Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last day of Feb

Oh my dearest bloggy-wog, sweet thing that you are,

Job searching is making me a bit kooky. I got turned down for the last one after 3 rounds of interviews. It seems that they took the other candidate because he was less experienced and cheaper. For the last two days, I have been surfing the internet, putting in resumes and talking to folks - mostly recruiters, on the phone. I know that the perfect job is out there for me. Just need some help and good wishes to find it. Thank you.

The soul mate front isn't looking too good either. After one seemingly good date, he got the flu. Although we have been in touch, it is not currently looking like there is a second date on the horizon. I need some help and good wishes on that one, too. Thank you.

Aside from what it may sound like, I am very up and happy at the moment. Just trying to be patient going through both processes.

Doggies are doing fine. Took Smokey for his yearly check-up today. Expensive. His Vet is really cool though and oh so cute. Not taking any new clients but will continue to take care of his current ones. A 7:00 AM appointment and it took me one month to get. Whew! Both dogs do love him and did I say he was cute?

What else is happening? Ummm..... All healed up from surgery. 2 months until the next visit where any remaining touch up will be done and I get my nipple. Tattoos - woohoooo!

Still working on "letting go" of my junk in the study. Haven't sold any (no not a one) of my books on Amazon but they are off of the shelf and the non-book paper has gone to the recycling bin. The book shelf is full but with new books and books that had been inhabiting other locales in the house. Still tons of filing to be done although I can see the top of my desk and parts of the floor now.

Finished another painting last night that caused my teacher to say, "Wow!" for the first time. She really liked it. I like it, too.

After sleeping through, er, watching the Academy Awards, I discovered that I hadn't seen most of the movies nominated and/or chosen. Took a break from the job search and went to the video store to rent Flags of Our Fathers, Babel and The Departed. Flags of Our Fathers was pretty good although I would say no where near as good as its companion piece, Letters From Iwo Jima. It was interesting though to see how, even in the days before mass televesion and the internet, facts were still extremely manipulated by the government with the help of the press. I am now watching Babel. Only got about 1/2 way through it yesterday between the job search stuff but, so far, it is pretty good.

Books - Have joined the mass population in reading The Secret which was recently featured on Oprah although it has been around a while. It is all about the Law of Attraction and that is as far as I have gotten.

Well back to the job search. As I mentioned before, any help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers and Happy Day!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Well, well, well

Dearest blog,

It is now exactly 2 weeks since my last posting and I know that you have really been missing me. You have, haven't you? Just say yes. :)

So, what has been happening? Well, way too much, as usual. The last I left you, I had just had surgery and gone through 2 days of interviewing for a job. The surgery and recovery went well. Job search - not so well. The Friday interview did not result in a callback and, even worse, the recruiter never answered the phone or returned my calls or emails. It is a small courtesy to send an email saying that they decided to go another direction, select another candidate or whatever excuse. Just nice to close the loop.

The Thursday interview resulted in two more rounds of interviews last week. All looked good and they checked my references. They told me that I was in the top two candidates. And then......... Well, it seems that they also fell off the face of the earth. I have called the recruiter numerous times and she has not answered, nor returned emails or phone messages. It is so frustrating. Why can't they just save us all time and drop a line saying they are not interested.

Sooooo......back to the drawing board.

In the meantime, on the doctors front, I was due for my first 4 month follow-up with my oncologist after finishing Herceptin. That went well. I had my monthly port flush. That went well. I was also due for my 6 month follow-up with my surgeon. That is more complicated and involves mammograms, ultrasounds, etc. I went through the mammogram - nothing. breasts too dense, etc. I went through the first ultrasound - little shadow. I got called back and went through a second ultrasound in the same day - little shadow. I met with my surgeon. She is discussing with the radiologist what the next step should be - ultrasound guided biopsy or MRI. I am waiting. Not worrying. Just waiting and so busy with job, etc. that I am not noticing the time passing.

And, on the dating front. I finally gave up on Match.com and cancelled my subscription. Buying into the commercials and some other couples I had talked to, I signed on to eHarmony in the hopes of finding my soul mate. It started off with a bang and has since slowed down a bit. I am just about to go on my first eHarmony date so will see how that goes. So far, so good.

And I guess, dear Blog, that is about it for now. Probably lots more to say but my poor old fingers aren't up to it tonight. I will try to speak with you more in the near future.

Friday, February 09, 2007

In the Home Stretch

I had another surgery this week on Tuesday. With any luck, this should be my final surgery. Fingers Crossed. I had a great anesthesiologist, who, after having a nice chat with me, decided to break the normal protocol and take me under with only propofol and no inhaled gases (Fluorine derivatives). I am not an expert and don't know if it really makes a difference, but the PhD, that I worked with from Stanford who had run tests on me after chemo and my surgeries which showed decreased mental function, had recommended against it. There is also a body of literature which recommends against it. I can only speak from personal experience that I would like to keep any limited mental capacity I may have so any precautions that can be taken, I would like to take. The anesthesiologist (K.S.) agreed and said the reason that propofol isn't used exclusively more often is that it is more expensive than the very cheap gas. He took me under with only Propofol. My first words, after 1 hr. 15 min of surgery, in the recovery room were, "Were you able to use the Propofol?" There had been some question and he was going to watch my reactions while under but all went okay. Thanks to the powers that be for Anesthesiologists and Doctors that are willing to step outside of the box.

Back to the surgery. I had various trimmings and adjustments to revise the reconstruction that was done in June. Nothing major but requiring general anesthesia none-the-less. The edges of my abdominal scar were lipoed so that they would lay down flatter and not look like rabbit ears. A little bumpy place was removed under my arm that rubbed and caused pain during yoga. The edges were rounded and smoothed. All went well. Stitches all around in about 4 places.

I was told that I couldn't shower for 48 hours - two days. Oh no, I told the recovery room nurse. That can't be. I have an interview on Thursday morning and have to shower to go to that. The nurse re-evaluated and said that I could shower Thursday morning.

They gave me two shots of morphine and I was good to go home. Starving, of course and had to go to Olive Garden for dinner first before going home and passing out. Wednesday brought no pain and therefore no need for pain killers. I prepared for my interview, talked to friends, filled out the job application.

On Thursday, I was up at 6:30 to get prepared for the 9:00AM interview. I gingerly removed the bandages covering the stitches and noted some bleeding. I hopped in the warm shower which felt so good. Came out. More bleeding. Oh goodness, I thought. It probably was too soon to remove the bandages but the deed was done. I walked around for a while trying to air dry the stitches and stem the bleeding. Finally got dressed and headed off to my interview.

The interview was 4 hours long and went well. I had no pain (physical anyway) and only worried about bleeding through my clothes. Came home feeling pretty energized, not exhausted as I thought. Proceeded to fill out the job app for my next interview which is today (Friday). That seems to be the protocol now. Get the interview and then fill out the company app with all the same stuff that is on your resume before going to the interview. They claim that the job apps only take 20 - 30 min to fill out but each has taken me over 1 hour. Maybe it is that decreased Mental acuity? HaHa.

Rested the rest of the afternoon. My interview today is not until the afternoon. I am ready but still have one more hour before leaving. Ugh. Want to finish and move on to the weekend already. The first company called me this morning and asked me to come back for final rounds next week. Good news. Just hope today goes equally well.

So that is my story of how to have surgery and look for a job in the same week. Crazy. But so is life. I am supposed to be recuperating and not going anywhere or doing anything for 5 - 7 days and then taking things easy for the next few weeks but when a good opportunity comes up, you have to go for it (with jobs, that is). Believe me, if it seems damage will be done, I will put my health first. So far, so good however. Still, it will be really nice to reach the weekend and rest. Whew!........

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Selling 30 year old school books

Well, the trip to BookBuyer's didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. Out of 3 boxes of books, they took only about 17 books - maybe 1/2 box. I got only $2.50 cash out of it and a $17.00 store credit - just about enough to buy one book in their store. What a trade off. Since I worked all day on the book shelf and forgot to defrost the meat for dinner, I decided to drop by McDonald's - something I haven't done in a very long time -for a cheese burger and french fries. That cost $2.98 so the cash from the book sales didn't even cover the cost of a small Micky D's meal. hmmmmmmm.....sighh.........

The interesting thing is that Wicked was the most popular book. They gave me 40% on that one. They took a couple of the Steven King's and older Anne Rice's but left most of them behind for me to take home. They did take the 2 Hemingway books and "Blue Collar Marriage" - all from my 1976 Freshman college English and Sociology classes. Go figure - 30 year old books. I just threw them in at the last minute because I didn't know what else to do with them and those are the ones that they took.

So now I still have 3 boxes of books to get rid of. Will probably explore selling them on Amazon or on eBay. Not looking forward to it but, if it pays, I'll try it.

Letting Go: The Return of the Bookshelf

What is it that possesses some of us to hang on to our past? To keep material memoires of that past time that we never look at and probably never will again? If you are not one of these people, then you are lucky. If you are, you will know exactly what I mean.

From what the headers tell me, this is my third letting go blog. I wish I could say that is my last but, alas, my growth has only just begun. I am still working on the study and still have not finished the filing. My attention last night was once more drawn to the full wall bookshelf that I had once thought would solve all of my problems with where to put the numerous books I have accumulated over the years. The shelf was filled to overflowing years ago and hasn't been touched since. There are still books all over the rest of my house so it was time to take a new look at this shelf and see just what was on it.

The first thing to go was my whole collection of Stephen King books. I think that every book he had written was housed there and took up about one full length of shelf. As much as I enjoyed them, I was probably not going to read those books again. At least, no where as far in the future as I can currently see. I wanted to keep The Stand which is my favorite and I will probably read again but it was not there. I had probably loaned it to someone and it wasn't returned.

Next, went all of the Anne Rice books and the Patricia Cornwell books. A few other odd books were added in and the total came to 3 boxes which I carted off to Book Buyers and will learn the fate of at 9:20PM tonight. Will they give me cash (my sincere hope), a store credit or the books back (lets hope not).

That task being completed, I started attacking the assorted other items of reading material on the shelfs. Out went my class notes from my MBA program (completed 1988), my study notes from completing my CFA (1994) and the various updates on financial standards that I have received since then but with the changes to the accounting standards in the last couple of years are no longer valid. That cleaned out one whole side of the shelf.

The shelves on the other side of the room yielded Chemistry and Biology books from 1976-80. Things have changed a lot since them. I couldn't sell those books but not wanting to throw books away, I put them in a box in the garage and hope to find some place that may be interested in them (a stock department for television or movies, perhaps?) If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them.

And, believe it or not, the shelf is still full even after all of that removal. However, the room does feel a little lighter and I feel as if a heavy burden I didn't even know I was carrying around has been lifted. Some day, I hope this room can become a conducive place to read, paint and work at my computer and desk. As of now, it is still more of a storage room.

Well, back to the bookshelf.