Mother’s Day

What the kids greeted me with when I got home on Mother’s Day.

What I went out and bought myself for Mother’s Day.


After comparison shopping between Lowe’s and Walmart, I bought the better model at Lowe’s since it had a Honda engine. My previous Craftsman POS mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine from Sears won’t start again this year (it must be year 10 for this!). An online friend had recommended buying one with a Honda engine, so we’ll see how this one works out.

I already effed up a bracket that secures the mower blade. As darkness was falling quickly on Sunday evening, Dumdum (me) didn’t tighten that bolt prior to my attempt to use it.

I used a vacation day today to celebrate Lineman’s birthday. I ended up rethinking my original plan for his birthday so I spent the morning reviewing the mower manual, tightening the blade, and basically enjoying a weekday day off. Since I chipped out some of the bracket, I ordered a replacement piece. At least I was able to get my small back yard mowed until the mower started making odd noises again. I’ll replace the bracket when it arrives and attempt the front yard again.

One of these days I’ll learn that my lack of patience ends up costing me more in the end!

Shit Week and Hard Decisions!

What is it about the month of March?

If you follow me on twitter, you may know that I had some car issues on Tuesday. (Allow me to mention here that the car passed inspection on the prior Friday the 13th!) On my way to work Tuesday morning, as I stepped on the gas to accelerate up a hill, my transmission slipped into neutral. My first thought (after OH SHIT!) was what the hell was that and why did it happen? The car sat in my parking lot and I had hoped that it would settle/improve for the ride home.

No such luck!

The ride home Tuesday night was more of the same. The car slipped into neutral numerous times on the way home. So many times that I actually called the ex-husband to ask him to show me where my transmission fluid was so I could check it. I stopped at his place of work, we checked the fluid (it was fine), and I continued my commute home. The car slipped out of gear two more times on the short drive home.

On Wednesday, I drove to the park n ride to take the trolley to work. I called my normal garage as soon as I got there and explained the problem. They told me I could bring the car by on Thursday. I was able to leave work early on Wednesday to get the car to the garage. The car slipped out of gear so many times that I ended up driving most of the way in first gear!

I get the “bad news call” from my garage at 3 PM on Thursday. They tell my that my transmission is bad. My options are either to get a rebuilt transmission for $3,000 that would come with a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty OR go with a used transmission that would come with a 30 day guarantee. Dilemma #1!

I place a call to another garage who specializes in transmissions. The owner talks me into a second opinion. My plan is to have my car towed there for them to evaluate.

Moving on to Friday. I go into work early because I want to leave early. I meet the tow truck driver and watch my baby get loaded onto a flatbed. This sounds weird, but it made me really sad to see my car loaded on the flatbed!

My poor baby!

Moving on to today, Saturday. I have appointments at two car dealerships. I’m interested in a Toyota RAV4 and a Hyuandi Elantra. While I am at the Toyota dealership, the transmission garage calls to say that he thinks I need a new solenoid and the work would be $450. Dilemma #2! What to do, what to do? I tell him to go ahead with the work, hoping that it will allow me to physically drive the car to a dealership for evaluation to trade it in.

I test drove both the RAV4 and the Elantra. Each has options that I really like. The monthly price difference is around $100 (with the RAV4 being more expensive). Toyota would give me a decent trade in sight unseen. Hyuandi wants to evaluate the vehicle.

Transmission garage says work should be done on Monday. I’m hoping to pick up my car after work and drive it to both dealerships to see what the trade in offers will be. I’m hoping for the trade to be enough of a down payment but I’m prepared to throw some cash as well if I need to. I have a payment figure in my head that I would be comfortable with. I’d love to drive an SUV again, but the car is roomy, has more features, gets great gas mileage, and isn’t as expensive. Dilemma #3!

Smart me thinks I should be careful and go with the lower payment and get the car. Impulsive me wants to go with the SUV. And they’re both so pretty!

Should I flip a coin? Draw straws? Throw pictures in a hat? It’s been ages since I’ve had to make such a large financial decision. I need some level-headed opinions to talk me through this!

They’re both SO pretty!

2015 RAV4 2015_hyundai_elantra_gls_black_noir_in_edmond_oklahoma_100917419923268182

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Blogging 101– Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

Apologies to anyone who already reads my blog (there’s maybe three of you, [laugh]), but I signed up to participating in Blogging 101. While I’ve had my blog for a few years now, I haven’t given it much attention nor have I posted on a regular basis. Now that writing is a large part of my new work position, I wanted to stretch my comfort zone and gain some practice as well as ideas. So if you’re still reading, buckle up and enjoy the read while I try to complete our assigned projects!

Assignment #1 is to introduce yourself. If you’ve explored my blog at all, you know that I do already have an “About Me” page. This re-post is to complete the first assignment.

Who am I?

I am The Bitch Desk, like the Help Desk, only bitchier!  I am the happily divorced mom of Vampire Boy and Social Diva.  Separated in 2001 and divorce finalized in 2006, I’ve had many experiences (both good and bad) over the years.  Thanks to the Social Diva who makes friends with everyone, I have enjoyed becoming more social as I get older.

Why “The Bitch Desk?”

As you know, many companies have an IT “Help Desk.” As I had been with my prior department for almost 30 years (yikes, I’m getting old!), my telephone constantly rang with co-workers calling with questions. After a particularly busy day of a ringing phone and answering questions, I hung up the phone saying “Thank you for calling The Bitch Desk” and a twitter handle was born. I’ve recently transferred departments so I’ve lost my “Help Desk-like” persona at work. I’m now that gal who has to ask all the questions!

Why A Blog?

I decided to create a blog mostly to get thoughts out of my head or to share funny stories about what the kids have done/are doing. I balance between sharing thoughts here on my blog and in a private journal that I started last year. Sadly, I haven’t been successful with keeping either outlet up to date.

Why participate in Blogging 101? To learn more about WordPress, what people like to read, and sometimes just to get my thoughts written down.  Also, one of my resolutions for 2015 is to also write privately, so I will also be journaling thoughts I don’t wish to share in a public forum.

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

2014: The Year in Review

Holy crap, we’re through another year! I can’t believe we’re starting 2015 already. I couldn’t decide whether to post something here publically (well, with a password) or whether I should just write privately in the journal I attempted (key word “attempted”) to start last year. I figure I’ll post some thoughts here and document the “less suitable for public” ones elsewhere.

When I sit down to think about it, 2014 was a roller coaster year of ups and downs.

Highs from the year: 

I had a great vacation on The Rock Boat. FM and I were not dating at the time of this trip but we were cabin mates. He stupidly twisted his ankle two weeks prior to the trip, so we ended up spending a good bit of time together attending shows. Post-Boat, we discussed the challenges of our relationship and chose to give it another chance. By summer, however, things had severely fallen apart and I finally ended it in August.

I GOT A NEW JOB! While it’s been an adjustment to be the “new girl,” I’ve adjusted into my new role in my new department. (I do still absolutely hate working until 5 PM though!)

Vampire Boy finished his freshman year at college. He didn’t do as well as his parents had hoped, but at least he wasn’t thrown out of school.

Social Diva went to Colorado for two weeks in June to visit her friend who used to live here. Social Diva had not been on a plane, yet alone travelled alone, but her dad and I sprung for direct flights for her to do both this year! The girls had so much fun visiting that they’re already planning for a longer visit next summer.

Road trips to see my favorite bands! Melodime at Jammin’ Java over Easter weekend, four Red Wanting Blue shows (one each in Ohio, Pittsburgh, DC, and Cleveland), and ending the year at a New Year’s show at Jammin’ Java by Melodime, Steve Everett, and Paul Pfaw. So many TRB peeps traveled to Virginia for this! I was also able to make a number of shows by my favorite bands here in Pittsburgh.

A “Happy Birthday” phone call from a former boyfriend (which happens every year) was followed up two weeks later by a “I’m going through some things, can you meet and talk with me over dinner?” We had remained friends over the years, but the more we talked though his situation, the more I wanted to talk with him.

Another great OBX vacation with friends! (Even with the relationship drama.)

Conference in Chicago and Social Diva went with me. She enjoyed wandering and exploring Chicago (both with me and on her own).

Lows from the year:

Relationship issues. While I tried my best to leave past transgressions in the past, I continued to have trust issues. Renewed communication with the man from my past ended up throwing my world upside down.

Disintegration of friend circle. Our fun circle of people who made plans to hang out on the weekends has disintegrated as has the social site that introduced us in the first place. In addition, I feel like I’ve lost some friends thanks to the break up. Everyone claims they don’t take sides, but based on conversations and observations, I don’t believe this.

Relationships with dads who are divorcing and have custody quarrels are certainly challenging. I’ve been to this rodeo before and hope that I can maintain my sanity and the relationship! I think my photo may be listed next to “Been there, done that!”

It’s funny how one moment you think you have your day, your week, your month, or your year mapped out, and the next thing you know, everything has changed! My hope is to keep my sanity for whatever challenges 2015 throws my way. Here’s wishing you a longer list of highs and a happy and healthy 2015 filled with new fun and adventures!

Happy New Year!


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As my last post noted, I was offered and accepted a position in another department at the Evil Empire (but I’ll be switching employers). While both my current administrator and one of my physicians took the news well, everyone else I told reacted in almost the same way.

Me: “I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving the department.”

Them: “Why?!”

I explained that I hadn’t been actively looking, but that I learned about the opening via social media.


I tried explaining that I had been offered a great opportunity with excellent benefits.

Again, “why?!”

One very dear co-worker teared up. She peppered me with many questions as she tried to wrap her head around the news. She questioned whether it was time for her retire.


Sure, I thought I had another 20 years in this department and was pretty convinced that I’d retire from here. There really  is nowhere for me to go within the Department. As I observe others moving on to other (and possibly better) opportunities, I have frequently questioned myself. Should I stay where I am because I know what I’m doing? Or should I challenge myself with something new? Sure, it’s nice for others to know that they can always call me with questions or for help on who to call, but do I really want to feel like my job is stagnant? The “reformed” position I was promised a few years back never did become a reality. There are concerning issues looming in the future. Two of my physicians are nearing retirement. While this is a really bad time for me to leave my current position, this really is the best time for me to make a change.

While it was a very difficult decision to leave the comfort and flexibility of my current position, I am nervous and excited for this new opportunity. Only one more week before I start!



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