Friday, March 10, 2017

Break in 6 hours....

Yes. I'm counting the hours. And I don't even get a "real" break this break:

- I have exams to grade
- I have a quiz and an exam to write
- I need to start playing with the data from the earlier run of the allelopathy experiment, and probably start working on an Introduction and Materials and Methods
- I should do more reading for Environmental Policy and Law.


I don't have to work tomorrow. I don't even have to go to Sherman tomorrow; there's going to be no frantic scrabbling of "this is the ONLY day for a while I have time to do "big" grocery shopping," and I have a lamb loaf in the fridge, and a bit of leftover steak, and the makings for crustless quiche, and enough vegetables (and if I run low, I can run to the Green Spray; their fresh stuff is better anyway).

I mmmmmmight grade the exams this afternoon, I don't know.

And I will say on Policy and Law: I'm less afraid of it now that I've started the reading and looked over some of the info the previous instructor passed to me and realized that a lot of this is stuff that someone who had some solid Civics classes in school should know, and a lot of it is just boning up on stuff again (like the differences between Federal and State court systems). And I have a high tolerance for what other people regard as "boring." (Actually, a lot of the legal arcana is kind of interesting to me. Maybe I missed my calling? I don't know. I have said on many occasions that if this job evaporated I'd look into getting some kind of a law degree and either work with a consulting firm or do something in environmental law. I guess some of the research/searching functions have been taken over by 'bots, which is a pity, because seeking out information is one thing I am truly good at, but maybe there'd be something else. Not that I want to have to, but it's good to have an idea in mind)

I have some tentative fun plans, though:

 - work on the ongoing knitting projects - Hagrid, and the socks that are on the needles, and the neverending sampler-type scarf (the Gamekeeper's Scarf). (I wonder what it says that three of my active projects are all Harry Potter-inspired: a sweater and a scarf inspired by Hagrid; socks inspired by Hermione)

- do some more hand quilting, and also see if I can get more done on the long-stalled quilt top that has half its blocks sewn up.

- Take a day (maybe Wednesday) and go antiquing. Not sure whether to Sherman/Denison, which would be closest, or see what Ardmore has going on these days, or try to figure out some farther destination.

- Rest up. Watch cartoons. Play the piano more. Maybe plant my spring crop of beans if it's not cold rainy and crummy all week.

- ???? I am leaving a wild-card open in case I hear about something fun somewhere within an easy drive - a museum I haven't been to, a small town with an interesting shopping district and a good place to grab lunch (I will still be restricting carbohydrates but might loosen up a bit in the days following bloodwork on the grounds of (a) it can't mess up my numbers now and (b) if I DO have to stay on a strict low carb diet - the most likely "bad outcome" of bloodwork - it would be nice to have one last day of eating without being entirely concerned about everything.)


Also, this flew over my retweet transom this morning:

Yeah, greeeeeattt.

If there's one thing I'm good at, it's that. Or more likely, beating myself up for not getting more done.

But the more I think on that: yeah, it's true. But it's also true that more or less, you have to comfort/support/cheerlead/everything else yourself, because no one else is going to do it. (I don't know. Maybe some people's mileage varies on that. I can see how a supportive spouse/partner could make some difference there). But it's hard and perhaps some of my distress this past few weeks is that I hear the world (or perhaps just my inner demons trying to present themselves as such) saying "Go! Go! Go! More! More! More! Work! Work! Work!" and I look at the state of the world, and I look at how effective some of the things I've tried to do are, or how much they seem to be valued, and I just get tired and sad....and I don't have a lot of energy left for comforting myself. Partly because that energy goes to "First when you get home you need to work out. Then you need to practice piano. Then you need to cook a healthful dinner. Then you need to do that reading for your class." and also because I do expend a lot of energy (probably too much) on comforting other people/managing their feelings. (Oh man. How I wish I didn't have to do so much managing-of-other's-feelings. I probably DON'T, but I also don't like having people yelling at me or crying in my office, so instead I manage their feelings - by not saying what I want to say, or by cutting more slack than I probably should, or by expending my limited energy on being soothing).

So I don't know. That's the thing I find the HARDEST these days: that it's just me, that I have to take care of myself and also take care of other people, and a lot of times it seems that when I finally get around to taking care of myself, I lack the energy for doing such a thing and I don't bother the way I should.

Hopefully I can recover some this break, if for no other reason that I won't be having to soothe very many other people this week, because I won't be seeing that many other people.


I also have one or two things to look forward to in the mail. I found - on Etsy, from one of the sellers I have used a lot - a lightly-restored Sugarberry for a decent price. (Sugarberry is a G1 pony, though you probably didn't need to ask). She is one of the "twice as fancies," a style I particularly love (I have Up, Up, and Away and also Dancing Butterflies already). This one is a white pony with red hair and an allover pattern of strawberries - super cute and decorative and I wanted one for a while but could never find a good-condition one for a price I was willing to pay. Until this week.

I also have a couple things coming from Isabella, though I'm a bit unhappy with them at the moment: I ordered something for my dad's birthday and carefully explained over the phone it needed to go to a different shipping address, and then I placed a SECOND order of a few things for myself.

And then I find out:both orders are going to my address. Even though I paid separate shipping on both. Even though I told the phone rep.

My main annoyance is that I'll have to take my dad's gift - when it comes - and repackage it and go to the post office (which some days is woeful, but maybe over spring break it will be less bad) and send it and pay postage a SECOND time.

So I e-mailed them and essentially said "This happened, and I'm not happy about it, and I think you should know."

And I got back an e-mail. Mixed success: the good - they are giving me a $20 "online gift code" so I can order $20 worth of stuff for free (if I can find something else I want from them). The not so good: they said something like "Oh, this was a valuable learning experience for our new phone person"

Um. Yeah. greeeeeat. Doesn't solve the problem of my having to spend more time and money to take care of the screwup. (Though I'm not sure how that could be fixed. If I had known BEFORE they shipped I could have gone NO NO STOP WAIT but I didn't). I don't know. I mean, I know they're all sensitive and new-agey and anyway I wouldn't want to hear "oh, we fired that person" but it just felt kind of, I don't know, oogy to me - almost a bit Mr. Skimpole-ish - that "Yeah, you suffered an incident that's going to cost you time, effort, and money, but hey! We were able to make that lemon into some lemonade for us!"

Also, I heard from my tax-preparer that apparently because I have a 457B plan for retirement, and apparently because I pay as much into it as I do AND because my pay was cut last year, my employer overpaid into Social Security and I need to talk to HR lest the IRS come after me. (After ME?! because of a mistake my employer made? I know a couple months I was like 'gee, my after-tax pay seems low' but I just chalked it up to budget cuts). I had to drop the scholarship forms for AAUW off yesterday with someone who used to be our HR guru before she retired, so I asked her.

Yup. I need to talk to HR. (Dangit.) And she commented: "It's better they hear it from you" I thought she meant "instead of the IRS" but then she added on: "Because someone else would probably go in and yell at them" And yeah, it's true. I tend very much to do the kindly brontosaurus thing when there's a problem, I say stuff like "Maybe you can help me on this..." and that kind of thing, and I NEVER EXPECT PEOPLE TO HELP ME. (So a lot of times I don't ask)

But yeah. I probably need to call HR. And maybe make an appointment to go in and talk to them.

(Best case scenario: they cut me a check to make up for the over-withholding. That's not gonna happen, but it would be nice if it did)


ETA: how awesome it is to have a CPA friend. I vaguely worried about it on Twitter and Laura DMed me and asked me for the info, and she figured it up for me - and the Jackson-Hewitt person was mistaken, my university did NOT mess up, and I won't get a letter from the IRS over this.

I at least owe Laura lunch the next time I see her :)


purlewe said...

I want to give Laura a nice lunch too now! yay someone heard you and did the things that make you go! (star trek reference sorry) But YAY!

Diann Lippman said...

I don't know if they have a storefront, or are open to the public, but Lost City Yarn in Lost City, OK (northeast corner) has lovely yarns in lovely colors. They also have a book - Ultima Thule - which has beautiful patterns and stories. Denise approved my color choices for a couple of her patterns after Chris said he couldn't comment! (Owners of the company and authors of the book). A friend took Denise's class at Stitches West and learned a lot.

Might be worth a Google search and a phone call.

I may be confusing your comment moderator. It knows me by my google name and I'm trying to give it a new name/url that points to the 3rd iteration of my mostly-neglected blog! I'm moving it from typepad back to blogger: This should inspire me to get my Stitches West post up!