Friday, November 27, 2009

Inhaling Food

Wednesday morning, I had a lovely cheese omelette nearly ruined by a genetic disorder.

I assume it's genetic, since every female in my family has this problem. We'll be going along fine, then suddenly begin to choke on air. We don't even need to be eating anything. Just breathing.

I could be talking, sitting, eating, reading, driving - just generally existing, the throat locks up, and the coughing fit begins. In Wednesday's case, I was unfortunate enough to be eating something when the attack came. I don't know if I breathed in as I was chewing, or what; but I snarfed egg up the back of my throat, into my nasal passages, then coughed until my eyes teared up. I almost died in my breakfast.

And yes. I blew my nose and there was egg. And cheese.

You're welcome.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

A funny video from the folks at PJTV

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crap Clothing

In the past year, I bought three, semi expensive sweaters that inexplicably decided to shrink and warp.

I followed the washing instructions: wash on delicate, in cold water, reshape and dry flat. They were not made of any exotic material; two were cotton, and the other was a "washable" silk blend. Normally, I would assume I did something to cause this, but the coincidence here is that it happened to ALL THREE sweaters, and ALL THREE were made by Ralph Lauren. I would expect better quality from Ralphy-boy.

Okay, if I'm going to spend a ton of money on clothing, it better last longer than one washing. The orange one is now so small that it looks like a half-shirt, and is completely warped along the bottom. The blue one has a shawl neck that is now choking me, as well as half-shirty. The purple one has not warped (yet), but is slowly getting smaller with each washing.

This is ridiculous. What's worse, I had to buy these sweaters in extra-extra large, so they fit me properly in the first place. I am by no means a large person. I'm carrying a few extra pounds that have become nearly impossible to remove now that I'm over forty, but I'm not in bad shape. It's INSANE that I should require a large, much less an extra large.

I blame whatever designer decided that all woman's clothing must look like it's two sizes too small. This might be fine when you're a teenager, or a 20-something that weighs less than 95 pounds. Although, my teenager wears this style, and I think it appears as though she's growing too quickly and I'm unable to afford clothing which fits her properly.

Then again, my daughter is a beanpole, but in order for her school polo shirt to fit, realistically, she should be taking a size large - because the JUNIORS mediums from Aeropostale would better fit a toddler.

When I shop, I've noticed that most of the large and extra large tops are among the first to go. So I must not be the only one buying "big". I'm left wondering: Is this being used as another statistic to confirm the obesity of America? If so, it wouldn't be fair. You can't take a toddlers shirt, and say this is the new size small, and then adjust the rest of the sizes based on that. Again, this means most of us "normal" sized women are forced to buy extra larges, which skews the data.

Or maybe it's all a conspiracy to shame us American women into starvation diets so we can fit into these miniature clothes?

Still, even if I'm forced to buy stupidly large tops, I would expect them to last - especially for a designer name. Otherwise, it makes me NOT want to buy Ralph Lauren - or whoever else burned me with a high price tag and low quality. None of this crap is made here, by the way; and probably cost only pennies to make.

Speaking of not made here.....every year I go to the local Celtic Festival, and usually purchase a wool sweater, made in Ireland. These are usually hand made, and are machine washable - even though they are made of wool. These are sweaters I will have for the rest of my life. They never shrink, warp or fall apart. They are practically an investment.

I just thought of something else too. I had a number of "investment" sweaters, back from the earlier days of my career, from Ann Taylor. These too, were wool and washable. I still have most of them, and expect I may have a few of them the rest of my life. I had a Bennetton sweater from the 1980's last me twenty years, and the only reason I had to get rid of it was because I wore out the elbows. I probably could've put suede patches on the elbows and it'd be good to go for another twenty.

So what's happening here? One, we have a ridiculous trend towards insanely small clothing, and two - quality stinks.

In this economy, I cannot afford to blow $80 on a top that won't last til next wash day.

Well, I'm not playing anymore. I'm not buying any brands that have burned me in the past, and I'm going to be much more conservative about the quality and price from now on. Who's with me?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Still Swollen

Geez, I didn't think it was possible, but my eyes are more swollen today. This stuff better start working soon, because I've only got two more days on it, then it's just the antibiotics. At least I don't feel crabby or hungry, like the side effects said I would. I feel a bit zingy in the afternoon though. Zingy = good.

Traffic was insane this morning. I just don't get why some days the highway is practically empty, then other days it's bumper to bumper. There's no pattern to it at all.

I think I'm getting used to the driving. The car helps. A LOT. If I tried to make this commute in the Jeep, not only would it have shaken apart in the first two weeks, but I was only getting about 12 miles per gallon. The Volvo has a setting where it constantly monitors my fuel consumption, gives me the mpg, average speed and how many more miles I can go on my tank of gas. It does other things too, but I'm still reading the owner's manual and haven't figured it all out. On average, I'm getting about 26 - 27 miles per gallon in a mid-size sedan. That's not too bad.

I should've thought to go with a certified pre-owned car before. It's like, half the price of a new one, looks just like the new one, and Volvo practically takes the engine apart, cleans it, puts it back together again and certifies it as fantabulous. Or something like that.

And the warranty is comprehensive. Which is good, because hubby said the engine looks like something the Ancients created on Stargate, and just getting to the battery would be a challenge.

Truth be told, I originally wanted a Smart Car. They're just too adorable! It's so small I could fit it right on the front steps of my house. Then I read they're not great for long commutes because the ride was a bit rough. Two hours a day from PA to NJ and back again, would probably be a hemorrhoid fiesta.

Hemorrhoid Fiesta.....heh. Great name for a rock band.

Thank you Mr. Barry.

I did happen to see one during my commute one morning. It looked ridiculously endangered next to all the tractor trailers. Like a gnat flying with turkey vultures. You might as well be running down the road naked.

Gah. Three cups of coffee, and I just can't wake up today. And my stinkin seedless grapes have seeds. Liars.

So glad tomorrow's Friday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Just an FYI - any posts formatted crappily were most likely done from my Blackberry. I try to fix them when I get home, but sometimes I'm just too tired.


Dear Mr. Prius, 

Thank you for tailgating me for almost nine miles, then flying past me - Obama-Biden bumper sticker glistening in the morning light. 

I was remiss, as I was only doing 75 miles per hour. Surely I should've known 85 was more appropriate. Your eco-friendly statement on wheels has shown me the error of my non-hybrid owning ways. I'm sure that 18 wheeler you lurched in front of has seen the error of his ways as well. Possibly that he missed an opportunity to demonstrate the sheer, hulking mass that is a tractor-trailer, bearing down on a motorized roller skate. 

I see now, how terribly important it is to drive an electric vehicle. There must be great satisfaction in being able to break the speed limit by 20 miles per hour, leaving all of us gas-guzzling arseholes in your wake. Besides, it's all about giving the impression of saving the environment, instead of actually slowing down, and possibly using less gas. Yeah? 


A Slow-Poke In The Left Lane 

Okay, so I'm a little persnickety today. Went to bed at 9:00pm last night and was awake just about every hour on the hour. I think tonight will be an even earlier night, once dinner and housework is done. 

Oh, and BONUS! I read the side-effects of the steroid used to reduce the swelling in my face. May cause crankiness! Touchiness! Foul mood swings! Yay! 

Let's take an ill woman, put her in some Jersey traffic, and add an extra dose of CRAZY! 

If it wasn't for the fact that my face looks like it needs to be deflated with a very large knitting needle, I wouldn't bother.

However, I am desperate.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It was an Electric Light Orchestra morning.

Apparently ELO was floating around my Zune, and decided to show up during my morning commute. I'd forgotten how good they were.

Stopped for coffee at the cafeteria, the check out clerk was muttering to herself again. She reminds me of a certain older actress who regularly appeared on The Love Boat, back in the 70's. I don't recall her name, but I do remember she was always smacking her husband with a purse.

I checked my email, and had a message from someone working on an old project of mine. It was turned over to him over two months ago, and he's just looking at it now. His questions were along the lines of "can you do this entire analysis for me?". No dude. Your job now. I don't even have access to those systems anymore.

Anyway, I finally went back to the doctor yesterday. I couldn't take the constant pressure behind my eyes. Turns out our home thermometer isn't working properly, and I've got a nice, fat fever, along with a sinus infection. Again.

Doc gave me a "talking to" for waiting as long as I did, because now the infection has embedded itself behind my face. I told him that when I was younger these things usually resolved on their own, which is what I was hoping for. Which why I always wait. He reminded me that I'm no longer 25, and that at my age the immune system is a bit more battered. Thanks Doc. I feel ancient now.

So it's an extended round of antibiotics and a steroid to reduce the swelling in my face. Did I mention the swelling? For about a month now, I've looked like Jabba the Hut. I'm sure my new team is wondering why they hired someone terminally ill.

I really need to get to bed by 9:00pm. I've been getting up at 4:30am in order to have bathroom time before my teenager gets up at 5:00am, then staying up late so I can have some time with my family. That's the part that makes me sad. This commute puts me on a different schedule than everyone else – I'm sleeping when they're awake, and awake when they're sleeping.

So four hours per night isn't cutting it. But, maybe I can handle more late nights once I shake this infection. Right now though, four hours sleep sure isn't helping.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And Also ...

I put on an eye-searingly bright red sweater today, which is new, and I am shedding. There is red fuzz all over my slacks, and everywhere I go. I am literally leaving a trail of fuzzy red crumbs.

A side note: for the past few days there has been a green spider in the ladies room here at work. Today it disappeared. I assumed someone braver than me removed it. However, I noticed it has reappeared outside the bathroom. It's making a break for it, and is probably looking for my cube to build a nest.

The Sun Also Rises: Over New Jersey

Okay. Bad Hemingway reference.

I'm trying to do this post from my Blackberry, so this is fresh and unedited, typos and all.

So. The sunrise over the "Welcome to New Jersey" sign was breathtaking this morning. Seriously. This was the first morning this week where I didn't feel like I had Typhoid, or a hot poker jammed in my left eyeball.

Everyone at the office is sick, so it was only a matter of time before the germs found a new host in me.

What's worse, I haven't been good about getting to bed early, so I'm averaging four hours a night. I cannot begin to explain the physical pain I felt upon getting up this morning. However, once I got on the road, I started feeling better. Although it may have something to do with the quantity of coffee I've consumed this morning.

Today the Zune found some T-Rex (20th Century Boy, Rock On, Bang A Gong), and some Toto (99 and Africa). Is that song really about Agent 99 from Get Smart? I'll have to Google that later.

Got here well before 8am, and had to turn on the lights. This place is weird, no one comes in before 10am. I don't get that. I'd rather get here early and leave early so I still have time to spend with my family at night. Oh well. To each his own, I guess.

Well off to do some work. More to come soon...

UPDATE: I took a 50/50 shot at remembering who wrote The Sun Also Rises, and guessed wrong. So yeah, it's corrected now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back To Work

I didn't think it would be such a huge adjustment. The work part wasn't that big a deal – it's the getting up early, washed up and dressed appropriately, then driving an hour.

I put on eye makeup for the first time in months, and couldn't understand why I didn't look normal. Maybe I'm out of practice, but I looked like my eyes were on lopsided. The left one appeared to tilt further towards my ear, and was slightly misshapen.

Dress slacks, sweater, pantyhose and heels – yay! At least it's not a suit. Later, I would find out I was completely over-dressed. Most of my co-workers barely met the definition of “business casual”.

The morning commute wasn't too bad, and I made it there in about an hour. They let me in, and I found my cube. There were dust bunnies rolling around the desk, and the chair looked like someone vomited on the edge of the seat. Other than that, everyone was very nice and helpful. A great group of people. I consider my old team a finely oiled machine, and some of the best I've worked with, but so far this group is pretty awesome.

A few odd experiences though. I guess there's a few pockets of people that aren't used to normal human interaction like: “Hello”, or “Good Morning”. Some ran away, others looked at me like I was nuts. Maybe it was my lopsided eyes.

Also, English is a only a suggestion. There were several occasions this week where I'd get into the elevator, a meeting, the coffee room, and five or six people are speaking in another language. They would continue to do so, even though it was painfully obvious I had no clue what was being said. I was always taught this was rude, but hey, whatever. I'm getting paid, so I'll deal.

The evening commute is heinous. It's like a wild roller coaster where everyone's going the same direction, just not attached to one another. It's up to you not to become bumper cars.

However, I noticed rush hour drivers were considerably more cautious than I would've expected. Rarely did I see people cutting each other off, or doing anything overtly stupid. I suspect it was due to the shear number of vehicles. There's simply no way to go any faster, so you might as well not drive stupid.

Which brings me to an observation: All three lanes of the highway are jammed, but the only way to drive anywhere near the speed limit is in the far left lane. I drove the middle lane the first two days, and it took me an hour and a half to get home. If I stay in the far left lane, my chances of getting home in an hour are considerably improved.

The interesting thing is, I cannot stand people who do this when there's no traffic. They hog up the left lane, never let anyone by them, and you're forced to pass on the right. Now I understand why. I think they're so used to driving in this insane traffic, they just don't think about it anymore.

By week's end, I was exhausted. I think it's the driving. It's stressful – you can't take your eyes off the road for a second.

I'm hoping this week will be less tiring. I'm going to streamline a few things, shower the evening before, cut down on the face paint. I'm sure most of it is just getting back into the swing of things.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I've been trying to write a post since Monday.

I have great ideas while driving to work, but most evaporate by the time I get home in the evening.

Once dinner is cleaned up and I finish studying, it's 9pm and I'm fried.

Heck, it just took me close to a half hour just to write these four sentences.

Need sleep. Will write more soon.

I promise.