My spontaneously combusting mind

Over the last few days, I’ve had a zillion things spinning through my head. I’ve been super stressed and thinking about all the things I could blog about…but tonight is just going to be a ranty, complaining emotion blurt. Usually I blog about the good things in life, but tonight I really need to vent. Reader beware.

So far work is going okay. My surgeon has been fine to work with, my coworkers are helpful and I’m learning a lot about thoracic surgery. My complaints are the yucky parking situation, e-learning courses and the expensive employee cafeteria. The drive to Ann Arbor takes 25-40 minutes, depending on the day. Whether I take M-14, Plymouth Road, or Ford Road…it’s all about the same. The only parking lot I have been able to consistently find a spot at 7:30ish is the Glazier lot. It’s a 15 minute shuttle ride to the hospital, and the shuttles run pretty frequently. The downside is you have to make sure you always bring everything you could possibly need when you leave in the morning. If you forget your lunch or employee badge…it could take you an hour to shuttle to your car and back. Also, I have to complete this super boring set of 11 modules in order to get access to do financial transactions on behalf of the department. I’ve done non-P.O. vouchers and purchase requisitions before…so the training just feels tedious, and it’s hard to concentrate when I have people at my desk all the time. And the cafeteria…well, the food’s okay, but I sure don’t want to pay $6 for a food service sandwich. Meals are in the $5-$8 price range, but it’s nothing spectacular. I’ve been eating a lot of Lean Cuisines.

Taylor had another incident with his car in the employee parking lot. First his car was sideswiped, now this week the back bumper was brutally scraped and dented. It’s frustrating that this is happening in a lot that is “SECURE” and requires SIDA identification to enter. Oh, how I miss the honesty of people on the west coast who leave a note… Neither damage is bad enough that we NEED to repair it, but it’s upsetting that his 6 week old car had no body damage when we bought it…and now has two major exterior flaws.

School is driving me nuts. Actually, it’s driving me to tears. Going to school online can be useful, because you can study on your own timetable. Unfortunately, you are sometimes bombarded with additional study aids, and not given clear instructions of how to complete your courses. I’ve been enrolled in a 9-credit algebra and statistics survey since January. I haven’t really put major time into it until this month (due to family situation in Utah, moving cross country, being sick, traveling, etc…) and until this last week I found out that I was following the wrong course of study. I tried to submit my first (of 13) assignments, and spent 2 hours on the first two questions! I’m so out of practice in math, and all of the review work that I’ve been focusing on the last 20 study hours has not prepared me for my homework. I’m almost done with the critical thinking and writing survey though…I should be totally done with that in a week or two. I am contemplating a leave of absence from school after my finals in May. As much as I want to get my degree, my family and sanity is more important at this point.

Our finances are a total wreck, thanks to the airline’s 3 day direct deposit delay. Bank of America got Taylor’s paycheck funded on a Tuesday, and he was supposed to get it the previous Friday. We didn’t realize the error until Taylor’s debit card was declined. Over the course of 3 days, we got hit with $455 of overdraft charges (mostly on transactions less than $10). There are no BofA branches in Michigan, so we had to get a family member to bail us out $250 to bring our account out of the hole. Unfortunately, that deposit didn’t post till the next day, so we got hit with another $150 of charges, and the account was still below zero. It took several customer dis-service phone calls to BofA to figure out the error. We finally got $220 of the charges written off, but we were still left with only $150 in the account, and no student loan payments have been made yet this month. My first paycheck came, but it was only for a few days work. It was enough to pay my credit card, buy gas, and get groceries. We’re going to have creditors hounding us for the first time ever. It’s a terrible feeling.

We’re also feeling the uncertainty of the airline industry. Just knowing what’s been in the news with ATA, Skybus, Aloha, and Champion airlines has been worrisome. Now the word is that Delta and Northwest will announce their merger in the next day or two. It could be shaky ground for us. Hopefully, Taylor’s airline won’t have any problems keeping their contract, but the pilot contract is really shaky. There will be some picketing at the Memphis headquarters on May Day. Hopefully our pilots will get the raise they so desperately need and deserve. No professional pilot should be making an income that qualifies a family of three for food stamps.

I’m feeling lonely in Michigan. I have very few friends. I have quite a few acquaintances, but still nobody that I can just stop and their house and crash on their couch with no notice. I did finally meet up with Umeka and Brandon last night. It was the first time we actually got together. I found her on Myspace around the time we decided to move to Detroit. We went to Detroit Greektown, ate dinner at Pizza Papalis, walked around Ford Field and Comerica Park, and other downtown treasures. It was a rainy night, but it was a safe and interesting part of town. I wish they lived closer so we could see them more often.

I’m still feeling sick. Most of my physical symptoms are better, but my ear still hurts like crazy, and my teeth are almost always throbbing like crazy. I need to find a dentist and primary care doctor in Ann Arbor. Now that I’m double covered, out of pocket expenses should be minimal; however, my insurance plan is an HMO that requires a referral to see a specialist. I’ve got an Otolaryngology clinic one floor down from my office. Maybe I can sweet talk my current PCP into a referral without the drive to Westland. As for my teeth…who knows? I’m already paying $180 a month to pay off all the dental work I had done in December. Could I really have more that needs to be done after 3 months? I sure hope not. And we just won’t talk about the weight I’ve gained since being sick….

I’ve got an extra ticket to see Ben Folds on Wednesday night, and Taylor’s stuck on a high-speed that night. Anyone want to come? Only $15!

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