Thursday, May 21, 2009


We have been chastised at work and told that there is a new company policy against personal use of the internet, texting while at work, and personal phone calls outside of break time. This is hilarious for a few reasons.

First, our company employs a total of 13 people. Our "HR Manager" sent us all an email, then typed up a letter and delivered it to us all in a sealed, addressed envelope. You see, he wasn't an HR guy originally, he was a friend of the owner who needed a job years ago when the company consisted of three people. His skills have not evolved, but they couldn't very well let him go, so he was deemed HR/Safety Manager. He takes his job very seriously. We lovingly refer to him as the "hall monitor".
Secondly, the average age of our company is 33, with the owner being 27. We are a young group. We are all driven, team players who get our work done, plus some. But somehow it was decided that there was excess of shenanigans on the computer and we were shut down.

Finally, apparently it really was excessive. Now that we are unable to get online for personal reasons we are all bored senseless with every last task completed. Now, I run all things financial for the company. I'm the mini-Controller/CFO. I have a LOT to do. In fact, our boss just started another company and handed that one over to me as well. And yet, I could do it all in a 25-30 hour workweek if I focused (which I don't generally do). Now I am so stinking efficient that I am going to work myself into a time decrease, and thus a pay cut. And Savannah, she is ready to poke her eyes out. She handles a LOT as well, project management and contract procurement, etc. Still, it is done and she is now stuck reading Eclipse under her desk to pass the time. All while trying to evade "HR". It sucks.

Anyhow, that boring diatribe about work politics is all to say that I am stuck posting only at night and on weekends, the same block of time that I try to spend quality time with my husband and son. Where is the humanity in that? How can an employer take away my time from my family to handle personal stuff that could easily be handled on his dime? I know, as the accountant I should be on his side...normally I will break down cost-efficiency to the penny, when it doesn't result in horrific boredom and lack of exploration of current events on my part. And by current events, I mean Evil Beet Gossip, of course.

Look Ma! An Award!

Wendy in LaLaLand has honored me with an award and I am thrilled. It's like when I was nominated for prom court in my high school class of over 700. It's a great honor to be recognized out of so many great bloggers and peers. Thank you Wendy!

Some of my faves were already dubbed by Wendy in her nomination (DSS) so I won't be redundant. But you'll have to check out those that Wendy listed. All great reads!

And now, the Queenly Duties are as follows:

1. List 7 things that make me awe-summm.

2. Pass the award onto 7 bloggers that I love.

3. Tag those bloggers to let them know they are now Queens too (and link back to the Queen who tagged you).

Seven Awe-Summm Things About Me (a trial for someone whose blog contains "inadequate" in the title...

1. I am starting over after seven years in a bad marriage, and despite every reason to...I didn't give up on it. And now, I am in a great marriage!

2. I gave birth to a human being. Yeah! I know! It's incredible.

3. I am learning how to shop sales after a lifetime as a snobby shopaholic. That's right, I can now admit to shopping at Kohl's.

4. I am training to run a half-marathon in October. And I'm that makes me awe-summm and stupid!

5. I often think in foreign languages. When I lay awake at night and my mind is racing, I like to translate my thoughts to French or Spanish.

6. I can say the alphabet backwards in under 5 seconds. (Something I learned to do while laying sleeplessly in bed).

7. I have gone down two sizes since January...and I am still shrinking!

And now, for the nominees for Queen of All Things Awe-Summm...

Check them out. They each have a lot to offer and are really entertaining.

Monday, May 18, 2009


We're nearing summer and just like a caterpillar, wrapped up all winter, I am getting the urge to burst forth from my cocoon of cellulite and emerge beautiful for warm weather.  This isn't as simple as just pulling out last year's summer clothes and getting on with it.  Since I am just awakening from a 4-year depressive spell, which was accompanied by the requisite weight gain, I am currently downsizing from that old body.  

On Saturday I went out to get a couple things for the warmer weather and was excited to see that I am now 2 sizes smaller than I was back in January!  That's great encouragement to keep going in my journey to better myself health wise.  I'm still a lot bigger than I would like to be, but I have lost enough weight that people actually notice.

For the last four years I have been trying to cover myself up.  I may have mentioned it before, but I was hiding behind weight, mediocre hair and baggy clothes.  I didn't want to be seen by anyone because I was afraid that if someone showed interest I would do something stupid.  I came so close all those years ago and it scared the crap out of me.  

Now, I feel like I have awakened to a new life.  I love my husband.  I am in love with my husband.  I have no desire to have anyone else fill the sexual or physical void in my life.  I think a lot of the reason I am not interested in sex right now is because I feel disgusted by myself.  I need to be sexified.

My plan consists of the following:
- Highlights: my husband has been asking me to put blond in my hair for ages and I was always too pissed at the thought that he wouldn't accept me for the brunette he married to lighten my hair.  The fact is, I like blond highlights (little strands) and I am looking forward to lightening       things up for the summer.
- Pigmentation: I am pale.  I have that lovely Irish skin that is translucent.  You can see my capillaries at all times and I have that lovely reddish tint.  I use a sunless tanner, but the plan is to be outside more now, between running, biking and taking Cade to the park, that way I get a nice color that is flattering.  I am really tempted to go to a tanning bed because I like the all-over tan, but I'll put that off for now.
- Mani/Pedi: Since I am now a recessionista, I will probably have to do these two myself.  That sucks, but I'll suck up the suckiness and make it look nice.
- Continue losing weight: I still have about 30 lbs to lose to be at my ideal weight.  Mind you, I am a recovering anorexic/bulimic so my ideal is not necessarily where I should end up.  I'm 5'7" and muscular, so 140lbs is about a size 4-6...and that is where I want to be.  That is where I was when I was modeling a few years ago, and that's when my husband was really attracted to me. That's also where I can walk around with my head up.  I have seen a lot of my shoes and the cracks in the pavement lately.  It's time I face the world with who I am.  

I think in the interest of full disclosure, so you can all see what will hopefully be my transformation over time, I will do before, during, and final pictures.  I have been terrified of cameras for a long time, but I'm going to cave and do it.  I would like to get everyone's opinions on what I could do to further blossom.  I'll get my photographer husband to take some pics (he doesn't like to because I complain about every picture...again, I'll suck it up) and get back to you with those.

Do you think I could get some help from you all?  I would be eternally grateful!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In Another's Words

Well, as with the last few posts, looks like I will take the steps of our fair President and backtrack a bit.  I have been reading up on and watching a lot of the hearings on the crash of 3407 and I am willing to back away a little from supporting the pilots in this case.  It looks like there were a lot of poor choices going into this trip as well as lax industry standards that combined to cause this crash.

I ran across this editorial from a pilot on the internet and thought this person really captured the frustrations of the airline community when hearing the berating of the pilots and airlines during this investigation.  I noticed that no one commented on the last post, and I know this is a touchy subject.  It just happens to be the subject that I am concentrated on right now.  I hope you all bear with me.


"I'm a pilot for another regional carrier (not Colgan, or any company owned by Pinnacle Holdings...the company that owns Colgan). So many people don't understand the life of a regional airline pilot, I almost feel obligated to give some insight here.

To become an airline pilot it's almost impossible to gain all the licenses and experience necessary to get hired without racking up at least $50,000+ in student loans for training, including all your books, equipment, other materials, fuel, instructor fees, renter's insurance, etc. You could easily get a bachelors and masters degree at most state schools for less. 

My first year in the regional airlines I made $28,000 before taxes, and that's at the top end of the scale. And I spent about $2000 of that (7% of my paycheck, about 10% after taxes) on uniforms, luggage, and other equipment just to be able to do my job. I got lucky in that when I got hired we were in the middle of a hiring boom, and I never had to sit on reserve duty (where you only make a minimum monthly guarantee pay most of the time). Had I not been hired when I was, I would have probably made $20,000 per year or less. Most of the captains I'm flying with now made less than $15,000 their first year in the industry.

The passengers obviously provide our paychecks, just like customers in any other industry. But, the flying public wants their $69 one way tickets. In my opinion, flying should never be less than at least two or three times the cost of driving the same distance. Let's say I flew you 1000 miles (a pretty common distance, even for a regional carrier). If you drove it, at $2.20 per gallon and 25 MPG in an average car/suv, it would cost you about $90 in gas, $100 for a hotel (because the average person doesn't drive 1000 miles in one day). The trip would take you about 17 hours by car averaging 60 MPH. Double all those figures for the return trip, and you would have paid close to $400 not including food or other incidentals, and taken four days of your time. But, the flying public demands that we provide travel for that same distance for about $300 or less for a round trip. And, we can get you there in about two hours (as opposed to two way). You can avoid the mileage and wear and tear on your car, fly your 1000 miles, for 25% less money, and 90% faster time. Then you could do your business, turn around and come back in time for dinner. Yet, the public goes into uproar if ticket prices go up. 

So, "thank you", Mr. and Mrs. U.S. flying public, for demanding the lowest airfare in the world, and for my minimum wage paycheck. I would buy you a beer for your caring and compassion, but you can't buy that with food stamps. Oh, and while I have your entire family's life in my hands, flying through thunderstorms, ice, rain, and snow in some of the most congested and complicated airspace in the country on less than three hours of sleep, please feel free to keep sending up your complains about how hot or cold it is, the seats are uncomfortable, my bag won't fit in the overhead, why is the seat belt sign still on, there isn't enough leg room, it's too bumpy, this is taking too long, blah blah blah.

It takes a special kind of person to work in this industry. These days being a pilot is viewed by the public as being not much more than a glorified bus driver. So, until ticket prices go up, wages increase, work/rest rules are improved, and the industry regains some of its exclusivity, it will never attract the caliber of individual the public expects to see at the controls. Until that happens, the flying public has made the airline industry about the almighty dollar rather than actually serving the customer. The same is true in crew training. I can can tell you from experience that safety is always our number one concern, but not far behind in the list of priorities is completing the flight on time. We fly with substandard and/or broken equipment on a daily basis because you, as the flying public, want your free meals, hotel stays, and free travel vouchers if the flight is delayed or cancelled. The maintenance guys could delay a flight by 45 minutes to change a tire, because it's so worn that one more landing would make the thing explode. And, all we get from the passengers are arms thrown up in frustration and comments about how "ridiculous" this is. Yet, you still want to pay peanuts for your ticket.

So, yes pilot training in some places might be considered substandard compared to the ideal level of proficiency the public demands. The airline industry likes to boast about how well pilots are trained and how safe it is. What they really mean is that the pilots are trained well and safety is held at the highest standard given the available financial resources and associated costs. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want airfares cheaper than dirt, that lack of cash flow trickles up to all levels of the individual company, including training for pilots and maintenance personnel, as well as making the industry as a whole unattractive to the most qualified and capable people.

The pilots of Colgan 3407 might have made some bad decisions, and it cost many people their lives. I prayed for their families and hope it never happens again. But, those pilots' level of training and arguably lack of experience is a direct result of the demands of the flying public. While I go to work every day, trying to make the best decisions possible and keep my passengers as safe and comfortable as I can, I know Colgan 3407 will not be the last or the worst accident we'll have, maybe even just this year. And, what I cannot tolerate is the public's constant complaining, insistence on perfect performance and better safety, while also demanding cheaper fares. Do you go to a BMW dealership and demand quality parts, power, and German engineering for the price of a Kia? Probably not. So, which one do you want? Quality or economy?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Colgan 3407

I was listening to the news on iTunes at work today when the followup story on the Feb. 12th crash of Continental Connections played.  The cause that they are investigating is one I fought so hard against back in February.  Pilot error.

Here is the article in the Wall Street Journal.

That crash hit very close to home.  Continental is my old company. The old guy of whom I no longer speak flew for Continental Express. I still have many friends and connections that fly Continental Express for one regional carrier or another and are based out of Newark.  It's a really small family, all in all.  

I've had so many dreams over the years of working a flight as it crashed.  Nightmares, usually. In the same way that I would dream over and over again that I was on the 1ooth floor of the World Trade Center and had to jump, I feel the emotions so clearly.  Even all these years out of the industry, I still have these dreams regularly.  And so, having flown so many times, I can so clearly imagine how those flight attendants felt on their jumpseats; trying to look calm for the passengers that were looking to them for some comprehension of the situation. But they knew what was happening.  They knew how close they were on their descent and they knew when the plane started to buck and roll wildly that they were going to die.  It breaks my heart to think of what everyone on that flight went through.

At the time of the crash, it looked like icing was the leading factor.  From the looks of how the captain handled the situation, he may have thought it was tail icing, which makes sense based on the reported conditions in the area.  The big trick from God on aerodynamics is that with wing icing you do what the plane is designed for, push the stick forward and increase thrust (step on the gas).  With tail icing, you pull back on the stick to decrease speed.  But it is really hard to know which condition you are presented with.  Every model handles differently, each plane indicates stalls differently.  

But now, the death of all of those people are being blamed on this one man.  That makes me so sad for his family.  For those fliers reading this, you're probably thinking, "hell yeah, we blame him!  It was his responsibility to fly the plane!".   I think we all take for granted what that entails. We get on a plane and expect that it's routine for these people.  And it gets that way.  Flight crews get so used to day in/day out regular conditions that we can be complacent when something finally happens.  The idea is to train us so systematically that the procedures are emblazoned in our minds so that it is completely natural to follow those procedures.  I'm speaking from experience in the cabin.  When I had a passenger down with a heart attack I did, robotically even, what I had been trained to do.  

However, I have also been in the cockpit.  I have flown a plane.  I honestly couldn't handle the pressure of the fact that my mistake, in an instant, could cause my or anyone's death.  There is SO MUCH going on in that cockpit.  There are SO MANY things to consider when making any split-second decision.  Hearing Capt. Sully retell the story of the Hudson River landing gives you an indication of that.  His calm, calculated handling saved hundreds.  But he had been flying for more than 20 years.

The fact is, this pilot wasn't trained extensively enough.  You can bet that there will be new FAA requirements due to this accident.  But we have to remember, the people flying those regional jets are there for a have to start somewhere.  They are usually just building flight hours so that they can get to the majors.  The hours they acquired (which are pretty minimal) in order to get hired on were likely as flight instructors on completely different equipment than what they are now flying.  Flying for the regionals is like continued training.  Perhaps this is a new concept to the press, but it is understood in the industry.  If you took pilots with little experience out of the cockpits of regional carriers, there would be no one left to fly.  When they get the hours that the public would expect from them to qualify as experienced, they jump ship and go to the bigger airlines because that is the whole point.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great pilots out there in the regionals.  There are those that handle pressure better than others.  Perhaps this captain wasn't one of them.  I just hate to see the press pick apart things like "idle chatter" below 10,000 ft. and how that is not allowed by the FAA.  They point to the fact that the co-pilot was congested as if that would in any way contribute to the situation. When you are congested and fly your ears don't pressurize normally and it can cause severe pain and bursting eardrums...but she never said a word about pain once she was inflight, so why even bring that up?  She did nothing wrong, yet they are trying to cast doubt on her ability to fly that day.

Yes, I know I am rambling.  No, I don't guess I really have a point.  I guess, with the airline industry being so close, it feels like they are picking on family.  Family that is no longer here to defend themselves.  I guess the greatest loss is that no one in that plane stood a chance.  That finality absolutely breaks my heart. 

Monday, May 11, 2009


Wow.  After I posted that whiny, bitchy blog post last night I totally beat myself up.  What a spoiled brat I was being!  It's not Wife's Day, it's Mother's Day.  My son wrote me a card, which was cute because he spelled it Happy Muder's Day.  Ahhhhh...  I spent quality time with my child, the whole reason the day is celebrated.

And what did I do for my mother, you may ask?  Very little!  Because funds are tight I simply got her a good bottle of wine and a card.  We all went and hung out with them, but I didn't really do it up the way we used to.  It wasn't a day all about me.  It was about her too.

And to add to my guilt, it really hit me that perhaps my husband is having a hard time with the day anyway.  You guys will probably want to kick me in the shin for being such a selfish idiot when I mention this part.  Four years ago this month my husband's mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer.  Five weeks after her diagnosis she had died.  He was very close to her and yet, to this day, we still do not mention her in our house.  It is something he just is not able to touch.  So, I would assume that on Mother's Day, he has his own issues to deal with.  Yet there I was laying on the guilt trip.  Bitch.

The only thing I have to be grateful about is that I can look at myself and see these flaws.  I'm thankful that I am not one of those people who act this way throughout life and wonders why those around them are miserable.  I have a lot of making up to do with Patrick 2.0.  This new version of my husband deserves a lot more respect than what I was used to showing the old version and I have to remember that.

And Libe, you are absolutely right.  You shouldn't force anyone to celebrate a holiday with you. Of course the ideal is that it is not forcing, it is something that they want to do.  All things considered surrounding this day, I am going to make a point to celebrate my mother from now on and let the rest be.  

I really hate it when my flaws are so glaringly obvious.  I so wish that I would grow up already and be the composed, graceful woman that I want so badly to be.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother Schmother

If I see one more wish for a Happy Mother's Day, I swear I will pull my hair out.  Where does all this love and kindness and well-wishing for mothers everywhere come from?  Every single status update on Facebook is "Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there, blah, blah, blah". Honestly, I hate holidays for this very reason.  Everyone else is always living it up.  They have great stories of what their husbands or children have done for them.  My brother, for he took his wife and children to a river park outside of Nashville with their bicycles and a picnic.  They all frolicked and rode bikes during the brief breakthrough of sunshine that seemed to come through just for them.  My brother makes it a point to make holidays for his wife special.

My sweet, dear husband, whom I love more than anything, was not raised in a home where holidays were anything special.  His father is not a kind, loving man like my father is.  His father is a selfish, self-centered, egotistical jerk who thinks of little else but himself.  My husband didn't have a good role model.  Even though he tries, and sometimes really comes through, he just doesn't know how to make special days special.  Our anniversary and my birthday are a day apart and they usually come with little more than a card and a meal.  The cards are there because I told him that he would lose his left nut if he ever forgot to get me a card again after the first Mother's Day.  He fell asleep yesterday at 4 pm and didn't wake up until 4 am because he has been working ridiculous hours.  But he still got up at 4 am and went to the store to get a card for me from him and my son before getting to work at 5.  Sure, he put it off to the last minute, but he went out of his way to get it done and I appreciate that.

Still, nothing ever really measures up to all I hear from others and what I expect.  What would I want him to do?  I don't know.  We went to my parents house and Patrick went outside with Cade and spent forever playing baseball with him, something he wouldn't have done only a few short months ago.  Truly, this Mother's Day really has been the best because I am in love with my husband and our lives together are moving in a really great direction.  I should suck it up and be grateful for that.  And after writing this and really taking a look at all that has changed around me, I think I will.  

But I still don't want to hear another word about this stupid day.  I'm just glad it's over.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Contentment - A Foreign Concept Until Now

Wow!  What an amazing week! I started full-time work this week and I haven't worked a 40 hour work week in over a year and a half.  I was really worried about how my body would handle it, but my darling husband has been so great this week.  He has let me take naps every evening while he cooks, does homework with Cade and generally mans the homefront.  I'll tell you something, I am feeling pretty lucky right now to have such a wonderful man.  It's amazing how a little time can change things.

As for Cade (who was seriously on my last nerve and about to get shipped off to boarding school for 1st graders) he was wonderful this week as well!  He got into trouble at school on Monday and that night was no fun at home.  But I asked Wendie for some advice and we started implementing some things around the house and WOW!  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, Cade actually asked US if he could go to bed.  He proceeded to fall asleep in a matter of minutes after laying down with no fussing whatsoever.  For some of you parents, that might not seem like the modern day miracle that it really is.  But seriously, since the day of his birth all those years ago, he has gone to sleep without a fight maybe a handful of times.  He is hyperactive, and with that comes a lack of need for sleep like most children have.  He can operate fully well on six hours of sleep and has been that way for as long as I can remember.  It's one of those cruel jokes that the world plays on us, considering I could sleep for 14 hours and still not feel rested.  Naturally, my first concern was that he was still sick.  It was completely uncharacteristic.  But I've kept a close eye on him and he seems fine.  He is agreeable, considerate and independent...and it's niiiiice.

For the first time that I can remember I am going into a weekend with a family of which I am really happy to be a part.  This is completely new for me.  I have been discontent for so long that I hadn't realized what a weight it was on me.  And you know, it comes easy now to do things for my husband.  I love him, I like him, and what's more...I respect him.  Things are good.  Do I still wig out if he doesn't listen closely enough or seem concerned about what I am saying to him at the time?  Yes.  But now the first thought doesn't instantly go towards leaving him.  Now, I just think about how much work the next fifty years of our lives are going to be - and I am glad to be a part of it.  I want to work to keep this family together.

Mind you, there still has been no sex.  I am really stuck where that is concerned.  I don't know when or how we are going to start attacking that aspect, but for his sake, I hope it's soon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Let's Talk About Sex (Part Two)

This is the second part of a story.  Part One is here.

As I was saying, my husband and I haven't had sex in over a year.  Although it hasn't always been my lack of desire that stopped us, it is now.  And that is why I am trying to figure out how to make a change.  Now, there are many possible reasons for my lack of interest in sex.  Allow me to expound:

1. High doses of Zoloft - Zoloft is known to have sexual side affects.  Many people who are treated for depression usually start at a dose of 25mg once daily.  Over time your body gets used to the medication and it stops working.  It does this suddenly, without warning, and usually causes a breakdown. Since I began being treated for depression at 19, twelve years ago, I am now taking 200mg a day, plus another 100mg of Wellbutrin.  You would think I would be a walking zombie, but I have built up a resistance to the drug and apparently my doctor thinks increasing the dosage to a level at which the insurance company constantly needs reassurance is safe prior to filling my script is a good idea.

2. Lupus - I was diagnosed with systemic lupus at 21 and have struggled since then.  When I don't get regular naps, say if I have to work a 40-hour week, my body starts to break down. Arthritis kicks in, extreme fatigue, the big splotches on my face known as the lupus mask become noticeable, and I am utterly useless.  On a normal basis, when I get a daily nap of at least two hours, I am only fatigued, and I am talking about bone-aching tired.  Remember the last time you stayed up for more than 24-36 hours?  Remember how sick you felt?  That's what a normal day without rest can feel like to me.  So, needless to say, sex is not the top of my priorities.

3.  Lack of Chemistry - Patrick and I have never been electric by any means.  In fact, while dating the sex was good in that "it's a new person and different is good" kind of way. However, Patrick was struggling with premarital sex and his Christianity and so there was always a lot of reserve on his part.  From the day we were married the sex dropped to simply mechanical.  It was predictable; eyes closed, no kissing, no creativity, no good.  With all of the things we have been through over the last 7 years, it has simply gone downhill from there.

My general practitioner prescribed me Viagra a year or so ago to combat the Zoloft's affects.  I took one and then tried to force Patrick to have sex with me.  But he was struggling with his own issues then and he turned me down.  So I vowed never to try again. And I haven't.  But he has made a complete and sustained 180, and now that he wants to have sex, I am not interested.

I know that it is extremely important to the survival of our marriage, the one we have both started fighting for at the same time for once, to become intimate.  But even talking about it one-on-one with with our counselor yesterday, the physical reaction to the idea of having sex with Patrick is still there.  I get chills, and not the good kind.  The counselor told me that he would start working with us to learn intimacy all over again.  At this point that seems impossible to me. But if you had told me a month ago that I would be falling in love with my husband all over again, or maybe for the first time, I wouldn't have believed that either.  But I am.

So, our next step is to start at 1st base.  Apparently, we are going to relearn the whole kit and caboodle.  And in the meantime,  I need to talk to my psychiatrist about alternative options for treatment other than slowly causing liver failure to prevent suicide.  I appreciate her short-term vs. long term approach, but I'm in this life thing for the long haul, so I would like to do something to treat both.