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So, last challenge I took a mental health nosedive and basically dropped all of my goals.  Getting things back together and I'm going to use this short December challenge to work on a couple goals that will make life better for me at work.

 

1. Show up to work on time!

I am chronically, a little bit late for work. Not much, but a few minutes late a few days a week.  Out attendance policy uses a carrot and a stick approach.  The stick is that you can get in trouble for being consistently late. In theory I could get written up and even fired for my tardiness. On the carrot side, if you're on time every day for a quarter, they give you an extra day of paid time off (10 hours), so potentially 40 hours a year, and extra week off.  I'm avoiding both the carrot and the stick right now, and I am kind of tired of foregoing a week's worth of vacation a year for want of showing up at work a few minutes earlier. 

 

The problem is, that despite working an early am shift for the last 9 years, I'm still a night person. I tell myself "Just get out of bed and get moving when your alarm goes off and you'll be fine!" But, I can't make that happen with any consistency. So I'm giving up on that this month. It is apparently absolutely necessary that I spend at least 10 minutes after my alarm goes off staring into space while listening to something. (If I don't listen to something, I'll fall back asleep). So I'm going to do that.

 

I've set my radio alarm for 10 minutes earlier, as of the first of this month, and so far, I've managed to get up and out of the house earlier, and shown up on time every day. I need to keep that going for the rest of the month (and Ideally, beyond). I am less than thrilled with what my local NPR station is doing at 3:50 am. First day was sotto voce whispering... Might need to try and find an app that will let me set an alarm to play music. Normally use I Heart, but they don't have an alarm feature on android (suggestions welcome)

 

Reward for this goal, I'll get one of those "sunrise simulator" lights.

 

2.  Learn to speak Spanish!

Ok that might not be an achievable goal for this month, but like "be on time for work every day" it is a habit that I can start working on establishing, and it is also a habit that would help me out quite a bit at work.  Rarely does a day go by where I don't find myself wishing that I was at least conversational in Spanish, and several days a week I find it necessary to grab someone that can translate for me. In the department that I am the primary Maintenance Tech for, probably over 75% of people speak Spanish, and nearly 50% are not fluent in English. Same holds true for the rest of the plant, although some shops have more Vietnamese than Spanish, and some are a blend of the two.

 

My plan for doing this is to try out a bunch of language learning apps, decide which one(s) I want to stick with, and then, you know, stick with it. Make a daily habit of working on learning Spanish. There are lots of people at work that would be perfectly happy to help me practice with them, I just need to get and keep the ball rolling.

 

Reward for this goal, I'll get the paid version of whichever app I find to be "best".

 

3. Keep journaling

I've managed to keep up with Daylio. Writing in my physical journal fell by the wayside in the middle of last month. I need to get back into using it.

 

No reward for this goal.

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1 hour ago, Whisper said:

Might need to try and find an app that will let me set an alarm to play music. Normally use I Heart, but they don't have an alarm feature on android (suggestions welcome)

 

Did you know that if you simply do a Google Search for the thing you want, sometimes you can find an easy answer?

 

Is there an alarm app that plays music?

Thanks to a new feature in Google's Android Clock app, you are now able to link your Spotify (Free at Apple.com) account—premium or ad-supported—and use your music as an alarm...

 

Hmm... it appears that Spotify came preloaded on my phone, but I've never opened it, I should try that.

 

And, now my Google Alarm clock (I have several set each morning) has an option to play Spotify. I have to work tomorrow morning, so trying that out in about 5 hours. 

 

I really should try that sleeping thing now.

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9 hours ago, Whisper said:

I have to work tomorrow morning, so trying that out in about 5 hours. 

4p30xg.jpg

 

It vibrated, but music failed to happen. I'll need to play around with it when I'm not supposed to be sleeping, see if I can figure out where I went wrong.

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My iPhone lets me pick a song on my phone to use as my alarm. Is that an option if you can’t get a streaming service to connect to it?

Level 69 Battle Kitten

Profile photo is ancient but I'm too lazy to change it. 

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Je suis partie pour reconstruire ma vie

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Right before bed last night, I had something trigger a bunch of past trauma and ended up crying myself to sleep. Boo. Been in somewhat of a funk most of the day today, really feeling like I don't fit in the world. Watched the stream of the service I played for this morning, and looking at myself next to the other musicians, it almost felt like a forced perspective shot. Like I'm a doll placed in too small a house. Even if I somehow managed to loose weight, I would still be too big. I try to dress in a manner that complement's how I'm shaped, but looking at myself on screen, I just feel gross. Eating candy probably isn't the solution to this, but it is the response I'm most drawn to.

 

On the goal front, I think I got the music alarm thing worked out, so hopefully that will help things go more smoothly tomorrow morning.

 

Spent a chunk of time going over the apps I've downloaded for Spanish yesterday. Didn't feel up to doing much with it today, and had a bunch of other stuff to do, but did hit the goal on Duolingo today. 

 

Gonna count writing here as hitting my journaling goal.

 

Good night.

 

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Doing better today. Work wasn't too crazy and I had a lot of fun at bell practice. 

 

After work I had a video appointment with the doc that diagnosed me with narcolepsy 4 years ago. First time I've seen him since then, and within about 2 minutes of the call starting he said "oh, you're still seeing Marcy? (my nurse practitioner) Yeah, I didn't need to see you after all. " Still, it was good to ask him a couple questions, and since it was a video call, rather than me having to drive all the way down to Saint George to see him, I didn't mind.

 

Fun fact, the only two medical professionals to ever feel that I have narcolepsy (him and Marcy) both have narcolepsy themselves. Marcy sent me down to see him when she couldn't get two local sleep doctors to diagnose me. I've seen a 3rd local specialist since then. All of them say "mild sleep apnea, use a CPAP and you'll be fine". But I'm not fine, and without the med that is ONLY prescribed for narcolepsy, I'm not functional. 

 

Did talk to the doc a bit about a new drug that's come out. I'm on sodium oxybate, they've released a variation that replaces a big chunk of the sodium with magnesium, potassium, and calcium.  Same dosage, same side effects, same efficacy, just less salt and a different taste. He thinks it would be good to switch over to it.

 

He also confirmed that my current state of "always tired, but doesn't fall asleep when I shouldn't" is the best I can realistically hope for. Kind of disappointing, but honestly I already knew. Just good to check occasionally that something knew didn't get figured out. 

 

He's also still good with his office handling the prescription for me, but Marcy handling my actual care. The insurance didn't like her as the perscriber, which is why I ended up with seeing all the other docs, and eventually him.

 

I do worry about what will happen when they eventually retire. How hard will it be to find another doc that'll prescribe the meds? Last time I had to go off of them, I literally fell asleep at the wheel and got in an accident. I had to stop driving for 6 months until this guy was able to get me back on it. I don't want to have to go through that again. 

 

But, that's borrowing trouble I don't have yet.

Put together enough small wins over a long enough period of time, and you’ll find yourself in high level gear fighting dragons before you know it.

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Hang in there! I don't have Narcolepsy; but my vitamin D levels drop below safe levels in winter & if I'm not careful I can be sitting at my table & BOOM faceplant onto its surface, so I can sympathize although not completely identify with what you're going through.

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So, before setting out on my little adventure to learn Spanish, I asked @fleaballfor some points, and, amongst other advice, she pointed me to  this  review  of apps. I've been trying a bunch of them out, so here is my review, of the review of apps.

 

Duolingo is the most fun and best looking. Really good for quick little sessions when I can squeeze them in. It feels like I could easily make a sustabilbe habit with it, but that progress might be slower than with other approaches. Then again, slow and study could be a lot more in the long run. I'm fairly sure I'll keep using it, either on it's own, or as a supplement for another app.

 

Memrise was similar in feel to Duo. I don't like the look of the app as much, and it isn't as fun, but it is still really good. The main standout feature is that it uses short video clips of native speakers kind of acting out what they're saying. There are some odd word choices, like teaching salud  as"bottoms up", when it clearly means "cheers" (also, why do I need to know this right now?), alos, today they taught me to say "you're a genius!"  Might keep playing with it.

 

Babble did a good job explaining things, and I felt like I would have a better technical understanding of the language with it (more words in English about Spanish), but it looks like you can only do 1 lesson before giving them money, so can't really try out, and then they sent me a creepy ass "the teams misses you and so do I" email less than 24 hours after I tried the app. So, kind of a bad feeling about them now. You also only get the one free lesson, so couldn't get much of a feel for them. The review is spot on when it says "best for school like experience"

 

Busuu failed to make much of an impression on me. It was fine, I did a few lessons. Nothing wrong with it, but I'll be going with something else.

 

Lirica was totally different from anything else. Quoting the review "Lirica uses popular music by Latin and reggaeton artists to help you learn the Spanish language and grammar". I did one lesson with it, and it was a lot of fun, but I do not think it would work as a primary tool for me. Once I get more of a feel for things, I do think it will be a fun and valuable supplement, kind of like watching movies in Spanish. I plan on keeping the app on my phone and coming back to it in a month or so.

 

Rosetta Stone was a lot like I remember it from trying it on a computer a few years ago. Much more of an immersion experience. You get nothing in English, but they use pictures for context. I do remember that becoming more confusing as time went on and it was harder to tell from the picture exactly what was meant, but I don't think that was insurmountable.  It does feel like more of a "study period" than an, "I have a moment while my coffee is brewing". Big standout thing with Rosetta Stone is that while the other apps are teaching spanish by having me translate back and forth from English, this feels more like it is trying to get me to think in Spanish rather than translate to English, and works my mind in a totally different way. 

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 A thought occurred to me today "I primarily want to learn Spanish for my job; I wonder if I can get work to pay for an app?" So, I went to the HR guy, and asked him, and he was like "yeah, we should have something to help with that, but I'm not sure what. Go talk to the plant manager."

 

So, I went and talked to the plant manager, and he was like "That's awesome! Go talk to the HR manager". So I went back to HR, but the manager is working from home this week. So I sent her an email.

 

Long story short, I think I can get my work to pay for a subscription to Rosetta Stone. Looks like $50 for 3 moths, $100 for 1 year, or $200 for lifetime. I'm hoping they'll do the lifetime, but if they'll do the year, I'll pay the difference myself. Hopefully I can get this worked out tomorrow.

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I was on time for work every day this week, and have practiced Spanish every day and filled out Daylio. 

 

Wore something fun to bell practice this morning, so of course the old biddies are worried that I'll dress inappropriately when they record us. Finally asked the director if SHE was dressed to be recorded this morning. 'Course now I HAVE to wear the candy canes, just to irk her. I'll bring a more suitable pair to change into.20201212_120040.thumb.jpg.21804af85af1923d5b75423ca7433397.jpg

 

 

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I've managed to show up on time every day thus far this month, so that is going well. Still not totally happy with how the music alarm is working, but it is working well enough that I haven't bothered trying something else.

 

Of bigger issue of late is me just not going to sleep early enough. I know, that sounds odd with the above post about narcolepsy, but I think because I spent so much of my life fighting sleep constantly, that I cannot help but fight it, even when I'm supposed to. Last night, around 6:30, I was like "I'm tired, I'll take my sleep meds an hour early, and try to get some extra sleep. Took them, and did an internet spiral instead of going to sleep. The meds make me dumber than I normally am. I really need to work on getting my sleep hygiene better again. 

 

Spanish is going fairly well. Hit a 15 day streak in Duolingo. Still waiting on work with Rosetta Stone.

 

Not sure I like this "all guild" challenge setup; feels too much like a torrent. 

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Long day, but a good one. I managed to be on time again today. Worked 12 hours today, but it saves me from having to go in tomorrow. 

 

The lady of the house had a pacemaker put in today and is recovering in the hospital. Sounds like everything went well, and she should be back home tomorrow. 

 

M was going to make spaghetti for dinner for the husband and us, but with how late I ended up working, the timing didn't work out.  So I just hit a drive through on the way home. We'll do the spaghetti tomorrow. 

 

Did bring M home with me, and the three of us watched the Trans-Siberian Orchestra livestream concert tonight. We missed the first part, but it looks like we can re-watch it over the weekend, and I know the lady would like to see it. Thought about buying her a "ticket" but with visitor restrictions in hospitals right now, and her 82 year old lack of tech savvy, we didn't think we could make it work. So, hopefully we'll watch it with her tomorrow. 

 

I did buy a gift ticket so my Aunty and Uncle could watch. They really enjoyed it too, and it was neat to be able to share the experience and do something "together " even though we're far apart. 

 

Just practiced Spanish, so that streak is still going strong. 

 

Tomorrow is our last Bell Chior practice. I'm planning on wearing my tentacle earrings just to annoy the biddies. "Well, the candy canes seemed to bug you last week, so thought I would wear the most opposite thing possible..." Is it petty and small minded? Perhaps. Do I care? Not really. 

 

Sunday I'm doing video for the first service,  playing violin for the 2nd, then we're setting up the Bells to be recorded, and filming us for Christmas Eve. Going to be a long day.

 

But next week is short! Woo hoo! 3 days on, 4 days off, 3 days on again, then 4 more days off! Really looking forward to the break. 

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I didn't even notice the earrings in the photo because I was too focused on the mask. But wtf how are those even offensive. Part of me wants to show up at your church with my black Santa hat and three sets of jingle bell earrings and just be massively fucking annoying for a day. 

 

Also I've got a 5-day streak doing German on Duo and it's all your fault jsyk.

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4 minutes ago, fleaball said:

I didn't even notice the earrings in the photo because I was too focused on the mask. But wtf how are those even offensive. Part of me wants to show up at your church with my black Santa hat and three sets of jingle bell earrings and just be massively fucking annoying for a day. 

 

Also I've got a 5-day streak doing German on Duo and it's all your fault jsyk.

 

So, after playing violin at the first service last week, I put the candy canes back in while helping with the 2nd. Church Music director made it quite clear that she didn't see anything wrong with them and would be fine with me wearing them while being filmed for the service. I would have, but they're too long and hit my violin while playing. Once they were back in, I had several people make positive comments about them, and the only pastor to remark on them was just confused about if I had them on earlier. 

 

It is only really a couple of people that have a problem with what I'm wearing and feel the need to say something, and they completely fail to articulate what the problem is with my attire, beyond saying that it is "inappropriate". In this case, it is most likely a combination of the candy canes being "fake gages", and them being prominent earrings and an attitude of "men shouldn't have pierced ears". In the past, they didn't like that I would wear a nice hat when I would dress up. Again, they couldn't explain WHY the hat was inappropriate, it just was. Some people have trouble with the difference between fashion and morality. Besides, we're in church, and I'm fairly sure I can use the Bible to make a stronger case FOR covering my head in worship than they could make against. But ultimately I decided it wasn't worth the fight.

 

So over a freaking YEAR after I let them win that round, I wear something fun and festive to a Saturday morning practice and they're right back to squawking about me not dressing "appropriately" when we're recorded for Christmas Eve. And when others comment that they like my mask or earrings, they get told "don't encourage him, or he'll wear them".

 

I might be just a tad bit bitter about this. 

 

Totally wearing the tentacles tomorrow. 

 

Might need to invest in a fake septum ring.

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What the actual fuck I thought hats were supposed to be a """"men's"""" thing? Like you watch old movies and shit and every dude has a hat on. How are these old nutjobs complaining that you're doing things men "shouldn't" while also complaining that you're doing ~manly things~ ??? I am so pissed on your behalf because this is stupid in general but also such a stupid thing for them to take issue with. ugh. UGH. The only part of it I could understand is if you were wearing a hat inside the whole time because that was a no-no in the past, but if they couldn't even say that was the problem then it was definitely something else. Rawr. 

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Level 69 Battle Kitten

Profile photo is ancient but I'm too lazy to change it. 

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Je suis partie pour reconstruire ma vie

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It is a little disappointing when one is trying to get a rise out of someone and they completely ignore it. Oh well. I still had fun.

 

20201219_114251.jpg

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This challenge thread is rapidly devolving into a documentary of my earrings...

 

20201220_094647.thumb.jpg.33a0c0aec73a49c7c68c851291b463d3.jpg

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Annnnnnd, the 83 year old man that I rent from just tested positive for covid. Work has sent me home. Really worried for him and his wife, and wondering who brought it home to him.

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Don't let a bunch of old fuddy duddys ruin your church time. My hubby wears shorts to church in the spring & summer time. He had a couple of women say something & he pointedly looked at their exposed cleavage & then back at their faces...they never said another word. Lol!

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It was really weird not being at church tonight.  Probably been over a decade that I've been helping with the Christmas Eve services. At least with the bells being pre-recorded, I was still able to contribute some, despite now being quarinteened at home.

 

https://youtu.be/4SmwRlM0vnw?t=314

 

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It sucks that not only are you dealing with covid in the house, but that it has to be now of all times. Was there a stream you could watch at least? 

 

Sending hugs. ❤️ 

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Level 69 Battle Kitten

Profile photo is ancient but I'm too lazy to change it. 

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Je suis partie pour reconstruire ma vie

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