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2 cents is your change

My sausage egg and cheese bagel combo at McDonald's just cost around $5. It gave me pause. That's 45 minutes of my time at a freezing drive-through window or scooping chili grease out of a sink.

I've had two days of work so far (today I'm heading to Cincy for a shrink appointment so not working again until Monday). Yesterday one of the crew asked me, "How do you like it so far?"

"I hate it. Don't all of you?" (Big grin while I said that by the way).

I'm the first window of drive-through. It's 28 degrees out. I have a few pointers for everyone about being in a drive-through: Please have your money relatively ready when you get to the window. I can't wear gloves as I'm running to a sink whenever I don't have customers. Please don't be smoking in my face...I know you have your window hand holding it so the noxious smoke doesn't totally fill up your car but yeah, it's noxious smoke. Please don't insist the order is wrong because you're remembering 15 years ago when Biggie drinks and fries were 99 cents.

I brought hand cream and chap stick the second day.

I'm never going to get off on time. That will always cause me to screw up something going on with the kids. After a few more days I'm sure that won't make me feel like crying anymore.

And I'll be getting to comments this weekend...been VERY busy. Even though I only work 5ish hours a day, I still have all the stuff do to for the kids and dinner. My days will now be from about 7am until 9pm of very little free time. But to whoever it was (I forget right now sorry) that said Hey maybe this will be your favorite job!--No. I'm not bitter or whatever, but it's greasy smelly fast food with oblivious customers and not always the smartest co-workers and managers. It's actually the best test possible for whether I'm able to move on in a few months to something else.
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one of those unfriending posts

Hi there, I don't LJ much (if at all) anymore.

I hope for the many many people just affected that you read this post at some point so you don't think the wrong kind of thing about just being unfriended by me. ('Cuz god I hate that because of all my relationship neurosis when that happens to me...). I just read my FL the last couple of days back for the first time in months. And I realized that sure, I can make a filter and click on the dot dot dot and none of you would be ever the wiser that the one time in three months I actually read I didn't read your post.

But I don't want to.

Unlike every other time I've done an unfriending, I'm totally healthy and not freaked out by any of you. I just have come to a different place in this whole livejournal thing. To be honest, if it weren't for having 4 years worth of entries I'd probably move to a less community kind of blog site in order to write down my thoughts and adventures. The vast majority of people I just removed from my reading list (because really, this "friends" vocabulary really needs to stop :P) I think are interesting worthy creative intelligent people, I just am some random person in Southwest Ohio who decided to impersonally cut down on the amount of responsibility I feel to livejournal.

One case in particular (the wife of someone I DID keep on my list) I would like to know it was nothing at all personal. When I just read a couple days worth of entries and remembering the past, I realized I can keep up with how it's going with you pretty well. Plus it's not like you post a lot ;)

There are a few others of you that I might see around town and we hardly ever talk in LJ. (Hey Sam, Please keep me as YOUR friend since you obviously do keep up with reading even if I'm not, and always feel free to comment to my last entry "Hey, check out what's going on with me!". Same with you Jess). I just want to now have a much much condensed FL so that if someone new does look me up for some reason, they'll get the idea I'm unsociable ;)

Anyway, if I ever DO become obsessive about writing, commenting, posting in Livejournal again, there are several of you I just removed that I'll probably look up again and refriend. If you don't end up friending me back in that circumstance that's just life and I won't take it personally.

Good luck and happiness to you all.
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so what's up, anyway?

The funny anecdote I forgot to mention in my way-too-long-for-an-uncut-post post (and sorry about that--was at that internet phone and just typing away with really crappy monitor situation so I didn't throw in the cut tag):

so I make my bed EVERY MORNING. At the hotel after getting up I HAD to make my bed. And I did. And there were all these decorator pillows, and the spread, and I made it perfectly. So perfectly it looked exactly like it did when I came into the room the night before. So I pondered my situation and then unmade the bed so housekeeping wouldn't be lazy or something and not change the sheets.

* * * * *

There is big news in my life currently. I have mixed feelings about it...because I have a college degree, I used to make $35k/year at the job I wanted to retire from. And...would you like fries with that?

Yes, after 5 years, not counting the month at Wal-mart when I really shouldn't have been working anyway, I start my crew member position at Wendy's today.

I talked it over almost the whole session with my therapist last week. She reinforced what I already knew: This isn't a sign of failure, or selling myself short. Circumstances beyond my control caused me to lose my job. I haven't worked for 5 years. I had barely any job experience before my position at Miami aside from student jobs. This is a stepping stone, starting perhaps yes at the beginning again, to either finding out I shouldn't be working because of stress and energy issues or to getting something better in a few months.

* * * * *

Rachel needs to shape up. She has an in-school suspension in the next couple of weeks. Not for anything outrageous, but for a proliferation of behavior points at her school. But still. Goodness, took me until highschool to get one of those ;).

* * * * *

While I was gone it snowed here for the first time this winter. Bob took Alyssa out to build her very first snowman, and she tried to do a snow angel too. He videotaped so I got to share in the experience too.
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travel adventures: the rest of the weekend

This also is one of the most expensive LJ posts in history. This Internet phone thing I'm sitting at is claiming it's 25 cents a minute and that would mean an hour is $15 (not bad), but we'll have to see how it pans out on the credit card....

At least the keyboard is better than the kiosk I was at in Cleveland.

I've had lots and lots of adventures since last I posted. I noticed when I was on very very briefly Saturday that some of you commented to my previous post. I'll have to get back to you later (which, surprise surprise coming from me lately, I was planning on doing :) ). However, this internet phone has decided that the content on my journal can not be viewed. I also tried to view the journals of a few of you guys and your content isn't allowed either. Shame on us! ;)

I finally did get to Baltimore on Friday 7 hours later than I was initially supposed to. The next flight they could put me on after my missed flight was at 4:40, and that kept getting delayed until 6:45 or so.

But upon arrival Amy and Sandy found me, though they had gotten incorrect arrival info from Continental, but luckily only by 15 minutes. So I wasn't waiting long in the 30 degree weather. They then took me to a great Mexican restaurant (MMMM Mexican!) and the rest of the evening was uneventful as I caught up with them and got the tour of their house. And got to touch Amy's belly! She's always been such a tiny thing and it was neat seeing her pregnant.

I discovered Amy and Sandy (at least when they didn't have to go to work) are extremely mellow about getting up in the morning. No one who knows me well will believe this, but I was up before them making myself tea and doing puzzles in the puzzle mag I'd bought at the airport the day before. (I'm totally stuck in Final Fantasy). I don't sleep well with my lamictal, and my body needing to take it in the morning actually gets me up around 7:30 or 8 naturally.

Later in the day we went to Amy and Sandy's baby shower hosted by a friend of Sandy's. The house was INCREDIBLE. These people must be well off. 5 bedrooms, a playroom for their little girl that was, no exaggeration, bigger than my kitchen, living room, and dining room combined. The master bedroom suite (with his and her bathrooms) was bigger than all 3 bedrooms in my house combined.

And great food, very cool people there for the shower. Highlights include me holding a 3 month old baby for awhile, SO CUTE, named Mason. And hearing and telling labor stories, most hilarious was the one where the water broke at home and the lady proceeded to shower for the hospital. That's normal enough of ccourse, but when the labor pains already got really bad in the shower, she still insisted on getting completely ready for the birth. As in full makeup, CURLING HER EYELASHES!!!, finding her pearls!!!, etc. She almost ended up having the baby in the car. She probably would have but her husband finally forced her to leave before she had totally finished.

By the time we were totally done with shower it was pretty late in the day, so we went back to the house and I helped out with moving furniture around the nursery, giving baby advice, and giving them the suitcase full of clothes and toys I had brought.

The next day we had another mellow morning, and then we went on an early lunch to G & M, "the best crabcakes in Maryland". I totally believe it. I had an intensely good crabcake.

Then we drove over to Fells Point despite the temperature dropping rapidly. I am a HUGE fan of the television show Homicide: Life on the Streets. The building where the show was filmed, and the bar where many scenes took place, are across the street from each other there. Sandy took my picture in front of the plaque on the building that says Homicide was filmed there, and also in the bar where I made sure to have a beer. I also bought for myself and my dad each a pint glass that had The Waterfront's name on it. Amy tried to get me to also take a picture in front of the part of the building that said "Police Station" from when the show was filmed, but I was already really cold and just wanted to get to the car. I regret that now but luckily I'm not too sentimental so just being able to say I had a beer at the Waterfront and having the pictures I DO have will be good enough.

The thing about the whole Homicide thing that was great was that I finally got to do it! The whole Kim insanity last year had actually brought me to Baltimore, albeit just the airport, but of course there was no time to visit the Fells Point area. I had many years before promised myself that I would visit the bar etc. the first visit I had to Baltimore...so it turns out it was the second but that's OK.

We then had an had time to go to Babies 'R' Us before I had to go to the airport, so we drove there so Amy and Sandy could exchange some stuff from the baby shower.

By the time we got out of the store, TONS of snow and dropped temperature. We drove back to the house, made sure the flight was on time, and then went to the airport. Amy and Sandy made me promise that if the flight didn't go out I would call them and have a place to stay for the night.

So...half hour delay worried me because my connecting flight was QUITE close to the initial arrival time. I went up to the gate podium and asked if it would be OK. "Dayton? Yeah we checked on you guys connecting to Dayton. That flight is delayed too and your gate is really close by anyway. Don't worry."

OK....

We embarked on the plane, and sat for a good half hour before taxiing ANYWHERE. Then the pilot announced that we needed to get de-iced (which, you know, is a good thing so the plane doesn't crash, but). THEN we finally left about an hour and a half late.

Arrived in Newark. The whole delay and flight process I'm not so secretly hoping we miss the connecting flight so I can go to the city.

And indeed. The connecting flight was NOT delayed. It left a half hour before I arrivved.

I went to the service desk and explained my plight. (I tried first to call a family friend in the city -- NYC for those who don't know where Newark is -- but she wasn't home). The first flight home was at 6:45 AM. I asked where I was staying that night and was told that problems with connections due to weather did not get put up anywhere.

Uh uh.

I explained about the Continental Rep telling me it was OK, that the connection was delayed, that I DID have somewhere I could have stayed in Baltimore. I then said, "Let me tell you about my Friday..."

The customer service rep gave me a night at the Howard Johnson, a voucher for dinner, a voucher for breakfast, and a voucher for lunch at the airport. She originally set me up for the 6:45 flight because that's what they do, they put you on the most timely flight out. But I told her that I had a disability that had me on medication where there was no way I'd make it back to the airport by 5:30am. That IS somewhat true, but I was definitely stretching it. My secret plan was to make it to the city in the morning. So my flight is at 2:35pm today. I hope.

While waiting for the shuttle, I was standing next to an old lady in a wheelchair accompanied by airport security. Suddenly the security agent turns to me and says, "Are you going to the Howard Johnson? Would you mind taking care of this lady and making sure she gets in ok?" I was REALLY surprised that some stranger out of the blue would be entrusted with something like that, but I did agree. So for a short time I was the companion of Jenny from Glasgow, 83 years old, who had gotten screwed due to delays out of her international flight back home. HER next flight wasn't until 10pm the next day!

The shuttle arrived and we all started noticing we were not going to the Howard Johnson. We kept asking where we were going but the driver and the other guy didn't really answer us. They dumped us off at some hotel I didn't catch at the time, and we all were like, "Wah?", but showed our vouchers to the front desk and were ushered right in.

It took me quite a while to catch on I was at a Sheraton. $250 a night! The room was HUGE. The mattress was awesome. In the meantime, I had some trouble using the phone to call Bob, so I kept dealing with the front desk. Finally the front desk guy asked me to come down to use my credit card so he could activate the phone. I did and before he punched my number in he suddenly handed the card back and asked, "How many phone calls are you going to make?" I answered one, and he waved it off and said, "Just go ahead and call."

"Um, it's going to be long distance...?" I said. "No no that's OK." All of that gave me the impression this was going to be free. And the thing was, I was totally willing to pay but I wanted it through a phone company on my credit card, not through the hotel because I knew THAT was going to be exorbinant.

OK, so I called Bob (still thinking I'm at a Howard Johnson, so that's what I told him), and then after talking for 20 minutes decided to go to dinner.

Ick, the food was so-so. I didn't want to pull out my credit card for a couple of dollars, and I was out of cash, so before ordering I said to the server, "I am SO SO sorry but I can't tip you and here's why." He was totally cool. But then I found McDonald's gift certificates that I had in my purse, so I gave him $3 in certificates, and my $1.50 in change from my purse. Hehehe.

I took my ambien, took a great shower, turned on Law and Order, and totally fell asleep. I turned off the TV sometime during the night. Then I woke up around 6:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. What I should have done was get up that instant, get breakfast, and get my ass into NYC.

But no I really WANTED to sleep more, so I tried (and failed).

Once I got up I saw this white piece of paper inside my door. It was a $25 charge for the phone call!!!

The reason I was good at my tech support job is that I get what I want (usually, anyway). And I can totally be a chameleon in order to accomplish this. For instance with the Continental service rep yesterday I was bold and confident, laughing about the situation and grinning, "C'mon, you can save me being a Continental customer with this." But with the taciturn front desk guy this morning I made sure to use my most Southern Ohio accent, baby doll voice, and innocent "The airline put me up and I was just calling my family to let them know what was going on and the front desk employee last night and I had a complete misunderstanding. Oh please help me."

He didn't say a word, frowned a bit, but crumpled up the phone bill and waved me off.

By the time I had truly awful breakfast food (which my voucher didn't even cover the full amount bleh) and checked out it was around 9:30/10am. I knew theoretically I COULD have made it to the city for an hour, and part of me really really really really (get it?) wanted to...but I knew if anything went wrong I'd be cutting it too close.

And yet still, after wandering around the airport for a half hour, I went to the service desk and tried to change to the next flight out this evening so I could go into NYC for a bit. Because seriously just to look up into the buildings and see all the people would have made me cry with joy. But the lady was NOT pleased about my request. She said to change the flight would be $25. That, on top of the freezing weather to walk in, and the either $28 dollar train or the really cheap but complicated Bus/train transfer, convinced me to just walk around the airport some more, find this internet phone, and write about my adventures. (Still expensive but at least doesn't possibly make me miss my flight or make me cold).

So here I am, probably wasting the same amount of money, at least for the train into NYC, writing this. *Laugh* Oh well, it's something to do and I did want to make sure and post my adventures.

But hopefully no more adventures from this point on. And now it's been almost an hour writing this and I need to pee anyway.

And wow, if we can swing the money, before I travel again I am SO getting a cell phone. ;)
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at CLE

This internet kiosk has a terrible keyboard. I have 20 minutes of internet time and I've alreay used up 1.5 minutes trying to log in.

Why do I post when I haven't for weeks, perhaps months?

Because when you're an atheist and your boredom lands you in the airport chapel, you know you just have to waste 5 dollars to do something else.

T, I'd so be calling you but I only have your home number and I don't have a cell anyway. I've already discovered the 50 cents at the payphone only gives me 2 minutes.

Which my husband couldn't even talk to me for because he was in a meeting.

Hmmm.

Lessee the story is that when there's lots of fog and snow around Cleveland it's faster to drive. The conecting flight to Baltimore got missed. It's now about to be faster to drive to Baltimore. When an airplane can't land and needs fuel, it will backtrack 120 miles.

Gonna go see Amy and see her all pregnant :)

Not sure what book to invest in and not sure I need to. Walked through the whole airport and didn't use all of Bekah's Nintendo DS charge (Final Fantasy III is awesome!!!) so I expect I can do that on the plane. Was almost going to buy Wizards and Glass but realized I couldn't remember 90% of the storyline from Dark Tower 1-3 so ....

Getting fed and tipsy at an airport is damned, damned expensive. Sorry Bob.

Hmmm what else.

Maybe I should LJ again but all my computer time (and lots of it) is spent playing Kingdom of Loathing. (www.kingdomofloathing.com in case you'd like to be addicted to a free game too). But I might be able to report in a couple days why I won't have time to be addicted to a silly game.

I love airports. Hustle Bustle, all sorts of people, shiny lights.

Life is good by the way.

Did I mention this keyboard REALLY sucks? Even worse than a laptop keyboard. There's a port to hook up your laptop but of course I don't have one. This is the most expensive LJ entry ever...unless someone else has been crazy enough to throw $5 for 20 minutes into one of these things simply to post.

OK I'm done then. Maybe this means I'm back to posting on LJ. Maybe not. But whatever,if you're reading this I give you a hug.

I'm going to use my remaining 6 minutes to use AIM online to say hi to Jeff (if he's not busy).
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funny and gross

Alyssa was going to stay home from daycare this morning. She had been diagnosed with STILL having an ear infection.

So I woke up with this huge migraine and really tired still from my ambien. I had Alyssa playing around me with her plastic blocks and cheerios. I was half asleep when Alyssa stuck her finger in my mouth and said, "Mommy eat my Kleenex!"

I instinctively put in my mouth her finger, and realized that I was eating a booger. "Ewwwwwww! That is called snot and we do not give other people our snot."
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"long-awaited" update

I've been doing completely better moodwise. My new drug, lamictal, took effect. Now I have a couple of new "issues" which don't actually relate to the brain chemical problems of bipolar disorder.

I have been unmotivated to get out of bed until late into the morning (anywhere from 9:30 to 10:30 most days), though I do get out of bed around 6:30 or 7 to help get the baby ready for daycare. My entire world revolves around the TV that I watch and getting just enough done for my family and the house to keep it going (kitchen clean, dinners, laundry, some straightening up). I don't feel like putting forth the effort into finding a job when I don't know that I can handle it anyway. Yes, I used to work, single-parent, take my kids to hours and hours of activities and lessons, but my personal and working life were full of anger and turmoil. Now my life is generally happy and the only time I am angry is when my preteens act bratty or I become manic somehow. Static.

The second issue is somewhat related. I no longer care to deal with other human beings that are not my family. There are three exceptions to that rule, but I have not been keeping up with those folks as much as is decent either. There seems, from taking my history with friends of all sorts into account, to be no point in being a part of greater society. I have always just wanted that girlfriend to bake holiday cookies with, check out a thrift shop, do crafts together, talk about my day. And the few times I've found that or something similar (like online), it's generally gone wrong. And it happened now twice in the past couple of years and I feel really done trying anymore. These past two relationships were quite obviously not "my fault" in ending, but the result is what matters not whose fault it was.

I haven't posted in a long time. I know many people, such as my family, do not read in order to find out about my internal misworkings. The girls have been doing rather well in school, particularly Rebekah. Both girls are getting involved with something called "Power of the Pen" which sounds like a competition based writing activity. Rebekah might be doing Destination Imagination again this year if the team gets itself organized. They no longer do Girl Scouts. Rebekah decided a couple of weeks ago that she didn't want to do it, and Rachel's troop kind of fell apart this summer. Rachel started Cross Country, a bit late into the season, but kept up with the girls who had been training for longer quite well. She can run better than me at this point!

Alyssa is very verbal, and she's really gotten better at the gross motor skills as well. She's able to run around without falling (much). She sings along with us, she sometimes shows she can count without our prompting to at least 5, and with our help she gets to 20. It's very easy to understand what she's asking for most of the time, though particularly after I pick her up from daycare she regresses into whines and cries. She rocks with me every night before bed for at least 20 minutes, sometimes as much as 40. We talk and sing songs and listen to her Baby Einstein music. We always need to have a cup of milk or cold water, her "super-soft blanky", and then I tuck her into her toddler bed with that blanky and two others that have to be two PARTICULAR others.
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support group

There's a support group meeting tonight. The past couple weeks I've felt like giving up on it, but I know this isn't the right time to make a decision about that because of the way I've been feeling. Very usually, Betsie and I meet in the room I've scheduled at the library and talk for a half hour or an hour and then we go back to our homes. We had someone show up a couple times a month ago. but she wasn't at the last one. We had one person assume for some reason that we weren't having meetings anymore because I stopped emailing or calling that there was a meeting after the first couple of times (I had said in the second meeting that I wasn't going to do that, that we had regularly scheduled times). I sometimes get calls about the group, but then those people do not show up. I don't blame them, as I know how hard it is with a mental illness to leave the house and go do something like this. It's frustrating though, as I thought I was doing something that could benefit people who would often feel like they weren't understood by most of the people around them. It's a big effort often for me as well to go, but I do it. Just to feel disappointed.