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How To Unfriend Someone In Real Life

FEB 23, 2017

I’ve decided to “unfriend” someone at work. Not in a mean way, but in a friendly, professional way. I’m cordial, I’m attentive and friendly, but in no means overtly so. I won’t open up or share my extra-curricular activities or send weekend texts letting him know what I am doing and I don’t expect any in return.  We were close and it was fun while it lasted. He told me all the office insider gossip and what was going on and we’d have fun talking about everyone else. Part of the fun of going to work was because of him, but not anymore.

The loss of my friend feels pretty bad but not as bad as dealing with his horrible mood swings which he takes out on me. I figure if I’m not as close to him, it won’t affect me. He’s done it three times in the past two years and they were all bad, but this last one, the fourth, was particularly nasty. All I could say is, what did I do wrong? In my head, of course, because no matter how I’d try to cheer him up or ask him what was wrong or treat him kindly, he’d just return all of my efforts with a shrug, a look of derision and just give me a lame excuse or totally avoid me altogether. It’s an emotional roller coaster and a total drag.

The hard part is the transition from ‘friend’ to just a co-worker. It’s going to take some time but I’m hoping it will work out. I don’t really want to be a target for his moods when he’s having a bad day with his girlfriend, or a bad day at home, or feeling insecure because the world is moving on without him. I secretly suspect that he has some jealousy issues.

I go back and forth about wanting to talk to him about what’s been happening but that will open up more doors to closeness and I don’t want that at all. Once bitten twice shy. I’m afraid of his moods and I don’t want to deal with them anymore. Its like getting yelled at really bad by someone – you are forever wary and walking on egg shells. That’s how I feel with him.  It’s only a matter of when it will happen again and I don’t want to be there.

He’s realized his error but never formally apologized. He just jumped back to his old spunky self and asked me if I wanted to have breakfast or lunch with him and I didn’t say no but I said he could join me when I went out for my daily walks at lunch time. That way I can keep him at bay but not totally shut him out.  I still need him at work because he plays a vital role and function to my job but he can still be my co-worker, just not my friend.

Friends are people that treat you like you want to be treated, not like rubbish. Co-workers can get away with that because they are just that, co-workers. You leave them at work and don’t bring them home with you…with friends, they are more than that, and you often have deeper bonds with them, so naturally, you are more sensitive. An enemy is an enemy that you’ve identified and its more predictable than an unpredictable friend who treats you like an enemy and you have no idea why?

 

So here’s my plan to stay resilient:

  1. Build a wall – a nice one. Allow for peep-holes but not wide-open gates.
  2. Shield with white healing power – meditate each day and imagine a white, clean, protective sheet of white positive light around yourself. Tell yourself this shield will help you deflect negative emotions.
  3. Stop negativity – think before you speak. Think of what you say and how it affects others. Strive only for positive thoughts and behaviors. Like attracts like.
  4. Be open but don’t open the flood gates.
  5. Be friendly but don’t be a bestie.
  6. Be honest but don’t share your heart.

I’m going to try this each and every day to see how it all pans out. I’ll keep you updated.

 

I slap my head..that’s IT!!

2-10-17

I just finished writing a whole entry (dated today) on Moodiness. All this time I thought someone with whom I work with was just moody  has turned out to be mostly PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE. The more research I do, the more red flags have popped up and now this makes total sense!

Being on the receiving end, here are the emotions that I’ve been feeling when my close co-worker starts treating me icy cold without warning:

  • confused
  • feels like I’ve done something wrong
  • feel crazy
  • feel resentment toward person doing this
  • feels like I spend too much time analyzing his mood
  • uncomfortable
  • self doubt
  • off kilter
  • insecure, to a degree

And the bad thing, it’s becoming a pattern. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Totally weird shit at work.

How this person operates:

  • cold shoulder
  • forgets things or takes a long time getting them
  • not doing what is asked
  • abrupt and curt “I’m tired”
  • treats others warmly but cold to target person (me)
  • avoids eye contact
  • avoids close proximity and abruptly leaves
  • acts angry at times but blames it on something else “I gotta go”
  • withholding information or lying
  • is always the victim (subtle)

Weird thing is, this person is the closest “friend” I have in the work place. The bad thing is, this is not a friend in a truest sense. I’d much rather respect the person I don’t like at work because at least they are upfront with me and it’s just mutual avoidance but on a professional level. With this relationship, I never know where I stand. One day a friend, the next day a hated enemy…and I have no idea why!

It took me over a year to figure out why and here I am, a year later, on a full-moon night, figuring this shit out! At first I thought it was Bipolar disorder. Then I thought it was his recreational drug use (which he has professed to me). Then I was lead to believe it was problems between him and his girlfriend (now his fiance) as it was a rocky start. Then I attributed it to moodiness (which it is not, because if it was true moodiness, he’d treat everyone equally with indifference).

Now that I have a name to the face of this behavior, I’ve decided I have a weapon/tool in my arsenal to protect myself, my emotional well-being and my physical space. It’s odd to me that as long as I’ve lived, and the 25+ years I’ve had dealing with people on a professional level, that only now I’m figuring this out. Why did it take so long?  The refreshing news is that, no, it’s not me…well, maybe a part of it, because obviously I’ve done something wrong to piss him off, but whatever the perceived insult, it’s totally blown out of proportion and I have to remember these mantras:

  • it’s mainly him
  • it is not healthy
  • he needs help, but not mine
  • he may not ever change
  • this will probably happen again (as it has in the past)
  • he has a problem, don’t second-guess yourself
  • do not trust him

I treat him kindly, I treat him to food and lunch, I am totally open and friendly to him. I don’t give him any advice that he doesn’t ask for and I’m not opinionated on any subject. I thank him daily for the work he’s done…so…??

Exit plans include the following:

  • keep professional distance
  • stay friendly without going past office-level
  • treat others as you want to be treated, but again, with a healthy distance
  • don’t open yourself up to sob stories; don’t ask for specifics
  • don’t get ingrained in his personal life, even if he offers details
  • remember he’s still a great guy but probably unaware of his hidden communication pattern, which is PA.
  • keep your healthy-shield up!

Even if I’ve “wasted” hours and hours delving into this problem, I’ve got to congratulate myself on being productive tonight. The thing that could not be pin-pointed has finally come to head. Now I know what I am dealing with and I’m armed. I need to protect my emotional health as well as my well-being. My job deals with sick people and it’s already stressful enough; I don’t need anymore drama in my life.

Moody People

2-10-17

OK here is my problem, or rather, here’s his problem, which I make my problem…which I shouldn’t make my problem but I do. Here’s the situation: I work with a rather young man in our office that confides in me, a much older woman, about a lot of his life’s challenges, his upcoming wedding, his fears, his happy moments, stuff he’s done that he has never told anyone, what he did this past weekend or what he’s planning to do for the wedding…so far so good. I usually get a smile and a nod of acknowledgement across the room, a sincere “how was your weekend?” and sometimes we sneak off to lunch together just so we can be away from the rest of the office.

It’s all fine and dandy for a few days, maybe a few weeks….then BAM! A complete 360. Suddenly there’s no eye contact, no smile. I ask him how’s he feeling and he says “I’m tired” and no further explanation. His body language is closed. His face looks bored when he talks. He exits the room as soon as I get in and cannot stand to be near me. All along I am thinking, what did I do? I am taking it personally. Wouldn’t you?

As most modern people do nowadays, we go to Google for advice. Long gone are the days of the Fortune-telling 8 Ball that you turned upside down to get advice. So I type in the following words:

HOW TO DEAL WITH MOODY PEOPLE or PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE PEOPLE

and get a bunch of good advice. Most of the information out there makes me feel good. It says, don’t take it personally, it’s probably not you, it’s them…but I mean, how can you NOT? Can any human not take this personally? How can you go from being warm and friendly to icy and indifferent and not wonder if you did or said something wrong?

The funny thing is, he’s done this in the past about 3 other times, but given enough time, he usually comes around to his normal self and sometimes even knows he’s being stand-offish and will apologize, or blame his rocky relationship with his then-girlfriend, now-fiance as the source of his withdrawal, and at other times, won’t even give an explanation.

I’m usually one of those ripple-type people: throw a rock into the water and it will just accommodate the rock and ripple softly until it’s flat and smooth on top. I don’t like to dig deep into people if they are not willing to share; I just go with the flow. I know he’ll come along but at the same time I’m very annoyed that he treats people he’s close to with this amount of indifference and sometimes, intentionally mean. It would be one thing for someone to like or dislike someone or keep a professional distance but it’s mixed messages all along when he calls me his good, true friend he can confide in and that I’m a rare gem among rocks. He says he doesn’t trust anyone at work except me. Then proceeds to totally ignore me, or worse, talk to others sincerely and interact with them warmly and does the total opposite to my face.

I thought maybe he’s has a bipolar disorder but doesn’t seem to show the traits of someone with bipolar disorder (I have a best friend with this issue and I’ve seen both her manic and depressed side). I truly believe this is a pattern of being passive-aggressive. He once said to our group “I wish sometimes people would ask me if something is wrong” but when you ask him if he’s ok, it’s always “I’m tired” or “fine”.  Say one thing, do another. So weird I don’t understand it.

I am not sure I know how to protect myself from this person’s negative energy. I know I should just ignore it and trust me, I do. I carry on with him as if nothing has changed. I still greet him warmly each day. I ask him how his weekend went (“I’m tired”), I still try to engage in small chat knowing I’ll just meet with a flat affect with a monotone voice reporting one sentence replies. Sometimes I try to joke and tell him he needs more sleep so he doesn’t turn into a zombie, but I’m secretly off-put inside.

It drives me insane. This is what I want to say to him.

“I really like you but your up and down moods are wearing on me”

“You are purposefully nice to everyone around me yet treat me differently when you are in one of your moods – what kind of game are you playing?”

“It’s OK to be upset at something or some situation, but it’s not OK to treat your friends like crap”

“I will not let your passive aggressiveness ruin my day.”

“Please leave your bitchy moods at home and don’t bring it to work”

“Why don’t you come clean and tell me if I’ve done anything to make you mad?”

Me asking him if I’ve done anything wrong makes me look like I’m taking it very personally, which I am. I don’t want him to think I am, because I could be wrong and it may just as well be girlfriend problems, which he has had a lot of prior to asking her to marry him, but why the cold shoulder? It really must be me, and he wants me to know it in no uncertain terms by his treatment of me. But here’s the catch. I AM NOT SURE WHAT I DID WRONG!

Once a friend, you can’t really “unfriend” in real life. I suppose I could make my distance larger by being more aloof and perhaps keeping a buffer of professionalism between us to prevent any more closeness between us. I really, really like the guy and when he’s a good friend, he’s as loyal and thoughtful and amazing as can be, but the payback is a total bitch, and in my opinion, not worth keeping up the friendship.

I have had experiences with a fair number of passive aggressive women, but hardly ever men. It’s a weird feeling.

Has anyone experienced this kind of behavior before? What did you do about it?

11.5.14 Methylprenisolone made me clean like a mad woman…and I lost weight!

It was a few days before Halloween and I came down with what seemed to be a benign rash on my right arm. The rash spread and progressed to the point of concern as it now covered my right arm, spread to my left arm, across my left pectoralis, scattered some rash across my breasts and left bumpy pimples all over my back. The itching was insane but more concerning to me was the fact that the rash was spreading. Not good. No amount of Benadryl helped, so I went to see a doctor.

He asked me what I was allergic to and I could only think of one product that was new: Bepreve prescription eye drops from Bausche and Lomb, which worked wonders for my allergic itchy eyes but did a bad number on my skin, which makes me mad because I had to pay a co-pay of $30 for a teeny tiny vial and now I am stricken with horrible rashes, scratch marks and healing scabs on my arm. Gross.

The doctor prescribed Methylprenisolone for my severe skin allergic reaction. My first thought was, “oh crap, I am going to gain weight” as I have with prednisone before. I normally end up gaining about 5 – 6 lbs on steroids but not so this time!

I waited a day after Halloween to start the medication as I was having a party and drinking wine. You are not supposed to drink on Methylprednisolone.  The doseage pack was a six-day regiment of 4 mg each. The first day you take 6 pills, the second day 5 pills, the third day 4 pills, and so on.

The very next day after taking my medication, I went on an insane cleaning rampage that startled even myself. From the minute I woke up, I started cleaning. This is what I cleaned  on November 2 (skip and scroll down to next paragraph if you don’t want to read the insanity):

– cooked breakfast for family, washed the dishes.

– cleaned both ceiling fans in master bedroom and kid’s room; which involved climbing onto a small ladder, dusting and wiping then vacuuming both room floors TWICE due to the dust.

– cleaned out kid’s room: sorted all toys, threw out old stuff, vacuumed the entire room after having husband move the bed, cleaned out closet, dusted entire room including all floorboard moldings, washed all sheets and comforter, took out night table and dusted it and dried it in the sun.

– cleaned master bedroom: the entire bed room. Vacuumed, dusted, washed all sheets.

– did loads of laundry and sorted out all odd socks, even going as far as putting them on my son’s feet to make sure they still fit.

– dusted all the floorboard mouldings in the house

– took down a bunch of Halloween decorations, including plastic table-cloths taped to the ceilings in the garage, folded them all neatly and placed them back in their original packaging to recycle for next year…now that was hard to do!

– dumped out all the coolers, cleaned them and placed them in the sun and moved all the drinks to the fridge

– spoke to the neighbor, gave them left over Halloween yummies.

– cleared off two Halloween tables of decorations/dishes/candles and cleaned both tables; folded them and had husband load them into the car.

– drove to two different CVS pharmacy locations and purchased a ton of cheap discounted Halloween and Fall stuff; stopped by Safeway and got a loaf of bread for dinner to make garlic bread.

– drove to one of our friend’s house and dropped off coolers.

– drove to neighbor’s house to return two folding tables used for Halloween night.

– came home and cleaned under the fridge – vacuumed all the dust and wiped off the grille.

– cooked a full dinner; linguine with marinara and garlic bread

– prepped my uniform and my lunch for the next day (this is normal and usual routine)

– dyed my hair before bathing and going to bed

And probably did a lot more that day, but I was a non-stop cleaning machine. I didn’t even need to eat. I was a single-minded, working organism with one goal – CLEAN HOUSE and organize. I was sweating and hot but it didn’t stop me. I was the raging house-bull of cleaning madness and time was my Matador. Charge on ahead, head to the ground and clean clean clean do do do.

I felt like I was on some kind of ultra-productive euphoria drug for the next few days. Some nights it was hard to sleep due to the fact that on one of the nights I woke up damp with sweat (a side effect) and to use the bathroom multiple times. I’d have so much energy it was hard to sleep, so for the first few days, I’d only get four hours of sleep or less, due to the multiple times I’d get up to use the toilet or toss and turn. Some nights I’d still wake up scratching at my rash, so I’d have to apply lotion in the middle of the night.

Another curious (but good) side effect that I noticed was the chronic mild swelling along one of my face near my ear was now gone. It was flat. My ears felt clear despite the fact that I blew my nose too hard during the earlier part of the week and I could feel my ears back up – which usually ends up in an sinus/ear infection.

I weigh myself daily, which is an obsessive habit, but its helped me maintain an almost-steady weight since ten years ago. Because I weigh myself daily I know for a fact that my 4 lb weight loss in less than a week is probably due to the Methylprednisolone. I now weigh 135 lbs and feel really great. It’s odd that I was dreading taking this medication because I thought I’d feel sluggish and gain weight.

I am now tapering down and down to two pills today; tomorrow it will be one pill. I am already “coming down” and “crashing” although the crash is not so dramatic as say, a car crashing and burning into a wall but rather imagine sinking back into your normal routine of being tired, feeling lazy and not wanting to move or lift a finger…and this feeling is “normal” for me.

To have such a crazy, temporary high was amazing; not to mention the weight loss and feeling like I was on top of the world. My mind was even clear at work and I was able to cut through the sloggy work-day with razor-sharp precision. Ultra-efficient and running like a sleek sexy sports car with a warm purring engine; now it’s back to a Caboose train filled with coal-tar logs all matted up together and stuck in oozy black stickiness.

The rash has cleared up remarkably well but I still have tell-tale red bumps, scratches and a few patchy areas of rough skin but there is no more itching. I am hoping I won’t gain my weight back. I kept joking that the word “meth” is in “methylprednisolone” and although I know meth is no laughing matter and I have no clue what meth feels like, I do know that for a few glorious, manic days, I felt absolutely fabulous.

6-29-14 Pineapple cores and what to do with them

What do you do with those pesky pineapple cores? Well how about infuse them with vodka? Of course you are going to have to throw the cores away sooner or later…have you ever tried to eat a pineapple core? It’s like a stringy mess. I decided to put them in my glass food containers having no jars to speak of…and here they are! They will soak a few days until the weekend hits and then…yay pineapple vodka! I could soak the real yummy fruity edible bits but that would make the vodka hazy, not to mention we will eat all the fruit  by smothering them with Li Hing Mui (a local salty plum powder).      

 

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I thought, hey, why not add some fancy ingredients to the pineapple vodka…like Kaffir Lime? We have a tree growing in our backyard…behold:

 

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A bunch of pretty Kaffir Limes. There’s actually a bunch more and more flowering. I didn’t know they could get so pendulous with a buncha fruit. When we bought the tree at Lowe’s, it said “Dwaft Kaffir Lime”….don’t think so! This puppy is getting really big and tall.

Here’s a pic of more flowers and tiny fruit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kaffir Lime can be over powering so for now, I’ll keep the pineapple cores lightly infusing in the vodka and use it this weekend only for an accent. If I want to get heavy-handed I may add Kaffir Lime rind or leaves to the vodka. 

I’m thinking of some simple syrups to make this month:

– rosemary

– kaffir limes

– lemon grass

– hot chilis

A hot chili simple syrup with pineapple vodka and Margarita mix and Li Hing Mui rimmed glass sounds fab right about now! 

6-26-14 Tiptoe Through The Graveyard

I am a photo volunteer on Findagrave.com. What this means is, someone will request a picture of their beloved online and I’ll go to the grave yard and try to find the tomb stone. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes its a wee bit impossible. Sometimes it’s not even there. I went yesterday and day before, two days in a row as I had the luxury of taking extra time after work to swing by a local grave yard…or a nicer way to say it: “memorial park”

Most memorial parks are bigger, well-maintained, nicer and have yard services/funerals/flowers everywhere and actual human workers. Most old grave yards have none of the above.

I managed to find several graves but one eluded me, for two days in a row. I walked back and forth, back and forth over all the family names and couldn’t find it, but I did manage to see this strange item lying on the grass, and it was there two days in a row:

 

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Weird huh?

Maybe the person was a chef of some kind. I didn’t know if I should have called the memorial park to tell them there’s a meat cleaver lying in the grass that may spell the end of someone living who was visiting the dead.

Here’s another curious sight:

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So my question is, how many Unidentified Males are buried here in this memorial park? 576? Or is that 576 total state-wide?

Another interesting side story: last year I was taking a few more photo requests and saw a really quaint tombstone of two winged angels sitting in the grass. I read the name of the parents on the baby’s grave and was stunned to learn that it was the baby of one of my former mountain-biking friends, who I have not seen in over yen years. It was sad because when I was riding with him, his girlfriend at the time (now wife) was expecting their first child, not sure if that was the grave of said child.

My high school classmate is also buried here; that was over twenty years ago and I don’t remember where she’s buried (I drove by it a long time ago). I didn’t attend her funeral but I did see her in the hospital before she passed away. I gave her a little bottle filled with floating star glitter, colored water and beads and called it a “wishing bottle” for hope. Her husband told me later they buried her with the bottle I gave her. It was ironic that in high school she used to terrorize me in the bathroom taunting and teasing me but forgot all about it until I saw her in the hospital; I wasn’t there specifically to see her, I happened to be working in the hospital at the time and remembered her, stopped in a few times and chatted with her and gave her a tiny glass bottle filled with sparkly little wishes.

My neighbor’s father and my friend’s father are buried here. I attended their funerals both in the same year. It was the year that seven of my friends and co-workers lost their fathers; all ages, older and younger. It was a strange year for fathers. No one’s mother’s passed away, only the dads.

 

 

6-23-14 The Cardinal Flew Into Our House

Years later, here I am, still writing about the Red Headed Cardinal!

Welll…yesterday, which was a Sunday, the red headed Cardinal was not only satisfied by chirping outside on the wall after I fed him my parrot’s leftover fruit pellets but he ACTUALLY FLEW INTO THE HOUSE by way of the garage door, which was only cracked open about two to three inches – and get this, the garage is on the opposite side of the house…now how the hell did he know to come into the house, then walk all the way over to my parrot’s cage and try to steal some food? 

 

My son screamed bloody murder (he’s ten) when he saw this strange bird in our home. I promptly swooped down on it, tried to catch it before it flew into our other bedrooms and it made a mad dash for our kitchen windowsill. The bird, shall I call him “Werd”? flew into the frosted glass window repeatedly, bashing his beak against the glass…dumb bird!! It took about six or seven tries before I grabbed a dish cloth, threw it over the cardinal and ran over to the sliding glass door to let him out. Werd flew out of the dishcloth like a bird bat out of hell, into the sunset.

 

But come to think of it, Werd is not very dumb. He’s smart. Think about it. How many birds do this:

1. call for you daily with the same song

2. swoop down in the yard when I am gardening when he sees me

3. motions that he is hungry (i.e. last year he threw down the fake worm, read about it….)

4. comes INTO the garage, figuring out that part of the house is the same one attached to where the human is (me), who feeds him occasionally

5. Walks over to the humans (us) and the parrot (his benefactor) and knows where we are in the house??? The house is not large, nor is it small either, it’s a 1800 square foot house…how did Werd know where to walk? Maybe due to the fact that the garage is a straight shot to the main living area and he heard us??

The only stupid thing was bashing head against kitchen window (frosted glass).

Now here it is again, Monday, 6-23-14. Werd came back for more food…singing on the wall and calling for me. I threw him my parrot’s food and he dive bombs the food, eats it, and flies away. Crazy ass bird.