I liiiiive

Strider

When I said busy I meant busy. It’s been over a year since my last blog post. (Why does this suddenly feel like confession?)

Since I’m not sure even where I left off, I’ll just ramble about some things. I’ll probably be all over the place in this post.

My old (1st) Subaru named Haku went through 2 engines through no fault of my own. The second time being right after the warranty for the 1st one ran out. Long story short, I decided to put the second 5k into a new car. So now I own a 2011 Subaru Sport and I love it. I think I’m a Sport fan now. I also got 0.9% APR. Nice. 😀

In April I got a new job. The new job is closer, benefits cost less and cover more (though the copay when I have to use Urgent Care or ER sucks..), and the pay is higher. Which is good because my past job had a pay freeze for just over 5 yrs, with one of those years also having furloughs. This topped with rising benefit costs.. I loved the people I worked with, but all the work was exhausting me every night. My husband would have to wake me up for dinner. Also I don’t freeze every day sitting at my desk like I did at my old job. Oh I’m sure it’ll get cold come winter, but at least that’s an improvement. Still, it will take me a while to financially recover from the years of decreasing net pay.

My websites as you can see have moved to using WordPress. I was using Dreamweaver before, but I was limited to how I could design sites with my knowledge. So I wasn’t able to do the things I wanted to do. Plus the whole Adobe moving the latest version into the cloud and making a monthly fee to use it. No. Just no. I use their software for personal stuff. Also hopefully this will make it easier and faster to update my sites. So yay! Also my fansite spun into it’s own domain/URL. That was basically to ensure that WordPress would work correctly as both of my sites use different themes & colors. Spinning my fansite off was the safest way to do that.

My husband Giuliano recently had LASIK done on both of his eyes. His worst eye is 20/200 so it’ll help him out. My eyes aren’t that bad. Plus I’m terrible at getting eye drops in my eyes. Basically as a kid I had to get a check-up twice a year and got stinging eye drops. Now my brain associates eye drops with pain like one would a hot burner. Plus everything you have to do for recovery, how long recover takes. Nope, nope, nope. And like I said not worth the cost for my vision problems. Meanwhile Giuliano had wanted to get LASIK for a while now. And especially with having diabetes he wanted to get it done sooner rather than later in life. It’s only been a couple of weeks but I’m hopeful that his vision will continue to improve as he heals.

A while back I got myself Garmin’s Vivofit. I’m trying to use a fitness tracker device to help me get into shape. Fitbit never really helped since it basically just tells you, “Take 10k steps a day!” Okay I did 5K.. “Take 10K steps today!” Okay I did 7K.. “Take 10K steps..” Vivofit actually adjusts its goal tailored to how well or badly you do in meeting your goal. Plus I’ve had a couple of Garmin users actually leave comments on my profile! That’s better than any fitness tracker I’ve used. Right now though I’m dealing with foot pain issues since the old dress shoes I bought a while back have begun to loosen around the heel causing the shoes to slide up and down. It’s a strap so I’ve had to purchase/special order new dress shoes with laces. Hopefully that will make a difference and I can get back to walking again.

I think I’ll leave this post at this point. As an apology for being gone for so long, have a picture of a kitty. It’s Strider, who is uncharacteristically craving attention. He’s usually a scaredy cat, so I try to encourage him when he’s like this. (And that’s no zoom. He’s a Maine Coon so he is that fluffy.)

Strider

Busy, busy, busy

So my workplace, a college library, closes for two weeks at the end of December and beginning of January. Due to this we get a backlog of shipments. I just felt like I gasped for air over those a week and a half ago or so. Then per-evaluation time started and things got busy again. Now I have a brief breather before it all begins anew later this week.

You see I work as a cataloger. One of the things I do is I deal with authority reports of any updated name or subject headings for the catalog. Some of the changes are easy. Just a simple death date added on, no problem. But when the name is vague, or the name change is drastic, I have to check to make sure the name change the program suggests matches the records we have in our system. For instance if there’s a Bob Smith, that may be different than the Bob Smith, 1976- person. You want to make sure the name change you’re making is right. Patrons are going to click that name and see all the titles of theirs we own. Put the wrong name for a title and that system messes up. So it can be time consuming to check and make sure. (Cataloging is nothing if not thorough and attention to detail work.)

Well we get these big authority reports about once a month. The next bunch should be this Thursday.

But that’s not the big part. Cataloging is moving to a new standard called RDA. A lot of things that were abbreviated are now spelled out. (Instead of vii, 386 p. it’s vii, 386 pages, instead of ill. it’s illustrations, etc.) One of the things being written out are abbreviations in subject and name headings. We are getting a HUUUGE bunch of these changes coming through first week of March. There’s so many that instead of a monthly report, we’ll be getting weekly reports. And each weekly report will be as large as the usual monthly ones. And I need to plow through each report before the next one comes in. That’s bad enough, but it’s worse because as I said before the report for February is coming out on Thursday. That gives me 7 working days before the mass influx of RDA authority changes come in.

So basically I’ll be screaming like a little fly saying, “Help me! Help meeee!”


In other news Valentine’s Day put me in an odd mood, as it always seems to. My grandmother, the only grandparent I really got to know, passed away years ago the day before Valentine’s. It was when I was in my 3rd year of college (of 5). So when the date rolls around it’s always a reminder of that. I think of her a lot during this time. People always compared the two of us. They said I looked like her when she was my age. We took pictures standing together as I grew up as a comparison. She was this wonderful compassionate wise woman figure in my life. And since she’s been gone I’ve had that hole in my life that I’ve been unable to fill. I reflect and wonder what she would think of me and my life right now. Would she be proud?

It’s hard for me to feel a lot of pride or success in my life. Basically that stems from the fact that my 2 older brothers that went to college both have jobs where they make six figures. And me.. I’m making drastically less than that, with a lot less benefits too. It’s hard to feel successful when you feel like you’re the bottom rung financially of your siblings. They did great and me.. I’m .. barely managing. It’s really kind of depressing. Not that I don’t love my job, I DO, but compared to their successes mine don’t look so hot. *sighs*

So anyway yeah I kind of miss that lovingly older figure who could reassure me, who could tell me things will be alright. Maybe she’d use that sandwich maker of hers to make me her corn muffins and put chocolate frosting on top. She’d sit with me while watching tv and we’d talk. I bet she would know the words to say that would give me strength in these very difficult times. And I could really use them right now.

Ding! Life Level 34

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhMQ0zsMpGk&w=420&h=315]

Fair warning: contains much ranting.

The thing with my birthday falling near the end of the year is that I get to reflect on how this year has been. And it’s been the equivalent of a Hell Level. Looking back I see all the things I wanted to accomplish, and all the things I just didn’t.

The major problem this year was illness, either illness I had or illness in the family.

I got really sick the beginning of this year, which lead me to finally get those wisdom teeth yanked out. Well that didn’t go well so I was knocked out with that. Add various illnesses and so on.

My father had back surgery last year and the recovery didn’t go well. This year it was my mother getting ill. The problem is she complains to me and asks for my help and I live a couple of states away. Least to say I can’t give any help except advice. The problem there is my mom isn’t taking the advice, she’s complaining about it. My brother who lives near her has to force her to appointments and he likens it to “pulling teeth.” And even when she gets there.. well.. the latest one she refused to take a test she needed and was required by her doctor to do. As for meds, if she gets any reaction she associates it with the medicine and stops taking it. So she’s refusing to do anything to help herself really get better and there’s nothing we can do. That’s especially true for me, and I’m having to come to terms with that. If she wants to drive her health into the ground, sadly I fear that might be literally, I can’t do anything about it.

I tried to go for a Japanese Language class this year at the college where I work. I went through all the admission steps and kept striving forward. However the pace was just.. woah. by the end of the 2nd week of class the teacher was to have the first test in Katakana. Plus we had to start going to a language lab to record ourselves repeating oral practices in Japanese.

Now I have a long commute, and an hour lunch. So with all that I’m gone from home literally 12 hours a day Monday through Friday. And I have to make up time I miss for class and do that on the day I have class. So least to say my free time weekdays is very little. To be able to study, practice lessons in the book, learn Katakana, AND go to a language lab on campus to practice (again and make up the time I miss at work).. Yeah that’s not going to happen.

I used a Tuition Assistance Program (aka TAP) to help pay for the class. The terms of it is though that you can only sign up a week before classes start, and can only withdraw from the class at the end of the first week of classes. By Wednesday the teacher in the Japanese class had warned that if you aren’t keeping up then, you should withdraw. They’ve failed people out of the class. Now I loved the challenge of it, but my work life makes me tackling that pace impossible. So on Wednesday in the first week of classes I switched to a Fundamentals of Website Design course.

The good news is the website design course is just what I wanted. My knowledge of HTML was outdated and I’ve been using depreciated code. My knowledge of CSS was pretty much non-existent. Thanks to that class I’ve gotten better at both things and I’m eager to continue learning more about what I can do with CSS. So while I didn’t learn Japanese this year like I wanted to, my website design skills improved instead. Eh. You win some, you lose some.

So I got a class I enjoyed and plowed away at assignments any night that I had the time. However any breathing time was sucked out by my mother calling and complaining some more and being very needy. I mean it’s gotten really bad. She’s been wishing she could live by me, which I tell her is not possible. When I told her of my time I dedicate to my job her response was, “We’d still have the weekends.” I was floored. Really? Weekends? The only time I get to do anything like oh grocery shopping, laundry, spending time with my husband, unwinding…. Now it’s she wishes we lived in the condo with her so we would be there 24/7, completely ignoring the fact we could in fact care for her 24/7. She doesn’t recognize at all that we have our own adult lives and responsibilities. My mom just sees when people aren’t there for her the moment she needs them and complains.

My health started failing due to all the stress. I got the worst headache in my life, started getting anxiety attacks, etc. I finally sought counseling on campus to help me deal with this. I’ve been learning how to protect myself from the stress. Emotionally protecting myself is going to be the hardest. I also haven’t been emotionally and spiritually taking care of myself and replenishing myself. (Thus the stress and health issues.) So I need to work on that too. (Note: Any recommendations on relaxation music like music set to sounds of the ocean, music to a garden, etc is most welcome right now!)

So in general it feels like my whole year had pretty much been abducted and I wanted it back. I just hope this next year goes a lot better. I think I’ll need to focus on time for me this coming year. Again recommendations on how to do this with such a hectic schedule are most welcome. I’m not taking a class spring semester so at least I’ll have that time back to focus on me.

So, blah! 33 is behind me and I’m shelving it right away. I’m focusing on a new year where I help myself get better in every possible way.

Blog Update

     I just transferred over my blog entries from LiveJournal earlier tonight and placed them into categories. I will need to take the time later to reformat them to look better and to add missing images. For now though it’s one step closer to having my blog established here at WordPress. So anyone browsing through here, please excuse any mess until I get work out all the rest of the kinks.