Friday, April 30, 2010

Things I Learned in New Orleans (in no particular order)

 ~ Drinking a delicious, rather high-octane, drink called "Smurf in a Blender" will turn your teeth, lips and tongue bright blue
 Here I am, consuming the aforementioned drink

~ Bourbon Street can be beautiful at night

~ The beauty of Bourbon Street at night is, most likely, amplified by consuming a number of Hurricanes at the Piano Bar at Pat O'Briens. (and not all of these are my empties - I swear!)

~ Southern hospitality really does exist 
~ Deep-fried oysters are amazing
~ The cable car is a picturesque, but rather inefficient, means of travel.
~ It is possible to jam-pack your time in New Orleans with wonderful sights and meals, and still not see or consume everything that you had hoped -- which means a return tip is required
~ Smoking rates among African Americans and individuals of low socioeconomic status in our country are ridiculously, obscenely higher than the rest of the general population (and yes, I do realize that's a very general statement - but I don't quite have time or space here to share all that I learned at the conference)

I've been home for two days and am still exhausted -- and still feeling full from fried everything, rice-and-beans, Southern breakfasts, and good ol' hotel food. The conference was great, the company was wonderful, and the overall experience was unforgettable.

Edited to Add: And to quote my coworker's Facebook status: "EVERY work conference should include a live New Orleans jazz band at lunch and a gospel choir at the post-conference reception. Conference planners, please take note."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo Of The Day

I found this photo this AM the incredibly vague folder in my bookmarks menu called "Links". It ends up being a catchall for things that I want to see again.  Not quite as specific as "Shopping", "News", "Financials" or "Geek" (which is the folder for things related to the websites I manage, as well as important things like "How To Clean your White MacBook").

But I digress....

This image is what I work my heart and soul out for, and can't wait to see on every vending machine, on the counters in every store that sells tobacco and every pack of cigarettes sold in this country.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quote Of The Day

"A good friend is a connection to life—a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”

~ Lois Wyse

Monday, April 19, 2010

Better Living Through Chemistry

It's taken me a week to be able to comfortably and competently write this, because it's taken me about a this long to readjust to 'normal' after the minor medical miscalculation I made.

Of course, since this is a post about me and ADHD, it would figure that I'd start somewhere in the middle of the story.... All right, let me back up a bit and explain what happened:

A mail-order script for my medication was processed and shipped to my apartment building. It needed to be signed for, but my building manager failed to so. Twice.

After counting what precious little of my (medically prescribed) stash remained, I spent an hour or two on the phone with my insurance company and the post office. I found out that the package was going to be returned to the mail-order people, but I was promised that they'd slap a new address label on it and send it to my office, instead.


In the meantime, I realized that I was facing going cold turkey off my ADHD medication. But I countered my anxiety by telling myself "This is not a big deal! I can totally focus and be productive with a very low and/or nonexistent dose."

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The first day of an extremely lowered dose was the day after my 5K walk/run,  I was already really tired, not to mention sore and not exactly in the mood to be at work. But other than starting to doze off during a late-afternoon conference call (which was only slightly mortifying) I did okay.

Day two, I was determined not to make the same mistake. I don't know how I thought I'd do better, since I had even fewer meds on hand by this point. Before my 9.30 AM meeting, I had a large cup of tea, followed by a large cup of coffee (which I never drink). But halfway through the meeting, I started to fall asleep. And in a desperate attempt to not to do so, I started shifting in my seat, blinking my eyes ... and, apparently, bopping my head along as my coworkers talked.

"Jess? I see you nodding in agreement, do you have something to add?" asked my supervisor.

I snapped my head up from my (scrawled, smeary) notes to make eye contact. "Nope, just following along," I quickly replied.

That afternoon was agony.  I stayed in my cubicle, determined not to inflict my dazed and bitchy self on my coworkers. But as I bounced from project to project, from attempting small website edits to composing template email responses, my complete and utter inability to focus was driving me crazy. I couldn't get comfortable. Plus, my stomach ached from all the coffee I'd had to drink. I felt mean, tired and had no patience for friendly IM's, silly emails or... well, anything.

When I finally saw my doctor that evening, she wrote a refill scrip to tide me over.
"Why did you do this to yourself?" she asked. 
"I thought I could do it," I replied. "I mean, I do okay on the weekends without the medication."
She studied me for a moment. Then she said: "You're like a diabetic who can't go without insulin in certain situations. This is a real medical condition that you're being treated for. You need to take care of yourself."

I felt stupid and ashamed. But now that I can focus again, I know that she's right. And I will.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quote Of The Day (and personal food for thought)

I usually say "Of course I worry. It's something I'm good at, and everyone needs a talent."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hard At Work. Really.

Not drooling over things in the Anthroplogie website.

Like these....

Or lovely things on the JCrew website....

No, really. I'm working.
Its a beautiful Friday afternoon in April.
And I'm focused entirely on the research in front of me.

I swear.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Stop quoting Tennyson...."

"... and fucking spill it, Jessica. I know you have some good shit to share on your blog."

Thank you, Dr. Gatewood.

My darling, brutally honest, eloquently filthy and charming boy.... what can I share with my blog readers that they don't already suspect of me, but not all of them may want to see in writing?

A few topics come to mind:

~ My social life. Because I do seem to have one, after all. Somehow, my free time is not entirely spent with the cat, the new TV and the interwebz as much anymore. But I think I'm more likely to tag my friends (or be tagged) in a Tweet about how we're a collective #hotmess than I am to sit down and write about it afterward. Still, there are more mimosa-filled brunches, dinners with coworkers, unexpected shopping trips, outings to the Mall, and afternoons spent getting accidentally sunburned with friends over beer than there have been for several months.  Perhaps they should be recorded for posterity.

~ Dating and/or sex.  This area of my life still seems too intimate for these virtual pages, maybe because I have only recently begun to venture back into the world of heterosexual relationships. I have the sense that once I have something more substantial (and more specific) to say than "I think this could be fun", I'll expand on this topic. 

~ My family. Nah, you don't need to hear about the details of my relationship with my slightly-overprotective, wonderfully generous, stereotypically-Jewish-on-occasion parents. (Or do you? They can be awfully entertaining... Maybe this is another area in which I should think about sharing more.) In the meantime, you can follow my amazing sister on Twitter, and read her blog(s) if you want to know about her life and times; among other things, she's an artist, a poet, a comedienne, a musician, a cat-lover, besides being the most genetically-similar person to me on the planet.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

~ Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walk and/or Run

~ The Cherry Blossom 5K Walk/Run is this Sunday. While the prospect of running 10 miles terrified me, the idea of a fast-paced walk for 3 and a half miles (give or take a few decimal points) on a beautiful Spring morning is far less daunting. (Wish me luck!)

~ I think know that I'm getting crankier about tourists in DC with each passing year. I know they're good for the local economy, I know they're just trying to enjoy our Nation's Capitol during a beautiful time of year. But could they at least be polite? Don't they realize that people actually live and work in this city -- and need to ride the Metro system to do so -- all year round?  I overheard a man riding the Red Line complaining loudly to his friends/family/fellow touristas: "OhmyGAWD, the New YORK subway system is so much EASIER to navigate! What the hell is with this city?" I found it hard not to turn in my seat and respond "Well, then why don't you go back there?"

~ In general, though, I'm much less of a cranky/emo bitch. I had a feeling that things would get easier once the record-setting snow had melted, the sun started to shine more often and the flowers began to blossom. And .... well, it has. 

~ If you need motivation, moral support as you try to get into shape, find a workout routine that works for you, or just want to know that you're not alone in the struggle to fit into that adorable dress that you used to look really cute in two summers ago, I highly suggest reading In It To Gym It 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quote Of The Day

“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.”

~ Rosalynn Carter