Thursday, August 16, 2018

Week 1

My awesome roommate gave me a big hug when she got home Monday and told me while I cried that she wants me to still live with her.  She even came up with a plan about rent, bills, and groceries - which is why she rocks. I told her that we can wait to figure out the financial stuff when I get my unemployment insurance estimate. That night, I got the sweetest text from a former fellow analyst saying how sad he is to see me go and that I am smart, dedicated, and hard working. That he has no doubt that I will move onto bigger and better things. 

I had to take Lorazepam to sleep that night.  Tuesday was the day I designated to get business done like filing for unemployment, deferring student loans, and contacting my retirement plan. This was me on the phone with complete strangers:

Once I got all that fluid out, I updated my resume, contacted my professional network, and lined up references. So many of my family, friends, and colleagues reached out to help I was floored with the kindness

Tuesday night, I took a Benadryl, woke up at 8:30 and spent 5 hours applying, researching jobs, setting up networking lunches. Basically killing the whole unemployment thing.

I wanted to see if I could sleep unmedicated after a good day.  I can't. So today has been a slog. I survived unemployment when the market was in the toilet and the jobless rate was close to 10%. I just need to keep my spirits up with a routine, contact with others, and some patience/kindness towards myself. I'm going to try Melatonin tonight.

On a happy note, Phil is doing great. He annoys the crap out out Shanna and Stella when he is too full of energy but Shanna snuggles with him when they sleep. He also crawls into bed with me which is the cutest and warms my heart.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Laid Off...Agains

It was a nice four years wasn’t it? I guess I am technically graduating, huh? Around noon today the analyst group director asked me to come with him to a meeting. He was very somber and deflected when I asked if everything was all right. I was lead into a room with the department deputy director who had an envelope in front on herself. She calmly greeted me and I knew. I totally knew what was coming down the pike. I’ve done this dance before. The upshot is my department is being reorganized and my job was identified for elimination. I’m getting a month’s severance.
I was calm and started muttering “Oh God, this again?” then there were tears. The group director got weepy too. The deputy director told me how talented I am and offered to help me land on my feet. I asked if I needed to leave immediately. I did. I said farewell to my fellow analysts and coworkers. They helped me pack my boxes and I went home.
I’m just completely stunned and sad. My plan is feel my feelings for the next couple of days and then buckle down on job applications.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Kitten High

Phil has been home for two weeks and things are going fairly well! He is a goofy confident fluff. Once he consistently came out and played with us in the safe room, we took him on excursions in a carrier to the living room so he could meet the two old ladies.  Or the Golden Girls as we like to call them.  Surprisingly, Shauna was the more aggressive of the two! She growled, hissed, and batted the carrier. Stella only growled and hissed. Phil was not scared at all. He was straining to look everywhere. He stayed out for almost an hour and then we’d whisk him back to his safe room. A couple more nights of that resulted in me letting him out in my bedroom. He was so tentative and yet excited. When he was pooped, he crawled back in the carrier.

The next night, we left the safe room door wide open. Phil emerged eventually and made his way to the living room. The two girls did the growl and hiss thing but nothing physical – just posturing. Shauna would slink into the safe room, nibble on Phil’s kitten food, and curl up on his blanket bed while he was out exploring. When it was bed time for the humans, Phil went back to his room. We had a couple more rounds of this kind of night and now Phil is out 24/7. We’ll slowly transition his safe room feeding and litter areas to the other cats but now the areas are still separate.

Phil enjoys the scratching post in the living room and crawling under our coffee table to A) stalk Shauna or Stella or B) curl up and snooze. He is absolutely not afraid of the old ladies at all. He keeps on trying to engage them in play but they are having none of it. He’s especially persistent with Stella.

I’m going to try Jackson Galaxy’s bully formula with Stella to hopefully mellow her out. Phil does climb in bed with me which is fucking amazing and fills my heart with joy. And YET Stella is lying against me and starts growling once she sees him. Guys, there’s enough love for both of you – I promise!

Seeing Phil in the hallway with his head cocked to the side with a “Whatcha doin?” look or hearing his squeaky mews makes me so happy.  When he lets me pick him up, I love that he lets me pretend lick him while he purrs like an engine.  He’s healing my heart in ways I can’t describe.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Introducing Phil the Maine Coon

This past Saturday, we picked up my 3 month old Maine coon kitten. He was a trooper as we drove home then we whisked him into his prepared safe room. I opened his carrier and he mostly stayed put looking around a bit. I hung out in the room and picked him up to calm him. 
He started to act more confident and inspected the room sitting next to the door.
 That’s when I heard Stella hissing on the other side. I shooed Phil away and spent some quality time with Stella outside of the room.  By the time I came back, he found a corner between the wall and a bookcase to wedge himself into. He just looked me and inched away every time I approached.  I tried to show him all the stuff he has in the room.  Finally, I gave him some space and time while I did stuff outside of the room.

My roommate checked on him in the evening and couldn’t find him. He had climbed under a printer stand in another corner which will be his main hidey hole for the next several days.  
Every time we’d come in to visit, he’d stay under the printer.  Overnight he mewed piteously.  The first couple of nights I got no sleep because I checked on him with each round of cries.  The third night I decided to be hardcore Ferber. I made my roommate agree to that. The next day, both her and I separately googled methods of settling kittens. He was definitely eating, peeing, and pooping which was a good sign. There was evidence that he did stuff in the room but he’d disappear when he heard us approach.  The fourth night, roomie and I ended our night playing a quiet, calm game of war in Phil’s safe room and we left a radio on low overnight. Only one big mew at 2:00AM! The next morning Phil did not disappear when I came in. In fact, he let me hold him! Today, this is him.

Thursday, July 05, 2018


The past several weeks have been difficult. I’m a news junkie and it’s my nightly ritual to chuckle over comedian’s current event commentary on Twitter. The child concentration camps were not an easy laugh. The racist and nativist bullshit being spewed by the president and his cult members is not new but it’s new to hear the Leader of the Free World utter that dreck.  

I’m a daughter of a refugee.  My father and his family had to flee Hungary in WWII.  In Hungary they had land, family, and excellent jobs. But the Russians were fast approaching from the east so they had to get out.  They had forged papers and wound up in Austria by V-E Day. My great grandmother was raped by Russian soldiers and killed herself.  An American minister sponsored my family's emigration.  In 2018 there are only 12 people in the world with my last name. Our family survived and thrived thanks to America. I grew up hearing the stories of the bombings, starving, and fear my 11 year old father, 5 year old uncle, 3 year old uncle, and newborn uncle lived through. My grandmother made sure we never forgot where we came from. I cannot fathom the country that helped my family can inflict such irreparable trauma on children. It’s state sanctioned child abuse.  I found the following poem online and I wish every person who uses the words “vermin” or “illegals” can read this:

by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here


I hope and pray I will not hear that sweaty voice in my ear about the U.S. Weeks of crying over the concentration camps preceded the announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement.  That filled me with such despair, my boss had to tell me “You need to stop watching the news. You’re going to kill yourself.”  So, I took a couple days off following the news then my heart didn’t hurt and I actually got full nights of sleep!  One of my friends posted this article and I cannot recommend it enough! Firstly, I’m not the only crazy empathetic Liberal who feels like living in this world is a burden that I cannot lift. Secondly, there are steps that make sense and help.  So, comrades keep fighting the fight but also take care of yourself – we need you.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

All the Pain and No Baby

I had my uterine biopsy and IUD insertion this week. In the ranking of pain in my life:

1. Stroke
2. Herniated L4-5 disc
3. Uterine biopsy
4. Spinal tap

It was NOT FUN! My gyno is a warm positive empathetic lady who I swore at in between crying and hollering. She kept apologizing and saying how great I was doing. I also tapped into Chandler Bing levels of sarcasm.

I took misoprostol the night before to dilate my cervix. Apparently, it wasn’t dilated enough so my cervix had to be propped open by a speculum. That was so painful, I started trying to shimmy away from the doctor.  In these kinds of procedures, your body is in constant fight or flight mode. It’s just your frontal lobe keeping you on the exam table. I also started talking about my Grandma who had 10 kids. I called on her when it got bad.

They gave me a break before going forward so I just laid there crying and apologizing for being a wuss. I got nothing but warmth and encouragement from the doctor and nurse. Also, they had a heating pad on my belly which helped with the cramping. When they moved forward, the biopsy just felt like a pinch and the IUD placement was a stab and big cramp. I believe the entire procedure lasted less that 30 minutes!

Afterwards, my brother was there to give me a hug and got me home. I slept for most of the afternoon. I’m still achy and crampy. I checked out some medical forums and there were ladies who fainted after their biopsy! Some had to be on Valium or be under general anesthesia. So. I am a BAD ASS! Also, much respect for moms out there - hours of that pain? Superheroes.