2017-10-09 Multitasking to the Tune of Change

It’s Monday morning. Fall is in the air and it feels like change is quickly approaching my life. I’m back at the gym this morning writing from the elliptical machine. I’m somehow really digging this dynamic… feeling productive in two areas at once AND writing makes an hour of cardio go by super fast. I’m also getting good at typing from my phone. I wonder how this might be different if I was trying it at home.

This weekend I created a new playlist for fall and so my workout this morning is all Silversun Pickups, Lincoln Park, Dorothy, Live, The Pretty Reckless, and RadioHead. A good mix of older stuff and new. I also threw David Ford partly because the album I have is all good but mostly for the one song that I absolutely get pumped about every time I hear it.. “Go To Hell”. 
In fact, I can’t just listen to it once. When it comes up I typically listen to it two or three times. It’s great like “I Will Survuve” in that it leaves me saying “Fuck Yeah” every time. 
I need more of that. I think this is why doing this morning gym routine is important to me. It gets me pumped for the day. Whatever I end up doing I’m hoping it works with this. If I could find something that’s like 4 hours a day starting at noon, that would be ideal. If I can get someone to pay my about 100 bucks an hour for those 20 hours, well I’d be set. It’s nice to think about but probably not realistic. 
I’m also not going to be able to pull that much coin unless I’m doing HL7 and I’m so over that. Really. If I was all out of options, I most certainly would, but it’s time to go forward with something new. 
No word yet on my MFA application. I’m going to call another connection today about a technical writing position, which might just be the right mix of applying my technical background and doing more of what I want to be doing. Even if it’s not creative writing, it gets me more practice (and a paycheck). 
Done with cardio now and time for a few weights…
When They Come For Me I’ll Be Gone.

~Miss Sugarcookie


2017-10-08 Five Guys Burgers and Fries.. 2.5

How many guys does it take to make an above average cheeseburger? More than Five Guys apparently. 😛

Of all the burger joints in all the world, how did THIS one become a national chain?

For starters, the atmosphere is “meh” at best, very fast-food-ish which I guess might be what they were going for considering you order at the counter. They get a plus in my book for the peanuts, but it seems really odd and not necessary unless they are expecting people are so starved when they arrive and have to wait in a long line (which we did not thank goodness).

The menu was also meh.. it’s a burger joint, so that’s their main thing but very one-trick-pony in that you order a single or a double and then choose any toppings you want. This philosophy is OK for people who eat a lot and consume a lot of toppings, however, me and my people don’t so having to pay for someone else’s toppings with that outrageous price point was incredibly off-putting.

Case in point.. Z gets a single hamburger, plain (YES I said PLAIN??!) and we pay just as much for that (5+ bucks) as my cheeseburger with onions and pickles and peppers and tomato and mustard and cheese. Just wrong. Same story for C only a touch worse because he did not even get a burger, he ordered a hot dog. What is wrong with my children?!

Anyway, for that price I would expect a really great cheeseburger because that’s the caliber of place this is. It’s a step above fast food and a step below an average dine-in, serve you at the table restaurant. Sadly, the burger fell short of average.

The bun was OK, there was not enough cheese (IMO), and nothing so special about the seasonings or the toppings. I’m writing this 24 hours past my experience and I can’t think of a damn thing noteworthy to say about it. Hence the below average rating.

I’m not quite done with my rant about the price though. The entire meal, which consisted of two “small” burgers, a small fry, two drinks and a hot dog came to 30 dollars. WHAT???!!! How in the Fuck did that happen? I’ve never in my life spent 30 bucks at a fast food place for me and my kids before and quite literally don’t even spend that much when we go to a restaurant normally. I could have had three complete burger meals at Red Robin for that price which would have all included bottomless fries.

Oh, and speaking of the fries, they are terrible. Overly seasoned and not crispy enough at all. I originally wanted to score this a 2.75 but now that I’ve remembered everything, I am going to go with a 2.5.

This is an over-rated franchise,
With prices that make me agonize
Burgers that won’t win any prize
And just down-right terrible Fries.
I’ve given this place one to many tries.
Time to say never again.. to Five Guys.

Never Again!
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-07 Do What You Want, Do What You Like

Today feels like Saturday. That is probably because it is Saturday. Ha! But seriously, more and more everyday feels like Saturday and I like it.

Today we are finally getting a break from the Fall rain and the sunshine is amazing. From my desk in by bay window I am getting a nice breeze of fresh air and can hear sounds of people playing and working. My intent is to get the kids outside pretty soon now. A little bit ago I tried to go out in the garden for harvest but it was seriously squishy. I got as many tomato and peppers as I could and will probably work on making them into something either tonight or tomorrow, when daylight is gone or the chill of the morning can be made better by burners going in a warm kitchen. I’m really enjoying harvest this year and having time to spend in the kitchen making old favorites and trying new things. I’ve said it before but I will say it again, you have to do what you like because that is what life is all about.

The concert last night was pretty freaking awesome and I knew every song but one. I guess that’s what happens when you go see a hit band that’s been around for 20 years. And now I can officially add Matchbox Twenty to the list of bands I’ve seen live. Earlier this year I saw Tom Petty at Red Rocks and they did a few covers of his stuff last night in tribute to the now late singer. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see him when I did and where I did. That’s just another reason why we should always continue to pursue doing the things that we love to do. (That’s two.)

This morning, before the rain stopped, I decided to cross another item off of my to-do list which was to start a fire in my fireplace and then burn a log that is essentially supposed to “sweep” the chimney. It does that by burning really hot, or so I am told. I could not tell the difference in the temp myself, but maybe up beyond the flu where it counts. After days of damp it seemed like an appropriate thing to do, and then as soon as I did that, the sun came out. Oh the irony of life! But now it’s ready for the fall and winter seasons.

One of the main selling points for me when I bought this house (besides location location location), was the fact that it has a real wood burning fireplace. I’ve lived here for nearly two years now and have never once used it.. until today. I think that is amazing. When I was a kid we rented a house that had a real fireplace and I remember I used to love starting fires and watching the wood burn. I’ve continued to enjoy that as an adult, but only had campfires and fire pits outside. Now I can have them inside too and so continues the saga of doing the things that we want to do. (That’s three).

In a little bit, as soon as I can get the kids motivated we are going to go do something and then meet Simon for a cheeseburger at a new place that just opened in his area of town. I’m hopeful that the food is excellent so I can provide a glowing review of that later. I have not had a lot of cheeseburgers lately and I need to fix that. The cheeseburger will be score number 4 for this weekend thus far in the list of things I’ve done that are at the top of my hit list. I’m wondering if I should make it official and try for some sort of epic record?

Anyway, if momma don’t get those little clones moving, nobody will so I’ve got to go now.

Keeping Score,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-06 Funky Monkey Friday Cryday

I’m not terribly inspired today. I got my morning workout in and have been working on swapping out my spring and summer clothes for fall and winter. That’s only fun for a quick minute and then it’s just not. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons. Winter would probably be third with fall being last, unless we are in the middle of a stretch of negative degree days in which case, winter always falls to the bottom of the list. Snow is OK in my book, but there is something about fall that is just dreary and depressing. Even more so today because it has been raining for like four days now and everything is just soaked.

The Matchbox 20 concert was moved to an indoor venue because of the weather and though I have been listening to their tunes all week, I’m still sort of in a funk today and not super excited about it.

I was up at 4AM and did a few things and did not quickly go back to sleep and the sleep I did get was riddled with dreams. I had a dream with Matt in it and a dream with Josh in it and the dream that had Josh in it I was in a situation in which I was completely aware that Simon existed. He was not in the dream, but in my thoughts in the dream. Isn’t it super strange that I remember having thoughts in my dream? I didn’t even know you could have thoughts in a dream let alone remember them. Anyway, I did and it forced me to decide to try and remove myself from staying in the same place as Josh. If that isn’t telling then I don’t know what is.

It is perhaps the lack of good sleep that is keeping my mood subdued. I need to get motivated to do something else, but not sure what that would be on a lazy Friday afternoon. Maybe I will take a nap and see if that does not inspire me to accomplish something with the time I have left before getting ready to go out for a serious jam session with the boys in the band.

Time Will Tell,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-05 Why Not Both?

This morning I met with one of my former managers and we had a good conversation about career, things I should look to be doing, and just generally catching up with our respective lives. There was a lot packed into that hour and while I didn’t necessarily come away with a concrete yes on potentially doing contract work for her, i did get lots of good advice.

She agreed I should be going forward and not looking back and that a job in the healthcare IT space would not be the best option. It remains a safety net if I need it, but to better myself and achieve more, I should be looking for something different.
My woes yesterday were fueled by fear and anxiety about money. I shared my thoughts with Simon and his words of wisdom were insightful and comforting. 
Comforting because they validated that I’m not wrong to pursue my passion and insightful in reminding me that I don’t have to completely do one thing or the other.. that I can choose to do a balance of both. It remains true I will not likely find the perfect gig to pay what I was making before with enough flexibility and free time for the MFA. However, I could choose to do something else rewarding and flexible for less pay. 
Instead of being at one end of a pendulum swing or the other, meet in the middle with compassion, dedication, and satisfaction. I need only look as far as the statement of purpose I wrote for the MFA application to remind myself what it is and what it means to me. 
My coffee date this AM was more focused on the career path but actually took my intent one step further to shine a light on the fact that I could be looking for something which actually combines the writing with my 20+ years of Tecnical and analysis experience. There is a great wild world of opportunities and I just need to start exploring. 
At this point I’m totally down with what I need to do next and it’s just a matter of execution. I’m needing a little nudge to do that. I’ve been enjoying my time off quite a bit lately and have established a very relaxed and happy routine. Part of me is not looking forward to giving that up. I keep writing things on my to-do list and managing to only get to the “fun” things and put off the research and resume work for another day. 
I should take a day and do nothing but that. If I make progress it might be just the motivator I need to keep the train rolling forward. 
As of right now.. I’m 48 minutes into writing from my beloved elliptical machine (again combing what I love with what I love). All this other stuff should have been obvious right?! 
I need to finish up at the gym and get home before the kids get home from school. Another round of parent-teacher conference tonight. 
Until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, 
~Miss Sugarcookie 

2017-10-04 Oh the Tragedy of Reality 

I woke up this morning feeling sadness. I’ve been riding on such a high the past week or so I guess it was bound to end eventually. I mean, emotions are situational and fleeting and the reality is that there’s not a whole lot of permanence in this life.

Relationships are temporary. Events that we enjoy come and go. Hurt fades like the jagged edges of a stone worn away by years of water passing over it. Sometimes the change of the tides is welcome and sometimes it leaves us questioning the purpose or meaning of it all. 
This morning I’m just filled with melancholy and an infinite sadness (que the Smashing Pumpkins). 
A week ago I was applying for a job at UNMC and dreading it. I’d come to the conclusion that I didn’t want to do the same thing I’ve always done. But then what?
I then had a major epiphany that I should pursue my writing. It check all the boxes but one. I enjoy it, I’m passionate about it, it’s fulfilling, and I’m certain would lead me to getting more satisfaction out of life. The box it doesn’t check? Poetry won’t pay the bills. 
I rode the emotional high I was on as I jumped through all the hoops required to get the application completed. Most of it was easy and actually quite enjoyable. I revisited my past to collect all my transcripts and it’s nice to look at ones accomplishments. I meet up and had conversations with friends and former colleagues to share my news and ask for their help. Again, wonderful to see and talk with these people I care about. I then had to compile a collection of my favorite poems and compose some words describing my journey thus far and why this program is right for me. It was delightful. I had everything submitted before the deadline of October 1st. Great success! 
Then October 2nd happened. I woke up and checked my email in-box, which is my normal practice. I was greeted with an email that my checking account was overdrawn. My house payment would not clear without more funds being deposited. It’s an easy enough thing to remedy by transferring funds from savings, but also a good reminder that I’m operating in a state that has definite limitations. There’s a finite amount in my savings and not more where that came from without work. 
In addition, I just happened to look up how much the writing MFA costs and found that it’s going to be 30K+. Yowza!! That’s just not an easy figure to reconcile with my current state of being. If money wasn’t a factor, I’d not be taking a serious pause about this decision. But as it is, I am. Not only does poetry not pay bills, it also doesn’t pay back student loans or take me on vacations. 
The hopeless romantic in me argues that it’s only money and does not matter because we should pursue our passions no matter the cost. 
The realist in me recognizes that we probably can’t have our cake and eat it too. I have to figure out what to do to earn money. If by some chance I can find something that will cover my monthly expenses while being flexible enough to allow me to continue pursuit of the MFA, not to mention parenting, household maintenance, relationships, and freetime activities that would be.. well.. a miracle. 
It’s a financial puzzle as well as one one of life balance. I’ve over extended myself before and though I’ve always made it work, it’s not easy and at times taken a toll on me. Am I in for that again or should I take an easier path? The way is unclear. 
I woke up this morning with trepidation about my predicament and worry that I’m going to choose wrong. I’m not fearless and I don’t have a ton of support. Whatever I do, I have to do it on my own and it’s scary.

My children depend on me and I’m leaning toward what my head is telling me and away from what my heart wants. Should I just wait five more years until they are gone to follow these dreams? I might not have a choice, 
Sinking in the Cupid De Locke, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-02 Looking Back and Looking Forward – Part Two

For the second night in a row last night I was trying to type while literally falling asleep. It’s not as if I have not been getting good sleep, but the days just have me so worn out, my body and mind are past ready when 10:30 approaches. That’s a good thing I think. It looks like I wrote a little bit about it being the beginning of a new month, but not a lot of detail behind what I was looking back on and looking forward to. So here’s the deets…

My goals for September included all of the following and I’m pretty sure I fell short of the mark on most of this:

  • Dancing Lessons – I googled but did not make any calls or try to put anything on the calendar.
  • Taking a self defense class – I didn’t even look into this.
  • Going to visit Rebecca in Austin – Done Done.
  • Making modifications to my eating behaviors – I’ve started, but like my post about goals from about a month ago, if there is not a lot of definition behind what this means, it’s hard to know how one is doing or if changes need to be made. I’ve cut out pain pills for my headaches and learned how to sprout broccoli for salads. I’m going to try in the next month to start reducing sugar and also gluten, but I need to baseline what things look like now to be able to measure the improvements.
  • Getting my RX8 Sold. This one is sort of on me but mostly on Josh. I’ve commissioned him to do the job and he’s really sucking at it. It may be true I am asking too much, but I’ve dropped the price now a couple of times and there have been zero bites. I’m going to add this back to my October goals with a pre-req to re-do the market research I did a while back into how much the car is worth. I need to get it sold.. 1.) For the cash. and 2.) Insurance cost. and 3.) Space in my garage I need to be able to start my table refinishing project.
  • Of course, my figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I started this. Did some brainstorming and networking. No major conclusions, but it did lead me to the idea of getting my masters (See things I did that were not on my list).

Things I accomplished that were not on my list:

  • -I researched and put reminders on my calendar for the upcoming Master Gardeners session orientation. I’ve got an affinity for gardening and this is something I’ve thought about for a while now.
  • I pursued having a professional opinion on if my roof and gutters need replacing. I subsequently filed an insurance claim and they approved me getting a new roof. I guess I can put that on the list for October.
  • Reorganized my bedroom closet.
  • I applied for a job at UNMC in their IT department.
  • I applied for the Master of Fine Arts program at UNO. This was a somewhat unexpected decision and having decided I wanted to go for it, I had to scramble because the deadline for submission was October 1st.

Things I want to do accomplish in October:

  • Everything I wanted to do in September but did not get done.
  • Plan details around Hawaii trip.
  • Start pursuing some job opportunities.
  • Plant spring bulbs.
  • Prep yard for winter.
  • Get down to my target weight so I can look famous in my bikini in Hawaii.

I’ve started using the standard issue Monarch planner to keep track of my to-do’s each day/each week. It was the planner they gave to all the high-school kids but Z did not like it so it became mine. So far, it’s helping me do a pretty good job staying on target for things and if I don’t get something done, I can just write it in a future date to do. Previously I was just using throw away scraps of paper so this way I can look at other notes I am taking along the way and since it is dated, I can put reminders for things in the future (like Simon’s birthday this coming Wednesday).

We had some wicked storms last night that woke me up around 2 so I am feeling a nap coming on now. Either that or writing is suddenly causing me to spontaneously fall asleep.

Happy Monday – Let’s DO THIS!
~Miss SugarCookie