Sunday, April 29, 2012

Post-Training Bliss

Yesterday was the training I had to give. Four hours of talking to forty people. First of all, I'm not much of a talker. Second of all, I don't like to be the center of attention. Combine these, and I wasn't sure how things would go. Another thing I kind of sort of worry about is that I look young. If I'm in jeans and a hoodie, I look about 16, or at least that's what I've been told by some very kind people. Of course I didn't wear jeans and a hoodie (although I should have because my clothes and shoes weren't all that comfortable), but I look young enough even when dressed up that I worry that people won't take me seriously in situations where they should.

Anyway, things turned out fine. Better than fine. There were a few problems, but it was more like room logistics. My class had filled up really fast, and then I went over capacity. I got moved to the library, which was fine, but I had been told that all classrooms had a computer and an overhead projector. Well...a library isn't a classroom, and nothing was already in the library. Fortunately, I had brought along my laptop and in focus (but I had been hoping just to insert the jump drive instead of lugging all the electronics from my car). The really bad part was that I had to move a lot of tables and these really heavy chairs (40!) around my laptop/in focus setup. The logistics worked; I just hadn't been hoping to lug around really heavy tables and chairs all by myself, set up the laptop, try to figure out the in focus, pass out packets and treats - all in the 45 minutes before the training started. And then put the room back together like I had found it after the training was over.

The training itself went really well. It helped that since I laid out the table setup, I laid it out how I preferred - which is everyone facing the overhead and I'm in the middle/back of the room. Basically I'm just a voice instead of in front of everyone performing because that makes me nervous. I wasn't nervous at all, which was awesome because my manager sat in on my training for an hour.

The participants were great. There was 1 oddball, but I find that there's always at least one oddball. In a group of 20, you usually get one or two oddballs. So I was pleased to find in the group of 40, there was only 1 oddball. The rest of the participants grew to dislike her quickly.

Typically it seems like you lose people as time goes on. What was weird about this training is that people started sneaking in. By the end of the training, I had about 5 more people than I had started with.

People seemed to like it. I got numerous of positive comments, they all clapped at the end, I tried to throw in a few jokes...who knows what the evaluations will say but I at least felt like I was on the ball - even with my manager dropping in.

Work is still busy; I have tons to do. But at least with the presentation last week and the Saturday presentation out of the way, I feel like I can better concentrate on my other work now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kids surprise you

I was blessed with a fabulous long-term memory. I can remember vivid details from my childhood. However, my short-term memory sucks. If you ask me what I ate today, I'll say, ", that was yesterday. Burgers! I had a turkey burger for dinner, and for lunch I had...dang, what did I have? Ummm, snap peas. And an orange. I think there was something else, I just can't remember."

My darling daughter is blessed with a similar memory. When you ask her what she did at school that day, she says, "I played." When you ask her what she ate for lunch, she says, "I don't know." My husband is a bit quizzical at these responses, but as someone who understands the short-term memory struggle, I get it.

The first week in July of 2011 I took Julia to her first movie in the movie theater. She had just turned 3. We saw Rango. It wasn't the best experience. First, she was only 24 pounds, and her weight couldn't keep her seat down, so she folded in half. Thus, I had to hold her. Second, it was too dark for her ("I'm scared"). Third, it was too loud for her (it was loud). Fourth, the movie was PG rated (to me there's not much of a difference between G and PG), but it was a bit more violent than she was probably ready for. All in all, she lasted 40 minutes before saying she wanted to go home.

Tonight we were perusing Netflix, and they had added Rango to the instant viewing selection. She remembered it! She remembered that she saw it with Mommy in the movie theater. She said it was loud, it was dark, there was a fish (I had forgotten that part), that she didn't want to go potty in the bathrooms there (correct), she identified plot points before they happened. It was kind of freaky that she remembered so clearly watching 40 minutes of this movie 9 months ago. She's not even four yet, so that's about 20% of her life ago.

Maybe this kid is paying more attention than I give her credit for.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I'm tired. I slept 2 hours last night. It was a long week, including working this past Saturday. I have to present a training tomorrow to 30 people. Next week is going to be even longer with lots of meetings (and likely drama). On Saturday the 28th I'm giving a 4 hour training to 40 people solo.  Again, I'm tired. Reminds me of college when I wouldn't sleep at all during the week and then would crash on Friday nights at 6pm and wake up at 11am on Saturday.

What is up with all these kid birthday parties? The almost sleepover was 3-4 weeks ago. Last Saturday was a party. We have a party this Saturday, a party on Sunday... imagine if we had more than one kid!

I just got done with a Jackie Warner workout. Hoping that puts me to sleep.

When I went out to 80s night two weeks ago, I heard a song that I hadn't heard in at least 15 years. I forgot how much I loved it. I've practically listened to it nonstop for the past 2 weeks. Not sure how I'm not completely sick of it by now.

Signing off for now. Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Where is the willpower?

I haven't blogged in a while. Dang it. I really want to get my blogging frequency back up to where it used to be.

Work is crazy. I've been busy. There's been drama. I like being busy, but I loathe drama.

My Jackie Warner theory is holding for my quality of sleep. Tonight's another test.

Workouts are going well. Eating not so well. Even if I exercise for 2 hours, I pretty much eliminate all of the benefit by eating half a bag of Doritos and two handfuls of jelly beans. :-(  I have the perfect idea. Well, the best idea is to go on Survivor and eat bugs for a few months. But since the likelihood of that happening is nil (remember, I hate drama), the next best option is to only eat food from the Asian grocery store. Seriously. There's tons of fruits, veggies, rice & fish (so much fish that you can smell it when you walk in the door). They do have snacks and goodies, but honestly the snacks are nowhere near as yummy as American snacks to me.

Why is this so hard? I suppose I've developed some horrible habits. I have a low amount of willpower. And I'm a hedonist. Not excuses at all, but I've really got to lay down the law with myself.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I can only eat what is sold in the Asian grocery store. If I get desperate for some snacks, I can go to the Asian food store and experiment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Last night I did a Jackie Warner workout video. I've tried so many by different people, and for some reason I gravitate to this particular video.  It makes time go by fast. She's not annoying. The exercises seem the perfect difficulty. There's no choreography.

I'm not sure if it's coincidence, but after the workout I collapsed in bed, read 20 pages, and then fell asleep. All. Night. Long. It was heaven to sleep through the night since I'm the queen of insomnia.

Everyone seems to say that exercising at night is bad. I give kudos to those people who wake up at o' dark 30 and work out. I just can't. In the rare instance that I'm actually awake before my alarm goes off, I'd rather stay in bed and read or play on the computer than working out. I'm just not a morning person. So if it isn't evening exercise, it would be no exercise at all. People ask me how I can exercise so late and then go to sleep right away. I dunno.

I think I'm going to try another JW video before bed tonight. If I sleep through the night again, I think I've found a magical sleep aid to add to my repertoire.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Brain Atrophy

I just read a book about early-onset Alzheimer's.

When I was young, I always feared an epic cancer battle: lots of chemo, no hair, throwing up all the time, weak, ending in death. I still fear something like because it seems like a tedious, painful way to go.

Now I also fear Alzheimer's. Let's face it, 2 of my 4 grandparents had it, so I'm likely to get it. Some days I feel like I see signs of my impending mental doom. I'm starting to forget things. I've always had a horrible, horrible, horrible short-term memory. Now I'm starting to forget things that should be in long-term memory.

The most depressing example happened last week. I asked someone something, the person responded, and then a few hours later I forgot what the response was. At least I remembered that the person had responded. Not wanting to seem like the idiot I was, I hinted around the next day to try to get the person to repeat the answer by using a different angle. Luckily, it worked. However, it's a few days later, and I still can't remember the answer the person said the first or the second time.

I've been taking more notes. At work I'm forcing myself to write more things down. I'm using my computer to remind me of more things. I hope this is all just a sign that I'm being pulled in too many directions and just par for the course, and everyone else is experiencing these things too.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Being Too Whiny Even for Myself

Good evening. I was so exhausted tonight upon coming home. Actually, I started out the day not so well. Really tired, usually understandable if I'm up from 2am - 6am for three nights in a row, but I had slept okay-ish this week. I crashed tonight by 6:30pm, I think. And I woke up at 9pm, which is a set-up for being up from 9pm - 3am and then getting 3 hours of sleep and then get up to set up for an Easter egg hunt at J's school (i.e., not starting out the weekend all).

I've posted before about how no one else seems to be blogging anymore. I follow tons (or 50) blogs, and the only posts I ever see anymore are from the commercial ones about coupons. There's one I used to follow because she used to be interesting, but then she decided to change it to a "pictures I think are pretty" blog. Her prerogative and all.

If you look at MY blogging frequency on the left, you'll even notice how far I've dipped over the last few years. Almost daily in 2009 to maybe every three days now. 

However, in the past week or so, some people picked back up after taking a break from blogging (like 2), I found a few more steadier personal blogs, and all seems slightly better in blogland.  Whew, maybe it isn't dead after all!

In other general whiny news, I feel fat. I had done so well with my "Lenten vow" (as my Jewish friend calls it), and then 2 weeks ago I fell apart. Then I was all "starting April 1st I'm getting back in the saddle." Then April 1st came, and I was still a mess. Then I stuffed plastic Easter eggs with Reese's. Dear God, it's like asking a cocaine addict to stuff cocaine eggs. One for me, one for an egg, one for me, one for an egg... Then my friend gave me a whole plate of sugar cookies today (decorated and oh so cute!), which I ate. Then there was a 3 lb bag of tortilla chips from Costco that I mostly ate. That was earlier in the week, and I justified THAT because it wasn't sugar. Then there was enchilada fest last Saturday....

To sum up, I feel fat.

On the bright side, I exercised for 3 hours this week. But 3 hours of exercise doesn't negate my sinning.

I don't want to step on the scale. Because I know every pound I lost in the previous 2.5 months is back on.

Will someone send me to the Biggest Loser ranch. Please????  I know I don't qualify because I'm not 450 lbs or anything. That doesn't mean that those of us who are only slightly overweight don't have problems because, let's face it, I do have emotional eating issues. When I get sad, I eat. When I get angry, I eat. When I get nervous, I eat. I do it to feel better. It temporarily helps me feel better, but then it all catches up to me, and then I get in the "I feel fat" funk.

And what can I do about that? Not eat crap and eat normal portion sizes! It's an amazing, breakthrough idea, isn't it?

Going out for a walk, maybe burn a bite of sugar cookie off or something. :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sharing of Memories

I've read two books written in the early 1960s within the past week, and I've started to watch Mad Men, which is also set in the early 1960s. I don't think I would have liked living in the early 1960s. I would feel pressured to get married young, be a stay-at-home mom who would wear those dresses with full skirts and have perfect hair all day. It would feel so confining, and then I'd end up going all Sylvia Plath. (Was she from the early 1960s?) OMG, I just looked her up. She committed suicide in 1963. I could totally see why she did it after reading these two books and watching Mad Men.

That time is right between my grandparents' and parents' generation. I think back to my grandparents and my parents. I wish I knew more about them. I know a few things, but the things I know all revolve around the milestones in their lives, not really any hopes/dreams/feelings/thoughts they had when they were growing up or even now (although my grandparents are all deceased now and so is my dad). I'd like to know about their first loves, did they achieve their dreams, what were their dreams, why they married who they did, etc.

My mom's the only one alive. She's really not forthcoming. I once had to interview her in college and asked her all these questions, and I got almost nothing beyond simple facts. I don't think I will ever get anything out of her that's beyond facts in scope.

I was one of those kids who wanted my grandparents to talk and share stories of the past. But they really didn't. I heard a few, but those were namely from my uncle, and they were stories about when my grandfather invited people over for a bbq and only had hot dogs (no buns, no drinks, no side dishes) or when my grandfather carpeted the bathroom with a mosaic of scrap pieces of different colored carpet samples he found. 

It's sad that I don't have much to share with Julia about her great grandparents and grandparents as she grows up. My promise can be to be more open with her, which won't be difficult to achieve when comparing to my parents and grandparents.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let me know how it works out for you

Has someone ever called you with the world's stupidest plan? Like even if you try to be non-judgmental and "go with the flow," you can come up with 82 reasons why the plan is completely stupid. The person is so excited and convinced that it is The. Best. Plan. Ever.

So what do you do?

Well, you keep your mouth shut and let the person figure it out for him/herself the hard way. Right?!  You might want to hedge around and bring up some of the more dastardly outcomes of the stupid plan, which of course won't prompt the person to say, "OMG, you are right, this could turn out very, very bad." Instead this will prompt the person to get indignant and even more attached the aforementioned stupid plan. Then you back out of the mess by saying that you were just playing devil's advocate and that you trust they will make the right decision.

Here, folks, is when you wait for the fallout. And there's a lot of fallout, so much fallout that it keeps YOU up at night. Then you think to yourself, "Why didn't I intervene? Why did I just let this happen?" Two-pronged reason that we've already discussed: 1) The person wouldn't have listened and 2) The person would have become even more entrenched.

Fallout happens and then subsides.

Person calls you AGAIN about ANOTHER stupid plan, in the same vein as the previous stupid plan.

You want to scream, "HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED?!!!!!!!!!"

But you don't. You do recount the synopsis of the previous stupid plan and the fallout. Person gets indignant and says THIS is a completely different situation than the previous situation, and this one is guaranteed to end in blissful happiness.

This is the point that you simply state, "Let me know how it works out for you."