mellificent: (Dr Who - giant robot)

As I have undoubtedly said before, I have never understood that "5 random things make an entry" meme. I find it unaccountably annoying, somehow. Why 5? What's wrong with three? or seven, for that matter? (Which isn't to say that I'll stop with three, anyway, I'm just sayin'.)

I've been reading back over my old Holidailies entries, and maybe I should resolve with Stef to talk LESS about the holidays, odd as that may seem. (Everybody needs to read Stef's entry, in any case, because it's awesome.) I can just refer you back to the last five-years-plus of old Holidailies entries for pretty much any particular holiday subject, anyway.

I've been doing this for more than 5 years, actually, if not quite from the beginning, but the oldest ones were on Diary-X and are long-gone. There's lots of whining about that in the LJ archives, too, if you're interested. (Also some on my old Whys and Wherefores blog, which I had forgotten about until I went looking for the CW bit that I linked yesterday. There are also some resurrected entries from Diary-X over there - the link above is to one - that I had forgotten were there, and I can't say that I remember exactly where I resurrected them from, either. Maybe I had just saved some of them on Notebook or somewhere like I'm doing with this one now.)

I'm at work and it's slow, so this might be a long entry. Or if it gets really long, I might go ahead and post it and start another one! Hopefully it won't be THAT slow, though, or it's gonna be a long afternoon. Generally I am good at finding ways to fill my afternoons on slow days, though. I read Go Fug Yourself, or look at Pinterest, and I used to fool around with Glitch, a year or so ago when I was still all into that. I mention that because I was just over  there - although being there generally seems kind of useless now, since it's about to shut down. I had a bunch of credits, though, so I bought some wardrobe stuff, just the same (see below) - I think it's appropriate that I go out wearing a tiara! (Old joke which a few of you will get...)

In other game news, our current one is Guild Wars 2, which I am not going to talk about too much right now, because I'm sure there will be one or more entries about at a later date, assuming I follow past patterns. I will say, though, that my sylvari elementalist is up to level 75, now, since I've been playing her exclusively. And the reason for that is that Col, my normal game-playing partner, has been off writing a novel. (Not doing NaNoWriMo, or he'd be done now - theoretically, anyway. He's just writing a novel.) Anyway, sticking with one character is not something I normally do, much, and it does do wonders for leveling. 80 is the cap in this game, so I'm going to get there, and soon. I'm not anywhere near done with the story part of the game, though.


Really completely random thing: my dad got stung by jellyfish so many times that he became immune. (I think it was Guild Wars that reminded me of this, because there are jellyfish pets. They are much cooler than real jellyfish. Or cooler than the jellyfish that I have personally encountered, anyway.)


I am amused that half of the Holidailies entries I have read so far are something to the effect of, "Fuck, why did I sign up for this?" I've been doing this long enough that I have quit panicking about it. I always manage to think of something to say. It's never great art, but oh well. (That could be my motto in life, actually.)


My Glitch character:
glitch

Home again

Dec. 31st, 2010 07:00 pm
mellificent: (Happy NY - sparkly)
We are home from Dallas (again). I have to say the drive seems much shorter with some company. I think Rob enjoyed the trip, too, so that's good. I took my test, and I basically have no idea if I passed or not. I might have or might not have - I did a good bit of educated guessing, here and there, and it all depends on how well I guessed! If not, then I do this again later, although hopefully I'll be able to do it without another trip to Dallas, because I am very tired of that drive.

What with the intervening holidays and all, I don't know when I'll find out if I passed or not - sometime the end of next week, maybe. Before that, I have another job interview - for an OB/Gyn coding job, this time. I think that might be a very interesting job.

Oh, I did get over being sick in time for the test, thank goodness. I was still sucking on cough drops the whole time, but at least I wasn't sneezing and hacking and all that. Wednesday morning I was still feeling bad enough that I briefly considered trying to reschedule, but I really, really wanted to get it over with, and happily, it all worked out.

We went to the grocery store on the way home this afternoon, and oh my god, it was a zoo. Now we are home watching Doctor Who specials, and I am very happy to be here. I've spent so much time running around in the last week that home feels like a giant treat.

Happy new year, y'all!
mellificent: (Xmas light gif)
I don't know why I keep ending up in the Dallas area this past year. I'm not doing it on purpose, really - but events keep sending me there, somehow. The seminar I just went to is only held in about 5 locations around the country, and that's one of them. Both times I've gone to schedule a certification test, there weren't any in Houston on the dates I wanted, but there were ones in Dallas. And I've always wanted to go to BeadFest, which usually is held in more exotic locations like, well, Philadelphia - so when they announced the one in Arlington, I immediately signed up for a class on a whim. (That was an expensive whim, but the class was good.) I hadn't spent any appreciable time in that area in years and years, or when it comes right down to it, I'd never spent more than a few days there, total, ever. But now that I've been up there four times in less than a year, with one more that I know of to go, I'm starting to learn my way around, a bit. There are some pretty neighborhoods in Dallas proper - sort of like University Place in Houston used to be, before they started knocking all the cute old houses down and building McMansions. (Do they have zoning in Dallas? Those areas seem much more unspoiled than their Houston counterparts.) And there's some nice shopping, and of course there's Six Flags and the Ballpark at Arlington and all that, but other than that, what I've seen of DFW is mostly freeways and strip centers and suburbs, just like Houston. Not all that exciting, but really, I could bear to live there, if I had a reason to.

I did exactly the same thing I did the last time around - I went to sleep late Sunday night before I left, and got up early Monday because I couldn't sleep, and then when I got there I was totally exhausted and went to bed really, really early - like, I was watching "CharlieWillie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" around 9:00, and I fell asleep around the time Veruca fell down the garbage chute. (I did stay awake long enough for that. That was always my favorite part. But I must've sacked out moments after it happened.) Then in the morning I was dressed and downstairs so early that the breakfast buffet hadn't even opened yet. Very nice buffet, eventually, though, with omelets and the whole thing, exactly what I was in the mood for. The hotel was the Sheraton DFW (actually apparently there are two Sheraton DFWs, but it was one of them, anyway) and it was chock-full of people here for various conventions, plus a whole lot of airline employees - it was mostly those last eating breakfast around me at 6:30 this morning. I'm told one of the other conventions was a Christian thing of some sort, and I saw people carrying musical instruments into the big ballroom next door, although if they actually played anything we weren't close enough to hear it. (I was thinking that it was some sort of musician's convention, but it strikes me that they could also have been playing for the religious thing. That would seem to fit.)

Incidentally, Sheratons these days seem to have marvelously comfortable beds. I stayed in one in Arlington the last time, too, and it was just the same. I highly recommend the beds, if you have occasion to avail yourself of one. (The rest of the hotel is fine, too.)

The conference I went to was about next year's CPT changes. (That means the procedure codes for surgeries and doctor visits and such.) There are enough of them every year that they publish a whole book with just the changes (which was given to us as part of the price of admission, along with a 2011 CPT book) and more than enough of them to fill an all-day conference. Usually (in my vast experience of two of these things) there's one big issue every year - usually something that affects reimbursement. Last year it was that CMS (i.e., Medicare) had stopped paying for consults. It's not actually a CPT topic at all, really, but it was what everybody wanted to talk about. This year the big change was in coding for cardiac caths. From a purely coding point of view, they've made it much easier. You used to use multiple codes for each procedure and now they're bundling them and there will be only one. But if you add up the reimbursements for all the old codes, it was higher than the reimbursement for the one new one, so if you were really using all 3-7 codes for the old ones, you won't be getting as much money. What I'm wondering, though, is how many people were really using all of the possible codes. (But I have no immediate way of knowing the answer to that.)
mellificent: (Potter - bits & bobs)
I am just home from DallasIrving (I think it was Irving, anyway - I'm never sure, around there). I went for a coding seminar, which didn't end until about 4:50, and then I had to wend my way through "Metroplex"-area traffic and then the 250 or so miles home. I'm tired, but I'm listening to more of the same Dexter audiobook that I was listening to in the car, and unwinding, so I think I can manage to write a bit before I collapse. And I wasn't here to write an introductory thing for Holidailies yesterday, so I guess I'll take a stab at that rather than talk about my little trip - I can always do that tomorrow.

So, hey, welcome to anybody new who wanders by! (Incidentally, Jette - who has an LJ name but I don't remember what it is and I'm too lazy to go look it up - has posted a fun entry about how Holidailies got started.) And if you're new, and wondering what all this rambling is about, I should probably just tell you now that it doesn't get all that much better. I ramble. And I don't really try to to control the rambling, particularly, beyond making it fit (mostly) into complete sentences, and sometimes into actual purposeful paragraphs. But don't count on it. (I suppose that anybody who's too too bothered by that hasn't even read this far, so oh well.)

I always hate writing about myself, and at the moment it's even worse than usual, with my life all up in the air. I'm Mel, and I'm verging on middle-aged, and I'm unemployed. I live in the general vicinity of Houston. I got laid off two years ago and I've been working towards a new career (the abovementioned coding - which means the medical kind, not the computer kind) without too much in the way of concrete results so far - meaning that while I have an official certificate and everything, I still don't have a job. I have one rather stressed-out husband, and no children. I'm spending my time applying for jobs, and reading too much, and studying for yet another certification test. I dabble around with various crafts (jewelry, quilts, papercrafts).

I've been doing Holidailies since 2003, the same year I started my journal. I named my journal "Catchy Name Needed" intending to change it later, and then decided it was sort of funny, and sort of appropriate, and just kept it. I started out on Diary-X and then moved here to LJ, where I've been ever since. I haven't written too much this year - there's not too much that's appropriate to say in public about job-hunting and such. So I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. And that'll have to do, for now.


(Incidentally, the icon is from the Rifftrax to "Sorceror's Stone".)
mellificent: (Austin)
Since we are not going to Ohio (at least not for a month or so), we got tickets to go to the minor-league baseball game in Round Rock on Sunday. We are going to drive up that way and mess around for a couple of days. We are not going to see my sister. Is that terrible of me? We're really not planning on spending much time in Austin at all - we are spending the night (at least one night) in New Braunfels. I haven't spent much time in that area in years and I just want to poke around a bit! And hey, bonus: wildflowers!

Apparently the credit-card companies require the airlines - at least the shakier ones, like Skybus - to maintain special accounts to cover people like me in case they go out of business. I haven't called Bank of America to ask yet, but that makes me a bit more confident that I will get my money back. (I hate making phone calls so I've been putting it off. I wonder if I could get away with e-mailing them instead.)

I got a call saying a spot had opened up in the Plaza parking garage, which is the closest garage to work, for me - I don't care so much about that, since where I am now isn't that much further, but they are also supposed to build a building where I'm parking now before too long, so I figured I'd better take it. But jesus, $62.50 a month? That's nearly twice what I was paying before. Our cost of living has already skyrocketed in the last year, it's just one more thing. At least they take it out pre-tax.

I have now seen the new $5 bill in person and it is scary. If I hadn't known about it ahead of time I wouldn't've thought it was real money. (Also, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's new website cracks me up - "moneyfactory.gov.") 
mellificent: (skellies)
I was looking at that picture I posted yesterday, and in case anybody is paying attention: yes, those are part of the seasonal decorations I was talking about liking so much that are visible in that picture. However, I have to add a disclaimer, that those damn scarecrows are not the part I was talking about, cause I hate those things. Ugh. Luckily they are not really in my line of sight. You can see my gargoyle in that picture, incidentally, but "Gene Simmons" (I think - I am not really up on my Kiss) is mostly hiding my skull wreath with her head - you can see just a bit of it sticking out on one side. I suppose I have to take those down now - although maybe I can get away with leaving them up until tomorrow and saying it's for Day of the Dead.

Darnit, the icon reminds me that I meant to watch Nightmare Before Christmas last night and I forgot, by the time I pried Rob away from the damn live Ghosthunters episode. (Which was boring as hell. Oh, look, the ball rolled across the floor by itself. Scary!)

And I better save any more rambling for the NaBloPoMo entry that I will have to do later, I suppose. But I figured I better not complain about those scarecrows in a public post, since one of my co-workers (who I am otherwise very fond of) bought the stupid things.[personal profile] platypus said that she might do Holidailies instead of NaBloPoMo, and try to write real entries instead of just rambling. Which is what I usually try to do for Holidailies, too - and I am still doing both, but NaBloPoMo will do good to get rambling. I think I just consider NaBloPoMo to sort of be a warmup!

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