Saturday, October 30, 2004

My friends are nuts. I have nuts for friends.

A few days ago, Joe M. called and left a message on our voice mail that there would be a delivery of flowers to our address on Saturday (today). I thought, "How nice of him, he knows what has been going on with the blood pressure and the depression and doctor's visits and everything else".

Till I spoke to him later in the evening, and after we hashed out plans for everyone to stop over here on Saturday night for a mini-Halloween get-together, he mentioned that he'd just take the flowers home at the end of the night.

Take them HOME? Turns out they're not MY flowers. They're HIS flowers, and since his house is torn mostly apart due to remodeling, he wanted them sent HERE so everyone could see them for Halloween.

Only Joe does these things. Of course, only I have friends who send THEMSELVES flowers to MY address, too. LOL... my friends are nuts. I have nuts for friends.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Yay -- we got some digital pics this morning from the coworker from our
department who had her baby in early October. What a BEAUTIFUL little
girl! :o) I was one of the ones who, prior to Linda's departure on
maternity leave, reminded her multiple times "Send pictures!" Well, the
pics came out great. Now it's time to hound Linda to bring the baby for
a visit ASAP, so everyone can dote on Alyssa properly. :o)

I hope things turn out equally well for KM, the young lady from the
Property department who I'm helping to fill in for. She had to go out
on maternity leave a few months early, due to premature contractions.
She was supposed to go out at the end of the year, just as Linda was
coming back from HER maternity leave. Instead, she and Linda went out
on leave within a few days of each other, just at the end of September.
KM has been on strict bedrest since she went out, to try and prevent
the contractions from starting prematurely again, because it's still
WAY too soon for her baby to be born. She's on meds -- steroids, I
think -- to help speed up the development of the baby's lungs, also.
This way, it increases the odds that the baby will be all right even if
she's born prematurely.

I work at KM's desk for part of every afternoon now, and every time I
do, I encounter pictures of her, her husband, and (I presume) their
four cats. :o) When I see them, I hope that they're ALL fine, including
their unborn little girl. Say a prayer that I'll have nothing but good
news to report on that score.

In other news... score one for the "little voice". I have learned, the
hard way, to listen to the "little voice" when I get a sense that I
should, or should not, do something. Early in my job search, I attended
a job fair where one local IT company actually left me unnerved... the
guy who reviewed my resume practically laughed in my face as he told
me, "We haven't got anything for someone with YOUR background". He
genuinely looked like he was ENJOYING delivering that news, something
that I have not encountered before or since, and it made my skin crawl.

Anyway, the "little voice" kicked in, giving me a sense to steer WELL
clear of that firm, because Something Wasn't Right there. Every time
I've seen or heard their name in an advertisement, including the ones
declaring that they're hiring, I've gotten the creeps and a sense of
revulsion; needless to say, I have NOT applied there since that weird
episode at the job fair.

Sure enough, I woke up to a headline this morning that federal agents
have raided that firm's offices and taken out file cabinets and other
records, as part of a criminal investigation. I'm glad I listened to
the "little voice" and steered clear of that creepy firm.

For the next couple of weeks, this article will be available online, so
check it out if you are interested in more info:

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/local/10041924.htm



Wednesday, October 27, 2004

When we had drought conditions here a few years ago, we had two or
three autumns in a row where the prediction was for dull foliage.
That's because when the summers were excessively dry, the trees didn't
get the resources they needed to build up... well, whatever it is that
produces the BRIGHT fall colors on their leaves.

Well, THIS summer was a total rain-fest. I should have a dime for every
occasion where my weather-alert radio sounded the alarm for
flash-flooding... and that was BEFORE we got the remnants of four
hurricanes coming through here. My take on it was that the fall colors
ought to be so bright THIS year, the leaves had better glow in the
freakin' DARK to make up for all the aggravation that the excess rains
were causing.

I'm happy to report that, although Mother Nature hasn't taken me up on
that idea of glow-in-the-dark leaves yet, the foliage we've had so far
has been SPECTACULAR. The only disappointing thing about it is that it
can only last for a few weeks per tree before the leaves drop. But,
fortunately, since each type of tree (and possibly each individual
tree, depending on what kind of summer it had) is on its own autumn
timetable, the net result is turning into a prolonged visual feast.

Good. I could use some pretty things to look at during my commute. It's
a nice way to get my spirits lifted a little bit twice a day. In
particular, there are some intense hues of yellow and orange that I
can't help but notice every time I pass by. It always makes me wish
that I was a passenger, rather than the driver, because I'd love to
take a photo of some of these trees before they shed their leaves.

In the meantime -- for anyone who's got the option of driving on Kings
Highway for one reason or another, I recommend doing so at least once
during daylight hours before winter sets in. That big canopy of old
trees that line both sides of the road, for miles on end, are putting
on quite a show this year.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Oh, and before I forget...

Last spring, at the Phan Club banquet, Neil talked to Mark and me about
the bobblehead doll promo that had recently gone off. I'd asked him how
it felt to be a bobblehead, and he wanted to know if Mark and I had
gotten one (yes: we each got one as season ticket holders).

I told him that I had his doll right next to Maxime Ouellet's
bobblehead, and he grinned widely. "Maxy has a bobblehead?". This was,
apparently, the first he'd heard of it.

"Yeah. I keep patting him on the head and he keeps getting shutouts."
(Which was true -- Max set a new team record with 10 shutouts for
Portland last season.) "Now I'll pat you both on the head".

"Oh, pat away, pat away", Neil agreed. It must have worked -- both he
and Nitty broke the PHANTOMS club record for shutouts (5) -- Nitty had
7 and Neil had 6 by the time the season was over.

So, anyhow, I needed a hockey fix over the summer, and took this
picture with my camera phone:


It's still the wallpaper on my phone, and it occurred to me to show it
to Neil.

"Remember I told you I had your bobblehead and Max's together? Here
they are", and handed him the phone.

Great big grin. "Is that Maxy's doll?"

"Yeah. Every morning I pat them on the head as I walk by. It must have
worked yesterday, you both won last night".

"Maxy won? Good. How's he doing this season? Who were they playing?"

At which point I launched into who Portland's opponents were on Friday
and Saturday, the fact that Max won both games, and that he's 4-1 so
far this season. It never seems to take long for people to figure out
that I'm a walking font of minutiae for details like favorite players'
stats, does it? ;o) Then again, what good is being a geek if you can't
memorize the important minutiae like that?

Ah, well. Back to the grind -- I have some letters to print.



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Sunday, October 24, 2004

I got the color copy of Neil's interview in The Hockey News to him this afternoon. He definitely had NOT seen it yet, judging by the way he immediately took it out of the envelope and read it straight through. :o) Eric Meloche was sitting next to him, and proceeded to lean over to read it, too. When Neil was done reading, he got my attention and said, "Thank you, Donna". :o) Things like this are why I think so highly of him -- even after being, arguably, the most popular guy EVER to be on this team, he doesn't take even small gestures of appreciation from fans for granted.

After assisting with handing out the Secret Phan questionnaires to the players (which ask information such as their favorite snack, favorite colors, what size they wear, stores they like to shop in, etc), and helping to collect them once they were filled out, I went back to our lane to wait for our players to arrive. The guys choose a lane number from a hat, then head over to said lane. The players at Mark's and my lane were Randy Jones, our second-year defenseman, and our captain, Boyd Kane.

I was in no shape to bowl, given how much trouble my hand has given me this week. The last time I tried to bowl with my hand like this, two years ago, I kept dropping the bowling ball. Talk about mortifying! I had no grip strength and I just couldn't hang onto the )$@#$# ball long enough when I tried to throw it. I had no desire to have another day like THAT today, so I didn't bowl. But Mark, Randy, and Boyd all did. Incidentally, Boyd's right-handed, so he was able to bowl, but his LEFT hand is in a cast most of the way up to the elbow... and with his ring and pinky fingers included. I've never seen a cast that extends onto any of the FINGERS before. I'm darned if I know which bone(s) would have to be injured in one's hand to require a cast that looks like this. But whatever the injury to his left hand is, his RIGHT hand's just fine and DANG can he ever bowl. I think my favorite shot of the whole day was when he was trying to get the far-right-hand-side pin for a spare. He threw a ball that went into the gutter a moment before it reached the pin, but had such spin on it that it ricocheted OUT of the gutter and up far enough to knock the pin down anyway. Now THAT's what I call a spare! :o)

Actually, both Boyd and Randy have an enviable knack for hitting ONE pin, when that's all that's left standing. I can't imagine it... I consider myself lucky to hit one pin when I have all TEN of them standing there to choose from, let alone when there's just one upright pin remaining. Both of them got plenty of strikes and spares... that hand-eye coordination they've developed for hockey apparently serves them well in other sports, too. :o)

Karla and Al, meanwhile, were at the next lane over from us and they were bowling with John Slaney and Wade Skolney. At the lane on the other side of us, the players were Todd Fedoruk and Joey Hope. The Secret Phan committee had to get a little bit creative when Todd arrived... fortunately, we had a few extra folders and copies of the questionnaire on hand, because we had to get something together on the fly for him to fill out. We didn't know for sure if he was going to come or not, because there've been conflicting reports in the local papers as to whether he'd signed an AHL deal with the Phantoms or not.

My concern for Todd, now that it's clear he is joining the team (otherwise, why would he have come today?), is that it might create an awkward situation for him among his Flyers teammates who remain locked out. I personally don't see how it's any different for him to sign an AHL deal as opposed to the guys who signed overseas in order to keep playing. The man wants to play. I don't blame him one iota. If it was up to HIM and the players like him, there wouldn't BE this stupid stalemate in the CBA negotiations. I hope the other Flyers, the ones who are not signed in other leagues but are practicing in this area, don't give Todd a hard time for finding a way to get back onto the ice in real game situations.

Overall, it was a nice afternoon, and to top it off, I didn't have anywhere near the major fatigue I experienced yesterday (my first day on this new blood pressure med). I hope that means I'm making a quick adjustment to it, because I really don't want to be in drowsy mode when I'm at work. (Nor do I want to feel fatigued while I'm driving, for obvious reasons.)

Tomorrow night's the next of the every-other-Monday gatherings in the Deptford Mall food court, where sign language and interpreting students meet up with members of the local Deaf community and chat. Jean and Joe want to go, and they left a message for me asking if I'd like to go, too. I do want to. I haven't been there since the end of the summer, and I'd like to go again.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I'm back from the doctor's visit. I'm now on blood pressure meds along with my other prescription. I'm NOT happy about it, but I'm even less happy that my BP today was just as badly screwed up as it was the last time I was there 2 or 3 months ago.

Why am I surprised? Not only does high BP run in my family, on both sides, but the stress levels I've been under for the past few weeks would give a freaking lump of COAL high blood pressure.

So I'm on the prescription -- I took the first one as soon as I got home -- and I'm to report back in two weeks.

Also, because of the medical insurance plan I'm on, rather than getting a referral from that other sort of specialist I was hinting at in previous posts, I have to call the medical insurance plan directly. They have their own directory of people I can go see. Whatever. I just know which nights of the week I'd be available to start setting up sessions, so my goal will be to work around that.

I still feel like crud. At least I had actual joy DURING the game last night (The Phantoms put on a solid showing and won their home opener). Although I haven't been able to fully enjoy anything, without at least some feelings of stress/pain/whatever creeping in at least once during the event, for several weeks now, at least I DO have some time spans when I'm actually enjoying myself. So I haven't completely lost contact with the Land of the Emotionally Living. That's why I'm pursuing additional treatment now, before those last vestiges of feeling like a real, live person disintegrate. I've been THERE before, and I wouldn't wish that frame of mind on anybody. Ever. Anywhere.

Tomorrow should be a good day. The Phan Club's having the Meet and Greet, and throwing a bowling party for the team. I know I can't bowl worth a hill of beans. I might not even GET to bowl since I'll be helping out with the Secret Phan committee this year, and we're doing some of our work during this event. Probably just as well -- I wore my wrist splint all day Thursday and Friday, after waking up in major pain in the middle of Wednesday night. Even if I don't bowl, spending the afternoon saying "hi" some of the team in an informal setting, and eating some pizza, sounds like a pretty constructive way to spend a few hours. ;o)

I hope I get a nap this afternoon. I never got much sleep last night and I feel like I'm wilting. I hope I get decent sleep TONIGHT so I can feel well tomorrow!

P.S. I do have that copy of Neil's interview to give him. I'll have to make extra-sure to remember to bring it tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

So the "Meet the Phantoms" event was tonight, and BOY was it a mob
scene! I did get to get the team's signatures, though, which is good
because who knows if there'll be a Carnival this season to get
signatures at?

So... I got to see the players, welcome the new guys to Philly,
compliment Neil Little on a very articulate interview that he gave for
the Hockey News (more on that in a moment), and meet Jeff L, the
webmaster of the philaphans.com site. I'd call that a productive night, no?

Oh, and it turns out that Neil hasn't seen his interview in The Hockey
News yet. So tomorrow I'll be spending some time communing with the
color photocopier at work, so I can run off a copy of the article for
him. The man ought to have a copy of his own interview, after all! :o)

So at the end of the event, I was chatting with some other fans when
the time came for the players to leave. When they did, Mark and I both
saw the empty table full of player nameplates (little paper stand-up
thingies with the players' names on them). There was Neil's nameplate,
along with a bunch of others, just sitting there unattended. I thought,
"Well, if they're gonna just chuck these, I might as well go get
Neil's". Mark was one step ahead of me and picked it up for me.

Which would've been fine, except Neil came BACK to the table a minute
or two later, with a small fan and her mom in tow. Wouldn't you know
that they were looking for his nameplate? So I said, "Er, is this what
you were looking for?" and gave it back. Neil was all happy, thanked me
for giving it back, and the little girl was thrilled -- apparently
they'd asked him for his nameplate and he came back to sign it for her.
I apologized and said, "I had no idea anyone would come back for it".
TWICE he said, "We'll have to get something else for you". But that's
OK if he doesn't -- I wasn't about to contend with a little kid over
the nameplate. If he DOES remember and do something, I'll consider it a
pleasant surprise.

Oh, and LOL. There was a Flyers game from 1987 on TV last week. One of
our assistant coaches, Kjell Samuelsson, was on the Flyers team at the
time. I asked him, "Did you see the Flyers game last week? I saw you
playing and thought, "Aah, that's Kjell!' ". He laughed and answered,
"Did you see I had hair then?" LOL :o) as a matter of fact, I did, but
I wasn't gonna bring that up. Hee hee!

The home opener is Friday. I'm looking forward to it.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Okaaaay... so KC from Property not only did a bunch of MY (and I use
the term loosely) cutouts over the weekend, she also did the PROPERTY
submissions that I was expecting to be doing right now (I go over there
at 1 PM.

That does it. I am gonna pounce on EVERY Property submission I can get
my hands on. She's GOT a permanent job. She'll survive.

I also retrieved a bunch of cutouts from Casualty (another department)
that I can do, in place of the ones from my department that KC from
Property did. Two can play at this game. Actually, it's standard
procedure for me to go and get Casualty cutouts when we haven't got any
from this department... but we wouldn't BE nearly out of them here if
someone else from outside the department hadn't decided to get some OT
in. So, if someone ELSE can get OUR cutouts, I'M getting someone ELSE'S
cutouts. SO THERE.

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I came in this morning to find that someone from another department had
taken home a HUGE stack of our correspondence -- the stuff that I
normally prepare to be sent to the file room -- and did them over the
weekend.

Not only does this rankle me because that's MY work she's doing, and
I'm feeling very possessive about that, but she's doing it so SHE can
earn overtime.

THIS ISN'T EVEN HER (@#*$& DEPARTMENT and she is getting overtime for
taking OUR stuff and doing it over the weekend.

HOW is it cheaper for this company to pay someone OT for work that
they have no real need to be doing
, instead of hiring someone like
me to freaking DO the work as a permanent rather than temp employee?

Penny wise and dollar foolish. I'm sure that this other girl's hourly
wage is more than mine, so her time-and-a-half will DEFINITELY be more
than what I earn. Shoot, even if I did OT her time-and-a-half would be
more than my time-and-a-half.

I need to get more resumes out there. If nothing else, taking concrete
action will be a morale lifter. I hope.

I slept almost all of yesterday, minus the hour I spent at church and
about 60-90 minutes after that when I came home and checked e-mail. I
bumped up my prescription on Saturday morning and I think that's got
something to do with it. The doctor said a long time ago I could take
30mg or try 40, if 30 wasn't enough. Well, Saturday was the first time
I actually tried 40mg. I didn't feel any different UNTIL somtime
Saturday evening. I'm guessing that by that point in the day, 30mg will
have "worn off", which my body is used to (after over a year on that
amount) but with the larger dose, that meant that there was more med in
my system than my body's used to having. So the side effect of
sleepiness kicked in. And did it ever kick in. I slept like the dead on
Saturday night (not my usual MO -- my sleep patterns are normally all
screwed up). Then I had a bear of a time waking up Sunday morning but I
dragged myself out the door to church anyway. Then I took a LONG nap
when I came home -- somewhere between 4 and 5 hours' worth of sleep.

Then we had a "goodbye to the Jessup Street kitchen" gathering at
Joe/Aunt Phyllis's house, since the remodeling is about to kick in
there. I took a few "before" pictures which we can compare to the
"after" photos once the extensive amount of work is completed. But that
ran from about 8-9:30 PM or so... after which I came home, did another
brief e-mail check, and conked out. And I slept through the night
AGAIN... it's been a while since I've done THAT two nights in a row.
It's been a while since I've done that ONE night in a row.

And if I weren't at work right now, guess what I'd be doing? Making
more ZZZs. It's been a while since I've been in "was I bitten by a
tsetse fly?" mode, but I'm definitely in that mode now.

I had no luck calling the doctor last week -- their phone is
CHRONICALLY busy and I just don't have the time during the workday to
sit there and dial 999 times. The one time I did get it to ring,
insetad of a busy signal, they turned out to be freakin' CLOSED for the
afternoon and I got a recording with the answering service's number on
it. GRRRR! Mark is going to try to get through today... I'm looking for
an evening appointment on either Wednesday or Friday, or else a
Saturday appointment. We'll see how it goes.



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Friday, October 15, 2004

UGH!

I just had a submission to enter whose handwritten address appeared to
be mis-written. So I decided to look up the company on the internet, to
see if they had a home page where I could find the correct address.

Oh, I found a home page, all right. It even had the correct address for
me to use when entering the submission.

Unfortunately, it also bore a letter, dated three days ago, which
began, "Dear Valued Customers,

It is with great regret and displeasure that I must announce the
closing of ___ Company", thanking the customers for their loyalty
during the company's years of business, and directing them to a contact
address where they could inquire after the auctioning off of the
company's equipment.

Like I said, UGH! My condolences to everyone who USED to work there.

This economy rots. :o(

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Happy one-year anniversary to me... a year ago today was my first day
as a temp in the company where I'm working now.

And in the meantime, I've learned a bunch of stuff that I can add to my
resume, met a lot of nice people... and applied for several openings
here that I didn't get.

Even in my low-morale state, I've GOT to make an effort to apply for
more opportunities elsewhere, instead of just the few here and there
that I've been doing in the past couple of months. I've been sending
stuff out occasionally (and not mentioning it here -- I rarely mention
ANYthing job-related I do anymore to anyone, unless it results in an
interview). But I need to do more.

This could prove to be more challenging than usual, because these days
I feel like I've won a battle just by virtue of getting up in the
morning. But it's time for me to put my persistence/stubbornness (the
same personality trait, named according to whether people
agree/disagree with my stance) to more constructive use.

Although, I did get up this morning. Score one for using my persistence.



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Thursday, October 14, 2004

I've gone back to taking migraine meds daily along with the
prescription. The fatigue I've had for the past couple of days has been
just short of debilitating, and I mean that without exaggeration.
That's usually clue one that a migraine is in the works, so I'm doing
the pre-emptive strike thing to try and avoid that.

Next on my to-do list is the call to the primary care physician. I'm
not sure if the Rx needs to be changed to something else or the amount
of what I'm already taking needs to be altered, and I think it's time
to supplement the meds with in-person appointments of some kind.
SOMEthing's got to change. The way I feel right this minute is not
living. It's the state of having a body walking around like a robot
with limited, at best, actual feeling of "life" from the person who's
(supposed to be) resident inside... fortunately, there's still enough
left of the Real Me to know that this is a situation that can be, and
must be, fixed. Score one for having dealt with various levels of this
issue since age 10. Experience counts for something.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

It's always a good day when you can post the hockey schedules in your
cubicle. In this case, I now have a pocket schedule for the Phantoms
and also the Trenton Titans (ECHL) on display in my cubicle. If the NHL
wasn't in the midst of a labor dispute, I'd have their schedule posted,
also. And if I can get my hands on an Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
schedule, (also ECHL), that's getting posted, too.

So far it's been a good few days (at least event-wise, even though my
morale is, and has been, on rocky ground for a good couple of weeks
now). I saw Barry Manilow from the third row (expect to be hearing
about that one for a while, :oD) on Saturday, and on Monday, the
Phantoms had a preseason shutout vs. the Trenton Titans in an
exhibition game. Yes, it was vs. a lower-league team, but ALL the
players from both teams worked their tails off out there and it was a
pretty feisty game. And any time my boy Neil Little is involved with
the Phantoms getting a shutout -- this time, he shared it with Chris
Houle because they both played part of the game -- I'm happy about it.

I say it's because I patted his bobblehead doll on the head earlier in
the day on Monday. :o)




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Monday, October 11, 2004

Today feels like a "shoulda stayed in bed" day. My spirits are flying
at half-mast even though I get to learn new job tasks for the Property
Department this afternoon, even though I'm less than 48 hours removed
from sitting in the THIRD ROW of a Barry Manilow concert (have I
mentioned that enough times yet? :o) ), even though I interpreted
yesterday which is often a mood booster for me, and even though I have
a hockey game to attend tonight.

Those things, combined with the fact that the weather's been BEAUTIFUL
for the past few days, ought to have me feeling great. Heck, I oughta
be dancing from room to room with a combination of things to
remember/look forward to like that. But instead I'm sincerely wishing I
could go home and pull the covers up over my head.

There's going to be a call to the doctor this week. Nobody should have
to live feeling like this. Either the prescription amount needs to
change, the actual med needs to be changed. or it has to be
supplemented with face-to-face treatment. My opinion is, "possibly the
first or second option, probably the third one, maybe all of the
above". We'll see. All I know is that there is going to HAVE to be an
appointment to discuss treatment options here. I'm sick of fighting
this day in and day out. The med helps, because without it I'd actually
BE at home right now with the covers over my head, instead of just
wishing I were. But nobody deserves to have to feel like this 24/7, and
even MY threshhold of pain has its limits. To paraphrase that movie,
"I'm blue as h*ll and I'm not gonna take it anymore", so it's time to
have a word with the primary care doctor and see what kind of a plan we
can come up with.

I guess I can look at the bright side -- if this is how I feel WITH all
those great things I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, then this is
better than how I'd feel right now if I DIDN'T have all those things in
my recent past/immediate future. So there's that point to ponder.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

OMG, what a night! Barry Manilow is a music deity, and by all means, go see him if you get the chance!

He was in Philly for one night only, and as this is supposed to be his farewell tour, I wanted to go. So did Joe M, apparently, and he went and picked up two tickets for us.

So we went. The seats were good -- Section 121, rows 5 and 6, seat 22 (behind each other -- he couldn't get adjacent seats).

Well, the seats WOULD have been great. If, in fact, they actually existed. In the Wachovia Center, Section 121's row 5 and 6 have only 20 seats -- the Zamboni tunnel cuts into the seating area. Seat 22 doesn't EXIST for either row, not unless someone has a chair that will levitate over the Zamboni tunnel.

So the guard investigated, discovered that we weren't nuts and our seats WERE nonexistent, and offered to take Joe and me to Guest Services. That's where we encountered four or so other people who also had tickets for imaginary seats. Most of them had bought their tickets via the internet, but Joe got ours right FROM the freakin' Wach Center box office window. There's NO way tickets bought right at the venue should have been wrong. But OH WELL. They were.

So the lady from Guest Services went back to the computer system, then returned with a list of available seats where we could be placed.

I think my jaw dropped right to the floor when she told us where the new seats were. Third row, on the FLOOR, right by the stage. HOLY freaking cow, I never had such incredible seats for a concert in my life!

If Verizon was working right, I'd be sending myself pics from my camera phone right now. But unfortunately, the picture message system seems to be whacked out -- nothing will send at the moment. GRRR... it'd better be back online later. I want to see how these shots came out!

I wish I'd had my camera. First of all, I saw tons of people with cameras. Second of all, they didn't even CARE about that when they looked in my bag. The only thing they wanted to ensure was that I wasn't bringing my own food/drink into the building, and I wasn't carrying either. Third, if I'd had any idea that we were going to be that close to the stage, bank on the fact that I'd have tried to smuggle the thing in anyway. Believe me.

Camera or not, seeing Barry perform is an experience not to be missed. He is a FABULOUS showman and he puts on a performance like no one else. He pours his entire being into every song... most of his songs are stories, and when he's telling them, he really gets engrossed. It makes for an excellent concert.

He mentioned early on what I already knew -- that Philly holds a special place in his heart because this is where his career really took off. And as the end of the concert approached, at a point when I swear he looked a little bit like he was crying, one of his parting comments was, "Thank you for my career, Philadelphia".

Oh, and the lady who was chosen from the crowd for the "Can't Smile Without You" duet came from about two rows behind us. :o) She had a sign saying "22 Years and Still Trying". Barry saw it, and picked her to be what's known on the Barry fan newsgroup as the CSWY girl.

I didn't have a sign. If I'd known I was gonna be right on top of the stage, you BET I'd have had a sign. But oh, well. If his "farewell" tour turns out not to be any such thing, maybe next time I'll have a sign. I wanna be a CSWY girl too. ;o)

And if that WAS the final time he performed in Philly, I'm glad I got to see him. He's among the best performers I've ever seen, and am ever likely TO see, in my life. Barry rules. :o)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Joe & I are in

Joe & I are in the 3d row on the floor for the Manilow concert! More details later when I get home.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Beginning on Monday, I am going to spend part of the day over in the Property department, doing some of the entry work of KM, the person who is on an early maternity leave. She's out on disability/maternity leave and has been prescribed strict bed rest. As her due date is in early January, I can understand why they'd want to do everything possible to avoid having a birth this premature... she's only in her 6th month right now.

Ironically, KM is one of the people who, back in the spring, was assigned some of MY input work when the powers-that-be tried to see if my job could be divided among the permanent employees. It didn't pan out and I got my input back after a few weeks. Now it's me doing HER input and other work; I'll find out on Monday just what my job entails when I'm working in the Property department.

I'll also be using HER desk, which is adorned with her own decorations, photos, etc. Once again, I will be spending at least part of my workday at Someone Else's Workspace, with pictures of their family and friends staring down at me.

I really hope I can do as much work as possible from my OWN desk. If you ever want to have a constant reminder that no matter how hard you work, you're not REALLY a part of things, work at someone else's desk for a protracted period of time.

Meanwhile, back in my own department (if anything here can be designated as "mine", a feeling which I have less and less), the only time I get input to do now is when H has a backlog. It seems that they've decided to give it ALL to her and see how it goes.

Having said that... we've already had three such backlogs this week. I guess I'll find out sooner, rather than later, how H is managing at getting the input done in a timely fashion along with everything else that's on her plate.

Is it too much to hope that we have an avalanche of submissions in the next few weeks? ;o)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Blech!!! Now I know why there's a trap under the sink to keep the foul air from coming up the pipes!

Remember the electrical-outlet issues I mentioned earlier? Somehow it translated into "there's a problem with the SINK in the coffee room". I'm still not sure what THAT'S all about, but they just finished sawing away the entire pipe that leads from the drain of the sink.

Well, when that pipe was removed and the air could freely enter the room, WHEEEEW did it smell nasty! The file room, where I was working, is right next to the coffee room, and I just gave up on it a little while ago. I withstood the olfactory assault for about a half hour before I decided that enough was enough. I had to get out of the vicinity before my digestive tract started to operate in reverse. I normally do the file room from 2-3 PM, but to heck with the file room this afternoon. I'll go back when the air is breatheable again.
Oh, just GREAT! The freaking power outlet that runs the coffee machines is fouled up! Something's triggering the circuit breaker and they're still trying to figure out what the problem is.

They'd better be able to fix it, fast. Everyone's in the kitchen looking for their morning java.

Even me, and I normally do DECAF once I get to work. Nonetheless. I have an empty coffee cup here and I'm none too pleased about it.

I hope the day gets better as it moves along.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

HAAA-le-lujah, they finally have a service call to get the Gremlin-infested printer in this department repaired!

No more wasting half the afternoon running back and forth to unjam the @#($(*#@&% thing because every other sheet of paper misfeeds and the evil "INTERNAL JAM" message appears on the LCD screen!

In other news, I am already being shared between my regular department and the file room. Soon, I'm going to be working with the property department as well.

It's kind of ironic -- last spring, they tried to divide my work up among a couple of the workers in property. It didn't work. Now PROPERTY needs someone to lighten THEIR workload for a while, since they have someone who's about to go on maternity leave, and it's MY turn to do THEIR work.

Good. Bring it on. I'll write more later when I know something concrete about this new thing... and whether it seems like it'll last beyond the end of the girl in property's maternity leave. (Which it might not. Who knows?)

Friday, October 01, 2004

I called in sick today. I had to. It wasn't just the migraine, but the unbelievable fatigue that comes with it... I COULD NOT wake up. When I finally did rouse myself and get up, I was in such a mental fog that I couldn't string two coherent thoughts together. It was kind of like being in those first few moments after you wake from sleep, when you really aren't entirely awake yet mentally OR physically, but you're just aware enough to realize that you're no longer sleeping. Only, instead of lasting for just a little while, and being replaced by actual wakefulness as I walked around getting ready for work, that mental state was not clearing up.

I refuse to drive when I'm like that. If I had a job which I could commute to via SEPTA, I most likely would have gone in to work. But I'm not driving on highways and on the bridge when I'm too ill to think straight. No job, temp or permanent, is worth that risk. So I called in sick. I wonder what the workload is going to look like on Monday... Today was Linda's first day of maternity leave, so we have two underwriting assistants where normally we have three. Joan was out from Wednesday to Friday, and I was in charge of the file room. Plus there are submissions that I have to enter, even though H is getting more of that workload. (I guess this day could have been a dry run so they can see what it'd be like if Joan leaves and my assignment is ended. I hope it was a zoo today with a ton of submissions. ;o) )

The kicker is that I STILL don't feel well. The headache is gone but the physical fatigue isn't. I hope I get a decent night's sleep tonight so I can feel like a human being tomorrow.