise at the end.  

Those days when I was so little, I knew him as the silly bartender who always knew how to make me laugh.  Those nights at the bowling alley he could be my own personal clown.  My sisters and I didn't know that our dad had known him since high school.  That knowledge came later when our days at the alley were fewer.  Growing up allowed me to begin to see that people can be woven into my life in many different ways.  The bowling alley was how I met him, but he became an even more frequent figure in my life when he married a friend of our family.  She kept us after school while our parents worked, and he'd be there.  He used to take long walks every day.  Some days while I was there, he'd invite me along.  Those walks were not little strolls through the neighborhood.  Sometimes they felt like treks through the entire county.  He didn't even look tired afterwards, but I sure needed a nap.

Eventually, we moved in right across the street.  The day we were moving in, we were greeted with a sign taped across the front door that said, "Welcome to the Neighborhood".  It was his idea.  He was glad to have us there.  As neighbors do, he would greet me if he saw me out.  A simple, "hello" was not a Roger greeting at all.  He'd yell, "DUH".  I don't remember why, but it didn't matter.  When I heard that I knew Roger was out and about.  That one word meant, "hey there, how are you, hope you're having a good day".  Of course I always answered back with the same greeting.  That one word may have been a short conversation, but it didn't matter.  It was all anyone needed to have a proper conversation with Roger.

He was always so tan.  He'd either spend his summer days laying out by his pool or taking his walks.  Some summers I would wonder if he bothered having shirts at all.  In the evenings he would sit in his front yard with his dogs and just take in the evening or chat with the neighbors.  

He was a practical joker.  My family and I never knew what we were going to find on our front porch (candles, wind chimes, a fake bird).  Or maybe our windshield wipers would be turned up for no reason.  For good measure, why not put a fake severed hand on the windshield on Halloween.  Actually, I'm not sure if I should blame Roger or his son for that one, but even if it was Jason, it was Roger's DNA that caused it.  I still have that severed hand in my car.  Then, of course on Christmas mom would send him a card from the family, and he'd send us one.  His card was always the same card we sent him with our names crossed out and his, Ryan, and Jason's written in. 

He loved to have fun.  It was becoming tradition to meet Roger outside when we were leaving for vacation.....at two in the morning.  He'd be getting out of a cab because he was certainly in no condition to drive home.  He'd always ask us why we were out with this look on his face that just couldn't comprehend why anyone sober would be awake at that hour.  Then he tell us that he hoped he could remember where he left his car in the morning.  I never quite knew if he was joking or if he had just had a really good night that night.

More recently he hadn't been taking those famous walks.  He was having back problems, and had had surgery.  He was getting around with a walker.  You always knew where he had been parked because he'd just leave the walker sitting there.  You never knew where you were going to find that thing.  The neighbor's little dog would attack it.  It was just sort of understood that if you found it, you put it in his front yard.  Although sometimes we wondered if we might just be better off leaving it where it was.  This year he sent a toy over for my sister's new baby, and he even gave us a Christmas card that wasn't recycled this year.  You never really knew what to expect from him.

He was such a big personality that just filled the room with laughter.  You were just happy to be talking to Roger, and he was always happy to be talking to you.  That's why losing him a few weeks ago is so hard to take.  It was so sudden.  Nobody saw it coming.  He was the energizer bunny that just kept going and going.  It never occurred to me that he'd be gone so soon.  Maybe Heaven needed a practical joker.  Perhaps God needed someone to take a walk with.  When I heard that he passed, I was sort of shocked at how hard it hit.  Of course any death is sad, but I never quite expected to hurt quite so much losing someone not related to me.  That was Roger though.  He was in your life, and he just found a way to be in your heart.  I can't imagine how devastated his sons are.

It won't be the same with him not sitting out in his front yard this summer.  It's already strange just seeing his walker sitting immobile on the front porch.  Of course, Roger will never be gone.  His sons look just like him, and have been known to act like him too.  I'll miss him, and it will be a while before I stop expecting to hear him yell "DUH" from somewhere across the street.  

Roger, you will never be forgotten.  If there's a bar in heaven, pull up a stool, spin around on it a little, then have a pretzel rod and a cherry coke on me.  

On the Scale


I went to the doctor a few days ago.  As usual before I went into the exam room, they had me step on the dreaded scale.  I've avoided saying the number here on the blog.  This girl is not happy with the number and didn't want to share.  However, it's time to cut the crap.  So, here it goes.  200.  That's the weight from the doctor.  Now, when I stepped on my scale at home the weight was 196, but that was without shoes, my coat, oh, my purse.  Yeah, the nurse didn't give me enough time to set my little handbag down either.  Oh well.  At this point is there really much difference between 196 and 200.  It's still too much.  I don't want to end up with diabetes because of my weight.  My knees tell me every day that dropping a few pounds would make them quite happy.  Heck, I'm not going to lie, buying smaller clothes wouldn't be too bad either.  So, here I go.  I'm going to post my weight every week along with a goal for that week.  We'll see how it goes.  I mentioned on my home page that I've been inspired by a coworker.  It can be done, and I'm going to do it.  I'm not so good at holding myself accountable to just me when it comes to my health, so I hold myself accountable to you.  My goal in the next week is two pounds.  I'll go off the 196 since that's from the scale I'll be using.  So, hopefully next week I'll be a happy girl writing about how I knocked goal number one out of the park.  Only time will tell.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Creeper

It begins almost like an idea.  A fleeting feeling that is almost like a passing thought.  Before I can register what might be happening the moment is gone, and I go on with my day.  A bit later it happens again.  Yet, again, it goes mostly unnoticed.  This fast disappearing feeling is just the start, and I won't recognize it for what it is until it's too late.

The next thing I notice are the lights.  They're somewhat small, almost like glitter falling around me.  I turn my head to watch it fall, but it disappears as I look it's way.  Next comes the assault.  The army takes aim at me, and begins their strike.  First a blow to the left side, then a blow to the right.  It comes from all angles until it settles at one point of my head and stays there.  The pain growing as the time passes.  I took the medicine, but it's not working.  I'm falling asleep.  Falling, falling, falling.

Waking up brings me to a point that is no better than the one I left.  The light attacks my eyes and sends fresh pain shooting through my head.  It seems like my entire body is fighting me.  I can't think straight, can't keep my eyes open, yet keeping them closed does not keep the pain away.  The sounds around me are harsh.  What should be my cat's soft steps are massive strikes on a drum nearly as big as the earth itself.  I fear my ears will bleed.  The pressure is tremendous.  Why isn't the medicine working?  Why?

The pain is so intense.  I feel like I'm defending myself against an invader I cannot see.....an invader I have no weapons to fight.  I can't do anything to stop it.  It grows like a living creature inside my head.  An angry beast trying to pick me apart from the inside out.  My head can no longer contain the chaos within.  It tries to escape through my ears, but the popping doesn't release the enemy.  It spreads down my neck into my shoulders.

I can't move any part of my body.  If I even contemplate shifting, my body protests.  Screams coming from within every muscle.  My eyes see through tunnels.  The flashing lights in the periphery only aggravate my sensitive vision. My stomach is boiling.  It churns like a sea on the verge of a storm.  I am sick.  My head screams in agony from the pressure of being sick.

The pain escalates.  I don't know how much more my head can take.  I don't know how much more I can take.  I feel like I'm losing my mind.  I fear I'm dying.  I want to scream.  I cry.  The tears burn like lave flowing out of my sore eyes.  My ears are ringing.  I can't hear well, I can't see.  I feel like I'm slipping away.  I'm dizzy.  I'm passing out.

Passing out is a welcome comfort.  As I wake up once more the pain is easing.  Either the medicine or my body have finally begun to gain the upper hand in this fight.  I feel groggy and sore.  I still don't want to move.  I hesitate to breathe deeply for fear that I might awaken the monster again.  Breathe.  Relax.  Breathe.

I know in my mind this monster is a migraine.  It's an evil that I face yet cannot eradicate.  I know I'm not dying while I'm suffering, but still, the fear is there.  Perhaps my doctor will be the knight the slays the dragon.  Relief has to be close at hand.  I'm missing work.  Missing my life laying in bed trying to just feel human again.  Each time it erupts I wonder will this be an hour, a day, two?  I wait for the day where I can count more than a week between migraines.  I wait for the day where even though the monster may always be present, hopefully it will lie sleeping.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Motivation

So, 2012 is the year of the goals.  I don't want to set too many goals and be looking at myself on December 31 thinking what a failure I am, so I'm shooting for 3.  As I accomplish one goal, I'm going to try and add another. Always having something to strive for will be my motivation.

So, goal #1---Get healthy.  There are a number of factors that will go into the new healthy me.  Losing weight, eating better, getting in shape, remembering how happy I am every day, and giving up soda are the five biggest factors that I feel will contribute to my success.

I'm not going to reveal my weight with a number.  I will say however, that if I get on the Wii Fit, my little Mii gets plumper and doesn't look happy with me at all.  So, I know that I need to get down to a healthier weight.  It's not good for anyone to carry the extra weight around.  It puts stress on the body you get to live in.  So, my plan is to consult with my doctor about a healthy goal weight for me, and ask for advice on how to get there.  I would jump off into just another diet, but in keeping with my Get Healthy goal, I feel my doctor should be involved in there somewhere.  I'm not putting a time frame on which I should lose the weight just yet.  I'll leave that up for me and the good doctor to decide in a few weeks when I go.

Eating better is just a good idea.  Making sure my body gets to have a balanced, nutritional diet is going to go a long way in making me healthier.  All those food groups are put right out there as a guide to those of us who aren't nutrition experts.  I should probably pay attention to those food groups a little more often.  My lunch today of Taco Bell was yummy, but probably not the best for me.  Besides, all those good foods I'm supposed to eat will help my body work like the well oiled machine it is intended to be.  I might even start to have more pep in my step once I get the crap out of my system.  Oh, the possibilities......

OK, so getting in shape is probably common sense following the first two factors in my Get Healthy goal.  Diet and exercise will help me lose weight.  It's like these three factors are all holding hands and singing Kumbaya.  It's magical, it's fantastic, it's exercise!!   See, what I'm doing here, I'm trying to muster as much enthusiasm into typing the word as I can.  Maybe then my brain will start thinking exercise sounds like fun.  It's not that I'm lazy.  I'm not.  I love to be busy.  I love doing things.  There's just something about that word exercise that makes me cringe.  I need to come up with a new word for it.  Something that sounds like more fun.  Until then, I'm just going to have to suck it up and get my rear on the treadmill.  I look forward to the warmer weather so that I can be outside maybe riding bikes, rollerblading, walking, and swimming.  I could always put those little weights in my room to use.  My bf has offered to work out with me, he's a former Marine, I should probably be scared by that offer.  Anyhoo, the getting in shape will make me feel better, and my body will of course be healthier.....assuming I don't injure myself in the process.

Remembering how happy I am every day is going to be the gas that powers me.  Changing my lifestyle to a more healthier one may perhaps try my patience at times.  I need to remind myself how much I have in my life to be grateful for.  How the past year was the happiest of my life, and how I intend to carry that happiness all the way to 2012 and beyond.  I'll remind myself how much better I'll feel once I'm healthier.  I'll be happy when I have more energy.  I will find something to be happy about even on those days when I'm wishing those veggies on my plate were big ole' candy bars.  Optimism makes me feel so much lighter in spirit than pessimism anyway.

Now, that last factor....giving up soda.  I drink Coca-Cola everyday.  More than once a day.  Some days it's all I drink.  There's a whole world out there of juices and milk, and flavored waters out there that just get ignored by my Coke loving self.  I drink way to much soda, so, alas, I think we must part ways.  It is going to suck.  I love Coke.  I crave Coke.  I can see this being the most difficult part of my Get Healthy goal.  However, people can give up smoking, I can give up Coke.  It's going to have to be cold turkey.  It's honestly the part of this goal that I worry about the most.  I'm ditching the Coke starting Monday, so I better enjoy this weekend I suppose.  Maybe one day after I've gotten my bad dietary (and drinking) habits under control I'll be able to enjoy a Coke every once in a while.  Maybe.  We'll see.

There you have it.  Goal #1 in all its glory.  Hold me accountable.  I've seen a coworker shrink before my eyes because he was able to put his mind to losing weight, so I know it can be done.  I just need to stay motivated, stay focused, and stay positive.  Wish me luck!  Until next time.....go get some happy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snowzilla

Apparently my area is about to experience a fierce monster like no other we've ever faced before.  The news has been warning his approach for days now.  When he gets here, our world as we know it will cease to exist.  HE.  IS.  SNOWZILLA!!!  That's right folks, by tomorrow morning the tri-state area will be blanketed by a snowstorm that will bring us an unbelievable amount of snow.  We might get as much as an INCH!!  Maybe two depending on where the storm goes.  Oh the horror.  Did you hear me people, an INCH!  That not a dusting.  By tomorrow morning I might not be able to see the ground.  I don't know how I'm going to be able to go on with my life after this devastation.

Seriously, there is a town in Alaska where it has snowed every day since mid-December.  They have over twenty feet of snow.  Houses are buried, snow is halfway up trees.  There is no road into the town and the ports they use are unusable right now.  They are begging people to send in sturdy snow shovels.  They are handling it, yet when our forecast calls for an inch or two people go into full on panic mode.

Look, I know that roads get crappy when it snows....even just a little.  During a heavy snowstorm conditions can be bad.  I'm not all woo-hoo, let's go crazy out there.  Common sense goes a long way though.  Drive slow, keep your distance, turn on those lights.  Those are all things you have to do when the weather throws a snowball at you.

Things you do not have to do include stocking up water, bread, cookies, batteries, green eggs, ham, ketchup, mustard, frozen dinner, or whatever.  With an inch of snow, the grocery store will still be open, you will have to go to work.  Time will not be standing still because little ole Kentucky got a tiny bit of snow.

As I'm typing this I hear the wind howling outside.  It sounds like it's trying to huff, and puff, and blow my house down.  I'm going to go outside tomorrow and probably find out that the howling wind froze my door shut.  I may hear that the roads are icy and slushy, and yet, I do not think the white death is upon us.  I'm lucky that I don't mind driving in the snow.  I can't say I don't have some white knuckle moments, but most times, I'm good with it.  So, I don't mind going out when so many others seem to be stressed to the breaking point at the thought of getting behind the wheel.  If you are one of those people, by all means, don't drive in it.  No point in freaking yourself out.  I wouldn't drive if I was afraid.

I've noticed that with my local favorite TV channel they have been trying to stress that this is not the mother of all snowstorms.  However, people seem to hear, "The End Is Near".  I shouldn't be surprised, first "major" snow this season.  Like this every year.  It is what it is, but it never changes, and never gets any less annoying.  Oh well, I suppose if panicking is what it takes to make people be careful, then I should be grateful for it.  I'll work on that.  Be careful, be safe, be warm.  Until next time readers....go find yourself some happy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Serenity

There is a difference between "love" and "like".  That difference is subtle or blindingly obvious, depending on who you ask.  To me, love is instinct.  It's a deep feeling that is almost a reflex to something or someone who is so much a part of you, that you can hardly bear it when that thing or person is absent from your life.  Like, however, is more of an opinion.  You like something or someone that has appealing qualities that please your senses.  If something about that person or thing changes, so can your opinion.  Perhaps you will like it or them less, or in extreme cases, not at all.  Like is more of a surface feeling.

In many cases "like" and "love" go hand in hand.  You begin with like....it can take root and grow into love.  It is hard to find love for someone or something if that initial feeling of like isn't there.  However, once love has taken root it is possible for like to fade.  This leaves you with that feeling of love where you want that thing or person in your life.....but at the same time, you need just a little distance to remind yourself why that love is there to begin with.  Think of the web of people in your life.  Narrow that web down to the people who you can truly say you love.  Now think of the last time you didn't feel like talking to them because they had done something to annoy you.  You still love them, but you just don't feel the like too much right at that moment.  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  I love my job.  I do.  I'm one of those lucky people who works in an environment that is generally fun and positive.  There are opportunities to expand my knowledge of the issues that arise in the office.  I feel safe here, and I know that at the end of the day, my office is a family, dysfunctional though it may be at times.  Today, however, I'm having trouble liking my job.  I won't bore you with the specifics, but let's just say that there's a project that the office is working on that is basically turning into a zombie that's come to eat our brains.  It involves a computer program, and my head will explode if I try to figure out the specifics of exactly what's broken with this new program, but suffice it to say, broke is bad.  I understand the thought process behind this project.  It will allow for more in depth information about properties to be available to the public.  When completed correctly, this project could be great.  Apparently the road to greatness is full of giant sinkholes.

We are stalled.  Plus the work we've done so far probably needs to be repeated.  If you could see the stack of papers of work we've done so far, you'll cry with me.  It's certainly not the first project in the history of all offices to face a setback.  It's OK, we'll figure out our next steps and move on with it.  It's just hard being right in the middle of it all and not knowing what comes tomorrow.  Some people panic, some get angry, and others just assume the worst is going to come and wait for that giant meteor to land right in the middle of customer service.  I fall in the latter group.  It looks like a pretty shooting star, then, wham, you're toast.

So, all of you out there in Blog Land.  I hope the projects you begin today go smoothly, and your jobs treat you well.  I'm very thankful to have a job to complain about.  I know I'm lucky.  On days like today I like to remember the Serenity Prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and to do your will (or you may know the last line as "and the wisdom to know the difference")" Either way, it helps to remember to slow down, take a breath, and be calm.  If nothing else, no matter what's going wrong in your life remember, this too shall pass.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Holidays.......

......and by holidays I mean Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  I have not written since Memorial Day.  Bad Blogger!  Bad, bad blogger! 

With all those months to think about, I should have no trouble coming up with a post.  The trouble for me will be to keep it reasonably short.  I'm a talker....or, well, typer. 

I'm still an attic dweller in that I still basically live in my parents attic.  Gee, putting it like that makes me sound like a real winner, but hey, you can't beat rent free, meals included.  However, I do not spend nearly as much time in that attic as I used to.  OK, part of my time spent out of the attic is sleeping on the couch because it's the middle of winter and there's no heat up there.  Do you have any idea how cold an attic can get in the winter.  I do.  Cold.  Really cold.  More comfortable to sleep on the couch cold.  However, a good majority of my time away from the attic is spent with my boyfriend.  That is not a typo folks, he's mine :)  I'm not going to go into a mushy post about how I'm happier than I've ever been and a large part of it is because of Boyfriend coming into my life.  Nope, not going there, my sisters will puke if I do.

There are two other men who have come into my life since my last post too.  Don't worry.  This Attic Dweller hasn't gone out and become a player.  The other two men are Little Cousin, and Nephew.  .  Little Cousin was born in July and Nephew was born right before Christmas.    A cousin and a nephew.  Not a bad way to put a smile on my face.  I love those little guys more than you can imagine.  They are lights in my life and I simply cannot get enough of them. 

I have found that I have quite a natural talent for crochet of all things.  I'm a crocheting fool.  Recently, I even got my first paying order, so....BONUS!  Getting paid for a hobby I love....yep, makes me happy.  I might look into drumming up more business for "Kimmy Crochet" as I've nicknamed myself.  I'll have to put up some pictures soon of some of my creations.  Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into one big crafting blog.  However, I cannot guarantee it will be completely craft free.

Friend got engaged, married, and is expecting her first child at the end of April.  I'm still recovering from that whirlwind, but it's a whirlwind I don't mind blowing me over.  So much good news.  Becca finds out whether they are having a boy or a girl next Thursday.  I'd hazard a guess, but I guessed both Little Cousin and Nephew were girls so, I clearly suck at that guessing game.  Another new baby in my life.  More smiling.  I tell ya, I've been smiling so much lately my cheeks hurt.  I may just explode and shoot rays of sunshine everywhere.

I'm not saying everything is all unicorns and rainbows.  I just can't think of a single bad thing to include right now.  I wouldn't want to let any negativity creep into all the positive in this post anyway.  Take that negativity!!

Well, a new year, can equal new beginnings.  I'm stealing an idea of a friend of mine and creating goals for myself rather than making resolutions (thanks Rob!).  Short term, or even long term goals are far less daunting than one big resolution made on New Year's Day.  We're almost a week in to the new year and I haven't had the time to think about those goals, but I do know that blogging more is going to be one of them.  Now that I've almost finished this post, I realize how much I've missed it.  Time to step it up!  I'll write more as I come up with my goals for this year, but if you want to get an idea of what the heck I'm talking about, take a look at Rob's blog:  The Pumpkin Society. Not only does he give his goals and honest updates about how he's doing, but he'll review games, books, comics, movies...you name it, he'll tell ya about it.  It's a great blog to follow!

Well, dear readers, I suppose it's about time I end this for now.  I will visit you again next week!  Until then, go find yourself some happy!