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Banana, Crackers and Gatorade… Oh my!

Well, I finally feel like I am at least partly back from the dead. But really, that’s getting ahead of myself; allow me to backtrack a bit.

2005. May. 7th. Ariesna and I were joined in wedded bliss. Unfortunately with her just finishing her degree and paying for a wedding money was tight so we didn’t have the cash to go some place exotic and we couldn’t really afford to spend more than a night away. So I picked a B&B just a few hours drive away. A helpful friend had recommended it as the most romantic B&B in the area. After the ceremony & reception, we drove out and enjoyed our one night there.

2006. Ariesna and I went back to the same B&B for an entire weekend. We ate out at a couple of nice restaurants, did a little shopping and hit up an art museum while we were there. It was a grand time, but by the end of it we were both tired. We got home, chilled for a while and eventually went to bed. Blissful slumber was interrupted at 4:30 AM by me waking up feeling like I was choking and/or drowning. I ran into the bathroom and spent the next 15 minutes or so kneeling in front of the porcelain throne. After getting myself cleaned up, I tried going back to bed but woke up a while later with the same problem. Again, I eventually got cleaned up and tried going back to bed. Later, I got the intense fun of making a trip to the doctor on what was supposed to be the last day of my vacation. I got weighed1, poked, prodded and a q-tip was shoved down my throat2. The doctor confirmed I had the flu combined with a sinus infection. However he was worried that I was severely dehydrated and wanted to put me on an IV to get some fluids in me. Alas after much poking (in both arms), they realized I was too dehydrated for the needle to go in properly. Eventually, they gave up on the IV and let Ariesna take me home. Though they did tell her to keep pushing fluids down me and recommended she get me to drink 2 liters of gatorade that day and keep pushing the fluids at me the next. She did so, continually waking me up from some of the best sleep I’ve ever had to drink, drink drink. And I don’t even like gatorade! *sigh* I mean the fruit punch version isn’t too bad but the rest…. yeck.

Anyhoo, I ended up spending the entire week home sick and now the night before I finally go back to the office I am feeling much better. I’m just not at 100% yet. My sinuses throb (and continually drain down my throat) and on top of that I’ve got an evening cough3 which feels like it’s going to rip my throat in half. But I’m still taking the anti-biotics the doctor prescribed and I’m hoping when the pills are gone so will be the last of my health problems.

Oh yeah, if you’re wondering about the title on this post that’s pretty much all the food I’ve eaten in the last week. It’s been thrilling. 🙁

1 No, I’m not repeating what that lying hunk of metal claimed was my weight.
2 Apparently, that’s part of the test for strep throat. Only nobody warned me in advance. Incidentally, the test came back negative but it has a 15% chance of failure.
3 It only happens after 5. No idea on why that is, but there you have it.

Employment Woes

Wednesday morning, my supervisor pulled me aside to tell me since management wants to go into beta just before I take 2 days of vacation. And since one of those vacation days conflicts with a week long Microsoft training course I was signed up for they are pulling me out of the class. I wasn’t happy about it. She wasn’t either but the decision came down from on high.

Wednesday afternoon, a co-worker and myself had to drive 4 hours to my current employer’s home office. Instead of heading straight to the hotel, we stopped along the way to get dinner. We ended up hitting the hotel around 8 PM. When we checked in there was a message asking us to call our supervisor. Neither one of us liked the sound of that. We tried calling her back but got her answering machine. We left a message and I went to my own room. I had been laying down for just about an hour and was thinking of hitting up the hotel’s hottub when the room phone rang. I picked it up and it was my supervisor. She was calling to tell me the company had decided to close our office once the lease runs out. Apparently, there’s going to be some sort of transition plan if you want to move out by the home office and continue working for the company. But as I told a co-worker, I’d rather slit my wrists then move to keep working for this company. So I’ve got somewhere between 4 – 8 months to find a different job1. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night and I wasn’t feeling motivated for teaching the next day.

Thursday, I went into the office. I chatted with a few people and they were all sympathetic (and wanting to know what we were going to do). Then I checked on the classroom and it wasn’t setup correctly, so I got to do some last minute running around to get it fixed. Then I taught, trying not to put them to sleep. The two big problems with the class were that it had to be put together at the last minute and I had 3 different groups of people attending the class. Each group having a different, non-overlapping skill set; making it impossible not to be too basic for one part of the class while being totally over the head of a different part. *sigh* Still some people seemed to get something out of the class and nobody actually snored through it.

Thursday night, we drove home.

Friday, I went into my soonish-to-be-closed office and while it was a dark humor going around; most people seemed happier than I’ve seen them for some time. Maybe good things will come of this moronic decision. Who knows? I just know that I’m going to be much more motivated to find a different job (I’d been half-heartedly looking already) and the company’s customers who pay support fees are going to get seriously pissed off2.

So if any of my readers are in the Eastern Iowa area and are hiring, maybe you could let me know?

1 We’ve got some kind of extension on the lease so it’s anybody’s guess when exactly our office will be closed, but we do know it will happen sometime between September and December.
2 From what I understand the majority of the company’s best help desk personnel are in my office. So the customers will have to wait longer to get somebody to talk to them about their issue(s) and then wait even longer for that person to fix their issue(s).

Daaaaang, that’s loaded!

Today, I have to travel to my company’s home office to teach a class. The day before I’m supposed to drive over I find I’ve got a voice mail. As I do 99.9999% of my job either via emails, IMs or F2F, this in itself was extremely odd. Then I listened to the message and found out it was a sales manager from dealership where we bought the new car.

It turns out that they want to borrow the car for a bit to have to their insurance people look it over (since it was on the lot at the time of the tornados hitting Iowa City). I thought this more than a little odd. As I was busy getting ready for my trip to the home office, I kind of blew off the message. Then this morning, I got another call from the dealership asking for the car again. I called the guy back and explained that I’m driving out of town today. He said it should really only take about 20 minutes and they’d give the car a wash while they had it. He also said they’d bring a loaner by for me, just in case.

I agreed to let him do it and then immediately got a tad nervous about it. I checked their website and found him on it. A little bit later our receptionist called and said a guy from the dealership was here. I went up to the front desk and the only person around was a scrawny looking kid. But he was wearing a sweatshirt with the dealership’s name & logo on it. Then he held out a key to him and we walked to the parking lot. The key was to a 2005 Volkswagen Passat. The stationwagon version. With a dealer’s plate in the back window, a sales sticker on the same. I felt a lot better about giving him my key and took him to my car. He drove off, and I hopped into the Passat for a quick peek.

Oh my God! The wagon is fully loaded with all the goodies Volkswagen has to offer. Now I feel slightly cheated in that I won’t get to drive this puppy for my trip. Don’t get me wrong, I love our new car and our new car does have more gadgets in it than any car I’ve ever owned. But still, that Passat sitting outside if so dang plush and luxurious. I could definitely enjoy driving that card. 😀 Oh well, at least I’m getting a free car wash. Though, now that I think about it; I’m wondering if I should have asked them to top off the gas tank. With gas at $2.84/gallon, that would have been a nice bit of savings for me. *shrug* That’s probably being a little greedy and they’ve been good to me already.

Real Life Recap

I’ve not been posting anything for a while because… Well, I just have not felt like it which is not to say I haven’t had anything to talk about. Today, I decided to update the world at large about what I have been upto in my little slice of it.

  • We survived the tornados and hail that hit our area a week ago. Our apartment and cars were not even get damaged by the storm. Below are a few links to some of the stores online about what happened.
  • Last weekend, we replaced Ariesna‘s car (1992 Ford Escort, aka Ghost) with a 2002 Volkswagen Golf (aka Grace, aka Gracie). The really odd part about getting the new car? Even though it’s a replacement for Ghost; Ariesna has been letting me drive it the most. Apparently, this is at least partly due to the amount door dings her old car suffered through in her office’s parking lot but it still seems strange to me. Then today, the dealership called me back asking me to come in and sign a new finance contract on the car. Why? Because they found me another offer which would drop the interest rate by 1.25 points! Now that’s what I call service. So a big thanks goes out to Carousel Motors for the excellent service.
  • Last weekend, Ariesna and I looked at a house. But it was too expensive for the amount of work required to make it a home we’d want to live (namely a musty basement and some bad remodeling in the family room, dining room and kitchen). We showed up about 15 minutes early for the showing and the realtor showed up just short of 15 minutes late. He did eventually call to let us know he was running late… 5 minutes after he was supposed to be there. I was initially a bit underwhelmed by the guy. But when he finally got there and let us into the house; he let us do our own looking around without trying to pressure us and listened to the comments we had about the house to get a better idea of what we were interested in.

Yeeouch

Over the weekend, Ariesna and I went to the CPL to check out their latest book sale. She got a bit ahead of me looking around as I was carrying out picks. I was about to move to the next room to catch up to her when it happened. Suddenly I felt a sharp, red-hot pain stabbing into my back. I managed to get over to Ariesna and set the books down, but it was something of a close call. We left the library shortly after that to go home and set me up with a heating pad. A bit of heat, some back pain meds and my back was feeling better. I took the day easy sitting down, reading a book.

I was still mighty tired the next day. Every time I had turned over in my sleep; I was half awakened by pain in my back. But awake eventually I was and into the shower I went. I’d just finished my shower and was drying off when another spasm ripped through my back. This one was much worse and nearly sent me to my knees. Ariesna came back and helped me. Then she called the doctor’s office and made an appointment to get me checked out. I spent the rest of the day lying down on a heating pad.

Monday, the doctor checked me out. He prescribed some pain killers and a muscle relaxant. He also set up an appointment for me to visit a physical therapist. That appointment was earlier today. The therapist was a really nice lady. She had me describe my problem. She then had me go through a series of stretches and movements to help her figure out exactly what is wrong. She told me she believes one of the discs in my spine (in the border area between the lumbar and thoracic) has a small tear.

She immediately moved to reassure me this is not something that will require surgery. I don’t think I was looking at her nervously, so I’m not entirely sure why she leaped to get that bit of information out. Though if I were to guess, I would say most of her patients are considerably older than I am and they do not like even the hint of possible surgery.

Anyway, she instructed me in doing a couple of light exercises designed to ease the tension in my back and which should improved the blood flow along the damaged area. She said these exercises should be enough for my back to heal itself correctly. Provided I keep in mind for my back to heal properly, I have to be extra cautious about it for a couple of months. She recommended I think about the damage like it was a broken bone. Even if I am feeling 100% in a few days or a week, I’m still to take it easy on my back.

Whee, such fun. Ah well, at least I haven’t promised to help anybody moving anytime soon. :p

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