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Papa Strong [Apr. 16th, 2014|09:31 pm]
My Dad died when I was 18 years old. I've never had the experience of having a father as an adult. I remember my Dad really well, but mostly as an authority figure who scared us a little as kids (he had a temper!) and not as a fellow adult I could talk to about my life's problems and such.

My Uncle Jack (my father's sister's husband) is probably the closest thing I have to a father figure in my adult years. He's always been there, always at every family function, and always listens and has great advice when things aren't going so well. I can't imagine what life would be like, growing up, without Uncle Jack in it. He's a great role model for what it means to be a good man, a good husband, a good father and grandfather.

Uncle Jack is currently undergoing chemo treatments for colon cancer. He thought he'd beat the disease last year, but it's returned, and he's not having a good time of it. He had a surgery that was rough on him, and now he's in the beginning of a month-long, intensive chemo treatment regimen.

His kids (my cousins Beth and Susan) have been doing things to cheer him up, including making t-shirts for all his grandkids that say, "Papa Strong." Tonight, I asked Peter to pose with the most recent puppet I got for him (he saw this "Blueper" puppet in Ogunquit when we were up there) and I created a little sign after I uploaded it. I sent it via Facebook, and I hope it lifts Uncle Jack's spirits:

papastron
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On the Phone [Apr. 15th, 2014|08:51 pm]
I spent almost all of today on the phone. Conference call after conference call after video conference call. I don't like listening to myself that much, and when I have other people listening, it's even worse.

The rest of the week is almost as booked up. Tomorrow is fairly meeting-light (meaning three meetings), and I have nothing scheduled on Thursday at all.

I went into knowledge management in part because I was able to be behind the scenes and do a lot of work on my own. It's interesting how that job has morphed into a much more "public-facing" position at this company. I don't mind it too much, but sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to be the quiet, left-alone corporate librarian that I aspire to be. Of course, if that ever happened, I'd probably yearn for the days when everyone wanted to talk to me.

Nothing much else to report on today, except for the fact that Laurie told me I was looking a little bit yellow around the eyes today. It isn't my eyes themselves, just the skin around them. I had a scare about 10 years ago (some of you may remember it from a much earlier journal of mine) where basically my liver stopped functioning because of a medication I had started taking. I worry that, if it wasn't just a trick of the light, that I may be having some sort of liver problem. I am on a ton of medications these days.

I promised Laurie that I'd call the doctor and get checked out, since I've been really run-down over the past couple of weeks, but I'm also cautious about calling my doctor because I tend to have these mysterious illnesses that aren't able to be diagnosed and go away on their own. I fear my doctor thinks I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. Or maybe I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. I'll check and see if things look and feel the same way tomorrow.
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Monday Again [Apr. 14th, 2014|07:17 pm]
The weekend really flew by. I had a great time in Ogunquit on Saturday, and Sunday was pretty low-key (if productive), but it all went by too fast for my taste.

I would really like a day off (or two...or five), but things are pretty busy at work these days. I know I say that all the time and that I should just schedule myself off and let everyone work around that, but I like to have time saved up toward the end of the year, so I don't take any time that I don't need to until then. Since it's now April, I may loosen my grip on my available PTO time a bit, but it's difficult for me to do so.

It was a typical Monday. Lots of meetings, catching up with things that I had to do and trying not to harp on the fact that it was warm outside and I'd much rather be taking a walk around the lake.

After work, I signed my tax forms, wrote a big check to the federal government (sniffle!) and took a short walk to the post office to mail it off. This is the last time I'll have to pay taxes on a big 401(k) distribution (I switched to a Roth when I joined this company), so I shouldn't have to pay big, unplanned tax bills another year unless I suddenly win the lottery or something.

Now I'm hanging on the couch, oddly overtired, while Peter does some design work on his website. The cat is sleeping (and not licking my nose) and we already had dinner (and cleaned up).

So it's Monday again...and that's not really that bad.
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Accomplished [Apr. 13th, 2014|07:13 pm]
Got a lot done today. We started out by getting a bit of breakfast out with Laurie at a Greek restaurant that was more crowded than it's been in quite some time. I think being Palm Sunday might have had something to do with it...I think people tend to go out to eat after church, and there are a lot of Easter-time church goers out there. Still, the food was good (and plentiful!) and hanging out with Laurie outside of work is always fun.

I dropped Peter off at home so he could head over to the theater and discuss a freelance project with someone we know while I went to Mom's house to visit. Nothing much new with Mom.

Came home and gathered up the bags of cans that have accumulated over the past few weeks (months?) and went to the grocery store. I made Peter return all the cans while I went to the deli counter. I actually finished about 2/3ds of the shopping by the time he was done with the cans...we got about $20 back, so it was a lot.

After shopping, I gathered up the laundry and got that done, then started a pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner. I also made a batch of ice cream. I experimented a little by pouring Magic Shell into the ice cream just before it finished in the maker, and it turned into a very loose kind of chocolate chip. I also drizzled Magic Shell into the container between layers of ice cream, so we'll see how that turns out.

I feel pretty accomplished! It's nothing more than a lot of people do every day, but it's nice to have it all done.
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Maine! [Apr. 12th, 2014|09:59 pm]
The house cleaner could only schedule us for 9am this week, and we like to be out of the house while she does her thing, so we decided to go to Maine for the morning/afternoon. We got up early (early comes SO EARLY these days) and I gassed up the car and added air to my tires while Peter took his shower, and we were ready to go by 8:50.

We headed to Kittery, where there's a store called Yummies, an outlet of sorts for bagged candy in bulk. At the end of "Sordid Lives," the cast gave me a photo of themselves and a $50 gift card to Yummies. I'm happy to say that we spent the whole thing (plus $1.38!) on big honking piles of candy. We got all sorts of candy and chocolates and such, and now the candy cabinet (yes, I have a candy cabinet in the kitchen) is stocked once again.

We then hit the outlets, which aren't really all that inexpensive anymore. We tried Old Navy (everything full-priced) Aeropostale (expensive), Levis (totally ridiculous prices), the Gap (decent, but nothing spectacular) and Banana Republic (everything in the store was 50% off and I had an online coupon for 15% off). I bought a spring jacket and a cardigan for less that $20 total, woo!

After shopping, we decided to get lunch in Ogunquit. We found decent parking (for free! I love early Spring...) and walked around town. We visited a couple of toy stores, one of which had an enormous yellow rubber duckie in the window. Since we collect rubber duckies (we have over 60 in the house, most of which are in the bathroom), I bought that one and it's now sitting on the back of the toilet tank. Adorable!

There was also a fair at the beach, so we went there and picked up some homemade soaps (they smell amazing) and some fudge (delicious). We then got some lunch and stopped by yet another candy store for some divinity and marshmallow caramels. If I don't go into insulin shock by the end of this weekend, it'll be a medical miracle.

Came home, where Peter promptly grabbed a long nap and I hung out on the couch downstairs and watched the final episode of "The Great British Sewing Bee" season 2 on YouTube. I napped a little bit, as well.

Had some pizza for dinner and now it's time to wind up for the night. It's a really relaxing weekend when you don't have theater to do in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
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Early Weekend [Apr. 11th, 2014|11:29 pm]
Tomorrow morning, the house cleaner is coming at 9am. It's a bit early for us, but it's the only time she can come for the next few weeks, so we're leaving the house at about that time. We're going up to York to buy a bunch of candy at Yummie's, the big discount candy store up there. Peter wants to go to Ogunquit for a bit as well, so we're going to do that, as well.

The rest of the weekend should be pretty quiet. Peter has some stuff to do on his website (his portfolio website, which will hopefully get him a better job than the one he has now) and I'm going to do some organizing downstairs in my office area. I may try to outfit the alcove down there as a closet by putting up a pole, so we can get rid of the wardrobe that we have down there currently. That will free up some space that I can use to put a table to use as a desk or to do some crafts on.

Going to head to bed soon, to get a head start on this early weekend.
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Lonely [Apr. 10th, 2014|09:13 pm]
No Laurie at work today (she's taking a well-deserved two days off from work today and tomorrow). I have a bunch of people I like at work, but I've gotten very used to Laurie being there with me, so I felt a bit lonely.

It was a really nice day out, so after lunch, instead of my afternoon errand with Laurie, I went home and checked the mail. I got a check for a little over $250 from the dental surgeon who pulled my tooth a couple months ago. They must have gotten a payment from my insurance company that covered more than expected. It was a nice little surprise.

Yesterday, a smug consultant at my company was talking about blogging and asked if anybody in the room had blogged before. A few of us raised our hands. He said, "Well, yeah, but how many of you have blogged once a week for over a couple of months or so?" I neglected to tell him that I've been "blogging" for sixteen years, before it was called blogging, and for much of that I posted every single day. I figured that would make me look smug.

Then again, how smug can I be when I have written such a formless, dull entry today?
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Long Monday [Apr. 7th, 2014|10:59 pm]
Today was a bit of a long day. I had an onsite meeting with a group of people who are supposed to be forming an online collaboration strategy. Since online collaboration is what I do in the company, it's pretty much a typical day at work for me, except I have to be in a conference room with a bunch of people who flew in for this meeting.

After the meeting, they all wanted to go out to dinner, so we went out to a place that my boss really likes the next town over. The food was good, and one of the people there was telling some hilarious stories about her life, so that was fun. Still, it was a very long day and I have another long day tomorrow with the same folks.

Not much else to report tonight. Almost bedtime. Sleepy. Night!
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Slothful Sunday [Apr. 6th, 2014|09:02 pm]
The show is over, and we were at the cast party until late last night. I had to get up early for a coaching session this morning, and I was not at all ready to get out of bed yet.

I showered and dressed after getting off the phone and went to visit Mom. She's doing well...my niece Stephanie lives with her, and Steph had a small accident while running the other night. She fell right on her face(!!!) and was badly bruised up. The worst thing, she said, was that nobody who was on the street with her stopped to help her. That's rotten.

Came home and watched another episode of "The Great British Sewing Bee" online (I love that show) and went out for lunch with Peter.

Then we got home and both napped for at least an hour.

Now we're hanging out on our respective couches and waiting for the work week to begin again. Man, the weekend goes fast.
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Closing Night [Apr. 5th, 2014|09:50 pm]
"Sordid Lives" closed tonight. Just a wonderful performance with a wonderful cast and a great audience. We left it on a high note, and the party at the end of the night was terrific. Everyone loved their gifts, and everyone said that this was one of their better theater experiences.

It's really late (I'm back-dating this) and I'm exhausted, so I'm just writing this as a placeholder.

I'm so happy I did this show, and I'm so sad it's over. On to the next thing, whatever that may be!
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