Cinco de Stress-o

Looks like Cinco de Mayo is going to be a painful experience at work. More like Cinco de Stress-o. Two customers with huge issues popping up at the same time. Lots of conference calls, all booked at the same time, and all right in the middle of my lunch break. Looks like a protein bar kinda day for ol’ Robbie.

Happy Friday!


I so need a vacation. Not even a vacation, really, just a break. Just a little downtime. It’s not happening this weekend. Tomorrow I have an MRI, a ton of house and yard work to do, a birthday get together for my father, and possibly a house painter/vinyl siding consult? A lot of the house and yard work will spill over to Sunday, though I checked the weather yesterday and it’s supposed to rain. At least that’s what it said yesterday, I don’t know what it’s going to say tomorrow.

I asked Jen if we could do something next weekend to decompress. I don’t care what. A day trip somewhere? Maybe? Just tell everyone we’re going away and then lock ourselves in the house and hide from the real world for a couple of days while watching bad TV? That would work. Literally anything, just so long as there are no deadlines or responsibilities or headaches or health issues. Just give us a break for a couple of days.

Next week at work is going to be super busy and probably pretty difficult. I’m looking forward to putting it in the rear view mirror, if you know what I mean.

I’m feeling okay today health wise. So far so good. My stomach was off all day yesterday. Today is much better. I even had a real breakfast today. Here’s hoping that my stomach stays on that course.

I want to take the camera (cameras) out somewhere one of these days. It’s still pretty cold in the mornings and that’s turning me off. Also, it’s always cloudy and rainy because it’s Spring in New England. Uh… just a couple of days of downtime… that’s all I ask for. Pretty please, universe… give me a break.

I’m an Emotional Mess Today

This week has been rough. I didn’t expect it, but three days of window project turning the house upside down has messed me up in a big way. Being sick on Tuesday didn’t help. Waking up at 2:00am with a stomach ache today and not being able to get to sleep until around 4:00am certainly hasn’t helped either. After eight ounces of water and a protein bar this morning I feel a little better, but the stomach ache is still there, just milder than it was.

It got to Jen too, and both of us being on edge lead to pointless, stupid arguments and I hated it. Hate hate hate it. I can’t apologize enough for being an ass. Then today, after very little sleep last night and very little sleep every night this week and being broken in general for days, I watched the series finale of Star Trek Picard and let’s just say… I’ve been following these characters through TV shows and movies since 1987 when I was 16 years old and watched Encounter at Farpoint with my father… I’m not ashamed to admit it… but I balled my eyes out a few times. I am just an emotional train wreck right now.

Season three of The Mandalorian ended yesterday and it was wonderful. Season three of Picard ended today and it was wonderful times 10. I am just a sucker for story lines about parents loving their children that are designed to violently yank at your heartstrings and I am fine with that.

Then on top of all the other shit going on, both home improvement wise and science fiction wise, I went to punch in to work just now and realized I forgot my friggin’ laptop charger in the office yesterday. FFFFFUUUUUUUUU! Jen bailed me out with a sweet USB C charger so I can get through the day. I just hope when I go to the office after work tonight the charger is still on the desk I sat in yesterday. Cross your fingers, kids. I don’t want to have to buy another charger.

Okay. I am punched in to work now. Everything is well. I’m being added to meetings left and right so it’s starting to look like a busy day. Busy is good. Busy is better than too quiet… sometimes. I guess it depends on what kind of busyness it is, you know?

Right. Work. Post this drivel and get to work, Robert.


The last few days have been weird, weight loss surgery wise. I assume it’s stress over the upcoming services for my mother, or something along those lines at least, but I could be wrong. I’ve been hungry. A lot. Like, all the time. I’m not going too far overboard, but I am snacking between meals way more than normal and the meals themselves have been much larger than usual. When I say “much larger” what I really mean is instead of 4-5 ounces at a time I’m like 5-6 ounces. When I say I’m snacking I mean 1-2 ounces of peanuts or two little sugar free pudding cups instead of one. I stepped on the scale this morning out of fear that I was screwing things up and I was down a little since Wednesday. Not much, just a little. So I don’t appear to be ruining previous progress but… what the hell, Robert?

On a weight loss related note, I am finding myself oddly aware of my physical structure. I have bones I didn’t know I had. There’s one in my chest that I first became aware of a few months after the surgery and I thought it was a growth or a tumor or something. I told the doctor. She checked it out. No, nothing to worry about. That’s just your sternum. Duh. Now it’s my rib cage and my shoulders. I can actually feel the space between my ribs. I have no padding on my shoulders anymore so when I played my guitar the other day it actually hurt.

I added a new discovery to the list last night. I haven’t shaved in a couple of weeks. That’s going to change later today, but I was sort of rubbing the stubble on my neck and I felt something. Apparently Robert, your humble narrator, has an adam’s apple. I mean, I always assumed it was there but I never actually found any evidence to support the assumption. Now I can feel it.

Who knew, right?

Now if I could just shake what my mother used to call “the hungry horrors” and start eating better again. That would be aces.

As I type this I am watching season one episode three of The Mandalorian. The tribe of Mandalorians just came out of the covert to help Din Djarin and Grogu (we don’t actually know their names yet) escape the guild. Absolutely epic.


It’s cold in our basement. My office space is in the basement. I am wearing a fleece jacket but I’m still a little cold. I have a space heater near my desk but I don’t like to use it too often. I sometimes turn it on around lunch time and let it go for part of the afternoon. It’s running right now.

Two hours ago our biggest, scariest customer had an issue blow up on them. It’s something that happens now and then and the case was assigned to me when it started. I got pulled into it and for some reason it freaked me out. I think (hope) I was able to stay on top of it and the issue is no longer occurring, but it got to me. I haven’t been bugged by a problem at work like that in a very long time. I can’t tell if my hands are shaking because it’s cold or because I am freaked.


The take away here though is that it’s not happening anymore and I did stay on top of it and I kept everyone up to date on all of the latest as it progressed. I did okay with it. Why did it freak me out so much?


Now I get to go into a 2.5 hour meeting and I didn’t really have any lunch. I snuck in a protein bar so I should be good to go, but I was hoping I’d be able to have a break during my lunch break. You know how it is.

Happy Tuesday, good people.


I was waiting on an insurance claim for my leave of absence from work in May. I expected it to be a formality that would be wrapped up in no time at all. I was wrong. I was stressing out over the open case the whole time and when I say I was stressing out… it was really stressful, you know?

I’ve been waiting for about a week now for the final document to come in the mail. Every day I was running up stairs and checking the mail box and every day I was left disappointed.

Until today.

I am so relieved. I am so happy that it’s all over. What an ordeal. Here’s hoping I never have to do anything like that again. At least if I do, I’ll know what to expect ahead of time. I won’t be this naïve again.


Sigh of Relief: Imminent

I am not ready to breathe a sigh of relief yet… but hopefully it’s just a matter of time.

I went on leave for most of the month of May and a couple of days in June. My company set me up with a claim for the Paid Family Medical Leave act and hooked me up with the insurance company they work with. It was this insurance company that is supposed to pay out my claim which, when combined with some sick time that I used to cover a small piece of the time off, will cover my salary for the month out.

I’ve had some trouble with the process. Partly just due to time zones but also due to some miscommunication and some difficulty getting documentation moved from point A to point B. There was a moment not long ago where I was thinking I was going to have to jump onto a plane, fly to the west coast, and staple a form into someone’s head.*

This morning I got an email from the insurance company telling me that I had a new document to review. What could it mean? I clicked the link in the email and their site was down. Most of the work I’ve done in this process was actually done through an iOS app so I tried to log into that and it was down too. Shit.

I carried on with my day and around 10:30 I tried the app again. It worked. My claim has been approved! Huzzah! Now what? I don’t know. I started drafting up an email to my rep but got pulled away for some work things.

A few minutes ago, as I was going to lunch, I checked the website to see if that was working. It was. There was one thing that didn’t show on the app. They cut a check. Yesterday. I checked the mail, symbolically, but it hasn’t crossed the continent in the last 18 hours.

This process has been more difficult than I ever would have imagined it would be. The latest update to my account shows that the end is in sight, but I am not going to breathe that sigh of relief until the check arrives and clears. Please please please let that be soon. Going a full month without a pay check is so stressful. You wouldn’t believe how stressful it is. I really want this off of my back. Please.

*Figuratively speaking, of course.

Back to Work

My month of post-surgery medical leave is officially over. I punched in to work for the first time at a little before 9:00am.

I am so far behind it’s insane, yet at the same time I already feel like I never left. There have been a bunch of staffing changes and some new policies and other fun things. I had 1,683 emails in my inbox when I started the day, and I think there have been 50 or so more come in today already.

I have had meetings all morning and that has made it tough to get my liquids in. I am in the middle of a slightly shortened lunch break right now and I am not sure if I will be able to finish my 2.5 ounce meal before the next meeting starts. In the past I would just eat quickly and then chug some water if I was feeling dehydrated. I can’t do that now though. My stomach won’t let me.

This will calm down over the next day or so, but for today I am stressing mightily. It will be okay though. I am happy to be back. I just want to feel a little less like an alien posing as me, you know what I mean? You probably don’t know what I mean, but that’s sort of how I feel.

Weird, man.

10 Minutes to Go

10 minutes until quittin’ time on this chilly, cloudy Thursday in April.

I really need a haircut. We’re talkin’ desperately need a haircut. I should really go and take care of it on the way home tonight, but guess what I am not going to do. I’ve been in the office all day and I just want to get home and see my brilliant, beautiful wife.

I could try to go tomorrow before my doctors appointment, but I think we can all agree that isn’t happening either. Depending on how long the “class” takes, I might be able to squeeze one in before I have to punch into work. That’s a definite possibility.

I don’t want to go over the weekend because Covid-19 is still a thing even though no one acts like it anymore. Well, no one but me and Jen at least. Maybe not no one, but you dig what I’m saying. If I have to I could probably do it before work on Monday. Not Tuesday though. On Tuesday I’ll be on my clear liquids only diet and I’ll be freaking out.

So I’ll have it done by Monday.

The other big question coming up… if my Surgery is on Wednesday, when am I going to get a chance to see the season finale of MoonKnight? I might watch it when Disney+ posts it at 3:00am Eastern time because I sure as shit am not going to be sleeping much. We’ll see. They are going to call me on Tuesday to tell me what time the surgery is booked. I won’t know before then. Just a little tiny thing adding to the little tiny (Himalayas sized) stress.


Lunch Break

I’ve been eating too much at lunch. I’ve been eating too much at dinner. I’ve been eating too much after dinner. The rest of the day is generally aces.

We’re six days away from the surgery. Gastric Bypass. It sounds like road construction and to a degree it is. I’ve probably said this a few times before, but as scared as I am of having my guts chopped up I am more afraid of what comes after. This isn’t just a cosmetic surgery thing where you loose tons of weight and then carry on with your life. The surgery itself is just one small part of the process. You need to follow it up by completely changing everything. That’s what’s stressing me out today. Well… that’s part of it.

I have an appointment tomorrow morning. It’s the first of a series of classes where they will teach me what to do when I get home. I have to relearn how to eat and drink. I have to relearn how to prepare food. I have to relearn how to react when my guts talk to me. Miss a hint from your insides and end up praying to the porcelain god for an hour. that sort of thing. The first class covers living through the first couple of weeks. The second class is the second couple of weeks, and so on and so forth.

I’m doing my best to stay optimistic about the whole thing, but it’s getting hard to focus on the positive. It’s getting hard to focus on anything. I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes. Until then…

Back to work.