Tag Archives: stress

Moments of 2015-Bad

31 Dec

I see today (New Years Eve) as a day for reflection.  And I can’t say I’m sorry 2015 is over.  It wasn’t terrible, I’ve had much worse years.  But it wasn’t what I wanted either.  I like to know where I’m going, and in 2015 I never did.  I didn’t know if I would continue with school, and I didn’t know where my career would take me.  In the past, I’ve been severely disappointed when career objectives didn’t pan out, but this time I felt a calmness and grace about the situation.  Still, there is a dissatisfaction.  And now I’m left to really contemplate what I want in life.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, New Years Day, a day for goals and new beginnings.  Today I’ll post a few blogs about worst moments in 2015.  Which isn’t just picking the scabs of wounds, it’s thinking and it’s learning.  Seeing the worst times allows me to rearrange the circumstances to make next year better.

And again, I’m posting for the sake of time and forgoing a lot of re-writes.  I’ll edit later (maybe).

12TH WORST TIME OF 2015:  -Bob, at my new job, introducing himself as the janitor.  Trying to be funny, but offending me.  Insinuating of course he was much better than a crummy janitor.  He’s some client services administrator–big deal.  When he didn’t know that janitorial had been my very last job, and my father had been a custodian for 20 or 30 years.  What a D-bag.

11.  -Human drama at the YMCA.  Deb being all weird toward me because ???  and holding a grudge.  The churchy gal acting like a bitch and treating me like a lowly janitor.  Just coldness and unnecessary drama from people with nothing to keep their minds busy.  It was stupid, but even though I wasn’t invested in the drama, I noticed it, and had to DEAL with it.  Lame.

10.  -Rusty’s doors remaining half open in the winter.  Primarily because it rendered my remote start useless.  And obviously I NEED that.  I hate being cold.  So much so, that I had bought my own remote start and fought for them to put it in my manual–which is a liability for them and usually against the rules.  And I had always loved starting the car from inside the warm building.  But now it set off the alarm, because the doors were open just enough. . .

9.  -The unwelcoming, frosty environment at MSCL for my first 7 months working there.  NOBODY acknowledged me, talked to me, or anything.  I felt awkward and alone.  Those duds and douche-bags were the WORST!  Here’s an example:  I walk in as a brand new employee–and nobody (even my boss)  says hello.  Or I sneeze–and nobody says bless you or anything.  It was as if I was invisible.  I guess it’s because they have high turn-over, and they were change-averse.  And because it’s a lab, so people don’t have great any social skills.  But it still made me feel like it was ME.  And that brought back horrible memories of veterinary social problems that plagued my work life previously.  I had wanted new beginnings and to turn a corner in a new field–and this was not the start I’d hoped for.

8.  -Not getting into the UU AuD program, despite getting the 4.0, having extracurriculars, and working very hard on my application.  Was it the gay-themed activities I put on my application?  Bad interview answers?  Being from out-of-state?  I really don’t have any idea, and I feel like I should be in there.  Easily.  But this is toward the bottom of my disappointments (and the top of this list) because I’ve grown as a person, through my veterinary sagas.  I had to future plan, which wasn’t cool.  I still don’t know what I will do career-wise, which is scary and reeks of failure.  But I didn’t totally fall apart this time.  I took it in stride.  I do wonder how in the heck I didn’t get in that class, because I feel like I really deserved it and would have done an excellent job.  But I’m putting it on to them, not beating myself up over it.  And I’m not sure it’s what I want anyway.  I’m very disillusioned by the costs of school.  And I haven’t gotten ANY return on my undergrad investment.  And the forums scared me off of audiology a little, because they said Hearing Instrument Specialists can do almost exactly the same job, with NO school.  And they probably get paid equal or MORE than actual audiologists.  Also people talked about it being kind of a dead-end career, that’s highly redundant.  And I didn’t know if paying for 4 more years would even be worth it in the end.  But I’m still undecided, and haven’t closed the audiology door all the way.  Perhaps being 14th for a class of 12 was actually a favor to me. . .

7.  -When my parents insisted I call Dad’s chiropractor’s son about getting IN at Costco audiology–NOW, at the same time I frantically trying to complete a heavy-duty YWCA-UT job application and get ready for work at my current job.  They get overwrought and crazy and over-emotional, then there’s nothing for me to say or do to stop that crazy-train.  Unless I do what they say, when they say it, things fall apart quickly.  The whole thing just reminded me of every other time my parents tried to control me.  And how they were probably disappointed in me.  And that’s how the big horribleness of 2007 Cabin-Mansion had really kicked off the first time, so I was scared there would be a big blow up and subsequent melt-down of the relationship we had worked so hard to forge.

6.  -The meeting where work reneged on the full-time schedule, hours, and pay we had negotiated 3 days prior.  I had finagled the best schedule for my weekends, sleep, and time with Cool.  Everyone at work had left the meeting satisfied and happy.   They got coverage on a Sunday, which had been difficult to secure, I got Fridays and Saturdays off and a late-start Wednesday.  It was absolutely perfect and I commended myself for taking a chance and asking.  But 2 days later, they called me back in and told me I’d have to take the legit schedule I had applied for.  Because a girl (previously a bitch to me) who had more seniority, and was better at the job wanted to work Sunday.  And trying to please everyone, instead of defending me and the schedule they had promised me, they gave it to her.  So I felt betrayed (again) and like I had a much worse schedule.  But I also felt trapped.  What else would I do?  I needed this job, or it was back to veterinary assisting.  So I had to just accept it and deal with–while being really angry, frustrated, and un-trusting toward management–and that bitch.

5.  -When Cool picked a fight just 2 days after my good knows of getting a full-time job.  Cutting short my celebration.  Depression strikes this time.  Out of nowhere, Cool knocks the figurative wind out of me by acting like a major jerk.  It was awful, because I had just talked to my proud parents and had been super-ecstatic about my new job, and Cool knocked me down to a miserable level.  I was really sad about it, because I’m ALWAYS supporting Cool and she just didn’t have it in her to even pretend to return the favor–her depressive episode made it all about her.  Again.  I wished she could be supportive and celebrate with me, but instead her bipolar and selfishness ruined it all.  The memory of my new job is still tarnished.

4.  -Getting stuck with all the moving logistics, work, and most of the payments, because Cool went manic and in so doing abandoned me in a time of stress and need.  Which was the WORST because moving sucks anyway.  And there is so much to do and plan, and so much heavy physical work.  It wasn’t fair and I felt alone and unsupported.  Mental illness is the WORST sometimes.  It’s hard not to blame Cool, and that’s not really what I signed up for.  Cleaning the Spokompton apartment by myself was awful.  It was messy and there was so, so, so much left to do.  And it wasn’t fun, and I felt resentful that Cool had already started her job and couldn’t come do her share of the work.  Especially when I was cleaning things SHE had messed up.  Driving Rusty, alone, and wanting to come home and relax very badly, after such a tiring trip and no sleep.  Then walking into a messy house full of manic shenanigans, with a Craigslist ill-fitting futon we hadn’t talked about.  And dealing with having to clean and reconfigure everything, while dealing with a belligerent, unreasonable, manic person.  It was BAD.

3.  -Finding out I was just PRN (after they promised me something different in my interview).  I had interviewed over the phone for the job.  They said I was technically applying for a PRN job, but soon, they were posting a job with more regular hours.  That job was the same duties, but it was a year of guaranteed hours.  This PRN job, which had been posted was 25 hours a week for training, but then was substitute only.  Not stable, and not really what I wanted.  So they hired me during my phone interview, but told me they would call me when (slow) HR got around to posting the year-long job.  Then, I was to apply for that to make the paperwork legit, and that job would be mine.  I waited for the call to tell me that year-job had been posted and to complete that application.  And waited.  When I finally got the phone call from MSCL, they were wanting me to pick a start date for the as-needed job.  And pretended not to remember promising me the more stable-year long job.  I had written it down!  And the way my supervisor acted was callous–and I knew she remembered, but had just reneged.  But I had to take the lessor job, because what else was I going to do?  I needed an income after moving to a new state.  And sure enough on my first day of work, I found out they had hired a coworkers daughter for MY year-long job.  Nepotism had been at play, and as usual I got screwed at work.

2.  -The fear-phobia really, of being offered a job at a veterinary specialty hospital.  I had a sense of dread and sick feeling.  I should have never applied to veterinary hospitals, because my resume is just BUILT for them.  But I was feeling a little insecure and desperate about my guarenteed training 25 hours per week becoming true, as-needed.  I HAVE to work a minimum of 25 hours just to meet my bills, and that was soon to end.  And it’s my policy to ALWAYS interview for the practice if one is offered.  And while I know my veterinary experience is a major advantage in that field, I didn’t anticipate them loving me quite so much and being offered a full-time position on the spot.  The trouble was, it did seem like the best case scenario veterinary medicine could offer.  It was ONLY speciality referrals.  It was the BEST veterinarians in the state.  The hospital hirarchy was set up so there was a legitimate office manager and head vet tech to answer to–not the impulses of vets.  There was a true support system and everyone was on the same learning curve and truely didn’t leave you alone to fail.  And they seemed nice.  And said they didn’t yell–and I believed them.  And the technology was AWESOME.  They really had it all, not just the Idexx lab and digital x-ray.  Like ALL the toys, including MRI, and anything else spectacular.  But I had just such bad memories.  And I knew the schedules and the overwork, and the under-pay.  All the pit-falls, that really, I could no longer live with.  And it’s not what I want in life.  And the delimma was feeling like I HAD to take it, because I really had nothing else to fall back on, but feeling STRESS at the prospect of taking it.  In the end, I made the very, very difficult decision on not going backwards.  It was really hard (and brave) leaving veterinary assisting jobs in the first place, and I had done it for good reasons.  I had to keep up that bravery even when times got tough.  So I declined, but left the door open.  And they liked me so well, that they said to call any time I wanted a job.

  1.  VERY WORST 2015 MOMENT:  Thinking Goose might have thrown a clot to the leg, and worrying about his impending death, and worse, knowing there wasn’t a lot I could do to prevent it.  He randomly fell off the couch twice, and didn’t have use of his back leg.  It was too short to be a seizure (maybe) but didn’t have the pain of a thrombosis.  But my reference point was when the screaming cats had been brought to the vet.  Maybe there were precursor incidents at home that hadn’t been painful, and had gone ignored by owners–I didn’t know.  So of course, I thought the worst.  And I remembered the vets at Cats Meow preparing owners if there were any heart abnormalities.  Telling them to just make the decision to euthanize now, before emotions were involved, because once the clot was thrown, prognosis was grave.  And I remember the cats coming in-just screaming in horrible pain.  And owners saying it happened out of nowhere.  One day, the cat was fine, the next down in back and just SCREAMING.  It was awful to imagine that for my Goose.  And it’s still in the back of my mind, because he is a Maine Coon and they are notorious for heart issues.  But I’m hoping he was just being a clumsy dink, since it’s only happened twice, and the episodes were brief.
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Brandi Carlile at Red Butte Garden [part 1]

17 Aug

I’ve seen her at the Knitting Factory in Spokane twice, and both times she was on the verge of outgrowing the venue. Overcrowding lessons my good time, but they did amazing at both shows. Also, the first year she started late and I had to leave early (I still loathe Forster-Friday for forcing that regretful choice on me) and the 2nd year the venue had to hand-write tickets, and drunk Spokomptonites nearly ruined the show with their debauchery.

I also saw Brandi and the twins play with the symphony at Benaroya (spelling?  IDK) Hall in Seattle. symphony dress Unfortunately, not the year I lived in Seattle.  I under much duress, I had to take vacation time from work, and drive the 6 hours over the pass one Thanksgiving break.  The show wasn’t until the end of the visit (Cool’s family) so we were tired, and I was very worried about missing an exam and work in the morning.  It had snowed uncharacteristically hard, and I didn’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the pass.  So by the time the show came around I was already tired, then worried.

Brandi with our sign 2

 

 

 

 

For my 4th and 5th Brandi shows, it was her opening for DMB at the Gorge.  So it was a great time, but not HER shows.  She played a bunch of covers, and it was windy as HEEEELLLL.  And apparently, all the greatest tricks were left for Saturday, when we had Friday and Sunday tickets.  And Cool was kinda of a pill that weekend.

But last night, in Salt Lake City, the band outdid themselves.  I was worried because our show was the day after Red Rocks, which Brandi was all jazzed up about (of course).  I thought our show–if it went on at all–would be like DMB post-Gorge.  Still good.  Still a concert.  But much less enthusiasm/energy after the peak of the tour.

Plus, Cool got her tickets from a 4th party, because the venue is very hard-core on scalping and makes ticket limits, and ID’s the ticket-holder to make sure the name matches the ticket purchaser name.  And we couldn’t hold the tickets until “an hour before the show.”  Naturally I figured we were getting scammed.  I knew we would never hold the tickets, and even if they were legit, we would not be let in.

I did not allow myself to get my hopes up, because I just knew our concert wouldn’t pan out.

But the day of the show, the tickets were e-mailed.  I was only slightly relieved.  We couldn’t print them.  Cool had to make an emergency run for ink.  Then, it wouldn’t print without BOTH color and black ink.  And still, our tickets probably weren’t legit–and we weren’t on the list as the original purchaser.

After 1.5 hours, Cool printed two tickets.

So I packed our bags and got dressed, and we went to the venue.  Next–the actual concert

When It Rains, It Pours: April [house–sHit]

11 Jun

When I was cleaning the OLD apartment, I was dreaming so much of the relaxation of house-sitting for waelthy people.  This was going to be just the vacation I needed after a crazy month of stress and packing and stress and driving and stress and unpacking and stress and planning logistics and.  Stress.

last house-sitting 094This was going to be the restful break, complete with amenities that would rejuvenate me before I had to drive (again) Rusty to Utah.  Ten+ more hours, but by myself.  In a third-hand car with unknown history and not enough maintenance.

Sidenote–I knew I should get Rusty’s oil changed and a tune-up before a big trip.  BUT every single time I took a trip in my Jetta, and went to a mechanic prior to that trip they would deliver some awful news of some sort.  Something was terribly wrong, it costs a lot of money, it would push back my leaving date, and if I did pay an extraordinary amount of money (NOW!) my car would probably die on the way Jetta 1there, leaving me stranded.  Every trip this happened.  And every trip’s dates would be set in stone and strapping me for cash.  So I would never be able to have time or money to fix whatever problem it was.  But I would worry the entire time.  Trips in my Jetta were always full of terror because I was always certain I was just about to break down–without a cell phone.  Or any sort of recourse.  And the problem was especially compounded when I traveled by myself (most of the trips) or worse–with pets.

The point is–NOT knowing was better then panicking the entire time, so I did not take Rusty to see anyone.  This was a gamble.  BUT this time I did have Triple A–just in case.  So I was a little worried.

But the house-sitting was going to be a lovely, easy time.

house-sitting 011

Except I forgot that the animals don’t allow sleep.  Dr. Fletcher makes anyone in the guest room (A.K.A. Dr. SLC-all moved in 004Fletcher’s room) miserable by doing power-muffins, licking, frolicking, opening then slamming the door, scratching with (previously done by another owner) declawed paws on anything, etc. . .  There is no night-sleeping.  The other 2 cats begin to meow and fuss and make a ruckus about 5AM when they usually get their breakfast.  This with the stirring dogs and thought of starving horses mandates crack-of-dawn mornings.  There is no napping, because the dogs run amok during the day, the phone rings all day, the answering machine is long and loud, and packages are frequently delivered.  There is too much going on during the day to sleep.  In the evening the dogs are hyper and need fetching until their legs fall off, and the bulk of the chores must be completed.

In short–I was even MORE tired during and after house-sitting then when I started.  I don’t think I ever slept more then 3-4 consecutive hours.

And then I had to drive from Washington to Utah.  Alone.  And for a second time in 2.5 weeks. . .

Typical of Saint George Vet: Interview Schedule

7 Jun

7-16-08

Hello —-,

 

The  Board of Admissions is pleased to invite you to attend an interview as

the  next  stage  in  your application to St. George’s University School of

Veterinary Medicine.

 

Your  interview will take place in Stillwater, OK.  It will be conducted by

Patrick Morgan, DVM, a representative for St. George’s University School of

Veterinary  Medicine.    Dr. “old dude” will be contacting you to arrange for a

convenient  date  and time to interview.  He will also furnish you with the

directions at that time.

 

While  the  primary  goal  of the interview is to assess the attributes and

motivations  of  the  veterinary  school  candidate,  this  is  the perfect

opportunity  for  you  to  learn  more about our facilities and programs as

  1. I  am  sure  that you have already given thoughtful consideration to

many  aspects  of  a  veterinary  medicine  education, and we would like to

encourage  you  to  address  any  specific  questions about St. George’s in

particular directly to us.

 

 

Please note that at the start of your interview, you will be asked to write

a  brief personal essay. You will be given about 10 to 15 minutes to answer

one out of three questions. The questions are based on personal experiences

or  motivations.  The essay is a great opportunity to tell us a little more

about you.

 

Once you have confirmed your arrangements, please inform me via email.

 

Thank  you for your cooperation and interest in St. George’s University. We

look forward to meeting you.

 

 

Regards,

Admissions Counselor

U.S. Admissions

 

St. George’s University

N American Correspondence

C/o University Support Services LLC

One East Main Street

Bay Shore, NY 11706

9-5-08
Good afternoon, [not my name]. I am back from Grenada and trying to set my calendar for the remainder of September. Please send me a list of dates you can come to Stillwater with your preferences in order. I will schedule a date as close to your first choice as possible. I look forward to talking with you about your chosen career.
“old dude,” DVM

 

9-10-08

Good morning, [my actual name, thank you]. You get 1st choice, Sept 23rd. Let me know whether you would like to interview morning or afternoon and, if you have a specific time that is best for you, let me know. I will not make other commitments on the 23rd until I know your preferences. I have your application papers so you don’t need to bring any of that. You should prepare an outline of how you will finance your 4 year DVM program.

Do you want me to make a motel reservation for you or send you the telephone numbers of local motels? I look forward to talking with you.

old dude, DVM
Adjunct Professor, SGU/SVM

Hello ——,

A final determination can take up to 4 to 6 weeks depending on how often
the Board meets and how competitive your file is. Feel free to contact me
for any updates after your interview.

Regards,
Admissions Counselor

I’m starting to panic. This vet school interview isn’t scheduled yet. My guy is not dependable at all. He put this off until September, forgot to call, didn’t even remember me when I called, pretended that he was planing on calling me that day, then blew me off and never called back. I don’t know if I should pester him and make him angry, or wait, or change my interview location. . . Then, I see people are getting accepted for January, possibly taking my scholarships, and they had to wait a month after their interview to find out! I feel powerless and stressed!

I need to calm down. I can’t do the interview for at least 2 weeks anyone. During that time, I will have my surgery and make $3,000 to fund my education. I can also have time to plan the trip and get dad together if necessary. That leaves me about 14 weeks, or four months to get my shit together. That’s plenty of time. I can fly Gandhi to Nevada and be there for Nevada day. Then, I can go back to Missouri, work and pack the rest of my apartment. Since everything is already in storage it won’t take long. I can clean the apartment and be done. The lease doesn’t run out until the end of December.

What else needs to be done before I go to another country? I need to sell some stuff, but I typed a list yesterday. Today I should look on the newspapers and see how to post an add. Going to Nevada later than Halloween won’t be so bad—I’ll make more money at my job, not pay for an empty apartment, and only have the chance to fight with my parents for 7 weeks. That’s plenty of time to spend with my parents. It’s over the holidays. As long as I’m there by Thanksgiving it will work out fine. If I’m here, I can moake money, study in peace, and write my book. That’s good.

This is fine I only need to know by October 20 if I’m going. A week to make my plane reservation. You know, I can actually make that reservation to fly Gandhi as soon as I can pay for it. I need to start communication with Aunt Linda to see about Choco-luv first. Ok, no worries. This gives me a chance to practice interview questions and write essays. Ok, sell stuff, write Aunt Linda, get rid of some stuff and maybe start cleaning empty parts of my apartment. Get dad’s train route, and my driving route.

9-13-08
Good morning, —–. Anytime 9 to 10 AM would be best for me. Let me know where you will be staying as some of the motels have very good places to have a private conversation and some do not. If you are staying in one of the latter, we will talk in my home office. I retired from Okla. State in 1995 and thus have no university office.

As to your writing assignment, you are correct in that I cannot tell you specifics except that you will be given your choice of three questions relating to the veterinary profession.
This is designed to be spontaneous and of short duration. From what I have seen in your application you should have no problem with this assignment.

Usually the SGU Registrar’s Office does not tell the applicant anything about the interviewer, but the interviewer knows quite a bit about the applicant. My career is a testimony to the many opportunities available to veterinarians. I have been a veterinarian 50 years and married to the same lady 50 years. DVM from UGeorgia 1958, 4 years with USDA, MPH from Tulane Medical Center 1963, 2 years US Army, DrPH Tulane 1968, 1 yr clinician in Tulane Medical School laboratory animal facility, 5 years faculty/administrator in Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 23 years combined work with OK Dept. of Public Health, OKU School of Public Health, OKStateU School of Veterinary Medicine, 1 yr faculty/administrator Ross U SVM St. Kitts W.I., 2 yrs owner/clinician small animal out patient clinic in South Louisiana, last 2+ years part-time consultant with St. George’s U/SVM. There; more than you ever wanted to know.

My interviews usually are 1 to 2 hrs depending on how many questions the applicant asks me.

I look forward to talking with you on the 23rd. My Stillwater telephone # is —–.

old dude, DVM

9-15-08
Good morning, —–. I need to meet with you a little earlier than we had planned; 8:30 AM in the lobby of the Fairfield if this works for you. If not, please call me at—–.

Patrick Morgan, DVM

Hello ——,

Are you still interested in applying to our school, I haven’t heard from
you in quite some time.

Regards,

Thank you, and good luck!

9-16-08
Once your interview is over your summary will be forwarded along with your
file to the Board for a final determination. If you have any other
questions, or concerns please let me know!!

Regards,

9-29-08
I was just wondering if Dr. old dude sent my interview paperwork to the
school yet. I’m very anxious to find out if I’m accepted!

Thanks!

Yes ——-,

Your file is currently with the Board, I should have something within a
couple of weeks. Feel free to check your status at any time!

Regards,

10-6-08
Yes, they have, and I have checked on your file last Friday (I usually
check every week on the review progress). I’m hoping to get a decision
back as soon as possible, however keep in mind that the usual time frame
can take up to 6-8 weeks. I’ll call you as soon as I hear something and in
the mean time feel free to check up on your file as many times as you like!

Regards,

When It Rains, It Pours: April [unpacking-round 1]

2 Jun

-We arrive so our new apartment in Salt Lake City!  We are tired of driving, tired of sitting, tired of being greasy and dirty.  I’m hungry and thirsty.  Cool is bored.  The cats are scared and in need of soothing.

crazy cat

-But that is not in the cards for us.  We have no time for even a short break, because we are in multiple parking spots and the neighbors will be getting home from work soon.  We get there and have to start unpacking right away.

-Our stuff didn’t fill the 16 foot Penske to the top, but don’t think we didn’t have a lot.  We have a LOT of stuff!  And on this leg, it was just up to Cool and me–we had no help for the heavy or awkward items.

-Our apartment is situated a little awkwardly.  It’s like a remodled motel or something and we are on the bottom floor.  Which should be easy.  But the bottom floor is down 5-6 stairs.  And the stairs are 2 units to the right or left of our door.  And the stairs aren’t just a straight drop down, there are 3 north-facing steps, then a landing, then 2-3 south-facing steps.  This 180 degree turn made any large item difficult to manuver.  The other access point was a ledge.  Most of the concrete edge in front of our lower floor has a gate.  But at one point just to the side of our door, is a 4.5-5 foot concrete ledge that meets the level of the parking lot.  I’ll try to post a picture, because this sounds confusing.

SLC-all moved in 031

 

-Anyway, so I was in charge of climbing into the back of the truck, lifting items to the edge, getting out of the truck, grabbing things (at chest-height) from the truck, walking across an aisle in the parking lot, and setting the item on this concrete ledge.

-Cool, stood down, on our apartment’s level and picked the items (at shoulder height) off the curb, took 3-4 steps into the apartment, and theoretically put them in some logical place to be unpacked later.

-I found out I had the more vigorous part of the job.

-OK, maybe this doesn’t sound super-unrqual to you, but here’s a little snippet of how the afternoon went.  I’m doing the physical labor.  Cool is on her phone.  She decides reception isn’t optimal inside of the apartment, so she goes in the concrete ailse-way.  I’m like, “What are you doing on your phone?!  Help me!!!”  Supremely irritated (at me and the perceived phone reception) she growls and walks up the steps.  Then, she trips over her own feet, fall down on the parking lot, like, rolls (all the neighbors are staring), and lies on the asphalt.  Making a real scene and being a doofus.  THAT’s the kind of “help” I got. . .

-I also found out later, Cool simpy stacked, threw, stuffed items as close to the door, in a mass in the living room, for me to sort later.

-But the unloading had to get done, so I pushed and sweated, and got more dusty and greasy and tired.  We finished by 5:30PM, which was past when people were getting home, but I think they could see us struggling so no one gave us a hard time.

-THEN, we had to find a place to put the Penske.  Because now it was in the middle of going-home traffic in a new city (of bad drivers) adn we weren’t about to return a 16 foot truck just then.  And don’t forget we haven’t had a break (or food) since our arrival.

-So we went to the corner lot next door, some studio, “by appointment” who had ample parking.  I wanted to ask, but no one was there.  So figuring no one would go through the trouble of towing a Penske, we just parked it on that property.  Oh well. . .

-Things had settled down enough after 9PM to think about driving the Penske again.  On the map, the turn-in location looked very close, and really easy.  Go all the way down our street, turn right, then turn left.  Done.  In practice, it was much different:  The right turn was over-crowded with tons of cars speeding onto the interstates.  How could it be so busy this late at night???  Why aren’t people cutting a 16 foot truck any slack???  I had to turn right, but then get over 4 lanes to the left to make my turn.  And of course, no one would let me over–even though I was substantially bigger.  And I couldn’t SEE them.  Unfortunately, also, if you missed the turn there was no place to go but the freeway, then way down to the next exit.  Ugh!  So the 2nd time around I literally stopped in the road prior to my turn–they would just have to wait so I could get into my lane.  I completed the left.  Only to find, the directions were to make a U-Turn backwards and into the dark, Penske lot.  As soon as I pulled into the parking spot, tired, all ramped up from the crazy drive, and stressed–I realized the tank was empty.  We had to do it again after finding a gas station!!!!  Nope.  I would not be driving that again in that horribly, pushy, speeding traffic.  I was lucky to make it in one piece the first time–there would be no next.  So I had to make the tough choice to either buckle-down and drive that again, or take the fees.  As returning the Penske was harrowing, I chose the latter, which would turn out very expensive.

-As all of this was going on, and we were at maximum stress level, some guy approached us in the Penske parking lot.  Attention boys and men:  If you see women (especially one woman, by herself) she NEVER feels comfortable about you engaging her.  Especially after dark or in a sketchy place–we were in both.  This guy comes up and asks if we speak English.  Then he asks for money for gas.  Which I was like–do you see this Penske we just got out of?  There’s where all our money went.  He persisted by saying a police officer had told him this was a bad area and he really needed to get home.  What, now he wants us to take him somewhere?!  Lame.  Walk your a$$ the 5 blocks to Tracks and use the more then ample public transportation.  I was over it and disengaged.

-We got home, and I was ready for shower, jammies, bed.  BUT We had no hot water.  The gas had not been turned on yet.  I had to go to bed that night without a shower.  Morale was low.  Surpringly low.  When I was all tired and greasy (from a long drive and unpakcing and lack of shower for now 16 hours) it was very depressing.  Our first night in Salt Lake City, and there was no excitement–just greasiness.

-The next day, I called at 7AM, right when they opened, to get gas to heat our water.  I was told it would be turned on tomorrow.  Oh no!  That could not occur, we would need it today!  Yes, I fussed.  OK, they would do it by 4PM.  Lesson:  I guess fussing is the way to go and people will bend rules for you.  Which sucks because I usually follow rules and therefore have to wait longer, pay more, and deal with more hassle.  But not this time.

-Except by 2PM, we hadn’t heard anything, and the business day was quickly coming to a close.  I did NOT want to miss my chance at hot water!  Finally after a 2nd phone call (squeaky wheel gets the grease) the gas was turned on.

-Or was it?  We still had no hot water.

Sutro Pool Party 005

-We called the gas company and they said the pilot light probably wasn’t lit.  We called our landlord to try to get someone to take a look.  We called the gas company who were extremely hesitant to talk me through lighting over the phone.  But I persisted, because by this time, I was not only expired, I was curdled.  My hair is always greasy when I wake up, so I need a shower daily.  Add in long drives, sweaty, vigorous unloading of a truck, nervousness of returning said-truck, then dusty unpacking–I was disgusting.  I tried to light the pilot light.  I tried and tried.  It clicked away, but I never saw a flame.

-After the 4-5th call to our landlord, and many hours, maintenance finally lit our pilot light.  It took him 2 tries and I’m sure we looked like helpless girls having to call in a man.  But I’m sure all my pressing, worked most of the air out of the line–it had been off for 3 months.  So it looked easy for him, but only because of my previous efforts.  And whatever–hot water was going to be on.

-Agh–a shower.  Finally!  Now we live here.

Next up:  Oh yes, there’s more!  The moving never ends!

When It Rains, It Pours: April [pre-move]

8 May

Since I didn’t have time to update throughout April, I’ll save some time here by making a bulleted list.  I’ll try to remember everything, but things got pretty hectic!

-At the end of March, we started looking for apartments.  In another state.  Real Estate agents are apparently flakes, hardly reading correspondence or answering/returning phone calls.  We also immediately saw that not many understood out-of-state moves = No, we cannot come view it tomorrow!  This was going to be more difficult then we anticipated.

-We also learned that securing an apartment before starting to pay rent wasn’t a thing.  We wanted to have pro-rated rent mid-April, the agents wanted us to start a lease 4-1-15.  Which wasn’t going to work since our Spokane lease wasn’t up until 4-30-15, and we couldn’t afford to pay rent on two places at once.  How do people usually manage this?

-To further complicate the matter, I had committed to house-sitting until May 2nd.  This meant we either HAD to sign a new lease that started May 1st in Salt Lake City (SLC from here on out) or pay month-to-month at our current apartment.  Mo-Mo increased our current rent from from $480 to $610/mo.  On top of moving expenses and deposits–that was not going to work.

-In addition, it seems SLC is anti-pets.  We could hardly find ANYthing that accepted 2 cats.  And those that would, were about $100 higher in rent (and mostly more then that), charged a minimum of $300 extra deposit (on top of $300 security deposit), AND charged monthly pet rent.  This was going to be expensive–and I didn’t have a job so I didn’t know how much money I had to budget. . .

-Needless to say, we are scrambling around on the internet, looking for suitable places, e-mailing (to no avail), and calling–without a SINGLE return phone call.  WTF?!  Is this a real estate “thing” or just a SLC thing?!  Either way, it was super-annoying, not to mention bad business practice.

-Cool gets legit-stressed, but then goes full-on manic.  Not awesome timing.  She decides she has to visit her family, 6 hours away, right when we’re trying to find housing.  I was going to go, but I work on Saturday, and didn’t want to leave my co-worker friend alone to do everything.  So Cool and I were initially going to visit Tacoma Sun-Tues.  BUT Cool also realized she had NO time off work.  None.  And she only gets weekends off.  So she planned to make the visit without me.

-To compound the situation, the Friday Cool was going to leave (after her work shift was over at midnight) for the other side of the state, she calls me.  It was 9PM.  Good news:  She was able to transfer within the company she’s been working for into a job in Salt Lake City!  Cool got a job!  Bad news:  She had to start work April 23rd (in 14 days counting that night).  Worse news:  We had no housing, she still intended to leave for the weekend, and in order for me to give 2 weeks notice at my job, I’d have to turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow.  STRESS!

-After we had a deadline looming, things got really insane.  I had to turn in my notice at work, secure housing, start packing (and getting rid of things), and making reservations for moving trucks, hotels, flights, etc. . .  Despite this being 2015, the internet wasn’t super helpful in finding an apartment OR changing my address.  I had to make a zillion phone calls–and you know how I despise that.  Forget about details like cleaning the old apartment or trying to get a job in SLC–that stuff would have to wait.

-We found 1 viable housing-option (above our price range).  But the landlord was a doofus.  We Cool (because this kind of crap makes me belligerent, and that would accomplish nothing, plus, I was doing EVERYthing else) had to call like 6 times before we got any response.  Then we had to wait.  Then, things didn’t work right.  My full 2 weeks notice were closing at work, and we still had only the promise of housing–no lease, no deposit. . .  This is terrifying to me.  What would happen if it fell through?

-Meanwhile, I was frantically packing and trying to get rid of things.  What to do with the huge, old treadmill?  How were we going to get the 37″ TV down the stairs, and where would we put it?  You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to put it in boxes and move it!  Even though this is a small bullet point, this stuff really consumed the majority of my time.  It was a lot of thinking, planning, lifting, and packing.

-Nothing was easy.  What size rental truck should I get?  I got a 10′ in Missouri and had to leave half my stuff at the storage unit.  It sucked terribly, got rained on so it was unsalvageable, and the storage management were pissed so they took all the money I had paid ahead as a “cleaning/trash fee.”  I did NOT want that scene again.  So I fretted, measured, and deliberated, before deciding on a 16′.  It was big, but they’re all bigger then what I’m used to.  The 12′ and 16′ were the same price, gas efficiency, and width.  The only difference was the 4′ of additional length–and after 12′ what’s an extra 4′?

-We also had to decide how we would logistically move 2 cars, 2 cats, a moving truck of stuff, and ourselves to 10.5 hours away.  While still getting Cool to work in SLC on April 23rd and me to my house-sitting job in Spokane April 27th-May 2nd.

-We decided to drive the Penske full of stuff and HHR with the cats to SLC.  Then, Cool would start work while I unpacked the stuff at the new apartment.  Then, I would fly back (rental car was only $20 cheaper and took 6 more hours) to Spokane.  While in Spokane, I would clean the entire old apartment by myself before the lease was up, then continue on to my house-sitting job, before driving (a 2nd 10.5 hours) my car back to SLC.  At least we had a plan.

I think I probably forgot some things, but you get the gist:  April was busy, busy, busy, costly, and stressful.  In the next installment I’ll talk about the actual moving process.

March Goal Accountability

1 Apr

1.  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

A+.  Though if I’m really tired and sore, I accomplish it with quarter mile breaks.  Example:  Run 0.25mi then wash dishes, run to .5mi and set out clothes for the day, run to .75mi and push back my cuticles, then finish out the mile.  So they’re not long breaks, but the mile isn’t continuous.  I consider it intervals, and it’s OK (and still perfectly legit).

2.  Read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.

N/A.  This may not be a thing at all.  See waitlist post.

2a.  keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class. All semester.

N/A.  Ditto to the above.

3.  Collect a minimum of 2/mo positive moments in a jar

C+.  I added one already and know what the next will say.  I just haven’t physically written it down yet.  Maybe after my nap. . .

3a.  listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.

F+.  My sleep has been terrible, but I’ve been thinking about school/work/moving logistics/my life plan.  I have intended to distract myself with gratitude, but make it through 1-2 things before either worrying or sleeping (rarely) more.

3b.  I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.

D-.  I haven’t been UNappreciative per say, just distracted.

3c.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day. EVERY day.

C.  I could be doing a TON worse considering the stressful circumstances of the moment.  I am not falling apart, and I’m not overwhelmed with stress (yet).  I could be doing better in this area though.

4.  Dental health. Floss daily

C.  When I’m tired (on work days) this slides.  I’ll get better in 3 weeks–when I am done with swing shift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4a.  brush twice daily for an adequate time

A+.  This has been happening.

4b.  find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

N/A, but now that I may not have to pay for tuition, I’m considering getting Care Credit again once we’re in Salt Lake City.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1: Get the money. Make it, keep it.

A-.  Other then buying books at our 2nd favorite Spokompton establishment, I didn’t spend one extra penny this month.  And it was fairly unintentional.  That will work out well for the move.

1a.  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

F-.  I’ll start once we stabilize after the move.

1b.  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month

F-.  CL sucks!  And I posted items on 3 other sites and haven’t gotten any hits.  So it may be donation time 😦

1bi.  have one yard sale.

N/A.  I’m considering an open apartment before we move–maybe invite co-workers to look at stuff.  Or maybe I’ll donate everything and just have a sale at my parents’ this summer.

1c.  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU

N/A.

1ci.  go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

N/A.

#2: All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

N/A.

2a.  read the journals (minimum of average of 1/wk)

D.  I had been reading my journals, but once I was waitlisted and my whole career choice was thrown into turmoil I stopped.  I’m not sure what my next step will be after I move.

SLC 38

#3: Cool.  Defined as:

3a) tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.

3b) Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).

3c) Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.

F.  Cool has been fairly stable this month.  She did display some normal Mommy issues, which makes me crazy, and was super-stressed and frenzied over the move (before I was).  But I’ve been irritable too.  I we need to remember to be a team and be closer to Cool in times of great stress (such as waitlist and moving).

#4: Make a menu

F+.  Because every once in awhile I think of something the day (or hour) before we eat it.

4a.  do a grocery list

D-.  I gave up on a planned grocery day (before the move, anyway) so this is almost non-existent too.

4b.  grocery shop 1x/wk

F——.  I don’t think I’ve gone at all.  Once I get off this swing shift I’ll make this a routine.

4c.  cook 5 days of cooking per week grow it to all 7.

F———–.  How many minuses could I put?!

#5: Prepare, but don’t stress out.

D+.  I really wasn’t stressed about the move until Cool ramped me up.  And finding an apartment site-unseen, out-of-state, with 2 cats, and on a budget (prior to employment) is awful.  Is there anything worse for stress levels???

5a.  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

B-.  I’ve been plugging along at this.  I think this is the best aspect of the move, because it’s mostly within our control.

5b. Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

-I’ll take more time with this in April.  As it is, I’m really focusing in on moving logistics, not blogging right now.