Grumpy Smurf

Grumpy Smurf

So last week I learned of a new hair coloring trick: hair chalk. Yes, it sounded simple enough. Color chunks of hair using pastels. As usual, I did my due diligence: read up online and watched YouTube vids. Seemed super easy. Went out and bought myself a fun Smurfy blue.

The next morning, thinking I only needed ten minutes to get this show on the road, I was sadly mistaken. First, the blue streaks went onto my hair rather easily. But the blue powder also adhered easily to my fingers and the bathroom sink, floor, my shirt, everywhere…. yes, I know chalk is very powdery, but I didn’t anticipate this level of mess. None of this was mentioned or shown in the YouTube vids!!

By the time I’d gotten to the office, my fingers were blue, and I had chalk on the back of my shirt, not to mention all around my neck. Yes, I looked like a jaundice case but blue. Or a bruised/battered person.

And that was only the beginning to my Friday. Later that morning, our site database at work got hacked. Again. Yup, for the third time in seven days. Tech support was taking forever to restore my shit, so I spent the rest of the day creating workarounds to my dynamic webpages. By the time I’d left the office, I had to go buy groceries for my birthday party the very next day (John’s office move ran into its own share of snags). Errands, cleaning, laundry. Yup, so I had to get my shit done. Made two dishes for the party.

The next morning, at 5 am, in my quasi-sleep state, my left thumb rubbed the bottom of my ring finger expecting to meet my wedding ring. Nope. Wasn’t there, and immediately, I opened my eyes. I turned to my nightstand and patted the surface in the dark. No ring. Got out of bed and started searching the usual spots: bathroom, high boy, everywhere. Ten minutes later, I started to panic because I had NO recollection of removing my ring at all. The day before was so damn frazzling as I tried to get shit back online and deal with my Smurf illness. Ugh. So I started rummaging like crazy, and John woke up to the commotion. He started helping me search. Nothing. I then went to the office to see if I had taken it off at my desk. NOTHING. Fuck!! I was REALLY starting to freak out… I dunno: sentimental value I guess. I’ve had it since 2002.

Returned home at 7 am, and I was on the verge of a meltdown. My mind was blazing ahead thinking about how my party was ruined because I was going to be so pre-occupied, and then minutes later, Bubbey came over and said he had a bday present!! Thank fucking god. I dunno how it was in the bed, but that’s where he found it. Shiit, could I have taken it off in my sleep? I have no fucking idea. Lucky for him, that ONE move got him out of the doghouse for skirting nearly all his duties for my bday party.

My party later that day went well. But shiit hosting people is a ton of work. So much cleaning involved. But we had a great time. Interestingly, someone quizzed us:

1. What’s your favorite animal and why?
2. What’s your second favorite animal and why?
3. How do you describe the ocean?
4. You wake up and are on an island. What do you do/feel?
5. You are suddenly in a room with just four walls, one containing a nail.

Did you take the quiz? I’ll interpret your answers in the next posting. 🙂

What else? On Sunday, I was back on Sugar. Damn beotch horse (but she sure is pretty). I sweated my brains out riding that unruly horse. Shiit, when she’d run, she’d run fast and take very tight turns (I swear she was trying to throw me off). I’ve transitioned into my real cowboy boots now, so those pointed toes sure came in handy sliding my boots back into the stirrups as Sugar thrashed me around. But hell if I will be outlasted by a horse…

I did come off of her that afternoon with my shirt completely drenched. Scary and yet oh so thrilling. Am I gonna become an adrenaline junkie? It’s possible. 🙂

More Assessments!!

More Assessments!!

Last month, I had an informational interview last week with a guy, with whom John used to work briefly. Now, the guy C works for a personality testing/professional development company. Who even knew those workplaces existed?? He was SUPER cool. We clicked instantly, and I would work for him in a second. Unfortunately, at the time of our meeting, he (and HR) thought the current vacancies were a step down for me, but he promised to pass my deets along to some contacts. And in the meantime, he’s offered to hook me up with inside access to all the assessments! Major score, right??

So today, several weeks later, he followed up with me on the contacts and he emailed me my first set of test results. I gotta say: I come across totally boring (middle-of-the-road!!) and rather ill-equipped for leadership roles (which is ok, but that kinda conflicts with some other tests I have done elsewhere that say I’d be a really good leader). Oh well, I’m just adding this to my collection of data. Fortunately, the bigger news is that the Web Manager is open to speaking with me about the web producer role… maybe this will be my in!!! Muhahahaha. I could really use a change of scenery right about now. Cross your fingers for me!

In other news, last week was rough. Truthfully, I think it was a combo of a bunch of things: the life story assignment, a meeting with asshole at work, more vision plan project bullshit, Remy choking (again), I got an email from my former manager that just made me miss him (they’re in Berlin now), and then a bunch of friends are grappling with some serious life shit…

After a weekend of gaining fresh perspective, I’m almost completely pulled back together this week. I think. 😉 Like I said before, vivacity is making a comeback. And Remy is doing better. John calls her the furry python now, because apparently she likes to swallow things whole. He is also convinced that she’s trying to commit suicide since last week was the second time this choking thing has happened. Really, the whole incident was straight out of the movies: I was on the phone with my dad, super frustrated, trying to provide iPhone tech support (My father never remembers where the “home” button is!!) Then amidst the commotion, Remy ate a mini chicken wing that fell out as John was mixing stuff in a bowl in the kitchen. She swallowed it whole, spun around a few times, and then abruptly fell over with vacant eyes. John got the drumstick to go down, but shiit, between my father and Remy, I’m going to have a fucking heart attack. For now, the good news is, dad’s iPhone stuff is all working, and Remy is alive!! Whew!

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

I’m off today: chilling at home and doing some homework. The teach sent us these quotes, which I thought were pretty damn good:

“Our lives improve only when we take chances — and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” — Walter Anderson


“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else — we are the busiest people in the world.”
–Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

Telling the Life Story

Telling the Life Story

My Uncover Your Calling class continues to be way intense. Last week we each got 15 minutes to tell our “life story.” I was a mess. I saw my therapist earlier at 4p that day. I cried during our meeting: I lamented that I recently realized I was projecting my parents’ style of quasi-conditional love (tied to expectations) on to John– always being super critical and focused on things that should be done better… Basically, I was perpetuating a form of emotional abuse…

My therapist brought up self-acceptance and how I should learn to feel emotions without having to DO anything about them. I don’t really understand that concept. I feel like I have confidence in my strengths, but I’m always obsessing over my weaknesses, because I want to be better. I dunno: I just can’t seem to find that balance between self-acceptance and self-improvement. I have a fear of complacency and stagnation. Ultimately, I suppose the point of her statement is that I have to somehow find a way to let go of things or circumstances that I cannot change. So this whole debacle at work: rather than feeling anger and outrage and going on my whole tirade, I should consider just feeling sad at the loss of my manager and friend and sad about the demise of a once awesome workplace. But I dunno: why feel anything without tying it to action? Seems like just sitting and being aware of those emotions is not really useful. Shrug. Then again, I suppose trying to take action is equally useless.

So yeah, later that same day, I did my life story. What a strange thing to encapsulate 3+ decades into a few minutes of key moments/stories. I was super stressed about it, just because I wanted to well, select the right content to tell a story with essence, you know? Also, I knew I was going to lose my shit talking about my parents and my brother. It’s so lame and all day I kept trying to train myself to NOT cry, but fuck, no more than TEN seconds into my turn, and the waterworks just went on full blast. Truth be told, I always was a crybaby as a kid. Seriously, I cried A LOT– about everything and anything. And I was like 100x more serious than I am now. Imagine that.

Otherwise, the Uncover Your Calling class is insightful. It’s a shitload of work, but I am trying to believe in the process and hope that I will reach some clarity soon. I mean, the exercises are interesting and thought-provoking. My mind just feels tired. I’m sleeping a lot again on the weekends.

I did gain some perspective last weekend. My best mother friend called: she was talking about other things, but she kept saying, “Life is short.” And in my heart, I know that. So I’m going to stop pretending like I don’t have choices. (Practically everything John and I do is about creating a life with freedom and choice!) And this might just have to be a time when I stop trying to test/prove myself, and I step away and just get back to what’s good.

In other news, I’m going to start eating into that PTO stash soon enough. Seattle in mid-June and then Cowboy Country at the end of June!! John surprised me by suggesting a week in Jackson Hole, WY!! Yee haw! He actually says he needs a vacation. I am so excited. We’re going to check out Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I am so stoked to live out my Legends of the Fall dream. United Air miles, baby! And I’m going to use my Lounge passes too.

Ctrl-Alt-Del

Ctrl-Alt-Del

So my attempt to wean off Myers-Briggs lasted for like a day: the obsession continues full blast. This shit is just so damn fascinating and insightful… plus, some of the stuff is just so spot on. It’s like witnessing magic or something. I just need to keep it all in perspective. That’s all. Something I’m so great at doing! 😉

I did sleep much better the last two nights. It helped a ton that I was off on Monday. But I’ll need to resume listening to my autogenics/mental skills tracks before bed. They help my mind focus on a single thing and quiet down a bit.

The Uncover Your Calling class was super intense last week. She talked about some really interesting research where writing about the facts plus your emotions surrounding a traumatic event helps you thoroughly grieve a situation and move on, eventually enabling you to become more well-adjusted and healthy (vs. writing about random stuff or writing about just the emotions, sans facts, around a traumatic event). So that’s our assignment: to write at least three times in the week about the facts and emotions around something traumatic.The good news is, we don’t ever have to share the details of what we write: we just talk about what we get out of the process… so that’s kinda good because I don’t really want to be sharing too much with people I don’t know.

But I’ve learned some interesting things over the last week…one disturbing realization is that I’m turning into my parents (or my father, at least), having tons of expectations for myself and for people I love. I guess I sorta already knew this about myself but I dunno, it became super evident the last few days. And as much as I try to practice self-acceptance, I still really gauge my self worth through accomplishments and achievements. In the case of my father, it’s fine because his success is practically a story out of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, but in my case, I often feel disappointed by all the unmet expectations. I frequently feel insufficient, inadequate: this nagging voice drives me to try to do more and to be more, but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed and consumed trying to be something more than I am. Then to make matters worse, I also have a fear of complacency. Goddamn,  I feel like I have an entire debate/conflict just raging in my head!!

But I’m pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del now, because seriously, I exhaust myself.

Sensitive

Sensitive

Ok, I’m piping it down: no more over-analyzing with the Myers-Briggs. Promise. Kind of. Maybe? 😉

Well, I might still have to over-analyze other stuff though… I couldn’t sleep again last night (well, all week). I dunno. It’s not even so much about the workplace anymore… it’s deeper than that. More existential, I guess. And then whenever I do finally sleep, I have super stressful, conflict-ridden dreams. So I guess I have issues. Maybe the sleep deprivation will at least lead to some weight loss, and then I can stop obsessing over my flabby upper arms. I dunno when they happened, but they are my new reality. Shiiit!!! That’s another story entirely.

So I did my homework for class, and apparently qualities that are important to me (through tasks that I love/hate to do) are: accomplishment, connection, communication, control, competence, energy, enthusiasm, understanding… the results of the spreadsheet aren’t that far-fetched, but it is pretty interesting see everything quantified with numbers that assign a weight to these things… So I’m trying to be honest with myself while refraining from judging/criticizing myself or thinking I should be better at XYZ… Does that make any sense? I know, who has the time for such self-absorbed, mental deliberations??? It’s exhausting and really rather unrelenting… My second class is tonight, and mostly, I just hope I don’t get all fucking emotional in front of these strangers. I also hope I arrive at some clarity soon, because this unknown gray matter is killing me. Blergh!

John and I saw Miss Saigon in Palo Alto on Saturday. Fuck man. I was an absolute mess. Surprise, surprise. Stories about women, poverty, war, misfortune, sacrifice… they get me every. damn. time. Twenty minutes in, and the tears were streaming down my face. I made it mid-play and then this one song REALLY triggered the waterworks. I started breathing all unevenly… totally on the verge of a sob-fest meltdown. Yup, that’s how I am with Les Mis too!! I dunno. It’s my Achilles heel. And yet, I CANNOT stay away. The music, the words, the story… it’s just so irresistibly powerful! And the thing is, this isn’t just some random, fictional story, you know? This is life!!! Complex and raw and unforgiving and disheartening…

And I really shouldn’t go here, but seriously, what the fuck is going on in this world? The Amanda Berry story, the 12-y/o boy who stabs his 8-y/o sister, teachers molesting students, coaches abusing their athletes, violence and abuse all over the damn place. What. the. hell??????? It is just too much. Can so many people really be this f-ing insane???

Ugh, I’m getting all worked up… Sorry. Yeah, so ANYway, the play moved me, and then on Sunday, I looked like Benicio del Toro with his ridic puffy, bee-stung eyes. My face was totally swollen. What can I say, I’m uber sensitive for a Thinking type.

Thankfully, Sunday was a lot less intense. I rode the new white horse (Sugar) again. Don’t be fooled by her sweet name and big brown eyes. Beotch does NOT like to listen. But I did better on her this week than last. I will ultimately prevail. 🙂

From Spring Riding at Chaparral

Upcoming Self Work

Upcoming Self Work

Omg, I am exhausted. I was up past 3 a.m. over-thinking all kinds of shit. Man, all these fucking self-discovery/exploratory exercises and readings are making me crazy!! I thought I was pretty sure about myself before, but now after reading test results and stuff about how ESTJs interact with people, how they handle friendships, how they function in a work setting, blah, blah, blah, now I’m second guessing myself with how I interpret relationships and situations and interactions, you know? Fuck, and I think it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. Interestingly, my friend B is ESTJ also. So bizarre, because I think he and I are TOTALLY different personalities!! Like he’s always happy, patient, tolerant, easy-going… Wth?

John said a funny thing to me yesterday: he said that I shouldn’t be so concerned about all these personality tests and putting myself into these classifications. He said I’m an extremely complex person– a conundrum, and I can’t be squished into these limiting boxes. Haha. So euphemistic. That’s right, I’m an individual, goddammit!!!

So anyway… I went to my first “Uncover your Calling” workshop on Wed night. Ahh-mazing. I felt so moved by the facilitator. She just had such a compelling way of explaining things. But yeah, the class has a shitload of homework. And hard, thought-provoking questions too. Like what are 20 things you love to do and what qualities about those activities make you enjoy them? What are 20 things you hate to do and what qualities are missing from those activities that make you dislike them? Then there are a bunch of free-writing exercises. Who writes stuff without ANY editing at all? Just fifteen minutes of constant hand movement, she says. What??? Completely foreign to me.

This weekend is chill for us. I’m going to a friend’s house/pool, riding, then Hubster and I will probably both do some work. Maybe go for a bike ride too. I’ve been meaning to catch Miss Saigon in Palo Alto. The play closes on Sunday. We’ll see. I love that musical even though it has an awful “woman sacrifices all” message.

Last night I booked tickets for Seattle in June. Damn fares have been fluctuating all over the place, but after monitoring for weeks, I finally bit the bullet. We’re going to see my bud G and her hubby J. They recently bought a gorgeous mid-century house and got a new puppy. I’m going to take Yuki too so we can jam.

Seriously, how are we nearing June already. Need to get my shit figured out for realz.

New Orleans Jazzfest

New Orleans Jazzfest

Apparently AXS tv televised this annual music festival for the first time. I watched some of the performers on Sunday, but they didn’t inspire me to go next year… or ever. It’s not really my kind of music. I did pause the housecleaning to catch some M5 eye candy, but surprisingly, I’m losing interest in my tattooed heartthrob! I know, are you incredulous? My friend M texted me that he was looking fine, sounding great, and that I must’ve been in heaven, but eh, I think I’ve moved on already (to Brandon Flowers). I mean, don’t get me wrong: AL will still do in a pinch, but the attraction is definitely waning. The Killers’ music is just so much better than that fluff M5 crap. Plus, since I’m kinda a prude, I think maybe my ideals align better with Brandon the Mormon than with Adam the playboy.

Am I over thinking this??? Hehe. Don’t worry: I still have my feet firmly planted. Hubster is still my No.1. After all, we didn’t make it to ten years of marriage on a fucking whim.

I was feeling more distracted than usual today. I took Remy to the ER very late Sunday night. She’s having an episode: puke, no appetite, general disorientation, super stiff back legs. Seemed better today. My poor baby. Otherwise, I was stuck in a bunch of shit meetings at work. FML.

Friday Night Fun

Friday Night Fun

Man, I’m looking forward to unwinding with a glass of pinot tonight. During the week I’ve been doing job stuff at night and now I’ve signed up for multiple workshops and programs on “Uncovering Your Calling.” Yup, deep introspective, exploratory shit. Last night, I found some site with free online personality tests, and I took a gazillion of them back to back. All except one came back as ESTJ “Administrator.” One was ISTJ. I swear, those damn tests always recommend like the most boring jobs ever for my personality. WTF. I mean, come on: librarian, funeral director, corporate finance lawyer?? Oh well, I still eat that shit up. Anything that helps me classify people and things into neat little boxes, I guess.

Btw, John was telling me that his coworkers had some discussion about kids the other day. One guy said that within the first HOUR of meeting his newborn, he witnessed/observed a personality. And that personality has remained constant even as the child has grown. He claims that the personality will stay the same forever. That just blows my mind! Like wtf, really? But John said everyone who had kids agreed!! Is that possible? Shit, I was a cantankerous, temperamental, fussy, crybaby as an infant/child. But I’m definitely NOT that anymore… Anyway, I also came across this recently on Pinterest and again, I was kinda intrigued that parenting could be condensed into this simple little flowchart. Is this shit for real?