My birthday: It sucked.

May 31, 2005, 5:02 PM

May 30, my 24th birthday, was awful. I wanted no attention, and had decided not to request the day off so I could forget about my birthday by just doing the work thing.

That didn’t quite work out. Everyone and their mother knew it was my birthday yesterday, and no one would leave me alone. Everyone meant well, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted nothing more than to not hear about it. Still, there were no less than FOUR announcements made on the squawk box – one after I specifically told the person to their face not to make the announcement. Then there was a small group of coworkers that came up behind me and started clapping and singing “Happy Birthday”. I ran the other direction.

It was enough to just want to curl up and die. And so many people didn’t understand why I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday this year. I even mentioned how I vetoed a cake and a card this year. No cake. No card. That’s how you know I’m serious, when I specifically said I didn’t want a cake or even a birthday card.

Couple the relentless (but well-intentioned) unwanted attention with the fact that I hadn’t quite had enough sleep the night before, and I was completely miserable on my birthday. I even got a form letter from the CEO of Wal-Mart’s stores division wishing me a happy birthday. With a misspelling in it, no less. They obviously went to the Dan Quayle school of spelling, as I was wished a “greate” year instead of a “great” year. How professional.

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Categories: Birthdays, Myself

I am trying to make my birthday a non-event this year…

May 28, 2005, 11:00 PM

I am SO trying to make my birthday, May 30, a non-event this year. For some reason I just don’t want to be reminded that it’s coming up, and want it to pass without notice.

And I certainly don’t want it announced over the loudspeaker at work, going so far to say that, while admitting that it is coming up soon, it is on an “undisclosed date”.

I have also told the family in the last day or so that I want NO birthday cake, and NO card. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t particularly want to celebrate my birthday this year. Last year, it was a bit of a non-event, too. That time, instead of saying no cake, I said no chocolate cake, and if I found a chocolate cake, was fully prepared to launch it into the backyard, icing first. It ended up being a red velvet cake, which was satisfactory.

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Categories: Birthdays, Myself

“Weekend” doesn’t just mean Saturday and Sunday, you know…

May 17, 2005, 5:44 PM

You know, a weekend is a state of mind, and not necessarily two specific days. My weekend is usually Wednesday and Thursday, and like most people for Saturday and Sunday, I’m so glad when those two days roll around.

It’s interesting how that mindset is, too. If you call Wednesday and Thursday your weekend, then it’s your weekend! So many people at work complain about not getting weekends off, yet you don’t ever hear a peep out of me. My weekend just doesn’t happen to match with the days traditionally designated as weekends. I’ve in fact asked not to be scheduled off on traditional weekend days because I like my mid-week weekend.

So I normally start my week out on Friday, and so Friday is like Monday to me. So the traditional weekend is like Tuesday and Wednesday in my week. Then my “Friday” is actually Tuesday. So for me, today was like Friday, where I know that if I can make it through the day, I get two days of freedom from that big, green building known as Wally World (our store, for those not familiar, is tan and green instead of the normal gray and blue).

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Categories: Myself, Walmart

New glasses – it gives you a chance to update your look…

May 15, 2005, 7:27 PM

I’m going to the ophthalmologist’s office on Wednesday to get my eyes examined, mainly to see how much my vision has changed since January 2001 when I last got things checked (that’s when I first started wearing glasses). My guess is that I’ll probably need to get new glasses when it’s all said and done. Ask my coworkers at Wal-Mart, and they’ll tell you that I have occasionally remarked that I need new glasses.

So… as a result, this gives us the chance to update my look. And glasses do make quite a difference. Compare for a moment:

With glasses

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Categories: Glasses, Myself

I’m becoming a morning person…

May 15, 2005, 4:08 AM

I’ve been working straight mornings (7 AM to 4 PM) for a while now and will be working that for the foreseeable future (read: as far as the schedule goes for). It’s weird, because as a result of this kind of schedule, I’m becoming the one thing I never thought I could be – a morning person! I’ve been getting up before my alarm clock, and turning into Mr. Sunshine in the early morning with little to no caffeine. It’s weird. For years, I was like, “Oh, how I hate mornings,” and now I’m actually becoming one of those morning people.

And of course the benefit is that I get off at 4:00, when the day is still in its prime and I have the whole evening. Not bad.

And meanwhile, I need to make some phone calls about my vacation, which I’m again going to take to Virginia Beach this year. Before I book, I’m going to inquire a few things of that new Travelodge, to make sure that they have the amenities that I want. That would be a refrigerator in the room, and solid sides on the balcony. As you can see from my photos from past beach pics, Ocean Holiday has a fridge, and the balcony does not have solid side walls. Ocean Holiday’s balcony sides were just railings, so you don’t get much privacy on your balcony.

Otherwise, I’m getting an eye exam on Wednesday, and possibly new glasses as a result. That will be interesting. Everyone at work is trying to convince me about what style is “me”. One person went so far as to say my current style is “old fashioned”. Still, I’ll keep you posted as to what I get.

And lastly, the day after the eye exam, on Thursday, I’m going out to Lake Moomaw again! The last time I was out that way was June 14 of last year. So that will be nice to revisit.

Categories: Myself

As far as I know, I’m completely out of Sis’s room…

May 8, 2005, 10:25 PM

Note the “as far as I know” part of that. I went through Sis’s room tonight and grabbed up everything that was mine that I put in there in January for my botched clean-out project that I didn’t get on Friday. I did, however, stash most of it in the corner of my room here, which hopefully will give me enough space to clean out the closet. If I forgot something, I’m sure Sis will let me know. But I’m pretty sure I got it all.

Otherwise, here’s a tip for all of you when handling fresh flowers, particularly roses. Watch for thorns. A customer today brought a bouquet of fresh roses to my register. I, without giving it a second thought, grabbed them to scan just like I do for most flowers – by the stem end, so as not to mess up the flowered end. And I got a handful of thorns, with a particularly sharp one poking my right middle fingertip. No blood, thankfully. But that was enough for me to quickly drop the arrangement back onto the counter and reassess how to pick up those flowers. That hurt.

Also, have you ever thought about the real scents that companies name their products for? My favorite is the fabric softeners, specifically the “Fresh Rain” scents. I remember the commercial where they say, “Snuggle’s nose knows that the best scent to be found is after the rain falls down.” Have you ever smelled the air right after the rain falls down? It is not a particularly pleasant smell, and it’s certainly not what’s in that bottle of fabric softener. If they made it really smell like the smell of fresh rain, I’m certain it would be a real stinker, both literally and figuratively.

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Katie and I are going to Lynchburg on Wednesday!

April 4, 2005, 8:32 PM

Finally, Katie and I are going to take a trip somewhere. We’re going to hit three cities in one day: Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke. We’re going to be hitting a few things for each person. For Katie, we’re going to visit our friend Teri, who used to work with us at Wal-Mart, in Charlottesville, and then we’re also going to swing by River Ridge Mall, and also to visit our old manager, Steve, at the Lynchburg Wal-Mart. For me, I’m going to turn the whole day into a Life and Times set, plus I want to do Photography sets in downtown Lynchburg and possibly in Bedford. Then I also need a little “star time” in Roanoke, meaning it’s up to the Roanoke Star for us!

For some reason, when I need to think or something, I like to get up somewhere really high, and then look down and survey the area below. And I can do this either in a natural setting, like on top of a mountain, or I can do this in an artificial setting, like at the top of a parking garage. Just as long as I can see a lot, and can look down and watch things going on. I’ve actually found that the top of the parking garage at Huntington fits this purpose quite well. In Roanoke, I find that place at the Roanoke Star overlook. And then near home, that refuge can be found on the Blue Ridge Parkway, looking down over the Nelson County/Albemarle County side, or over the Augusta County side. I prefer the Augusta County side, since I’m more familiar with it. On that side, you can see Stuarts Draft and Waynesboro. One time when I visited during the day, I even found Wal-Mart! So yeah, I like high places when it comes to unwinding.

Categories: Katie, Myself

I’m losing my voice…

March 30, 2005, 2:58 AM

This is like the moment that my coworkers can’t wait for… I’m losing my voice. Of course, they all say that in a joking manner, since I have a bit of a big mouth (and will be the first to say so, too!).

Still, I think I got it while I was out on Friday. Remember how I said I went up to the star, and the weather “let loose”? Well, the rain actually soaked right through my coat, and I also got my hair wet, and I think that contributed to how I caught something that’s causing me to lose my voice.

Still, though, just because I’m losing it doesn’t deter me from using it. If I need to make a page, I’ll still page it myself. I sound a little rough on there, but you know what? If I can get the words out, I can broadcast it over the squawk box. So there.

And this isn’t stopping me from going to Washington DC today as planned. I plan to drive up to Vienna, catch the Metro, and do my DC thing as always. In fact, I’m going to be shooting photos for what I call my “In the Face of Danger” photo set. So we’ll see how that goes.

Plus I’ve gone to DC before with no voice. I even have a recording of myself dictating a car number into the camera for reference purposes (read: Transit Center). Rohr 1273 on the Green Line to Greenbelt. Rohr cars on Green are rare, so it was worth noting.

And this is also my last DC trip before A16. So that means it will likely be a month or so before I can get any more “leisure trip” photo shoots in, since April 16 will be filled with World Bank protest fun… with my sister!

Categories: DC trips, Personal health

“Boiling popsicle isn’t exactly a romantic dance…”

March 25, 2005, 12:05 AM

Today I worked what I recently dubbed the “Cinderella shift” at work. That would be the 3 PM to 12 midnight shift. At the stroke of midnight, I’m outta there, because at that time, my car turns into a pumpkin, my Wal-Mart vest turns into rags, and I am required by the guidelines set forth in the story to leave one shoe in the breakroom. The assumption is that CSM Charming must then go to all the associates in the land with the shoe and see who it fits so that I can work happily ever after. The “boiling popsicle” comment came from the Today’s Special interpretation of Cinderella, which had Cinderella and the Prince dancing something like rock and roll before doing something a little more romantic.

Okay, all joking aside, I did really work the 3-12 shift, and ask my coworkers – I really did call it the Cinderella shift due to its ending at midnight.

Speaking of work, it’s funny what people will assume when you leave a few pieces of the puzzle missing. With the exception of my friend Katie, I gave none of my coworkers any details about the operation I had on February 28 beforehand. So people knew I was going to be out for two weeks for an operation, but not for what. So when I came back to work, I found out that people were speculating, and trying to fill that gap in their knowledge that I left.

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Categories: Personal health, Walmart

Tomorrow… freedom!

March 14, 2005, 5:31 PM

Tomorrow begins that transition back into real life again. I have a follow-up appointment with the doctor, I have to swing by Wal-Mart to pick up and drop off some stuff, and lastly, I have to go to the bank.

What I can’t believe is that it’s officially been two weeks now that I’ve been at home. And with one short exception when Katie came to visit and I stepped outside, the whole time has been spent inside the house. Scary? Yeah. So it will definitely be nice to get out for a bit.

I also can’t believe that this time off of work is nearly over. Believe it or not, I have, overall, enjoyed my time off of work because of the operation. I got a lot accomplished in these last two weeks. I did a big Transit Center update, I put up a new photography set, and discontinued the quote, which necessitated a redesign of the main page. Plus I’ve finally gotten a chance to work on the total redesign and overhaul of the Today’s Special site that I have, and it’s getting close to being finished.

Of course, there were the unpleasant moments, like in changing the dressing on the wound, since it was still quite tender (and therefore painful) during the first week. After that, though, as things continued to heal, that dressing change got a lot easier.

Still, I’m just glad to be getting out of the house again. But at least things will be getting somewhat back to normal, which will be nice. I’m even thinking about going to Washington DC again later on this month. Hopefully that will be a go.

All in all, things are looking up!

Goodness… it’s been ten days since I’ve had caffeine!

March 10, 2005, 8:23 PM

No one’s more surprised than me. The last time I had any caffeine was a Coke at AMC right after the procedure. And it wasn’t intentional, either. It just happened that way that I haven’t had any caffeine in ten days. All I have to say is that when I do have a soda again, probably after I go back to Wal-Mart, I’ll probably be bouncing off the walls.

Meanwhile, I’m itching to go somewhere. I haven’t been out since the surgery on the 28th. Considering that I’ve been working on various Washington DC photos lately, both in an “Urban Demolition” photo set that I’ve been working on (coming soon!), and all those Transit Center photos I put up last week, I’m really itching to go to Washington again. Depending on how well I’ve healed up, I want to go at the end of this month or the beginning of next month.

Otherwise, Sis comes back from Europe tomorrow! I’ll be so glad to see her again. Especially since when she came back from VT, I only saw her for 20 minutes at most. Plus I’ll be interested to see how she did with her new digital camera.

Categories: Family, Food and drink, Myself

Six days in the house thus far…

March 5, 2005, 6:34 PM

Yes, this is day #6… Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and now Saturday. I have been at home recovering from this procedure. And according to Mom, it’s slowly but surely healing up. I have to ask, because the wound is not somewhere that I can see myself.

Meanwhile, it’s Spring Break at Virginia Tech, and my sister is in Europe! Her boyfriend Chris is doing a study abroad program this semester, and so Sis is going to visit him. Of course, the trip nearly didn’t happen, as there was a small snafu with the passport, as we didn’t realize that since she was under a certain age that it expired sooner than the rest of ours did. But with some scrambling, a phone call to the office of our Congressman, Bob Goodlatte, and an unexpected trip to Washington DC (vs. just Dulles Airport, where the flight was), my father managed to get the whole situation straightened out, and she’s over in Europe now. So I hope she has fun.

Meanwhile, the TV is showing nothing but wall-to-wall Martha Stewart. My exact thought is, who cares? She just happens to be a celebrity that went to jail, instead of someone less-known.

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It’s nice to hear from people…

March 3, 2005, 10:11 AM

Since I had the procedure on Monday, it’s nice to get support from the people who care about you. I’ve gotten many kind words of support over the computer from many people, and also two cards from people from church! This one was particularly cute:

Are you going to get well soon?

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Categories: Family, Friends, Myself

Glad that’s over with!

February 28, 2005, 7:10 PM

Today I had a small surgical procedure done at Augusta Medical Center. Let me tell you… they’ve got quite an operation going in there for outpatient surgery. But it was quick and relatively painless. So that was good. And I arrived at AMC at 6:30 and was out before noon. So that was really good. And now I’m at home once again.

It’s interesting… it’s like a television studio to an extent. They have all kinds of furniture that they change out in your little cubbyhole throughout the time you’re there. We got to AMC and they called me and took me into the outpatient center, and we went to one of many of those cubbyholes. It was fitted with two chairs. There, they wheeled a little computer over and verified all of my information.

Then I went to a second little cubbyhole. This had a stretcher in it, and a chair. They gave me the hospital gown, and it was time to change into it. They closed the curtain and I changed. I did pretty well for the most part, but had quite a time with the sleeves, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing with them. As it turns out, the sleeves snapped up the sides. I don’t know what I was thinking when I was trying to put that thing on. Of course, I also had to figure out which end was up in the first place on that thing. But I managed to get it on, tie the string in the back, and then screw up the sleeves. If you can imagine this, I had my arms sticking out the sides of the sleeves. I thought maybe this thing was supposed to look like a Roman tunic. I had no idea. Then, figuring that didn’t look right, I unsnapped the upper snap and put my arm through the two snaps (vs. the top of the sleeve and the first snap). I was satisfied that it was right. Or so I thought.

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Ever burned the roof of your mouth before?

February 7, 2005, 12:42 AM

Ever done that, where you burn the roof of your mouth eating food that’s a little too hot? I did that last night. We had pizza, and it was just a little too piping hot to eat, but I ate anyway. The first bite was just like, “WOW!” on the heat index.

So it was pretty evident that I’d burned my mouth on that hot pizza. And as expected, it was numb afterwards, as the heat from the pizza probably burned off all the nerve endings over there.

The next day is when the fun begins, though. By the day after, all the nerve endings and such related to sensation have healed, and so now you can feel the burned area again. And it’s still sensitive from the burn. And it’s not even a “pain” kind of feeling. It’s more of a tingly feeling, if you know what I mean. It’s weird.

I highly do not recommend trying to find out for yourself. Trust me on this one. Plus, in the course of life, you, too, will eat something that’s too hot and burn your mouth.

And also, this is a distinctly different feeling from when I’ve burned my tongue in the past, usually on hot soup or hot coffee. Burning the roof of your mouth is a different, more intense feeling. But it’s still quite similar as well. And still a weird feeling nonetheless.

Categories: Food and drink, Myself