Friday, October 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Stories

Redundant title? Maybe.

Story 1 - And a Beer
I tried my hand at making some chili. First time making any, and if I do say so myself it turned out well. One of the ingredients in the chili was beer. Now I am not a drinker, I cannot even stand the smell of alcohol or coffee. Never been tempted to drink but I have cooked with alcohol before. Beer in the Rear Chicken, Chicken Marsala, Sake Marinated Salmon. All very good. So last night I went to the store after going to Special Needs Mutual to get my normal ingredients and a beer. It is impossible to buy a small can of beer. I could have bought a six pack or a big can of beer. I did not want a six pack just hanging around the house, so I opted for the big can of beer. I put the beer in my cart, walk around the corner ... and run into the second counselor in the Bishopric and his lovely wife, who is the Relief Society President. Back story, it is against the teachings of the church I belong to to drink alcohol. And here I am standing in front of two of my local church leaders ... pushing a can of beer in my cart. Did they notice? If so they did not say anything. I did not think I needed to be overly defensive and explain why I had beer in my cart. Though I am sure they are planning an intervention as we speak! It was a really big can of beer.

So I get home and start browning the turkey and onions for this chili. Add my spices, and it is time to add the beer to de-glaze the pan and so the alcohol can cook off. I open the can, it smells awful to me, I start to pour it in the measuring cup (ironically given to me by the same couple I ran into at the grocery store years ago for Christmas) and that crap starts to foam up so much I spill all over me, the counter, the stove ... and I managed to get a little in the pan. (the guys at work inform me today that you have to pour beer at an angle so as to avoid the foam up) So I wait for the foam to die down, get enough measured in, and start to let it cook off. I wash the counter, the stove, and me ... and me ... and me ... I CANNOT GET THE SMELL OFF!! Even now after a full shower and multiple hand washes I still smell a little like beer.

If my friends I ran into at the market had come over to do the aforementioned intervention last night I would have smelled like a distillery confirming their suspicions!

Story the Second - Angry Meds Strike Again
I am sure I have blogged about my struggle with my angry meds. As an asthmatic I sometimes need to be put on prednisone which is a steroid that helps lung function. This steroid, though, has some really bad side effect consequences for me. The first time I was put on it I hit the thermostat in our hallway with my elbow (on accident, not in a fit of rage) and it flew to the other end of the hall. I get these massive headaches, I do not sleep well, and get, what we lovingly call, the roid rage! I get angry for no real reason. Some days I can really control it, and others I cannot. Not at all. The day they put me on the prednisone I had a MASSIVE dose and my head might have actually fallen off temporarily. My Dad was washing a dutch oven and it sounded like someone was crashing drum symbols on either side of my head. All I could do was sit in the recliner with my hands over my head until it was over and cry. Oy.

Yesterday at Special Needs Mutual we had our Halloween Dance. So I have a headache, I have not slept well, and I am at a dance with individuals with special needs. One of the girls in my class has some behavioral issues due to some brain damage caused by a massive stroke when she was younger. I am the one in charge of making sure she acts appropriately. Normally this is not an issue. Last night she did not do anything more than she usually does at a dance which is try to dance with every guy she passes and get his phone number. Well ad the roid rage to the mixture and last night ... was an adventure! I would close my eyes to "rub away the pain" and when I opened them she was gone. I lost her more times last night than I care to say. She is FAST! They pulled out the limbo stick and did the Limbo Rock. Oh she got so excited, that she kept running to the front of the line and actually knocked over one kid that I caught before he fell. So I had to take her out of the dance to have "the talk." We have had this talk many many times before about appropriate etiquette around others. I think I was pretty good at controlling my voice level last night but she got upset at being reprimanded. While we were talking I decided to talk about her grabbing at guys (which makes some uncomfortable) and how to react if they say no. I actually heard myself say "No means NO! If a guy tells you no, walk away." I have become a cliché of a bad after school special starring Kirk Cameron or something. And it is all due to my angry meds.

On the plus side, I can take a full breath.

Thus ends the stories for the day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum

I have not said this on my blog for some time. Just so we all do not forget:


Two years ago today, Mom had her stem cell transplant. So Happy 2nd Birthday Mom!! I guess if you have cancer it is only fair that you get two birthdays, right? I remember those sucky days so vividly. I remember the smell of (ugh) creamed corn, I disliked it before and now cannot even stand to be in the same room as it. (That is what it smells like when someone gets a stem cell transplant. I knew each day when I stepped off the elevator if it was someone's birthday.) I remember threatening to pull the plug on Mom if she did not get up and take a walk. I remember Mom not wanting to eat anything because it just did not taste right. I remember that nasty drink she had to have after eating anything to help with the sores in her mouth. I remember how tired she was. I remember Halloween in the hospital with the kids in their costumes and Mom wearing a nice Halloween scarf. I remember us all shaving out heads and how incredibly nervous I was about it. I remember being more tired than I have ever been in my life. But mostly I remember how incredibly brave Mom was. Even when her life sucked and the treatment sucked and the pain sucked, she was brave.

So again Happy Birthday Mom. Congrats on 2 years of remission. And just in case you have forgotten how awesome that year was for you...

Transplant Day, can you see your lemon candy?
Right after shaving our heads
Yup, that sums it up!
Here's to many more birthdays, both of them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Have any of you looked at the stats of your blog lately? I just noticed that cute little link on the dashboard of blogger and was fascinated to see that I have a worldwide audience. After the US my biggest fans seem to be from Russia, Latvia, Canada, China, France, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia. Further I found it interesting that many of my readers find me if they google the image of Katee Sackoff (Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica) Not sure how that happened. I also know that my top four linked readers are Besty, Neighbor, Wretchel, and Squitch. (that means that more traffic comes from to my blog from their blogs.) And the afternoon seems to see more traffic to my blog.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Cyber Accountability

I have a new talk show I like that airs during the day while I am at work, thank heavens for dvr, right? The Talk is a show of women sitting around talking about issues, sounds familiar but is less political than some other talk show formats that are similar. Anyway they had Chandra Wilson on yesterday and I adore her, so of course I made sure to catch up on 'my programs' last night.

The opening segment was talking about the Glee racy photos, which I shall not comment on here, and cyber bullying. I actually liked what they had to say about being accountable for what we put online and wanted to share it. We were talking about something similar in class this week too only from an employer standpoint. Did you know that items you post about work or fellow employees on facebook, blogs, or tweets can be used by employers for employee reviews? Since the internet is public it is 'fair game' for employers too. Likewise many employers can monitor email correspondence that is sent using the work provided email service without giving you warning. So while many times we might want to vent online or email about work related issues it is not generally the best idea and there could be consequences.

So after watching this clip, do you agree or disagree that online services should be required to provide the identity of those who abuse their sites to bully others? I am torn though I lean more toward the side of "stop being a coward and hiding behind your cyber name." I can see both sides of the argument, but I have never been cyber bullied. I do think that if you cannot say something to my face you better not be a coward and put in online. Rude. I also think that if we were required to put our real names on things many people would be much more cautious in what they say.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Gimme head with hair; Long beautiful hair; Shining, gleaming; Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Traditionally I keep my hair short, like really short. I like to be able to just run my fingers through it after a shower and go. When my hair is long it gets in my eyes, shoots out in funny directions, or just looks dry. So when Mom was going to loose her hair 2 years ago during treatment I was all for shaving our heads. Why not? It was short anyway.

Well this time around I decided to grow my hair out and donate it. No, I am not saying that Mom's cancer is back, but we were told 2-5 years and it has been 2 now. Since my hair is so short it could take 2 years to grow out; plus I bleached it blonde for Joseph, so that has to grow out and be cut off too.

Since this is so buggy to me (the long hair thing) I came up with a plan to motivate me. Of course the fact that donated hair is made into wigs for children with cancer is motivating; I mean come on, how great is that? I have talked with my hair dresser about my desire and I can have it trimmed every 2-3 months to keep it healthy which will be great for me mentally. BUT the big motivation is this: I cannot cut my hair until I have lost 'X' amount of weight. I have shared this number with my hair dresser and in 2 years this would be a healthy weight loss. So not only do I feel motivated to do this for a kid or kids with cancer but now I feel motivated to do it for me!!

Why blog about this? Well two fold: I know my readers live and die for a post from me (ha) and second there might come a time when I want to cut my hair... do not let this happen for at least 2 more years!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Crap!

My Sister is amazing, she is talented and has a wonderful sense of humor. Girl is a hero of mine in many ways (the rest of the time I am her hero, you know it is true!) As mentioned in a previous post I had her daughter Mac for the last 2 weekends while they were on vacation. I missed a lot of sleep, but loved a lot of cuddles. So Sister, with her wonderful sense of humor, brought me a present as a thank you for watching her kid. It is a notebook made by this company: PooPooPaper. Just as the name suggests it is a notebook made from recycled elephant poo. She said it was to remind me always of the bonding Mac and I shared for the weekend; funny right?

Alright, so here is the deal. Funny? Absolutely. Gross? Absolutely. I would say 10% funny 90% gross, but she thought it was more like 90% funny and 10% gross. Bless your heart Sister!! The more I think of it the more I smile. I honestly, though, do not know if I have grown enough as a person to play with poo paper. I did find it a mark of our friendship that she knew I cared enough about the environment to use recycled products ... I am not sure the environment and I are friends enough for me to write on poo paper ... but who knows what will happen in a day or two when I have had time to digest (pun intended) having a notebook made out of poo.

Now to be fair, the paper is not actually made up of poo. Just the undigested grassy products that the elephants eat which are then washed and made into paper. For some reason that does not make it sound more sanitary to me ...

Love you Sister! And thanks for the 'crappy' present! (Ha, now that was 90% funny!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

The long and the short of it...

Posing an interesting situation to the masses here that we are talking about in HR class right now:

The basics of the scenario are thus: You are having trouble with a coworker right now. This particular coworker is not fully doing his or her job and it affects you directly. Let's pick something small: The receptionist leaves the front desk for about an hour a day and does not get someone to cover it leaving the phones unanswered. Since you hear the phones ringing, you answer to help out. This takes time away from you doing your work so you do not fully complete your job load. Basic scenario, but a realistic one.

Now the questions that are being posed in class are these:
  • Who do you talk to about this situation?
  • What are your expectations in this situation?
  • Do you have the right to make demands in this situation?
  • How do you react if nothing is done about this situation?
I work for a company where nothing would be done about this particular situation unless it directly affected the boss. Since it does not, I would have little recourse except get mad and lash out at the employee. But it really has made me think about effective human resource management. In an ideal world I would have a HRM to talk to about this and have the employee told that he or she has been hired to do a certain job and that the company expects him or her to stay at the desk to answer phones at all times (with very obvious exceptions!) Further I would expect that HRM could explain to this employee that disciplinary actions could be taken if the phone are left unanswered in the future. I do believe that the employee making the complaint can suggest helpful ways to fix the situation, but I do not believe the employee can make demands (one guy in class said he would demand the boss pay him per phone he had to answer, um no...)

I know exactly how I would react if the situation went unchecked. I would say something to the boss, then I would say something to the employee, then I would cry to my mom because no one was fixing it, and then I might have some chocolate. The thing about studying to be a Human Resource Manager is I see why it is so important. I am sad we do not have one in our office (yes I know technically it is me, but all I have the authority to do is cut the paychecks and pay the taxes.) I sometimes wish I had a Toby in my office.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My New Pet Peeve

I have a new pet peeve; and it goes something like this:

Red Cups
Wire Fences
My New Pet Peeve

I hate driving under those freeway underpasses where someone has decided to litter red cups by putting them in a wire fence. The Elder coming home from his mission does not need this welcome home. This is no way to tell someone you love them; it certainly is not a way to propose marriage. Want someone to get well soon? Make them some soup.

This is not cute, this is littering. And it is my new pet peeve!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Issues

I love election time, but I am not loving this year's lead up to election day. This year I just do not think the candidates get it. The issues I hear them talking about are not the issues I really care about. The one issue I am fed up with and would like the candidates to shut up about: partisan lines. Enough is enough. I would like to hear a debate about real issues, not a debate about which side is right. Not one side has all of the answers, not one side is right while the other is wrong all the time. There are some real issues to talk about and finger point is not the solution.

So what are the real issues you care about?

The issues I feel that are most important are education, the economy, and job growth. I have often thought that our public schools are woefully underfunded, our teachers are not paid enough, the classes are oversized and the kids do not get enough one on one teacher time. So let's get rid of the bad teachers, pay the good ones more, get our test scores up, and educate our children. I might be one of the few, but if it would go to education, I would not mind a tax increase for that purpose. The economy - can I just say that our failed economy is not a party fight? Neither the Republican or Democrat parties broke our economy. Not one person is to blame. So show me a plan to help fix it, and that person will get my vote. On the same lines as that is the job market. Where is the plan to grow the job market? That person will get my vote.

Not one party is right while the other is wrong. So how about putting aside party lines and working on one line? The line to fix what has been broken. So says this liberal-Mormon-conservative-Democrat!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Single Mom Respect

My cute Sister and her family are currently on vacation with my folks. They have been planning it for weeks. What they did not plan on was the little one being sick. So Sister made a really hard decision to leave the little one home with some very loving family members. So Mac lived with me this weekend, she is at the Aunts this week, and I will have her again starting Friday. Come on, she is 1, she will not even know she missed sitting in your stroller all week while everyone else rides the rides and sees the fish. Some things I have learned as a single aunt this weekend:
  • Kid with ear infection likes to cuddle
  • Kid with ear infection does not like medication
  • Kid with ear infection does not sleep a normal schedule
  • Kid with ear infection has a little ADD, one moment she is fine and the next she is not
  • Kid with ear infection can scream
  • Kid with ear infection will only eat mashed potatoes (results not typical)
  • Single aunt got sleep deprived pretty easily because she is used to being pampered with a full 8 hours of sleep
  • Single aunt loves to cuddle little ones all day even if her dishes are not done
  • Single aunt loves it when other favorite married aunt comes to teach her how to give medication
  • Single aunt would not trade time with sick niece for anything, including sleep
I have a new respect for all parents now, I only had to do it for 2 days. I especially have respect for those parents who do it alone. This is what I learned this weekend.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Finn: Rachel is what you'd call a controlist.
Rachel: I'm controlling. Controlist isn't a word.

I am here to make it a word. I am a controlist. I do not like being called a 'control freak' so I adopt 'controlist'. I do not think needing to be in control is a bad thing always, especially if the person in control is me .... just kidding I was actually going to say 'is correct.' Now I understand there is a fine line between right and wrong. I also think there is a line between being right and being obnoxious about it. I also know that sometimes being a controlist makes me a crazy person (or cra-cra as Sister says.) I fully accept that my need to drive a car instead of letting others drive is crazy controlling. I like to be in control in a vehicle, which is why I have some anxiety when I fly. (The flight to Europe was interesting!) I know that when someone comes into my office and just throws something on my desk instead of putting in my inbox and I feel anger, that is crazy. I can see the crazy versus the 'I am just right about that' issues.

I am also a Phoenix. I am getting a Certificate of Human Resource Management through the University of Phoenix. Last night I had a group final due. It needed to be posted by 1:00 a.m. MST which is midnight in Arizona. For those who do not know UoP is team based learning. About half of our work is individual, the other half is group work. We are assigned teams usually of 4-6 people to do team projects with. This particular class only had me and one other student enrolled, so we were the team. I had my portion of the paper posted the day before it was due and waited for my teammate to post her portion. At 5:00 p.m. yesterday I was told she was 30 minutes from posting. Fine that gave us time to compile and edit. At 8 I was still waiting, so I asked her if I could help with anything. Nothing. At 9:30 she posted a rough draft of her work. I saw many formatting issues and her references were all wrong. So I started getting that all put together right while she finished her draft. And waited. And waited. At 11 she posted her final draft which was completely different from what I had just edited. So I compiled the papers, fixed the format again, correctly cited all quotes and references, checked word count, and we posted the paper at 11:45. I did not have time to edit for content. I did not have time to run the paper through the WritePoint and Plagiarism Checker because that takes sometimes 3 hours.

Now as an admitted controlist, you can only imagine how much anxiety I had yesterday. My grade was in the hands of someone else. It was not my best effort because it was not her best effort. I had no control over last night at school. I was helpless and I hate that feeling.

I am a controlist. I now am of the opinion that a controlist does not make a good Phoenix.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bean Shop

My very cool sister, Colleen, who I am sure I brag about all too often, just got another feature up on her sewing website: The Busy Bean.

(AH!! She just found a new purse she is going to try, I cannot wait to buy the test unit!! not what the post is about, it pays to have a Sister who sews!) Anyway, there are a few new features on her site that include recipes, a shop to buy already made items, and a custom order form link for those items to be made to fit you personally.

Some of my new favs in her shop are this owl hat

And this dress is so great!

If I did not love her so much I would be so very jealous of her crafty ability and hate her just a little... good thing I love her so much! You should see the cute doll she made for Mac's bday. The skirt she made me for a wedding recently was so beautiful!

Anyway, proud sister post is done! Check out her stuff ... or not!