What was I thinking?

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Today is payday and my check is just shy of $100 heavier.

When our union agreed with our employer on a new contract last year, the agreement contained language that would collect our "voluntary" deductions over 24 pay periods instead of our typical bi-weekly (or 26) time frame. Since this month had 5 Thursdays in it, this was the month that we didn't have that money collected. It's nice, since it's so close to the holidays.

I was also informed by Payroll that this will be the last check that the mandatory state retirement contribution will be collected. It's mandatory for 10 years and I've been in the plan 10 years next pay period (I've been here at the college for 12½ years, though). That will be another $50 (minus taxes) I'll be getting, too. It's like getting a pay raise.

We had record high temperatures yesterday, near record highs on Tuesday, and will have near record highs today as well. It got up to 69 yesterday and, as I write this at 9:00 AM, it's 65 degrees.

I went grocery shopping last night and saw that they already have their Christmas hams on "sale" for $1.99/lb. It's too early, isn't it? Maybe not.

I've had a bit of Christmas music in the stereo to mix with the regular music. We have a 60-CD changer and put it on shuffle all the time. It's nice to have the Christmas music only occasionally. One of the pieces that I particularly love is Kenny G's Auld Lang Syne, Millenium Edition. I also love the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums. And, of course, Yanni's Snowfall.

Did you ever have moods where you only want to hear specific types of music? I have a Time Life collection of 70s singers and songwriters and lately, it seems that's all I want to hear. Jim Croce, John Denver, Joan Baez, The Moody Blues, Anne Murray, Carole King. It sure takes me back quite a way, but to a time when I was self-destructive and unhappy with myself and my life. I've come a long way -- perhaps the music is a reminder of that.

I'm suffering from a bit of anxiety over my father. While he remains in prison, he's receiving virtually no medical care that is adequate or appropriate. When he was taken to a regional medical center for a vascular consultation, he saw an anesthesiologist student/intern. His blood pressure has ranged from dangerously low to dangerously high and his blood pressure meds are administered inconsistently, at best. He was told in mid-September that an order for an MRI on his aorta had been placed, yet nothing has come from that order. In the meantime, his foot grows worse and worse, without any treatment at all. His becoming more and more alarmed by the fact that he had been told that, if it gets bad enough, they'll amputate it. He's afraid that the mindset is that letting it get bad to the point of needing amputation is cost effective for the department of corrections. I'm lost as to what I can do, if anything.

Like I said -- no New Year Resolution, just a New Year wish. One year, no drama.


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