Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How many times have you watched The Lord of the Rings movies?

That's appropo of nothing except that I'm listening to it on cable yet again.  I'm also typing this as I lay nearly comatose on the sofa.  Between yesterday and today I've worked more than 22 hours.  And not really gotten to eat anything during that time.  Yawn.  And coma

But for those of you playing the home game, I did get my raise settled.  We comprised at a 25% increase and an additional week of paid time off, although the latter changed from x weeks of vacation with whatever sick leave to just four weeks total time off.  I told my boss I'll probably now get pneumonia or break a leg. 

The pay increase is retroactive back to November 1.  By mid month I'll have that back pay and by the end of February I'll have a bonus as well.

I had planned to take this Friday off and go to the beach for two days.  But now I've racked up enough overtime, with almostly certainly more to come, that now I'm loath to take Friday off and lose that overtime pay.  Particularly since now it would be at the higher salary.  Plus I'm worried something might come up with the trial exchange that is causing all the late hours this week, plus my temp secretary would be the only person in the office whatsoever on Friday.  And then now the airfares to my grandparents have gone up so I need to reschedule that trip as well.  Long story short, I'm going to take a four day weekend with Monday and Tuesday off (after our big deadline has passed), and then take another four day weekend towards the end of February/beginning of March to visit my grandparents.  At which time my boss will be in town and he can suffer while I am gone

Tomorrow also marks the beginning of a month long challenge I am undertaking in conjunction with the fabulous Miss Vi over at I Miss My Collar Bone.  She should have a more detailed description about it up tomorrow and I'm near coma, but basically I will be going grain, legume and processed sugar free for the month.  We're also keeping a food log and taking fish oil every day and then there's this thing with water and hey the Ents are really opening a can of whupass on Sarumanzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

the CilleyGirl

Friday, January 27, 2012

Once is ordinary, twice is interesting, third time would be really kind of creepy.

I'm back from the absent.

If you have been kind enough to be sending good vibes my way with regard to my quest for a raise at work, thanks!  And please keep doing it just a little while longer!  I finally sat down with my boss (and a nice bottle of red wine) last night.  We talked and drank for about 90 minutes.  Long story short, he offered a 20% raise, I countered with 30% with another meeting in six months -- other than I have earned all that and more, inflation has gone up 15% in the past six years and I definitely have earned more than an effective 5% raise.  Plus right now I have three weeks vacation plus paid sick leave, he wanted to change that to three and a half weeks paid leave which would include any sick leave.  I think we have settled on four weeks, incorporating that change.  Which would mean I'd now have five weeks of vacation banked since I only managed to eke out two weeks last year.  Oh, and the pay raise would date back to November 1, 2011.  We're supposed have this all settled by Monday since he leaves for ten days in Hawaii on Tuesday and I've told him he's not getting on a plane until we get things resolved.

And I am to get a bonus for 2011 "some time in the first quarter."  Which is annoying but since bonuses are at his discretion and I never count on getting one anyway -- even though I've gotten one seven out of the past eight years, at least something -- I figure I can't be too grumpy about it. 

I ended up with 33 hours of overtime on this month's paycheck.  Yay!  I accidentally overdrew my checking account today so at least that will be covered.  After paying the last vet bill and a couple of other things that need taking care of, I'm planning to spend next weekend at the beach (hoping to score the two for one night deal which would be about $100 for two nights with an oceanfront balcony room) and now I'm thinking I might just make a quick four day trip down to my grandparents' and my dad's the following weekend.  I ran estimates on flights and a rental car (they live 90 minutes from the airport) and I think I swing that for about $300 even.  Not bad, and I know they'd love to have me back again. 

As for the retroactive pay increase, I'm planning to bank that and do that trip back east in late October that I've been hoping for.  For the extra cherry on top I'll also get into the Marine Corps Marathon (registration is in March and this year's race is the day after my birthday) and get to do that as well!  I've never been to D.C. and I have a friend who lives there so built in tour guide and a place to stay.  Then I'd like to drive up to D.C. (yikes!) or maybe fly, to see friends there, and then drive or maybe take the train to Rhode Island for a friend there.  I've only been to the east coast once and that was for a whirlwind four days. 

So, about the title of this post.  About a week or so ago, I had a dream that involved this guy and we were married.  Not we were married in terms of we walked down the aisle in the dream, but that we were already committing matrimony.  In other words, the dream involved this guy who was also my husband.  And I won't try explaning what happened in the dream beyond that; it always seems logical in your head and then you try to explain it to somebody and you realize you may be mental.  Anyhow, a day or two ago, I had a different dream but with the same guy.  We weren't married in this dream, more like we'd recently met and just started dating but I knew we would be getting married.  Everything else in the dream I don't remember at all so I won't even bother thinking about explaining this one.  The important thing is, it was the same guy in both dreams.  Except I don't know this person.  He kind of reminds me of two other men I know, in the way where if you met them you'd ask if they maybe had a cousin.  But isn't it odd that I would dream about exactly the same person who I don't know, two separate times?  If he shows up again, I'm going to think the cosmos is trying to prepare me for something.

Or maybe I am just mental.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, January 23, 2012

Productivity: It's What's For the Weekend.

It is amazing what a good night's sleep or two can do. 

Last Friday I had my annual at the doctor's and we went over all the exciting life events I've had over the past few months.  Long story short, I got a new prescription sleep aid.  It apparently began as an antidepressant with a muscle relaxer component but it sucked because it made people too sleepy to function.  Doctors have been prescribing it as an off-label remedy for insomnia and now it's been re-released specifically for insomnia. 

You learn something new every time here at CilleyLand, don't you?

Anyhow, it works fabulously when I don't have to go to work the next day.  When I do have to go to work -- i.e., as when my stress level rises because of unresolved issues at the office -- not so much.  It gets me about halfway there but I still need something extra to fall asleep. 

But finally being able to sleep Friday and Saturday nights left me full of productivity.  Just look at what I accomplished this weekend:
  • Ran a 5K race.
  • Had a post-race breakfast with friends.
  • Got my car serviced (long overdue, it's a very happy car now).
  • Went to the library.
  • Returned my recyclables ($12.50 back in bottle deposits!).
  • Did the grocery shopping.
  • Did all the laundry (and put it away that same day, a bonus).
  • Cleaned the kitchen.
  • Made pulled pork in the crock pot.
  • Recycled all the newspapers.
  • Sorted through all of the miscellaneous papers, the stuff you get in race packets and swag bags, recipes, etc., piled up on the kitchen table.
  • Made deviled eggs (and sadly used a little too much mayo/mustard so they weren't very good).
  • Made my lunch for Monday.
  • Repotted all the houseplants.
  • Figured out why my jasmine plant keeps drowning (didn't punch out the drainage holes in the pot), fixed the pot and repotted the plant.
  • Cleaned the deck.
  • And let's not forget I watched some TV.
Doesn't that make you exhausted?  It does me!

We lucked out on weather for Saturday's Resolution Run 5K.  After being flooded out of the original venue and moving the race to Cook Park -- my nemesis course, as you all well know -- Saturday morning was (mostly) dry and beautiful.  Still overcast and I got rained on a teensy bit about two minutes from the finish, but otherwise perfect running weather.  And despite it being my nemesis course, and with a wicked case of PMS (which meant sore boobies at the start of the run), I finished in 0:43:04.  Not bad considering I've run once since the end of October.  My fastest 5K time in 2011 was 0:40:22 and my 5K PR is from April 2010 at 0:37:09.  In January 2011 my 5K time was 0:41:46 (coming off probably a two month running hiatus) and in January 2010 it was 0:39:49.

Hey!  Just learned that I placed in second in my age/gender group for this race.  Out of four other women my age.  I think I should've gotten a medal for that.  By the way, did I mention earlier that everyone who participated in this race got a medal just for doing it?  (Actually, just for picking up your packet but we'll downplay that part.)  I need to get a medal hanger soon....

They got a great photo of me at Saturday's race.  And I'm going to post it here because it's a great photo of a horrible me.

I believe my ferret has turned into a young anaconda.  I weighed in this morning at 204.4 lbs, which is the most I have ever seen on the scale.   Compare this photo to this one taken in August 2009:

Or this one from August 2010:

Since then, however, I have swelled.  It is sad.  Perhaps the young anaconda ate the ferret?

I do have a plan in place to turn the anaconda back into a ferret (ooh, regurgitated ferret) and then into a field mouse.  Stay tuned...

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Stank of Confusion

I must confess, I am confused. 

Being that I frequent many runner and exerciser blogs, I read a lot about the stank issue.  Namely, that people are stanky after they run/exercise and that the stank does not always come out in the wash.

I don't get it.  I have never had a stank problem.  Well, let me rephrase:  I have never had a stank problem except with the ballcap I have worn for runs over the past three years and it only developed a stank issue after about two years.  Then I washed it and it ceased to stank.

Anyhow.  With that exception, I have never had a stank problem  And hey, my friends can chime in here about how they've been around me after I've run and I did do the stank.  But I don't think I did.  After I run, I smell like my deodorant and body wash is working.  That's it.  And it's not because I'm not working up a sweat even if I am slow.  Because I am. 

I'm wondering if it's because of another thing that baffles me, namely, that not everybody showers every day or, alternatively, that not everybody washes their hair every day.  Like I do.  I've read literally a hundred magazine articles that all talk about how to perk up your hair on the days between showers or that this style or that style works better with dirty hair.  Um, yuck?

Maybe that is the reason for the stank versus the non-stank.  If so, my suggestion is:  Shower!  I'm not even going to get into the whole shower at night versus shower in the morning thing.  For me, it's hands-down shower in the morning.  If you're horrifically dirty after the day then shower at night too.  That could be why my grandmother comes down on the side of shower in the evening, now that I think about it; she grew up on a farm. 

But shower!  Wash your hair while you are in there!  By the way, if you don't, please don't take public transportation.  Or walk past me in the grocery store.  I can't count the number of times I've nearly upchucked on the broccoli because people can't be bothered to hop in the rain locker (as my grandpa calls it).  And I'm not talking about the "I just worked out" stank on these people.  It's clearly the "I haven't showered in at least a day" stank.  You can just tell.  Hell, don't even go out in public. 

So, inquiring noses want to know:  Am I the only person who wonders why everyone else is so stanky post-workout?  Or do they just think they are stanky?

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First miles of 2012 are in the bag!

Did my first run of 2012 yesterday with Jules.  Not all that long -- 3.88 miles -- and not terribly fast -- 0:56:49 -- but pretty good considering (1) it's the first time I've put sneaks to the pavement since the Runaway Half Pumpkin and (2) it was damn cold and raining.  It felt really good; as I told Julie, I was definitely well rested.  Tight legs for the first half mile or so then loose.  A little soreness in my quads today but otherwise all good.  We probably could've done a bit better on the pace but we were chatting a lot; first time we've been able to hang out for several months.   We also held true to form in that our pace had increased by at least a minute per mile by the end of the run. 

According to DailyMile I logged 341.6 miles in 2011.  A lot less than I had been hoping to do but there were also three full months in the year where I didn't run a step:  one month for recovery from the stress fracture, and two months getting over the sinus infection from hell and my year end work deadline.  I hadn't set a goal for miles last year but I had my eye on 600.  I'm hoping to do 600 this year, training for the Rock 'n Roll Portland half in May and hopefully Marine Corps or another marathon in October. 

This coming weekend will kick off my 2012 racing calendar with the Resolution Run 2012
Where everybody gets a medal!  Nice to start the year with some bling, eh?

Thanks to everyone for their comments regarding my recent losses.  I felt a lot better after writing down how I was feeling.  While some days are better than others, I'm still making it one day at a time.

the CilleyGirl

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues

One of the interesting things about depression -- whether you have had it or are being treated for it -- is that you become hyperfocused on your moods.  At least, I am.  I'm always checking:  Am I too angry?  Am I too sad?  Have I felt this feeling for too long?  Because -- again, for me -- that was one of the main symptoms of depression, having a feeling get wildly and inappropriately out of control.  Kind of like the difference between (A) tossing off a curse word at the driver who just cut you off and then getting on with you day and (B) being absolutely furious at that driver for the rest of the day, yelling at everybody around you as a result, etc. 

Being on meds, I watch for the signs of the meds not working and depression returning.  If I think I'm stuck in a feeling -- which, with depression, tends to end up in a blue or black feeling -- then I first make a conscious effort to get past it and if that doesn't work I call my doctor. 

Important caveat here:  I don't want to characterize depression as something you should just snap out of.  It's not.  My effort to get past it is more like analyzing whether I've got a reason to feel whatever I'm feeling, or determining the depth of the feeling.  For example, I'm broke.  What seems like all the damn time.  That is legitimately stressful.  A "meh" mood as a result is justified.  Thinking about taking a dirt nap as a consequence is not. 

Which leads me to my point.  It's odd to realize that I have a reason to be legitimately depressed these days.  In the last three months I've lost my two dogs and a long-time coworker (the latter was fired unexpectedly, she didn't die).  I'm still broke -- and I recently realized that not having a raise for five years means that I've effectively taken about a 15% pay cut over the years, meanwhile taking on the work of 2.5 other people plus now that other person who just got fired.  Of course I'm depressed!!

The trick will be, how long to be depressed.  I don't have an answer for that question.  It is a factor of not only how long but how depressed I am.  Right now?  Fairly depressed.  Mostly I just want to sleep or hold down my sofa and read or watch TV.  I feel as if I'm mourning Maggie all over again, in addition to mourning Ginger.  As I mentioned previously, this is the first time I've lived literally alone in my entire life.  I've been thinking about getting a fish just to have somebody there. 

So.  I know I'll be okay but that it's valid and appropriate to not be okay for a while.  That's just how it will be.

Maybe I will get a fish.  And I will name him Steve.

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goodbye, my sweet girl

I know she's off chasing the waves somewhere, happy and full of joy.  I will miss her.

--the CilleGirl

Friday, January 6, 2012


If you've been a long time reader, you know that the new year never starts for me until after my big work deadline comes to a close.  This year, that deadline was January 3.  So, January 4:  Happy new year!

But, there is weirdness.  After putting in 91.5 hours at the office between December 26 and January 4, I kind of dropped.  Not in the bad way or anything.  Just woke up Thursday morning and could not get past the exhaustion and the throbbing headache so I took the day off and slept.  Until 3:00 p.m.  I wish I could've stayed home today too but I guess I'm too responsible or something.

Anyhow.  Somewhere between Wednesday night and the wee hours of Thursday, I came to the realization that it is time to let my Gigi bear go.  She's been in a slow, steady decline for years, mostly because of a back/hip injury she sustained when she was less than a year old.  Since we lost Maggie in October, that decline has sped up.  In a way, it was easier with Maggie; it was so clear she needed me to let her go.  With Ginger, it's a lot harder to tell when it's time.  And we have been together for eight years now.  But she crossed a line about two weeks ago and has been markedly worse the past few days.  It's time.

So.  I was going to work on catching up with things here this weekend but now my plans have changed.  After Saturday, this will be the first time since I was 20 that I won't have a pet to come home to.  It's going to be a big adjustment.

I'll be back some time next week. 

--the CilleyGirl