June 2 - December 30, 2008

June 2, 2008
» degrees of separation

Two weekends ago
While cleaning, I found an October 2007 Glamour magazine with an interesting article mentioned on the cover. I didn't have time to look at it, so I set it aside.

Last week
As noted in the previous entry, I developed a case of Beatlemania. I didn't mention it before, but on several occasions, after time spent Beatle watching and listening, I've felt restless, as in "I must go outside." (I attribute it to being affected by George Harrison's death. Sometimes things like that get in my head, and I fixate over them for a while, but I'll admit, the slight claustrophobia is new.) The urgent need to be outside brought to mind the Dixie Chicks' song "Wide Open Spaces."

Last weekend
I looked at the October 2007 Glamour. The "interesting" article turned out to be not really. However, listed among the "10 ballsy women" the magazine was recognizing was Yoko Ono, for "marrying John Lennon and breaking up the Beatles. Now if she could just marry Natalie Maines and break up the Dixie Chicks." I wondered whether the writer thought it was good that the Beatles broke up, but good or bad, since Yoko often gets the blame/credit for that, she certainly fits the list.

That same day
I found the Dixie Chicks' video "Wide Open Spaces" among the videotapes I'd made when I had cable and watched it.

Also that same day
Trying to find a Beatle-free pursuit to give my poor thoughts a rest, I watched Lethal Weapon. Not much later, I learned that George Harrison wrote and performed a song - "Cheer Down" - on the Lethal Weapon 2 soundtrack. (Note to self: watch that movie soon.)

And having written all of this, I plan to take the Beatles fangirl talk over to the Beatles thread at the forums, starting with a correction to the "She Loves You" lyrics.

June 11, 2008
» tragicomic dramedy

I was going to gripe about how this week has been overrun with Things Not Going My Way, but I must admit that's not 100 percent true. Some things have worked out well. So, I'll recap some of the good and the bad, and just so it's clear which is which, I'll follow the instance by declaring which it is. (To get the effect I had in mind, imagine the "That's ...!" line being said by a Greek - or geek! - chorus.)

I went to the doctor for a follow-up visit about a toenail situation, and the doctor was apparently determined not to spare me another office visit by completing a check-up as well.

"That's bad!"

Thankfully, my doctor's visit was for nothing more serious than a "toenail situation."

"That's good!"

I submitted two maintenance requests to the apartment manager, and although someone attempted to fix my leaky kitchen faucet, it is now leaking worse.

"That's bad!"

It seems that maintenance did fix my leaky AC unit because the wet spot in my floor has been reduced from soaking wet to moist.

"That's good!"

Earlier this week, I ran across a free-account limit that I didn't know flickr had: they only show the 200 most recent pictures. I refuse to pay their upgrade fee, so now I'm stuck looking for a new photo gallery service.

"That's bad!"

Earlier this week, my inspirational blog, which already has way more traffic than my personal blog, reached a new one day maximum of almost 160 hits.

"That's good!"

Yesterday, I arrived at work to find a dead mouse by my garbage can.

"That's bad!"

One of the guys removed the dead mouse for me and didn't even chase me around with it.

"That's good!"

Yes, overall it's been a mix of good and bad. Hmm, what's that called again? Oh, yeah. "Life."

June 16, 2008
» no meat, no fish, no service

This weekend my boyfriend and I agreed that we were in the mood for some oriental flavor. He had an idea, and he drove us to one of the nicer Japanese places in Huntsville to see if they had a menu posted. Alas, a menu wasn't posted, and Jeff again disclaimed that he didn't know whether they'd have anything for a vegetarian. Anxious to try a new place, I replied optimistically that surely they'd have something. I mean, at the very least they can throw some rice in with some vegetables and call it an entrée!

However, as we sat at our table scanning the menu, I realized that I might have been mistaken. I didn't see anything that would work. Our waiter returned, and I asked him if they had any vegetarian selections. "We do," he replied. "Do you consider fish as being vegetarian?" No. In that case, he suggested one or two of the appetizers.

After looking at the menu for about ten minutes - and being thoroughly disappointed in their lack of choices - I finally settled on something with the decidedly non-appetizing title of "organic salad." Off the waiter went to place our order ... only to return minutes later to say that they were out of the organic salad. I replied that I didn't want anything. After Jeff finished his sushi, he would take me over to one of our regular places and I'd get something.

I admit that I was not a happy camper for a little while, but I was over it by the time Jeff's food arrived. I was determined not to have a snit fit like some of the customers from my waitress days. As I wrote back then, "Sometimes you have to pick another vegetable." Apparently, sometimes you also have to go somewhere else to *get* vegetables.

June 20, 2008
» letters to write

Dear people at work,

If you're going to respond to my complaining with a sarcastically unconcerned, "Oh well, live and learn," you'd best have the same attitude after one of your own (frequent and lengthy) gripe sessions. Otherwise you come across as the hypocritical doodiehead who thinks his problems are SO much worse than everyone else's. Believe me, you don't want to be *that* guy.

Just thought you should know,


June 24, 2008
» the way the cookie statements crumble

From the latest email to my boyfriend.

Dear Jeff,

On Saturday, when you said something like, "I've got to where I can recognize certain songs just by the drum intro," I replied sarcastically, "Yes, because NO ONE ELSE can do that." That was not nice, and I do apologize.

But allow me to explain what prompted that snark. (Note that I bring this up because I think it is one of those recurring "personality differences" that concerns me. I'm writing this in a positive tone, not trying to harp, just sharing my feelings, as I'm striving to do lately.) Backing up to recap the conversation right before the above-noted exchange, as I recall, a song by Bruce Hornsby and the Range started to play on the radio, and you and I both recognized it about the same time. You said, "Oh, I know that one." And I agreed, "Me too." You added, "Now if it was that 'That's Just The Way It Is', I would've recognized it in like, two notes." Again, I agreed that I would have also. This was when you said the line about the drum intros. Since you hadn't acknowledged my responses to your previous two lines, I was feeling quite ignored by this point, and to top that off, it sounded to me like you were trying to brag about yourself. Yes, this irked me, and I guess I made that clear...

I thought about this incident and how to bring it up, and what would be the point if I did bring it up. I finally decided that maybe the problem I have with the bragging type statements is that either the listener joins the person in singing their own praises (and I usually can't bring myself to do that, since they're doing such a fine job of it on their own!) or the listener doesn't have anything to say. For that reason, I call them Cookie Statements because the only reply I can think of is, "What do you want, a cookie??" Which I don't say because I wouldn't want you or the people at work or whomever to say that to me when I make a Cookie Statement.

So, my suggested solution is this. Perhaps we - yes, me too - could try following a cookie statement with a question to include the other person. Such as, "I can recognize certain songs just by the drum intro. How about you?" Well, maybe that's a bad example: it sounds kinda like you're bragging and then challenging me to best you. The idea I'm thinking of is the way I attempt to do in my emails to Michele. For example, I told her about my trials in picking up my walmart dot com order at the store, and then I said, "Have you ever had such an experience with them? Or have you ordered anything from them?" And then it's like, a conversation, or something. :D



It's not too harsh, is it? I admit that I'm no good at heart-to-heart talks, so I attempt to share via screen-to-screen writes. (He has yet to respond to what I've written, btw.)

July 7, 2008
» the sunny side of blah

For the past few weeks, I've been suffering from the blahs. Work has been the most stressful it's ever been, as I've been behind on projects and repeated attempts to seek help have resulted in maddeningly brief/useless replies. Either the stress or the medication I've been taking appears to be making my hair fall out at an alarming rate. Worst of all, my mother revealed to me last December that she's "been depressed most of [her] adult life", and lately her mood seems very down and no words of consolation have helped.

I call this funk "the blahs" because I'm not consistently sad enough to have "the blues." Sure I have moments where it feels as if everything in my life is going wrong, but then I keep coming back to what Rick Warren (the Purpose-Driven Life guy) said: "At all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems."

So, I try to take things one day at a time. Or, failing that, one moment at a time.

July 15, 2008
» you can't get there from hair

How not to get the haircut you want:

1) Take pictures of yourself - from various angles - sporting a haircut that you like.

2) Print the pictures and take them with you on your next visit to the stylist.

3) Go to the same stylist that gave you the previous haircut.

4) Receive a haircut that was SO not what you wanted.

I admit, I'm at a loss for how number 4 results from the combination of 1, 2, and 3, but it does, or at least it did for me on Saturday. Was my hairstylist having a bad day? Were the four(!) pictures I took of the previous haircut not clear? Did I inadvertently signal that I wanted the shortest hairdo I've had in over twenty years? I wish I knew!

In any case, when I go for a haircut again - many, many weeks from now - I'll do things differently. I'll try a different salon, and instead of pictures, I'll share only five simple words: "Trim just the ends, please."

July 31, 2008
» that's right, you're wrong

That's how I feel lately at work, except less with the "that's right" and much with the "you're wrong." Multiple times a day for the past I-can't-remember-how-long, whatever way I've picked to do a given aspect of my latest project will be deemed by the person who checks my work as wrong. Even when I've done it that way before and it was considered okay. Even when the person checking the work is the same person who earlier told me that the way I did it was the way to do it. Even if the way I did it is technically okay, but now, in this particular instance - with the way the wind is currently blowing and the planets in their collective state of alignment - the way the checker-person is now touting is by *far* the superior choice.

Oh, excuse me. Do I sound a bit annoyed by all of this? Internet, annoyed doesn't even scratch the surface of how I feel.

And it's not the correction that is stressing me out. Recall that I have all but begged for help, assistance, support, training, etc. I *know* that I have much to learn, and therein lies the frustration: I don't feel as if I'm learning anything. Seriously, I didn't feel this worthless when I started the job, but then again, that was back before I was overwhelmed by this complete lack of consistency.

Topping this off, the checker-person, who I'm convinced talks to people for the sole purpose of disagreeing with them, has lately taken to spouting off his little directives in a tone that implies that it's always been so even when it's the first time he's mentioned it. And! When I venture to ask a question, more often than not, he demands in reply, "Why would it be THAT way?"

Alright, I admit it: I'm the CHIEF of Stupid Questions. But I realize more and more that when you're talking to someone who thinks that making you look bad makes him look good, there are *only* stupid questions.

On a better note, I did recently get to have a small victory. A co-worker got my attention - interrupting my enjoyment of a Traveling Wilburys CD, I might add - to say that another co-worker (the checker-person, in fact) needed a spellcheck. I stopped the music and took off my headphones. I sat back, imagining a queen situating herself on a throne to perform some royal duty. "What's the word?" I asked. Finally! They acknowledged that I'm good for something.

August 8, 2008
» those things I do, vacation edition

Two weeks ago, I took a much-needed vacation. In addition to plenty of R-and-R, I also...

Kept computer time to a minimum, after a reoccurrence in previous weeks of one of the pains I get from spending too much time at the computer.

Worked in my mom's yard. Basically, I fought the lawn, and the lawn won.

Enjoyed some delicious veggies from a generous co-worker's garden. Thank you, J!

Bought some things. Best find: a microwave cart for $16 at a thrift store.

Finished reading Tigerheart.

Visited the Tennessee Aquarium with my mom and sister. My sister and I had been there before - I've actually been twice - but the "Ocean Journey" building was new. I was really proud of my mother for joining in on our little road trip.

Got cheated twice by "automated" pay systems. Once while paying to park in Chattanooga, and once at a gas station where only the mid-grade selection worked and even then I was charged twenty cents more per gallon than what was shown.

Saw Mamma Mia with my sister and liked it. But does it mean that I'm getting old that I found Donna's three exes way more appealing than Sophie's young, pretty-boy fiancé?

Attended three musical performances at the WC Handy festival. I noticed a band called "nelo" listed on the roster; we didn't get to see them live, but since I have "neloo.com", the name intrigued me, so I just had to look them up.

Had a wonderful dream about MacGyver/Richard Dean Anderson. And that's all I'll say about that. ;)

Sadly, considering how out of it I've been since my return to work, I think I need another vacation. Soon.

August 11, 2008
» you just might get it all

"Be careful what you wish for
Because you just might get it all,
You just might get it all,
And then some you don't want..."

--Chris Daughtry, in the song Home

Recently, I've been very behind in my projects at work, and more than once, while the work keeps piling up as I'm failing in my efforts to finish anything, I've thought, "If I could just hit a Reset button and start all over..."

Well, my silent prayer was answered because today I learned that, surprise! The company where I work is in talks to be sold to another company that I'll call Brand X.

All of the higher-ups were being very positive about the whole thing, but we, um, lower-downs remain concerned. The typical response to queries about the outlook for jobs continuing was a cheery but vague, "We want to grow the company, and we can't do that without good workers!" Call me a cynic, but I don't exactly find that comforting.

I'm trying not to dwell on it too much at this point, but as I see it, whatever happens, there'll be some starting over involved. If the sale does happen and they keep me on, at the very least I'll have to be retrained to learn the Brand X way, and I might have to go work in their main office, which is an hour away. If they don't keep me on, I'll have to find another job, and who knows where I could end up then? Even if the sale doesn't happen, I probably shouldn't get too comfortable where I am because I'll know that our assets are on the proverbial auction block.

Sigh. Maybe next time I'll listen to you, Daughtry.

August 19, 2008
» what lies beneath

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I visited Wilson Dam. At one point, we were walking near the railing, about 15 to 20 feet over the murky water. My imagination got the better of me.

Me: "What if something was to come right up out of the water and attack us?"

Jeff: "You mean, like a freshwater shark?"

Me: "I'm thinking more like a freshwater Godzilla."

August 26, 2008
» til you sign it on the dotted line

"It don't mean nothing, those words that they say.
No, it don't mean nothing, these games that people play.
No, it don't mean nothing, no victim, no crime.
No, it don't mean nothing, 'til you sign it on the dotted line."

-Richard Marx, Don't Mean Nothing

Two weeks ago, I learned that the company I work for is being sold to "Brand X." This announcement was met with a general uneasiness because, despite Brand X's generic claims to need us, they weren't - and haven't been - very proactive in signing the current staff up for employment. Despite the fact that I had found a great job to apply for in the Help Wanteds, I decided that I'd believe the Brand X people and stay where I was.

Until yesterday, that is, when an email I received from Human Resources gave me the impression that I was one of the few that were being looked at as dispensable. Whether or not that impression proves valid remains to be seen, but as I was feeling more than a little rejected by the realization that I might very possibly be let go, I sent a résumé in response to that ad. And while I was applying, I also responded to another ad.

Today I heard back from a recruiter about one of the jobs. We chatted, I expressed an interest in the job, and he said he'll pass my résumé off to his client. Later this afternoon, I received an email from the second job asking me to call them.

I don't know if either of these opportunities will pan out, but this response is already so much better than my last job hunting ordeal. As you may recall, it took me over two frustrating years to find my current job, and because of that, I truly dreaded the thought of having to seek employment again. Apparently, when you have even a couple of years of experience, it's a slightly different ball game!

In any event, Brand X is supposed to talk to us at some point during the next two days about benefits, and several people think that they'll let us know who gets to stay. I hope they do let us know soon ... although now, in light of these other options, I honestly can't say whether or not I want them to hire me.

September 4, 2008
» dog and pony show

That's what my officemate calls the job hunting process, particularly when talking with a recruiter is required. It really is a "dog and pony show", a big game where each of you tries to appear positive and enthusiastic about working together, knowing full well that you'll take another offer in a heartbeat if it benefits you.

Last week, for example, it turns out that I had applied for the same job with two different recruiting agencies. I had brief phone interviews with each of them, but one of those was them primarily trying to get my information in order to add me to their database of job seekers. I haven't heard a word about the job I was interested in, so yeah, I've pretty much given up on it at this point.

The sale of our company was supposed to be finalized this week, but it's been pushed back another week. Yet, we still haven't heard the first word about who's being hired, etc. Maybe they think it goes without saying that we'll all be kept on, at least on a trial basis. Still, they're calling it a "rehire," and I think that merits at least an offer letter. The silence is only frustrating everyone. Speculation and conspiracy theories fly around the office all day. It doesn't exactly increase productivity, but there's not much work coming in, so I guess that works out okay.

Trying to be proactive, my officemate and I sent emails to the vice-president, expressing our concern, but again, we haven't heard a word from him. I know there's a lot going on, but it's been two days, and he can't reply with a simple, "Thanks for letting me know, let's talk when I'm in town next week"? If he doesn't respond soon, we'll know that the open-door policy they touted was just lip service. The other fear about getting no answer from him is that he knows we're not going to be hired, so he's really not interested in talking to us. As I said, speculation is rampant, and it tends to be on the negative side.

So, it looks like I'll remain with the dogs and the ponies, smiling and prancing as I search out leads on other jobs.

September 10, 2008
» quarking up

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but every once in a while my worryer grabs hold of a thought and just won't let it go. Well, it happened again this week, after I read an article about the LHC and freaked out about it.

Actually to say that I freaked out is an understatement. Oh sure, I carried on, doing my work and chatting nicely with people, but I spent the better part of two days miserable with the *serious* blahs. I felt as if everything I ever believed in was for nothing. And, lest I spawn a rash of similar thoughts, that's all the detail I'll give about that.

Happily, prayerfully and thankfully, I'm all but over it. To be honest, I could've just as easily obsessed over a less grand event, action, or concept. Whatever the matter, I have to choose how I'm going to look at it: either with worry or with faith. Neither of my viewpoints will affect the target of my thoughts, but the worry option will leave me ... not where I want to be. Hopefully this little exercise will make my faith be that much stronger the next time I face a challenge.

Because I've calmed down and can joke about it, I've taken to blaming the LHC for just about anything that goes wrong. For example, when my hair doesn't behave the way I want it to or my socks don't fit right, I smile, shake a mock-angry fist, and grumble, "Darn particle accelerator..."

September 16, 2008
» no email goes unpunished

Or should I say that no email goes un-ignored?

As I've mentioned, my company was to be sold to Brand X, and as previously griped, they have not been forthcoming with details about the new order, such as it were. After weighing the risks of speaking out versus grinning and bearing, my OfficeMate and I wrote to the new head of the department about our single biggest concern: please do not put the Checker Person back in charge of our "team."

Well, the sale of the company was finalized this week. Dept Head was in town, and right before quitting time OfficeMate and I were called to a meeting along with Checker Person. Dept Head announced that CP would continue on in his team leader position.

I felt as if I had been punched.

Dept Head went on to say that we're all important, and he'll be in town quite a bit to help, and blah, blah, blah. It was asserted that the past is the past, and from this point on we are all a team. Did we have any questions, or gripes we wanted to air?

OfficeMate and I simply smiled in silence. As we agreed later, there's nothing more to say. We said all that we could without flat out warning that if CP is put back in charge, we will both leave. We didn't specifically say that because we didn't want to start out that way with the new higher-ups. We were hoping they would read between the lines.

As I blogged earlier, I have been casually job hunting, and not just because of CP. With this change of company ownership, I've been wondering, since I'm starting over anyway, should I take this chance to move on? The question remained even today, as I had tried to decide whether Dept Head is the type of personality I can work for. And then came the meeting. From the way they've handled our sharing our concerns - not only ignoring our request but not even acknowledging that we'd written! - it appears that those questions have been answered. Loud and clear.

As I write this, I'm thinking of how embarrassing it will be if months pass, and I read this again, and I'm still with the same company. Believe me, it won't just be embarrassing. It'll be depressing beyond words. I definitely don't want to rush into accepting the first job offer I get, but right now I'm fed up. I can't imagine spending another day in that stress, and tomorrow if CP barks orders at me, I just may lose it.

September 18, 2008
» breaking up the band

Yesterday, as OfficeMate, Ex-Trainer Guy and I are still reeling from the ambush that I blogged about in the last entry, our new Team Leader decides, "Hey! What better time for me to really rub their faces in my newfound position of power?"

So he asks to speak to Ex-Trainer Guy in private. ETG reports later that TL tried to lay down the law, even going so far as to declare that he *is* the voice for our Houston-based department head. Keeping his cool, ETG said that he understands - but he still wants to talk to the department head. ETG did talk to Dept Head and was able to get a compromise on one of the new work "requirements."

Oh, but TL wasn't done there. He returns and declares that either OfficeMate or I must move out of that office into the nearby cubicle. "They" don't like people sharing a space. "They" think we'll just sit in there and talk about negative things. (Yes, those were his exact words. Note to higher-ups: if you're concerned about us talking about negative things, give us something positive to talk about!)

Looking from me to OfficeMate, TL is all, "One of you can volunteer, or I can flip a coin...?" I guess he was so busy reaching for the coin that OM had to repeat saying that he would move. However, he did call TL on saying that "they" wanted it done. OM told TL, "I know who wanted it done, and I know why. And you do, too." We *all* know why. Forgive the crudity, but TL has got to leave his mark on everything, like a dog stopping at every tree and hydrant.

So, OM moved out to the cubicle five feet away. I was a wreck for the rest of the day. I went to the restroom to cry twice at work, then I cried leaving work, and on the way to my apartment, and back at my apartment multiple times. I don't even remember the last time I cried so much, and barring a tragedy, I don't recall ever crying so many different times in one day. Last night - after another cry - I finally decided why I was so upset: all that pent-up stress from the last few months was coming out as I realized that it wasn't going to get any better any time soon.

I woke up today with one eye puffy from the tearfest, but I felt more optimistic. OfficeMate, Ex-Trainer Guy and I are planning to go to lunch regularly. (Trying to keep us from talking, TL? Honey, you just gave us a reason to talk more!) We three will continue if not intensify our job hunts, and since our so-called team is only us and TL, I find great comfort in the thought of him being left solo, without a team to lead.

October 9, 2008
» birthday in the life

My birthday was a week ago yesterday, and although I had to work, I decided to try to capture the day in a photo essay. Alas, nothing especially photo-worthy was encountered, but then again, (I tell myself that) that brings a touch of realism to the project by showing some trivial everyday things.

October 13, 2008
» I think he prefers the abacus

This afternoon I went to a job interview. And you know those kind of interviews where everything seems to go just right? Yeah, well, this was *not* one of those.

It started off on the wrong foot when I told the receptionist that I was there to meet with Mr. McIntire. "There's no one here by that name." Apparently the guy scheduling the interview was not the same person I would actually be talking to. Oops.

Then the guy I did talk to, while very polite, seemed looking for reasons early on to dismiss me as a candidate for the job. When I said that part of my current job involves using software, he seemed to immediately jump to the conclusion that because I use a computer I do no thinking whatsoever. (Wait a mo . . . has he been talking to my current employer??)

The whole thing was such a fiasco that the interviewer actually left before it was over. He put me in another office to take some on-line aptitude/personality test, and when it was over, the receptionist was waiting outside. "He had to go out to the shop," she said. "He said that you could just go, and he'll call you later so you can talk again." She stopped short of saying that if I bought that she's got some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale, also.

The up side of having a snarky, superior interview person? Leaving the exchange glad they didn't pick you because you do not want a person like that to be your new boss.

October 22, 2008
» time marches on

"Sister calls herself a sexy grandma.
Brother's on a diet for high cholesterol.
Mama's out of touch with reality.
Daddy's in the ground beneath the maple tree.
As the angels sing an old Hank Williams song.
Time marches on, time marches on."

~Time Marches On (by Tracy Lawrence)

I still miss you, Daddy.

November 3, 2008
» OfficeMate, no more

Fed up with the work situation my OfficeMate turned in his resignation. The next day, the bosses asked him to go ahead and leave since he was going to work for a competitor. Fortunately for him, he was able to start work at his new job two days later.

That was a few weeks ago, and since around that time, I've mostly found myself calmed down about the job situation. No, not because OM left. I think I've just finally come to terms with the way things are. I'm not even really angry at the bosses. They did what they had to do, and now I know what I have to do. And even though my last interview was a disaster and I've currently zero job prospects, most of the time I feel calmly positive about that, too. I encourage myself that I'll keep looking for a new job, and I'll take my time so I know I'm getting the right one.

And then there are days like today, where one of the consistently moody checker people chews me out, oozing with sarcasm, and I almost hope that they let me go after the "three month trial period" ends. What is it about this industry that allows such tactless, obstinate people to assume positions of authority? I don't care if you think I'm the biggest idiot this side of the Mississippi - although, can one truly be a good manager with that kind of negative attitude? - if you want me to listen to what you have to say, you'll make it a point to show me just the tiniest bit of respect.

OfficeMate felt he had to leave to get respect. Today's incident is pretty much the standard for management where I work, and I can say with great confidence that they don't care that OM left. (Sorta proves him right, yes?) So smugly self-righteous, they made it clear when they took over that there are "thirty people in line" for all of our jobs.

Is that a fact, managers? Because I can't help noticing that a replacement has not yet been found for OM. As far as I know, there've only been two interviews, and both of those candidates had much less experience than OM did. Well, in the higher-ups' defense, they didn't say that there were thirty qualified people.

And it's a funny thing about a lack of loyalty: it works both ways. Management wants me to understand how utterly replaceable I am. Okay. I get that. But do *they* realize? I don't need thirty job offers to lure me away. One decent one is all it would take.

November 12, 2008
» what goes around

At work, as we try to adjust to our new owners' way of doing things, a typical exchange with the people reviewing our projects goes like this:

Us: Do you have a standard way of doing this?

Them: There are *no* standards.

Us: I understand, but is there a way you usually do it?

Them: There are *no* standards.

Us: [Picks a way and does the task.]

Them: That's not how we do it!

Us: [Fights urge to hurt Them.]

The bright side of this is that the two people who were previously in charge of checking the projects are now getting a taste of the frustration that the other trainee and I have been experiencing since we were hired.

The dark side of the bright side is that neither of them is aware of the connection.

November 25, 2008
» pit of random II

*Three times in the past two weeks I've been woken up by an alarm sounding somewhere outside. Thankfully, all three times it was within 30 minutes of the time I was going to get up anyway.

*After researching the cameras that will soon be on sale, I've decided on one that I want. Now, I'm preparing myself that the store will probably have sold out of them by the time I get there on Friday.

*Today, I cooked "over well" eggs for the first time, and later I plan to finish the latest email to my epal, Michele.

*Recently, I have been busily working to accomplish some website To Dos.

*Although it was April when I changed my hairstyle, I'm still not used to seeing myself with this look.

*I eagerly await the - so far unscheduled - release of season two of The Young Riders on DVD.

*A few weeks ago, I started eating fish again, but I haven't told the people at work. It would simply mean too much to them.

*On Sunday, I bought six new pairs of socks. (Two packs of three.) The socks that I previously bought on two separate occasions were too tight in the ankles. So far, the new ones seem to work okay.

*When I renewed my apartment lease last month, they raised the rent $10.

*My boyfriend and I are planning to go to the new Greek restaurant in Huntsville this weekend, but I don't think he remembers that.

*Does anyone know of a store that sells a parallel-to-USB printer cable? I'd rather not have to order it on-line.

*The stretch of Interstate 65 that crosses the Tennessee River in Alabama is really beautiful in the spring and fall.

*I hope that all of you have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. :)

December 4, 2008
» it's going

Maybe other bloggers can relate: there are times when I feel compelled to share anything and everything, and then there are times when my attention is focused elsewhere.

I'm currently experiencing the latter, to the point where I'm not even reading other people's blogs. Lately my free time is devoted to website work. A few weeks ago I finally found some inspiration on a project that I've planned to accomplish by the end of the year, and now I really, really, really want to finish that.

There's also the small matter of Christmas shopping. I've already purchased a good portion of the gifts I planned to gift, but ever the masochist, I decided to be creative with one of my Mom's gifts. (And I can post about it because Mom does not use the Internet.) The fam and I went on a one-day road trip back in July, and I still haven't printed the pictures. So, since I'll be printing, I decided to go back through all of my digital pictures - over five years' worth - and print the ones I think she'd like as a memento. I plan to put them in a photo album and caption - or at least date - each one. So far, I haven't even completed the first step of this project which is picking out the ones to print.

Hmm ... I guess I should stop typing and start doing, yes? I leave you with a highly relevant quote, sent to me by a lovely visitor to my Christmas site:

"As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same." - Donald E. Westlake

December 30, 2008
» a year in review - 2008

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Went to Big Spring Jam in Huntsville, Alabama, saw Kansas perform, made egg salad, and started moisturizing my neck on an almost daily basis. I also started eating fish again for the first time in about ten years.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had two goals for 2008: 1) to "be happy and do good" which I'd say I succeeded at, at least more than I failed, and 2) I resolved to have a serious talk with my boyfriend about our relationship: I did try, more than once, but the attempts did not go well. It seems to me that he doesn't want to talk about things; he's perfectly content to wear his rose-colored glasses and think everything is okay. So, I stopped trying to talk to him, and we continue going through the motions.

For 2009, I have a few goals: learn the Stayin' Alive dance, read another of Jane Austen's books, and get involved in something worthwhile.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We weren't close, but my great-uncle Neil passed away. I remember him from family reunions.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
My own house. I'm working toward fulfilling this dream, but honestly, I don't think it'll happen in 2009.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My birthday (October 1), simply because I made a photo essay to commemorate the day (lackluster though it was)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
After putting it off for way too long, I finally started to learn CSS for a new website layout that I'm working on. Now that I'm using CSS, I see how efficient it is, and I'm embarrassed that I waited so long.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I bought a car, and I did everything wrong. I bought the only car that I test-drove, I didn't negotiate at all on the price, I accepted too little for my trade-in... I'm saving the rest of the gory details for a blog entry titled "how NOT to buy a car".

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had the sniffles once or twice. Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A Creative mp3 player that was marked down to $29

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Three of my former co-workers'. I've really appreciated their efforts to keep in touch with me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My new bosses'. From the start they've oozed with disrespect, and so far they've remained very critical while offering little guidance.

14. Where did most of your money go?
To paying for the car that I bought

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Beatles

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"Love Story" by Taylor Swift, because I heard it for the first time as I was driving home from an interview in a town near the state line. Oddly enough, the song made me feel better about realizing that the job wasn't the one for me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Older or wiser? Hopefully wiser, since I'm still trying to learn things from my experiences
Thinner or fatter? about the same
Richer or poorer? Poorer, since I bought a car

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Communicating with people instead of talking about them

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Insulting people when I truly didn't mean to

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I stayed at my mom's. We opened presents with my sister. I helped make lunch, which included a homemade (by Mom) pecan pie. Later we watched "Adventures in Babysitting", which was one of my gifts.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Current programs? None. But thanks to DVDs, I continue to get reacquainted with my old favorites: The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, Laverne and Shirley, My So-Called Life...

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No... although the media REALLY ticked me off with their Chicken Little style coverage of the economic situation.

25. What was the best book you read?
I read three books: Tigerheart by Peter David, A McKaslin Homecoming by Jillian Hart, and Kennedy Square by F. Hopkinson Smith. I enjoyed the first two very much.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Traveling Wilburys. Their "Volume 1" CD is fantastic! I also started to appreciate The Beatles' music.

27. What did you want and get?
A new camera from the day-after-Thanksgiving sales

28. What did you want and not get?
After the company I work for was sold, I desperately wanted a new job because my new bosses let me know how little they needed me. I went on several interviews before I finally calmed down and decided it was in my best interest to stay where I am for now.

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
Fave Film Released This Year: has to be Mamma Mia and Wall-E, because those are the only two I saw in the theatre.
Fave Film Of The Ones Seen This Year For The First Time: I watched The Beatles' first two movies - A Hard Day's Night and Help! - and I really enjoyed them both.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
For the first time in years, I had to work. I went to CiCi's Pizza Buffet for lunch, and then did just a little shopping. I ended the day by watching "Help!" which I'd bought in June and saved until my birthday (i.e. "a special occasion") to watch.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my supervisors at work had been as interested in helping me learn as they are in telling me I'm wrong

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Style-wise, pretty much the same: more classic than trendy. A new fashion development is that late this year I realized that for the longest time, I've been wearing several outfits that I don't like just to avoid wearing the same thing too often. So, I tried to start wearing more outfits I really like. I'm still working on that, because I don't have enough "outfits I really like" to cover the wide range of temperature differences I'm bound to experience during the day.

33. What kept you sane?
My faith and talking to my family

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Tom Petty and The Beatles, particularly George Harrison

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Well, if you mean what political issue was I sick of since WELL before this year even began, then that would have to be the Presidential election with all of its drama, mudslinging, and media hypercoverage.

36. Who did you miss?
My former OfficeMate, and Tammy, from work

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Matt S, from work. He's one of the new "higher-ups", but not really one of the 50 or so people classified as my supervisor, which is too bad because he seems pretty cool.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
The more I learn about other people, the more I see that they're just like me.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"I have been blessed, and I feel like I've found my way. I thank God for all I've been given at the end of every day. I have been blessed - with so much more than I deserve. To be here with the ones who love me. To love them so much it hurts. I have been blessed." (from "Blessed" by Martina McBride)


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