18 June 2013

To judge or not to judge, the pregnant one who smokes.

When you see a pregnant woman smoking, what’s your first thought? Mine was, ‘nahhh, it can’t be.’ This was followed by opening and closing my eyes, in an effort to clear any obstructions. ‘Am I seeing this correctly?’ In essence, I did a double-take. I see this woman quite often, standing in front of my office building, chatting with her colleagues and smoking, and noticed her stomach was quite distended a few weeks ago, yet concluded that she had either gained some weight or had a beer belly. Yes, it was a beer belly, I rationalized. The thought of her being pregnant occurred to me, but the logic portion of my brain reasoned that there was simply no way. 

Today, as I approached the building in the morning, seeing her stomach fully distended, pregnancy-belly in full bloom, I continued walking but was struck by a certain sadness. I thought about the fact that the baby didn’t have a choice. Then I wondered, why? How could she do this? Should I approach her and scold her for doing such a thing to the detriment not only to herself but to her innocent, unborn child? I was faced with a moral quandary. Should I tell her off for harming the health of her baby? I understand it’s not my place, but the urge to do something about the situation surfaced anyway. The reality is, I yet again rationalized, it is not my place to tell another person how to conduct themselves, with or without child. It just saddens me, that’s all. To harm an innocent being, to harm oneself by smoking when pregnant, just makes no sense. Is this judgmental on my part? Maybe, yes. However, I can't help it. My question to other women out there I would then pose is, what is such a woman thinking? How can she? Why does she?

11 June 2013

Quick chocolate fix in the form of hot cocoa.

Tonight I was on a mission to get my hands on chocolate. Initially, my sights were set on a chocolate bar. However, I didn't have the energy to drive out to the store to get one. It dawned on me that I could make my own chocolate bar, but I wasn't in the mood for that either. Then I considered making the same chocolate bites I made last night. However, the fact that they took forever to make, yet yielded such a minimal amount of 'bites,' led me to balk at that idea. Finally, I settled on making hot cocoa. This seemed to meet all of my criteria for a good-quality chocolate treat that would satisfy. For starters, the recipe I used doesn't contain any added sugar (other than honey, which is by contrast natural and healthy) nor does it contain soy lecithin. Factor in the fact also that it is ready in five minutes and doesn't require a trip to the store as the ingredients are almost always on hand, and I’m hooked. Minimalist ingredients, flavorful, and in the form of a drink (ie. more time to savor the delectable chocolate)… need I continue? Here's the recipe for all you chocolate fiends like me who might not be in the mood to get out the bowls, blender, and myriad utensils (and later endure the clean-up of said kitchen supplies) but simply, want chocolate now. We all need our fix. This is my new remedy.

Quick Hot Cocoa Delight:


1 cup water

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp honey

dash salt

dash cinnamon

optional: pinch of cayenne pepper, ground flax meal, sesame seeds


Heat water, add above ingredients, enjoy!

I should also mention this may just make the cut to replace my morning coffee. It's the perfect combination of rich, smooth chocolate with a subtle sweetness.  My best description: coffee in a chocolate suit. For more reasons to indulge in this super tasty and easily-prepared drink, research the health benefits of cocoa and honey. Here's to keepin' it real and all natural up in here, chocolate-style.

09 June 2013

Giving up coffee is hard.

Last night, when I was in my caffeine-induced anger mode, I made a vow to not drink it this morning. However, as expected, my willpower weakened as I wiped the sleepers from my eyes and considered the fact that I deserved some, especially given that I return to work tomorrow after a three-day weekend. Work sucks. Coffee is bittersweet and as I'm enjoying my java, the prospect of returning to work does not seem all that dismal. Not only is the taste so rich and wonderfully soothing, but it wakes you up and motivates you to get going. Then, there's the fact that it has health benefits, such as preventing diabetes and other diseases. How can one say no to this delectable treat with so many positive qualities? 

The reason I wish to at least wean myself off of this drink is the fact that it increases my anxiety and makes me moody; these side effects are most prominent several hours after drinking it. The most I consume is 16 oz. per day. This is after a few years hiatus of drinking coffee, if not for the rare occasion. It was only a month or so ago that I reasoned I wanted some, and there was no stopping me after that first long-overdue sip. It is now that it is becoming clear as to why I gave up drinking consistently several years ago. It must be that I am super sensitive to caffeine. Hopefully, one day I will develop a tolerance for it so I can enjoy my beloved cup of cafe (accent on the e). Until then, I will try to wean myself off of it, until I get back to only having it from time to time, rather than depending on it.

08 June 2013

Fragrance be damned.

Fragrance is something that affects me in a very big and very bad way. Headaches, heart fluttering, asthma, coughing, the whole works, are caused by the myriad chemicals that compose this pesky ingredient. I, along with numerous others, suffer from a combination of these symptoms when exposed to any sort of fragrance. If I could send the world a message, it would be to avoid it at all costs, as by using it, you are doing a disservice to your health as well as those around you, including your pets. The book, Get a Whiff of This, Perfumes (fragrances), the Invisible Chemical Poisons, will open your eyes to the evils of fragrance and I highly recommend reading it so as to enlighten yourself in regards to the dangers of using any product with the listed ingredient 'fragrance,' 'perfume,' or any other derivative of the word. These products are carcinogenic. Choose fragrance-free.

Good quote.

I found this quote recently while perusing the internet and it very much applies to my life right now so I'd thought I'd share for others who might find comfort in it:
Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you.

- Will Smith
True dat, Will. True dat.

06 June 2013

Coworkers who will not take a hint

You know that one coworker in particular who truly gets under your skin, the one who makes you so angry you can barely stand being in their presence? Let's start with the fact that this guy types loudly and annoyingly. It's as though he's slamming his fingers into the keyboard with each stroke.

Then factor in the fact that he sits within mere inches of you, literally, right behind the thin cube wall you're facing. He's facing you. It's creepy. It feels like he's breathing down your neck. You can even smell his foul breath wafting over the cube wall some mornings. It's your personal space you feel is being violated, just listening to him smacking keys and screaming on the phone. Another coworker mentioned once, 'he doesn't know what an inside voice is.' I told her, 'I know, I have to re-read whatever I'm reading 10 times because of the noise interference.' The sad part is, even when he talks low, it is an annoying low decibel, a forced low level. Like a pubescent boy, his voice cracks.

This is not even the worst of it. His mega eavesdropping tendency takes the cake. Yesterday, I was on the phone and saw an indication that a gmail chat had been initiated. It was no one other than prepubescent boy of course. He told me what to tell the person with whom I was talking. Okay, let's gear up for this. Upon starting the phone call, I hear sticky-fingers really tune into what I'm saying. The typing gets softer. Call it my sixth sense but I know he is leaning toward the cube wall, listening to my every word. I wait for it. As expected, he cannot resist his urge. The gmail chat box arrives. It only takes reading the brief message to send me even further over the edge I am hardly clinging to, moments prior. 'Tell her to contact company X and tell them to do Y,' it reads. Mind you, I have been working in my field for over five years. This loser has only been working in the field for a mere year or two, yet thinks he is doing me a favor by giving me advice. By the way, how are you giving someone advice when you are only hearing one person's end of the conversation? Furthermore, why are you listening to the conversation? Don't you have work to do, something to occupy your mind? Mind your own business and leave me the hell alone, I want to shout.

Starting to type a response, yet deleting it after deciding I will not entertain his unsolicited input, I continue chatting with the woman on the other end, trying my best to maintain my composure when all I want to do is run over to his cube and bitch-slap his ass. My mind is now hovering above the conversation and is full of myriad ideas on how to sock it to this ignoramus. After some back and forth, the phone call comes to a close. The aggression within me is brewing to an intolerable level. Imagine a pot full of spaghetti boiling, the water now foaming on high and about to overflow. It's too late, the volcano has erupted. As soon as I hang up, he starts talking to me about the conversation. I then respond in kind that I could not advise the caller as he had recommended as it's not my position to do so. Very diplomatically, I tell him what he said to do was not appropriate. He then agreed that I could not have said what he had told me to but tried to make an excuse for his instant message which had indicated otherwise.

He asked what the rest of the conversation was about and I summarized it in about five seconds, suppressing my anger. I think I came across as nice, not the intended effect. This kid never stops. Maybe I did not respond in a harsh manner and tell him outright that I am sick and tired of his eavesdropping, but the fact that I don't engage in lengthy banter with him should signal that I'm not interested in interacting with him, period. Earlier that day, I was on the phone with a woman assisting her with some concerns on a file I am handling and he once again seized the opportunity to engage in a conversation with me. He stated 'That sounded fun,' as soon as the call ended. I briefly summarized that conversation. Even though my answers are always brief and it's so obvious that I do not like him nor do I have any desire to communicate with him, he doesn't get the hint.

Today, he comes up behind me. I am facing my computer. Without saying my name, he just starts rambling on about he hates how certain callers pronounce a word a certain way. I continue my typing and looking at the screen until I feel bad and finally turn around, and say, 'Really, oh,' trying my best to convey yet again I cannot stand this kid, holding back my true feelings. What is it with people who approach your desk and start talking to you with your back facing them? Is it not common courtesy to first state the person's name and once you have their attention (ie. they have swiveled in their chair, are now facing you, and are in effect acknowledging that they are open and ready for conversation) before continuing on with your piece? Take for instance, this coworker who is very experienced and with whom I occasionally consult for advice. Anytime I approach his desk, I first say, 'Hey Ben...' and once he's looking at me, I proceed. It is an imposition to ramble without those initial prompts that demonstrate respect for the other person rather that demanding attention. My boss has this same bad habit as 'annoying coworker.' He'll stand behind me and start mumbling without warning, and I'm like, 'Um, hello,' do you mind telling me you're there before you start spouting at the mouth?

It reminds me of freshman year in college when these two girls who were friends with my roommate would knock once, barely, and proceed to jostle the doorknob, forcing their way through the door. My roommate was hardly there when they would do this. She'd either be in class or home for the weekend. Never would these girls knock and stand there like normal people, waiting for the door to be opened by the occupant inside. They would literally knock and then open, almost simultaneously. It was so unnerving to have these two people barge into my room, laughing like Frick and Frack who had just done something so mischievously prideful. If you want to piss me off, charge into my personal space one too many times. After it kept happening, I caught on to their little ploy and as soon as I would hear their voices or any small sign that gave away their presence at the door and the impending idiocy of unwanted intruders, I would run over, lock it, run back to my desk, plop myself in my chair, and revel with great joy at their futile attempt to charge through the door. It was actually quite hilarious. 'Nope, sorry,' I would think, laughing as they would try to enter without permission, only to be greeted with the bang of the locked door.

Getting back to this annoying coworker, another reason we do not mesh well is the fact that he loves to talk and it's not just that, but his conversations always center on work. What happened to people who like to shoot the breeze and chat about other things rather than work work work. One time, at a company luncheon, this kid was seated across from me (as luck would have it), and the entire time, he gabbed about work. Not one utterance of his did not pertain to work. There is also the fact that he talks fast and he is very awkward and uncomfortable, in that he will sometimes start talking to me and then I'll respond and the conversation will drop off, no response received from him even though he is the one who initiated it. For instance, he asked me yesterday, 'Did you hear what I said?' 'No,' I responded. 'What did you say?' No response. It's bizarre and frustrating to placate someone's desire to talk and then receive no response to a simple inquiry which was merely uttered in consideration for that person. Don't worry, two can play this game. I've been nice far too long and it's no longer about that. It's about respect. I have enough respect for myself not to let this guy intrude upon my space and time, and private phone calls. From now on, I plan on responding as I see fit and I will speak my mind.