Friday, June 29, 2007

Ugh. Crappy Meeting

I just finished an hour-long meeting that could not have gone any worse. It made me feel both happy and slightly nauseous. The meeting was to receive feedback on a seven page information piece I produced. It was one of the many pieces that were produced blindly because, most days, I have no clue what I’m doing. My role was basically to collect the information from various parties, put it together, create a few graphs and make the whole thing look presentable and in accordance with our branding. I did my job – and it did look quite nice. What the actual words meant; I’m not sure.

The meeting went a little like this:
Colleague: First of all Changa, I was wondering who is the target audience for this piece?

Changa: I actually don’t know. My role in the production of this piece was to gather information.

Colleague: I see. Were the sales people included in the process from the get-go?

Changa: I really don’t know. My role in the production of this piece was to gather information.

Colleague: Right. There are a lot of inconsistencies in the ILAP information…

----> After seeing my deer in the headlights expression

Colleague: You know… the Individual Large Amount Pooling?

Changa: I have no clue what Individual Large Amount Pooling is.

Colleague: oooookkkkk. Did you not write this piece?

Changa: Well, it’s more like I copied and pasted this piece and made some pretty graphs. However, I really know what these graphs mean.

Colleague: Hmmmm.

I spent the entire meeting happy and chipper and promised I would get to the bottom of this. Which of course I am… but the thought that I might never have to encounter ILAPs or EHBs or MAPs or ASOs or LTDs or any other insurance acronyms out there makes me all happy and shinny inside. The nausea comes from the thought that there is still a chance my plans will fall through. :-S

Car Lease? What was I thinking?

It appears that getting out of a car lease can be quite the challenge unless you find someone to take over your lease. You can get bought out, but from what I understand you can end up paying a hefty penalty. Anyone interested in a gorgeous 2006 Hyundai Elantra for ONLY $294/month… only 38 months left? It’s in tip top shape and only has 30,000 kms on it. Please? I actually really love my car and wish I could keep it, but that’s an extra $500+ a month with insurance and gas. Over the three years, that’s $18,000 – ummm, no.

I guess it’s another thing I’ll have to wait till August to do. I’ll put it up in the newspaper and hope someone wants it. In theory I could put it up now, but someone might want it now and then I don’t have a car! I mean, someone should want it… eventually… right?

Today I’m feeling anxious about the whole thing. I’m not anxious because I don’t know if I should do this, I’m anxious because I have a slight fear it won’t work out. I’ve pretty much mentally checked-out of my current job. In my mind, I am no longer a marketer… I’ve moved on. This is not a good thing! What if I can’t sell my car? What if I can’t rent out my rooms? What if I do the job shadowing and hate it? Then what? I might have been able to see myself as a marketer for a few more years a month ago, but now that a world of opportunity has opened up to me, it’s like I can’t see passed the two months I have to put in. I keep telling myself that what is meant to be will fall into place… but once in a while I loose faith.

No point to this post other then venting my anxiety.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let’s Get This Party Started

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life doing something, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

This quote from one of my favourite movies, When Harry Met Sally, is a good representation of how I am feeling these days... ok, the actual quote is when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone… but you get the picture.

I feel like everything is falling into place for September and all I want to do is get there right now. I’ve always been very firm about my decisions. Once the decision is made, there is no going back… although I can’t say the decision is 100% made because I still have a few pieces of the puzzle that need to fit in, but I’m definitely close. Once those pieces have come together I know what my decision will be. I feel very strongly about not having regrets in life. Everything I’ve done… every decision I’ve made has made me the person I am. I figure without the good and the bad in my life I just wouldn’t be me… and I kinda like me.

I spoke with the EAP counsellor yesterday and she thinks my plan is wonderful. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath to find out the answer to that question! I talked about my fears of making a decision at such a challenging time in my life, but she reassured me that my decisions were not based on some need for radical change but on years of wishing things were different. I like that she said; there’s a fine line between giving it the Ol’ college try and beating a dead horse… you’ve clearly been beating a dead horse. She’s right. I’ve spent nine years in this career without feeling satisfied… it really is time to make that change. I look at it this way; if I decide not to go back to school and five years down the road I’m still unhappy in marketing, I will likely think “what if I had gone back to school”. On the other hand, if I do go back to school and five years down the road I’m unhappy with my new career, I know I WON’T be thinking “what if I had stayed in marketing”… I might, however, be thinking, Oh Crap! Now what? Hah!

I think the next five weeks are going to be effing long! I think I need to find myself a hobby from now until August.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is this the sign I've been looking for?

Holy crap. HOLY CRAP! I just got back from my meeting with the Special Programs Director and it could not have gone any better. Ok... maybe if he had said: you can skip the first two years just cause you’re cute... but other than that it could not have gone better!

1- The classes I took 13 years ago are applicable! The only ones that are questionable are the French classes. However, that’s only because they haven’t received the approval from the French department. He’s working on it.
2- I’m NOT too late to apply for the fall semester!
3- As long as I have all my courses completed I can apply directly to the second year of either program in fall 2008.
4- Many of the courses I did outside of the Science Faculty are applicable to my fourth year.
5- He’s put me in touch with the Director of Respiratory Therapy and the Director of Radiology so I can do a job shadowing for each profession.
6- He was super excited that I would be applying and even said to each program director he was sitting with “an excellent potential candidate”. Wheee! They love mature students because we generally have our shit together.

What’s next?

My mind is buzzing there is so much to think about!
1- I have to apply at the registrar soon. However I’m going to wait until I’ve done the job shadowing and got a chance to ask all kinds of questions before I take the big leap.
2- Is this going to affect my mortgage approval? I mean, I was accepted based on the fact I had a full time job. I don’t plan on talking about it at work or doing anything other than applying to the University before the house is officially mine. Is there anything else I should be aware of?
3- My mother is going to have a heart attack when I tell her about this - which won't be until everything is official. She is so not a risk taker!
4- I have to figure out if I can get out of my car lease. I hope I don’t get dinged with that one.
5- I’ll have to figure out student loans or a student line of credit, but I won’t do that before I have my house.
6- I’m going to talk to my doctor to see how she feels about this potential career (and potential for night shifts) and my sleep issues. The last thing I want to do is change careers and find out my body can’t handle shift work.
7- I’m also going to talk to that EAP counsellor I met with last week and get her opinion on the situation. I mean, I feel like it’s a right decision, but it’ll be good to have the opinion of a professional to know I’m NOT going off the deep end with this.

Anything else?!?! Man. I can’t believe I might actually be doing this.

I know not everyone believes in destiny and a chosen path, but I figured if this was not meant to be, then today's meeting would not go well. I didn't think it would go THIS well. Is this the sign pointing me in this new direction?

Monday, June 25, 2007

What’s the opposite of: the Early Bird Gets the Worm?

I think I’m late. And no, I don’t mean “late” as in I’m going to have a baby in nine months... to my knowledge you need to have sex for that. I think I’m too late to apply for fall programs. Boo. If only I had realised I could swing a life-altering change and keep my house a month ago. *sigh* It looks like the admission date was June 1st. I’m not giving up though and have already arranged to have a meeting with the director of the program (two programs – same director)tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at 10 am. Keep your fingers crossed!

What are you going to do anyway?
I’m looking at becoming a radiology technician or a respiratory therapist. I had originally looked at becoming a nutritionist, but that was mostly because I thought I could short-cut myself out of a five-year program. I could… but that would mean not being a Registered Dietician and not being able to work in a hospital, which is really what I want. I figured if I’m going to go for it, I might as well go for what I really want without taking any short-cuts. I should clarify: I’m willing to do what is within my reach - which means physiotherapy doesn’t seem to be an option as it’s a six-year program and I would have to move for most of my studies and I’m just not willing to part with my house.

Radiology Technician or Respiratory Therapist
Interestingly enough, both these programs are offered through a joint program between the NB Community College, the Université de Moncton and the Georges Dumont Hospital. It’s basically a three year program to become certified with an option of adding a fourth year to get your undergrad. In other words, I could be working after the three year certification.

The first year in both programs is exactly the same. You actually officially enter the program in your second year. Entry to the program is limited, with 6 students being accepted to Respiratory Therapy and 9 students accepted in Radiology (yikes).Here comes the interesting part… when I first went to University many moons ago, my first year was essentially the same courses as are required for these two programs. However, being stubborn I dropped a few essential classes like math and physics (oops). But don’t worry; the classes I picked up instead may come in handy later on.

So, if I can do my two math classes and my two physics classes this year, I would technically have my first year completed. I say technically because I don’t know if courses done 12+ years ago are still valid. Also, I don’t know if you can apply to enter either of these programs if you didn’t start with the group the first year. My meeting with the director will hopefully clear these things up. Pray that he has the answers I want!

Remember those classes I dropped my first year and replaced with some other stuff?
This is where they enter into play. To complete my undergrad (essentially the fourth year) I would need 21 credits from a selection of courses... among these I actually completed 15! Which means I would essentially be missing two classes to complete my undergrad – how crazy is that?

So if those classes taken forever ago are applicable, I might actually be able to complete an undergrad in three years. I could use this year to do my physics, math and one extra credit class per semester and then I would be all lined up for application to my second year (while already having completed my fourth year – are you still following me?).

I keep telling myself if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. I just so want it to be meant to be!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Action-Adventure Gene

I wonder if there is such a thing as an adventurous gene. If I look at my family, my mother is definitely missing the adventure gene: 41 years in the same house (even though the first day she walked in to the newly built house she started to cry cause the kitchen was so small), spent the bulk of her life at the same job (even though she was quite unhappy the last years she worked there) and can’t leave her purse out of her sight for fear of someone stealing it. My father, on the other hand, was more of an adventurer: went to New York with only 10 cents in his pocket (so the story goes), in his 30s he went back to school to become a teacher even though he was married, was the main bread-winner in the family and had a couple of kids… oh, and he would also let us run in the rain and thunderstorms in our bathing suits when we were kids (much to my mother’s endless panic).

If there is such a thing as an adventure gene – I have it. Let’s see… I’ve picked up and moved to a new place/job where I didn’t know anyone more than once. I’ve left the security of a long-term relationship because I knew it wasn’t right. I’ve taken on the challenge of running a half-marathon in another country (even thought I had never ran before) and then ran a full marathon, all while raising funds for charity. I’ve bought a house all on my own… which I think takes a little guts.

The question of the day is: is this adventure gene good or bad?
My Mom feels safe in her home and her surroundings so living here 41 years might be a good thing. My Dad left a potentially paying career in engineering to become a teacher – a job he was immensely passionate about. So in that sense, they are probably good. However, maybe my Mom would have been happier had she left her job for something else in the last years of her career or maybe my father could have avoided a huge financial stress on his family had he just stuck with the career he was in?

What the heck am I babbling about now?
Well, I think I might have figured out a way to keep my house AND go back to school full time (the dog might have to wait, though). Yeah – craziness, I know. The realization that this might actually BE possible has got me wondering if it’s just my adventurous gene kicking in for a good buzz or am I really thinking clearly if I’m contemplating this change? Am I just an adrenaline junky who can’t live without something dramatic in my life or am I making a wise decision.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pravus strikes again

If you don't know who Pravus is, that means you missed the post called: How Changa really feels. It was only posted for a 24 hour period and was a brief look into my many frustrations. Among these frustrations is a person I refer to as Pravus. Pravus is Latin for evil. Since I would rather not say her name... mostly because it disgusts me to do so, I'll just keep calling her Pravus. Don't worry; if you missed the post, I'm sure you'll be able to connect the dots.

So after telling my mother off a few days before my brother's funeral, Pravus acted like nothing happened and was even semi-nice to my mother. I mean, she was still an evil bitch, but she wasn't telling anyone off, so it was manageable. Since then, Pravus and my mother have been in communication frequently and you could say she even cried on my mother's shoulder once or twice.

Side story: my mom has a table in her living room on which she has each of my sisters' wedding pictures and even had my engagement picture once upon a time. My brother got married 12 years ago and although my mother asked for a wedding picture over and over again, she never received one. Therefore, my brother's wedding picture was never on the table. Of course, since he had been separated for the last 5 years, it was obviously not the time to add a picture.

Ok, back to your regularly scheduled program: So last Monday was my mother's birthday. As I'm walking out of the house that evening, Pravus shows up with a gift. I'm surprised because I don't think she ever bought a gift for my mother in the past. When I get home later that evening, my mother is crying. Pravus gave her a little wooden angel (she collects them) and a wedding picture of her and my brother. What the fuck? Why the hell would she give my mother a wedding picture NOW!?

Since Pravus claims stake to all of my brother's worldly possessions, the task of emptying his apartment was left to her. However, my mother (being the person she is) offered to help clean out the apartment to which Pravus agreed. Since Pravus has said repeatedly she only wanted what is hers (which we still don’t know what the hell she is talking about), I think my Mom went there prepared to bring home some of my brother's stuff. She expected the place to be cluttered and disorganised - I mean, she was going there to help clean. When she got there, Pravus had pretty much cleared up everything. She told my mother she was taking everything. My mom asked for the microwave as it had been a gift and Pravus said she needed it. (Another side-note: Pravus is 40-something and lives with her parents) Pravus claimed that the microwave she has had in storage for the last 5 years was dropped and broken and she now needed this new one. To any other request my mother made, Pravus responded: RayLynn wants it. Yeah, freakin' right! My mother also asked if she could have three of my brother's car models. Car models were his passion and he had well over a 100. She told her she wasn't sure she had enough, BAH!!! My mom thinks she is gearing up to sell them at a car model fair this Fall. The kicker was when my mother asked to have back the Christmas ornaments she had given to my brother over years. Pravus shoved her hand in a box, grabbed a random toy solider and said: here, you can have this. GAH! It's almost like she asked my Mom to come over to twist this huge knife in her back. What the hell is wrong with that woman!

Of course, my mother arrived at my sister's place crying (I was at my sister's place helping out). I can't seem to be able to do anything when it comes to Pravus... quite frankly I have to walk away or else I'm afraid I'll explode. The sad part is, I likely won't explode in Pravus' face... it's going to be my Mom who gets the brunt of my anger. Grrr. I HATE PRAVUS!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Apparently I’m stressed.

I decided to tap into my EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and talk to someone to help me manage all my emotions these days. Mostly, I don’t want to take someone’s head off, which I feel I could do at any time these days.

The session went really well. Most of the discussion centered around the stress I currently have in my life. The counsellor made me do the Holmes-Rahe Stress Rating Questionnaire. According to the scale, if you have a normal amount of stress you should score around 150. If your score is above 200 you should be a little concerned. If your score is above 300 you have an 80% chance of becoming ill in the next year. I scored 397! Today I found a copy of the test online and did it again because I forgot to add a few things and my total is now 459!!! Holy Crap! I really hadn't realised I was under so much stress! I mean, I knew things had been rough in the last year but I didn't realise that things like changes in eating habits, changes in lifestyle (i.e. training for marathon), changes in social situation, moving were also stressors. Add that to stressors like death in the family, illness, buying a house, changing jobs, not enjoying my work and you have a recipe for disaster. I guess it explains why I’ve been feeling so crappy lately!

So now I need to figure out something to do to relieve some stress.

Wanna know if you are stressed? Check it out:
Click Here

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hypochondriac, justified or just plain weird

I’ve always thought I was a bit of a hypochondriac. When most people only see their doctor once every few years (maybe once a year for women), I tend to develop a very close relationship with my doctors. Sure, there’s the fact that I have to see my doctor every three months to follow-up on medication I’m taking, but every time I see my doctor I always seem to have an issue that needs mentioning. Sometimes I even have several issues. Ugh.

I’m seeing my doctor as usual in a few weeks. My current issue? I can barely feel my hands. Currently, I wake up several times a night with my hands tingling and feeling “asleep”. About a year and a half ago my doctor in Stellarton thought it might be carpal tunnel syndrome. The assumption was that I slept with my hands rolled inward which blocks the nerve on the inside of my wrist. Since then I wear wrist braces when I sleep (really sexy). It sort of helped in the beginning, but in the last 6 months it does nothing! I wake up all the time during the night and concentrate on keeping my hands perfectly flat. In the morning my hands are almost painful and I can barely lift anything. Now, in the last 6 weeks I’ve been feeling numbness in my two large toes. It started in the left one and now is in both. It’s not the whole toe; just the outer quarter is completely numb. Weird, huh? Last week I noticed the padding right beneath my other toes is now numb. What the fuck?

So I’m not sure if I’m actually a hypochondriac or not. The fact that I can even identify my potential hypochondriac-ness probably means I’m not, right? The truth is, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always thought there was something “wrong” with me. I always felt that one day I would go see my doctor and he/she would say, “Changa, you have X” and I could finally say, thank you – it all makes sense now. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve always been surrounded by illness and just wanted to fit in or because I’ve always felt so “off” my whole life.

Is it weird that I would much prefer to have my doctor identify all my symptoms as being one thing? In my mind, if at least I had something I could just treat it and move on. Or if untreatable I could at least know what the cause of all this is. Currently I just have “band-aids” to calm my current issues. Night sweats? Remove extra blanket from bed. Headaches? Don’t get so stressed-out. Light-headedness? Don’t get up so fast. Tired out? Sleep more. Can’t sleep? Take these sleeping pills. Numbness in hands? Wear these funky braces and all will be fine. So all these band-aids are somewhat fine and dandy, but it doesn’t actually tell me why all these things keep happening to me. Bah.

You know what? At least if I WAS hypochondriac, they could at least identify it as such and give me a freakin’ pill for it!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Brain in overdrive

Research indicates you shouldn't make any unnecessary, life-altering decision in moments of high stress, depression or grief... like decide to change careers a few weeks after your brother passes-away... or buy a dog... or start mentally remodelling the house you have yet to close on... or get engaged. Ok, the last one was added in because I was running out of examples.

It seems like the last few weeks have been a flurry of thoughts on how I should change my life. It started out a few days after my brother passed-away when I thought; why wait until the spring to get a dog? Get a dog now! Yeah, I'm not even in my house yet. I started reading up on dogs and practically have mine picked out. Then I moved on to remodelling the house that is not yet mine. Initially I was tearing down the porch, rebuilding it, repainting the entire house and having the siding redone. Now I seemed to have moved on to installing floors! Of course, in my mind, I'm doing this all myself. And this week it's all about career change. That's it! I'm going back to school... with my dog and while I'm paying a mortgage and remodelling my house.

Hmmm... do you think I take on stuff to avoid reality much?

The school/career thing has been weighing on me for years now and it just keeps coming back. It sucks. Way back in the day as a young University student I started out studying biology. That didn't last long because I couldn't see myself as a "biologist". At the time, I needed to see the end result (ok, I still do). I needed a goal to thrive for and all I could see at the end of the line was a career in research. I knew I loved biology, anatomy and physiology, but couldn't make the link between the science and the real world. Today I realise that it was the University format that wasn't right for me at the time. It wasn't precise enough for my liking. So I headed to college... in communications. Wah? Communications? I don't see the link. Yeah, there wasn't a link. I was creative, liked writing and figured it would be a "fun" career. I mean, Samantha from Sex in the City seemed to have an awesome career, right? Sadly, I didn't see that I could have still gone to college in a biology/health related field, but I really thought I had to do a complete 180.

After years of floating along in communications, advertising, marketing and PR I've become the person who hates writing in a work context, hates dealing with media, gets stressed out when I have to be creative on demand and takes it personally when people criticize my ideas. Most days, I wonder if the field is really for me. One of the things I hate most is the ambiguity of it. Everyone thinks they can do marketing and everyone has an opinion. If I choose to use the word confidence in a document and a sales person comes back to me after the piece is published to let me know that he would have preferred to see the word poise and later a product specialist indicates to me he would have liked to see the word assurance... what is my argument for using the word confidence if all three words would grammatically fit in the context? It's not like I'm saying 1+1=2 and someone comes back to me and says, yeah, I think you should have used 6 instead of 2. Umm, no. 1+1 does not equal 6! Ugh.

So the career change desire comes back every couple of years. The first time I contemplated a career change was back in 2001, just before I got the job offer from Congrès mondial acadien 2004. I wanted to go back to school - wanted a career change. Then the job offer came and it looked to good to refuse! I don't regret taking that job, but I definitely DON'T want to take on that kind of project ever again. The next time a career change was suggested was near the end of Congrès. I still clearly remember New Year's Eve 2003. Mike and I are at a small gathering at a friend's house. We're sitting in the kitchen eating a super yummy dip and talking about life when I mention that, now that Mike has finished his Master's degree, it's finally MY TURN to go back to school. After 4 years of being there for him financially while he studied I was finally going to get my chance. I talked about my interest in physiotherapy and the health industry. However... the next day I left him. Oops. I was on my own and it really wasn't the time to make a career change. I figured I'd give this communication thing one last try... and that's when I ended up at Sobeys. Now I blame Sobeys! I LOVED my job at Sobeys! I really thought, finally; confirmation that I am in the right career. I think it might have been an illusion as the people I worked with were so amazing... I'm not sure if I had moved to another department if the feeling had persisted.

So that brings me to today and my longing to do something more meaningful - something that makes me passionate. So far I've figured a few things out about myself: I'm fascinated by the medical/health field, I need a job that sees results... I just can't work on something for three years before I see the fruits of my labour – even in catering I feel satisfied after nicely placing a table setting… I haven’t done anything incredible, but I enjoy the sense of satisfaction it brings, I need a structured environment without too much ambiguity, I'm a big rule abider (I'm the person who would never do anything without first reading the instructions), I work well with people when they come to me for help or if my role with them is already defined... if I have to go to them to "sell" them an idea or product or even request a service from them I get stressed out, I tend to be the mediator in meetings, I’m surprised (and maybe a little embarrassed) to say, I like repetition – I can’t say I could do the same thing all my life, but there is a certain enjoyment that comes with doing something that is clearly defined and the outcome is always the same, finally, I love using my creativity... but on my own terms. So where does that lead me?

I just can't see how it is fathomable to take 5 to 6 years to become a physiotherapist or even 4 years to become a dietician... I've looked into two or three year programs at colleges (radiology, respiratory therapy), but even that seems impossible to do with a mortgage! I feel like I've come too far financially to give it all up! I also want it all: the house, the dog, the career... maybe I'm just asking for too much.

Ahhh so much to ponder. One thing is clear... right now is not the best time to be making any big decisions.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I blank and I rant

Maybe I should change the title of my blog because I sure haven't been running! My last run was May 27... almost three weeks ago. I know I should go for a run, but I'm feeling lethargic and tired. Yeah, yeah, running would help, but it's quite frankly the last thing I'd like to be doing right now. I'm finding that since my clinic and half-marathon training are done it's hard to get back into the routine. Lately I just rather eat cookies and two-bite brownies (and oh does it ever show)! Ugh

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A must read

If you are looking to brighten your Sunday morning, then you need to read the following blog:

In it you will find the story of a grandmother and a granddaughter with an incredible relationship. The blog was started by Joanne (aka Clementine to certain friends) to chronicle the wonderful, and often hilarious, life of her grandmother Billye Maver. Sadly, Billye passed-away in early April at the age of 100, but her memory lives on through her blog.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cool and the gang

The results are in – I didn’t make the cut to hang with the cool kids. Last night most of my co-workers at the convention centre where talking about going out drinking tonight. It’s a rare occasion where we don’t have an event today or tomorrow so most of the crew are going to a local dance club for a group drunkfest. A few of us weren’t invited. Other than myself there is the boss, the 60-something old bitty who likes to complain and the bizzaro 40-something guy who acts like a three year old. Gah! I’ve been inducted in the land of the weirdos! I figure they didn’t invite me because a) I’m 31 (which for a 19 year old is ancient), b) I only see them once or twice a week, while most of them work full time for the summer, c) I haven’t been there in two weeks so they just didn’t think of inviting me. By the sounds of the discussion the outing had been in planning mode all week.

If I had really wanted to go I would have just invited myself… but the truth is, I don’t want to stay up later than 10 PM. Hah!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Strange things you think about in moments of crisis

A selection of weird thoughts I’ve had over the last 48 hours:

* WARNING: this is a mixture of strangeness sprinkled with a bit of annoyance and anger. If it offends you, just remember that you’ve been warned.

- While going through my brother’s papers in his apartment: I wonder what people would find if I were to die? After thinking about it for a bit… oh man, I really need to get ride of some personal stuff!

- I wonder what kind of food we’re going to get?

- In reference to the following conversation:
Mom: Last Friday he came over to use the BBQ and made himself a steak. *sob*
Friend: Really? A steak? Wow.
Mom: Yes. And he brought his own potatoes. *sob*
Friend: His own potatoes... wow. How thoughtful of him.
Mom: Yes. He was an incredible man. *sob*
---> Seriously, I love thinking of all the wonderful things in my brother’s life, but the fact that he made himself a steak on the BBQ a week before he passed is not that amazing.

- Why do people insist on calling us as soon as they see the newspaper? Just because YOU read the paper at 6:30 am, doesn’t mean everyone in the world is awake!

- I wonder if people looked at me with pity and sadness when my father passed-away the way they look at RayLynn… I guess at 17 I wasn’t a child anymore so it’s not the same.

- Well, I guess my brother won’t be walking me down the aisle if I get married one day… geez, I’m running out of men in my life.

- Why am I not bawling uncontrollably? I wonder if anti-depressants squash my capacity to feel true emotions? Oh crap! Maybe anti-depressants are preventing me from falling in love! Mental Note: must research anti-depressants and one’s capacity for finding a husband in the drug database at work.

- Someone better play some good tunes at my funeral and at the funeral home! None of that Wind Beneath my Wings crap! Give me some classic Van Morrison or U2. A little Dave Matthews, David Gray or Ben Harper. And finally throw in some classic 80’s tunes like I've Had the Time of my Life from Dirty Dancing to make people smile.

- It's just me and my sisters now. How weird is that. I wonder what christmas will be like,

- Are open-toed sandals appropriate for a funeral? If they are really cute – is it more appropriate?

- Hey, if I ever have a boy, I could call him Miguel (which is essentially Michel) in memory of my brother. That’s a good name and bilingual (or even trilingual) to boot!

- I think this is the first time in my life that there isn’t someone around me who is truly ill… if the phone rings before 8 am, I actually don’t need to panic. What a strange feeling.

- While looking at my brother’s wedding pictures: Hmmm…. What year did my brother get married? It must have been ‘95? That would have made him…. 32. Oh crap! The chances are very good I’ll be OLDER than my brother when (if) I ever get married! (the general consensus when he got married was very much: it’s about freakin’ time). Ugh.

- Why do people insist on idealize the memory of the deceased? Just because they passed-away doesn’t make them perfect. Isn’t it a more realistic view of their life to acknowledge the imperfections that made them human?

- Wow. I really do use the word crap quite a bit.

And from the mind of my 10 year old nephew Isaac:
- When I die, I don’t want to go in the bottle ok? I want to go in the box (in reference to wanting to be buried instead of cremated). :-)