Categotry Archives: journal

Journal posts for CaySwann

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Too smart, or just too young (thankfully)

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I had to start a phone call with my college best friend, Kristin, this evening with “Are we just too smart, too well-educated, too organized, and too young for some of these financial workshops nowadays?”

Last week I took a little lunch-time seminar at work about 401(K) programs. It was *sssooooo* basic that I summed it up for my co-workers as 45 minutes to say (in a chippy excited voice): “You should invest! It’s good for you! And when you invest in a 401(k), you put your money in these little categories!” Ahem. Yes, dear, I know that. *sigh*

Today’s seminar I almost didn’t even sign up for, because the title slighly offended me: “What Every Woman Should Know” (about money or something). I thought there can’t possibly be something gender-specific about money that women need to know that men don’t need to know, or that men already know, or whatever. And I said as much to the instructors when I arrived. And after trying to have an open mind about the presentation, I still came to the conclusion at the end of the presentation that there was nothing gender-specific about the suggestions and instruction. This would be the financial advice I would give any friend.

Kristin helped me put in perspective. She and I are just, thankfully, from a new generation of women. We’ve both been through divorces, but neither of us went through the type of divorce where the woman has to suddenly be on her own for the first time, suddenly without income or retirement or savings, suddenly without her own personal credit, etc. Even the mom-figures in her life had it remarkably harder in their lives, because they’d all been married over twenty years, had nothing of their own, and struggled to be on their own right away.

So I suppose there still is a need for a seminar like this, but I’m not their target audience. And yet now that I think about it, there are some ways in which I had to buckle down and be *more* responsible than before, when I divorced, but not because my identity financially had been tied up with my husband, but just because I tossed off some of the laziness when I divorced, and I just started being responsible in the way I knew I should have been all along.

I very thankful to my Mom, for all those years she taught my sister and I how to be strong women. She rocks.

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Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

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Food *and* Exercise

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I finally took the time to look over mypyramid.gov, and compared my food and exercise of Monday and Tuesday this week. Looks like if I never ever exercise, and eat like I normally do right now, I’m still going to gain roughly a pound a month. Just like back in college. Gee, how disheartening. But the good thing is that when I *do* exercise, it would be the equivalent of losing three pounds per week. This should be some helpful encouragement when I’m trying to work out 3-5x/week… workout days send me down the path to weight loss. Non-workout days not only don’t, but aren’t active enough for even just a plain plateau. *blech* Guess I’ll have to work some actual walking, real exercise-type walking, into a non-gym day if I want to hold steady and/or continue losing weight. Good to know.

I also got most of the church website updated again, which was satisfying. I’ve got to work on having the hosting and registration switched over to my own accounts, to be able to add the coldfusion database elements that I’m learning from Hope and the shire website, but it’s nice to finally get back on track in projects that were slipping by the wayside.

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Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

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Just work observations

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We had a great inter-departmental meeting over lunch today, where the folks working on the user guides got together with other technical writers in the company. There’s always been a bizarre wall up between some of the writers and developers, and there’s new leadership over in the user guide group. Sharon wants us to all work together, not have to re-invent the wheel, and all think about writing for the correct audience and writing in the most efficient way. It reminded me of the excitement I had at my last courseware developer job, when I saw people learning to reach over the departmental lines and do the best work possible for the company.

Have I mentioned today how much I love my job? *hee hee*

Of course, I was lazy today about going to the gym, but I’ll try and get there sometime later this week.

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Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

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Old Friends

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I nearly cried this morning with joy. My best friend from Junior High has written me a short email to say “Hi, is this you?” Back in seventh grade, I met Mary in the first week of school. She was late for gym (I was too, but I can’t remember why) because she was at the dentist with her mom. Mary is the only child, and hearing, of two deaf parents. So she was interpretting for my Mom’s appt. with the dentist. I was facinated, and we talked all the way to gym that morning. And we never stopped, for several years—we were “joined at the hip” as they say.

Being so warmly invited into her family, her friends, and her church, was a defining moment in my life. I learned a lot of sign language from them, growing up, but we lost contact when I moved from Ohio my senior year of high school. But I’d never forgotten them or how much they meant to me, and I’ve missed her for twenty years now. It finally dawned on me, about two weeks ago, to try looking up deaf churches back in my hometown to see if there was anyone I could email to see if they knew how to get ahold or her, her family, or friends of her family. She wrote me just a sentence or two, but it meant all the world to me to hear from her. I can’t wait to catch up further.

I did make it to the gym today, but what an effort that was. Well, maybe not the workout itself, those seem to be getting a tiny bit easier each time. But just the mental block of “ugh, now I have to go exercise.” I’m going to have to find a way to get through that more often.

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Recently Listened to: Tori Amos, “To Venus and Back” (Disc 1: Live and Orbiting)

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New furniture, tired body

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Yesterday was absolutely lovely and today as completely exhausting. I’m going to have to remember to take photos of these amazing carved end tables and coffee table, to show off how incredible they are. But back to the story-telling.

I left work early on Friday, to do this truck project, and when I arrived home my roomie Mel was already there. Bless her heart, I love how reliable she is! I really ought to spend more time with her, because she is so darn cool.

The weather, however, was not cool and there’s nothing like being stuck in LA Friday get-away traffic in the heat. But we drove up in her car, used the A/C a bit when we were actually traveling at a good clip, and just stuck it out while we were, well, stuck. She’s doing a sword-teaching and demo thing at the Ren Faire with friends tomorrow, so while I drove, she was hand-stiching another new doublet. She’s doing some amazing things with “slash-and-puff” techniques, in preparation for teaching a class this fall, and it’s fun to also admire her skill and creativity with a needle and thread.

Thankfully picking up the U-Haul was non-eventful, and all we needed to do was fill up her tank and send her on her way.

I got over to Mom’s and Larry’s, and he helped me pack everything into the truck. Mom had survived the Northridge earthquake, years ago, and gained a healthy dose of CA earthquake paranoia. I say a “healthy dose” because it means she does those things you’re *supposed* to do in California—strap your bookcases to walls, use earthquake-hold on your breakables, etc. Unfortunately, this means that one of my end tables currently has a lamp affixed to the glass top so securely that we can’t remove it. The goo hasn’t exactly hardened, but the ceramic is pressed so tightly that we can’t get *to* the goo to break its suction-hold on the glass. This, of course, complicated wrapping and packing the glass table tops for the move. Let’s say I drove with a bit of trepidation of jarring and breaking things.

I’d forgotten to get rope or ties, to secure everything in the back of the truck. But my step-brother had ties to loan me, which solved the problem.

Since Mom and Larry are headed out on vacation, and won’t be here for Mother’s Day, my step-sister threw a big Mom’s-Day-bash for all the family mommies Friday night. So after we finished packing the truck, I went over with Mom and Larry to Petula’s house, and we had a great dinner and visit with everyone. Pet is also a hair-stylist, by trade, and she’s created this really *lovely* studio in her garage at her home. Since she was coloring my Mom’s roots and trimming her dad’s hair, I managed to stand in line and get a trim while I was there. I was highly complimented that she didn’t think my hair looked like I had been the one to cut it (I had, twice), but it was nice to get a real trim and the correct shaping done to the back of the hair. I have to admit, it feels really weird to have the neckline shaved/trimmed so close, but I’m sure I’ll be glad for it later. Right now I just keep playing with it, kind of like when guys get their heads shaved and they play with the stubble afterwards.

Finally, I had to decide to just crash on Mom’s couch since I was too tired to drive home yet. It was disorienting to be stranded somewhere without my car, since I have all my overnight supplies always packed—pajamas, toothbrush, hairbrush, contact solution and case, etc. But I managed and had a lovely sleep in before getting my contacts back in and a huge latte for the road.

The drive was uneventful, and unpacking was exhausting. But now I have three bookcases in my room, a coffee table and two end tables (and a stuck lamp!) in the living room, and the house is really starting to look grown-up and adult. Not quite like a make-over show on cable, but not quite so college.

And we had our last rehearsal of the month at the studio, since all the guys are taking one week vacations one week after another all month long. This should afford me some extra time to compose lyrics for the third CD, and take some time to get organized and motivated again in several other projects. I like to joke that I’m “single-and-bored-bored-bored” but I’m not really bored in life in general. When friends say I wouldn’t have time to date anyways, I know I’d be likely to change my schedule for someone special, but then again I wonder what projects would I really drop? I *do* enjoy my hectic full life, and I’m quite thankful for it.

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