2020, blog, myblog, personal

My Desks

Hey, how ya’ll doing? Oof, it’s been a while. Let me update you.

I’ve been working at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine since early February. I’m proud to be on the Advancement team and leading email and social media strategies for the College and Veterinary Medical Center.

In mid-March, I began working from home, along with everyone in else in the world. To be honest, I was not excited about working from home. I like keeping Work and Home separate. I wanted to stay in the office and keep the routine I was just beginning to establish.

But, I had to adapt. I was thankful I had a desk at home in our second bedroom so I moved my work laptop and extra monitor there. I never thought I’d be working from home with my fiance, Nate. When we first moved in together, we didn’t think much about putting our desks right next to each other.

For the first day working from home it was nice to have him right by my side. But quickly on the second day, it was no longer nice. I love him but he slams his fingers into the keyboard when he types. He punches the keyboard. And sometimes he unplugs his headphones so I can hear all of his Slack notification noises. They weren’t even my notifications to address but something about hearing that “boo doo doo” noise made me anxious and on edge.

We also both would have video meetings at the same time, which didn’t work.

Oh yeah, and there was that time during a morning team Zoom call where Nate walked behind me in nothing but a towel…that was a fun way to introduce Nate to my coworkers. All I could do was apologize and laugh it off. Thankfully everyone thought it was funny too.

This weekend, we agreed one of us had to move their desk. So, I’m now in the living room. I feel like if our home was an office, I’d be the secretary who greets you when you first walk in and immediately asks if you have an appointment.

I also never put much thought into my at-home desk chair. I just bought a simple grey chair from Target when I bought my desk. Well, that chair turned out not to be ideal for sitting for eight hours.

On the same Wal-Mart trip where I got a Nintendo Switch for my birthday (so I could start playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons), we bought a nice padded desk chair that swivels and has wheels. It rocks back and forth and it rolls. I’m very happy in the new chair.

We gave the old simple grey chair to our new cat, Carl. We adopted him in late March, very shortly after we began working from home. We’d already talked about getting a cat but were hesitant about being home enough or when the right time would be. The time is now! We’re home all the time! We like working next to Carl. He either naps or meows, demanding we play with him. It’s nice to have an entertaining cat in our lives.

Of course, Carl likes to scratch my new office chair so I bought some double sided tape off Amazon to deter him from

Carl taked afternoon naps around 2 p.m. So jealous. He has claimed my old desk chair as his new bed.

Working from home, I find myself getting distracted and feeling guilty about my productivity. I was talking to a friend about these feelings and she suggested I start the day by writing a short list of things I want to accomplish that day. I like doing that because it makes me feel accomplished. Sometimes I jot my list down in my notebook and other days I use Asana. I go back and forth with digital and hand written notes and to-do lists.

In late April, I spent about two weeks down in Loudon, Tennessee with my parents. They are both retired. My dad used to work from home so he had a nice desk set up in the basement that I was able to use while I worked from home.

One of the benefits of being in Tennessee was working next to my parent’s Bernese Mountain Dog, Fiona.

Fiona is a pretty needy coworker. She requires constant attention and lots of praise.
My desk used to be right next to Nate’s desk. And Carl loved my chair more than I did. So, we have since moved my desk into the living room and bought a new desk chair. Carl is pleased.

2019, About Me, blog, blog post, blogpost, myblog, personal

An unforgettable Valentine’s Day

Nate surprised me with an unforgettable Valentine’s Day. I feel so loved.

He picked me up after work and we drove to campus. The whole drive, I was trying to guess what we were doing and where we were going. We parked at Chadwick Arboretum, where we had a picnic on our second date. Nate told me he had an evening planned walking down memory lane. I started to tear up; it was just so thoughtful. We strolled around the pond at Chadwick, talking about who we were back then and how we were both so nervous and unsure where the relationship would go.

I remember that after the picnic, almost three years ago, we went to the Chocolate Café. So, on our walk down memory lane, that’s where we went next! Okay, we weren’t the only ones with the idea to go to the Chocolate Café on Valentine’s Day but the wait wasn’t that bad. I ordered the lobster bisque soup and a Dirty Girl Scout martini. Nate ordered a dirty martini, the special sandwich which was pulled pork, mango and habanero with a side of cream of mushroom soup. I never get tired of talking to Nate. We always find new things to learn about each other. We talked about our babysitters when we were little. I liked babysitters because they’d ask me what I wanted to do and Nate said he’d just walk over to a friend’s house and didn’t really have babysitters.

Nate warned me that the last thing on our itinerary had a set start time but it was okay if we were late. What could it be? He told me we’d been there before, there’d be food available, and it would probably end around 10pm. I had no clue. We drove back home and parked. That’s when I connected the dots that we were going to a Blue Jackets game. I’d get to see my other Valentine, Cam Atkinson! It was so sweet of Nate to surprise me with hockey tickets. We got there at the end of first period. The guy next to us had a thick British accent and kept yelling very British things like “rough ‘em up, lads!” and “Come on, lads.” I got a tub of popcorn at the end of the second period and ate about half of it. The Blue Jackets weren’t playing their best and lost 0-3 to the New York Islanders. Oh well.

I still had a memorable and romantic evening. We came home and watched some old Pixar shorts that I had on DVD.       

2018, myblog, personal, Uncategorized

Glamours of air travel

Doodles about my crazy morning trying to get to Houston.
You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.
You’re capable of more than you think, especially when you’re not afraid to ask for help.
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It started this morning at 6 am, when Nate drove me to the airport. I boarded my American Airlines flight at 8:30am, ready to head to Dallas where I’d have a one-hour layover then catch a connection to Houston. I was looking forward to seeing my Aunt Susan and the rest of my family. Then, I would drive to Dallas for a work conference.Sitting on the flight, about to take off, the pilot loudly announces that there’s an issue with one of the navigation instruments and that maintenance is looking into it. An hour goes by. The pilot comes back on to tell us they can’t fix it and we have to get off the plane. As we trudge off back into the terminal, a gate agent hands us pre printed postcards with a hotline to call and info about our options.

I’m naive about flying and honestly thought they would direct us to a new plane and the flight would leave immediately. I started to follow the people in front of me until I realized they didn’t know anything that I didn’t know at that moment. I’m such a follower. Instead of going to a new plane, we all stood in a long line waiting to speak to the gate agent to make other arrangements.
My first thought was panic. What do I do? I’m alone. I can’t do this. I don’t know. I can feel my breathing growing shallow and felt very aware of the other passengers all paired up, helping each other book new travel plans.
I texted my mom and dad to tell them what happened, looking to them for advice. My mom told me to talk to the gate agent. My dad told me to take a Southwest flight. He researched flights and told me about one that was leaving at noon. By now it was 9am.
I got a text message from American saying my flight to Dallas was delayed until 12:30pm. If I took that American flight, then I’d just be stranded in Dallas. I had a choice to stick with American, try to get rebooked somehow or switch to Southwest.

The guy behind me in the non-moving line to speak with a service agent, was talking about the 12:30pm flight and I asked if he knew anything more and he said he’d gotten rebooked by calling the 800 number. So, I put away my hesitation to call the 800 number and dialed. I politely gave the woman on the other end of the phone my record locator number. I think these phone reps have such a hard job and deal with so many jerks. The least I can do, is not be a jerk to them. Especially because I need them to help me. The representative told me there was a flight got Houston leaving at 3pm, laying over in North Carolina and arriving in Houston at 7pm. That itinerary sounded terrible. She said I could always cancel my reservation and book with another airline. So that was it. I called my dad and over the phone, we booked the Southwest flight. Scribbling on the back of my ticket I wrote down my confirmation number and my immediate to do list.

  • Cancel American flight. Only cancel inbound flight, not return flight.
  • Call Volunteers of America.
  • Call Aunt Susan.
  • Call Nate.
I ran through my list of people I needed to tell about this and then exited the American terminal. I could finally breathe easy, I’d overcome this hurdle.
Not yet. Dad texted me saying he’d booked the flight for tomorrow, not today. I stared at my phone in disbelief. This wasn’t happening.
My dad apologized and told me there was a similar flight available for today. I went to the Southwest Airlines gate and to my surprise, there wasn’t a line to speak with an agent. Instead of telling the representative the whole story of this morning, I said that I’d like to change my reservation. She pulled up my flight and I told her I’d like to be booked on Flight 38. I held my breath. I expected a firm “no, that flight is booked.” It would be too easy if this were to work. She looked up at me and said “yes, we can do that.” She printed my boarding pass and wished Ms.Gillum a nice flight.
And so, here I am, in the Southwest gate waiting for this new flight. Going thru airport security twice in one day seems like cruel and unusual punishment. I’m thankful for my smartphone, for decent strangers, for my dad helping me so much, for my Aunt Susan being flexible and for my work for being understanding.

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My “I’m tired, maybe I should’ve just driven” face