Friday, November 19, 2010


I was at work today, writing a Quality Assurance report for a customer because of an issue and some of my co-workers were joking with me about how I was going to be "writing another novel".  It was pretty funny and brought about a conversation about how I should be a writer.  I responded by saying that I enjoy writing and have thought about it a little.  She said that I should get a part-time job writing or start writing a book.  Of course, this made me think about the memoir that I've kind of started and how I've been writing this blog.  She said that I should at least start a blog or something.  I told her that I do have a blog but don't write about anything in particular.  Of course, she said, "Well, you should pick a topic and write."  Now, I've been spending the night thinking about a topic to write about.

I feel like I don't know a whole lot about any one thing in particular.  I know a little bit about school and education...  I know a little bit about crocheting and scrapbooking and even a little bit about music.  I know what I've read about emotional abuse and psychology...  I'm just not any type of "expert" or even close to any of those subjects.  How can you become a successful blogger about a particular subject if you don't know a lot about what you're writing about?

I think about those dating bloggers or that girl who blogged her way through Julia Child's cookbook but if I were to begin writing about something in particular, I would want it to be about something somewhat unique.

Of course, this subject came up the day after I pose a question to you, my readers:  Are there any topics that you'd like me to write about?

So for now, I'll continue to think about the things that I would want to write about and will continue to blog pretty regularly about my life because that is one thing that I can write about - no matter what.

Hmm..  I think it's time to consult an old friend of mine who writes an online column for Chicago Now: Just Beat It.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Test 1: Cranberries

So, I was feeling adventurous tonight and decided that I would try making the homemade cranberries to see how they worked out (& especially to make sure that they tasted good so that I'm not embarrassed with sucky cranberries on Thanksgiving).  So I washed the fresh cranberries, put them in with my secret recipie and voila!  Cranberry sauce!  It's actually pretty jelly-like which I think is cool.  After heating it all up and thickening it, I'm supposed to let it cool on the stove (which I've done) then put in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.  I just put it in a container in the fridge so we'll see.  Maybe I'll bring it into work tomorrow and have some people taste test them!

So while I'm cooking, I've decided that I'm tired of looking at the kitchen and the mess that is never-ending.  It seems as though every time I ask for assistance, it's done halfway then never completed.  So I cleaned the stove, put clean dishes away, fixed the cabinet doors that were coming loose, put all the dirty dishes that I could fit into the dishwasher, cleaned the countertops by the sink & the sink itself and hand washed my baking sheets.  Whew!  About an hour of cleaning and I must say that I'm completly wiped!  My knees ache and my lower back hurts and I'm really tired. 

Having said that, I'm not taking any chances with my sleep.  I've taken my sleeping pills and will be dozing off shortly.  Last night I tried falling asleep without my sleeping pills and failed miserably.  It was midnight before I gave up and took some.  Of course, Mike snoring really loudly in my ear didn't exactly help!  lol

Well, I hope this post finds you all well.  How do you like the fish at the top of my blog?  I found out that I could add them and thought it was too fun to pass up!  I also hope that if you find my blogs interesting that you'll share my blog with your friends.

Feel free to leave comments below - ask questions, tell me about yourself or request something that you'd like to hear me write about!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving is almost here!

For whatever reason, I'm really excited for Thanksgiving this year.  I have volunteered to work on Thansgiving & the day after (also known as Black Friday) and have actually been selected to work the evening shift - for both days!  YAY!  I'm going to be attempting to make cranberry sauce and maybe even a pumpkin cake and head to my mother's for an afternoon dinner.  Mike has decided that he's going to be spending Thanksgiving weekend with his grandparents like he always used to do (which is fine) and was even talking about spending Christmas with them as well.  I told him it didn't matter - I'm not about to tell him who he can & can't have contact with - and it doesn't really..  We see my mom a lot and live much closer.  Plus there's his extended family that he'll be able to visit with on December 26th.

Thinking about plans for the holidays makes me think about what other people are planning.  I know that there's a lady that I work with that was talking about how much she wants to visit with her mother but will be unable to make the drive by herself (she's been out sick for months & just came back & her husband broke his hand or wrist last week & her daughter is getting sick).  I think another lady I work with is making Thanksgiving dinner at her home.  She was talking about the turkey & some special stuffing for her MIL.

I'd love to host Thanksgiving but I have no room and no furniture so...  I guess maybe next year!

I hope this blog is finding you all well.  I will write again soon!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can We Change the World?

I was reading up on some blogs that I've missed recently and came across a link to this one. When I began reading it, I was a little angry. I was offended. I thought things like, "How could someone say things like this?" and "Wow, way to make me feel better!" (do you hear the sarcastic tone?) Then I got some courage to read on...

So I'm reading this blog and trying to understand just what it is he's saying and when I've ever actually heard someone say these things and he asks the question, "How many of these statements have you yourself said or thought?" "How many of them have you said or thought just since you got out of bed this morning?" It was like I was just hit by a bus. I have thought these cruel, hateful thoughts. I have said these cruel, hateful words. To myself, mostly, although I'm sure that I have said these things aloud to someone or about someone else, other than me.

I am ugly.
I am fat.
I am a bad wife.
I am a terrible daughter.
I don't keep my home clean enough.
I am stupid.
I am weak.
I do not dress well enough.
I am nothing but a doormat (until, of course)
I became too mean; too opinionated.
I am not good enough.
I will never be good enough.
I am worthless.

Dan then goes on to say that men are responsible for these thoughts, words and feelings. I'm not sure I believe that completly. I think that men contribute but I know that women contribute as well. Dan states, "Guys... It is our fault. The blame lies with us." I think the blame lies with everyone.

How many men have thought these same things? Of course, "wife", "mother", "daughter" aren't terms for men but you get my point.

We need to stop being so judgemental - of ourselves, of others.. We need to embrace each other and the strength, beauty and honor that they possess. Dan says, "It's time we make a bold declaration against everything we've ever been taught," and he's right. Maura Kelly's cruel article about "Fatties" getting a room (and how hurt she must feel on the inside) shows just how badly we've all been hurt and how much we've been taught about perfection being the goal in society.

Dan states, "It is not the impossibly air brushed females on magazine covers who are causing women to hold themselves against a standard of perfection. No, it's not that at all. Holy crap. Why am I just realizing this? Why doesn't anybody seem to realize this? It is the men that stop and look at those magazines."

But women look at those air-brushed models and envy them too. Not just to win over our men so that we can stop thinking that they only way to make them happy is to be perfect.

And what about the "beautiful" men in their magazines? The half-naked men in advertisements... Women look at those. Are you saying that women make men feel fat and unattractive?

I know that I've felt - who am I kidding? I feel as though being beautiful and thin and smart is the only way I'll be able to be happy with myself.. That without all this extra weight, I will be able to run and spend time with my dogs and hopefully, in the future, with my children. It will make me healthier and strong enough to do the things that I want to do. That without my "ugly" face, I will be able to smile and make other people feel happy. That being smarter will allow for me to get a "full-ride" scholarship so I can finish my education and learn more!

Dan does go on for a while, explaining his thoughts in detail and how important he believes a man's role is to help women change the way they feel about and view themselves. I believe it's not just about the men and their views and opinions. It's up to everyone, as a society, to believe in each other and see people as people.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thank God for that!

So Michael has been home sick for the past couple of days.  This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons.  The first is that I hate it when he's sick.  He feels crappy and there's nothing that I can do to help him.  The second is that he is missing out on work, which means we're missing out on income.  Mix the two (or three, if he doesn't go in tomorrow) with having had Monday off for traveling and next Monday off for his mother's surgery and that means his next paycheck will be for 1 (or 2) day(s) this week and 4 days next week.  Put that on top of the fact that he no longer works in recruiting and we're losing money there as well.  Put all of that together and Sarah is stressing about money!

Anywho...  The doctor did confirm that he does has the flu.  A few weeks ago, I got the flu shot (after debating it for a while, having never gotten the vaccination) and now, I'm really glad I did.  It's bad enough that Mike is missing out on work & income but if I were sick, it would be the two of us missing out on work and income.

Thank God for me getting the flu shot. :)  Hopefully I am not jinxing myself and will continue to be healthy.

How are you feeling?

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Telemarkers at Work

I work in the reservations department at a conferencing center and we receive calls from telemarketers all the time.  I hate these calls...  I'm not a receptionist.  I'm not an operator.  I schedule your conference calls.  I feel like telling these people that they've dialed the wrong number!  Someone mentioned yesterday that there should be an option to speak with the receptionist although I suppose then the receptionist would get a lot of people that really want to schedule a conference.

Anywho..  This one guy calls in today & was so vague about all of the information he gave me that it was all I could do to keep from laughing in his ear.

Caller:  "Hi.  This is Mike.  Is Greg Doerr there?"
Me:  "May I ask what this is in regards to?"
Caller:  "Yeah..  I'm just following up with him."
Me:  "Okay..  What's the name of your company?"
Caller:  "My VRM."
Me:  "So to confirm, you've spoken with him before and would like to follow up with him about what?"
Caller:  "Um..  We're a vendor."
Me:  "..."
Caller:  "We were talking about solutions."

What the hell?!  So he's Mike calling from VRM (which doesn't tell me anything about the company) and he's a "vendor" (of what exactly, I'm not sure) "following up" (he avoided my question pretty well as far as if he's spoken with Greg before) with the CEO of our company (who doesn't really speak with vendors as far as I know) following up on "solutions" (again, of what?  What kind of solutions?).  Greg doesn't answer his phone anyway so I put him into voice mail.

There was also someone who called in today and handled it completly differently.

Caller:  "Hello!  My name is Todd Banks and I'm with a company called Paragon Micro.  We're an IT reseller company.  Can you direct me to someone who can help me?"
Me:  "Why sure Todd!  It will be just a moment while I verify who that person is."  "Thank you for holding.  I'm going to transfer you to David."
Caller:  "Ok..  Let me write that down..  Do you have his last name?"

Blah, blah, blah...

So, which guy do you think I respected more and wanted to help?  Yup.  That's right!  The guy who was up front and provided me with information.

So here's to you, telemarketers doing business to business calls, give up the info!  Have confidence!  We'll provide you with as much as we can if you can do the same.  It's all about Mutual Respect (GO BHS!!).

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Driving in my car, "Beep, Beep"

So my sister Emily is sick...  I feel so bad for her.  The doctor is treating her for Strep & Mono.  This is the second time she's had mono!  I jokingly told her to stop kissing boys.  LOL

Mike & I needed to rearrange our schedule today so I drove him to work so I could have the car.  Of course, now that leaves him getting out of work around 3:30 and sitting around, waiting for me to get out there - hopefully by 6:30 tonight. 

Now, we've talked about doing this on a regular basis...  However, I have mixed feelings about the situation... 

  1. I hate having him sit there for an extended period of time (but he said he was going to walk to Panera Bread - lucky! - and play on the computer)
  2. I do enjoy having the car so that I don't have to sit and wait & can have more freedom.  For example, this morning I got to relax a little & clean and come in on time!  Wow!!!
  3. Of course, this also means that we spend more in gas
What do you think?

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Leaving Dallas

Hey! So Mike & I drove my brother & his 2 friends down to Dallas for the MLG convention. We were able to pick up the rental by 6:30 and were officially on the road around 8:30. We drove to Herrin, IL to pick someone up then went to the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX. I was pretty excited about driving the rental (a Ford Edge) and that Mike actually got tired enough to let me drive at least half the way. I pretty much drove for 8 hours, I think. I'm hoping to drive for about the same on the way back home. We woke up around 5am on Friday.. Mike slept about 3-4 hours in the car, I slept less than an hour - just couldn't sleep.

On Saturday, we got to Dallas around 11:30 & checked into he hotel. Daniel & his friends went to the MLG thing so Mike & I went to Dealey Plaza and looked at the JFK assassination location. It was pretty amazing to be there. We didn't attend the 6th Floor Book Depository Museum but we went in the gift shop and we saw a photo of Kennedy & Jacqueline having a private moment in the car as they were getting ready to leave the airport. Maybe it was because I was especially tired or being there but seeing that photo made me cry. We walked around the downtown area, took lots of photos & saw the Kennedy memorial. It was a little strange & disappointing but I guess it was kind of cool. (For those of you who only read my blog, I'll try to upload the best photos here but otherwise you'll be able to see them on FB.)

Afterwards, Mike & I got Denny's and went back to the room. We found Avatar on the HBO and watched it with Kenny & Erica. Daniel came back to the room to see the end of the movie & we all crashed! Around 1:30 in he morning he fire alarm went off. I know I smelled something greasy & smoky but I guess it was a false alarm. We all walked down the 12 flights of stairs & found the pool. People were gathering in the lobby so that's where we went.

Today, Mike & I spent some time just driving around Dallas & we drove to Arlington, TX and saw the Dallas Cowboy's stadium (who are getting their asses kicked by Green Bay right now). Mike kept referring to it as "Jerry World" (whatever that means). We didn't get to see the field because they were charging about $15 a person but we got some pretty cool photos of the exterior. Then, literally right "next door" was the Texas Rangers stadium so we drove around that.

So now we're on our way back home. We stopped at this place called Taco Cabana for food before we left & it was pretty good. I feel full & satisfied. :)

I hope you all had a good weekend. I'll be seeing you soon!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good Morning

Good Morning!

It's a beautiful Friday morning and I'm up and ready to go.  Mike & I are going to be traveling with my brother to Dallas, Texas and are leaving tonight.  It's going to be about 15 hours (plus stops)!  I'm kind of excited because I like road trips and enjoy doing fun things with Mike.  My brother is be extra nice & handling most of the expenses (car, hotel) since we're driving him because his license was suspended.  Mike knows what that's like - lol.

So here I am..  Sitting at work...  Waiting for my shift to start..  I figured I'd drop a line.  Most of this week, my mornings have been for napping but I want to research a couple of things for our trip.  Mike wants to visit Daley Plaza and I'd like to plan our trip to see the sights on Saturday - even though we'll pretty much be dead asleep.  I'd also like to contact the car rental to find out exactly what car we're going to be renting and what is available for an upgrade (& if we can get an extra deal).

My mother is being wonderful (different from usual, right? *rolls eyes*) and is going to dogsit for the weekend.  Thank God Anna is out of heat and not sick - she must have gotten into something because she's completly fine now. :)

I hope you don't mind me going through my checklist of the things we need to bring.  I need to send a list to Mike so that he can pack up the few extra things when he gets home.

    For the dogs in Green Duffel Bag
  • Dog Food (about 6 big scoops) in a Ziplock
  • 2 Metal dog bowls (the small ones)
  • Small Ziplock baggie with a handful of treats
  • 2 Leashes (the pink & black)
  • 2 Collars with all tags

    For us in luggage
  • Socks & Underwear for Mike
  • Couple changes of clothes for Mike
  • Mike Meds (in large front pocket of luggage)
  • Excedrin

  • Computer into the bag
  • Car Charger
  • Purple lunch bag
    • mayo
    • meat
    • cheese
    • jelly
    • peanut butter
    • bread
  • The Sunchips
  • Any movies we might want to watch
    • Disturbia
    • Training Day
    • Panic Room
  • pillows

What do you think? I've already gotten all of our toiletries packed, all of my clothes... Everything else is pretty much close by so it should be easy. We're heading to get the rental right after work and should be on our way right afterwards. :) Ok. Now I'm getting excited!! It must be because of my list. I love lists... :)

Have a great weekend!!!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

Well, the idea of November is pretty happy considering it's a big beginning to fall & all the special family holidays where we're allowed to stuff ourselves as much as we'd like!

Of course, whenever it seems as though things are going well, something happens.  It started yesterday when the neighbors who live above us decided to be rude and snap at Mike.  Mike said, "Good morning," and they ignored him.  When he held the door open since they were right behind us one of them said, "We can get the door ourselves."  Not a big deal.  Apparently, they never learned the valuable lesson of common courtesy or kindness.

So Mike & I went on with our day.  Mike specifically stated that he wasn't going to let the situation bug him.  When Mike got to work, they had a meeting.  Apparently, the company is downsizing & a few people were let go on Friday.  He is one of the "lucky" ones and has an opportunity to keep his job.  Now, granted, this is a blessing.  I'd rather have some income than none at all but this presents a few problems. 

1)  He needs to go back to the complete crap telemarketing job.  Where people curse and scream because Mike needs to do cold-calling and schedule appointments.  He hates that job.
2)  He is losing the raise that he previously earned.  This will cut back on about $400 gross a month.  Yeah.
3)  His "new" hours are 7am-3pm.  This is good for doing things in the afternoon/evening but since we're sharing one car, that means that I am getting to work around 6am and waiting for my shift to start at 9:30!

So when we got home, we smelled something in the hallway.  Sometimes our neighbor will put her bag of trash in the hallway so she can take it out the next day.  We opened the door to our apartment and it was overwhelming.  Yeah...  Anna was sick.  The cage is covered.  From what we can tell, Anna was standing all day.  Poor girl.  So a bath and taking her out for a 30 minute walk...  She vomited twice and didn't want to eat (which is good).

I guess it always comes in 3's right?

The positives...

1)  At least he still has a job.  This is nice & definately convenient.
2)  Mike has had reassurances at work that the telemarketing department is different now.  He's also had reassurances that he is a valued employee and that they will give him an opportunity to advance as soon as it is possible.
3)  Mike has an opportunity to go home and relax for a little while (or clean/cook/do laundry) before coming to pick me up.
4)  This does open up an evening window for a 2nd job for Mike if necessary.  It's a long day but it's there.
5)  The neighbors upstairs really have nothing to do with us.  If they want to continue to be angry people, fine.  We don't want to be mean.  We can just ignore them and be better (I won't be slamming the door in their faces like they do to me)
6)  Anna didn't get sick again last night and seemed ok this morning.

So we're trying to stay positive.  We're trying to take it easy.  It's hard and extremely frustrating but...  It is what it is.  Life is a pain in the ass.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.