gypsyanna: (Default)
One of the classes I'm taking this semester is Leadership. I'm very interested in the topic, but I'm also a little frustrated. It seems to me that leadership, and leaders, are being looked at too narrowly.

What is a leader? What is leadership?

The focus of the class is in how leaders and leadership relate to a business environment. But business is not the only, or even the first, area where leaders and leadership first appeared. Why only look at one slice of the pie? Shouldn't we look at all of it?

At present, no one can truly, definitively, say what a leader is, or what leadership is. The studies continue, the theories are argued, but conclusive decisions have no really been made. Can a leader be made? Or is someone born with the qualities necessary? Can the traits be taught? Is everyone a leader, in the right situation?

And what about managers?

I posted this question on my Facebook account a few days ago, and the folks that responded fell in line with the generally accepted business perspective. I wasn't happy with that. I want to know, do people look beyond business these days to other parts of life where leaders and managers can make a difference?

Outside of the business environment, what are leaders? What are managers? What's the difference between the two?

Here's what I think. Leaders inspire others to do more than they would be naturally inclined to do. Managers organize, oversee, and ensure what needs doing gets done - and since they don't inspire others, they often end up doing it on their own.

Leaders are charismatic. They are extroverted. They know how to connect with people. Managers are intelligent. They are hard workers. They are persistent. Well, good leaders and managers are. Good being 'good at what they do' and not 'good at their heart.' Leaders and managers are not automatically good people; they can be just as evil as the next person.

Can everyone learn to be a leader? Probably - but not a skilled one. Leadership is an inborn characteristic. The desire to be a leader must be there, part of a person's basic nature. Even then, they may not be a good leader, but they'll have the desire to be. The same with a manager. You can learn the technical aspects of the role, but does that really make you a manager?

When I first started this semester and told my friends that I was taking a class on Leadership, they're general response was, "Oh, you'll do good there! You're a great leader! You've been doing that for years!" It was flattering to hear, but it also made me stop and think. AM I a leader? Or am I a manager? Which do I want to be, and which do I think am?

I'm not a leader. I'm a manager. I'd like to be a leader, but I don't know if I have the inborn qualities necessary for it. I don't inspire others, you see, regardless of how I try. I can't persuade anyone to do something other than what they want to do, no matter what's at stake. I don't inspire loyalty in others. But, oh, I can manager! I can admin like crazy, get the job done, keep things organized, moving, and on target.

So. Should I be happy with being a manager, and not a leader? Or should I try to make myself a leader? And would making myself a leader mean I'd have to pare and trim my personality, my essential self, down to the quick, then assume and apply characteristics that aren't native to me? Is the sacrifice of self worth a change in description? And what purpose would it ultimately serve when most of the world can't differentiate between a leader and a manager?

And why is one preferable over the other, when the world needs both? Why is either better than being a follower/supporter, when the world needs all of us?
gypsyanna: (Default)
It’s been 23 years since I last viewed the world without glasses or contacts. More than 23 years since I viewed the world clearly with an unaided eye. Twenty-three years of being chained and shackled by a handicap that most people don’t even see as a handicap because of how prevalent it is.

People blessed with 20/20 vision can’t understand. They don’t have a common frame of reference, they can’t truly experience what it’s like to have imperfect vision. People with minor vision problems get a hint, but even they can’t really understand.

When I was 16, I accidentally ruined my glasses. My contacts had torn, and this was before the time when contacts became disposable. The pair you bought would have to last you until your next prescription because there was no throwing them away. So I had to go to school without my glasses. I made it to the classrooms by memory. I knew the general location and the path to take to get to each one. Reading what the teacher wrote on the board, however, or even writing notes was out. You can’t write when you’re nose is almost touching the paper, you know.

But leaving school that day is when the true enormity of my disability crashed in on me.

I couldn’t cross the street.

Even with myopia – nearsightedness – you can generally distinguish one blur of color from the next, to some extent. I discovered that’s not necessarily true. By the time a car got close enough for me to distinguish it’s out-of-place color from the general grey or blackness of the road, it was too late. I stood on the sidewalk and tried to compensate with my hearing – but the school’s parking lot was next to me and the sound of the cars there drowned out the sound of any oncoming cars. I could only stand there and cry as I realized just how helpless I was.

No one offered to help me. No one noticed my problem. I was still standing on the sidewalk by the street when the cars all left the school, and the brief pause between school letting out and the evening cruising of the street by teenagers began. I finally took a chance…and crossed the street. And cried for the mile walk home, taking a chance on each street that I crossed. There were two more busy streets on my route that could not be avoided, but which I tried to cross at points where they were less busy.

The next day I had my appointment with the optometrist. I asked him, “Just how bad are my eyes?” He’d only say, “You don’t want to know. But if they weren’t correctable, you’d be legally blind.”

I found out last week how bad my eyes are now. The opthamologist said they were ‘worse than’ 20/400, because that’s as high as they went on the one test I took for my LASIK evaluation. When I was discussing it with a friend later that night and told her my contact prescription, she translated it for me. At the time I was prescribed my contacts, my vision was 20/750.

I’ve spent most of my lifetime viewing the world through a blur, or through a limited tunnel of clear vision, surrounding by a blur. I can’t remember anymore what it’s like to wake up and see the time clearly. I can’t remember what it’s like to actually play a game outside and enjoy it without the discomfort of a pair of glasses sliding down my nose, jostling out of place, or flying off. Or not worrying that an eyelash might fall in my eye. Or being able to wear make up without ending up looking like a clown simply because I can’t see well enough to put it on – or can’t put it on around the glasses.

Children make fun of other children who wear glasses. “Four-eyes” and “nerd” were the common names when I was a kid. I’m sure they’ve gotten more imaginative since then.

Faulty eyesight is a handicap. It puts constraints and limits on your life that you come to hardly notice at all. In five more hours, I’ll be able to start living life without those hindrances…and you have no idea how much I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning and seeing the clock.

I’ll miss the pretty light-globes, though….

(okay, it's not five hours to go when I reposted this here. It's just 50 minutes. The nerves are starting to act up, which is why I'm posting rather than working. I need a more complete distraction than scanning batchings and renaming files!)

A Memoir

Feb. 17th, 2010 08:46 pm
gypsyanna: (Default)
This is the first assignment in my Creative Nonfiction class. :) Second draft.

I was a teenager - thirteen or fourteen, somewhere around that age. We went to Missouri to visit my grandparents. Mom’s folks live in and around Poplar Bluff. Dad’s family was south of that, just outside of Campbell. Two miles from town, at the top of a hill on a state highway, we turned off onto a gravel road. A power-center was right there – one of those snaggled and tangled constructions of power lines and poles where many lines seem to collect before they go swooping off again. We followed that road straight for perhaps a quarter mile before we took a sharp right.

Tucked into that area formed by the two arms of the road was an old graveyard. We would walk down there sometimes, my sisters and me, when things grew boring at Grandpa’s house. The tombstones are broken and leaning. The engravings are nearly illegible. Snakes slither through the grass, bushes, and tumbled stones.

We follow the road another stretch of straight, perhaps a half mile. The ride is bouncy and rough from the gravel. Dirt and dust fly out from either side of the car, and all three of us girls are hot and sticky with humidity and sweat. Summer visits to Grandpa Claude are never very comfortable. Where the road develops a T intersection, the driver can make a choice – go right and eventually hook up with another road that’ll dump him back on the state highway, or turn left and pull up the small hill to Grandpa’s house.

It’s a small house. Grandpa built it decades ago when my dad was a kid after the first house they had – the one my dad was born in – burned down. It has a sizable kitchen with many cabinets, a smallish dining room, a decent sized living room that holds an old wood- and coal-burning black stove, three bedrooms, and one bath. He has an air conditioner window unit in the living room, but Grandpa never turns it on.

The morning after we arrive, I went for a walk. One of my cousins is visiting, too, and he is willing to show me around a bit. But my sisters follow, and he goes racing off with them. I am not interested in racing around. After crowded car rides from Louisiana to Missouri, I am ready for peace, quiet, and solitude. My sisters never seem to enjoy their own company that much, but I like mine just fine.

We never spend much time at Grandpa Claude’s. Mom isn’t comfortable with Dad’s family. So I never really had a chance to just...walk around. Once Katie, Beth, and our cousin go off, I head outside. I go down the four steps from the door to the ground, pause a minute to look around, and another minute to push Grandpa’s dog No-Name’s big head out of my way. I circle Grandpa’s garden, and wonder if he had any peas ready for picking. I want to try shelling peas. I’d never done it before. The string beans look just fine, and I know my brother would like them. The yellow squash is ready for picking, too, so odds are good we’d be allowed to waste a few in mock sword fights.

The garden isn’t big, but it is enough to keep Grandpa busy. I wander away from it and down the track that led to the old barn that looks more tumbled than standing. Enough of a roof remains that the Duster that would kill the bull and save my sister would be able to shelter under it in a couple of years. That’s another story. I don’t go into that barn. I am deathly afraid of snakes, and the country has more than its share of them.

I follow that path past the old barn and wonder – where was the first house built? Would I be able to tell? The trees lining the path were young, skinny and flexible. The grass is high, and birds sing in the nearby trees. The air lay soft and cool on my skin. No road noise intrudes. No shouts from parents and no petty bickering from siblings disrupt the peace.

And then the path opened and the trees ended. A panorama spread before me. Hills, rolling, green, and lightly veiled in a mist that is caressing the ground. These hills aren’t plowed and muddy, or prickly with cotton bushes. They are fallow, left to green and grow as they willed. Overhead, the sky stretches endlessly, puffy white clouds sedately drifting in its depths and casting shadows on the hills below. Sunlight flows in gold-gossamer streamers through the wisps and feathers of white that passed before it. A bird, probably a hawk, wheels high up in the sky, and nothing disturbs his flight.

In that breathless moment of perfection and wonder, I feel something I’d never felt before, something that is larger than the world in which I stood, more powerful and potent than anything I’d ever felt, and more humbling than any mistake or failure made in the past. I cry under that touch, and I think, “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad.” These words became more than something recited in church. For the first time, I feel the words, understand their meaning, and revel in the gift of the day.

I don’t know how long I stand there, at the break in the trees, and drink in the pastoral perfection. Noise slowly intrudes. My sisters and my cousin run by, and their laughter and shouts shatter the quiet peace. My dad follows them down the path and stops beside me. He looks out over the hills; the cloud-shadow dapples grass, and says, “Church isn’t always in a building.” We stand quiet for a bit longer, then he goes back to the house.

I always knew that my dad had been born at home. I always knew that his mom had died there, too, when he was just a little kid. That was the day that I realized that he had tucked a big piece of his heart into that quiet corner of Missouri countryside, and that corner was where he planned to go when he retired.

My aunts nagged Grandpa to move to town, so he sold the land. I think it broke Grandpa’s heart, in the end. He died just a couple of years after that. Dad lost his inheritance, and I’ve not been back to that path since. The path and that breathtaking view belong to someone else now. But the memory of that day and the perfection of that moment live with me still.

The memory has stayed with me for twenty years. It was the first time, I think, I felt a sense of God in the world around me. Afterwards I began to question certain foundational attitudes in my life, and in my upbringing. Part of this was due to age. Teenagers always question and push boundaries. Part of this was because I realized that God wasn’t found only in a church.

I am not now, nor was I then, overly religious. I believe in God. I have many reasons for this belief. This day is one of them.
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Now. I'm usually a supporter of parents having the right to decide what is appropriate viewing material for their own children. They know the little kiddos best, and therefore they are the best judge of that child's level of maturity.

Of course, I'm a prude in many ways. If it were left to me, the little darlings would be reading books on the level of Little House on the Prairie until they were 16, and then they could branch out to other things. I've seen some young adult novels that I thoroughly enjoyed but which broached topics I wasn't sure I wanted a 13 year old reading. But then again, those same topics are no worse than what they're finding on the 'family' sitcoms, and probably tamer, since they'd have to imagine the words into a visual whereas TV provides the visual.

However. There are limits to my support. I discovered this last night, as I was driving. I don't recall the exact conversation because the little bomb blew it clear out of my head. But it led to my 13 year old neice casually mentioning True Blood. Now, my brain automatically translates True Blood to the Sookie Stackhouse series in book form. It took a few seconds for it to dawn on me - what the hell does Codie know about True Blood? And how much does she know, to just mention it in casual conversation? Those questions were quickly answered by the realization the only way she could know anything was to have watched the show.

Then I did a stupid thing. I asked. Ignorance is bliss. Half-ignorance might drive me crazy. Knowledge drove me dumb.

Apparently, my sister thinks True Blood is a perfectly appropriate family show to sit around and watch. She, her thing she calls a husband, 13 year old Codie, and 11 year old Austin sit and watch True Blood. Together. As a family. With all the cussing, all the sex, and all the full-frontal nudity. And this is appropriate viewing material for children because, as Beth says, "They'll see it somewhere anyway."

Yes - but not for many more years yet! When they actually LOOK old enough to get into R rated movies!

I've only watched the first season of True Blood. I was greatly annoyed by the differences between the books and the show, and extremely annoyed with how badly they screwed up the Sookie Stackhouse personality. But if the following seasons were as explicit as the first season...


I have the feeling that their social worker isn't aware of what the family watches together...
gypsyanna: (Default)
I feel like my brain is packed in wool.
I'm shocked my chin entertains no drool.
I'm supposed to be working the afternoon thru
I stare at the screen and now what to do.
But the brain floats free in a numbing pool.

It was awake this morning; I know it was.
Staff report, dinner plans, travel status buzz.
But afternoon's come and now there's just...fuzz.
My afternoon pauses through a thick layer of gauze.
It needs to hurry; I'll awake when the sun withdraws!
gypsyanna: (Default)
I am an insomniac. According to my mother, I’ve been one since I was a child. Generally, it’s not a case of being unable to stay asleep that’s the problem Getting the mind to calm enough to allow for sleep is the issue. Taking night classes that are interesting is a guarantee that midnight will no longer be my ‘oh, crap’ bedtime. It’s going to become 1:00 a.m., or later. Earlier?

Last night, however, I did try to force myself to go to bed by 12:30 a.m. I should know better. If my brain hasn’t slowed down enough to sleep, all I end up doing is tossing and turning and following the meandering paths of whatever thoughts pop into my head. One of last night’s thoughts was: if I have lasik surgery, I won’t see the beauty in the blindness anymore.

I am not blind, as it is traditionally defined. I can see. My vision is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. But without that assistance, I would be deemed legally blind. When I was sixteen, I asked my optometrist, “How bad am I?” His response was a little startling. “You don’t want to know.” Without glasses or contacts, I could generally manage to live in my own home, unassisted. I wouldn’t be able to watch television. Reading would be manageable, even if my nose would almost be touching the page. I would not be able to cross the street, or drive. My job options would be limited.

But I still hesitate over getting lasik surgery. Why? Because there is a beauty in blindness that would be lost. Perhaps someone who was completely blind and did not know color or shape as perceived by those who are visually unimpaired would miss the extra depth their other senses provide to compensate for the lack of sight. Music may be beautiful for them since they have to concentrate on sound so much, and they hear more in the music than those of us distracted by the visual stimulation. Is Tim McGraw as talented to a blind person as he is to a sighted person, when they can’t see the appeal of his physical appearance?

For me, the beauty I think I would miss would be the lights. With corrected vision, a street lamp is just a street lamp. A point of brightness on a dark night, that sheds light. When I take off my glasses, however, that street light becomes a thing of beauty. It becomes a living entity, a being of crystalline and delicate wonder. It expands and contracts, fine lines of light radiating out, surrounded by the background darkness. It’s outer edge is spiked, and curving looks connect each radiating spoke. It’s magical and mystical and utterly beautiful – well beyond my skill to describe accurately. Christmas time and the lights on the tree make a far more festive gathering of these fairy globes.

Without my glasses I cannot see the stars. The moon is a vague, roundish blur to me. A person’s face is a smudge, and oncoming cars blend with the background until they’re almost fatally close. Peripheral vision is non-existent, and applying make-up is awkward, if not impossible. Contacts correct the weaknesses of glasses, but bring their own host of problems. They get dry. God help you if you have an eyelash or dust get into your eye. Rewetting drops wash away eyeshadow and can cause mascara to smear.

Without my glasses, or contacts, I see the beauty in a street light.
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I've decided I post too many negative things here. Therefore, I'm going to try and post a daily happy. Something that happened the previous day that made me feel good.

So, for yesterday:

1. Writing 3 pages on "Just Tea" over lunch.
2. Smelling the pork pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and brussel sprouts while it was cooking - then eating the potatoes and veggies when they were done! Yum!
3. Chantal sending me a snippet for Aerden for "Just Tea."
4. Making it home without the car imploding on me.
5. Looking outside while changing the cat litter and seeing the pink clouds of sunset gracing the darkening sky. :) I love sunsets. And sunrises.
gypsyanna: (Default)
Morning Vent:

Basic courtesy and consideration seems to have been mostly eliminated from our make up. An example: where I work, there is no assigned parking. However, the parking lot is not large, and is somewhat oddly shaped. This makes it difficult for larger vehicles to turn into the lot and pull into a space without a lot of maneuvering. Also, some employees have been here a while. All of us have been here long enough to have spots that we usually park in - and the employee base is small enough that we all know which car belongs to which employee.

There are two employees, however, who apparently don't care about considering the difficulties of the big-vehicle drivers, or the courtesy of leaving the usual-parking spots open if they get to work before the one who usually parks there does.

Peggy drives a Sonata. A mid- to smallish-sized car. Sandra drives a huge SUV, I can't recall which kind. There is just ONE spot, with three parking spaces, that Sandra can easily park her monster. Usually, Mr. Hensley, who also drives a large truck, parks there, too. And for over a year now, Gina has been parking there, although she doesn't have a large vehicle. But that's okay, because the other side of the building is where the other large vehicles park. A few months ago, there was a misunderstanding (which turned into a Situation) about assigned parking. Mr. Hensley, the big boss guy, apparently said something about saving those three spots for large vehicles. Apparently when Cathryn, the executive assistant, spread the word around, it appeared to Peggy that Cathryn was speaking directly to Melanie, and only Melanie. It became an Issue. Peggy and Melanie became upset and/or offended. Mr. Hensley, big boss guy, was drawn in. He dictated that no, there was no assigned parking.

So what happens? Peggy starts parking in one of those three spots every day she's here before all three are taken. This frequently leaves Sandra with no place she can easily park without blocking someone in. Melanie starts parking in one of those three spots, too. Or, as she did today, she blithely takes a spot where someone else usually parks. I park by the maintenance building. Linda usually parks right beside me. If she gets there before I do, she still leaves my space open. But today, Linda wasn't here before me and Melanie pulled in right in front of me. She took Linda's spot. It wasn't like she could pull straight in to it, either, since she came in the wrong entrance. No, she had to turn in to the spot, which was too tight a turn, back up, straighten out, then pull in.

There were other spots available. A lot of other spots. Why she took Linda's, I don't know. But it ticked me off. It was just RUDE. Linda parks there EVERY day.

Okay, yes, I know. It's just parking. It's a small lot. So what if you have to walk five extra steps? That, however, is not my issue. My issue is that this discourtesy and inconsideration - and in some cases, downright spitefulness - are just rude. That's all it is. With no cause, no provocation, just a habit of thinking selfishly. I find that offensive, and yet it's so very pervasive throughout society. People live too much in their own heads, and don't pause to think about others.
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I have lately been perusing my bookshelves, trying to find something to read that I haven't read a dozen times over already. And I have come to realize - I need to expand my reading horizon.

So, naturally, I turn to my friends. :) I leave it to you. What should I read? If you could think of one great book that you absolutely love and would also love for me to read, what would it be? :)
gypsyanna: (Default)
My Christmas plans, unfortunately, have suffered a revision. Thanks to Marissa's brownie troop, the entire family (that being Katie, Tom, their kids, me, and Scott) were able to get tickets for the Polar Express in Palestine, TX. $40 per ticket, for the adults. At the time I bought my ticket, I didn't realize just how far away Palestine was. Or that more than half the route would be along northeast Texas' back lanes and country roads.

Very scenic, by the way. Would have been lovely to drive through in the spring or fall...when it's not raining, foggy, and otherwise dismal.

Also by the way - northeast Texas seems to be nothing but historical markers and cemeteries. I swear I saw more signs for cemeteries on Saturday afternoon than if you added up all the other times I've seen them in my life. Do people go to Texas just to die? I mean, I hadn't heard of them doing that, but where else do all the bodies come from?

Polar Express was a lot of fun. Not worth the total amount expended on it by a long shot, but the kids really enjoyed it.

Sunday, however, I found the indirect price of that little trip. The airbag on the airshock for my rear passenger side tire has apparently ruptured. Driving has now become...interesting. Speed bumps are a lot bumpier. I ain't driving my car 6.5 hours home for Christmas in this condition. The car could make it, no doubt. My tension and stress controlling the beast on the drive, however, is the deciding factor. I ain't doing it.

Now, take a guess what my mom's response was when I told her I wouldn't be coming. C'mon, now. Guess. You won't get it right. I know you won't. And when I tell you what she said, you'll kick yourself and say, "Of course that's what she'd say!"

"Well, I guess we'll just have to bring the Christmas presents at some other time, probably in February when I come for Mardi Gras. A lot of this are too heavy to ship."

That's right. Anna's Delivery Service has failed in their duty to play courier for Christmas. Not any concern that I may be driving an unsafe vehicle. The comment about being unhappy about not having me home for Christmas was tacked on towards the end of the conversation, almost like an afterthought.

Now, I've worked for a company that ships out freaking HEAVY items on a daily basis. Nothing by nothing is 'too heavy' to ship. No, it's just that she doesn't want to pay the shipping cost. The plan was, you see, that I'd take our presents for them up to AR, and bring back their presents to us. In exchange for this, Katie was going to help pay for my gas home, and Mom was going to help pay for my gas back. This wasn't my idea. If they'd asked, I'd have volunteered to play mule at no price. But when they asked, they offered to pay gas, too, and I'm not stupid. :)

Then it occurred to Katie - why did I just rent a car and go home. Um. Hello? If I could afford to rent a car for four or five days, I could afford to fix MY car right now, instead of next month. Katie's next thought: maybe we could meet halfway. Finally! A good idea.

But she doesn't have time for it, and they don't want me driving her car because, "It's not in the best of shape, it's our primary transporation, and if it breaks down, I'd rather be the one driving it instead of you. But Tom and I will give you $15 or so if you'll rent a car for the day..."

Of course, by that time Scott and I were already investigating that option. That is our plan. It's not that expensive to rent a car for a 24 hour period. The problem, of course, is that the car rental companies freeze about $300 on your account until the car is returned. That seems rather unfair to me...

But now, I'm sitting here, and I'm wondering - since when did it become MY responsibility to ensure that presents got where they needed to go for Christmas? I mean, I planned to go home for Christmas so I could see my grandparents. You know - the old folks, the ones in their 80's, that I haven't seen in a year. As a courtesy, a favor, I was hauling gifts, too, because I had the room and it was no biggie. Now I don't get to see my grandparents until I don't know when and it's my responsibility to play Santa. How the hell did that happen? ::confused::

Oh, well. At least my dad liked the idea and is inclined to make the effort to meet halfway. He's already chosen where we can meet. He just needs to see if he's working this weekend, or not, before we know if it's a go. I think he's going to be sad, though, when he sees it's only me meeting with him and Mom. Everyone else is 'too busy' or have other plans: Katie's busy, Tom is Tom, Zach has wrestling, and Marissa has a play.

I really don't feel much in the Christmas Spirit this year. And I need to find something HAPPY to post in LJ. Life truly isn't as dull, irritating, or infuriating as it would seem if one just goes by my posts here! :)
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Wow. Okay. Back in May I griped about how I was losing touch with my friends and I didn't like it. Geez. If I'd known how easy it would be to fix I just might have done something immediately.

So. Anyway. How amazing is this? In a week, just a week, I've heard from friends on a daily basis that I haven't spoken to in years. Not because we were mad at each other or anything, but because life's been going along and without a common room to lounge about it, it's kinda boring sending emails back and forth saying, "So, how was your day?" "Fine, yours?" "Nothing broken, nobody died, eh."

But now... Now! Up pops someone from StarRise Past and says, "Hey...what's going on with StarRise?" and suddenly we live again!

And if we're doing StarRise, why not just take over the world?

I am SO loving this! I haven't been this excited about something in ages, and the timing? Perfect. My month break between semesters has just started and the family implosion just begun. I needed the distract and the outlet for excess energy. :-)

So, like, if you want to write in Pern, you gotta check this out. Hell, if you want to write in a fantasy type setting (Yes, AM, I know. Pern is science fiction. But we have DRAGONS and that equates with fantasy for most people) come on over. It's fun sharing a world!

Whoo-hoo!! You can't keep a good Weyr down!
gypsyanna: (Default)
What happened to July?

It was here a minute ago, but now it appears to be gone.

This month has been hectic. School, work... I don't want to even think of how much overtime I got this past month, and then school on top of that! I know my classes suffered.

But summer semester is now over and I have a whole month free (except for work) before classes start again. Now, if the work schedule will just lighten up a wee bit, I might actually be able to start reading the LJ posts again. :-)

So, if anyone's wondered where I've been (since I haven't been on any of the various messenger services either) it's just the usual inundation. Hopefully I'll be chatting with most of y'all in the nearish future. :-)

gypsyanna: (Default)
And why did my landlord nail my window OPEN?!
gypsyanna: (Default)
...and KPI boards.
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Lifted this from topayz4. It's time for something not depressing. :-)

"If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want -- good or bad. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you."
gypsyanna: (Default)
Well, my uncle's diagnosis prompted my dad to get his physical a few months early. Part of the physical was a colonoscopy, which my dad swore he would NEVER do again. He was delighted to tell me - in detail - why he would never do it again. My dad is so chatty when he's had a few beers or thinks he can embarass one of his daughters. ::rolling eyes::

During the colonoscopy, the doctor found a few little pollyps. He went ahead and removed them and told my folks that it was 'probably nothing' and they 'shouldn't worry.'

::snort:: Right. My dad's side of the family is riddled with cancer. Few little pollyps nothing to worry about? I knew better but kept my mouth shut.

Sure enough, results came back that those 'nothings' were precancerous. And that they WILL come back. Instead of getting a colonoscopy done once every ten years, my dad has to have it done every THREE years to catch the buggers before they're dangerous.

Sometimes I think I should just go ahead and punch out now, because the gunky genetics both my folks have saddled me with do not promise a leisurely and healthy life past the age of 45...
gypsyanna: (Default)
And not the usual sort of ears-ringing that I've had for 17 years or so. Is this a sign that I'm going the not-cool crazy?

All weekend long, I've heard my cell phone ringing. Faint, not at the usual volume. Constantly. And yet - my cell phone hasn't rang ONCE this entire weekend.

And yet I hear it still. Even now. Over and over and over and over.... No, not the song-stuck-in-the-head thing, either. It's more like the phone is ringing and I'm hearing it from a distance, while it's sitting zipped up in my purse.

I'm definitely changing my ringtone. I'm heartily sick of "Silver" now. I want my birds back....
gypsyanna: (Default)
I hate when someone says they're doing something, and so you make plans. And then they say they're NOT doing it, so you cancel the plans. And then they say they ARE doing it and you're then screwed because you already canceled your vacation request and someone else in the department has already decided to request that same period of time for vacation so you CAN'T request it again.

It's a simple thing. Make a decision. Stay by that decision. I wasn't entirely understanding of my dad's logic when he said he wasn't going to the family reunion when my uncle was diagnosed with cancer. I mean, they live close enough that they can visit before or after at any time and it wouldn't be a hardship to either, so how did the family reunion factor in? But dad said he wasn't going and he was pretty firm on that, so I cancelled my two-week vacation that I'd already been planning for several months. I didn't bother buying a plane ticket, either, since now there was no rush to get home. Beth, after all, has married Mistake #2, and so I can plan a visit home when airfare is more kind and my schedule is less busy.

And now, today, my dad says, "Family reunion is on again! Are you going to come?" And my mom is saying, "Of course she can't come, Lewis. She has school and she can't afford it!" Um. Okay. How about I get to answer this question??

To make things oh-so-nicer, some of my relatives have booked the Cottage - the six room little house with kitchen and backyard at Budget Lodging that I had tried to get for MY family back in March. That was a fiasco. I reported the guy to the Better Business Bureau. Now my dad will want to stay at that place and I simply refuse. We'll stay at the other hotel, thank you very much, and my dad will agree to that if he wants me there. That's MY condition.

Now I've got to figure out the whole how-to-get-to-the-airport problem, and what to do with the cats, and whether I should fly in to Memphis and drive to St. Louis with my folks, or fly into St. Louis and rent a car. God knows no one will want to meet me at the Memphis airport in the evening, but that may be my one chance to meet Beth's Mistake #2 - if they're still in Blytheville, that is.

Time to play with Expedia....
gypsyanna: (Default)
I don't get it. It's 92 degrees, although it's actually rather comfy inside, but still it's 92 degrees. So why has Murmur decided that crawling up under the sheet and bedspread is a Good Idea?

I've never seen him do this before. I don't know why he's doing it today. I made up the bed. I rearranged the room (I felt a need for a change, but wasn't quite up to moving to another state yet), then went out for food. Came home and there was a lump in the bed.

He lay there for a while. He only moved when Idiot stepped on him. Then he left and did mysterious cat stuff out of sight. And now he's back, under sheet and comforter, stretched out as stretched as he can get.

I just don't get it....
gypsyanna: (Default)
Another author recommendation! The urban fantasy subgenre is expanding by leaps and bounds. I've found another series that I like, by Ilona Andrews. She has a slightly different take than I've seen before, and I've enjoyed the two books she currently has published: Magic Bites and Magic Burns.

Check out her webpage:

She's also on livejournal!

Y'all let me know if you read the books and enjoy 'em. :-)


gypsyanna: (Default)

June 2012



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