Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"If Historical Events Had Facebook Statuses"

this was passed along to me by Fred.  so funny.  I love the profile pic of John Hancock.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

online dating part seventy-eight

I have dabbled in the online dating thing for the years? Jeez. Most of that time I did not have a visible profile, but in between relationships I would put it back up for more disappointment and dead ends.  I guess my track record was not too terrible, as I ended up dating two men seriously who I met online,  nevermind that the first one pretty much single-handedly destroyed my happiness for a year but hey, I did allow him to do that didn't I?

In addition to those two I did end up going on a handful of first dates over those years but that's about it. I usually can weed'em out within a couple of emails or so.  Why online dating?  Well, I work in the construction industry first off, and for the past few years for very small companies so I really don't meet eligible bachelors at all.  I don't go out to bars very often, and I think that's a poor way to meet people anyway.  You would think being in a male-dominated sport I would meet plenty of men, and I do, but either they are too young and obsessed with the lifestyle, are not financially stable, or else just not very intellectually curious.  Of all athletes, cyclists have higher IQs I would say, but I still find most of the ones I meet that are not already married are not cerebral enough for me.  It seems I always have to choose between beauty, brains, and stability and I want'em all.  Hence my status....6 years later.

It's OK if you think I'm a loser, you smug married types, and maybe I am, but as you are going through your first divorce I know your pity will turn to envy, because I did not settle for that chubby, balding father of your children who thinks romance is about taking you out to dinner once a year on valentine's day.  Actually, I know there are a handful of you out there who are happily married and I do cherish you, because you give me hope that somewhere out there, there is someone that will contribute to my happiness. For more than a few weeks.

So, here I am, back giving it another try.  Boy there are a lot of losers out there.  Here is one gem I got this week on my favorite site.  Unlike, fitness-singles prides itself on being for athletic types.  Here it is apparently more important to have visible abdominal muscles than it is to have a brain capable of intelligent thought, writing and speech (I would take 1 out of three at this point). 

Because I don't get to these messages very often I tend to take several days, sometimes a week, to return these emails.  Certainly they almost never get returned in a few hours, unless it's a cyclist I know who recognizes me and is giving me crap for being back on the market. (While subtly acknowledging that the fact that they found me here means that they are back in the slaughterhouse as well)

So I get an email from, let's call him John Smith, because he gave me his complete name, home and cell numbers and *real* email address in his first message to me (misspellings, bad grammar are left here as they were written):
My name is John and I tend to be a combination of moderates.But my passions are skiing,backpacking,riding my bicycle. I also enjoy music,art,theater,exhibits,museums,culture,dance,festivals,water skiing,taking out my sail boat on a windy days,cooking,going out for dinner but I tend to be a discerning eater. That is not all there is to me. I consider myself to be an open book with pages yet to be written .People say I am very personable and fun to have around. I have been complimented on many occasions on how I tend to meld into my environment and the culture around me no matter were I am. I much prefer the mountains to the beach .I don't care much for television or watching sports on TV.One,frankly I feel TV is insulting.Two,I would much rather be out participating in life experiences. I own my own business . I really enjoy my work,but it is what I do,not who I am. I also have 2 sons that I love teaching them to get out and experience life. through time I have learned to accept your partner for who they are and in turn you will be rewarded with a true partner in a loving relationship. Anything more is inconsequential. my membership will expire soon and I would really like to get to know you better my cell is 609-xxx-xxxxwhich you can reach me during the day and my email is and my home # is 732-xxx-xxxx. heres wishing upon a star!

So that was on Monday night at 11:18pm, after I had turned off my phone. The next morning at 9:23 am I got this angry diatribe:

the email that which I sent you was merely a test, an experiment if you will. A test of depth of character,

Finding that the vast majority of the people on date sites have no intention of living up to whom they say they are, or even so much as common cutousy to respond to that person that tried to communicate with you in a nice way! finding that the vast majority have the depth of a computer screen and that's as far as they go. The most important way to find love is to first find a way to accept them as they are.If you are fixed only on the what you see as negative aspect of that person. Your heart will not be open and you will not be a loving person. They in turn feel criticized or rejected. If you focus on the healing behavior seeing the soul rather than the personality, the essence of being rather than the attitude, you will be able to find love and your partner will feel this as well and will feel honored. in turn he will choose to want to be the person you desire. I have dated a woman from this site that lives in Canada for the past 3 years and MANY of you are still here!   (this begs the question why he is on FS now?  How does he know many of us are *still here*?  What if we were in 3 year relationships as well and they ended miserably and we are back on here despite our best attempts?  Or...was he checking FS the entire time he was dating Ms. Canada?? hmmmm.....)

responding to This email (as opposed to his happy email above I guess he means) will only further prove my point. responding to the negative rather than the positive. self justification for the lack of even so much as common courtesy to the person that was just trying to communicate with you and be nice to you in the first place. 

Try reading a book called The 5 love languages singles edition. It will help you find real love. Its there waiting for you all around you and not on some date site.

(Although I am trying to discern truth from the fragmented sentences of a budding sociopath, I have to say that it was brilliant of him to add this paragraph, because probably a third of the women are going to ignore John and thus show that they "have the depth of a computer screen " and the third will block him so he can't send any more stupid emails, and the other third might take the bait and respond to John.  No telling what might happen then.  If I were of that ilk, I might say something like:

Dear John, thank you for taking the time to email me.  I have to admit I was surprised to get 2 emails from you within 10 hours, one expressing your interest in meeting me, even giving me your personal information, and the other expressing outrage that I had not taken you up on your offer.  I did not even have to waste my time getting to know you, since you provided a wealth of information that indicated that your next date really should be with a psychiatrist, not to a mere Controller like me. But since you seem very concerned with my capacity to find real love and even recommended a book I could purchase towards that end, I thought I would return the favor and give you my tips for finding true happiness, as follows.  Please keep in mind that this is far from an all-inclusive list, and I reserve the right to add to it should you feel the need to respond to me further:

  • when contacting a potential mate on a dating site, well, lets face it, its kind of like a job interview. If you are going to bother to stick your neck out there, use the free spellcheck provided on your little control panel.  It will indicate to the recipient that a. you give a shit and b. that you are not a complete moron
  • you don't have to go crazy with perfect grammer, but stream of consciousness run-on sentences could be a red flag that you have gone off your meds
  • again, back to the job interview thing.  If I can take the time to write something about myself, and you are trying to get my attention, my advice to you is to actually read my little essay.  Then instead of sending me an email where you yammer on and on about yourself (a red flag that you may be a self-righteous narcissistic blowbag) you could start by mentioning how much you like something I wrote, or perhaps even how much we might be compatible considering that, for instance, you think "TV is a waste of time" too.
  • making blanket statements clearly meant for a wider audience than the sole recipient that you are emailing, such as "and MANY of you are still here!" makes you look like a. your email is a form letter and b. you have climbed on your pompous soapbox to make a point and are not really interested in dating me anyway.  That makes you a poser John, like many of the other Johns on here. 
  • a faded blurry picture of you in a bathing suit that clearly is over 10 years old is better left off your profile.  I am fairly confident that if you still looked like that, you could find yourself a more recent picture taken with a digital camera instead of a Polaroid One-Step.
  • give your recipient more that 10 hours to respond before you blast her for being a callous depraved shallow perpetually single cold-hearted bitch.  The kind of people who respond to these messages immediately have either way too much time on their hands to be very interesting, or else they are Russian whores looking for an American desperado to marry them so they can emigrate.  Cool your jets honey, it will make you more attractive.
  • and of course, I have to ask the question; are you a vigilante avenging all those years of female rejection who is now lurking the dating sites to punish cold-hearted women like me?  Or are you an "open-hearted" altruistic soul who is merely trying to spread your message to a few of us who are not so far gone that we might still avoid an afterlife in that special place in hell for those too choosy to commit?  Either way dude, it's 3 years later and you are back on fitness-singles too. 
  • Did I mention the spell-check thing?  Let me throw in there that a quick proof-read for clarity, cohesiveness and well, just plain sense, might be a nice touch as well.
At the end of the day though John, I urge you to take my advice worth a grain of salt, since I, like you, are back here on FS drinking the Kool Aid.  Bottoms up!

Note that as of 10 pm this evening John had been removed from FS.  Here is what I read when I tried to click on his last email to me:

This member has been removed by Fitness Singles for violating the terms and conditions of the website. Please refrain from any additional contact with this member.

If you have any questions please click here to contact us.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

update on my biker's nodule, or perineal nodular induration

back in the saddle in time for the season's end

Guy's Racing takes 3rd in team endurance competition

So I will make this short and sweet.  For me, that is. I was off the bike for about 2 months because of the induration.  That's a far cry from the six months my Machiavellian gyno predicted, thank goodness.  It could be because I heal quickly, or it could be because I was totally off the bike (unlike many with this disorder who limp along riding with it as best as they can) but I felt the hardened tissue soften and almost get back to normal.  As for my methods: since the cortisone had not worked, I basically just used Traumeel cream once it was no longer infected anymore.  This replaces the Neosporin and Epsom salt baths I was doing while there was still a nasty abcess.

I changed my carved up road bike saddle to the new saddle and the very first night back on my bike I slid off said saddle to avoid a collision with a friend and landed on my butt.  And then a woman riding behind me ran completely over me from one shoulder across my back to the other. Ouch.  So my tailbone took such a beating that I have not been able to ride a mountain bike since. Jumping is painful. Yes, I realize at this point I have lost all credibility as a mountain biker but that's OK; I will get it back, I've been told by all manner of bewildered cyclists that surely my bad luck is running out.

So I have been going on wonderful fall rides with TSV and the weather in Philly has been perfect, mid 70s to 80s and brilliant sun during the day, dipping down into the 50s at night.  Getting back on the bike has lifted my moods tremendously; it was getting rough there for awhile.  And running 26 miles a week was wreaking havoc on my tender knees and feet.

can we take this pic again with me remembering to wear my jersey??
 So Sunday was the MASS finale at Bear Creek, a rocky technical bitch of a course which I love and have missed for the past 3 years now.  I ended up placing 3rd in the Endurance Series, which is not too shabby considering I had not raced in 2 years,  I did not even get on my mountain bike until April 1st due to my shoulder surgery, and I missed almost the entire back half of the season due to the aforementioned induration.  The results were much better than I had expected when I embarked on this journey in May, so I have to accept my failings and think about next season and what might be possible if I stay healthy and injury-free for a whole year.  I love the fall, the riding is fantastic, and now I get to relax and enjoy riding for riding's sake.  I really can't complain right now.  I mean, I can always complain.  But for now I will savor this rare taste of contentment tinged with a pungent desire for the chance to finally realize my potential. And say a little prayer for the gods to throw me a bone next year.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

insomnia and the limitations of balance

I have struggled with insomnia now and then for the past twenty years. Lately it has struck with a vengeance, and tonight I tossed and turned and itched and stressed and realized I was too damn agitated to settle into that shadowy haze; the precursor to nourishing slumber which I we all crave as our limbs tire with the waning of the day.

Pharmaceuticals have been bestowed upon me by well-meaning physicians, but their side effects always cause me to stop even before the orange-tinted plastic container has been half-emptied. Herbal mixes have either not worked, or else they worked to get me to sleep but I still wake up halfway through the night, with ghosts of my dreams and nightmares rising from my subconscious like mist off of the surface of a lake.

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse
Lately, I think my insomnia stems from the chronic pain that has warped my consciousness to the point where I don't remember it's absence.  I wonder if I would even feel alive without its nagging reminder of my mortality and the fragility that age begets. Be it a torn rotator cuff, swollen tender tissue, a broken tailbone, throbbing wrists, a crushed leg, a hole torn into my chest, a piece of my cervix cut out, a broken heart. These pains remind me that I am alive and able to feel pain, unlike others who might pity my bad luck even as I pity their numbness.   But there is more to my insomnia than that.

I am a creative person, who has defined herself as such from a very early age. Forget racing bikes and all the other crap that I've cultivated over the past decade or so. My current profession does not give me much of a creative release, nor does my hobby of riding a bike.  Gardening and cooking have helped, and decorating my house has been even better; but let's face it, owning a house is so much more about fixing cracks in cement, painting walls, and cleaning windows than it is about designing a new kitchen or choosing cool art to hang on the walls.

The bottom line is I am not getting the creative release I need, so my subconscious is trying to get my attention.  The dreams I mention above never stop, every morning I wake up, sit on the side of my bed and wait a few seconds as they take shape and then sometimes fade again into the depths.  If I don't write them down they usually don't make it much past breakfast.

I am usually fine when I am writing every day, but with my schedule that is rare. When it has been a week and nothing much more creative has transpired than the decision about what to wear to work, the nether regions of my mind start to send up smoke signals.  More dreams, weirder dreams, but then, why the insomnia?

The discipline that is required for me to be an elite cyclist has never been a problem for me.  Then again my last name is Walheim and my German father was in the military to represent the United States as a member of the Modern Pentathlon team.  There is no question that I did get my strong sense of discipline from him.  Elite athletes need to eat a lot, sleep a lot, and arrange our work schedules and social schedules so that we have time to spend an inordinate amount of time training and racing.  We have to be selfish, and expect those around us to understand this and support us in our endeavors as well as understand when we miss a niece's birthday party because there is race the next day.

My quest towards happiness and balance in my life (the subject of this blog arguably) has led me to be somewhat militant about planning and arranging things in my schedule because with training, racing, sleeping, working, gardening, cooking, cleaning, socializing there is not much room for error.  I need to get enough sleep to recover, but I also need to get enough sleep to keep myself balanced because when I become unbalanced I often get depressed.  So I try and go to bed and get up at the same time every day.  I try to pretty much always train in the morning.  This works pretty well until insomnia strikes and throws a monkey wrench into the whole carefully constructed contraption.  Discipline has it's place, yes, but the downside of this rigidity is that when you deviate from your specified boundaries you end up criminalizing yourself, and this comes with its own level of stress.  If my dinner guests stay a bit too late on a Tuesday night I will get to bed too late and then will not get enough sleep so that I can leave early enough to get to work on time when I ride my bike in, for example, at least this is the dialogue that plays in my mind as they uncork another bottle of wine at 10:30.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with sleep.  "I'll sleep when I'm dead," I used to say in college.  Sleep is necessary, but usually I have so much going on that engages me, I postpone turning myself off for as long as possible.  When I was younger, this meant if I needed to finish a painting or a play or a song or a paper I was writing, or something I was studying, I would continue to work on it until it was finished or until I became too sleepy to continue.  I was the kind of kid that would play with my dolls and toys and imaginary kingdom for hours on end by myself.  I could retreat to my "planet" and not be found for hours.  The point is my natural modus operandi is to indulge in the process of creation, letting it happen naturally and giving it the concentration and time it needs to flourish.   It turns out that no one else actually multitasks well anyway, but that is for another post.

So last night I never really did get to sleep, and finally after an hour I got up out of bed and started to look around for something tranquil to do that would knock me out.  I know, I thought, I will enter payroll for work, there really is nothing much more boring to do on this planet, trust me on that one. I did that for a bit, and I was incredibly bored, but it was not fatal.  Clock was ticking, and I was still awake.  I tried to play some soothing music, but I realized that I don't really have any soothing music, and internet radio was getting annoying.  So I started to write . . about .. not being able to sleep.  Perhaps because it was the middle of the night, and dead quiet even though I live in one of the largest cities in America,  but there was something verboten about those wee hours of the morning when it seems as if the whole world is asleep.  I become very philosophic. I am not distracted, and I have no guilt that I should be doing this or that, because the only thing I should be doing is sleeping, and I gave that my best try and failed.

So I started writing, and the words just poured from my fingers to the keyboard to the screen. I had tapped deep into my creative well and the stream of consciousness that resulted was not the jumbled nonsensical stuff of my dreams but rather a organic rendering of my thoughts spilling onto the screen naturally in complete sentences.  No editing.  This had not happened in years, I mean years, probably not since the days of my mid twenties when I was doing a lot of writing; when I defined myself as a poet.  My insomnia had gotten me out of bed in the middle of the night and I found the tranquility I needed to release this stream.  I wrote for several hours, and then at 3:30am I started getting sleepy, so I dropped what I was doing mid-sentence and went back to bed. And slept until the alarm sounded at 6.

Several hours later I was at my therapist's office and we were talking about the insomnia problem.  She told me she has so many clients over the years who cannot sleep because they are worrying about not sleeping.  They create this apprehensive state that makes the prospect of going to bed wrought with anxiety.  Will I get to sleep?  Will I lie in bed for hours staring at the ceiling?  Will I wake up my spouse?  Will I make the conference call tomorrow at 8am? 

Insomnia is not a death sentence, she said, it afflicts one in three people at various points in their life, the human body can withstand long periods of minimal sleep and function just fine.  Of course Coach Colin took issue with this because the single most important factor in recovery for the athlete is sleep.  Dr. Fox was not saying that we need much less sleep than we think indefinitely; but rather that it is OK for relatively short periods of time for us to accept the fact that we can sleep less and still excel.  Yes, I said excel, because if I had slept right through the night last night I would not have discovered that that creative well of my youth had not, indeed, run dry. And what a shame that would have been.

Dr. Fox told me a story that when she was working at the University of Rochester about her Department Chair who had bipolar disorder. He was also a very productive scholar and when he had deadlines coming up he would deliberately go off his medication so that he could focus on his projects without the need for much sleep.  This worked for him for short periods.  It was rough on the department though, as they were expected to keep up with him and of course no one could.

So I still will strive for my life to be all about balance: balance between athletic pursuits, work, intellectual and emotional pursuits, social life, responsibilities, and more.  Too much of anything can throw the others off.  But what is balanced for me?  I realized this week that I need not be too militant about it, going to bed every night at 11, getting up at 6, training, working for 7 hours, and then hoping at the end of the day there is enough time to walk the dogs, make dinner, and maybe even do some fun stuff, like reading or writing.  Sometimes I need to rearrange this pattern, allow the scales to tip a bit when I get, say, a smoke signal from my subconscious in the form of insomnia or incessant dreams.  Perhaps rather than reaching for the Ambien, I should think of those hours stolen from the night as a gift that will bear fruit if I shut off the clatter in my head and really listen.  Shhhh. I think I'm onto something.

Monday, September 6, 2010

my week off part two

On Tuesday I kidnapped Colin and we headed South to Sea Isle where my parents, younger sister and her kids had been for 10 days.  There Alessandra, my 6-year old niece, showed us how to use a hoola hoop.

We got down there in the afternoon, ate lunch, unpacked 5 bags of food for the two days we were staying, went swimming in the ocean, relaxed (it happens for me once or twice a year) and then, because my legs were trashed from not riding for 2 months, and THEN riding and running back to back days since Saturday, I insisted that we ride up and down Pleasure Avenue so I could spin out my legs since I had to hold onto Colin's wheel on Wednesday's ride.  Mom made a nice dinner, we did some work (!) and went to bed. 

Wednesday am Colin did some more work while I took forever to get my shit together, mainly because I had made pancakes for everyone.    We finally got out and it was 96 degrees and brutally humid.  Colin had mapped out a 55 mile route.   I was riding my new saddle, the San Marco Mantra, and because we were in South Jersey the route was flat as a pancake so Colin was pushing a steady pace the whole time so he could get his endurance ride in.  After about an hour I was having trouble holding onto his wheel, and because of the headwind, I had to be 2 inches off said wheel to be able to stay below threshold.  Add to that that I was 2 months out of shape, and the constant position put a lot of pressure on the indurated spot, which of course scared me. This all made me unhappy.  The heat really started getting to me, as I had not been riding outside for the hottest part of the summer.  Soon we were both out of liquids and I had the chills and was dizzy and nauseous, but I did not dare complain. Initially.

Finally I said meekly to Colin, "If there is no Wawa up here I need to knock on someone's door and ask for water." 

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798

I could not stop thinking of how thirsty I was, and how, like Coleridges' sailors, I would kill for a cup of its sweet, pure life-giving sustenance.  But we were in South Jersey, in the middle of the Pine Barrens, and there was not much civilization around, much less a convenience store.
We finally came up to an auto body shop where 2 men were braving the heat and staring under the hood of a car.  I let Colin go and dismounted in front of a heavy-set middle aged man with a gray dusty t-shirt.  He looked at me, wondering what the hell I was doing riding in this heat.  I was in tears at this point, but he could not see them for the sweat streaming down my face.

"Could I please bother you for some water?" I mustered between my tears, "I've been out of fluids for awhile."

He led me into a back room where there was a water cooler filled with cold water!  I drank 2 and a half bottles in about a minute.  By this time, Colin had circled back and filled his water bottles too. 

So we got back en route, and ended up in a dead-end when Route 9 emptied into the Garden State Parkway, Colin's iphone app neglected to warn him about that one. The sun was unrelenting and there was no shade at all.  I had been hanging onto his wheel for dear life, my legs crampy.  We rode across an old bridge where a number of people were fishing.  They must have wondered where we thought we were going, because when we rode a little farther, dodging broken glass and debris (it was the local unofficial dump apparently) we came upon this ditch, about 5 feet across.

note drawbridge in distance permanently frozen in the up position.  nice.
So we circled back, and finally found a way back towards Sea Isle.  Now by this point my legs were basically in revolt, and so was my brain.  There was a battle going on in my head and it sounded something like this:

"I can't keep holding onto his wheel, I'm dying, I'm just going to let him go and ride back to 78th street at my own pace (this was 20 miles away)."
"Andrea, just hang onto the wheel, there is no WAY you are going to whine to him to go slower."
"I'm above threshold, I can't do it."
"That's because you are 5 inches off his wheel in a headwind.  How many times do I have to tell you you need to be 2 inches off his f'in wheel?"
"I'm just going to let him go and ride back by myself."
"If you ride back by yourself alone in this headwind, you will be either above the power you are holding now, or else it will take you 2 more hours to ride back at 11 mph and you will perish in this heat. You have NO CHOICE but to hang onto his wheel so stop whining."

This went on for awhile, while I melted in the blistering sun, and twice I let his wheel go. My one foot felt like it was on fire and I needed to get off the seat to take some pressure off my sit bones, as my new saddle felt as if it were fashioned from cement.  Actually, I was pretty much miserable physically, mentally and emotionally. When Colin realized what had happened, (I could not bear to admit defeat and actually shout that I needed him to slow down) he said, quite amicably under the circumstances (this is why I could never be a coach) that I needed to tell him if I was getting dropped. 

And then I did something I have not done in years, I mean the kind of thing you do when you are a newbie rider and you go out on a ride with a more experienced cyclist who you also happen to be sleeping with. (trust me if you weren't he would not be caught dead riding with you).  Of course various boyfriends of mine over the years have been just as outmatched and miserable riding with me but they knew better than to bitch too much because in our culture, let's face it, straight men are not allowed to have meltdowns, at least not if they want to get laid. Ever.  But this was worse, because this was not my boyfriend, this was my coach.

 So.....I told him to just go home at his own pace and I would ride at mine. Actually, I begged him, unashamedly.

"Andrea, no. I'm not leaving you here in this heat to ride back at 10 mph."
"Please, just goooo, I'm fine."  Wow, I was really in full "rec rider" mode; I mean they might revoke my cycling license over this.  Full pout and everything.
"No, STOP, I'm not leaving you here.  It's NOT an option, so just tell me when I need to slow down."
"I just need to take my left shoe off for a minute, my foot is on fire."
"Can't you wait until we stop at the Wawa?"
"No."  I took my foot out and shook it and the heat dissipated from 5-alarm fire to merely smoldering.  We rode back to the Wawa, which was only a couple of miles from home, and again filled our bottles.  I drank 8 bottles on a 60 mile 3-hour ride.  Whoa.

Picture taken after I beat him in Kadima.
So what if he rides faster?
So we made it, my pride was a little bruised, but Colin did say after we got cleaned up that today was probably the worst kind of ride I could have done for my third ride back in 2 months, and he knew I was still trashed from the weekend.  We went to the beach late, after the lifeguards had left, so we were able to swim out pretty far and it was challenging to swim back to shore with the hurricane coming.

That night we cooked a vegetarian meal for Mom, Dad, Sab, Alessandra and Florie, all meat-eaters.  Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce and Orange Glazed Tempeh over rice.  A nice salad, broccoli, and homemade gluten-free cream cheese brownies.  They were awesome, and we like our gluten. Sabrina loved everything, my mom was intrigued, and Dad was well, polite, for him, but did not eat much.  Oh well, we tried.

My 2 fav Republicans
The next day Colin got up and did some work, and I was in a grumpy mood, so even though my legs needed a day off, I went running on the beach.  Jumped in the ocean afterwards but the undertow from Hurricane Earl was strong, so the lifeguards would not let me go out past where the waves were breaking, even though I asked them nicely.  Took a shower packed up the car and we catapulted back to Philly in the EX35.  It would have been nice to stay longer, but it was great to get out of town for a few days anyway. 

I told Ian, who was watching the pups, that with the dog door left open all night (because no one was sleeping over) Madison would mostly likely kill an opossum to show her disdain for having been left for two days while I frolicked at the beach.  Sure enough, there was a kill for him to clean up.  At least she is predictible.  Next time Ian darling, put a lid on the trashcan so I don't have to deal with a thousand maggots. 

around the campfire
I did have a dinner party on Friday night, but unfortunately Ian's car got plowed into by a young co-ed looking at her cell phone perhaps, and his knee was in bad shape.  Colin had to take him to the emergency room.  So it was more of a girls night in until the boys showed up later and ate and Ian doused his misery in sangria. 

A few days later at a dinner at the home of Papa Sandberg, Ian was showing his lack of patience with being a patient.  Yeah, I've been there.  My advice is to enjoy to attention while you have it, because it does not last nearly as long as the pain.

Proof that Ian really does look up to his older sibling

Sunday, September 5, 2010

my week off part one

I've been burned out at work.  Big Time.  Last Friday I announced to Boss #1 and #2 that I would not be coming in this week.  I worked late Thursday and Friday and prepared myself for a week off.......

Unfortunately Monday rolled around and no one else could do payroll.  Add to that some job paperwork that had to get done or it would hold up payment.  Add to that my laptop was f'ed up because of some updates the IT company had installed and it was unusable, right before I had to go on a trip, so I spent hours on that.  I ended up working a full day and I was stressed out and anxious because Colin and I were going to the 'rents' place in Sea Isle City and I usually need like 2 full days to pack for even a 2-day trip.  You know, between regular food, bike food, clothes, shoes, bike clothes, more shoes, running sneakers, bike...yes I said BIKE because I have been riding the road bike again.

Instead of listening to the gyno who said I should stay off the bike for 6 months, I stopped going to see her.  The induration had really shrunk so I decided it was time I got back on my road bike. I think she had a Machiavellian streak anyway judging by the way she poked me like I was a pork loin on a grill she was testing for doneness.

So I finally got done most of what I had to get done, and another Controller from Keating Building Company, one of our General Contractors, wrote me an email apologizing for bothering me on vacation.  I made the mistake of sending this email to Boss #1:

"Andrea Walheim" 
Helene Adams
08/30/2010 03:56 PM
RE: June & August paperwork

Well today is not turning out to be much of a vacation since I have been doing work from home all day.  Anyway, here is the august pencil, please look at it and let me know.  As you explained in your email, I may need to cross off the amounts manually which I am loathe to do since it will screw up our apps from this point forward, but I guess we are just about finished.  Can you let me know what you need done because it will be hard for me to make changes until Thursday afternoon.
As for June, I’m doing that paperwork now.  Keating never paid us the $6,185.45 from May, correct?  Why?  I’m trying to fill out the releases.
Thanks, and I hope you are feeling better.
andrea walheim, controller
liberty flooring, llc


From: Helene Adams
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 4:08 PM
To: Andrea Walheim
Subject: RE: June & August paperwork


        This is good for August.  The retainage amount appears to be $1350.60 higher than what I'm showing ($3,428,721 x 5% = $171,436.05?).  But don't worry.  The WIP in the important part for now.

        Your May payment was held (for paperwork?); but I sent it out UPS today.  I think I wanted to send May and June together, but that didn't happen because we kept missing each other.

        Anyway, I'm sorry you had to work today - I know how it is.  They keep telling us we're lucky we have jobs - and that's true.

        When you have the June paperwork send it, or wait until next week.

        I hope you have a good vacation (a real one), and a good Holiday weekend.

        Thank you again.

Helene Adams
Project Accountant
Keating Building Corporation
MPO Jobsite: 2997 Chestnut St.(19104)

From: Andrea Walheim
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 4:23 PM
To: Chris Diamond
Subject: FW: June & August paperwork


andrea walheim, controller
liberty flooring, llc

From: Chris Diamond
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 5:33 PM
To: Andrea Walheim
Subject: RE: June & August paperwork

That Helene Is one wise lady - They keep telling us we're lucky we have jobs - and that's true.

Was there anything else in that message of importance?

chris diamond, vice president
liberty flooring, llc


No Comment.  -A