Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What were YOU doing on Christmas circa 1998?

The other day, a woman who I've known virtually all of my life sat down with me over a cup of tea and reminisced about Christmases Past.  We each talked about how when we were kids, we had great family Christmas memories, complete with playing touch football in the front yard before dinner.  Back in the day, (and locale of where we each grew up) the Dallas Cowboys were God's football team.  Seriously.  No, really.  SERIOUSLY

So, in the spirit of Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Roger "the Dodger" Staubach, and countless other 1970's football heroes, we romped in the yard with our fathers, uncles and cousins.  Yes, those were the good ole days to be sure and of course, our beloved grandparents would visit each sibling's family and share in the gift giving, left over dinner and so on.  The belts were loosened around the girth of the men and little girls learned from their mothers and aunts that cleaning up was "our" duty.  Well, some of us learned, anyway. (That's code for NOT ME).

Then, as time passed and the memories and innocense of Christmas became more difficult to conjure, we each grew into our adulthood.  As I took another sip of tea, my friend confided in me and told me that 1998 was the year that were a multitude of "firsts" for her.  "Hmmm?" I asked in mid-sip.  She leaned forward as if ashamed and admitted to me that she was gay.  She had hidden it for years and even was in denial about it.  Then, as they say in Texas, "Things happened and it came a gully wash."  Which meant, that crap happens. 

She was so profoundly sad about learning that she was gay that she didn't think she would ever be accepted into heaven.  She even considered the fact that if God wanted men and men, women and women to be together, surely he would have concocted a way for procreation as homosexuals.   I mean, if homosexuality was "right" or "correct" in God's eyes, then this would be the divine way.  Ya know, Adam and Eve not Steve.  We talked at length, as I never knew that this secret was burning a hole through her soul.  You never know the grief and pain some go through, all without saying a word.  She told me about Christmas 1998 where she cried for hours on end, hating herself and even wanting to "off" herself.  I mean, this wasn't normal. 

When I asked her how she came to grips with it, here's what she said:

"It was Time to Clean Out My Closet.

Isn’t it amazing the things that you accumulate in your life? If you need a reminder, try cleaning out your closet. You know, the one you came out of at “that moment”.

I found myself doing just that a couple of weeks ago. I walked into “that closet” and took a good look. It was very good at keeping my personal things out of sight. It made everything look like it was in order and functioning just fine, thank you very much. I knelt down and opened some old boxes and started going through some of my childhood memorabilia. I had to chuckle to myself, here is the lacey dress with petticoats that I wore when I was about 5 years old. Oh wait, the patent leather shoes….My God, here they are. Did I really wear all that? Oh, yes. Wait, here’s another box of photographs. I’m wearing my ever-present Shirley Temple hairdo, courtesy of my Mom, hair rollers and significant amounts of Dippidy-Doo and Aqua Net. I was the frilliest, most feminine little girl I had ever seen.

Then I looked at myself really closely. I think my eyes said it all. I was different. So different it was absolutely painful, and I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why or how I was different from everyone else. I looked like all the other little girls in elementary school. I looked at another picture and something caught my eye. I was standing in front of my elementary school smiling for the camera, and someone had written on the brick walls, “Queer”. As I saw this phrase scrawled behind my right shoulder, I realized that it had been following me all my life. There it was, always right over my shoulder.

It wasn’t for quite a few years that I turned to a counselor to help me clean out my closet. Together we talked, I cried, felt relief, anger, denial, guilt, and a plethora of other emotions. I had to experience them all to get where I am now. I put the lid back on the boxes and neatly arranged them in my closet. I turned out the light and quietly closed the door and thought to myself, I’m glad I had the courage to clean out my closet."

Need help with cleaning out your closet? Don’t hesitate to contact a counselor, trusted friend or parent. You’ll be glad you did.

By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, the woman I was talking to was ME.

More Musings Later-

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Corporate America and the Asterick

In the past, I have freelanced for quite a few clients who either owned small businesses or were CEO's of Fortune 100 companies.  Here is what they all have in common:  BUZZWORDS. Oh, you know the ones...come on, everyone join in: 

Synergy, Strategy, Strategic, Sales Nurturer, benchmarking, Component, deliverables, facilitate, fasttrack, Let's put our arms around this,  thought leader, mission critical, scorecards, metrics, take it offline, succession planning, weekend retreat, win-win and a million more.

Unfortunately, along with those words come the embedded office politics that kill off the good employees and keep the crappy ones that are devious.  I know that my readers have had at least 1 experience where they were stabbed in the back by a co-worker in order to score points for the boss.  Whether it was to take credit where it wasn't due or just to stab you in the back for the sport of it.  Either way, it stinks.

In fact, when I used to work for a major coporation (wait one moment, I am having a modified convulsion at the mere memory).  I rememmber that we had just gotten a new EVP of HR in corporate.  Now remember, we had literally hundreds and hundreds of HR staff around the country.  A curious mass email was sent to these hundreds and hundreds of HR Staff by error.  I knew it was sent out "by error" and immediately saved it to my hard drive.  Now, most people didn't save it or even were in their email at the time.  Heh-heh, but I was.
I reviewed the document that was immediately rescinded by the sender.  It was titled, "HR Succession by Location."  Oh, that's a lovely title and contained more drama than a bad reality show.  I looked for my location and saw the infamous asterik mark next to my boss's name.  I had to agree.  My ex-boss was crappy at her job.  However, his corporate EVP of HR had made no "error in sending this email out."  In fact, I made a call to her admin assistant and asked what the astericks meant.  (Knowing full well it means - "You're canned, get ready to stand in the unemployment line.")

She sounded panicked.  "Uh, um...you saw that memo?  Oh, it's nothing...just a memo I was working on for the EVP...it's really nothing...really...(gulp) no really.  You saw it?  uh...ok, don't worry about it, just trash it, ok?"  I could literally hear the sweat spilling from her temples on to her desk.  Corporate America sucks.  Then, I called my boss at home who was taking a mental health day and told her to sit down.  I read her the entire memo and told her about the asterick.  My ex-boss asked what that meant.

"Uh, it means you will be wearing sweats all day, eating Fritos and watching Oprah and Judge Judy on a daily basis." I replied.     My boss woo-hooed loudly to be laid off from her misery.  Me?  I simply called the Director of HR for my region and pleaded with her to lay me off.  She couldn't believe it, but I had enough of the office politics, the buzzwords, the firing of people because they exhausted FMLA, regardless of whether they wee terminally ill or not.  I just had enough.
The last thing I said after the asterick fiasco was...UNCLE. 

And so began my writing career.

More Musings Later-

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Diabetes SUCKS

Alot of people hate giving themselves injections of insulin.  To me, that's not a big deal, especially since I only take it twice a day, morning and evening. I remember when they put me on 2 different insulins; so much of this one, so much of that one and if my blood sugar is high, then more of that one, not so much of this one.  What a bunch of crap. 

Yes, diabetes has made me extremely grumpy.  Why?, O' let me count the ways.

1.  My doctor at the hospital put me on 40 ml. of 70/30 insulin.  That means they combined 2 insulins together so that it's not such a pain in the ass to take it. 

2.  40 ml is too much insulin.  Know what happens when you take too much insulin?

3.  HYPOGLYCEMIA - I had this as a kid.  You feel like you could eat anything not nailed down, you shake (which I do anyway), break out in a coldsweat and feel crappy and exhausted.

4.  I call the doctor...tell her what is happening.  "Take only 36 ml. of insulin"

5.  My blood sugar goes down to 44.  Like, that's not good.  More shaking, more eating of everything in the house as well as Orange Juice.

6.  Dr says, go down to 32 units.  I say to myself, "screw it, going to 30".  So far so good.  We'll see how it messes with my blood sugar.

Eating a Diabetic diet is a pain in the ass

Morning Routine:
Take my blood sugar.  Write it down in the Blood sugar in the pocket tablet.  Write down what I'm going to eat along with the total carbohydrates for that meal. 
Measure 30 ml of insulin, poke my stomach and then fix the following:

1 cup of Cheerios with artificial sweetner, 2/3 cup of fat free, skim milk, 1/2 banana or 1/2 cup of fruit and 1 piece of whole grain toast with 1 tsp of margerine.  Don't go over 45 grams of carbohydrates.

Who the hell eats a 1/2 a piece of fruit???  That's downright weird and it irks me everytime I do it.

Noon Routine
Take blood sugar.  Write it down in the Blood sugar in the pocket tablet. Write down what I'm going to eat along with the total carbohydrates for that meal.

Fix the following:
1 oz Turkey and Cheese sandwich with wheat bread, 1 tsp of Mayo, Lettuce/Tomato if desired.
10 Tortilla chips
Yogurt or 1/2 piece of fruit
maybe a sugar free pudding  Don't go over 60 carbs.

Take blood sugar. Write it down in the Blood sugar in the pocket tablet. Write down what I'm going to eat along with the total carbohydrates for that meal.

Fix the following:

Piece of Meat (usually chicken or Hamburger patty)
Vegetable (I usually fix frozen okra with onions stirfried together in 1 tsp of EVOO)
If I add Green Beans, then I count the carbs (????) Green Beans are 5 carbs.
Eat more flippin fruit or yogurt.  If I want a snack I can eat 10 almonds or cashews.  Woo-hoo!

2 hours after, take my blood sugar again, write it down, poke myself in the stomach again with my insulin shot, curse my doctors and my liver and go to bed.  However, I do chuckle sometiems because I remember when my ex-brother-in-law would comment on Momma Judd's medical condition when her liver was messed up and she thought she was going to die.  He simply would say, "Oh, she'll tour again with Wynonna...it will be called, "My Liver is Better Tour" or maybe, "I'm not Quite So Yellow Tour"  I love sarcasm.

This is a weird diet, I'm sorry.  I am getting used to it and I go to "class" early next week.  As John Lennon would say, Most Peculiar, Momma.

More Musings Later-