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February 16, 2011

Chaos reigns

...mostly because I'm back at work and SchondyTot is now in daycare 3 days a week. I didn't get to do last week's photo challenge (Upsidedown) because I just couldn't get it all moving in the right direction. And this week's photo challenge is to do something "out and about". We'll see if I can figure something out there, too. Since I'm at work until 5 or 5:30, it's awfully tough to get out during the evenings and the challenge runs from Sunday to Saturday night. Maybe I can do a late entry Saturday morning, but that's pretty much my only option. <Sigh> Never enough time.

For Valentine's Day, the wonderful Schondy gave me a gift certificate to one of the few specialty shops that combines my current two crafty obsessions - knitting and quilting - The Bobbin's Nest, AND he gave me a beautiful caffeine necklace from moecularmuse. Does he know me well or what!?

SchondyTot's growing so fast. Here he is in the Exersaucer, shocked to discover that there's a cow there!



And here he is with Grandmama (and Granddaddy in the background) when we traveled home to visit a couple weeks ago.



September 6, 2010

Blog Entry Titles are Hard.

I feel so awful that I missed last week. I swore to myself that I was going to get the pictures up and that I wouldn't miss a deadline. But, well, here we are. If you've been watching the news, you know what happened. Can't say it won't happen again. I wish I could say there has been lots of fun progress on the baby planning, but there really hasn't been time for it.

We've started taking a childbirth class. It's quite a thing. I do think we'll be better prepared for having done it, but it's definitely adding to the general chaos around here. We're now on the every-two-week plan for check-ups. Everything seems to be going great, though the temperature outside is making for some really uncomfortable days. At least it isn't like that every day... at least not yet.

There are various polls and pools going on for people to say whether they think the baby is a boy or a girl. So far in my work poll, there is a clear winner, though I'm not going to say which it is. I've been getting a fair amount of hand-me-down clothes, which is wonderful, but I'm working hard to keep it to as much gender-neutral stuff as possible. I was hoping to get a bit more sewing and embroidery done for some cute baby clothes, but <see first paragraph>. I've settled for knitting a couple toys and calling it a day since I can carry my knitting around with me and work on it in odd moments.


29w1d

30w2d

31w2d

32w1d

And I thought I'd show you what's really going on in the pictures I've been posting - lest you think Lulu is obsessed with her ball only when you're here, this is what she's doing the entire time I'm posing for my picture. She's been there in pretty much all of them, patiently waiting for me to pay attention to her and throw the ball. She has a seriously one-track mind. And we're pretty sure Miles has no idea what's going on.


Behind the scenes

March 12, 2010

OHAI!

Well, internet, it's been a while. But you see, the Peanut Gallery has a project under way - a pièce de résistance, if you will - that will definitely be worth a little silence on the blog front. I can't talk about it more, but will post some pictures of my work-in-progress when they're ready.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a little something I whipped up while taking a class at Stitches West. The class was Bohus Stickning, taught by Susanna Hansson, where we made wristlets in that style.

I can't say I knew anything about the style or about the movement or anything before the class, and I definitely found all that interesting. I can't say I found the style to be any more visually stunning or spectacular than a lot of other styles of knitting, though I know there were people in the class who would disagree with me on that vehemently. I took the class because I thought it might be fun to learn a different style than what I typically gravitate towards, and in that I was greatly pleased with the class. I can't say I'm any more enamored with it now than I was before, but the results certainly were pretty and I was very proud of my own effort.


I got off to a very slow start, so in the first 3 hours, I only finished the first little bit of the cuff, but I found that once I got started on the color work, it went very smoothly. I've never done stranded work like this before and I found that I actually didn't mind working 3 different colors at once. The yarn is pretty "grabby" because of the angora, but so long as I was paying attention it wasn't a big deal.

At the end of class, everyone brought up their projects for a group shot, so we could see them all together. It was amazing to see the differences in gauge and size and to see that, despite my very slow start, I ended up being one of the farthest along in the entire class (hooray!!). Mine at the top of the picture, just to the right of the middle.


I've since finished the entire first cuff and my plan is to finish a second one and then attach them to a pair of white wool mittens. I can't say I'll have much use for such a fancy pair of mittens and I'll probably be afraid to wear them, but it's going to be awfully nice to work on and finish something so pretty.

And also, hi!

April 28, 2009

This is just to say...

Normally, I work very hard to keep certain topics out of my blog. Religion, politics, money and any other traditional powder-keg topic are strictly verboten for a whole host of reasons, but mostly because I'd just really prefer to keep my opinion on such things out of the Internet Archive. But just this once, an article has caused me to want to break my rule a little bit. Call me crazy, but I'm interested in some reactions from other people.

Now, this article (Say Yes. What Are You Waiting For?) was interesting to me on several levels.

Go read it. All of it.
I'll wait...

You back? Good.

Full disclosure: I've been married to my college sweetheart for almost 8 years. We married when I was 22 and he was 23 (if you do the math, you now know how old we are, which gives you some context as to why I find this article interesting, I think). We didn't have a lot of money when we first got married, but we both have college degrees in good fields and are hard workers. We now both work highly-skilled technical jobs and are senior members of our respective teams. We own a 3-year-old house in a nice neighborhood in a beautiful "little suburb" of San Francisco. We have no children and can't really make up our minds whether we want to go down that path or not.

So. The article struck several chords with me as I read through it. The feminist part of me was offended at the idea that the rules are somehow different for men than for women. That there is this double-standard, captured perfectly by this statement:

...women's "market value" declines steadily as they age, while men's tends to rise in step with their growing resources (that is, money and maturation)...

That women are valuable only in terms of their ability to pop out babies, and men are valuable only in terms of their ability to pay for said babies.

The intellectual part of me is interested in the deeper implications of the various statistics:

...men and women were separated by an average of more than four years in 1890 and about 2.5 years in 1960. Now that figure stands at less than two years.
Marriages that begin at age 20, 21 or 22 are not nearly so likely to end in divorce as many presume.

and what they all mean in terms of the supposed perfect equal marriage or even in terms of trophy wives (or avoidance thereof). I mean, that part is interesting purely on an anthropologic level. I sense a bit of research on this topic in my future.

The humanist, compassionate part of me is heartbroken by the number of couples I know battling exactly this problem:

...women's fertility is more or less fixed, yet they largely suppress it during their 20s -- their most fertile years -- only to have to beg, pray, borrow and pay to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s

but wonders at the point of view of the writer of that article that would cause him to phrase the sentence exactly that way.

Maybe it's just the part of me that hates to be pigeonholed that doesn't like the sentiments in this article. Maybe it's not the feminist, the intellectual or the humanist parts of me, but the individualist part. Or maybe I just didn't like his tone.

What say you, Internet?

June 27, 2008

No, I'm not hiding anything.

Okay, so a little birdie told me that my lack of blog entries and the lack of pictures has prompted some people to assume that I'm hiding something. I assure you, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

I am busy, people. Seriously, crazily busy. I've been pulling 10-hour work days, only to go home and cozy up with my laptop and a cup of coffee and continue working - sometimes past midnight. Every day, I think about how I should post pictures of myself or put up a quick note about some of the interesting things I've been doing on the weekends. But the truth is, my brain is full.

But in a nutshell, here's what's been going on:
Last weekend, Schondy and I went with Sapphire and Xippi's younger brother to the Warped Tour in San Francisco, where we all (minus mini-Xippi) felt very old and uncool. Happily, we did get to hear some killer new music from Katy Perry and I got to introduce the peeps to Japanese Ska! I was introduced to the happiness that is ORESKABAND while at SXSW last year and loved it.

Last week at work, I was afforded the incredible honor of being voted the "Unsung Hero" of my team. It's a big team - about 600 people, so this was an amazing thing to win. So. Nothing major here, but it sure made my day.

Several weeks ago, Sapphire and I went to see a college production of "Hair", which was... interesting. We sat in the first row, which was WAAAAAY too close for anyone's comfort. If you know anything about the show, you know what I'm talking about. :-)

And I've just been generally crazy in my usual generally-crazy way.

So if you've felt neglected or anything, I apologize. That was not my intent. If you've been suspicious of the lack of pictures, I assure you, there's nothing juicy or scandalous here (unless you count the number of hours Schondy and I each work). If you've been worried about me, thank you, but I'm fine. If you've just wondered what was going on, well, not a lot and a whole lot all at the same time.

And in case you were wondering, last night at class, the official weigh-in revealed I've lost over 40 pounds. :-)

April 19, 2008

I want to express myself. And I DO need 37 pieces of flair to do it.

I've had a whole bunch of different ideas bouncing around in my head for weeks about posts I want to write on my blog. Trouble is that there's this whole work thing, where they expect you to, like, show up in exchange for paying you. I mean, seriously. That's the craziest thing I ever heard! Geez! So all my writing energy has gone into that and I haven't really had much head-space for writing other stuff. I apologize if this entry is not a shining example of my literary genius.

Anywho. Some of my entry ideas, I still hope to work on, but for now, I just want to talk about flair. If you've ever seen the movie "Office Space", you're familiar with such joys as red Swingline staplers and flair. If you haven't see the movie, you SHOULD. Yes, it's rated R, but the jokes are absolutely worth it for anyone who's ever worked in an office.

It seems my current time-sink, Facebook, has an app for making, sharing and displaying pithy little sayings in the form of buttons (flair). Only problem was that I liked them ALL! I liked them so much, I decided to capture a few of the better ones here. Mostly because they made me giggle and I thought I'd share the joy. In no particular order....

Friends are like potatoes. If you eat them, they die.

Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried to slam a revolving door

Say no to drugs. Say yes to tacos.

Never judge a book by its movie.

You're a great friend, but if zombies chase us, I'm tripping you.

To err is human. To arr is pirate

When life hands you lemons, make grape juice, then sit back and watch the world wonder how you did it.

I'm not random, you just can't think as fast as me.

Girls are NOT complicated. Seriously. How hard is it to say "you're pretty" and give us chocolate?

Things to do today:
1. Get up
2. Survive
3. Go back to bed.

February 18, 2008

Did you ever see a lassie go this way and that way?

I'll bet you've been wondering what happened to me. I'll bet you're just going MAD with the suspense of it all. And right you should, too. Things are always hopping here in my little world. Lemmesee...

Last weekend, Schondy and I went bouncing around the county, shopping for two days. We weren't doing anything special, but there were a bunch of things we needed to take care of. I bought new artwork for our bedroom - a set of French art posters that match the 5-foot copy of La Victoria Arduino we picked up several years ago. I tried to find copies of all the new ones we got outside of goofy online poster stores, but good images of all of them are proving rather elusive: Pates Baroni, Parapluie-Revel, Cirio and Cioccolato Venchi. Anyway, this meant that we needed frames, which of course meant wandering around to various stores until we found nice frames that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Turns out such things are annoyingly hard to find.

Also, Schondy has taken up a new crafty project from which I have high hopes for some spectacular results. At the moment, the kitchen table is covered in crafty bits and painty bits and clocky bits, but I can't wait to see what he produces.

This upcoming weekend, I DID have plans to go to Stitches West, the knitting expo. But I have other plans instead that I will detail later on account of their secret nature. I'm bummed about missing the knitting show, but these new plans mean I'll have TONS of time for actual knitting, and that always makes me happy.

For the first time in.... well, almost 6 months, I'm knitting something for myself. I'm excited about this one. I agonized for days over what to make, even as I was finishing up previous projects. I would be all settled on what I was going to make and then I'd realize that something else would be more fun or more timely, but then I'd realize that I didn't have the needles for that one or the yarn for this one or... well, you get the idea. Lest you think the lack of knitting posts means I haven't been knitting, I assure you I've finished quite a few things, but my photographer has been somewhat pokey with the taking of the photos. Maybe, given that it's a holiday and he's home by himself all day, he'll do that today...

Since I last posted, we had a major launch at work, requiring waaaaay too much time on the train between home and the city. It was good to be involved in something like that because of the attention I garnered for my skills in the organization (I spent quite a bit of time with two directors and a VP), but it was fairly grueling work that I wasn't sorry to leave behind.

I'm now in the process of hiring someone to help me (possibly two someones) to help me out at work. It's exciting, but really confusing to be navigating the world of corporate management. I have to say that I'm honored to be considered responsible (Is that the word I'm going for?) enough to manage people other than myself, but it's a daunting prospect.

Schondy and I have taken to watching a LOT of British Television. Between Torchwood and Doctor Who, we've both started using a lot of British slang. It's a bit startling to suddenly find yourself talking about snogging with a completely straight face... well, as straight a face as one can have when using the word "snog".

Anyway.

The powers-that-be at work have booked a private showing of Cirque Du Soleil, Kooza in a couple weeks. Schondy and I are both pretty excited about that. We saw a Cirque show in Vegas when we were there two years ago and it was amazing. I can't wait.

A week after that, Schondy's company is having their annual winter party. I have yet to convince Schondy that he should be asking around to find out the dress code for this event, but I'm sure I'll have some clue prior to then. At least I'm hoping. A few days after that, the Neighbors have invited us to go see the Youth Theater production of Jekyll & Hyde. Given where we live, the amount of really excellent talent in the area makes for some better-than-expected youth productions.

So that's what's going on. I had grandiose ideas this morning about posting a list of all the concerts I've been to since landing my current job, but then I felt bad because that's probably not interesting to anyone but me. I leave you with my current favorite picture of my favorite babies, photographed by my favorite photog.


The babies say hello (look quick - they won't hold still for long).

January 10, 2008

It's 9:30pm! Do you know where your wife is?

Here's a hint: she's at work.

Yes, folks. It's 9:30 in the evening on a Thursday. I'm hanging out in someone else's office, locked in a holding pattern, waiting on a lot people to do a lot of things. I'm here as moral support and as literal support, primarily existing as the emergency backup system should something go horribly awry.

I'm bored.

But as I keep reminding myself, this is why they keep me around. I've been entrusted with ensuring that this goes properly by four levels of management above me and, well, it's usually a good idea to see those things through. Not doing so is what some might term a career-limiting move.

But seriously - bored.

As I write this, the unfinished knitting item sits at home, almost finished. Maddeningly close to being finished. And it would be excellent to have it here to keep my hands busy (see above re: bored). As I write this, Schondy sits at home, watching TV and eating non-catered dinner and generally not working. As I write this, Lulu runs around at home, chasing the ball and harassing the cats, or maybe snuggling on the couch and generally being very cute and Lulu-like.

But I'm chillin' in a borrowed office, in a chair that's adjusted for a person 6 inches shorter than I am, wondering if it's worth figuring out the fancy-schmancy coffee machine and wishing I had my knitting or my book to keep me entertained.

I don't wait very well.

December 13, 2007

Failed!

Ok. So I had this great plan for Christmas, that I was going to hand-make some of my gifts for my family, primarily in the form of knitted thingies. And I started working on these things around the first of November, and I did manage to finish one of the two items.

But as of yesterday, following a positively INSANE day at work, I gave up. I called my mommy, hoping she could kiss the booboos and make them go away. That was not to be, but she did say something that helped, which was "you can't do it all." And in the spirit of owning up to the fact that, No, I can't do it all, I decided to cut bait. So I'm currently in the process of taking care of the things I can, and admitting defeat on some others. Sadly, I'm admitting defeat on my spectacular holiday planning, which pains me because I've been working on that since... oh... July? maybe? If you know me, you know I'm something of a classic overachiever, but even overachievers have to grudgingly admit defeat sometimes. I can't do it all.

Normally, I ship all the gifts by Schondy's birthday, which was on the 9th (happy birthday, hon!!), but this year.... not so much. I was hanging on to them in the hopes that I'd get his mother's knitted gift finished, and try as I might, it just wasn't going to happen. So everything has shipped today, which you'll notice is... decidedly after Schondy's birthday. If they get to you late, I apologize. UPS won't guarantee anything shipped this close to Christmas unless you give them even more exorbitant amounts of money than what I already gave them, so, well, they just might make it. And right now, I'm okay with that. I can't do it all.

This Friday is our group's holiday party at work, and I'm wondering just how little I can be there without offending someone. I'm wiped out. Last night I went completely ballistic on the poor dog because she thought packing peanuts looked tasty. This is a clear sign I should not be allowed in public. So Schondy and I will go and we will have no drinks stronger than a fuzzy navel and we will scoot on home to crash as soon as politeness will allow. I can't do it all.

I did feel bad about how long it's been since I've posted. I have a couple new Knitwit Papers to put up - one of which has already been photographed, the other still needs pictures. And hopefully, I'll be able to put up the Knitwit Paper about the failed Christmas present soon, complete with weekly progress photos to show it as it went together.

Until then, I'll be madly scrambling to get what I can done and I'll be trying to let the things I can't quite finish go. So if I show up at work in my pajamas, it's all because: I can't do it all.

August 9, 2007

Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Holy cow! I have had a WEEK, let me tell you. It's been two weeks since I last posted, but it seriously feels like it's been a year. And here's why:

So I'll start with last Wednesday, July 31, when I took my car in to have it serviced. That wasn't any big deal, but it is a hy-uge disruption to my day, mostly because I had to be there at 9 to drop my car off, and there was this GUY. Older man. Probably very nice. But this particular day.... not so nice. And I unwittingly incurred his wrath when I was helped TWICE! Twice, I tell you! while the nice people at the dealership were trying to figure out what the devil he was trying to do. I don't think they were trying to hurt his feelings, but he was highly wounded. Basically, when I showed up, I waited patiently in line for the Service Rep to help me. And she did. Little did I know (found this out a little while later) that she was supposed to be helping him with... something. ANYway, how was I supposed to know this? I know not.

So, then, after I got all set up, I wandered into the sitting area with the hideously bad TV shows. I think this time it was Maury and he was talking to this couple where he got her pregnant when he was 18 and she was 14, but then they got married, but he still had to register as a sex offender and now they have a second baby and the wife is JUST NOW 18. But I digress. So I'm chillin', waiting for a ride to work, when this very nice older man sits down next to me and, despite my obvious interest in reading my book and being highly antisocial, insists on making comments about the people on Maury to me. Well.

Then they call him up to the desk and tell him that, yes, they'll take him to pick up his fiance, but they're going to have to take these other two nice people (me and another guy) to work first. Clearly something got lost in the translation there, but I didn't realize it until later. So we all piled into the van and the driver asked us where we were headed and I told him and he said, "oh, that's really close, I'll drop you off first." Well. Big mistake. HUGE. Because Mr. Previously-Very-Nice Man was under the impression that he was going to go get his fiance and take her back to the dealership first BEFORE me and the other guy went to work. And don't you know his fiance (Filangela or something) has worked there for 26 years and she can't just leave any time she wants and it's going to be hard to get there and it was right next to the dealership and in the time it's taken to drop this young lady (me) off, we could have been on our way and "I has the diabetus and my diabetics is acting up and don't you know I need medication!?!?". All. The. Way. To. Work. Bless the very nice driver who dropped me off first.

SO. Then there was the annoying part of having to pick up may car, but that was another whole fiasco because they're only open until 5:30, and I'm just getting going at work at 5:30, but that meant I had to leave work by 5, but that meant finding someone to take me to pick up my car. AND they hadn't called me to tell me my car was done, but I decided I needed my car, dammit, so I showed up at 5:30 and waited for someone to either hand me my keys or explain to me why a routine oil change took more than 8 hours. Thankfully, they handed me my keys.

And I think Wednesday was the day I finished my first sweater-type knitted thing. I've done socks, I've done scarves out the wazoo, I've done hats and dog sweaters and... well, all little things. So this was quite an accomplishment. I was quite pleased with myself. I hope to take pictures at some point and when I do, I'll tell you all about the project.

Thursday and Friday were both fairly calm and nothing remarkable happened, which was nice. :-) But on Friday, I was offered a pairs of tickets to see Rufus Wainwright, who just happens to be my favorite singer EVER, on Saturday night. Of course, I said yes. But first I had to make it through the rest of Friday (went to dinner with Schondy) and Saturday morning (obedience school with Lulu) and Saturday afternoon, until we left at 5:30 to drive up with the Mountain Winery to see the show. I don't have the pictures of the show on my laptop or I'd post them. I'll try to put them up later, but interestingly (and annoyingly), the best picture I have is from my iPhone (for Pete's sake!) of the opening act, A Fine Frenzy, who I also happen to adore. I wasn't supposed to have a camera at all, but I smuggled in my little Canon camera, too. I'm such a rebel. So I have a video of the encore. It was quite the spectacle.

The winery was beautiful and Schondy and I would both really like to go back sometime when we're actually allowed to have cameras so he can get some shots of... well... everything.

On Sunday, again it was kind of quiet, except that we HAD TO clean up the yard. It was in a sorry state because we'd been so busy and crazy. Otherwise, there's not much to tell about Sunday. I did finally figure out how I want to do the sewing/guest room and realized I needed to get cracking with selling our old furniture to make room. I posted my stuff on Craig's List, but as of today, no nibbles. I'm pretty much at the point of "Free! You haul!" if they don't sell. At least I TRIED to make a little money. I did get an email from someone presumably interested in them, but I'm not so sure it was a serious offer. One way or the other, this stuff needs to get out of my house NOW.

On Monday, Schondy's new camera arrived, so I immediately began starring in a photo-documentary. We have pictures of me cooking dinner, watching TV, playing with the dog, sleeping, and just about everything else. Schondy seems to have a knack for this photography thing, and I'm all about encouraging it. I keep thinking about how there are pictures of my parents all throughout their marriage. Or at least there seem to be. And Schondy and I have, like, 5 pictures of the two of us and that just seems sad to me. If we ever decide to have children, I'd like them to know that we haven't always been party poopers or hopelessly outdated.

And that brings us to Tuesday, when the WHOLE WORLD EXPLODED!!!!! Each time Schondy and I have travelled, we've had to make arrangements for the care of our babies while we're gone. Before Lulu, if we were just going to be gone a couple days, we'd leave the cats in the house and just ask someone to drop by once or twice to make sure everything was still standing. If we were gone longer, the cats would go to stay with either the vet or The Neighbors (who are SAINTS for helping us out, and, I would like to mention, OFFER to take the cats. I haven't asked them to do so in ages, and have, in fact, made other arrangements, only to have The Neighbors assure me they LOVE to keep the cats and, hey! Free pet care! Don't have to offer twice.) and it was all good. Now that we have Lulu, it's a tiny bit more complicated, but only because have to get Lulu to the PetsHotel and... making the same arrangements for the cats as what we've always done. See how this works? Cats to vet or friends (the cats don't care where they are, so long as there's occasional snuggles and food and a litter box), and Lulu to PetsHotel.

So apparently we are unusual in this respect that we wish to not inconvenience others with our extremely active and demanding little dog. Because a friend (Jim) at work left for Japan on Wednesday and needed someone to watch his dog while he is gone. And I? I am an idiot. Seriously. Because I said I'd take "Pochi" for a couple days, until I pass him on to the next poor sod for the weekend, who then passes him on to the last person, who keeps him until Jim returns. Now, Pochi is very, very sweet. He's a 7-month-old dachshund-black Lab mix (Yes, you read that right. Work on that visual for a minute.), so he's relatively small - only about 20 pounds - and he definitely has the dachshund face and the long dachshund body and tail. But he also has the black lab hyper-activity, plus the puppy hyper-activity and the DESPERATE NEED for ATTENTION NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!!! And given that he's a slightly larger dog, he needs to run, which, if you've seen our backyard, you know, is not something we can provide space for at home. Lulu = tiny, so it hasn't been a problem for her. She could be quite happy running laps in a baby pool.

But, see, the crazy attention hogging and the lack of running space aren't the biggest problems. The biggest problem is that Pochi is currently being treated for Giardia, which, by the way, is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS to.... wait for it.... cats, dogs and humans. And it means we're dealing with the most friendly and demanding HAZARDOUS WASTE-PRODUCING dog ever. I think Jim's exact wording was "don't let your own pets get too cozy with him". But did I mention he's part Lab? And friendly? We couldn't keep him from getting cozy with Lulu if we TRIED. So I'm thinking next week after Pochi is gone, I'll be taking Lulu to the vet and asking them for some preventative antibiotics. Happily, Pochi goes on to the next victim tomorrow. It's been nice for Lulu to have a playmate, no doubt, but I won't miss the 6am barking or cleaning of toxic messes. And the cats are SO looking forward to being able to walk around the house again. They've decided Pochi = evil, and I can't say I blame them. CLEARLY he does not have any cat-siblings at home.

The Lulu-playmate thing has been kind of nice, and yesterday, we took Lulu and Pochi to the park and let them run while Schondy practiced working with his camera to get action shots of them being dogs. Some of the pictures he got were really awesome. I'll try to grab some and get them posted here so you can see.

So now it's Thursday. The office is relatively quiet today, which is nice, and I have a ton of work to do, but I'm avoiding it in favor of documenting the last week (holy cow!) while I have the headspace and time to do so. Tomorrow is end-to-end meetings and, come this weekend, I'll be too pooped to lift my arms, let alone type a blog entry. Lulu graduates from obedience school Saturday morning, and I think that's pretty much the end of the line for her schooling. We're talking about sending her to Doggy Day Camp once a week or so after school is over so she can continue to get the social interaction. But I'm definitely going to enjoy having my Saturday mornings back for the sleepin'.

And that's why I've been terrible about calling. Or responding to your emails. I'm very sorry. It doesn't mean I love you any less. It just means I'm tangled up in leashes right now and will get back to you as soon as the dogs stop playing May Pole.

July 26, 2007

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Okay. I admit it. I'm procrastinating. I'm officially avoiding work. And everyone knows the best way to avoid work is to blog about avoiding work. So that's what I'm doing.

But I do have a good excuse. Basically, I worked my behind off for the last week writing a document, and finished at about 12:30am last night, only to find out that I was too slow and the work won't actually be done for another month. Any time I produce a document like that, it takes a lot out of me and it takes me a day or so to "reset" myself to think about something else. I'm not saying now is a good time for me to need a reset, I'm just saying that's how it works. Because if my work ethic had anything to do with it, I'd be knee deep in another project by now. Sadly, my work ethic is completely at the mercy of my brain capacity.

<sigh>

But I do have a new desktop computer. And a new laptop. And a new iPhone... that doesn't work yet. Let's just say it's been a helluva week. But lest it sound like I've been just mooching off the company, allow me to explain:

At work, I have two computers (okay, right now I have 4, but that doesn't usually happen). I have a laptop that I do my work on and take to meetings and take home in the evenings. And I have a desktop that does a number of things, including acting as a backup system, being a replacement system if my laptop goes out, and I do lots of training with people in Europe who need to be able to see what I'm doing, which is way easier on a desktop system than on a laptop (If you really want to know the details of that one, call me and I'll explain it. I doubt you care).

The Desktop
So a couple weeks ago, following the great laptop harddrive failure of 2007, I realized it was highly critical that I start doing more regular backups of my entire set of documents. But when I tried, I made a most distressing discovery - namely that my old (ghetto) desktop had a teensy harddrive in it. Small enough that I couldn't back everything up. So I contacted my favorite tech support person (the hubby) and asked what to do. He pointed out that my old (ghetto) desktop is not well equipped to deal with a larger harddrive. So I talked to my friendly neighborhood group Admin at work (who, by the way, not so helpful, but that's another story) who only had EXTERNAL harddrives for backing up, which, while nice, don't fit the requirements I had.

I decided this must be a sign that old (ghetto) desktop was headed for the great slag heap in the sky, and set about trying to figure out what to replace it with. I needed a new desktop computer, but didn't really want one of the really nice fancy ones, which is all I could order. So I returned to not-so-helpful Admin, who all-of-a-sudden, two days after my original request, remembered (remembered! ha!) that she had this older computer sitting in the Storage closet that I could have. It was miraculously exactly what I needed - not too new so I don't feel terrible about having this amazing system hanging out on my desk, but it has a nice roomy harddrive and works perfectly for my uses. Fancy! Imagine how awesome it would have been if she had "remembered" this earlier!! (Did I mention not so helpful?) So I have a new desktop.

The Laptop
Cut to: a week ago, a day or so after I get my desktop, when my laptop decides to cannibalize itself in the form of a catastrophic crash, resulting in the loss of a document (the same one I delivered last night at 12:30) that I was about 3 hours into. And I'd had even been a good little girl, saving every 20 minutes or so to make sure I didn't lose anything because my laptop had been showing small signs of wear for a while and I was wise to her ways. SO following that first warning shot fired across my bow, I started paying more attention to what was going on and realized that my laptop, every 10 minutes or so, would stop saving files, choosing instead to say "unable to save". Except it only TELLS you that in certain circumstances. And THEN, just to pour salt in the wound, it decided to crash - shut down and restart - every 15 minutes or so. Just about the time I'd get it rebooted and running and think everything was okay, WHAM!

Thank goodness for favorite tech support guy, who grabbed the external harddrive he keeps for such emergencies and sucked everything out of my poor dying laptop before it had time to cannibalize everything else. And then in one of my laptop's lucid periods, I sent an email to not-so-helpful Admin, requesting a new laptop and called my manager to tell her I was requesting a new laptop.

So I brought the external harddrive in to work and slapped all its stuff onto my new (shiny!) desktop just in case something bad happened, and spent the entire day hoping for a nice little email from Not-So-Helpful saying she'd get me a new laptop. And I waited.

And waited another day.

And sent an email asking if maybe she just didn't get the email and could she please order me a new laptop. And then I waited.

And waited another day.

Until Tuesday. I was pointing out to my manager (best manager in the world) that Not-So-Helpful had not yet responded to my email and I had gone by to give her a kick in the pants, but couldn't find her. I apparently had very good timing because as I was complaining, the co-worker for which I was writing the document that had gotten cannibalized happened to hear me and say "oh, I have a laptop. If I give it to you, will you finish my document." I reminded him that this was bribery and he assured me he knew and....

Nice (shiny!) laptop entered my life.

And I'd like to point out that No-So-Helpful still has not responded to my email. It's been a week.
Warning! Tangent!
I'm breaking my rule for not talking about work. Hopefully it won't happen again.

So while I was talking to Manager about the laptop thing, she mentioned that Not-So-Helpful has neglected to do several other things lately because she's having "issues" (whatever that means). Apparently, Manager went up to Not-So-Helpful and asked her to order tissues because the supply closet was out and Not-So-Helpful said "Oh, I have plenty in the storage room.", to which Manager responded "So why don't you put them in the Supply Closet" and Not-So-Helpful said "Oh, I don't like to put the supplies in the Supply Closet." And I've had close personal experience with this when I went for weeks, begging for binder clips. Seriously. Binder clips.

Now, I understand a certain drudgery factor associated with being the Admin, and I even get finding some of the tasks onerous. I did her job. For the craziest attorney in all of Kentucky. So I get it. And you know what? I filled the Supply Closet. Because that was my job. And I could either take the paycheck and fill the %*&^# Supply Closet, or I could find another way to get a paycheck. That's how it works.

Or how about this email she sent out:
We have had problems with double and even triple-booking the conference room. I have asked IS&T and Facilities to turn on the 1st come, 1st serve option. So, it won't let you book it unless it is truly available.

Here's how this works. Normally, conference rooms can be booked in our meeting system, and once booked, they will show as unavailable to anyone who tries to hold another meeting there. There are certain conference rooms that are "special", where there's an administrator in charge of making sure the room is available with the executive team needs it. This means that any time someone requests that conference room, the administrator has to approve the request. If the administrator doesn't approve the request, the room does not get booked. Which means the room appears in our meeting system as available, and people will schedule meetings there, only to collide with the other 10 groups who also thought the room was available, and the meeting planners have to rochambeau each other for it.

So what's happened, basically, is that she's decided to no longer be in control of this room because it's just too hard, and she's going to let it function like a normal room (Imagine! A conference room that will actually tell you when it's booked! The wonderful thing we have these days!).

I mean, seriously. What does she do all day if she's not in charge of filling the Supply Closet, managing our conference rooms or responding to equipment requests? Because she's certainly not ever at her desk. Maybe I should apply for that job.....
End Tangent

The iPhone
So, um, let's just say it's a perk. But the problem is that my phone bill is paid by my company (yay!), which means they control my account. So when I went to activate my new (shiny!) phone, I went into the special bucket of people-who-have-strange-accounts-that-we'll-deal-with-after-all-the-regular-customers-are-taken-care-of. So I'm without cell phone right now. So sad. If you need me... well... I'm sorry. Leave a message somewhere.

Anyway, that's what's going on with me.

What's new with you?

April 17, 2007

Can't you see I'm busy, here!?!?

It has been brought to my attention that I don't post to my blog often enough. Apparently, my cousins with the brand new INFANT post more often than I do. In my defense, I don't have a new child to post pictures of and I'm not so sure anyone would be terribly interested in hearing about my crazy work schedule, which is my life these days.

We DID take a short little mini-vacation this weekend that I have tons of pictures from, and I have a few pics of the backyard, which is exploding in flowers, and Lulu is growing like a weed (still!!) and is more photogenic than either of her parents.

So. When I have a few minutes today.... maybe I'll have a really boring meeting, much like the one I'm currently in.... I'll try to put up another photo entry.

Oh! Speaking of which, how did you like the photo entry I posted before? Good? I've been trying to come up with an easy way to show lots and lots of pictures in a single entry. There are apparently some fancy pieces of software available for my blog that will do it, but they're all complicated to install. I don't really want to go through that, so I'm coming up with a few of my own solutions.

Anyway, let me know what you think and I'll try out a few other solutions as I have other photo entries.

March 18, 2007

Sitting in the airport, waiting on a plane.

7am flights stink. Badly. Even if I wasn't spectacularly knackered, I'd still hate to be here. But here I am. Going home. Hallelujah. My own bed is calling my name and I can hear it from 1500 miles away. Apparently I have a loud bed.

I realized I had a couple other celeb sightings that I didn't mention in my last post. One of the guys from Arrested Development was hanging out at the Blender after party a couple of nights ago. He was impressed with Tammy's mad Guitar Hero skillz. She does have some mad skillz....

And the other day, we were at a Kings of Leon concert (Cameo's favoritest band EVER) and we saw Kirsten Dunst. For reals. Apparently a Kings fan. The end.....

March 17, 2007

I _may_ be getting too old for this...

So first of all, I officially have the best job in the world. I've sworn myself to never actually saying where I work in hopes of thwarting those who would Google my name and my company's name and thus decide to stalk me. But suffice it to say I have the best job in the world.

At the moment, I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Austin, TX. I'm here for SXSW, enjoying my third straight hungover morning (Mom, please forget you saw this sentence). The bands have been awesome. We've seen so many bands, they're all blurring together, but a couple celebrity sightings have been especially memorable....

Wednesday, we saw Lily Allen perform at Stubb's. Loads of fun, and I really like her (even though she's 18 and a little whiny). Late Wednesday night, about 2am, I was leaving Miriam's hotel and guess who was dancing in the driveway... Lily Allen! She was drunk and had a glass of champagne in her hand (did I mention the 18 thing?). As I walked away, I distinctly heard the sound of breaking glass...

Then yesterday, Friday (I think), Tammy and I were walking down the street in search of food and we saw the Flaming Lips posing for some pictures. Tammy had her camera and managed to get a pic of the lead singer - Wayne Coyne. That was pretty cool. We've been trying the whole time we've been here to catch one of the many, many cameo performances by Pete Townsend, but thus far have managed to miss every one of them.

Anyway, at this point, I'm tired. I want to go home. I have about 18 hours left until my 7am flight, and I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, with my own husband, and my own cat sleeping on my own face. And someday soon, I WILL have clothes that don't smell like an ashtray. With any luck at all.

Ciao!

October 15, 2006

Bad Blogger! Bad!

I apologize. I haven't posted in weeks, and my last post was written in an early-morning, mid-launch stupor. Life is calmer now, but not by much. Of course, that's not really any excuse - I tend to post more when I'm busier, just like I tend to look for creative outlets just when things at work are at their craziest. I think it has something to do with a desire to take control over some part of my life, when the rest is spinning out of control. Either way, whenever I go for long periods of time and forget to post, I always vow to do better, and it doesn't happen. So there.

We're still going like mad at work, and now I need to keep coming home to make decisions on landscaping! Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I thrive on the chaos at work. I've been a little hesitant of late because my "handlers" are pushing me to take a more visible role. This is not something I'm terribly good at. I talk too much, and say things I shouldn't; I have opinions and I'm not afraid to voice them; I tend to be impatient. This does not necessarily make me terribly good at talking to management, but I do have to say that I am learning. At least that's what they tell me.

I've always very much preferred to be the one behind the curtain, sending the actors on stage at the right times, making sure their costumes are perfect, telling the sound guy how it sounds. I like to be behind the scenes, making it all happen. This new visible role makes me a little uncomfortable - not necessarily because I don't like the pressure, or because I don't like talking to people, or anything like that. I just prefer it in the back. Apparently I'm not allowed to stay there.

As for the landscaping, I'm thrilled to bits that it's finally happening, the timing is just not so good, what with the rainy season bearing down on us, and the madness at work, and the fact that it took them 4 months to get started. The good news is that they're seriously cranking through and should be fininshed in less than a week. This is great news for us because it means that we'll be able to spend a (rather cold) 5th Anniversary in our brand new backyard.

Every year we "give" each other something for the house - something expensive that we can both enjoy. This year, that thing is the yard. It's costing us a fortune, but we weighed the pros and cons and decided to go for it. If we had done it ourselves, well, it wouldn't have happened. So we talked about finding a random yard man and getting sprinklers and sod put in, and that probably would have been fine, but then we found these guys. If you ever need to know about some killer landscapers, give me a call. They're not cheap. Really, really not cheap, but the quality of their work has so far been absolutely amazing. And did I mention FAST? I plan to post some before and after pictures of the work, and I've been taking pictures each day after the workers leave.

On Friday, I worked from home to be here to make some decisions about plants and pavers and the like (a meeting that didn't happen and will now happen tomorrow morning), and happened to be walking through the kitchen when I got the pleasure of watching the workers enjoying the oranges from out tree. Really, I was pleased. We were a little... clueless about the implications of having an orange tree in our backyard when we bought the house. It hasn't really been bad, so much as annoying. I can't say I really recommend having an orange tree in your yard, except that it means you never have to buy oranges or orange juice again. That part is great. It's the getting of the oranges that's bad, and the preparing of the oranges that just doesn't happen. And since we cleaned out the lower branches earlier in the summer, we now have a bumper crop of fist-sized green oranges just waiting to ripen and fall on the ground. Oy.

So I guess that's it. Schondy's sitting on the couch behind me, playing Pokemon (yes, Pokemon) on his Nintendo DS, Miles is staring at me blankly, and Deliah is sleeping. The fish tank is gurgling along, which means I should be cleaning the algae off its overflow, and I was supposed to do a water change today. But now it's time to start thinking about cleaning up the house, doing the laundry and figuring out what's for dinner in preparation for another crazy week ahead of me.

Maybe I'll post again in something less than a month.....Ciao.

September 12, 2006

Working and working and working and working and....

So unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you know that I've been working.... a lot. And if you've turned on the TV today, you're probably aware that we had a little launch today. As always, this launch is the culmination of MONTHS of development, training, last minute panic and many, many sleepless nights. I'm currently suffering the effects of..... lemme see..... Here's the last 4 days, best I can remember.

Saturday, 9/09
11am thru 11:59pm: Numerous phone calls all day, several hundred requests for help via email and chat.
Midnight: Sleeeeeeepy time.


Sunday, 9/10
10am: First phone call from work
10:15am: Second phone call from work
10:30am thru 10:30pm: Numerous phone calls all day, several hundred requests for help via email and chat.
10:45pm thru 2:30am: Work quiets down enough that I'm able to actually do some of my own work until falling asleep out of exhaustion at 2:30.


Monday, 9/11
9:30am: Arrive at work and the chaos begins again
10am thru 3:30pm: Numerous phone calls, several hundred requests for help via email and chat.
3:30pm: THE POWER GOES OUT AT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, you read that correctly. The power was OUT.) Panic ensues.
4pm: Mass exodus of all vital employees with laptops to main campus, where a very large conference room has been prepared for us. We will be here a while.
4:30pm: We discover that the power is out because a transformer BLEW UP. Power expected to be out for several hours. Guerilla-style run back to our building to pick up purses, keys, gym bags, etc. because buildings will be locked down after 5pm.
5pm thru 9pm: Working, working, working. It is at some point in here that Schondy starts trying to BRIBE me to come home. The only time he's seen me in DAYS is when I'm sleeping or sitting on the couch with my laptop. I feel terrible for neglecting him. And the house looks HORRIBLE.
9:30pm: Arrive home, only to annouce that I have to be back at the office at 5am the next day. Go to bed as soon as I can (11-ish)
11pm thru 3:50am: Toss and turn and toss and turn and wake up every 20 minutes, paranoid that I'm going to oversleep. When asleep, I have nightmares about the horrible things that could happen.....


Tuesday, 9/12
3:50am: Give up on sleep, get in the shower.
5am: Arrive at work before sunrise, start mainline of coffee
9:45am: Starting to look like a store. That's good because Steve goes on stage in 15 minutes. I, however, am fading fast.....
10am: Well, the keynote has begun and apparently whoever set up the audio in this room thinks we're deaf. It's going to be a looooooong hour.


I'm exhausted. But I felt really bad about not posting. So there you go. That's where I've been.

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