Reverse and rewind, erase and revise

For a while now, I’ve been meaning to go back over my old posts in this blog. I want to see what I was up to when I originally stopped posting, and figure out what blanks I need to “fill in” between then and now, via a post. I’m working on that in spurts today, also trying to make sure my posts are more properly categorized, and just… neaten up the blog, overall. I’m hoping I can get it pretty much accomplished today. I fully acknowledge that it’s yet another way for me to procrastinate writing something more than just a rambling ‘nothing’ post like this… but I think/hope it will also give me a better jumping-off point to have something to write. Of course, with this being the end of the school year, it also means I’ll be a bit busier than normal at work, but I still have the desire to make time to write in the midst of all the chaos.

Last Friday, I lost a crown from one of my back molars, and I somehow managed to swallow it without realising it. Oops! Thankfully it was pain-free (aside from a deep ache in the jaw, but that was more mild discomfort than pain), so it didn’t matter that I had to wait the long holiday weekend before being able to call for a dental appointment. Managed to get in yesterday, and they were able to get me hooked up with a temporary crown and I go back in a few weeks for the permanent one. My pocketbook really wishes I hadn’t swallowed the old one – it would’ve been a LOT cheaper if they could’ve re-seated the old crown, as opposed to having to make a new one.

Ah well. Time to get back to reviewing old posts, before I procrastinate my way out of that again.

March: In like a lion …

On Friday, I went to work 30 minutes early specifically so I could leave 30 minutes early. My best friend, Emily, was coming to visit! Her flight landed at 4:24, so I needed to leave early to be sure I made it to the airport in time. Hee.

From the airport, we headed over to one of my favorite BBQ joints. (Well, kinda. 99% of the chain is in East Texas. There is 1 location in Arlington. And while it’s still delicious… it’s just not quite as good as the locations further east. 😉 ) So, we headed down there, and get in line … only to discover they are completely out of brisket. Now, they still had ribs and turkey… but. No. We were in the mood for yummy BBQ sandwiches. Which require beef! 😉 So, sadly we left (as did a few other people in line) and went to find our dinner somewhere else. After eating, it was time for home to watch some videos and goof off.

Saturday morning, we hit the road traveling all over the Dallas area to do some serious power shopping. I got a couple of cute tops, but Emily’s the one who really hit the jackpot at the stores. After a brief stop at home (watching more vids), it was off to dinner. We split a green apple frozen margarita, and ended up wandering around Target later, giggling like crazy. 😉

Sunday started out good. It was Emily’s birthday (YAY!) and after lunch with mom, we did even more shopping! We also drove around downtown Dallas, taking in the sights. After watching a few more vids in the afternoon, we decided it was time to head out for dinner. We decided on having dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, then we’d head over to The Melting Pot to have chocolate fondue for dessert.

Going out for dinner is when the day took a painful turn. We get to CPK, find all the outside parking is taken, so we head on to the nearby parking garage. Getting into CPK from the garage was interesting. We went down some back hall, and ended up entering via some back, upstairs entrance. We were very confused, but we finally figured out how to get downstairs (via a very tall staircase, which I descended without incident!) and then we were headed to the front of the store, to the front desk so we could be seated. I was moving at a pretty good clip (at least, pretty darn fast when it comes to me and my arthritic knees!) and then suddenly… I went down. There was a small, 2 step staircase that I didn’t see. So I took a step which turned into a big tumble. I twisted my left ankle as I went down, as well as wrenching my left shoulder and both knees. I think I scared the family sitting right at the foot of the stairs.

Of course, the manager and a couple of staff were all there in a heartbeat to make sure I was okay. Because of a mid-fall decision I made that involved me twisting around (and probably hurt my knee more), I ended up landing on the top step, instead of sprawled out on the ground at the foot of the stairs. After sitting for a minute, I used the handrail to pull myself to my feet, and hobbled to a chair the manager had pulled up for me. After sitting there for a couple of minutes, we got a table, and the manager came back a few times to check on me, as well as get my name, address, etc. (I find it very intriguing that, although she took my personal info, she never had me sign a waiver or write out what happened. I mean, I have no plans to try to sue them or anything, but she REALLY should’ve had me sign a waiver of some sort to protect the restaurant. Just because I’m not the kind of person to sue, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t if it’d happened to them.) My ankle was sore through out dinner, but I’ve injured myself enough times to guess that the ankle injury probably wouldn’t be very severe. After we were done eating, the waiter brought our bill. As I put in my card, I checked the total so I could start figuring the tip – and was surprised that the total was a lot less than it should be. The manager had comped my dinner because of my fall. (And yes, I did tip on the total pre-comp.) While he was running my card, the manager stopped by again, to let me know she’d comped the meal because of my fall, and she also said that they weren’t allowed to put up a “Watch Your Step” sign there, even though they’d wanted to. I’m not sure why they can’t, but trust me – I would’ve appreciated the sign! 😉

I/we decided that I wasn’t going to allow my injuries to ruin the evening, so we still headed out for fondue! Hee. It was absolutely delicious. I think I could’ve OD’d on chocolate if there’d been more. We had some … interesting women sitting at the table behind us. They had a lot of discussion about their boobs, and they actually had a stop watched and timed each other’s trips to the ladies’ room. Ummmm… WTF? They were also incredibly rude and kept talking about their urine and boobs the entire time the waiter was at their table, explaining the oils and cook times and etc for their entrees. I was mortified on his behalf! Haha. Once we were done with dessert, we headed back home (after a stop at the grocery store for ACE bandages) and iced and wrapped my ankle. It had swelled a small bit, but was mostly okay.

All in all, I think we had a lot of fun that evening — injuries excluded. Hee.

Today, we got up and I quickly learned that although my ankle was 95% okay, my knees were an entirely different story. They are both feeling incredibly weak and shaky as I walk, and are very sore. Getting up out of a chair – or sliding to my feet off the bed – is not an easy feat. I have to psych myself up for before I can push myself up and my knees scream in protest as I stand. It also doesn’t help anything that my left shoulder is sore – it makes pushing up out of the chair difficult. We had more shopping to do, though, so I managed to get myself up and going so we could hit Target and then somewhere for lunch. We also took some time (at both ends of our excursion) to stop and feed the ducks at Cottonwood park. There were some absolutely adorable baby ducks that I have to admit – most of my food went to. They were just too cute!!!

We came back home, and Emily had to pack to get ready to head back home. 🙁 I didn’t want her to leave, she definitely wasn’t here long enough this trip. But I don’t think her cat or her work would like it too much if I kept her, so I had to let her go. I managed to hobble into the airport with her, sat while she checked in, then stood nearby and watched her go through security until I couldn’t see her anymore. 🙁

I was roughly 10 minutes from home when I got a phone call from mom. One of the cats, Gypsy, had managed to swallow a threaded needle. Gypsy is an overweight kitty, but she’s been losing a lot of weight over the last 6 months. She’s still too heavy, but she’s down somewhere between 10-15 lbs. As a result, Gypsy is figuring out that she can now jump onto counters again! Mom had been doing some mending, and left the needle on a desk. Gypsy jumped up and decided she wanted the thread for a snack … not knowing there was a sharp pointy thing at the end! As soon as I got home, mom was loading Gypsy up into the cat carrier, and we took her up to the animal hospital. Thankfully – the needle had lodged itself into the roof of her mouth and her cheek. I say thankfully because, even though this was a painful thing, it could have been much, much worse. Since it was embedded in her mouth, the vet was able to just sedate her and remove it. If it had gone further down her throat, or into her stomach, we would’ve been looking at surgery to get it removed. It cost almost $250 just to get it pulled out of her mouth – I can’t imagine how much it would’ve been if she’d needed surgery! We probably could have attempted to remove it ourselves, but I was worried that it might make things worse, or cause too much bleeding or something, and figured we’d be better off letting a professional handle it.

And, as bad of a kitty-parent this is of me to say, I have to admit that I’m glad that it was Gypsy who did it, if any of them had to. Windy is 17 years old, and on a slow decline. It might’ve proven too stressful for her if she’d been the one to swallow it, and we might’ve lost her prematurely. And while Mali is the baby of the family, she’s also the most high-strung of them all. She was already highly agitated over having Emily here all weekend, something like this might’ve sent her over the top into extreme panic mode. I would be afraid she’d freak out so badly that she’d make the injury a lot worse. Gypsy is the calmest of the 3 cats, and while she was clearly in pain and unhappy with the situation, she managed to stay pretty quiet during the ride to the hospital and stopped pawing at her mouth once she realized we were attempting to help her. So, while I wish it hadn’t happened at all, I’m glad that it was my calm girl, and that she didn’t freak out and make everything worse than it ended up being. We know that she’s doing okay now — as soon as she was let out of the cat carrier at home, she headed straight for her food bowl to eat! 😉 If she feels up to eating, then she’s going to be okay. She’s currently snuggled up with my mom in bed, and was purring happily when I checked on her a little while ago.

I wish I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow. I think I jarred my tailbone again in addition to everything else. So, I can’t sit down without my tush hurting. I obviously can’t stand for long. And I have difficulties laying down – I can’t find a comfortable position to lay in, and it hurts to change positions. Ugh. I hope I don’t require doc visits for all this.

So, yes. That was my weekend. I had a lot of fun, in spite of the injuries. I wish Emily hadn’t had to leave, though. It sucks a lot that my best friend lives so far away, and that I only get to see her a couple of times a year. 🙁 I hope she had a fun birthday down here with me.

Smile a little more than I used to and I like it that way

I’ve been bad at posting for quite a while now. So, this might end up being kind of long.

First, though, some randomness. You’re apparently supposed to be able to have LJ post a mini news story on your Facebook when you post a public entry. I turned that on before my last post, but… it didn’t work? I never got the “toast” they mentioned to ask if I wanted to cross-post. And. I’m not exactly sure how they know what your facebook is, since they don’t ask for info. I’m guessing it must be tied into your email address? I dunno. Oh well.

I went on vacation in August for my birthday. My best friend (Emily), and I went to Vancouver for a week, and we had a blast. We spent time on the mainland as well as on the island. I an desperate to go back again, there was so much we wanted to do but we ran out of time. I have pictures from the trip on my gallery.

Speaking of vacation, American Airlines is being evil and taunting me. I could get wonderful airfares to Toronto on Halloween weekend. That would be beyond wonderful since I’d get to visit Emily. But… yeah. I can’t. I can’t miss school (and I’d have to miss at least 1 day to get the cheap fare) and I really can’t afford it, thanks to the lack of a job. Ugh. Stupid evil teasing airline!!

Over the weekend, I saw New Kids on the Block in concert. OMG. That was an amazing show. I saw them perform 7 times as a teen (5 during the height of their fame, and 2 after Jon left the group). Seeing them on Sunday … wow. Laugh all you want, but they still can put on one helluva show. I would love to be able to see more shows on this tour, but alas… that previously mentioned pesky money issue prevents it. Oh well. At least I had a chance to go back in time and relive my youth for an evening, and have it turn out better than I could’ve hoped. 😀

School is going pretty well. I had a 4.0 for a very long time. I’m still getting all A’s, and -as of right this second- the lowest grade I’ve gotten in class thus far is a 90. But, that’s was on a quiz, and the average of all 3 quizzes for the module only counts for 30% of my grade. As long as I do well on the final on Friday… I should be able to keep my grade a high A. 😀 As I said, I have my final for module 2 on Friday. (We have “modules” instead of “classes”, but it’s the same thing.) We start Module 3 on Monday, and our final for that class is on November 24th. Then we have 1 last module, but that one is only 3 days long. So, I should graduate on December 3rd. 😀

Since I started school, I’ve been the best student in my class. (I don’t say that to brag – it’s actually leading somewhere.) The first module we had was Computer Basics — which covered Excel and Word. It’s a required prerequisite, and is supposed to help provide a basic knowledge of the two programs since they are so widely used. Well — I’ve been using both programs for years, so I knew about 99% of the material before we started. That meant, of course, that I moved through the material pretty quickly, as opposed to most of my classmates who were just marginally familiar with the programs. So, while James (my teacher) might be helping one of the other students with something, I was able to help out another one. That, of course, set a pattern for the rest of the classes. Thanks to my AR background at CompUSA, I pick up on most of the material pretty quickly. (I’m the only one in my class who isn’t changing fields, I’m just trying to get a “proper” education in accounting, as opposed to the minimal on-the-job training I’d had.) So, since I “get it” quickly, my classmates frequently turn to me for help when they’re struggling with something.

Out of my 5 original classmates (we started out with 5 people, but 2 finished at the end of August), I’ve had 4 of them tell me I should be teaching. On Monday, my teacher even asked if I’ve ever thought about teaching. The classmates who’ve said that to me have all said that I have an ability to explain the material in such a way that it finally triggers that light-bulb moment for them. And I do not mean that in a way that implies James is a bad teacher — he is an excellent teacher and we all enjoy him. But sometimes when you’re struggling with something, it’s hearing it phrased a new way or by a different person that helps it click. There have been times that Debra & Sylvia have been able to help me with something I’m struggling with in the same way, too. I really don’t think I’m teacher material, but it’s flattering that they think so, and that they turn to me for help.

Quick aside before I go further with teaching-related talk — one thing I’ve learned in class is that I do know Excel very well. There were even times that I was able to share something with our teacher that he didn’t know about Excel. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt to get my Specialist Certification in Excel. I’m hoping to take an online course at the community college at the beginning of next year to pick up the stuff I don’t know on Excel that I’ll need to get my certification. The best part – the course also includes an attempt at the certification exam. So I’ll get a couple of credits, some more Excel knowledge, AND my certification all in one shot! Yay! 😀

Okay. But enough about Excel. Back to the talk of teaching. Time to get introspective, so that calls for a cut-tag