Monday, April 12, 2021

staying warm since the 80s

We came to be boyfriend and girlfriend in a pretty typical manner.  High school.  He was a year ahead of me.  We lived in a small town where most everyone knew everyone else or was at least minorly acquainted.

So I knew who he was, but I didn't pine for him from afar.  He was not a crush who wouldn't give me the time of day.  He was just DJ, I was just me.

We got to know each other while on the track team.  Our school's track team was organized not by gender, but rather by event.  Sprinters worked out together, distance runners worked out together, field eventers worked out together.  DJ and I were in the sprinter category along with two of my best friends and several other sprinter boys.  We all just evolved into a group of sorts during practice and meets, and a chemistry began to develop between DJ and me.

One track meet in particular was very cold.  The day was grey and drizzly.  Per the rules, competitors were not allowed to wear their warmups (sweats) during events.  DJ and a couple other of the guys were competing in the triple jump.  My friends and I hung out on the sidelines, huddled together against the cold, holding on to their sweats whenever it was their turn to jump.  They'd each do their thing, run over to us and quickly don their sweats again until it was time to jump again.

Later in the day, my friends' and my races came around.  Those guys reciprocated the favor and held our sweats as we ran our races in the freezing drizzle, wearing only our spikes, track shorts, and sleeveless tops.

No they didn't.

Once their events were over, they'd actually headed to the warm bus.  We gave them sh*t for it afterward, but it was all in high school flirty fun.  I think it was that track meet that sealed the deal for DJ and me.  He told  me he knew I'd run faster if I was absolutely freezing and had to work harder to get to my sweats and warmth.  Well, he wasn't wrong, I gathered a few ribbons that day.

So yeah, DJ was my first real boyfriend, my first love, my first y'know... We had a nice relationship during those years.  Suffice to say, we ran our course and eventually went our separate ways.

But I still have my track sweats - the hoodie anyway.  Gad, the thing must be about 40 years old now, as it wasn't brand new when it was checked out to me.  I guess I just never checked it back in at the end of track season, and no one cared.  It's not like I was the only one who had some pilfered school athletic gear.

Such fancy lettering back then!

I've recently watched a few episodes of Worn Stories on Netflix following Linda Sue's recommendation.  It's an entertaining series, and I bet each of us have at least one of our own worn stories.

The high school track hoodie is easily the oldest piece of clothing I have.  I still wear it regularly, but not outside the house.  I wear it over my pajamas when I first get up in the morning.  It's served that purpose well.

What's your Worn Story?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

a trip to anywhere

I've spun the mattress, changed the toothbrush heads, rummaged and found some shorts and short sleeves.  Spring is here for a welcome change!  And this year, it brings a COVID vaccine available to about all who want it (and can get an appointment!).

Change is often a good thing and gives us things to look forward to.  Thought I'd make a small-scale list for near future things.

Warmer, Longer Days
With spring's arrival, I'm ready for stashing the snow shovels and partaking of some warm weather fun.

New Tooth
As I mentioned a while ago, our dog, Penny, mangled my fake tooth - not while it was in my mouth, thankfully.  I take full blame for leaving it laying around.  
I've been living with the void and was fitted for a new one nearly two weeks ago.  I expect the replacement in the upcoming week.  I will take better care of this one!

New Job
I told the Audreys I'd be the new assistant boss.  I'm looking forward to the change, probably because I don't know all that I'm in for.
It's just nice to make a decision now and then.  Once I decided and signed the papers, I felt more centered.  I offloaded my current tutor students - I was down to just two at this point - without hassle.  That feels a bit weird, seems I've been a tutor forEVER.

Home Upgrades
With the pandemic restrictions beginning to lift, I'm looking forward to a few needed updates on our house.  It was a rental for several years before we purchased it.  The appliances are very basic and showing their age, same for the windows and exterior paint.  Time for some TLC.
I'm not necessarily looking for the "journey" to get there in this case, but rather the destination.

So, how boring am I, right?

What's something you're looking forward to?

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
4. Write about something you are looking forward to.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

the ass in assistant?

I stepped into my boss's office, she looked up with a look that said, 

"WhoTF are you and why are you in my office?"

I mentioned a while back that my boss at the old folks' home put in her resignation after accepting a bigger position at another senior living place.  This is her final week with us.  There's been some speculation about who would replace her, and the most logical choice seemed to be the current assistant boss.

The present hierarchy in our department is as such:  Boss --> Assistant Boss --> Me --> the rest of the cubs in the den.  To make speculation gossip all the more confusing, Boss and Assistant Boss both have the same name, let's say they're "Audrey".

So conversations have gone something like, "Is Audrey gonna replace Audrey?  How does Audrey feel about it?  If Audrey replaces Audrey, who will replace Audrey?"


There was a time when I thought I would want to be Assistant Boss if the opportunity arose, but lately, that feeling has waned.  Not sure why, maybe it's just spring fever.  Anyway, amid the speculation, I knew I would not apply for Assistant Boss should Audrey2 replace Audrey1.


yesterday, Boss started texting me, inquiring if I was interested in being Assistant Boss.  I said I was open to chatting about it.  We arranged to do that this morning.

I'm not working today, so I went in at our agreed meeting time when I was greeted with the aforementioned "WhoTF...?" look.  Apparently, I look quite different in my everyday than I do when I'm at work?  

After a moment, she finally recognized me and we had a bit of a laugh, her saying I look so different.  It leaves me wondering if the "different" is good or bad, but anyway...

It turns out the Assistant Boss has, in fact, secured the Boss position.  They want me to be the new Assistant Boss, so I now have a decision to make.  Honestly, I've been seriously thinking about cutting my hours at the facility and picking up more tutoring jobs, as the facility work has started to feel quite mundane. But if I take the Assistant job, I will stop the tuting altogether.

I told them I'd think about it and get back to them, so that's what I'm doing.  I did a little decision matrix just now and Assistant Boss won out over reduced hours + more tuting (57 points vs. 47 points).  It won out mainly because the Assistant Boss work would have more substance than what I'm doing now, has more potential for growth and learning, and pays better unless I take on a LOT of tutees.  

Tuting won out only for free time - which dwindles if I take on enough tutees to match the pay of the Assistant Boss - and it has a teeny tiny better commute, since I tutor online.  Even a 1.5-mile commute can be a factor when there's two feet of snow.

So I think I'm gonna say yes?  I mean, at least my name isn't Audrey.

And more importantly, do I look so different at work vs. not at work?  I took a car selfie (something I never do because I just don't "get" car selfies) after my chat with the Audreys to juxtipose with my work look (post COVID vaccine selfie)

Okay, so I'm wearing different glasses, and I don't have on the hair thing and work polo.  But I swear they're both me.  In these days of mask wearing, don't we all pretty much look alike?  

Must be the glasses.

Monday, April 5, 2021

I wonder if it hurt

Sun is shining, birds are chirping, happy April!  Yesterday, I swapped  out those studly snow tires for summer tires on my bicycle, and things are so smooth and quiet now.  Of course, I've jinxed everything by doing so, and we'll get another dumping of snow anytime now.

But I'm feeling optimistic as more and more people are getting the COVID vaccine.  Anyone here over the age of 16 is now eligible, and good luck getting scheduled.  Chaco stopped by on Friday as he became eligible a few weeks ago for work.  He was able to schedule his shot here in FoCo, about an hour away from where he lives, as it was the closest he was able to get.  All things considered, I'm glad I got vaccinated at work.

As of yet, I haven't noticed any major fallout from the vaccine requirement where I work, although I know we lost a few people from every department.  I've seen some new faces around, and we're training a handful in my department, but I was nervous that the place would be really shorthanded.  To be honest, the place is often short staffed, but I haven't noticed it being any worse than usual!

And speaking of work... geez, I'm almost afraid to blog about this but... we have this new resident in rehab.

I was headed to her room one day last week when a coworker stopped me and said, in a bit of a mumble whisper,

"I swear she has a teardrop tattoo under her left eye.  Check it out, but don't be obvious!"

And I was all, "Whaaaaat?!"

Okay, so I went to her room and had a brief exchange with her.  Hot dang if she did in fact have a full on teardrop tattoo under her left eye.  Wasn't a mole or a birthmark, etc.  It is most surely a tattoo.  I'm guessing she's in her mid to late 70's.  Not gonna lie, she does have a certain "tough chick" vibe about her.

So we get all speculating.  Could be solidarity for a loved one in prison, could be for the loss of a loved one through violence, could be that she killed someone while in prison!

Of course we're dying(!) to know, but don't dare ask.  

Our facility has two areas - physical rehab, in which patients typically stay only temporarily; and long term care, which is a nursing home where residents spend the remainder of their lives.  Occasionally, a rehab patient will move to long term care instead of going back to their previous home.

If teardrop lady becomes a permanent resident, I'm so gonna ask about the tattoo.  

I think.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

foster feet

Later today, I'm off to the dentist to sheepishly get fitted for another fake tooth.  Please tell me I'm not the only one whose dog ate their original.

This morning, I went to the gym, which is about a mile away.  I felt like walking to/from instead of riding my bike, so that's what I did.  As I was returning home, I saw a guy out for a run on the other side of the street.  He was sort of prancing/running, like he was working on his form or something.

Then I noticed his bright shoes and figured he was breaking in a new pair by overemphasizing things, getting a good feel.  Kinda high-steppin' it.

Back at home, I opened my instagram and saw that a local running store had some shoes for demo.  Get a pair, put them through your paces, bring them back and report.  Free.  On closer inspection, I was pretty sure they were the shoes prancing guy was wearing this morning - conducting research for his demo survey for the store, most likely.

So of course I had to join the fun and bring home a pair for myself.  It's like being a foster mom.  For shoes?

What will they tell me?

I checked online and learned they retail for $130.  Buyers can pay in 4 easy payments of $32.50.  And now I'm wondering, WHO makes shoe payments??  I won't even do car payments.

Anyway, I'm caring for them until Sunday when I will report back on their disposition and what kind of home would suit them.

Until then, I must keep the dogs from eating them.  Pretty sure I can't use HSA money for foster shoes.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

the week that wuz

I'm happy to say that my Wednesday Monday blahs disappeared as mysteriously as they arrived.  I guess Yaz and I will never know what that was about.  Nauseous girl chalked it up to a change in a prescription dosage, and thankfully we're all none the worse for wear.  The remainder of the week unfolded in its own unique way.

Wednesday, during my stupor, I managed to make it possible for our dog, Penny, to get hold of my partial denture.  It's the cheapest form of tooth replacement, and I have it for that bum tooth I had extracted a couple years ago.  I like having the freedom to take it out.

I know better than to leave it laying around willy nilly, but that's what I did when I was potatoing on the futon.  I thought it was out of Penny's reach, and then I forgot about it.  Later, as we were eating dinner, Magnum noticed her chewing on something.

He reached down and, "Oh, it's yer tooth", then placed this pink mangled thing on the table.

"Ah, Fudge!", or something like that.  Couldn't believe I let that happen.  Anyway, I had to make an embarrassing call to the dentist the following day.  

The director of the care facility where I work made the happy announcements regarding loosening of COVID restrictions this week.  Family members can come for inside visits again, complete with hugs.  He also mentioned that dog visits will start again.  These are dogs that are trained for "comfort care", not family pets.  I've only seen their photos.  

And now I'm thinking, "They let those dogs in, I'm not gonna get much work done."

Today was the final Tortoise and Hare race for the season.  This one a 12K, or 7.5 miles. Beautiful morning for it with temps about 40F, sunny and calm.  

My designated start time was 8:57am.  I was at the park with time to spare, but wasn't giving strong attention to the time clock, and was nearly late.

bringing up the rear,
two seconds late, still getting dressed

It was a good time with a good turnout, and I'm happy with how my run went.  Nice way to finish out the series.

almost managed to catch one more "tortoise" 

but she wasn't having it

Such a nice difference to two short weeks ago when we were struggling through two feet of snow.  Much more fun than shovelin'.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

that time I was a potato

 Yesterday, a little after getting home from work, I went over to the futon with the laptop and remained there, inert, for a couple hours.  Most days, I would maybe go for a short run, or go for a walk with Magnum, or do a quick grocery run before a shower.  Afterwards, maybe do a little sketching in the new sketchbook I bought for 12-year-old me.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday, I just felt like a potato.

I chalked it up to "Monday blahs" because Wednesdays are my Mondays, and left it at that.  Today, I was talking with my coworker "Yaz". She and I had worked together yesterday too.  She mentioned going home and laying around until about 6pm.

"At that point, I decided it was too late to do much else, so I just went to bed", according to Yaz.

She went on to say that her boyfriend woke her up in the middle of the night saying that she was "radiating a lot of heat".  She responded by rearranging the quilt a bit and going back to sleep.

Both Yaz and I woke up feeling just fine this morning and had an uneventful work day.  After I got home this afternoon, Magnum and I went for a typical little walk, and now here I am.  But the events had Yaz and me wondering if something was up.  Another of our coworkers left, feeling nauseous, shortly after coming into work yesterday.  Yaz and I weren't nauseous at all, just felt like potatoes.

Magnum joked about one of the COVID vaccine conspiracies:  we're being injected with something that will be activated when the evil oppressors activate a "kill switch".  Yaz, me, and the nauseous coworker all got our COVID vaccines on the same days.

"Maybe they were testing the kill switch yesterday", obviously.

Anyway, I did get myself a little sketchbook a week or so ago to occupy my downtime.  12-year-old me got excited about new sketchbooks, and I realized 56-year-old me does too.  Easily entertained, both of us. 

the first 'break-in' sketch

the one after shoveling a bunch o' snow

fabric folds practice with ridiculously low slung, ridiculously baggy jeans FTW

and this, wanting still life after a run

Starting tomorrow at the care facility, the residents will have a lot more freedoms from COVID restrictions since they and the remaining staff have received the vaccine.  I'm looking forward to that, and I'm sure most of them are too.  

Group dining?  Maskless Bingo?  Let the mayhem ensue.