Oh my Aching Back!

 

backWe all have a bad back every now and then, I think it is a fact of life.  I have had more than my fair share.  Most recently, since February, I have suffered with herniated disks and sciatica.  It has caused me a whole host of problems, included falling and double dislocating the fingers on my left hand, several hospitalizations, several epidural shots, and a surgery 6 weeks ago to do 4 laminectomies and 2 microdisectomies.

Apparently I have Oseoarthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis, which has helped cause these problems.  Whatever, all I know is that I have a bad back.  A very bad back.

After my surgery 6 weeks ago, I went right back to work (there were extenuating circumstances) and was driving to Libertyville 3-4 days a week plus working from home.  I was riding my lawnmower and my quad.  I was going to the pool.  I was dealing with my sleep apnea and going to sleep studies etc.  I was dealing with heart issues and going for stress tests, echocardiagrams and venous studies. I was doing WAY TOO MUCH.  So now I am back to square one with my back, and it is mostly my fault.  And my Catholic school guilt, which prevents me from putting myself FIRST when I need to.  So now I have ruined everything, and I don’t know if it can be fixed.  Crikey.

Tomorrow I go back to the hospital for tests and MRI, to see the scope of the further damage I have done to myself.  I am on very strong muscle relaxers and pain killers (so excuse the poor grammar etc.).  I am dizzy and in severe pain.  It takes me 15-30 minutes to get out of bed, because I have to wait for the zingers in my leg to pass enough to put weight on it without screaming.  Just like before my surgery.  I hate this.  I hate myself.

Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself?  I am my own worst enemy.  From now on I am putting myself first.  No matter what.  Please help me do that!

P.S.  You might want to read a previous post, in which I detail what happened back in February.  How was YOUR week? Redux

The Gorey Details

Another bullfighter was killed recently.  He was gored by a bull he was in the process of killing. He died a gruesome death.  Just like the thousands of animals that are killed in the name of entertainment, for bullfighting.

Do I feel sorry for the bullfighter?  Yes, I suppose I do, it is a human life lost.  However, he basically died by his own hand.  He chose to step in that ring.  He chose to fight an enraged animal that he was slowly and painfully killing.  He chose to do this as his profession, knowing that at any time he may be killed. And truth be told, he slipped on his own cape, making a fatal mistake.

But let’s be real here.  It’s not like his profession is a police officer or fire fighter, where you may be killed at any time in the line of action.  In these professions they are serving and protecting the public and trying to avoid death in the process..  In bullfighting, they are serving and entertaining the public by absolutely serving death on a platter, to the roar of approval by the crowd.  Shades of Roman gladiators, no?  Actually yes, it is all related.

Bullfighting is a series of three tandas, each of which bring more pain and suffering to the bull, in preparation for the final kill.  The matador entices the bull with his red cape (which is only red to mask the blood….bulls are color blind).

This is a gruesome sport, one that has been around for ages.  The arena in Mexico holds 48,000 spectators……FORTY EIGHT THOUSAND.  That’s a lot of people screaming for blood.  And, truth be told, a little goring of the matador probably adds to the excitement level of the crowd too.

I cannot say that I understand the sport of bullfighting.  Per Wiki, while some forms are sometimes considered to be a blood sport, in some countries, for example Spain, it is defined as an art form or cultural event and relevant regulatory frameworks liken it to other cultural events and heritage.

Then there’s the Running of the Bulls, where normal (?) people run in front of bulls down a narrow street, where the participants as well as the bulls may slip on the cobblestones. Another deadly sport I don’t understand.

Back to the dead Matador.  Sad for the loss of his life, sad for his family.  But I am continually sad for the hundreds, nay thousands of bulls slain every year for the enjoyment of the spectators.

But I guess I am in the mood for fighting for the underdog lately.  In this case, the bull.  I have no real pity for the matador. 

 

Dancing with the Devil

Devils come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are easy to recognize.  Some are not, at first.  But they all show their true colors sooner or later.

In the case of this story, the devil showed his colors later in the relationship.

He was a boss.  My boss.  He owned his own company.  It made him very aggressive, narcissistic, and mean.  Very mean.

I will not mention his name, or the name of his company (altho if you really want to know, message me and I will tell you, as people should be aware to stay far away from him).  I will say that he was in a very customer service type business.  A landscape company.

He was very charming upfront, to get your business.  All white smiles and silver haired charm.  But as soon as you signed the dotted line, that all changed.  He lied and cheated you every chance he got.

You were an asshole.  Everyone was asshole, according to him.  Especially his landscape/construction crews.  They were F*ing Asshole Mexicans.  He treated them like animals.

The first year I worked there was like the honeymoon.  Praise, raises, Christmas trees, Christmas music, parties, bonuses.  When I went there to interview, I was smitten.  A very charming office in an old farmhouse, complete with two retrievers and a fireplace burning.  It was a fairy tale.  I could not believe how lucky I was to go to work every day, with nice people and surroundings, and a golden retriever to lay at my slippered feet at my desk.

But then.  His true personality slowly leaked out. It turned into the War of the Roses. I had plenty of warning signs.  He talked shit about previous employees all the time, they were all assholes, and he fired their asses.  Every single one.  Many of them.  Especially the admin employees, who warmed their hands at the fireplace.  They never lasted more than a few months or a year.  No wonder they gave me such a nice one year anniversary party.  I was one of their longest term employees!  There was another one, who I became close with.  He quickly brought me up to speed on the dealing of the devil.  So I was careful.  I watched, I listened.  And most importantly, I never talked back or stated my opinion, because he was always right. The only other long term employee?  My so-called assistant, who was his girlfriend.  Actually more than his girlfriend.  She had a million dollar stake in the company, her previous divorce payoff.  If she didn’t like you, you were a goner.  I digress.

But then.  One day I just couldn’t do it anymore.  He wanted me to agree with him on something.  One of his f*cking asshole Mexicans, a long term employee, had asked for a 10 cent raise.  TEN CENTS.  Now, mind you, he worked these these poor people into the ground.  12-14 hour days in the hot sun of the summer, 24-48 hour days snowplowing non-stop in the winter, or shoveling driveways.  Have you EVER shoveled driveways for 24 hours straight?  They were lucky to get a half hour break.  Most had no food or water with them, the crews were not allowed to stop and buy food.  The Superindent, my friend, would swing by with nourishment and drink that he bought out of his own pocket for the crews.

Back to the poor guy who asked for a 10 cent raise.  The boss fired his ass.  On the spot.  F*ck him, asking for a raise.  He wanted me to agree with him.  I just couldn’t.  I struggled for a response.  So I asked him the one question that had been burning in my mind for the past year….

Why do you own a landscape company if you hate Mexicans?  (Doesn’t have to be Mexicans, you can substitute any other group of people).  They are the backbone of the company!  Without them, there is nothing.

Well.  That was it.  He started ranting and raving at me and throwing things around the office, while I cowered at my desk.  He was so enraged he was spitting in my face.  I thought (maybe prayed) he was going to have a heart attack or stroke in front of me.  He did not stop until his girlfriend called him off, like a rabid dog.  I just sat there like a statue.  I was too frightened to move.  I should have called 911, I should have left, I should have done a million things.  I did nothing.  I just sat there and took it

So then.  The abuse continued.  Ever. Single. Day.  I would come in to find hate email, hate notes on my desk.  Then his tirade, which would leave me sobbing, and then I would have to try and work the whole day with red swollen eyes and a huge headache like nothing was wrong.

The girlfriend turned on me pretty quick.  She quit talking to me.  She ignored me except to send me drunk text messages at night or on the weekends asking why I stayed there.

So then.  No more praise.  No more raises.  No more fires in the fireplace.  No more retriever at my feet, they were leased to the girlfriend’s desk.  (I kid you not).

So then.  At Christmas, there was no music, no tree.  Nothing.  So I brought in a small table top tree and plugged it in.  The next morning the tree was moved.  I found it and plugged it in again, this time in a different spot, with an extension cord.  The next day, the extension cord was gone.  I was so stupid that I did not realize what was going on at first.  This man did NOT want any sign of Christmas in his office.  So I took the tree and shoved it into the kitchen garbage to make sure he saw it.

So then.  There was no year-end bonus.  No Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.  Nothing.  Just an awfulness I cannot begin to describe.  An evilness.

So then.  He fired the Maintenance Manager.  Because he had the nerve to drive in early every day and nap in the parking lot until one hour BEFORE his start time.  F*cking Asshole, he should have been working the SECOND he arrived.  Mind you, he was salaried, and already worked a 60 hour work week.  And he was a new father.  Hence the naps in the parking lot.  But, he was a f*ucking asshole, he had to go.  It was awful.  I locked myself in the bathroom, crying, listening to him crying while packing up his desk.  His wife had quit her job, they had no other source of income.

I should have quit.  I was desperately seeking a new job, but I just should have quit and starved to death rather than work for this monster.

Eventually I did quit working for him.  Wait, I’m sorry, I was fired.  Because he came back from a hunting trip and I was leaving work 15 minutes “early” for a dentist appointment.  He started shouting at me and verbally abusing me in the doorway.  I was frightened.  There was no one else there at work, I was the last one in the office, as always.  So I ran.  I ran away from him, into my car, with him chasing me and shouting at me.  I sped away as quick as possible.  My cell phone rang.  I did not answer it.  Minutes later he texted me, telling me I was fired and not allowed on the property.  I cried all night.  But then I was relieved.  I did not have to look in his face, ever again, and see the evilness there.  I still have nightmares every now and then.

And this, my friend, is how you know you are dancing with the devil.

 

Don’t need this kind of present, please!

Tis the holiday season again, let’s all cheer!  Time for family and friends and running ourselves ragged to get everything done.  It should be all fun and games, until we run into the dreaded…..unintended co-worker or close friend gift….THE WORST COLD OR FLU OF YOUR LIFE!  So instead of decking the halls, you are visiting the golden throne or going through boxes of tissues.

Here is the problem, as I see it.  Most people have jobs where attendance is very important.  In fact, if they don’t show up to work, they need an official death certificate to show they were REALLY SICK.  So they crawl to work instead of back under their covers, and infect the whole office.  They don’t WANT to do this.  They are FORCED to do this.  I have had bosses tell me “If you aren’t here you are no good to me”.  Or co-workers who give you the evil eye when you come back because they had to do your work while you were out.

But come to work sick, and pretty soon the whole office is one swarming mass of germs that gets passed around and around and you get multiple reoccurrences of the same problem.  So you are sick for a whole season, and as a result, productivity and morale is at its worst.

This is a real problem.  Corporate will give you the lip service that everyone should stay home when they are sick.  However the reality is quite different.  You get a big black mark against you, and come review time nobody remembers how deathly ill you are.  Therefore, it is just a never-ending circle of sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever masses of miserable people.

So my gift to you this holiday season is to tell you that it is RIGHT and JUST to stay home and take care of yourself.  YOU should come first.  I am on the downside of my career, and I wish I had done so many things different, primarily not letting the upper echelon run my life.  YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.  In this day and age of high tech, maybe you could work from home if you are sick, and still be productive for your team.

This holds true for bad weather days too.  If it is a horrible snowstorm and you are fearful for your life, I think you should be able to work from home.   And I know parents with children face more issues when schools close down.  If they don’t have a back-up, they have to stay home.

So this holiday season, be good to yourself.  Give yourself the present of a stress-free environment, both at home and at work.  Be a good employee, and a happy parent or family member.

I am SO LUCKY that I have found myself the perfect part-time job.  I wish I had found it years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of pain and suffering.  My current boss only wants what is best for his employees.  My co-workers are awesome people and great friends.  We treat each other with love and respect.  It is a such a great environment, and we all care deeply about each other.  The office runs like a well-oiled machine, and everybody helps out.

My Christmas wish is that everybody could experience this.  We deserve it.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Everything, have a SAFE and HEALTHY holiday season!

JAN  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Truth Challenge – Day 10

Day 10.  Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I really don’t think there is any one person I can choose.  I think that every person in your life is there or was there for a reason.  Maybe to make your life happier, maybe to make your life, shall we say, challenging.  Maybe to teach you a hard lesson.

I am happy with all the people in my life currently.  I have some wonderful friends, for which I am very grateful.  I don’t really see people from my past anymore who harmed me mentally or physically.  Or both, for that matter.

I am definitely NOT everyone’s favorite person.  But really, can you be that?  I don’t think so.  I am trying really hard to be a better person, but that doesn’t necessarily make you the most popular person in the room.  If I don’t show up somewhere, people might be relieved, lol.  As my family is quick to tell me, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family!

So, I think because I am divorced, I guess that was the person I needed to let go, even though it didn’t seem like it at the time.  Or for a very long time after.  But with a little distance, I can see that it was a very destructive relationship from the start.  Sometimes love can NOT conquer all.  Do I wish I didn’t know him?  I did, for awhile.  In fact I wished he was dead.  Yep.  Dead.  But then I realized that I must forgive and forget.  And now, I could care less whether he is alive or dead, or what he does with his life.  I am not the one he will face on Judgment Day.  And trust me, I have my own transgressions I must face then myself.

I let it go.  I am one with the wind and sky.

 

Maybe it’s not you. Maybe it is THEM.

shoutAre you sick and tired of always being wrong?  Always being shouted at.  Always told to shut up.  Always the one that has to crawl home and lick her wounds.  Always the one that has to apologize.  Always the one that gets kicked to the side.  Always the “crazy” one.

But, but, but……maybe you’re not.  Maybe they are just not listening to you.  Maybe they don’t hear you.  Maybe they choose NOT to hear you.  Maybe you keep talking because no one lets you finish. Maybe they know you are right.  At least sometimes.  Maybe they don’t want to hear the truth.  Maybe they don’t like your tone of voice.  Maybe they don’t like your delivery.  Maybe THEY are the crazy one.

But, but, but….maybe you deserve to be heard.  Maybe you deserve to say your piece.  Maybe you are trying to help.  Maybe you are right.  Maybe you are wrong.  Maybe they just don’t know.  Maybe you just don’t know.

Whatever it is, right, wrong or indifferent, it all comes down to treating people with respect, and not shouting and screaming at them all the time.  And maybe, just maybe, THEY should apologize.

Because maybe you are done with the crazy.  Done with the crying.  Done with always being wrong.

Because you are not.

I believe in you.

Answers. I need answers.

question

 

Ah, I have so many questions.  I’m hoping SOMEONE can provide me with some answers!  lol  So let’s get started:

  1.   Patrick Kane.  He’s all the news right now, due to a “chain of custody” snafu.  Or is it?  Some say yes, some say no.  Which leads to MORE questions.  It is no longer a question of did he or didn’t he.  It is now a question of whether or not the rape kit was compromised in some way.  Which muddles things up.  Is that intentional?  But it was the accuser’s attorney that called a press conference.  Why?  I just don’t get it.  Will this affect the Blackhawk’s play?  Will they win the coveted cup again?

2.  Dancing With the Stars.  Is it just me, or are these dances wayyyyyy shorter than in previous seasons?  Is this way they have TWO dances in Week 2?  I have to say, I think I prefer longer dances.  You just get into the dance, and they butcher the song ending to cut it short, and the dance is over!  So many dances have ended with silence cause it is so short.  I don’t like it.  Don’t like it at all.  Geez.  And could someone please tape Paula Deen’s butter mouth shut?  Please?  Sheesh.  She’s starting to make me root for Gary Busey during the eliminations!

3.  2Cellos.  At first I didn’t think they were coming back to Chicago.  I really didn’t pay attention to their tour schedule after that.  Or the Chicago Theatre alerts that I got for Presale codes.  I found out on the last day of Presale that they WERE coming, next April.  So I quickly went on the website to get tickets.  I was disappointed at my seats and was kicking myself for not getting tickets sooner, but glad I was still able to get them during Presale.  The next day, when the tickets went on sale to the general public, I went online to check again.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered there were MUCH BETTER tickets available!  So I kept checking every day.  Finally, a week later, all the good tickets are gone.  I was sorely tempted to buy another set of tickets, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger, because I kept thinking maybe something better would come up.  Oh well.  But don’t you think it SUCKS that my Presale wasn’t worth anything good?  But I went on StubHub, and it seems that people buy up huge blocks of tickets and then sell them for a profit.  Not fair.  Not fair at all.

4.  G.I. Joe Glinewiecz..  Our community police office shot dead about a month ago.  We STILL do not have any answers.  The police just keep talking in riddles.  Many speculations and rumors abound.  Nothing has been settled.  I feel sorry for his poor family.  Why all this delay?  What is going on?

5.  And finally……is Jon Snow really dead?

 

P.S.  Thanks to the person who read like 60 posts this past weekend.  Whoever you are!

 

Some follow up thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn1A little while back I wrote a blog when Caitlyn first appeared on Vanity Fair.  I was amazed at how stunning she looked.  Transitioning from a man to a woman is not an easy thing to pull off.  So I started to wonder about some things…..

Did all those years with the Kardashians help train Caitlyn to become the newest fashion maven?  Her picture is everywhere now, wearing this or that.  Apparently she has very good taste in clothes, although to me it’s hard to find a 6’2″ large boned person very graceful, especially in high heels. Her hands still look very manly, to me.  But, she does have all kinds of advice from her children about her clothing choices, so I am sure she will be dressed to the nines at all time.  No more running out for coffee in track suits like the old “Bruce with Boobs” days.

caitlynbruce

I also couldn’t help but wonder how Caitlyn looks when there isn’t a whole staff of hair and people making her beautiful.  I mean, I can see it for the photo shoot, but what do you do on a Monday morning?  When most people roll out of bed after a long weekend of partying or dressing up, they might look a little disheveled.  Oh wait, maybe like this:

Caitlyn nomakeupSo, she is human after all!  Good to see.

I think, overall, that Bruce Jenner bided his time until exactly the right moment to reveal his transition.  We are more accepting about most things hetro/homo/trans.  Bruce built up the anticipation beautifully, especially with the Diane Sawyer interview.  Now people wait with bated breath to see where she is going, with who, and, most importantly, what she is wearing.

Good job, Caitlyn.

P.S.  I’m still waiting to see who she will date.  She has been linked with another transgender, but it could just be a friend.

Dear Good People of America,

trump1

Are we actually “entertaining” the thought of making this man President?  Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States, DONALD TRUMP!

He was center of controversy last night again, in the first Republican debate.  He came out with all guns blazing.  His latest enemy is now Megan Kelly, the Fox News Moderator who asked him the tough questions and called him on some remarks he has made.  Which he has conveniently forgotten, and is going to look them up, btw.  He calls his running mates “contestants”. like the Presidential race is a reality game show.  He was up until 4 a.m. this morning with his twitter wars.

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Is this the man we want to represent us to other countries?  Can you imagine him at a State dinner, berating the staff and offending visiting dignitaries?  “Hey your wife is a fat pig, reminds me of Rosie O’Donnell, I don’t think we want to do business with your country”.  Or “Is your wife so ugly she has to wear a veil and a sack at all times to keep from scaring people?”

While I think he DOES have a few valid points about how to change this country for the better, he is a narcissist, a bully, and a boor.  He needs to show compassion, level-headedness, and intelligence, all of which I’m afraid he is seriously lacking.  He is like a bull in a china shop in places where tip toeing through the tulips may be better.  And sometimes discretion really is the better part of valor.

Not with Donald though.  He says it like it is.  Fine and dandy for a reality TV show that makes money by entertaining the audience, but not necessarily an admirable trait in politics.

I won’t go into all the details on what the Golden Child said.  I will leave that for your own viewing pleasure, if you haven’t watched the debate yet.  You are in for a great time at The Donald Trump Show!

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What a week!

whirlwindWhat a whirlwind of a week!  Busy, busy, with year-end work and taxes etc.  But more importantly, busy with FUN activities!

It started out with Fat Tuesday.  Good food, good friends, good fun!  NOT good for the diet.

Then on Thursday, I went to see Kingsman.  It was a rollicking good time!  Really enjoyed the movie!  But again, popcorn NOT good for the diet.

Then my guy came over and installed a new cat door in my bedroom door.  Now I can close the door against noise from visitors and not be woken up all night long.

Then it was 3rd Friday.  Went to Steitz’s for fish fry.  Great food, great friends, great fun!  Again, NOT good for the diet.

Finally, Saturday came, along with what I having been waiting for!  2Cellos concert downtown!  It was an unbelievable day from start to finish, except for the train home.  Went with my awesome friend Nancy, did a bit of sight seeing at the Bean and the skating rink, then a tasty dinner at Park Grill.  Again, NOT good for my diet, lol.  On to the venue, and 2Cellos!  Met some Cello Girls before the concert started, and then the most unbelievable musical experience of my life!  Got to chat with more Cello Girls after the show, but was not able to do the meet and greet because of the long line, and we had to catch the last train home.  But even without that, it was still an incredible day!  I could not sleep at all that night.

On Sunday, I tried to nap a bit before I attended an Oscar party at my friend’s house.  Great food, great drinks (I tried a Moscow Mule and liked it!), and prizes for ballot winners!  I even won the grand prize, a nice trophy and 2 movie passes!  Most importantly, the great friends.

Speaking of the Oscar party, they really need to take a page from the Golden Globes.  The Globes start and end on time, and all the while the nominees are eating and drinking and having fun, which can lead to some of the best acceptance speeches!  They only present the most popular awards.  And even though some of the categories at the Oscars are VERY important, they tend to drag the show out to wayyyyyyyyyyyyy over 3 hours.  Come on Oscars, people have to get up for work in the morning!  Maybe they should move it Saturday nights if they are going to CONSISTENTLY run long.

On Monday morning, I felt like I was beat with rubber hoses, so I went to swim class to stretch out the muscles in the pool.  I had done a lot of walking and standing and dancing on Saturday, so I had some aches and pains.  The water felt wonderful, and I ran around the pool for about an hour.  Later that day, I did feel some leg cramping etc., but a banana and a Propel took care of that!

Today, Tuesday, I feel pretty damn good.  Will go to Walmart for my weekly shopping and walk the store for about an hour for my daily exercise.

All in all, a GREAT week!  Thanks to all my wonderful friends for some awesome good times!