The End

Well, I have some bad news.

I’m not going to be a NaNoWriMo “winner” this year.  You have to finish in order to win…  and in order to finish you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days (this is probably old news to most of you.)

A few weeks ago, I said, that I was going to use NaNoWriMo to work on my book that I’ve been writing for the last three-ish years.  It was kinda of rocky going for a while, with more days of no writing than there were writing.  But this week while on my stay-cation, I hunkered down and worked diligently on the book and had three days were I wrote extremely large numbers of words.  And still I’m not going to be able to finish NaNoWriMo…

Because I finished my book.

Turns out, there were only 34,366 words left to write.

This is, of course just the first draft and now I have to go through and edit, so this project is far from over…  But…

I finished my book!

Advertisements

Nap Update

No sooner did I hit publish on that last post, than I checked my work e-mail to find one with a subject line that read, “End of Year PTO Reminder”.

Among other things it included a few bullet points:

  • You will accrue 4 float holidays on an annual basis, during the first payroll period of the year
  • Float holidays may be accrued up to a maximum of 4 days
  • Unused float holidays after the last pay period of the payroll year will be carried over to the new payroll year and your float allotment will be refreshed up to the 4 day maximum

Um….  Isn’t that last bullet point just a really flowery way of saying, “use ’em or lose ’em”?

Need a Nap?

Just in case you were in need of some extra zzz’s and couldn’t fall asleep, I bring you the following:

I’m on stay-cation next week. There’s no particular reason, except that I have three float holiday’s that I will lose on December 31, 2011 if I don’t use them and I’m also dangerously close to maxing out on my Paid Time Off hours and if I don’t start taking some, I’m going to hit the max early next year and will be essentially giving my PTO back to my company. Stupid.

Having all of next week off should come in handy as I am (Gasp!) 14,513 words behind if I plan to complete NaNo this year. More importantly, I’m in a difficult to digest portion of my story and I’m having a hard time finding the space to do the writing unencumbered by numerous distractions. I hope that by being home and with little on my plate, I’ll be able to power through and get to a good pace again (and caught up).

I do have plans to go, next week, to a local clinic where I will FINALLY get my pre-employment physical done so that I can move forward with getting my ambulance driver license, the latest in a series of obstacles that have provided me with good excuse not to have gotten an EMT job yet.

After a conversation with my friend Micah who was a class or two ahead of me and who I became friendly with when he was the other “Teaching Assistant” last spring, I am now aware that while I have the paper work the Doctor needs to fill out for my physical, there is another little card that I needed to have, which could not be downloaded. So for lunch today, I went to the DMV. Fun right? It needn’t have taken long. I wasn’t doing anything but grabbing a form that was supposed to be out for the taking… And it was, only since I was there, I figured I should ask about getting an Ambulance driving Manual.

See, while I’m basically getting a commercial driver license, I couldn’t believe that the 160 page document I printed that is very broad could possibly be what I needed. It’s Friday, it was bout 1:30, the DMV wasn’t terribly busy, so I asked the young man (GET OFF MY LAWN!!) at the front desk if I had the right book. He told me I did not. I asked if I could get it from him, he said yes, it’s $5.00, and made no move to get the book for me. I asked him how long the wait would be. He looked at his computer screen and said, “not long”. Everything is relative.

Aside: Why does he not have this book at the front counter where he could take my money, hand me my book and send me on my way?

He handed me a number and I waited for… well, I don’t know how long… two and a half chapters in the book I’m reading, long. Finally I was called to a window were a very sniffly, coughy, non-hand-washy girl very lacadasically went about selling me a $5.00 booklet that they clearly printed and stapled together in the back room.

Aside: Why could I not just download a PDF of this book on-line?

My oldest nieces birthday was on November 5th. My status as “Favorite Uncle Kevin” is quickly dwindling away as she has not yet received a gift from me, nor did I call her on/for her birthday. Don’t judge me! Have you spoken on the phone to a 9-year-old child lately? No thanks!

Being 2550 miles away, I have no idea what to get an 9-year-old girl, I don’t spend nearly as much time with as I would like, for her birthday. So I asked her mother. Prepare for cringe worthy moments ahead…

After thinking about it for a couple of days, my sister came back and told me that what Caitlin really wants is “to get the clutch on her motorcycle fixed. This bad idea is going to cost about $600.00 and so the suggested gift for the 9 YEAR OLD GIRL was a “rechargeable visa card” with some money on it that she could add to until she had enough saved to pay for the repair.

Aside: I hate the idea of my 9-year-old niece being on a motorcycle, let alone owning one of her own, so I at least take comfort in the idea that it doesn’t run, and since I was only going to spend about $25.00, it’s not like I’m going to put her over the top or anything, but still!…

Reluctantly, I agreed to this plan, only, I really have no idea how to go about procuring a rechargeable visa card for a 9-year-old, and so here we are 13 days after her birthday and I haven’t even started the ball rolling…

My sister has since suggested that she thinks I should be able to get it at my bank and so, since I was already out at the DMV (see, you didn’t think these stories were related, did you?) I figured I could go into a branch to inquire there about whether and how they could make this happen. So when I finished my DMV business I went back to the car and I asked my iPhone, “Siri? Where is there a Bank of America around me?” And, well, I have an iPhone 3Gs, so, my iPhone didn’t say anything back, but the app told me where there was a Bank of America, less than half a mile away. As it turns out, I already knew this Bank of America was just where it was, I just didn’t realize I was so close to it while at the DMV, which I did not know where was and had to have my GPS direct me.

I drove toward the BofA, thinking how long I had been at the DMV, and how long I had already been MIA and what I should have for MDM (Mid Day Meal – otherwise known as lunch.) As I rounded the corner in front of the BofA I was reminded, ’cause I saw the sign, that there is a Boston Market right next to the Bank. Seemed like a good idea. Nothing fried there; that’s a plus right?

I walked in the front door of the bank and saw a longer line than was at the DMV and turned right around and walked out again. Thirteen days and counting, still dont’ know how I’m going to go about getting my niece her card.

At Boston Market, I ordered a combo plate with meat and two sides. I ordered brisket. No matter how good my intentions are when I go into a place like a rotisserie chicken restaurant, if there’s red meat there too, it’s almost guaranteed that’s what I’ll order.

Looking at the sides though, I thought, this place is supposed to be healthy? There sides are all carbs! New potatoes, mashed potatoes, loaded mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (actually yams, yuck!), stuffing, corn, green beans, creamed spinach… OK, granted green beans and creamed spinach are probably not that high in carbs, but, yich! Don’t like either of those.

I ordered loaded mashed potatoes and this squash, zucchini casserole thing topped with melted cheese (who doesn’t like melted cheese?) That shouldn’t be too bad, right? Squash isn’t high in carbs. There’s the cheese, but I’m less worried about a little extra fat than I am a lot of extra carbs.

Lo and behold it was some sort of stuffing type thing with the sliced squash over top and the cheese over that. It was delicious, to be sure, but still… Someone said, “Oh, wait. There’s not enough carbs in this dish, we need to rectify that!”

Also, I had an extra slice of cornbread.

Slow Learner

Sometimes it’s better not to share everything about yourself in a very public forum; something that can be very hard for we bloggers to learn (and remember.) This is beginning to seem like one of those things that should probably have been kept to myself…

Note to self: learn when to keep your big mouth shut.

Call Me Coach

This week, on Glee, there was a subplot story line, in which Coach Beiste admits to having feelings for a guy who “doesn’t think of her like that.”  They then presented a montage of scenes in which the guy in question is clearly flirting with Coach Beiste or suggesting a date with Coach Beiste and in every instance she is completely oblivious to what’s really going on.

These scenes were comical, to be sure, and of course, as an outside observer, it’s easy to see what’s going on.  But I started to think about it.  I put myself in Coach Beistes cleats (which wasn’t really that hard to do) and I wondered, “If you’re someone who doesn’t fit the norm of what society thinks a person should be ; if your self-esteem is so low – at least in the area of romance – how likely would you be to be able to recognize the signs?”  I’m pretty sure that I’ve had my share of Coach Beiste moments.  I’ve been completely oblivious to signs when someone was flirting with me.  Add to that, the fact that my Gaydar is shot and I’m in a pretty bad way.

I once wrote a post about lunch with a guy, Kevin was his name – how cute would that be (barf) – who had invited me out to thank me for being such a big help to him in a work related capacity.  He worked for the local University of Phoenix campus and I had enabled him to come set up an information table in our building lobby on multiple occasions.  To this day, I do not know if that’s all that it was.  There’s a realistic possibility that I was on a date and didn’t even know it.

I’ve written more than a few times about Jesse the fire fighter who, apparently, liked my eyes and then never gave me the time of day again.

Enter Brendan.  You might notice that it’s now November and that means yet another round of emergency drills have come and gone.  At some point in the past year, I gained responsibility for the Building Emergency Response Team at an additinoal building.  It’s a small group of people.  My company has an educational theater group that travels around to schools putting on, well– educational theater.

This October, when I requested volunteers to help observe our emergency drills, a few people from the other building volunteered to help us out.  We had a pre-drill briefing at the beginning of that week and Brendan was in attendance.  He was the first person in the conference room and he was very attentive.  I admit, I thought him a little strange at first as he was completely focused on me and what I was saying, something I’m definitely not used to.  He maintained eye contact with me the entire time, something else I’m not used to.  He smiled whenever I looked at him or spoke to him.  Being from another building, he asked me if I’d show him what we’d be doing the day of the drill; take him on a miniature tour of a floor. He followed and stood close when we talked, again always maintaining eye contact.

The day of the drills he came back to the building and was very friendly.  We talked a lot during downtime, and I got a really strong sense of chemistry and connection.  I was sure he was interested in me.  And while the idea still scares the crap out of me, I was interested in him and willing to see where that could go.

We always have pizza for all the volunteers at the end of the fire drills and as I was collecting the critique sheets and letting people know when and where the food would be, he hesitated and then said he was probably not going to stay.  “I have to watch my…” his words trailed off as he gestured to indicate his general torso area, adding “I’m a man on a mission.”

I told him we always have salad too.  “You can just have one or two small slices of pizza and then have salad,” I told him.  We always have a lot left over and if he didn’t come have some he was just going to leave us with even more after the fact.

He thought on this for a moment and then said, “Well.  I was going to skip the gym tonight, but I guess I could go on the treadmill for an hour.  And maybe I could take some home to my hubby.”

I did my best to convey no reaction to this revelation and said, “Yeah, you could do that.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I’m not interested in getting involved with a married man.  But still…

A week later Brendan signed up for a Safety Training class I attended.  When he walked into the room where I was already seated, he made eye contact with me and smiled and then walked right past me and sat at the other end of the table.  I was disappointed.

The Educational Theater Group is celebrating its 25th anniversary and they had a reception last night.  As part of the Facility Management staff that maintains their space, and as the Emergency Response Program coordinator, I was invited to attend the reception.  There were lots of good reasons why I should go to the reception, and I’m glad I did, but the truth is, I accepted the invitation with the hope of getting to spend some time with and talk to Brendan.  I didn’t see him at all until close to the end of the event and when I did, he was guiding a costumed character around the space.  He seemed really happy to see me and gave me a hug and then…

The conversation fell flat.  I felt incredibly awkward and had no idea what to say.  Before long, they moved on and not long after that, I went home.

And then there’s Ed.  Ed is the supervisor/account manager for our Janitorial Service.  I meet with him most Thursday mornings to do an inspection.  Physically, Ed possesses many qualities I’m attracted to.  He also has a very friendly and outgoing personality.  I like talking to Ed.  I do not like doing Janitorial Inspections.  And he knows it.  But they’ve been delegated to me and so he and I walk a floor and he makes notes of things he sees that need attention, usually catching more than I do, because I don’t know what to look for in the first place.

While we walk, Ed and I talk about random things that have nothing to do with Janitorial Services, and while I do not feel like I know Ed, I feel like we’re friendly.  A month ago, due to multiple conflicts on my schedule, I e-mailed Ed and told him I was going to have to cancel our next few appointments.  He e-mailed me back saying, “Not a problem. I know you’re quite disappointed.”

“Completely crestfallen,” I replied.

Ed and I were scheduled to meet for the first time in weeks today, but he called me yesterday to verify that we were still on and then told me that he had a bid walk for a contract to do this morning and asked if it would be okay to push back our inspection.  I was fine with it.  I’m never disappointed not to have the inspection.  Ed said he’d be at my office at 10:30.

By the time my noon meeting rolled around and I hadn’t seen or heard from Ed, I figured it was a safe bet that our inspection was cancelled.  When I walked back into the office at 1:30, I was quite surprised to see Ed in John’s office.

One of the things that appeals to me about Ed is that he always wears a suit.  No one around here expects him to and he is, apparently, not required to by his employer, but he tells me he prefers to wear suits; and he wears them quite well.  When he and John came out of John’s office, I walked over and took hold of Ed’s arm, found his watch under his shirt sleeve and said, “Well, it looks like it still works.”

Today Ed is wearing a textured, light grey suit, a white shirt and a blue and gold striped bow tie; a real bow tie which he tied himself.  He looked really good.  I had to look at something at K’s desk and he had to finish his discussion with John and then he came over to the counter at K’s desk.  I told Ed he was much too late for us to do an inspection and I was about to go get some lunch.  He asked me where I was going and said he’d walk with me.  I told him I was just going to go across the street and get a sandwich to bring back to my office, and again he said he’d walk with me.

In the elevator, I reached up and moved the edge of his bow tie out of the way to see if it was tied or clipped and he said, “Oh yeah, baby, that’s tied!”  He watched four you tube videos over the weekend to learn how to do it.  I asked him if he’d been hitting the gym (this was a topic that had come up in previous conversation.)  When he said no, he asked why.  I said, “You look good.  You look fit.”  He said, “Yeah.  If you’re gonna wear a bow time you have to walk tall!” (So true.)  Being of Asian heritage, he is not a tall man, but he hides it well.

Ed walked over to the deli with me, chatted with me while I waited for my sandwich and then walked back to my office with me, for no business reason whatsoever.

Many times I have wondered if he might be gay.  Many times I’ve been sure he wasn’t.  I know nothing about his personal or romantic life.  I may be imagining it all, but sometimes when he leaves me, I think there’s some interest, some possibility.  Other times he leaves me and I’m sure it’s all in my head.

Just call me Coach.

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

I don’t often publish unoriginal material on my blog.  I also, don’t often publish political material on my blog, though it has been known to happen.

I just read this article on DaveRamsey.com and had to share it.  Dave Ramsey is a financial guru with his own radio show and books and stuff.  One of my all time favorite bill boards is one on 5th street, in Oakland.  It’s for Dave’s radio show and features a huge picture of Dave’s mug and the tag line says, “Act your wage!”  I think that’s brilliant.  A few years ago, I read a book by Dave called The Total Money Makeover.  It changed my life.  It would change my life more, but I haven’t done a really good job of following it’s recommendations.

Anyway, Dave has some comments regarding the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and the off shoots that have sprouted up around the country and while I have not said anything about them because I have nothing nice to say, this article from Dave’s website helped to put into polite and friendly words, all the things I’ve been thinking for weeks but couldn’t think of a nice way to say.

Here is a link to the original article.

By Dave Ramsey

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Yeah, that’s great. But what do you want? What are your goals? What are your demands? What result are you looking for?

The beauty of being vague is that anyone who has any emotion can get caught up in the excitement and join your crusade. They’ll just get mad at something and assume that you’re both mad about the same thing. Put a few hundred of these people together, and boom. You’ve got a crowd, a headline and a lot of attention … but no message.

A lot of people on Twitter are saying I totally agree with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demands and goals. The only problem is that I have no idea what their demands and goals are. And neither does anyone else.

NaNoWriMoSoMo

First of all, that sounds like something a Judoon would say.

For those of you who’ve been around here for a while, you can probably guess what most of that means (what I wrote, not what the Judoon said.)  Yes, it’s November again, and that means it’s time for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.  This is the month each year when so many people take the month to write 50,000 words.  Fifty thousand words in 30 days.

Well, I’m taking advantage of this time to continue – and hopefully finish – my book that I’ve been working on for several years now.

So for me that makes this NaNoWriMoSoMo or National Novel Writing Month Some More.

You may recall that last November I was busy with school and every spare moment I had was spent studying and practicing and riding along and hospital shifting and generally making myself crazy.  Not a moment could be spared for book writing.  To make up for that I had intended to take a month, June I think it was, to have my own private NaNoWriMo but that didn’t work out too well.  I’m fresh off a solid six weeks of having to work for my pay – something about which I do not approve – and should have more time on my hands now.

I figure 22 days because I barely have time for writing on the week-ends and in 22 days I need to have written 2273 words a day to make the 50,000 words mark.  Of course if I happen to have finished my book in fewer than 50,000 words, then I’ll be OK with not finishing NaNo but that remains to be seen.

I’ll try to post some blog posts here and there as the spirit moves me as well, but for the next little while, I want to focus on my book and hopefully finish the first draft!

Wish me luck!