Offtopic Sofa Time

New arrivals, including the hello threads and the sofa.
Sinkwriter72
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

P.S. A bit of positive personal news on my part. My best friend just emailed me from the airport... his father has been declared cancer-free! Whew! YAY! What a relief. :mrgreen:
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ThyneAlone
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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That's great news, Sherry. Sometimes news like that can alleviate personal frustration - not for long, I grant, but it's good to know when friends are freed from such tremendous burdens. I know you'll be doing your usual 'well that puts my problems in perspective', but don't feel, in your rejection of self-centredness, that your difficulties are insignificant, especially as they have dragged on for so long. I am still thinking of you and sending you all the positive thoughts I can.

Sharon, I also send my best wishes in your direction. It is awful to be faced with incompetence when you are a meticulous and inefficient individual. Good luck with that and I hope Madam's job does not take up too much of your valuable time.
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Sinkwriter72
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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*hugs Steph tightly* Thank you for those words.

And might I add, it's eerie how quickly you're starting to see patterns in my behavior. I'm a little scared. ;)

Sincerely though, thank you for what you said. I have been feeling a little deflated this week, here and there, and what you said really touched my heart. And it's something I especially needed to hear, as time ticks by and certain dates are coming up, which puts things into a starkness lately that has been, shall we say, troubling me.

xoxo

ThyneAlone wrote:
Sharon, I also send my best wishes in your direction. It is awful to be faced with incompetence when you are a meticulous and inefficient individual.
I think you meant that Sharon is a meticulous and efficient individual, yes? :D
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ThyneAlone
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Heehee! :D rofl! Sorry Sharon. Inefficient! As if.
I can say hilarious things when I'm not in full control of my fingers. I remember once in an exciting school essay about an imagined plane crash I wrote that the engines spluttered edibly. That must have given the teacher pause for thought followed by a hearty laugh! Well spotted Sherry!! :) ;)
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Sinkwriter72
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Tee hee... 'edibly.' :mrgreen:
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skftex
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Hiya again,

Sherry, how great for your friends father-I'm thrilled for them and I don't even know them! ((hugs)) We need a huggy smilie on here! :wink:

Ahhhhhhhh Steph, loved the inefficient part. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Though I am definitely NOT meticulous, I have done my research as far as what programs I am eligible for in order to pay for school because it costs a lot and I don't have an income. There is TONS of money out there if a person is willing to look for it, though in this case, it was a pretty well known program, at least among us prior military.

However, my day went ALOT better today. I went back to see her today armed with the proper documents and she was really nice today. Maybe she was having a bad day but no reason to take it out on me! So all is well there, school is paid for and I can focus on getting some other things taken care of.

((hugs)) to everyone!!

Sharon
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Sinkwriter72 wrote:
ThyneAlone wrote:
Sharon, I also send my best wishes in your direction. It is awful to be faced with incompetence when you are a meticulous and inefficient individual.
I think you meant that Sharon is a meticulous and efficient individual, yes? :D
Heh heh...I did a bit of flipping around of words this morning. Confused the heck out of my dad (phone call, complete with giggles and plenty of "hewha?").

Sharon - I can sympathize with your dealings with the University staff. I know there are so many people that make up a school and the various groups that have to work with them to keep the gears turning (i.e. financial aid), and I think that's a big part of the problem. Too many hands in the pot, and alot aren't willing to stretch themselves to help out their customer. That drove me up the wall at the University I recently graduated from. Having a background in project management didn't help me either...I wanted to give them advice on how to better manage areas they lacked expertise in, but didn't want to sound like an ass. I plan on writing a letter instead and seeing that it gets to the president of the school.

I wouldn't completely discount the customer service industry though (and I'm sure yah don't). I worked in retail during my late teens , and I'm glad I started with a group of folks that taught me right. I learned to take on as much knowledge as I could to help out my customer, and to kill them with kindness and humor if they came in with the "someone poo'd in my cornflakes" look. Worked every time. On the flipside, I've wished over the years that I could teach specific individuals the benefits of working in customer service positively (hint: I too have encountered exceptionally bad service). That and I've wanted to teach customers about service oriented work so they might show some or more appreciation for those who do it. It's a tough, underappreciated field to be in, but it does have its rewards for those who take it and make good of it.
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Hi Jennifer (do you prefer Jen?)

The thing with this one woman was that she is the only person that handles this particular program. If you don't go to her you don't get them to pay for it. But for some reason today she was not bad at all, so like I said, maybe yesterday was a bad day. Though I think good customer service people don't take their bad day out on the innocent customers. Maybe if I had gone in there with an attitude, but when she told me I don't qualify, I calmly explained to her why I know I do and instead of giving me guidance to what kinds of other documents she needed, she just kept saying she couldn't help me. It seemed to me she thought I was lying about something when I have no reason to lie. By the time I left, yes, I was not really in a good mood but I don't cuss (ever) and I didn't yell.

Anyway, I didn't mean to put down customer service people as a whole, I know from experience it isn't easy (I was a tech support person...almost as bad as someone who works in retail). I just wonder why some people are ever put into those sorts of jobs when clearly they don't want to have to deal with people. But in fact, everyone I've come into contact with at the University, other than this one woman, have been wonderful and extremely helpful. When I was told I would transfer directly into the college of my major and to see if I could talk to my advisor, I went to his office and he stopped what he was doing to help me and spent quite a bit of time with me trying to determine which classes I needed. I had no appointment but he said that was not a problem. I know he must be a busy man as he is a Professor so I was really impressed with him on my first meeting. All of the financial aid people that work the front desks have been extremely polite and helpful. So it isn't the whole, its the one but I guess that one is just what she is feeling like that day! :mrgreen:

Sharon
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ThyneAlone
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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I had a Saturday job in retail and it was very interesting because I love talking and relating to people. I just did what I normally do - showed an interest, smiled, tried to sort out problems and connect. If I was in a bad mood I found the presence of the customers actually cheered me up and stopped me feeling sorry for myself. Like you all say, I've no idea why people who don't seem to like social contact choose this type of work. But then, I've seen a number of teachers who patently don't understand or like children. :?

A propos of nothing - this'll be my last post here for a few days. Tomorrow morning I am off to Guernsey with the family - until next Friday. Cross your fingers the weather isn't too terrible because the rain is sheeting down here at the moment and the forecast doesn't look much better for the Channel Islands!!! I'll miss you - see you all soon.
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Have fun in Guernsey Steph! Hope the weather cooperates though I know that in England there is no telling.

Its pouring here right now, with thunder and lightning and all. Third day in a row but I don't mind I'm not out in it and it really cools things off here in the desert. :)
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Sinkwriter72
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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ThyneAlone wrote:A propos of nothing - this'll be my last post here for a few days. Tomorrow morning I am off to Guernsey with the family - until next Friday. Cross your fingers the weather isn't too terrible because the rain is sheeting down here at the moment and the forecast doesn't look much better for the Channel Islands!!! I'll miss you - see you all soon.
You shall definitely be missed. Nevertheless, have a MARVELOUS time, Steph! :D

*crosses fingers for brilliant, beautiful weather for you*
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TJ4ever
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Have fun, Steph!

My mom and I were in Guernsey once with the cruise ship Arielle. It's beautiful there! Unfortunately we only had a few hours so we booked an excursion. I remember that we visited this tiny church with this coloured small stones. It was sad that we had so less time and I said to my mum that I definitely want to visit Guernsey again!

Hope you have great weather!

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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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A moment to re-align my thinking. I have been doing massive loads of housework today because an old uni friend is staying the night and then tomorrow son no.2's best friend arrives with his mum and sister to stay for a couple of days. And to be honest we have only just recovered from the week in Guernsey and the previous weekend's whistlestop weekend with my parents!

I loved being with my family. More than I'd anticipated - we are not your close crowd, dysfunctional in many ways. It finitially elt like a duty ride to please my mother, who is the one person among them who keeps in regular contact and seems to care, but in the event it was great to see everyone. Mum was gobsmacked, as it was a complete surprise and I had told her nothing about our arrival; it worked just as we had wanted, I got her on my cellphone and then walked straight in through the front door. They have been depressed of late. Dad's not well and immobile, and drinks far too much, Mum is wearing herself to a frazzle looking after him nonstop, and isn't too good herself, and little bro, who lives with them and works from home, is stressed from his massive job pressure and a legal battle to get a troublesome tenant out of the flat he rents out. Sis, who came on the Sunday afternoon with her husband and two of the kids, has been redundant for 6 years and her husband is doing two jobs to keep the wolf from the door. Nevertheless we relaxed and had fun together, and I know it meant a lot to the others, who have promised to keep in touch. Auntie has already befriended son no.1 on Facebook.

Guernsey was a dream week. The weather was amazingly hot most of the time but when there were showers they blew over remarkably rapidly; the wind cleared them from the sky as if with a big broom, and we were back to the sunshine that made the docks look so stunning with their little ships tethered in a bobbing herd. The sea is green there, actually turquoise green! I'm used to the Channel being a cold wash of grey, and I am certainly not used to it dancing and sparkling as it did at the beach. The 20-minute boat trip to the nearby island of Herm was therefore a visual feast both on the island itself and the trips to and from Guernsey.

And what did we do there? Well. Um. We visited quite a few museums for a start. Guernsey museum had a local youth choir entertaining outside, an impressive statue of Victor Hugo in the lovely gardens (he lived there in exile) and a vintage toy exhibition inside. I spent half my time watching 'Watch With Mother' (children's afternoon programmes in the 60's) on the little telly. Ooh, the memories! As a stark contrast we went to the museum of the Nazi occupation, and that was scary and chilled us. We emerged very sombre; fortunately we were able to follow it up with a look round the beautiful aquarium nearby and laugh at the little turtles fighting each other to get to their food. It was hilarious, because they kept shoving one another out of the way and treading on the heads of their poolmates.

We also went to Victor Hugo's home. It has been kept pretty much as he left it, and I am at a loss to describe it, you'd have to go there. He basically created, with his own art and a mixture of others' (Oriental art was a big part of this. There are watercoloured ricepaper insets everywhere), a reflection of his mind. He used to go round antique shops, pick up gorgeous wooden tables and cannibalise the legs to put on his self-designed chimney pieces. There are hidden and disguised doors all over the place, it must have been a Mecca for kids, and cleverly placed mirrors all over. The rooms are deliberately contrasted; you might come out of a mahogany-panelled dining room into a sparsely furnished conservatory flooded with light and with an impressive view of the sea. He was quirky too - there is one small area where walls and ceiling are completely 'tiled' with china plates and dish lids. In an adjoining room there was a washbasin created from the soup tureen whose lid had been the centrepiece of the ceiling! And there was one bedroom with a 'tree' - a big wooden freestanding candelabra - in the centre. We loved it and we felt we knew him so much better when we came out.

Other outings - well, we did a little military museum and a shipwreck one to please my better half (wonderful views there as the museum is on a fort situated slightly out to sea on the end of a causeway), lots of shopping for me and a bus trip to a craft centre with minigolf for son no.2.

The whole week actually did the job and relaxed us all. My beloved is usually on pins trying to work out the logistics but it was all done for us; transfer between plane and guest house, everything. He had nothing to organise! And son no.2 and I couldn't help but de-stress in such stunning surroundings. It was all like a kind of cross between, let me see, maybe Llandudno in Wales and St Malo, and made me feel quite creative. In fact I put together a haiku while watching a mother on the bus with her adorable little daughter:

To a mother's eyes,
Balding obesity is
Small, pink and dimpled.

Because, as I had learned the previous week, a parent doesn't really see you as you are; you are always the chubby baby!
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Finally the new BATMAN started here in Germany, too. Watched it on Tuesday 26. It was good. Good action, great special effects! Christian Bale was great! I really like him! Heath Ledgers performance was good, too, but not worth an Oscar in my opinion. And I really enjoyed the dialogs between Bruce Wayne and Alfred!
...but I liked BATMAN BEGINS better despite Katie. Maggie Gyllenhaal in THE DARK KNIGHT was a much better Rachel!

So, Sherry, how did you spent your birthday?

To all of you have a great weekend!

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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by begolden »

Hello Everyone,

Sorry about my extended absence!

Steph, I relate very well to your tale of visiting the aging parents. Although my parents are very fit for folks in their 80's, Dad just had a quintuple bipass and heart valve repair two weeks ago. He came home a week ago Friday, and is now slowly on the mend. I also went back to work two weeks ago, which unfortunately coincided with my dad's surgery and hospital time, so you can imagine why I've been absent from the forum these past few weeks. We all live in the same city, so I was able to be at the hospital during my dad's surgery and give support to my mom, as well as stop by to visit the week he was in recovery. Now that he's home, he's up walking around, and slowly regaining his appetite. He has quite the Frankensteinian scar on his chest!
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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It's good to hear that the surgery went on just fine and that your dad is now recovering well. :) You had to work but at least you were able to be with him at the hospital, that's good!
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Sinkwriter72
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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Steph -- despite the wacky family stuff (that always happens somehow, doesn't it?), it sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Especially all the interesting parts of Victor Hugo's home. Neat! :D

Hi, Simone! Thank you again for the b-day wishes.

My birthday was rather sedate this year, I'm afraid. It was on a Monday, so everyone I knew was at work. I spent some time by myself for most of the day, and in the evening my aunts (the ones I'm staying with right now) took me out to dinner. That was lovely. And I got cards from many of my family members, including some really cute ones from my two-year-old niece and four-year-old nephew (they scribbled/colored on the cards, and my nephew wrote his name and included some of his favorite stickers all over the envelope, which was so sweet of him). And our very own late_heart left me birthday wishes at practically every place I visit on a regular basis, from email to LJ to myspace and even here on TJ's site, which cracked me up. (And thanks again, AF, for the drabble! *hugs you*) It was much needed, because I've been feeling quite down about this birthday. Not because of the number, but because of where my life stands right now. It certainly made for some contemplative journal entries in the days surrounding my birthday, that's for sure. Overall, it was a nice day, but a bit melancholic or some other word that I can't quite put my finger on right now.

Rebecca -- I'm so sorry to hear about your dad needing surgery. You must have been so worried these past days! How is he feeling? Is he recuperating quickly? How are you holding up? I'm sure you and your wonderful family are leaning on each other for support. You seem like a close-knit group. That usually helps. Regardless, my thoughts are with you all, and I hope your dad feels much better very, very soon! xoxooo
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Sinkwriter72
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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P.S. to Dohee -- was it you who was watching Prison Break? Did you watch this week's season premiere? :D
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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begolden wrote:
Dad just had a quintuple bipass and heart valve repair two weeks ago. He came home a week ago Friday, and is now slowly on the mend. I also went back to work two weeks ago, which unfortunately coincided with my dad's surgery and hospital time, so you can imagine why I've been absent from the forum these past few weeks.
Rebecca, you have my total sympathy. What an awful thing to go through. He and your family are in my thoughts and it's good to hear he's on the mend. Look after each other, all of you.

And Sherry, that sounds like a rather too contemplative birthday! Bit early in life for 'who am I and where am I going?' I'd have thought, but then these anniversaries do invite Janus-like self-evaluation. I hope some of it was good self-evaluation, because I happen to think that if you played out 'It's a Wonderful Life' you'd find out that a lot of people would be worse off without you!

I am sitting here at 11.05 UK time catching up with my postings because on the second day of school I have no voice. Honestly, none. Zilch, squat, nada. I've had slight hoarseness and a minor cough, but nothing to prepare me for this coming on last night. I've been to the doctor and my worst fears have been confirmed: laryngitis, probably viral, which can last 4 or 5 days!! I cannot afford this at the start of school - I've just heard I could be off for at least 2 weeks later on in the term because I have jury service beginning on October 6th!

Sh** happens. But it would be nice to have blobs I can step over rather than a mountain of it, such as would delight Jack hodgins, to push through...
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Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

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First off, Rebecca, how's your dad doing this week? Feeling better? Recuperating quickly? xoxoooo

And then... Oh nooooo, Steph! Laryngitis? How awful! What do you do for teaching classes? I assume you're back at it by now, right?

Laryngitis and jury duty. Wow. You're having quite the month, aren't you? *hugs Steph*

ThyneAlone wrote:And Sherry, that sounds like a rather too contemplative birthday! Bit early in life for 'who am I and where am I going?' I'd have thought, but then these anniversaries do invite Janus-like self-evaluation. I hope some of it was good self-evaluation, because I happen to think that if you played out 'It's a Wonderful Life' you'd find out that a lot of people would be worse off without you!
Well, ordinarily I'm not quite so contemplative on my birthday. :D Maybe a little bit, because it's a marker that another year has come and gone. But this time I think it's been especially trying because of the job situation. I think that's why it's stirred up so many of those 'what the hell has become of my life, what am I doing and where am I supposed to go next?" sorts of questions. The scariest part is that I haven't come up with any answers. :( I feel so stuck, and I haven't figured out how to move through it yet. I guess when the birthday came around, it brought up all that stress and worry and fear, and I just found myself feeling a bit depressed ... and contemplative. It's not been the most positive of years for me, this past birthday year. I'd very much like to turn that around as soon as possible. But the contemplative part of me is still anxious because the big question that stirs up is always "HOW?"

It's funny you brought up that film, because I suppose one of things that troubles me most is that I do want to make a positive impact on people in this world, in my life, and sometimes I don't feel like I've done very much with my life thus far. I feel like I've made it through some things, and some things I'm still trying to work out and learn, and there have been a few moments where I feel I've done something good for someone else, but ... it's just this terrible year. It's making me feel a bit lost. Not unlike the very dear Mr. George Bailey, I suppose. I know I'll figure it out eventually. It's just a struggle in the meantime, and it seems to be taking much longer than I'd ever anticipated. That's really scary to me. I just don't know where the hell I am anymore or what I'm supposed to be doing.

Ok, that was a bit of heaviness for a Friday morning. Sorry about that! *sheepish grin*

Moving on... what's everyone up to today? Any good plans for the weekend?
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