I ate too much.

I went to the local steak restaurant for a friend’s birthday party and after I ate so much that I thought I would burst, I had dessert. Brilliant. The dinner was great but some clown hit my brother-in-law’s car and then had the gall to just park in the space in front. They turned too early and hit the front left bumper of his car with their back right bumper. There were witnesses and everything but the guy just parked and walked off. Oh, well. I suppose that’s what insurance is for.

I ordered a bunch of stuff online and I was waiting for one more delivery from UPS, but UPS brought two boxes instead of one. Of course, one was my ridiculously geeky purchase, a ruler like they use on CSI.

CSI Scale.

The other was a “Get Well” fruit basket from my friend Sun for my mom. Thanks Sun! I think my mom is getting better, but she’s going to be on anticoagulants for months.

Sun’s gift basket.

So that’s the story of Friday night. I’m still waiting for this week to be over. Maybe I’ll just call it a bad month and figure tomorrow will be better.

Another Red Letter Day.

Today was the day that I had a meeting with my old manager and my temporary manager at Megacorp. Our whole group was scheduled, one at a time, so it was pretty obvious that we were getting our layoff info today. And we did.

I can’t imagine why, but I was pretty tired today. It probably had something to do with my inexplicable sleep problems. It surely couldn’t be the stress. I took a nap before going to the gym and felt kind of dopey the rest of the day. It was probably for the best, because when I got to the gym I found several of the old-timers in an uproar because our old Mavericks, which became a Gold’s Gym, is now going to be an L.A. Fitness. I guess L.A. Fitness is just going to use the gym as a “pre-sales” location until their behemoth of a gym is finished down in the yuppie Pearl District. At that time, this location will finally close.

So, I think I’m ready for this week to be over.

My mom’s back.

My mom’s finally back. We thought she’d get out this morning, but hospitals being the way they are, she didn’t get out until 5PM or so. I was at the hospital after my interviews and I was beat. The interview was an all-day affair and I was mainly picked because I can speak Japanese. Because of that, one of the parts of the interview was in Japanese. Unfortunately, it was last and in the part of the afternoon where I thought I was going to pass out. It was torture trying to answer questions at all, and even worse in a language I haven’t used much in years. I really need more sleep.

So, my sister drove my mom home, and I went to the drug store to get my mom’s prescriptions. One of them turned out to be $900 and I was warned it would be expensive so I wasn’t surprised. However, it was also not stocked in the pharmacy or any of the four other pharmacies they called for me. Well, today on Scrubs (which is on like five times a day) someone died of what my mom had, so I’m willing to pay the $900.

In any case, the job I interviewed for sounds like real work. At least it’s a job.

Why no update, more bad news.

My mom has troubles with chest pains. She gets a cough and then pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining outside of her lung. However, it is chest pain, and even though none of the symptoms are similar to a heart attack I still have to call the advice nurse and answer the questions.

  1. Is the pain localized or does it radiate down the arm?
  2. Is there pain elsewhere?
  3. Do you feel nauseous?
  4. Are you sweating?
  5. Do you have shortness of breath?

Of course we know the problem, and we know that Advil pretty much cures it, but even though the symptoms say it’s just pleurisy, she has to go to the emergency room to make sure.

Unfortunately, this time they found something. They heard problems in the lungs and got her a CT scan. They thought she had bilateral pneumonia and they admitted her so they could give her IV antibiotics. I stayed with my mom until 3AM, enduring the same questions over and over. A resident who looked like a little kid was the most thorough, but also the most annoying. My mom just wanted to leave.

Well, the good news was that they thought she could leave today. The bad news is that it wasn’t pneumonia, but a pleural effusion. I guess she got a blood clot in her leg and it got up to her lung. She’s going to be on blood thinners for a while. Even worse news is that she had a reaction to some of the antibiotics and looks like a pumpkin. She has to stay another night until her rash goes away.

So, I should be getting some sleep since I have an interview tomorrow, but I’m just a little keyed up. I’m sure I’ll fall asleep at the wrong time, right in the middle of some hard questions. Hooray.

Day after Thanksgiving.

I really haven’t done much during the holiday but sit around and watch football. I suppose yesterday, before dinner, I did to and clean the gutters, and today before lunch I went up on the roof and took down my antenna, but that’s less than an hour per death-defying task.

Yesterday I went to a Thanksgiving Potluck at my sister’s friends’ place in the swanky Pearl District. The Pearl isn’t that swanky, really, but that’s the way it’s marketed. Lots of retirees with money move in there. In any case, my sister’s friends are more of the young urban professional type than retirees, and being physicians the other friends at the potluck were all physicians as well. There’s a fine line between earnestness and humorlessness and everyone was clearly on the earnest side of thing. Very friendly as well. My sister made a huge turkey for the potluck and other people brought a lot of food as well. There were thirteen people and the leftovers were more than what we ate. Oddly enough, I only had one plate of food and I was so stuffed that I was a little uncomfortable. That didn’t stop me from eating the homemade pie.

Today I dismantled the antenna I have on the roof attached to the chimney. I kind of promised a neighbor that I’d take it down until the sunspot cycle was back and the antenna would actually be useful again, but I’m way too lazy to take the thing down for promises or for aesthetic purposes. He didn’t like it because it interfered with his meditation. I took it down because the furnace chimney it was attached to is falling apart. I ended up dropping some rather heavy things off of the roof, but fortunately not the heaviest thing up there (my big ass). As a reward to myself, I went out for a double cheeseburger and a chocolate malt with my friends. I wasn’t going to have the chocolate malt, but everyone else was having one so I had one as well. Too bad that it was in the 30’s and windy. We had to have coffee to warm up after the milkshake.

Weird dreams.

Before I describe the dream I had last night, I had a dream the night before last where I was in the dark, and I knew I was in the basement, and I was yelling at my mom to turn the lights back on. Sometimes I’m down there screwing with my computers or soldering on some piece of electronic equipment and my mom turns out the light. There’s a desk lamp on the workbench, so it’s not a big deal. Also, the comforting glow of the monitors keeps me company. It was a dream, though, and I woke up right after it happened.

Last night I had a dream where I forgot to pick my mom up from the airport and when I got up it was 10AM and she was already here. I woke up right after that dream, too, and I checked the clock. I had set my alarm for 5:45AM and the clock said 6:24AM. I rushed downstairs, threw on some clothes and my glasses, and ran outside. When I got outside I noticed frost on the windshield and I had to take care of that before I could leave. I drove as fast as I could (not passing anyone, but not going the speed limit) and made it to the arrival gate to find no one there. I called my sister right away to find out if the flight was delayed, and it wasn’t. It was 6:56AM (I can tell because of cell phone logs).

So I waited. And I waited. I was parked outside, and I walked around outside my car to look in the windows. There weren’t that many cars, but I couldn’t just leave it there without having Homeland Security bother me, so I just walked through all lanes of traffic to see inside through the windows. I moved the car back about half a city block to get a better view. It was 34°F outside, and I stood outside my car until I was half-frozen to make sure my mom would see me.

At 7:33AM my mom came outside and found me. Turns out she was inside waiting for me, away from the windows. Yeesh.

I was kind of worried about the alarm. My dad (who both my sister and I don’t want to be like) used to sleep through his alarm every day. It could be beeping at him for a full hour and it wouldn’t be turned off until someone else went in and shut it off. I was afraid that I was becoming more like him. So I checked my alarm clock this afternoon. It said it was 2AM on 1/1. I think that means that there’s just something seriously wrong with that alarm clock.

My mom’s coming home tomorrow.

My mom should be on a flight right now, heading back for Portland. We left her in Japan for two more weeks and I think she caught a cold. It’s something she seems to do every time she travels to Japan. It’ll be nice to have her back. She can watch me cross something else off my list: replace the chimney cap. I didn’t want to do it with no one else at home, in case someone needed to call an ambulance or something. In any case, I may be up on the roof tomorrow, after I get my car fixed. We’ll see.

Making a list, checking it twice.

I had an idea about some things I needed to do soon. Renew my passport. Recap the chimney. Take my car in for the recall. Fix the window.

I did none of those things today. Every time I thought of doing ANYTHING, it would start pouring. And it was a cold rain today, too. So the lunch I was going to squeeze in didn’t happen. The green tea latte I was going to get at Starbucks didn’t happen. The only thing I got out to do was to get dinner at McDonalds, and then put out the garbage. The only thing I really learned today is that getting a combo at McDonalds is only 10 cents more than getting just a Big Mac and fries.

It’s supposed to be a lot nicer tomorrow and I have a list of things I have to do. One of the things is to buy a quart of gravy (an errand my sister gave me). Let’s hope I can do something that simple without screwing it up.

What an odd massage.

I’ve been talking about my rolfing-ish experiences and they’ve been painful at times, but today I had the head session. This means I got my neck massaged, and then my jaw (in my mouth), and then had a grown man stick his finger up my nose. Let me tell you, I was a bit lightheaded after all this and I actually feel a little better, but it was one of the weirdest things I’ve done, I think.

In any case, I didn’t do much of anything else of note today, though I did get my laptop ordered..

Somehow it all seems a bit silly now.

I was a little late for everything today. I got to the Honda dealer to buy some new windshield wiper blades and the guy told me that if I’d gotten there a minute earlier, I would have had the last pair, but right then they were putting the last pair on someone else’s car. I called the dry cleaner and they said they were closing in five minutes. And I got to the ATM just after the protesters set up to complain about the bank’s funding of coal mining. It all seems meaningless, though. I called my sister to complain and she told me that one of her old friends had just committed suicide. She was married with two kids and had quietly been battling depression.

Kind of makes my problems seem silly.

Speaking of silly, I was told there were 2200 openings at Megacorp. If I filter for ENGINEER and my geographic area, and the pay grades I can apply for, there are only 87. Of course, I’m not just any kind of engineer, so I looked through the 87 and only found about 2 or 3 that I’m qualified for. And the “new” jobs postings for next year won’t happen until after I’m kicked to the curb. They usually work it out that way.

How did Amazon get to be so horrible?

I pay for Amazon Prime, which means I’m a sucker and an Amazon fanboy. I pay too much to get free 2-day shipping, but I pay it every year. Today I tried to order something that clearly had the “Amazon Prime available” o the web page, and they still charged me for shipping. A book and an oven thermometer, all of $26, and they tried to charge me an extra $22 in shipping. To repair this problem, I had to call what sounded to be Indonesia in the morning, and what sounded to be India in the evening. Both were incredibly slow calls and the guy in the evening appeared to be a bit mentally impaired. I had to read him the order number FIVE TIMES VERY SLOWLY. And by very slowly, I mean like, “ONE (one one-thousand), ZERO (one one-thousand), etc” and that still wasn’t slow enough for the guy. I’m guessing that Amazon is updating their software before the Xmas season and they’re screwing it up.

It was also the last day to pay for property tax and get a discount and I almost forgot. I never forget these kinds of things, but the whole job situation has me a bit discombobulated. Fortunately, I keep emailing a co-worker, asking him, “What are you doing? I’m doing nothing. How many jobs have you applied for? I’ve only found one I’m qualified for,” and he replied that one of the only things he’d done today was pay his property tax. That guy is a lifesaver.

The only other thing I did was go to the gym. One of the women there was pretty darn surly. It was around peak time (5PM) and I finally found an open cardio machine, but it had a cell phone on it. I wanted to get it back to the owner, so I asked her if she saw who was on the machine. No dice. She said she didn’t know and I got the attitude that she didn’t care because it would take 15 seconds of her precious time. I wanted to say, “Listen bitch, this is Oregon, and we have some manners here. If you want to work your flabby ass out to distract from that flabby face, fine. But at least be courteous enough to fake concern about other people so we can get this phone back to its owner. OK? By the way, your haircut is atrocious. I don’t care if you’re married, a lesbian, or a married lesbian. There’s no reason to have a haircut that looks like that.”

I’m afraid that my current situation is making me a bit surly. At least I didn’t say it out loud.


Imagine a guy on the first day of his job search, the day after he’s been told that his current job will no longer exist. You’d figure he’d send out a few emails, call a few contacts, surf a few job web sites, and then just relax because it’s his first day of externally imposed freedom, right? But for some reason it feels weird when that same guy spends all day sitting around watching TV shows that are queued up on his Tivo. Even if that guy took vacation days in the past, doing the exact same thing.

On a different note, I bet I was a lot more attractive when I had a job, compared to when I didn’t.