It surprised me when I realized August was concluding. The end of June let’s me know that the year is halfway through. August ending says “Halloween is around the corner”. I tell time strangely.

The truth is that after all these changes in my life the year is about 2/3 over. Even when you try to make the most out of your time, it seems it’s never enough. My month has gone fairly well and any complaints I may have would be fairly minor. I find myself in funny situations and always find reminders that my life is OK. A change of perspective really makes a big difference.

Anyway, my agency recently requested people to make or buy baked goods to donate so that they could sell it. The money goes towards a year end party for the agency. I figured I could try to make something and donate it. I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with chocolate. My ex wife made some insane cakes, but that was out of my level so I wanted something less complicated. I emailed her and gave her ideas of what I wanted to do and she was nice enough to send me some links. I settled on an Oreo Crust, Chocolate-Caramel Crème pie.

Now, I haven’t done something like this before so I prepared by having double the ingredients needed to account for an inevitable error. I was right. I made a mistake on the first one which affected the aesthetic quality of it so I finished it and made a new one (of course I kept the erroneous one for myself).

IMG_2670 IMG_2672

I finally got my act together and made a good pie. I brought it in to work feeling fairly proud of myself and went about my business. I was amazed when I overheard one of my previous trainers telling my current supervisor that she had seen the items on the bake sale and that there was some “sort of Oreo pie” that was incredible looking. On and one she went about the pie and then commented how when she had gone to purchase a slice, it had been sold out. She said this as a lady walked by and she let her know she purchased the last slice herself because she had eaten one and love it. She shared the second slice with my trainer. I laughed and explained that I had made it and thanked her.

Either because I’m a guy or because it’s me, it took me quite a while to convince her I had in fact made it. I received an email from my boss’ boss letting me know he had tried it and liked it as well. When I went to purchase items myself, the people responsible for the event started commenting on how quickly word got out that I had made a pie and that the women from the office had all gone to check it out and try to buy it. It was surreal.

The next day was the last day of the bake sale so I decided to make two more pies since some of my coworkers had not tried them. I let them know that I brought more. I stopped by the area where they set up the baked items and realized that slices of this evidently magical pie were being sold prior to the time items were being sold. I enjoyed it and went about my day. I did enjoy the pie at home. It certainly isn’t low in fat, but that was spectacular.

IMG_2679

To top off my work experience, I was given recognition for performance. I was thrilled to have received it so soon. If I can get 4 more, I can “trade” it in for a one hour off award. That’s something I can get behind.

The one thing that happened which bummed me out was that one morning as I am pulling out of my parking spot, my neighbor backs out and hits my car. I received damage to the rear left side of my car and he received it on the rear bumper. I asked for his insurance information  and he asked me why. I explained that it was a car accident and that I needed to get it and get back to work. He continued stalling and asking me if I thought I was not at fault. I didn’t argue and called the police, and suddenly he provided all the information. My insurance tells me that I may likely have to go through them as they will likely not have anyone at fault with no police report or witnesses. I’m trying to hold off on that as my vehicle repair estimate is $832 and I would rather not have to pay that if I can avoid it. Still, this complicated my day, but it didn’t ruin it. Things happen and I handled it well and moved along.

IMG_2685 IMG_2684 IMG_2683

I’m keeping a good track of all the things I participate in at work as I want to guide myself carefully into a good place. One of the things I did was join Toastmasters. I originally had attended meetings as guests in my agency, but there had been a staggering lack of organization. To top it off, there are some people in my agency that have some serious problems with the hiring of a group of people (which included me) – long story. Because of this, I never received emails regarding participation with Toastmasters. I could email frequently and would never get a response. Even writing an additional person didn’t do anything to improve it. I found out that a meeting was upcoming simply because I wen to retrieve something from the printer and found an email someone had sent to the printer which included the meeting date and time. I made a comment about how disappointing that was to my previous supervisor. As it turns out, she works closely with the new president of Toastmasters. My supervisor assured me I would receive an invitation to the next meeting. I politely declined.  

At some point during the day, the new president approached me in my cubicle. She apologized for the previous lack of organization, explained that she had made operational changes and asked me to give the Toastmasters another shot. I was flattered that she would bother to approach me so I committed to attending the meeting.

The meeting went well and it was clearly much more organized. By the time the middle of the meeting had taken place, I was already certain that I would participate as a member. Prior to the end, however, I was surprised by having been chosen to do a speech. In this particular speech I was to reach into a bag and “sell” the item, whichever item it was, to the rest of the group. I reached in the bag, grabbed an item and pulled it out.

“What is it?” asked one of the impatient ladies in the group. “You’re about to find out” I said smugly. “This would appear to be simply a strawberry jam packet” I started “but I use these for a variety of different things”. I proceeded to let them know that if mixed properly this would do wonders for your hair and smelled better than Herbal Essences. I also said I use it as a doorstop to keep it from making noise at night. I also let the group know that not only had I met my current wife at a restaurant by having asked for a packet, but that in a cute coincidence, my son is a huge fan of this on warm bread.

Just prior to the conclusion of the meeting someone who is tasked with counting how many “ums” or “likes” you use during your speech gives a tally. I wasn’t quite certain how well I had done. “..and this guy was likely a car salesman before joining the agency because he actually managed to use zero ums”. Bingo. I did it. Talk turned into their hopes of participating for the first time in competitions – everyone turned to look at me. Double bingo. Flattered at the conclusion I gathered my things ready to make the payment to join as a member. “Great job! I also had no idea that you were married and had a child” mentioned one of the group members. “I’m single and I have no children, but thank you.” I left under the sound of laughter.

I also try to have time for recreation and was happy to find that there was a seafood festival. I used to enjoy the one in South Florida so I had to give this one a shot. Turns out that it was called the Crab & Beer festival. For a certain fee, you would get 6 crabs and a beer along with samples of different beers. I went with a friend who is always down for some adventure. We arrive to a mess – there are people everywhere. There are at least 4 discernable lines all bottle necking into 2 entrances where you show your ID and receive a bracelet identifying you as 21 years old or above. After that, the lines went to tents where tickets were evidently being distributed.

We asked where to purchase tickets and each time we asked, we were told it was at a different location. My friend finally snuck into the ticket area and was told that we would have to wait until the giant line of people had gotten their tickets and then, and only then, would they know if there were enough tickets to be purchased. If there were, the tickets would be over twice as much as the original price. We wanted in, but we didn’t want it that bad. We were in an area called National Harbor and it was beautiful. By then we were hungry so we ripped off the bracelet and went to a restaurant. After a good meal and a few drinks overlooking the bay and Ferris Wheel, we walked around and eventually went home. Sure, I didn’t get what I had gone there for, but I had a fantastic time.

IMG_2710 IMG_2712 IMG_2711 IMG_2703
Through all this, I have gained a little weight. I injured myself while running and have not been able to run anymore. Although I’m back to my weights/crunches, I haven’t been able to run. I even have pains when I go up the stairs at work. I finally visited a general doctor who had me get some X-Rays done. From there I went to a podiatrist who took a cast of my feet to make orthotics – it will set me back a few hundred dollars. I eventually returned to meet with the general doctor (who was incredibly, laughably unprofessional so I will never go back) who let me know she had not found anything in the X-Rays. I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. When I met with the ortho, I once again had X-Rays. Fortunately he found nothing as well. I was now instructed to do physical therapy. The earliest appointment is in two weeks, but it is what it is. I’m frustrated because running helps me with anxiety, but I’m doing the best I can. I’ll start using the stationary bike in place of running to see if it helps. I also managed to quit smoking for nearly a month, but I smoked one day and although I intend to keep myself smoke free, I had to restart my counter. I did get the cutest message of encouragement though. I don’t know that I’ll understand what people see in me, but I love them right back!

IMG_2730 IMG_2733

This weekend I went to the Maryland Renaissance Fair. As expected, I had a great time and will return in two weeks. I had a large variety of local wines, beer and even oysters. I would have to be a whiny bitch to complain currently. It seems so much is going well, though. I’m having good time and despite a minor vehicle accident and physical injury preventing me from running, I’m enjoying myself. Life is pretty darn good these days and I almost can’t wait to see what’s next.

IMG_2775 IMG_2820 IMG_2815 IMG_2810 IMG_2817

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Give me your damn input!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s