Another Quiet Week-End

Not too much to report this week-end.  After work on Friday, I stopped by Karin’s house to drop something off for her and ended up staying for three hours, hanging out, having dinner and, of all things, talking religion… go figure.

I slept late on Saturday and then took my recyclables to the recycling center.  I buy way too much Diet Pepsi, so I pay way too much in California Redemption Value (bottle deposits), not to take them in and get my money back.  Every few months I load up my car with trash bags full of aluminum cans and plastic bottles and take them in.  Yesterday, I got just a few cents shy of $45.00 so I’d say this is a worthwhile exercise.

After I dropped those off, I went to Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits to get some… well, chicken and biscuits.  I was feeling the need for a little comfort food.  It helped a bit.  I spent the rest of the afternoon just relaxing and hanging out.  Watched all the regular television on my DVR.  Watched a Netflix DVD, original Doctor Who, the episode where Peter Davison relinquished the role to Colin Baker (not that anybody knows or cares about that), and then I watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog.  It was pretty good and funny, right up to the end, and then it got a bit weird.  Oh well.  I even got some recreational reading done.  And in spite of all that resting I still managed to stay up way too late last night.

I slept in this morning, but woke up to a very nice voice mail message from Gene who, sadly, returned to San Diego today.  I got up and watched last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Maya Rudolph (very funny) while I ate my lunch and then it was time to get ready and head out.  Today was Lil’B day and we went to the movies.

I occasionally ask him if there’s anything in particular he’d like to do and he almost always says, “I don’t know”, which comes as a surprise to exactly zero people, I’m sure.  But last Monday night, when I was taking him home after dinner, I asked him if he had anything in particular in mind that he’d like to do this week-end and after a moment’s contemplation he told me he wanted to go see Journey 2, The Mysterious Island.  This is not a movie I would have opted to go to on my own, but Lil’B rarely expresses a specific desire of any kind so when he does, I like to try to make sure it happens.

I posted this on my Facebook page:

About to watch Journey 2 with my Little Brother…  I may have to watch this movie through my fingers!!!

I thought this movie was going to be filled with over-sized creepy crawly things and that my skin would be crawling by the time it was over.  There were a couple of instances with enormous centipedes, some massive spiders and a couple bee’s large enough to ride (I’m allergic to bee stings so they always oog me out!) and of course a lizard as big as a house, but all-in-all the movie wasn’t terrible.  It actually had a pretty good story that should have been pretty entertaining but it was not as well executed as it could have been.  Too bad.

I spent the rest of the evening cleaning up my Twitter account.  Deleting people who have either been inactive for a long time, or who do not follow me back and therefore aren’t interactive.  Or at least I did until Twitter started having technical difficulties and now here we are!

It’s a long week-end and mercifully I do not have any big plans tomorrow.  Officially, it’s not a holiday for me, but my company is kind of weird.  We have multiple entities that all co-exist, but the employees are on different payrolls.  Since my office building is owned and operated by the Northern California Region which considers Presidents Day to be a holiday, the building is closed, but since I am not a Northern California Region employee and Presidents Day is not a holiday on my payroll, I am required to take the day off and use one of my four float days for it.  I don’t really mind though.  I used to be a Northern California Region employee and I had the holiday but no float days.  Now I have four float days but lost this one holiday.  So I choose to look at it, instead, as though I have three float holidays and continue to have Presidents Day off as a paid holiday.

I texted Michelle earlier today to see if she wanted to go see This Means War tomorrow but as it turns out, it’s not a holiday for her.  So I guess I should just be grateful.  And I am!

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Grilled

Strangely, I’m almost as nervous writing this as I was as it was happening.

I had a date last night.  Well, anyway, I think I had a date last night.  It kind of felt like a date, not that I can be counted on, reliably, to say what a date feels like.  I don’t know if he felt like it was a date.  Maybe I just met a friend for dinner…  I think it was a date… A nice date.

There is a gentleman, Gene,  that I have been acquainted with through various forms of social media for close to two years, I would say.  We became acquainted on Twitter and struck up a friendly banter.  He started reading my blog and responding to what he saw directly on twitter and eventually we began e-mailing each other.

Gene is a very kind man and he made a great impression on me.  About 18 months ago, I had a dream in which he played a prominent (though relatively innocent role) and I tweeted about dreaming about my “twitter crush”.  This resulted in a series of e-mails between us in which it was clear that we were both interested in knowing the other better.  The problem is, we are “geographically undesirable” (He lives in San Diego, I live in Oakland, approximately 500 miles apart) and, both of us being practically minded people, a long distance relationship is simply not in the cards.    But we made it clear that if ever and whenever we were in each others back yards we should get together for dinner or coffee or something.

This week-end his nephew is participating in a debate tournament at UC Berkeley and Gene made a point of being here early enough to spend some time with me before getting wrapped up in his family stuff.  When he told me he was coming this way, I was really excited.  I wanted to see him.  I wanted to spend some time with him and get to know him better.  Our relationship has been a little one-sided in that he reads my blog, but he doesn’t write one and he’s very private with the stuff he posts on Twitter and Facebook.  I was excited about the prospect of getting his undivided attention and grilling him on all the things I didn’t know about him.

But as the weeks passed and the time drew nearer, I became more and more nervous.  I wanted to meet him, but what if he wasn’t what I was expecting?  What if I wasn’t what he was expecting?  What if I had misjudged him?  What if he wanted something from me that I wasn’t ready to give?  Was I ready?  Did I want to be ready?  Would we?  Wouldn’t we?  What would I do if it…  ahem, came up?  I went back and forth on that and to be honest, I never really arrived at a conclusion.  I don’t know what I would have done if I was faced with that decision last night.  Fortunately, I wasn’t, and I think it’s for the best.

The truth is, Gene was a perfect gentleman.  He was almost everything I thought he would be, and in the ways that he was different, he was better.

We were both nervous.  We decided to meet for a drink before dinner and to be perfectly honest, I was shaking like a leaf (whatever that means.)  Stupidly, I wondered if I would recognize him when I saw him, but the minute I walked in the door, I knew him.  It was comforting to know that he had been as nervous as I was–  well, maybe not as nervous, but he was nervous.  We had a glass of wine at the bar and talked comfortably for a little while.  And then were seated and had dinner.  It was a fascinating experience to be able to talk so comfortably and freely with someone you’ve never been face to face with, but I realized we really already knew each other.  Certainly more than I thought we did.

After dinner, we shared a piece of cheesecake (really the one inevitable outcome of the evening) and then we walked along the boardwalk for a little while as we talked.

It was oddly hard to say good-bye, though it was time and had to be done.  I can’t speak for Gene, but for me, it was that much more disappointing, knowing that while we’ll continue to be friends and hopefully grow closer now that we’re “real” and not just words in a box, there’s still so much distance between us.

Tears On My Pillow; The End Of An Era

A couple weeks ago, before fleeing the country, my friend Karin and I had a conversation about depression. Fortunately for her, she doesn’t have this affliction and she admitted to not really understanding it. She didn’t know much about the clinical types of depression and so I explained my “condition” to her.

My version of clinical depression, the one that – for those of you who don’t know – is the most common type, is called dysthymia. Basically people with dysthymia have a “low grade” depression pretty much all of the time, with occasional lapses into more severe depression and, at least in my experience, even less frequent bouts of feeling not so bad. (God forbid it should be characterized as “feeling good.”)

Karin asked me where I was on that spectrum at the time. I told her, “I guessed I would have to say that I’m on the high end… and that’s almost worse.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because it’s not real,” I told her. “Because all the time that I feel this way, I know it’s only a matter of time before it ends and the bottom drops out again.”

~~~~~

I had a really shitty day yesterday.

My doctor told me I was twenty pounds heavier than the last time I saw him, fourteen months ago. I knew I had gained back some of the weight that I lost, but I didn’t realize it was that much. To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of denial about that. Trying not to think about it and definitely not accepting how bad it really is. Most days I feel like I’m not that heavy. My birthday party should have been a wake up call…

Weight is an issue for me. Always has been and most days I want to just throw in the towel and say, “Fuck it! I’m never going to have any control over this anyway. I should give up trying.”

The only success I’ve ever had is being vigilant about following the nutrition program on the Abs Diet program I’ve talked about before and by going to the gym regularly. The nutrition program is good but it becomes tedious after a while. I don’t know how to use most of the weight equipment in the gym and so all I can really do is aerobic exercise. The only time I can stomach going to the gym is mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Any other time is either too crowded or too early/late for me. When I can get there mid-morning or mid-afternoon it works out pretty well, except that It takes 90 minutes to two hours round trip (including travel, changing clothes, shower and dressing again.) And if there’s any disruption in the office schedule, like someone not being there, then it’s hard to get away.

I’ve given up any hope of ever being buff like I really want to be, just being fit and healthy – thinner will do, but even that seem so far out of reach…

I’m ready to consider more drastic measures. While I was waiting for my doctor to come in to the exam room yesterday I noticed a flyer on the wall. My healthcare organization now offers Cosmetic Surgery. I was shocked. Liposuction was listed. Someone recently told me that you can’t get fat again after liposuction because your body doesn’t grow new fat cells. Is that true? One of the side effects of liposuction is hair loss… I don’t have to worry about that…

A few months ago, my friend Lori (have you noticed all my friends are girls – sad) started a medical fast. She has lost 47 pounds in about six months. When she started, I thought it was overkill, to be honest. I tried to be supportive, though I’m not sure I succeeded, but I didn’t think she needed to do it. She was not grossly obese, in my estimation, and I felt like if she had the determination to stick to the fast then she had the determination to change her thinking and watch her nutrition. Now…. I’m wondering how much it costs, and if I would have to pay for it all at once or if I could make installments.

Once upon a time, specifically because I drank too much and knew I would feel better faster if I threw up, I tried to induce vomiting. I apparently have no gag reflex (something that might be useful someday – but probably not) and I don’t think bulimia is an option. Not that I could really be bulimic. I hate to vomit and will do everything in my power to prevent it.

I don’t know what to do.

~~~~~

I’ve been obsessing all day about my ordeal yesterday. And I’m pissed off because IT’S NOT RIGHT and I have no recourse. My options are to get the physical and pay the money, effectively paying my health care provider twice for one instance of service, or not getting the physical and not being able to get my ambulance driver license. Clearly, I don’t really have a choice, but the egalitarian in me can’t let this injustice go. I’m getting screwed and there’s nothing I can do about it. That makes me physically ill.

~~~~~

Last year, my boss, John, decided that I should be involved in the Green initiative for our building. Then he went off to Hawaii for four months and expected me to run the program in his absence. The fact that I have made it abundantly clear to him that I don’t give two shits about green initiatives was irrelevant. He had created this Green Advisory Council with a handful of building employees who wanted to be involved in “greening” the building. The whole lot of them are hippies (sorry Karin) and they’re all gung ho about the programs. They all annoy me in that capacity, but there’s one person on the council who is like a rabid dog with a juicy bone. He will not let anything go. He comes up with an idea that is not achievable with the limitations we have (or just not advisable at this time with good justification) and when told “no” brings it up again at the next meeting. He just keeps bring it up and keeps pushing until he gets what he wants, because ultimately, John is a push-over people-pleaser who will say “yes” just to satisfy this guy, even though it’s not the right thing for the situation. He pushes my buttons at every turn and as hard as I have tried I just can’t manage to like him. After the meeting today, I’m finished even trying to like him.

~~~~~

I’m lonely. When I left work today, a Friday, at around 6:00, I tweeted this:

~~~~~

All day today, when I wasn’t feeling murderously angry, I felt like I needed to cry. But as we know, I don’t do that.

~~~~~

Between me and the fence post, I’ve been craving Vodka for a couple days…

~~~~~

You know when I started this post, it was going to end with me saying, “I hope this is just a bad day and not the end of that all too infrequent “not so bad” time. Now that it’s written…

(Sigh) It was nice while it lasted.

Sock It To Me

I’ve had a fairly uneventful couple of days.  And yet, I don’t know where the time went.  I feel like I don’t have a handle on things right now.  Not in a depressive, woah is me, kind of way exactly.  Just, time seems to run out all the time.  I don’t know where the time went and why I didn’t get more done with it.

Friday night I stayed up way too late working on my socks.  I finished them, except for the “grafting” at the end.  I didn’t know what that meant, or how it is done.  I mentioned that to Juana the other day and she said something about alternating knitting and purling and she threw out the name of some technique the name of which I can’t seem to remember, but makes me think of Kussmaul, which isn’t right because that’s the name of a type of breathing that relates to Insulin shock (excess sugar in the system) and has absolutely nothing to do with knitting – Clearly.

I brought the socks in today and Juana showed me how to finish them off.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it again, but at least I know who to ask next time, too.

But I stayed up until after 2:00 in the morning working on them and then slept until after noon on Saturday.  That’s a good way to lose valuable time right there.

On Saturday, I got up with a plan which very quickly fell by the wayside.  I ate some breakfast and watched TV while I worked on my menu for the week.  Well, I guess really I worked on my menu for the week while I ate breakfast and watched TV.  It was supposed to be a quick process but I was easily distracted and it took a few hours to complete the menu and my grocery list and head out to shop.  By the time I made the three stops I needed to make and came home with my loot it was after 8:00 and I still needed to take a shower.  My lofty plans of eating a healthy dinner of Salmon and Brown Rice were shot and I ended up eating left over pizza instead.

One of my stops on Saturday was at Bed, Bath and Beyond where I bought a flour sifter.  I had to go there because much to my surprise, I could not find one at Target.  I needed the flour sifter because Sunday morning I made scones.  I have been craving scones like my mother used to make, for years.  Not that there’s anything particularly special about the way my mother makes them, just that they were always hot and fresh and she put about fifteen times more sugar in them than the recipe calls for (which is only about one and half teaspoons.)

It’s not even a special recipe; it comes from the Betty Crocker cookbook.  The problem is, my Betty Crocker cookbook doesn’t have the scone recipe in it and my mother packed up all her cookbooks when she bought her house several years ago and they’re all stored in her attic where she can’t get to them and therefore couldn’t obtain the recipe for me.  Surprisingly it’s much harder to find on-line than you might think and I’ve been without a good scone recipe for years… until now.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I had some bananas that were on their last leg and needed to be used or go to waste, so I made banana bread.  The recipe I have for banana bread calls for buttermilk.  I love buttermilk food products, but I detest buttermilk, go figure.  The smallest container I could buy of buttermilk was a quart and the banana bread calls for 1/2 cup.  Having a significant amount of left over buttermilk I needed to find some more recipes to use it in.  So I made biscuits.  They were pretty good.  A little denser and less flakey than I like.  I believe I over kneaded them.  I’ll know for next time.

I still had half a quart of buttermilk left and I needed to find something else to make.  I found an app on my iPhone for a recipe finder where you type in an ingredient and it gives you recipe options.  I found several recipes for blueberry muffins and I love blueberry muffins.  I lost track of which recipe was which and soon I ended up with a cream cheese muffin recipe that sounded really good but wasn’t a “blueberry” recipe.  I decided to take my chances and make it blueberry anyway, only not really knowing what I was doing and not wanting to get too far overboard I only used a 1/2 cup of blueberries for the whole recipe.  They did turn out pretty well but I wasn’t sure if there were enough blueberries so when I brought some into work the next day I offered my coworkers some “Theoretically Blueberry, Absolutely Cream Cheese Muffins.”  Theoretically blueberry, because there was a very real chance of someone getting a muffin with no actual blueberries in it.

While searching for buttermilk recipes and finding blueberry muffins, I also found a recipe for scones.  So I had to make them.  And I did.  And they were deeelishus.  And too many of them.  And too fattening.  I ate them while watching Winter Wipeout (which is not something I can crochet or knit while watching if I want to get the full effect) and while gearing up for my afternoon with Lil’B.

I wasn’t really sure what to do with him and I’m running low on creativity these days.  I started thinking about movies and thought he might like to see Tron: Legacy, but I wasn’t sure.  I don’t know that much about it and I never saw Tron so I didn’t really know if it was appropriate for him.  I put it out to Twitter because anytime you need a question answered you turn to Twitter, right? No?  Hmmm…  I asked “Any reason for a 9 yo to not see Tron?”  I got one answer, hours later, which simply said that if he has a short attention span he won’t be able to get through it.  I think the GI Joe fiasco last year proved that’s not a problem.

I arrived at Lil’B’s house to find a herd of people.  His uncle and his family, from Bakersfield, was visiting.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to have been sent away without Lil’B under the circumstances, but that thought never seemed to cross anyone’s mind.  While Lil’B was finishing getting ready some of his little cousins asked me what we were going to do.  I told them I wasn’t really sure and it depended on if Lil’B had something he wanted to do, and then I said, we might just go to a movie.  They started asking what movie and one of them suggested Tron: Legacy.  Lil’B came out of his room, ready to go and I asked him if he had anything specific he wanted to do.  He said, “I don’t know.” (Naturally)  I asked him if he had any interest in seeing Tron and he said, “I don’t know.” (Naturally) And then another of his cousins spoke up, “Ooo. Go see Little Fockers,” he said enthusiastically.  I missed bits and pieces of their conversation but I heard something about “shot in his penis” and this was funny, apparently.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Little Fockers is rated PG-13 and Lil’B is only 9.  But his mother doesn’t care about such things and he has seen more than a few movies that were rated above his age bracket.  The movie was actually pretty good, though there were things about it that were a bit above his maturity level and I was a little uneasy from time to time.  After the movie I asked him what his favorite part of the movie was and he said it was when Jack and Greg got into a fight at the kids’ birthday party that had them thrashing about in a ball pit.  I asked him if he had any thoughts about or questions about anything that he heard or saw in the movie and he said he did not.  I hope that means he didn’t think much of the sexual innuendo and questionable moments and not that he was embarrassed to ask.

When I dropped him off his cousins and uncle were still at the house and the young boys came rushing up to ask what we had done.  Angel told them we saw Little Fockers and then he went into the bathroom.  The boys turned to me and asked “How do you get a big brother?”

I told them I didn’t really know.  “I know how to become a big brother.  I don’t know how to get a big brother.”

“I want a big brother!” one of them said.

And then the other said, “I want you to be my big brother!”

I was surprised.  “You do?” I asked.  “Why?”

He answered with a big grin on his face, “Because!  You’re cool!”

Ace

It was another week of stress for me.

After a three-day week-end, I was actually ahead of my reading for about five minutes.  I started reading the first of the three chapters for this week, last Tuesday, even though we hadn’t actually tested on, or had class about the last three chapters.  I finished reading that first chapter on Wednesday at work and gave myself a break on Wednesday night after class.  Thursday, I didn’t have any time to read at work which was fine because I had Thursday night and a good portion of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to finish.

Shortly before I was going to leave on Thursday evening my boss came into my office and in a hurried tone asked me if I had a radio.  He had been on the phone with one of the other Facility Managers in town whose office faces west and she told him, “I think I just saw an explosion… Kinda looks like it might’ve been at the airport.”  We went to the opposite side of the building, here on the 23rd floor and looked out and sure enough there was a very visible fire raging across the bay.  I tried to find out what had happened by way of my usual sources (i.e. Twitter) but there was nothing to be found.  The local TV stations websites didn’t have any news yet either.  I had to go to the store before going home and by the time I got home (and sat down to eat the Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits I did not need but didn’t resist) and turned on the television to find out what happened every station was teaming with coverage of this:

The San Bruno Fire” raged for hours as a 30″ natural gas pipeline, fifteen feet underground ruptured and exploded, blowing an enormous hole in the ground and sending a massive fire-ball more than 100 feet into the air.  The flames incinerated a few homes immediately around the rupture and the fire spread out over a ten-acre area burning 38 homes to the ground and damaging 120 more.  The number of deaths varies depending on the source of information but I have heard at least 6 people dead either at the scene or in the hospital due to injuries.

I was glued to the television and even as I was telling myself,”They’re not giving out any new information.  You’ve got reading to do.  You need to turn this off and get busy.”  I sat and stared at the television for four hours watching in morbid fascination and with rapt curiosity for any new information that might come.  Finally a little after midnight, I gave up, turned off the TV and went to bed having made no additional progress on my reading.

The additional two chapters I needed to read were about Respiratory and Cardiac Emergencies.  I did my usual routine of reading the chapters, working through the pages of the workbooks and listening to the Audiobook repeatedly, just hoping to some how osmosize the information contained within and I went into class last night, knowing we would take tests on all three chapters and feeling exceedingly uncertain about my level of knowledge and ability to pass the tests.

With his usual flair of disorganized inadequacy, the instructor arrived at class with not enough copies of the tests for each of us, so he split the room down the middle and told us “everyone on this side” his left “take the chapter 10 test.  And everyone on this side” his right, where I was “take the chapter 11 test.”  I took the test and pretty well whizzed through it.  I left a couple of questions blank because I wasn’t sure of the answers, and wasn’t sure how much time I had to take the tests and didn’t want to spend too much time mulling those over thereby not allowing enough time to answer all the ones I knew for sure.  Then I went back and completed the ones I left blank.  I didn’t feel like I was absolutely certain of the rightness of my answers, but for the most part I didn’t have to sit and rack my brain for them either.  When I finished, I turned in that test and picked up the Chapter 10 test.  I went through that one just as quickly and with the same strategy.  I finished that test, turned it in and sat down, marveling at the fact that despite my lack of certainty, I seemed to be one of the first people finished and now I could relax.

I pulled out my phone and started looking at Twitter, passing the time, waiting for everyone else to finish and the start of whatever came next.  Then I heard the instructor asking one of the other students if she was done or just taking a little break.  I realized from their conversation that we did have a test for Chapter 12.  I had expected a test for Chapter 12.  I thought it was odd that we weren’t taking a test for Chapter 12.  I was even a little annoyed that I had bent over backwards to get Chapter 12 studying completed when we weren’t even taking the test this week.  BUT no one had said anything about a test for Chapter 12.

I often wonder how these things happen.  I am such an auditory person that I actually struggle with tests when people are in the room talking (as frequently happens in this class) so there is no chance that I just missed them talking about it.  No one said anything about Chapter 12, yet many of the students had turned in their first two tests and picked up Chapter 12.  How does that happen?

Anyway, I picked up Chapter 12 and realized there were 76 questions on this test.  The other two had been 25 and 40 questions.  So not only did I waste ten minutes of prime test taking time, but I wasted them for the longest test we were taking.

Eventually students began finishing with and turning in the last test and things were getting a little more disorganized.  The instructor told us when we finished with all three tests to go take a break so he could tell who was still testing.

My strategy unchanged, I finished the test fairly quickly and with only a modicum of confidence; confident I had passed every test, less confident that I did “well” on them.  After a time, all the students were in the hall and the instructor came out of the classroom.  He called us all together and told us that for the tests that had already been graded by his TA’s (Chapters 10 and 11) our scores had pretty much sucked.  That’s a quote.  “You guys pretty much sucked.  The scores sucked.  They were bad.”  He said he was forced to conclude that either the instruction was bad (Ya Think!?!) or the students were bad.  But to his credit he claimed to assume that it was the instruction.  He also said that it seemed clear that many students weren’t reading their books.

He said we were going to go back in the room and go through the Chapters 10 and 11 tests and we’d go over the chapter 12 test on Wednesday if there was time.  I was glad for this because we haven’t gotten any feed-back or scores from him to date and I wanted to know how I did.  Plus if I “sucked” I wanted to know how badly and on which questions or points.

So we sat down and he re-distributed chapter 10 so we could go through it in class.  Because of his disorganized inadequacy we only got through one of the tests and it took more than an hour (making us 30 minutes late getting out of class, again!)  I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down “Chapter 10” so that I could make note of what I missed since I knew we weren’t going to get our answer sheets back.  When we were finally finished going through the test I wadded that piece of paper up and threw it away.  Why?  Because the only thing I had written on it was “Chapter 10”.

I was so stressed all week studying for this class.  I was anxious all day and during class about the tests and hoping that I could remember the right information when it mattered because I couldn’t think straight about any of it…

And I aced the test. 100%.

OK, that’s technically not true.  There was one question in the “Critical Thinking” section that I officially got wrong.  I got it wrong because answers B, C and D were all correct so I wrote all three down.  I knew that he was probably looking for answer B, but in my “critical thinking” answers C and D came before answer B and I would have completed the steps in that order in the real world.  I wanted to show that I understood the whole process and that I would have done them in that order.  And, in my stressed state, I wasn’t 100% sure I wasn’t over-analyzing what he wanted and that in fact C or D were the correct answer.  I fully expected to have that question marked wrong because I gave three answers.  And I know it was marked wrong because the TA questioned me about it.

But!  The instructor says he likes it when his students challenge him because “it means you’re trying to learn”.  I told him, I was only challenging this because it’s the only one that was marked wrong, therefore if he gives me credit than I’ll get 100% (which will probably never happen again) and since it is the “Critical Thinking” section it’s somewhat subjective.  He told me to come see him “during office hours” on Wednesday, the hour before class starts, and we can talk about it.

So, yes, officially I missed one question out of 76, so I got a –what?– 97%?  98%, but in my thinking that answer was correct and I aced the test.

Of course how did on the other two I have no  idea, but if the first one is any indication, I did better than I thought.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get home, and get started on Chapter 13.  I’ve only got six days to learn three new chapters of information and time’s awastin!

Table for Eight; Party of One

Saturday evening, I was invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house.  The friend is someone I met on Twitter.  I don’t even remember how, but that’s no surprise, because I can’t remember becoming friends with most of the people I’ve been friends with.  We were just strangers one minute and the next, as best I can remember, we were friends.  I tend not to remember or retain how it comes to be.  John is much the same.  I know I met him on Twitter, but who followed whom first, or how we became aware of each other, or how we went from being strangers who stalk follow each other on Twitter to two people who actually cared about what the other had to say, I do not recall.

Several months ago, John mentioned having me over to his house sometime, but it just never really came together.  Meanwhile, his company moved their offices from San Francisco to Downtown Oakland, just a few blocks from my office, and when we realized we were going to be in close proximity to each other we determined to meet for coffee.  Now I no longer consider John to be “this guy I follow on Twitter” but he is my friend.

A few weeks ago, John told me that he and his husband were having a dinner party on July 10th and that they would love to have me come over.  I was thrilled because I don’t spend a lot of time socializing and I really wanted to meet John’s dogs (and his husband – but mostly his dogs.)  🙂

When I first arrived at John’s house, a very boisterous black cat, sitting on top of a fence started talking to me and making his way to the ground and toward me.  “Hi!” I said to the kitty, “Are you the early warning system?”  I knew that John had two cats but I only knew what one of them looked like (’cause he looked like Mischa) so I thought maybe this was the other cat; it was not.  The cat walked right up to me,  I reached down and let it sniff at the back of my hand.  He took one whiff of my hand and ran away.  I guess he didn’t like smelling other kitties on me.

Walking into the house I was introduced to the rest of the guests and told “These are all of our dearest friends.”  I was very honored to be included in that gathering.  One of the couples hosted the hosts’ wedding, one of the other guests officiated over the ceremony and the other two were long time friends.  The company was great and I did my best to hold my own in conversation.

The food was fantastic!  John’s husband whose name also happens to be John is a wonderful cook and grill meister! We had kabobs and veggies, artichokes and for desert there was a delicious cake with berries.  They had the biggest bottle of Champagne I had ever seen and I resisted temptation for a while opting to drink only water instead, but eventually I caved in and had a glass of bubbly shortly before we sat down at the beautifully laid out table.  I saw Second John pull a bottle of Zinfandel from their wine cabinet and put it on the table.  Zinfandel, happens to be one of my favorite wines and I couldn’t resist having a small glass.  It was delightful.

The conversation over dinner was wonderful and I learned a lot about the history of this group I had been invited to be a part of, for the evening, and I was having a wonderful time.

Unfortunately, I do not know how many times my wine glass was refilled, I only know it was too many.  The next day, I knew I had overdone it and learned a valuable lesson.  But all in all, I had wonderful time.

Sunday, in addition to nursing my spinning head, I spent entirely too much time second guessing the previous evening.  There was somewhat of an age difference between me and the rest of the group which is relevant only in that they were all established and seemed to be secure in their lives.  All but one of the attendees were partnered up, and I don’t know if the one remaining person was single or if her significant other just wasn’t in attendance.  By the hazy light of the day Sunday, I worried that I had not fit in as well as I first thought.  I felt a little as though I’d been wearing my father’s clothes and sitting at the grown-ups table when really I belonged in overalls and sitting with the rest of the kids.  This is my own insecurity and in no way the result of how I was treated.  I even know that it’s probably inaccurate, but I couldn’t shake the sense.

Michelle once told me that women will sometimes leave something of theirs behind at a guy’s house so that they will have to be invited back.  Well, I swear I didn’t do it intentionally, but Sunday evening I got a direct message on Twitter from John letting me know that he had found my sunglasses.  Apparently, I left something behind, and now I have to be invited back…

Anti-Climactic

I’m sitting here, briefly catching up on Twitter before I finish up my final this-must-be-done-today-because-it’s-for-tomorrow-morning task of the day because clearly my priorities are firmly planted right where they should be… ahem.  Anyway, I’m giving it all a quick once over when I see this from my local ABC News Affiliate:

Sounds pretty exciting, right?  I like airplanes.  Love to fly.  Once upon a time I thought I might like to be a flight attendant except I was always too fat and for many years, until I learned the secret, I experienced severe pain in my ears during descent.

Still the story sounded pretty exciting and we all know I thrill for disaster and mayhem (thought it may come as a surprise that I like near misses even better!)  So I clicked the link and looked at the story and didn’t even get past the first sentence before I was disappointed with the anti-climactic story.  Well not so much the story as the billing for the story:

I mean, really.  It’s great that the flight landed safely and all that.  Really!  I wouldn’t want it any other way, but for crying out loud, it might as well have read, “Pilot subs for other Pilot.  Plane lands.  The end.”

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This has been a day for Anti-climactic-ism.

Earlier today, Michelle popped up on my computer screen on Yahoo! Messenger saying:

Michelle: OMG guess what?
Me: You won the lottery and you’re taking me away from all this?
Michelle: Oh I wish.
Michelle: Nope.  I’m munching on pistachios and I like it. 🙂
me: Wow that was REALLY anti-climactic.
me: 🙂
me: also, “Hope your boyfriend don’t mind it…”
Michelle:  😦 really?  I didn’t think so.  LOL.  What boyfriend?
me: “I’m munching pistachios and I like it, hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.”
Michelle: aaaaaahhh.

She’s kind of slow sometimes with my humor.

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And speaking of Anti-climactic?  yeah, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  Kind of Anti-climactic, huh?