Life Updates

It’s been a week. Many things going on, but I’m managing to keep everything in control.

Mom had her knee replacement surgery just over a week ago. Her initial recovery and intake into the assisted skilled care facility was rough. She had a couple low days and I was really worried. But she seems to have rebounded a bit now.

Her physical therapy has been going decently and they’re really working her, with the eye on getting her back home as soon as possible. I’ll be visiting this weekend, just to do a physical check on her, get her anything she may need, and to see her for Mother’s Day.

This week at work had been weird, but good. It’s finally dawning on me that I’m leaving- although they are gonna wring every last bit of work out of me possible before I go. next week Thursday is my last day.

Everyone has been coming in to wish me well and to say the company is really going to miss me. I guess it’s nice to know that in the end they think I was important.

I’ve had one exit interview— another one scheduled today. And I’ve already started training my replacement. So… busy times.

I started the clean out process at work too. I’ve nuked old emails. Pitched ancient paper files that I haven’t looked at in years. Recycled old samples. And taken some of my books home. Next week Tuesday I’ll get the rest.

Noom is still going well. I’m at a weight loss plateau right now, which I knew was coming. But I’ve also made really good progress and am happy with everything so far. I’m down nearly 30 lbs at this point- and two belt notches. All my clothes feel better.

Weather here kind of sucks. I need it to warm up. I rode my bike into work today, but it was only 39°. Brrrrr! But it’s exercise, and man do I love my bike. I’m sad that I won’t be able to ride to work with the new job.

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Worrying about mom

This week has been crazy. Job interview. Job OFFER! Job acceptance. Resigning from current job/hellhole. And mom’s knee replacement surgery.

Mom’s surgery was Wednesday morning bright and early. Surgery went well, but they had to do a general anesthetic because they couldn’t get the spinal one to go. And Parkinson’s + general anesthesia = longer recovery. She was loopy the first day. And Thursday she wasn’t very functional still.

Friday went better, and she was at least semi-mobile. But her strength isn’t there. So they recommend her for skilled care (as we hoped and kind of planned for). So Thursday and part of Friday was getting everything lined up.

They released her on Friday afternoon. Getting her from the hospital into the car and then out of the car and into the nursing facility was… challenging. And stressful. But she did get successfully ensconced there.

At least physically.

At my visit this morning I learn that her meds never got communicated in advance and never arrived at the skilled nursing facility. So mom had no pain meds last night. And no Parkinson’s meds. So she had a bad night.

All that has been sorted today and the meds are on track. And her knee exerciser is being used. So we’re starting to build a routine.

But I’m going to worry about her. This first week is going to be challenging for her. And she’s probably looking at a minimum three week stint. We’ll see though, as it will depend on her progression.

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This has been a crazy week. Time for dickstraction:

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I guess I am hirable.


The job interview with the tech job that I was really jazzed about? Well- six hours after my interview I received an offer letter. Huh.

It came as a bit of a shock, as I wasn’t sure they were all that impressed. Plus the speed at which I received the offer was unprecedented. I still am honestly reeling a little.

Since the current quality manager is retiring, it makes me think that I was just the right applicant at the right time. Either that or I had “enough” and they were all “meh. We’re running out of time— he’ll do.”

Either way, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I’m taking the job.

So today was my formal acceptance of the offer. And then the formal submission of my letter of resignation. Somehow I thought both would feel better than they did.

The offer I accepted is good- but not golden. There was one issue and it involves how much vacation they were willing to give me. (Spoiler: it isn’t much). Cutting my vacation by roughly 2/3’s felt a bit like a gut punch. But that was the only real negative.

Oh, that and I will no longer be able to bike commute.

Turning in my resignation should have felt better than it did. All the issues with management and the conservative views and the bigotry should have made me all “Suck it bitched! Peace out!” But instead the whole process just gave me anxiety. Mainly because I was not able to do them the courtesy of resigning in person— I had to call them because I’m home taking care of mom.

I know that by tomorrow word will begin leaking of my impending departure. And when I get back to work, there will be many awkward conversations, the biggest will be with the team I’m leaving behind.

Lastly, true to form I get no time off between jobs. The new company wants me to start mid May. So, right from frying pan to frying pan.

Anyway, suffice it to say I’m experiencing a big bundle of twisted up emotions. It’s like a champagne cork popped on a bunch of bottled up crap. I’m typing all this as I walk my old neighborhood, just to burn some restless energy.

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Big Tuesday

“Strange things are afoot at the circle K.”

This is a crazy week. This afternoon I have an in-person interview scheduled with the tech company (man, am I nervous!). I’ve prepped about as much as I can for the interviews. I’m not nervous about discussing quality systems or quality management. What has me nervous is the materials/hi-tech aspect. This is some serious cutting edge shit which is a bit outside my experience. Plus, I’m geeked about this job, so… no pressure!

Then I drive to Iowa so I can be down there for Mom’s knee replacement surgery. Her surgery is tomorrow morning— I’m hoping it all goes well and she’ll have much less pain moving forward. The only thing up in the air right now will be her recovery and how we manage that.

Then on Thursday I have a TEAMS meeting with the balloon manufacturer. I’m not especially wild about this opportunity, but I’m at least following through with it to keep my options open.

I had a couple other jobs reach out to me as potential opportunities. Neither was very promising, but at least it’s movement.

I have a cat sitter lined up for Luna- but I really do hate having to leave her for longer periods of time. She may not cuddle me much, but she likes me being there as her companion. I hope she’ll be ok.

Anyway- I’ll keep everyone posted on everything. Probably on Thursday.

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Opportunity knocks

So, now that I have cleared a big hurdle in my current job, I have started devoting more time to looking for employment elsewhere. While not a great market for me (everyone wants medical device experience dammit) there are still opportunities out there.

Last week I was phone screened for a quality engineer position at a large balloon manufacturing company. The phone screen went well, so I moved to a TEAMS virtual interview with the Quality Manager. I thought it all went very well. But less than 4 hours later I got a rejection notification from the Indeed website.

Oh well.

But then, oddly, I received an email from the company inviting me to a TEAMS interview with like 6 other people. So I sent them a response indicating that I believed I was invited erroneously as I had already received a rejection. They were horrified! Turns out they never meant to reject me and wanted another round of interviews.

So I agreed to a TEAMS session with them for next week- even though their communication issues leave a lot to be desired.

But as luck would have it, I was also contacted by a recruiter with a potential job opportunity. I have a phone call set up today to discuss that one.

And best of all— I got an email yesterday from a company that I tossed my resume at. I figured this one as a long shot opportunity, as it’s with a high tech company. But what the hey, right? You always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

The president of this company emailed me and was impressed with my resume. He asked several clarifying questions, and I emailed back some detailed answers. This escalated quickly, and I now have an in-person interview next Tuesday with him, the VP, and the retiring Quality Manager!

I’m actually beyond excited about this one. The tech is cool- nanotechnology involving electron spin to be exact. I’m geeking out about it as it’s interesting materials and modern application.

I am trying to rein myself in a bit. I’ll be doing a lot of interview prep this weekend for it, in order to put my best foot forward. But I’m encouraged by the dialogue so far. And by the fact that the current quality guy is set to retire in late May or something, so they’re on a tight time table.

Keep for fingers crossed for me.

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Thirsty Thursday

Yum yum gimme sum!

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Accountability, not Justice

The Attorney General for Minnesota said it best yesterday: this was not justice for Mr Floyd. This was accountability. The man who murdered George in broad daylight in front of witnesses and on camera was held accountable for his actions by the criminal justice system.

I think this is why yesterday’s verdict felt so weird. It was definitely the right verdict, and I’m glad Chauvin was found guilty. I was relieved for the city and the communities of color. But I also felt hollow and sad yesterday when the verdict was announced.

It took some reflecting to discover why.

If you look back to last year when it all started, remember Chauvin wasnot initially charged and just put on leave. It took a city burning (many cities in fact) to even get the officer fired, arrested, and charged.

Then the long, drawn out process of even getting to court. Then the rig Anatole of the trial itself. All the while the BLM movement kept protesting as Black men continued to perish at the hands of the police.

Hell, Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer at a traffic stop just miles from where the trial was taking place!

Then we have Ma’Khia Bryant. Shot and killed by the police at a domestic disturbance in Columbus as the verdict was being delivered.

Maybe this verdict will trigger police reform. Maybe it lets them know they’re touchable. Maybe it will put a permanent crack in that insular wall the police seem to have that protects them from being prosecuted. I don’t know.

I do know we’re far from justice. But maybe closer to police accountability than we were before.

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Noomin’ on up

So, I’m continuing on my Noom weight loss/health adventure. And I think it’s going well. My only fear as the life changes I’m making won’t stick and I’ll be back to heavy and miserable in 6 months.

The good news is that I don’t think I’m halfway through the psychology lessons yet. So there is still a good bit of journey left. And the longer you reinforce the new habits, the better chance they’ll stick. For that reason I’m cautiously optimistic.

I’m at the point where the daily “lessons” are becoming a bit didactic. A lot of the information seems to be stuff I kind of already know. Some is cool science, like the different hormones and how they affect hunger and satiety.

Right now Noom is all about schooling you through the ups and downs and plateaus of weight loss. How to stay motivated. How to re-energize your your motivation. Setting goals and recognizing the stumbling blocks.

The good part is that I sense my appetites are changing, and that was part of Moon’s plan. Getting you to crave healthy options instead of processed foods. Filling up on low calorie dense foods. Adding protein. Lots of veggies. But at the same time not depriving yourself of treats. Just everything in moderation.

Anyway, I’ve gone back to the gym (double vaxxed!) and amped up my workouts, which is helping. I’m lifting weights and getting in cardio. Walking. Biking. And I’m feeling better!

Oh- and I’m down over 20 lbs now. I’m one pound away from the initial goal set by Noom which is really encouraging. And another 15 away from the lightest I’ll have been in 15 years. Then a bit more beyond that to get to where I think I need to be to be happy.

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Long week.

So this week was a crapfest at work, but it’s over and I survived. Phew!

This was a reaudit week. We had 13 non-conformities identified during our big ISO audit in January. Starting Tuesday this week and going to midday Thursday, we were audited again for effective closure of these non-conformities. It was rough and I didn’t think we were going to keep our certification, but we managed to squeak it out.

So, well done me!

However, during this reaudit and given the amount of struggle and stress it caused, I made an official decision. I won’t be working at my current company by next January. I just can’t do it anymore.

I’ll be doing all I can in the next months to find a new job. But if I don’t have anything lined up by the end of December, I’ll be turning in my notice and just quitting regardless. it’s to that point.


On a lighter note, I received a “apres audit” gift in the mail yesterday! I got the New Zealand Toki necklace that I ordered.

So, ever since I went to New Zealand over a decade ago, I’ve coveted having a necklace like this. There are different designs (spirals- like in moana, twists, etc) but this one is the adze, or sharp carving tool. I should have bought one while there, but I didn’t and regretted it ever since.

The necklaces (with the various toki) are symbols for different things and a part of the Maori culture. Most are made of poumanu— or New Zealand “greenstone”. Greenstone is mostly “nephrite” which is the calcium/magnesium silicate form of Jade.

However, mine is “jadeite”, which is the rarer, sodium/aluminum silicate form of Jade.

Nephrite Jade is found in multiple locations around the globe, but jadeite is only found in like 5 or 6 very specific regions (New Zealand being one).

Randomly I got a Facebook ad for this kind of jewelry, which started a click hole, which led to the New Zealand store where I found this one. I loved the color and the fact that it was the rarer (and harder and more dense) Jade.

These are all hand carved, and the artist names all the pieces. This one was called “Reverence”. I dig it.

So far I’m loving it immensely. And what lovely timing, too. Delivered at the end of my trials and when I needed a treat.

After I bought it, I also discovered that Jade and virgos go together. Perhaps that’s why I was drawn to this piece (not that I go in much for astrology stuff). But Jade is supposed to bring luck, good fortune, peace, and physical/emotional well-being.

If that’s the case, I’ll take all the help I can get.

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