Friday, December 11, 2009

The Magic Word

We are raised to use "Please" and "Thank You" in our every day lives. We are taught from the time when we can understand Big Bird that please is the magic word to get what we are wanting/needing.

As an adult, I've discovered a new magic word. NO.

It's next to impossible for some of us to learn to say this word. I know that I have had an extremely hard time re-acquainting myself with this word. As children we are all VERY familiar with it. (Who hasn't heard a precocious 3 year old loudly proclaim "NO, MOMMY!!" when in a restaurant/grocery store etc?) As you grow older, you learn to spare people's feelings, and bend your schedule to accommodate other folks.

I had myself extremely overbooked and since I am a people pleaser, it is extremely hard for me to say no to something. I am normally the person that will just make things work to help out whoever I can. Don't get me wrong I love helping folks out. I just lost sight of boundaries. I got a rude awakening this summer when I agreed to take on a project that while near and dear to my heart as a cause, I could already see into the future was going to eat up any possible free time I may have had as well as been a bad match with the cause's leader. It took me a week of going back and forth, fearing that the people I agreed to help would be disappointed in me, that they wouldn't want my help in any other capacity. Instead, when I said I had to step down, while it was met with resistance, when I stood my ground, it was AMAZING the feeling I felt afterwards.

Since then I have learned that wielding that word can prove dangerous, yet fruitful at the same time. Dangerous in the sense that if you don't phrase your answer juuuuuust right, you might truly hurt someone you didn't mean to, and the time to recover that is harder than the time it would have taken for you to think about what you were about to say. Fruitful because it sets up a boundary with some people that may need to be pushed back in your life for a season. You don't hate them, you don't not want them in your life, you just want them to respect the fact that you have to have some time (no matter how little it seems) for YOU.

How Full Is Your Tank?

Now, some would take this cliche (I can't for the life of me figure out the damn accent thing on words like that or fiance.) phrase a bunch of different ways. Is your emotional tank full? Is your spiritual tank full? Is your financial get the point.

However, since we all know that I am not a deep philosophical person...I simply mean energy wise. In otherwords: Am I the only person on earth who seems to be absolutely exhausted ALL of the time? (Yes, I've had my thyroid checked and no I don't have mono, so let's just get that out of the way now.) I don't know if it is the time of year with all the hustle and the bustle, the parties, the white elephant gifts you need to dig out of nowhere for that Secret Santa you forgot (no, I swear, it didn't happen to me.), the fact that it gets darker so much earlier in the day or what.

I am BEAT. Yes, I could go to bed earlier, but guess what, even if I'm all tucked in (TV off, laptop closed down etc) my brain refuses to shut off until at least 1130 or later. Last night, prime example. I didn't start making Pretzel Magic until 1030pm. By the time I sat down to wrap my brother, brother-in-law and sister's birthday presents for today, it WAS today. 15 minutes INTO today. I am not a morning person, not since working at the hospital (even then it was a struggle at times) have I been able to go to bed so early and then get up and work at 7am. Thankfully, I don't have to be at work until 830 now. Is it greedy that I would kill to be able to be in at 9 instead, and yet leave at 4 instead of 5? (I know...never gonna happen...) Maybe it's the lazy side of me, maybe it's the social butterfly in me...who knows. What has to give? Social interactions (the thing that I think I crave more often than ice cream)? If that is what I decide I have a hard time thinking about the fact that means telling more folks no. I REVELED in the fact that I had 2 whole nights where I didn't have to be anywhere at all other than the recliner those nights if I wanted to.

Ok, that is my little rant for the time being. I reserve the right to come back and edit as time allows/if I am up to it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What I'm Thankful For...

So lots of folks had been posting their facebook statuses as things that they are thankful for. I love seeing what folks are thankful for, but I am a twisted individual and would rather try to vent a bit o' frustration or attempt to be humorous via my status updates, so instead, I am going to post what I am thankful for this way. Now, I did begin this waaaay before Thanksgiving, I just didn't get around to posting it until now. As for the what I'm thankful for, I could just rattle them off, but I thought about challenging myself a bit. I figure I'm 31 (yup...that's right...) so I should have at LEAST 31 reasons to be thankful for, and I am sure that I do...but when I sat down to write my list, I tapped out at 23. If you notice one GLARINGLY bad one missing...feel free to let me know!

Now, my list will have things both real and what may sound trivial (to some). Pfft...this is my list. I'll list how I want to!

1. Dad
2. Mom
3. Melissa - for our marathon discussions
4. Kurt - for what he does with his kids
5. Chris - for how happy he makes Melissa
6. Maggy - for how happy she makes Kurt
7. Baxter - for comic relief and fur therapy
8. Work - pays the bills and I feel like I actually make a teeny difference
9. Friends - too many to list and the ways they impact my life are too numerous to count
10. Food - need it to live, but I'm also lucky to have what I have instead of nothing at all!
11. Love - from friends, family and God most of all!
12. Life - the alternative wouldn't be as fun...(heaven yes, death, no.)
13. Flatirons - for keeping me grounded and making me think
14. My small group - for making life's ups and downs a bit easier knowing I'm not the only one living this roller coaster!
15. Target - yes it's odd, but I have a love/hate relationship with Target. I love to shop there b/c I can find what I need for less than most other stores (normally) but I hate it because I walk in needing socks and walk out $50 later.
16. iTunes - to keep my drives from being boring
17. Email - to stay in touch with those not close by
18. Facebook - (I just heard half of you laugh at me and/or roll your eyeballs.) Has connected me with many long lost friends, and has distracted me for numerous mundane hours.
19. Laughter - without it, I'd die.
20. Where I Live - Colorado is called "God's Country" for a reason...
21. Our military - without them and their sacrifices, I wouldn't be able to write what I'm writing today, let alone live my life without fear.
22. Hugs - nothing will make a bad situation a bit easier or another person feel a smidge better than a good ol' fashioned hug. Don't do it if you don't mean it either.
23. My (annoyingly) sunny outlook on things - if I don't see that glass as half full...I will go stark raving mad. Why focus on negative when there is ALWAYS a silver lining.

And THAT is what I'm thankful for. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reminding Myself to Have Patience With Patients

I posted a while ago (like over a year and change ago) about a particular experience with a potential patient at my last practice. (You can find that story here.) Today, while in no way comparable to the woman in the story referenced above, I did receive a rather odd request.

Today I called a patient to schedule her for a follow up to her MRI she recently had done. Now, this patient is a difficult patient in many ways, but to give you the short list, here we go:
  • Very rude woman
  • Demands things be done her way and NOW.
  • Terrible at returning phone calls/messages.
I even turned to TCI (The Crazy Italian for those that don't know) and asked her "what do you want to bet that I don't even get her when I call and if I do, she won't have her schedule there and will want me to call her back?"

I was right, to a point.

When she answered, I was floored. I was right though in the fact that she didn't know her schedule, so she asked me to call back, HOWEVER in my defense, when she picked up the phone I asked her "is this a good time?" she said yes! So, if it really isn't a good time, maybe you shouldn't answer your cell phone...just a thought though. Anyways, I asked her if she was available either of the times I had available and she said 'sigh No, I need a later appointment, so you need to ask Dr. M when he is willing to stay late for me to come and see him.'

I'm sorry, what? Where on earth do you think you can schedule an appointment with a doctor AFTER HIS LAST APPOINTMENT?? I know that this woman comes from a bit of a drive, and I know that the drive can be bothersome, but COME ON...if you have to have a follow up visit with your radiation might tell work to shove it for a couple hours so that you could go to your doctor's appointment.

I swear...some people's

UPDATE: I just had a phone call from a patient who I am working on getting a prior authorization for his procedure. Sadly his was one of the ones I just didn't get to before the Thanksgiving holiday. I explained to him how I was going to TRY to get to it today if not first thing tomorrow. Apparently this wasn't enough for him. He just left our nurse a *wonderful* voicemail. I cut our patients a lot (and I mean a LOT) of slack but I have to stop and wonder at times if patients think all there is to it is just calling and talking to one person. NO. Most times, this takes me 3 phone calls, submission of clinical data and sitting on hold for a very. long. time. Also, I don't just do prior authorizations. I do scheduling, I order supplies, I manage 2 very busy and slightly high strung doctors, a nurse and a therapist as well as maintaining billing and checking patients in and out. You think my job is that easy? YOU come sit here for a day and tell me how you feel at the end.

Ok, I"m off my soapbox now...sheesh.

A Blog I Started A While Ago I started this forever and a day ago...and there is some good stuff in here...but I also whine a bit...

I started C25K and I debated even saying anything to anyone. Instead, I posted how excited I was after my first run, and received amazing amounts of compliments and comments of support. I fell off the wagon for a little bit (a week) and am back on it. I have to force myself to go to the gym. I need to somehow get my mind back into the game of going to the gym right after instead of steering my car homeward. Before Melissa and Chris' wedding, I was dedicated...every night after work, and I had put out a ton of money to have a trainer to kick my ass back into gear. I don't know if it was because of that oh so fun dress, or was it because I felt like it was about time I finally did something or what...(okay, I know the answer to this, most of it was the dress...big girl arms in a strapless don't lie)

My life seems to never stop. I've kind of talked about this before. I love my friends dearly, and I adore spending time with all of them. I am lucky in a couple ways because I am still single, I can come and go as I please, don't have to check with someone else's schedule, I don't have to rush home. However, I do work.

I work hard. I take pride in my work and what I do. My job is relatively easy compared to say, being a doctor, lawyer, high powered executive etc. I am a Medical Administrative Assistant, Insurance Verification Specialist, Insurance Authorization Specialist, Scheduler, On-Site IT lackey and Office Supply Coordinator. Allllll rolled up into 40 hours a week. No more. Overtime is a big no no. I leave work at night and am so mentally exhausted, the only thing that sounds even remotely do-able is vegging out in front of the TV.

I am a girl who has an extremely hard time saying no to things. And normally when I do say yes to so many things, I am exhausted by the end of everything, but I love it because apparently my body doesn't like it when I just sit. (Btw...I never just sit.) I worked two jobs for years...and at one point for about 6 months (maybe less) I worked 3 at a time. Yeah, I had no life. Now, I work one job, and fill the rest of my time with friends, volunteering and somewhere in there I think I sleep. Well, I know I've said before, that I would really like to un-busy myself somehow. This would entail me needing to start saying no to things when asked. (Sidenote...I'm in Starbucks and they have a Tony Bennett ballad playing and I love him, but now I'm feeling all kinds of I have to report, I am rather proud of myself, while I struggled to decide if I should finally say no or not...I did. It was hard...I had to say no to something that I truly love doing. But when I did finally send off that email stating that I just had to step down to be fair not only to them but myself...I had a couple of of dread of what these people were going to think of me and another of sheer relief. I had said that I would be able to deliver something and the more I got involved, the more I saw that I just wasn't going to be able to do that so I felt it was in everyone's best interest if I stepped down before things ramped up so much that I was failing them. Yeah, that didn't go over so well, but thankfully b/c it was a volunteer position, there wasn't TOO much grumbling.

(Okay, it's now been FOREVER since I started this and since I have another thread in mind, I need to publish this one so it isn't nagging me there.)


Smug Asshats...

When do you finally get to that point where if you don't say something, it's just going to get worse?

I work with some really cool and really smart people. I do! I also work with one very smug asshat. We'll call this person...(something witty that I can't think of right now, but will ultimately make you giggle) yeah...that. This person walks around the office, scratch that, they STRUT around the office like they own the place. Uh, yeah no. If this person's ego were any bigger...I'd be shocked if they could fit through our sliding glass double doors.

When this person started, I was welcoming, tried to help ease transition (as I had only joined the team about 5 months prior myself) and we started just kind of getting to know each other. Now, I'm lucky if I even get the time of day. In a way, I'm soooo happy with that because I'm tired of their sense of entitlement. The world does not revolve around you, no matter what your mommy says. Sorry bud, not true. The other part of me (this person and I are the youngest folks in our office by about 15-20 years) is bummed that a camaraderie has died.

I'm sure I will live to see another day.

(PS: this too was a blog that was started quite a while's amazing how these things just stack up...)

UPDATE: 10 days after I wrote this blog...this person got themselves fired. Karma people...karma...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Theatre, the Theatre, what has HAPPENED to the theatre???

Yes, I'll admit it, I totally stole my title from one of my all time favorite movies, and if you can name it, wow, I will be thoroughly impressed. Moving on.

Last night, my friend CMM and I went to the beautiful Performing Arts Center in downtown Denver. We have had tickets to Wicked for forever and FINALLY the big green day was here!! C had never seen Wicked, this was my second go round. Now, since this isn't a blog about the wonderfulness of Wicked, I will refrain from spontaneously bursting into song on the page. However, if you can, get tickets and get your butt to the show...omilord, it's the most amazing thing...ever. No really. Okay, enough, time for real reason for writing.

I was a theatre minor in college, so I feel like I have SOME authority to speak on this issue, however theatre majors, you and Broadway (not Hollywood, BROADWAY) professionals, you may supersede my thoughts.

I know that society's version of dressing up nowadays, is COMPLETELY different than what it was "back in the day". For this in some ways (like I don't HAVE to wear a dress to church anymore) I am thankful. However, going to a Broadway show (touring etc.) or going to see a play in general, in my opinion is still a reason to dress up. Jeans and a t-shirt...mmmmmmmmmmmmmm yeah no. Khaki's and a button down? Okay, but did you really even try? There were PLENTY of people who did dress up, in fact the people who didn't were in the minority, I have to be honest.

But this wasn't even the thing that got to me most about last night. What floored me the most, was the fact that in all the years I have gone to the Temple Buell Theatre in Denver, NEVER were you allowed to bring your drink in to the theatre with you. Now, not only can you do that but there are cupholders as if you are the average neighborhood movie theatre. I don't know how to respond to this...I'm floored and outraged in one respect, but I'm kind of not surprised in another. Is nothing sacred? I saw a woman (dressed nicely) come back from intermission with a beer bottle in her hand as if she was at a baseball game. No judgement on the beer, but more disappointment in the theatre.

ALSO on the theatre's website it says to plan for traffic, other events in the area, etc. and that there is a good possibility of not being seated late. Good grief you would have thought they were simply waiting for the break in the action like they do at Coors Field with the Rockies! PEOPLE! You are going to a play at a performing arts complex, you have paid good money for seats. It is considered extremely poor form to show up 20 minutes into the show and take your seat. I know, I sound snobby, and maybe I am being that just a touch, but I knew I had tickets, I came from about 45 minutes away, knew I'd be sitting in rush hour traffic (Hwy 36 AND I-25, so double the frustration) so I planned ahead! I actually made it to the theatre with about an hour to spare before C and I were meeting up. Am I saying get to the theatre as early as I did? Heavens no! I had so much time to kill, I spent most of it on the phone with my friend Soccer Mom. However, I do mean, get to the theatre early enough that you are able to be in your seats at least 5-10 minutes before that time that is stamped on your tickets you've had for probably a couple months.

So, to sum up...
1 - Show up to the show on time
2 - Look like you actually TRIED to look nice for your evening at the theatre.
3 - Leave the beverage in the lobby, I don't want to have to worry about my purse under my seat like I do my coat at the baseball game.
4 - Have an amazing time and enjoy is a living, breathing work of art...and those actors, bust their a$$es every night making you laugh, cry and that play come alive.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

That's Not My Name...

There is a song out right now by The Ting's called "That's Not My Name" and to be honest, it is VERY fitting right now.

My boss seems to have a very distinct issue with my name.  He can't remember it, and therefore instead calls me Janelle.

I work at the front desk, I answer the phone, people butcher my name all the time.  Half the time I never see these people anyways, so it's no big deal, Coleen, Julie, all kinds of things.  I even have no issues with when people butcher the spelling of my name (and trust me, with my first and last names, that's an almost daily occurrence).  If I don't spell it out for you...most people would have no idea how to spell it.  Oh some take some interesting stabs at it, don't get me wrong.

Here's the thing...I work with my boss every day.  I'm not in some corner tucked away where he can't see me or deal with me every day.  He sees me whenever he walks out into the main area of our office.  I do projects for him DAILY.  He's taken to the whole "What can I do for ya girlfriend?" when I enter his office with a question.  While I appreciate how casual and laid back our office is, I'm not so sure I'm thrilled with this cop out for not saying my name.

I guess after two months of busting my @$$ for him, it's not enough for him to remember.  I don't know what bugs me more...the fact that he doesn't learn my name or laughs every time I correct him.  I think I deserve at least enough respect from you that you learn my name.  

To him/everyone else it may not be something, but I love my name.  My name is unusual.  You don't meet many Jolene's in this world.  I am named after some amazing women and I'm proud of that.  All I ask is the respect I and my name are due.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friendly advice...round 2

Ok, so we've covered the profile picture no-no of sandwiching yourself between two Hooters girls here. Now tonight's lesson: if you are going to upload two pictures, fine. However, DON'T post the one where you look like a Dr. Seuss character.

Good grief. Does anyone else see it? Or is it just me??

I swear...

Friday, September 25, 2009

OMG! I did it!!!

Ok, so it's not some monumental occasion to most, but to me it is!!!!

Today was Week 1 Day 1 of the C25K program...and I would be lying if I didn't say I was a bit (ok, a lot) apprehensive going in to this!!! I am NOT a runner! I am a great walker and that was about the extent of my treadmill usage. But today...I RAN. (And no bear was chasing me either!)

The thought of getting this big girl moving at a speed that conjures up images of shock waves going through pavement was not motivating in the least. However...I have a goal to meet. CMM and I have a do the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. My bff Spartacus has been doing mini triathlons, and I would love to start running a 5K with her too!

I will be giving up watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade to run my ever lovin' heart out. Later that day, turkey will have NEVER tasted so good as it will as victory from running that race!!!

(Is it sick that I'm actually looking forward to day 2????)

I have a goal and I think I can make it!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

C25K and Big Girl Work Out Apparel

Now for those that have no idea...some are saying something along the lines of "WTH is C25K?". There is a program called the "Couch to 5K" hence, C25K. I have never been a runner. I have always joked that I don't run unless a bear is chasing me. Well, I think that bear has finally arrived.

I've done a few 5K's recently and my time is improving...only by a few minutes, but hey those minutes matter. (To me anyways.) My friend, the Soccer Mom (she knows who she is) the exercising FREAK that she is (I'm kidding Soccer Mom...I envy your ability at the moment!) has been kicking butt. She not only walks like 6 miles plus a DAY (that's a DAY folks...I'm stiff and sore after a 5K ONCE in like a month!!), she manages to run all over town for the 16 billion soccer practices and games for her two kids. Where she finds the energy I will never now. Maybe it's her addiction to Diet Coke, but that's just a guess. Now, I am about to do my 3rd 5K in 3 months (second one this month...actually 2nd this week! Yay me!) and we are already trying to plan out more 5K's we can do together throughout the fall. (Is it sick that I'm actually getting excited about this?)

I enjoy the time with my friends while walking the 5K's, and it's good to get out and get moving. (seeing as how it's been maybe once since my sister's wedding in May that I've seen the inside of the gym by work...) I think though, that it's time for me to step it up a notch. I'm 31. Yup, I said it. Sadly, I am not 18 anymore, so the bod just doesn't bounce back and drop pounds like it used to. I'm sure if I kick my own butt enough, I might drop some (please Lord, don't kill me on the way to a smaller/healthier me!) There are just the typical logistical issues that come up...I'm exhausted after work, I have too much going on, I have plans with friends...etc etc etc. I had a goal before, my sister's wedding. I guess I could use my brother's upcoming wedding as a goal...hmmm. We'll see.

Here's the for active wear that fits well, isn't going to fall apart, and is a nightmare. How is it that the world expects people who are overweight/obese to exercise and lose weight, yet we are expected to wear tents and muumuus (ok, am a bit freaked out...that word was found in the spell check on the computer...yikes) in order to hide those tummies we are sweating our A$$ES OFF to get rid of?? Don't get me wrong...I love my old "Got Favre?" t-shirt and comfy capri pants...but at the same time, I'm tired of drowning in it and would really like to also look SOMEWHAT cute while I sweat.

I've looked at the typical "big girl" stores. Yeah...not much there. Thank the good Lord above for the internet. If you Google "plus size activewear" it is AMAZING what shows up on your screen.

I have just placed a couple orders for things from one store, we will see. I've not had a lot of luck with tops from there, as they not only have a plus sized department (online only b/c God forbid we set foot in one of their actual stores...eep...) but regular brick-and-mortar stores too. It's frustrating because I think I'm in-between sizes and I can't try them on before buying. Costing more money because I have to order two different sizes to try them on to see what fits better. Gotta love shipping costs that increase the more you buy. *pff* the interest of full bod ain't ready for running yet. My knees wouldn't be able to take it, for long. Instead, we ease into this...walking is our friend. We've been doing it for years. Now, to just do it on a more regular basis to work into C25K w/in a week. THAT is my short term goal...walk to the point where I can handle starting this program in one week.

(Crap, now I've said I have to do it!!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Notches in My Bumper

I work in Boulder...also known as "The Republic of Boulder". Land of the green, home of the left wing. :)

Anyways, being the "green"/healthy city that Boulder is,, there are cyclists, runners and walkers (recreational and serious) ALL OVER. That's awesome, wish I lived close enough to work I could bike, it would save me a ton in gas every month and also would give me a workout. However, I live over 35 minutes away by car, so that's not going to happen any time soon.

However, in the beautiful city of Boulder, the cyclists run rampant and have one helluva sense of entitlement.  They also show up out of NOWHERE.

The other day, I was driving, obeying all the rules (if you know me, I have gotten much better about my driving in the last few years) and this girl (by the way...University of Colorado is less than 10 minutes down the road, so college students abound) comes FLYING through the intersection and I almost took her out.  Would have been a first...but I really don't think I deserved the dirty look she shot me when she was the one that ran the light and intersection!!!

Also, I can be slightly guilty of this at times while on my cell phone as well.  You get wrapped up in your conversation and dont' always look where you're going.  However, when I get close to a major intersection...I at least look around!!!  This girl juuuust kept walking...thank the good Lord I double and triple checked to see if she was stopping or not!  Nope.  Again...plowed right through the interesection!  

Almost got my first pedestrian on the same day as I almost got the cyclist.  

People...look where the heck you're going!!!!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Drive Home...

So lately, with all the things going on in life, in my head, etc. I have found that life hast gotten to me more than I'd like to admit. So my escape (besides writing here) is in either books or music.

Since I can't read while driving home, music fits in nicely.

I recently downloaded a bunch of new music and since I have a standing tradition with my BFF Cheryl to belt out any Whitney Houston song we know (yes, we are that hysterical to ourselves), particularly "Greatest Love Of All" or "I'm Every Woman", I decided to download her new single "I Look To You" for a good laugh. (Where else but iTunes can you get a good laugh for $1.29??) Well, Ms. Houston got's not a cheesy ballad at all...instead, I found myself drawn into the lyrics more and more...and here ya you can see what I mean...are the lyrics....

As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?

I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong

I look to you
I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song, I look to you

About to lose my breath
There's no more fighting left
Sining to rise no more
Searching for that open door

And every road that I've taken
Led to my regret
And I don't know if I'm gonna make it
Nothing to do but lift my head

I look to you
I look to you
And when all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong

I look to you
I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song, I look to you

My levee's have broken, my walls have come
Crumbling down on me
The rain is falling, defeat is calling
I need you to set me free

Take me far away from the battle
I need you, shine on me

I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong

I look to you
I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song, I look to you

I look to you
I look to you

Monday, September 7, 2009

State Fairs, Carnies and Funnel Cakes...oh my...

So our family went to the State fair in Washington every summer when I was a kid. I have distinct memories of ferris wheels, carousels, petting the animals, wishing I could take one of the piglets home etc.

But what I remember more than anything, is the food. (Hmmm...tell you something? Sheesh...) Scones, warm with fresh raspberry jam, and wanting to eat as many as I possibly could. Dad eating farm fresh corn on the cob, dripping in butter. (Yeah, that was all him...) Funnel cakes, still warm and a more than ample serving of powdered sugar on top. Elephant ears...ohhhhh elephant ears.... Ok, quit looking at me weird, I'm not THAT weird. If you have ever been to the fair, you probably have a pretty good idea what an elephant ear is. No, it's not actually an elephant's ear (hello...ewww...tough as shoe leather...who the heck wants to eat that? Never mind, don't answer, I don't want to know.), instead, it's warm dough, most likely fried juuuuust enough to not kill you, then dredged in butter, sugar and cinnamon...omilord...I'm drooling now.

Did anyone else go to the fair as a kid?

Rachel and I went to the Colorado State Fair this weekend. I've lived here for almost as long as I lived in Washington (wow...scary...) and had never been. Now, the state fair here is almost 3 hours away from the metro area, so that has definitely hampered the trip a bit. I can't remember how long the drive to the Washington State Fair was, wasn't driving and always fell asleep on the way home. My parents told me "Tell us how it compares with the Washington Fair!"'s been FOREVER since I've been there...can't remember anything specific really...other than my obvious food memories...

All in all, the CO State Fair was good...lots of folks around...lots of animals, lots of food and the people watching...WOW...lots going on to look at. To quote Rach, not many guys to look at for long, most didn't have teeth! Now, I'm sure there were plenty of folks there with their teeth but let me tell you...the ones that stuck out...whoooooooooooeeee...wowsah...

Oh, and the sidenote? There is a reason you can eat that much crap food as a bounce back in no time flat...I however, am suffering two days later! Between funnel cake, huge pile of french fries, other funnel cake, lemonade...omilord...sugar O-V-E-R-L-O-A-D!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Why Is It...

**DISCLAIMER** This entry has nothing to do with my brother's upcoming wedding! These were just thoughts that happened to be going through my head. read on! :)

That whenever a friend or family member is getting married, drama seems to intensify 30-fold? Now, I have had many a friend get married, and within the course of just under a year, I will have gone through two sibling's weddings. There was one summer, that between my sister and myself, we were either in, related to, heavily involved in the planning of or invited to no less than 10 weddings. TEN. In one summer. Holy bridesmaid dresses Batman.

How is it that so many emotions are wrapped up in the teeny tiny details that go into a day like a wedding day? Is it because of all of the traditions? Is it because of the significance of the day? Or is it because there is such immense pressure to out-do the friend who got married last or make your day everything your Barbie-Dreamhouse-Dreams imagined?

I know of friendships that have ended because they weren't asked to be in the bridal party. Mothers and daughters who have had knock down drag out screaming matches over how the decorations should be. Last I checked, this was supposed to be a celebration of two people making an awesome commitment to each other, not an episode of Jerry Springer.

It never ceases to amaze me the insanity that follows after friends announce that they are engaged. "Oh how exciting! When is the big day? Where are you going to have it?" Um...they've been engaged for 10 minutes, she's lucky her head isn't still spinning!

Now, I'm no expert on the emotions of a bride (seeing as how *stopping to check left hand* I'm not married) however having been the "buffer" (AKA The Maid of Honor or Sacrificial Bridesmaid) enough times, sometimes it just gets to be too much for one person who is supposed to enjoy their day when people are peppering them with questions instead. Word to the wise...if you don't have to ask her opinion, DON'T. Find a bridesmaid, Maid of Honor or close family member (most times Mothers of the Bride are just as nuts as the bride on the big day) to ask your question. Otherwise you risk interrupting hair or makeup being done, or even worse, one of the few calm moments in her day before the festivities.

As for alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll of the details that go into all this, I have watched many friends have absolutely gorgeous weddings, as well as a few odd ones. (Halloween...THAT was an experience!!!) There are so many details, it's mind boggling, no wonder there are many paid professionals (Events Simplified is my event company of choice...and yes, it's my sister's company and yes I am giving her a shameless plug.) to do all your worrying and planning for you!

Here's the thing...all that matters is that the two of you enjoy your day. Some folks that means the fairytale...some that means a backyard. Me, honestly as un-romantic as it may sound...LAS VEGAS. There are days when I think about that day if it will be something I'll want more along the traditional lines. However, if you know me, I am typically one to say "Buck Tradition" and go my own way. I think I might try (listen to me as if something was actually on the too many Dr. Peppers for me today...) to do some kind of a hybrid. Go to Vegas, take a handful of people (meaning less than 10), come home, get settled and then a few weeks later, throw a big party to have the first dance, garter, bouquet etc traditions. In my twisted mind, somehow this seems a lot less stressful!!! find a groom.... ;)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Antiques Roadshow (AKA Basement-Crap-Roadshow) - Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to...ITGD!!

Earlier today, I was having a conversation with our IT Guru, Dave (here after known as: ITGD) and our conversation drifted to those who feel compelled to wear a fanny pack.  If you don't know what a fanny pack is, your definition can be found here.  But seriously...if you don't know what one is by need to crawl out from under your umbrella hat a little more often...

ITGD is a rather hysterical individual and it's to him that I can attribute my W*ii-related injury.  Damn him and his recommendations for highly addicting W*ii games...Boom Blox in particular.

I digress...

So, our banter back and forth was regarding the patient's husband standing in front of me and his fanny pack that he was wearing as a man-purse.  He wasn't even wearing it as a typical fanny pack.  He was wearing it slung over his shoulder.  *Shaking my head*  Our conversation was getting funnier and funnier until we went from the fact that the guy HAS a fanny pack to the typical demographic wearing one.  (FYI...that demographic tends to be the avid garage sale-er.  Which by ITGD's standards is any Baby Boomer on a fixed income *snicker, chuckle, snort*)

His first description cracked me up...

"Gnarled fingers defly move a plasic zipper to grasp the all the important quarter to purchase the find of the century"

To which I responded:
"Hey now...that could wind up on Ant!que R0adshow and they could live in infamy with their bridge buddies!"

ITGD then went on to give me a description of an ep he has seen of AR that absolutely cracked him up.  I asked him if I could use his story, he said yes, and here in its entirety, is ITGD's story about his favorite part of reality tv...take it away ITGD!!!

I’ll admit it - I like watching Antiques Roadshow even though I have little interest in antiques.  Like most things on public television, it’s the human drama that interesting.  It has to be.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be “Antiques Roadshow” it would be “Basement-Crap-Roadshow”.  We are treated to the occasional fascinating, unexpected piece of history.  One of my favorites is the 15th century Italian parade helmet found stuck in grandma’s rafters in an effort the keep the squirrels out.  Fancy squirrel block for a quarter of a million dollars.  Other finds are interesting because of the family histories involved.  Grandpa’s civil war sword; grandma’s letter from Teddy Roosevelt; a stick of furniture with history lost to the sands of time.  Its the people that make the antiques interesting.  Without them, is a hunk of metal, a bit of paper, and stick of wood.  These are the casual antiquarians we usually see.  Many people watch NASCAR for the wrecks, I watch AR for much the same reason.  My favorite AR wreck goes something like this…

Some guy comes onto the screen quite sure of himself, quite puffed up, taking control… and, always with a fanny pack.  [Fanny packs were *never* a good idea for many reasons.  (1) Bustles and bustiers haven’t been in vogue for about 100 years.  (2) For the type of person that wears a fanny pack above their fanny - is this *really* the part of your body to which you want to draw attention? (3) Fanny packs are as cool as leather vests.  (4) Wearing a fanny pack in front makes it a tummy pouch pack.  Again, is this where you want to draw attention? (5) Men - pockets, women - purses, joggers/runners - do you *really* need all that crap while you run?]  He strides in front of his “find” and stares into the camera like David Brinkley announcing the assassination of the president.  The “expert” has to wait quietly while all this peacocking goes on.  The expert opens the conversation by asking about the story behind the “piece”.  Mr. Goodbar tells the story of how this very valuable antique was brought over on the boat from the old country by great-great-great-great someone.  Of course, the voyage was tough, the ancestor @@pristine, and both the ancestor and piece barely survive.  Then the story continues about how it was lovingly passed down through the generations to the most intelligent, inspiring, and loved offspring.  (Which explains without saying why it’s on possession of Mr. Goodbar and none of his other good-for-nothing siblings.)  He recently came into possession of the adored family heirloom and wants to know more about it’s history… and value… for insurance purposes ONLY!  He’d never dream of parting with this piece of family heritage.  He resumes his Brinkley-esque stance to receive the news that he’s inherited the most valuable piece of antiquity this side of King Tut’s tomb.  He patiently waits and acts interested as the expert explains very interesting” things about this type of furniture/watch/toy/axe/driftwood.  As the expert comes to the end of the “generic” explanation, Mr. Goodbar prepares himself for what he know’s is coming - he has *at least* $500,000 on his hands if not more.  He braces himself, prepares the tears of joy, keeps his hands at his side so they don’t shoot up in the air when the announcement comes… Finally, the moment arrives. The expert announces that the “piece” (note the missing end of that popular phrase) was made not in the 1820s, the 1720s, the 1620s, or the 1520s.  It was made in Pittsburgh in the 1920s, mostly likely by child slave labor.  The only thing it has in common with “the boat from the old country” is rank smell and some rotted wood.  Oh, and it’s worth about $15 if a professional cleans it up.  Mr. Goodbar then cries into his fanny pack all the way home.

I love public television.

And this is why I look forward to ITGD's visits to our location...not only does he magically fix whatever is ailing our computers...but I get to have a great dose of laughter at the same time!!!!  By the way, never get in a "Flair War" with ITGD...he's lethal.  I had "The Final Countdown" stuck in my head for days after our last battle.  *sigh*

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I sit at the front desk in my office (see previous thoughts on this here) and unfortunately, my desk is also quite the dumping ground for other people's things.  I can handle this for the most part because there is a part of my desk that I don't use as often, so therefore, it's kind of an almost no-man's-land (if you will).  I am CONSTANTLY trying to clear it off though so that I don't look like a crazy person (any more than normal) who can't seem to keep my projects under control.  I actually manage to maintain this fairly well.

My job also entails making sure I have the hospital account information ready and in our charts so that Dr. M can dictate and write up his superbill (I know, first time I heard this word, I thought 'Seriously...SUPERbill?  What the heck is so SUPER about it?  Turns out, fancy name for charge sheet.)  

IF someone-who-shall-remain-nameless would quit taking charts before we at the front desk are done with them, then we wouldn't have half the issues with labels and demographic sheets we do, let alone trying to track down a chart if he/she has moved it from where it is supposed to be.  On the other hand, if someone-who-shall-remain-nameless would do their job ahead of time and double check for any reports that we may be missing, someone-who-shall-remain-nameless wouldn't come rushing out of a patient's exam room in a panic either.  I guess it's slightly a double edged sword, however, it's not rocket science for someone-who-shall-remain-nameless if he/she would pull her head out of her patootie.

*Deep breaths iiiiiiiiin...deep breaths ooooooooooout...*

Namaste Grasshoppa...Namaste...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

All's Quiet on the Western Front

So this weekend has been just as I eluded to...quiet. I love this yet at the same time, if this happened every weekend, I could surely turn into a hermit VERY easily. Mom and Dad are out of town, Baxter is boarded at the vet, and I had action packed plans this weekend. All plans have fallen through and I have left the house ONCE in 48 hours. To Target. (Wewt, shoutout to Target!!)

I finished a book, started another one, and had a fit of the giggles SO bad at one point while reading, I'm sure my neighbors thought I was having a seizure (I was reading on the back porch). I highly recommend Jen Lancaster's books (thank you Terra) not only because they make you literally laugh out loud, but her writing is as if she was reading your mind. If not yours, then definitely mine. The section that had me laughing so hard? If you read her second book (Bright Lights, Big Ass), there is a section discussing the progression of the oh so fun game of "Slug Bug". I leave it there, as not to ruin it for anyone else. There were multiple other moments I laughed and giggled, but NONE like that section. I couldn't shake what I had read so I even broke down and wrote the there's something I've never done before. I can also say I haven't been this taken with a book since my all time fav, To Kill A Mockingbird. (Jen Lancaster, if you ever read this, yes I just compared Bright Lights, Big Ass to my paltry book, THAT'S BIG).

Tomorrow night is WAFFLE NIGHT! Now some would say 'WTF is waffle night?'...ahhh...let me teach you young one...(honestly, it's more of a joke than anything else...)

This whole thing started as a huge joke last year, and has been added to by a trio of Hallmark characters, Hoops and YoYo, and their little friend, Piddles. Waffles was the main theme (I'll spare you the whole card, it's rather entertainingly random.) and so then it became a joke when Chris and Melissa went to register regarding a waffle iron. Chris was vehemently against registering for one stating that it would only end up in the Cliff Huxtable Kitchen Electrical Appliance Graveyard. The deal became, if they registered for one, then Melissa would have to use it at least once a month the first year of their marriage or else he can sell it in a garage sale. Well, Kurt thwarted that, and gave one to her (the one she was going to register for) for her birthday instead. SO it has just escalated from there, becoming an ongoing joke. Well, now we stumbled on to the fact that tomorrow, August 24th, is National Waffle Day. The day that the inventor of the waffle iron received his patent. We have initiated a fun new get together...look out waffle bar, here we come!!!

Okay, it's now waaaay past my bedtime, and I have to be perky tomorrow, we have patients again! Please Lord, let vaca have been good for The Good Doctor...(I can hope right??)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Mish-Mash, if you will...

So here I sit, at work, and I am bored.

I know that quite a few people have this problem daily. I really do love my job, 8 days out of 10.

For the last three weeks, our machine has been undergoing a big overhaul and upgrade. Now it's all kinds of spiffy (even more than before, as CMM still is in awe of the machine he is yet to see in person). Not only has our machine been down (so to speak) but The Good Doctor has been out of town on vacation, climbing some godforsaken mountain range in Europe. (Must be nice...I know...)

SO! As I sit here pondering what I can blog about so that it looks like I"m actually typing up more forms (I've got about 30 done so far, I deserve a fun typing break) and instead I'm blogging, I have struggled to find something to post about. I have come up with a couple of things...

1) My email conversations (read: tangents) with my good friend C. Daily the two of us Front Desk Jockeys share tidbits about life, our patients (w/o naming names of course, we aren't THAT dumb), our co-workers etc. Now, this used to happen when the two of us worked for different practices that shared office space. Now, neither of us work in the same office space, however she is still with the same practice. C has Beans (her now 7 month old adorable munchkin) who we discuss often and she sends me fun pictures of Beans up on all 4s (she's about to crawl) and entertains me with how she can just see Beans starting to have eagle-eye sights on the cat's tail or the dog's back leg. It's just a matter of time before someone loses some fur. C and I used to see each other weekly at our women's group, but now that THAT has imploded (long story...mucho later will I talk more about that...if you're lucky) we don't get to see each other nearly enough to satisfy either of us. We have had a couple of our Chipotle dates (don't underestimate the power of a Chipotle margarita...holy hell...$4 and stronger than most "nice" restaurants!!!!) so we can catch up, laugh hysterically (literally drinks have been snorted, falling out of chairs has been extremely close to's rather hysterical to watch) and then we have to go on our merry way(s).

Our email tangents run the gamut from how Beans is doing, how are she and her hubby doing, to how things were with my former roommate, to the obnoxious things patients say or expect, the way co-workers seem to have extremely high opinions of themselves...all kinds of things. This week however, our tangent has been extremely focused on a member of the NFL. Namely a certain quarterback who we both ADORE and would drop whatever man we may be with if he ever gave either of us the time of day. The rest of the story will be delved into shortly in my next bullet point. One of my favorite email threads with C was when we were planning her baby shower with our women's group, and I was asking her what type of cake she wanted. C has fought off gestational diabetes so when she found out from her gawd-awful glucose test that she wasn't diabetic, my first question was (and I quote) Sooo...what type of cake do you want for your shower?"

2) The Betrayal.

This week, my life was sent spinning when a certain NFL quarterback who is extremely talented decided to send his loyal fans into a royal sh*t fit. I speak of the oh-so-talented yet oh-so-daft Brett Favre.

I love this man. I have for years. C, myself and my friend AQ have all taken turns saying how we would all put him on our "List". (You all know what I'm talking about...if not, I'll tell you when you're older.) I have been a loyal Green Bay Packers fan since college. However...Brett left us in a huge ordeal of a retirement press conference two seasons ago. Then, oops, I'm not done, I'm going to go play for New York and wear the wrong shade of green. Ok, I got over that pretty easily. I can honestly say I didn't tune in to many NYJ games...I'm a Green Bay Cheesehead. Godspeed. Now, I've said he should have stayed retired since he left Green Bay. Instead, the jerk decided yeah, STILL not done after retiring AGAIN. Of all the teams he can go to, he goes to MINNESOTA. Wow. Green Bay's rival...the only way to have made that worse was to go to the Bears. (That was a direct friendly dig at my friend Chris, he's a great guy, just a Bears fan...we all have our faults.) Back to Brett...honestly going to Minnesota was like spitting in the face of 16 years of Green Bay fans and a team that GAVE YOU YOUR CAREER. Before Green Bay, you were a pine-pony riding snot nosed rookie in Atlanta. Now, you are a record-holding, hall-of-fame caliber (I may hate his team choice, but the man is still an amazing football player...can't deny that.) quarterback who can command obscene amounts of money for what you do.


3) Fantasy Football

If we are gearing up for Fantasy Football season, guess what else is right around the got it...REAL NFL FOOTBALL. I don't know what it is...maybe it's one of the things that rubbed off on me so much from working at ESPN Zone. I went in a rabid hockey fan, but in the last couple years, I've become so much more of a football fan! Maybe it's the fact that I was drawn more into the football world with Fantasy Football...I actually had to pay attention to what was going on so that my own little team of men wouldn't get trounced on every game! The other very valid and possible plays once a plays so often I lose track! Don't get me wrong, I still hold a dear place in my heart for my toothless grinning hockey boys. My attention has merely shifted. For good.

And on that note, I leave you for now...good luck and Godspeed!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Relay Has Come and Gone and a Myriad of Other Thoughts...

Wow...that was fast. 

It seems like just yesterday that I had mentioned possibly getting more involved in Relay close to church. Relay was Friday and stretched into Saturday. It was great! I missed being involved like I was the first go round, but holy buckets...this time was a LOT hotter than when I did it before! was great. Good times with my folks that came out and walked with us, and had great friend time with all my girls. I don't get to just sit and chat often enough with most of them, and I am constantly reminded why I love my friends. They are all amazing people. This year was still emotional for me when they read my Grandma and Aunt's names, but I guess in some way it starts to get easier? I'm not sure yet. I know it's still tough on my mom. The Relay committee was recruiting me pretty hardcore...I don't know yet. The thought of dealing with planning a Relay while all the crap with work is going on makes me want to shoot myself in the head (which somehow has become my new catchphrase...). However, I keep telling myself, next year, there is no way to tell if work will be this crazy or not.

C came out to walk with me for a while, and we had so much fun...skipping, doing the monkey dance (not to be repeated most likely) and gossiping like 2 teenagers. Hey, we may be a few years removed from actually having those years attached to us...(ok, so we're almost double that age, but hey, we've accepted it, so should you...move on) but we never tire of our weird sense of humor. Hard to believe that she and I have only known each other a couple years, feels like a whole lot longer than that!

My BFF is in town from Arizona...we got to spend an entire day doing classic J and Ch it absolutely terrible that I just don't feel like we got to go into everything we need to? Like there's this feeling of something unfinished. Can't quiiiite put my finger on it. Hmm...she's still here for the rest of this week, I think getting together on another day besides the night of her birthday party is going to have to be in order. (Sidenote...this blog has taken me a bit longer than normal to finish, I've already had an extra dinner w/her.  Yay!)

Work is a bit of a quandary right now.  We're all in the adjustment phase b/c we have a new manager.  D is a nice guy, I guess I liked working for my last boss (MO) so much, it's weird to have to hit the brakes and switch gears now to figure out this one's new ins and outs.  It's amazing how people's nuances are soooo different from person to person.  I'd like to think I'm actually doing really well with the change.  I know that I'm handling it better than my co-worker TCI (The Crazy Italian).  She was so used to just doing things w/o management involvement, to have D asking questions is driving her berserk.  I guess habits for a very stubborn, 50 year old, Italian woman are hard to break.  

With our new standard RT system going in, I have a lot of forms to re-create for our new doctor, Dr. S.  My inner nerd is rejoicing because I get to play on the computer for the rest of the week (like I don't do this every day...oh wait, was that out loud??)  but the other part of me that knows every time I sit down to tweak forms, I'm going to be interrupted by the phone ringing is cringing...wheeeeeee.  

Well, I guess that's about all for today...thus far.  Stay tuned...