1.31.2009

All you (I) need is...

Kinda got into it with a security guard tonight. My way out of the mall was locked up, so I had to go a different way. I couldn't drive out the way I normally do, either. Granted, it's the wrong way, but there's never any cars at midnight. He, in his SUV, stopped me, so I got frustrated and (intentionally) squealed my tires, turning around to go the "right way." He tried to pull me over. Remember: security guard, not police. I didn't pull over. I went home. He kept pace until the TBN compound, when he turned around. Our night has come full circle. I was pissed when I got home. Dawn left a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on the table for me, and Willy was happy to find his best buddy. A little love was nice to come home to. Now, I've officially mellowed out to a little Flight of the Conchords, though I think a beer is in order. My first since my kidney stone.

1.26.2009

3 blogs in 1 day! Lucky You!

My Literacy class ended 80 minutes early, so guess what! Yep, bored again. No class for 2 more hours. Time to get that 1st-day-back homework done.

Bored out of my gourd.

If this is how this semester is gonna go, I'm going to go crazy. My conducting class ended early by at least an hour, which gave me a 2 hour and 15 minute break. I burned 15 of it thinking I only had an hour until my next class. Oh, no. 2 hours. I registered for the school gym, ate lunch, read, and I'm blogging again, because I want to just curl up and fall asleep, I'm so bored. It'll be nice when I actually have homework to do, cause I can work on that stuff when I have breaks, or when I buy workout pants and shoes, I can go do that. Or maybe even practice trombone. I need Willy to get a video phone so I can play with him over the camera on the school's Macs, which I am now taking pictures of myself with. That solved the boredom issue for a few minutes.



1st hour back at school

I thought the atrocities of the parking structure and bookstore would be too much to bear, so I got here very early. An hour ago. Found a covered, non-roof parking spot, I bought my books, I got the info about a class I may have to take on Wednesday nights, and I have 30 minutes til class starts. I am bored already.

I thought I might have to take more classes than I'm currently enrolled in, including class piano (CSUF's standards are way beyond UCI's), and Music & Child Development. I should take that one, but it'll screw my Wednesday nights completely, so I'm undecided. We'll see. I'm enrolled in 9 units right now, and that seems like a cop-out compared to last semester's 10 units. Piano is another 2, and that other is 3 units, which would take me to 14. That seems like a lot, especially with working 5 days a week. But I chose to go back to school. Friends, it looks like I'll be a hermit for another 5 months. Sorry. Except maybe Aikido on Fridays...

1.21.2009

For the first time, I passed a kidney stone today.

It started as little more than dull pain and discomfort around 930a, and slowly got worse by the time the pain was in full effect at 1p. I can't describe the pain well, except it feels like someone punched me and never took their fist away. I went to work, thinking the pain would go away, and it never did. I said to the managers on duty that I was in excruciating pain and needed to leave, and they were compliant. I'm glad I didn't get out of there a minute later than I did. I called the doctor and was displeased with the amount of help I received from them.

"Well, Doctor isn't available now. Can it wait for tomorrow?"
No.
"How bad is the pain?"
I was at back and forth between 2 (out of 10) and 5 this morning. Now, it's an 8 and rising.
"Oh, ok. Let me take some notes and get them to the doctor. Call back in 45 minutes.

30 minutes, I thought I was going to pass out (but never did) from the pain. I called the doc, who got on the phone right away. Told me my two options were to do go to the hospital, get an X-ray or CT scan and pass the stone, or pass the stone myself and call the doc and tell him what happened. I decided to go with the hospital. My dad was here (at my request) so he took me, and I was doubled over in the car, moaning and groaning in pain. We pulled up to the emergency area, I stepped out of the car, and the pain went away. Are you kidding me? 4 total hours of slowly-building agony to not even be seen by any nurse? I felt like a liar. The triage nurse was nice. It was the concensus that my stone had passed and staged itself for urination. I was in the ER bed, and they asked for a urine sample. When I went to fill it, my stone dove for freedom into the room's toilet. It sank like a... well... and I fished it out with latex gloves and put it in a sample cup.

The stones that were broken up during my lithotripsy two Decembers ago were 10 mm x 8 mm, and 8 mm x 6mm. This one was significantly smaller. 2 mm x 2 mm. Maybe 3 mm x 2mm. According to the staff, that was a HUGE stone. I didn't think so, but it hurt like Hell and fucked up the first 1/2 of my day.

I'm home now, and I'm fine. A little worn out, though. The beautiful Dawnie PP is cooking a delicious comfort food dinner for me. Pasta & garlic bread. Stoked!

1.20.2009

A little recognition

I've been going through phases at work where I feel less than appreciated, like I'm left out of the managerial loop. I recently was asked to write an email to an upset guest after we took her favorite item off the menu:

From: Troubled Guest
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 3:32 PM
To: Comments
Subject: Comment - Green Chile Barbacoa Enchiladas

Hello:

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend at your Costa Mesa, CA location. I always, always, always order the green chili pork enchiladas, as they are my absolute favorite item on the menu and the ONLY reason why I eat lunch or dinner at Z's.

I was disappointed to learn that the green chili pork enchiladas, have been taken off the menu and replaced with green chili barbacoa enchiladas. I decided to try the barbacoa enchiladas and I was extremely disappointed in not only the enchiladas, but the green chili rice and black beans. I was used to getting other side dishes with the green chili pork enchiladas and wasn't expecting black beans and rice and apparently, that was my fault for not reading the menu more closely. Regardless, I was disappointed in the taste, the presentation and the combination of the three items. Needless to say, I will not be back for lunch or dinner.

I do frequent [Z's] for happy hour and may return, but definitely not for lunch or dinner. Your cornbread is the best I've ever tasted!

Sincerely,
Upset Customer

"Jeff, take care of this," I was told. So I wrote the nicest email I could muster.
From: Jeff
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 5:59 PM
To: Troubled guest
Subject: Z's

Troubled Guest,

Please accept our sincerest apologies in regard to your previous visit to our store. The Green Chile Pork Enchiladas was a popular dish among our regulars, and much to the dismay of many, we removed that item from the menu during our last menu change. You may be surprised to learn that, although we no longer have the item on our menu, we still do have all of the ingredients on hand to make the dish the way you prefer it, including the appropriate side salad, instead of green chile rice & black beans. You would have to order it by special request, but it’s an easy request that we would be more than happy to accommodate.

Please reconsider your position on coming back to us for lunch or dinner, so we can make right the unfortunate meal you had last time. It would be my pleasure, and the pleasure of the entire management staff, to take care of your next order of green chile pork enchiladas. Please call us ahead of time at (***) ***-****, so we can reserve a nice spot in our dining room for you.

On behalf of the management staff, thank you for your understanding, and we hope to see you very soon.

Jeff
Manager

We forwarded it to Deborah in marketing at the home office, because the complaint came by way of her. Here's what she had to say:
From: Deborah (Head of Marketing)
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 6:06 PM
To: South Coast
Subject: FW: Z's

Jeff,

This is a great letter. It truly is one of the nicest and most sincere letters I’ve seen. And thanks for the quick response!

She then forwarded it to Steven, our company's COO, and the guy that signs our checks.
From: Steven
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 5:09 PM
To: South Coast
Subject: FW: Z's

Jeff- Thank you for the professional and caring response to this guest. This is an example of living the Journey. Much appreciated. See you soon. S


"The Journey" is our company's philosophy, in the form of a little handbook with our ideals. I even received a section in this week's newsletter about how happy this woman was with how the situation was handled. I wanted a little bit of a smile back from this company I dedicate my time and energy to, and it really reaffirmed my enjoyment of this job.

1.15.2009

Guess who has a 4.00 GPA now? Me!

In my frustration about my 'A-' in the online class this semester, I emailed my professor, just to see how far away I was from a true 'A.'


Subject: EDSC 320 Grade (quick question)

Professor,

I earned an A- in your class with 362 out of 390 points, which is 92.8%. If you don't mind my asking, how far away was I from an 'A,' without the minus?

I just received this reply:

Jeffrey- Sorry for not getting back to you sooner- I wanted to investigate a few things. First of all my apologies- you should have earned an 'A' not an 'A-.' Anything below 360 earned an 'A-.' With that said I have submitted all of the paperwork for a grade change and it should go through within the next week.

Thanks for understanding and calling this to my attention. I wish you luck and success in the spring semester.
regards,

Professor


I'm so stoked! This is my first semester ever with straight A's! And if I wasn't so pissed off about missing a 4.0 by nine tenths of a point, I would have never known.

1.11.2009

Vonnegut blog

I am fortunate enough to own eight of his books. I've read seven of them, in this order:


  1. Cat's Cradle
  2. Slaughterhouse Five
  3. Sirens of Titan
  4. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
  5. Timequake
  6. Player Piano
  7. Galàpagos (Just finished)

Dawn's Grandma bought me Armageddon in Retrospect for xmas, which was published posthumously by his son. I think I'm gonna start on that one soon.

What I've noticed so far is that these books really don't have endings; that is to say, they just happen to come to an end at that particular time. Sirens of Titan definitely ends when it ends, but Slaughterhouse Five ends in the middle. Read it for it to make sense. Cat's Cradle, still in my top 2 on this list, if I had to rate them. Galàpagos is interesting in that the narration leaves very little to surprise. There is quite a bit of allusion to what takes place later in the book. Also, there are characters, names of characters, and locations that appear, in one way or another, in all of the books. If you haven't read any of them, do yourself a favor. I wasn't sure where to start, so I used this list, from his Wikipedia page.

--------------------------------------

I wrote this and blogger wouldn't post. I finished Armageddon in Retrospect yesterday (1/20/9) and I'm onto another author's book before Breakfast of Champions gets here.

1.08.2009

3.91 GPA. How pissed am I about nine tenths...


Fall Semester 2008

Dept/No Course Title Unts GR GP
EDSC 310 Teaching Exper:Particip 3.0 A 12.0
EDSC 320 Adolescence 3.0 A- 11.1
MUS 281B Orch Instruments:Brass 1.0 A 4.0
MUS 281S Orch Instruments:String 1.0 A 4.0
MUS 382A Instrumental Conducting 2.0 A 8.0

Enrolled Earned GPA-Units GRD-PT Acad-GPA GPA
Term 10.00 10.00 10.00 39.10 3.91
CSUF 10.00 10.00 10.00 39.10 3.91
Total 10.00 10.00 10.00 39.10 3.91