Thursday, December 09, 2004

That's all she wrote...

I turned over the last trappings of corporate America today -- my secure token, my laptop, my badge, my parking garage hang tag...It feels good, but also kind of strange. I've never not been working before...yeah, I know, I'll still be working, but I won't have an office that I go to or anything like that. I'll be accountable to no one but myself (what kind of taskmaster will I make, I wonder?).

Right now it just seems kind of like going on vacation, especially since I'll be leaving on that cruise on Saturday. It probably won't really hit me until January when the holidays are over and things will be "back to normal" or as normal as they'll ever be. I will definitely have to get myself onto a schedule so I don't wind up sleeping late or taking naps all day. ;-)

Besides the giant frog that the team gave me, the other managers all chipped in and got me a $100 gift certificate to the mall and a monstrously huge unabridged dictionary (to aid me in my writing career). It was really nice. I really didn't expect any of that. Other people are leaving, but I guess because I'm leaving on purpose as opposed to being shown the door, it's a little different. It makes me feel a little guilty though.

Tony is in Chicago. He left this morning to take part in their first annual Laser Tag team building exercise and to do the end of the year wrap up stuff. Still haven't heard about the job in Kentucky, other than her sending him a quick email that they "haven't forgotten him, but they've been real busy." ARGH. I don't know if it is a good sign or a bad one.

He won't be back until late on Friday and then I'm off on a cruise on Saturday. I get back on Thursday and then he might be going to New York for a one day trip to talk to S&P about some big project. Crazy time of year this is.

Well, I need to clean the house to get ready for Auntie Anna and Mom coming in. Everything's a wreck right now.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Going, going, gone...

Well, my last "real" day was actually pretty short. I had to do 1:1 with everyone and give the bad news to Jeremy that he was FMP'd (force management program -- what exactly is that supposed to mean, anyway? why can't they just say "laid off"). Then we went out to lunch and my team gave me a huge frog (matches my small dragon) from Bali Bay (Tony gave them a hint) and a necklace. It was really nice. Then I went from there to a happy hour with Mike and the other managers at the Bilmar Station (Kim: "What do you have?" Waitress: "We have beer and wine." "What kind of wine?" "Sutter Home" "I'll have beer, thanks.") I wound up having this humongous chocolate beer from Oregon. It was HUGE. Then I went from there to a happy hour Tony was having at The Green Iguana.

Okay, so maybe it was more of a happy day, rather than hour. Sake, beer, frou-frou drink...then we went to dinner at Cafe Alma and had a bottle of Murphy Goode Petit Verdot. Always a good meal there.

So I just have to go in for the mornings Mon, Tues, Wed. Mike wanted me to finish off at the Manager's staff meeting on Wed. I guess I'll shop in the afternoon ;-) Thursday Auntie Anna comes in and then Friday Mom & Watson...then Saturday we leave on the cruise.

I wish the lady up in Kentucky would PLEASE tell Tony whether he got the job or not. It's driving me crazy. I'm sure it is driving Tony more crazy. He did find another job that he's interested in in Houston...I'd rather go to Kentucky. Texas just doesn't appeal to me over much. Maybe it's ok, but if we're gonna move, I'd rather move somewhere in a different latitude.

I did work on my paintings today. I got the backgrounds done at least. I might have a buyer for the series if I get it all finished. Rose Marie. They're fun and simple, but kind of commercial-y. Bright colors, simple shapes. I'm going to do one with palm trees and a hammock and the other one maybe a city scape.

Other than that, trying to figure out whether I should incorporate or not for the freelance writing gig...I can actually get some money for being laid off from the company, but I have to "prove" I'm starting a business. I am, but it's a little hard to prove that you're writing a book... I gotta finish the book first. I have 2 years to use it at least. But I might go through the whole incorporation thing. Or prove it with invoices. I dunno. Sole Proprietorship would be easier.

Gonna go hang with Tony on the couch now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Weird Dreams...

Well, Thanksgiving week went pretty well. Got some stuff done around the house and spent some quality time with Mom & Watson, though I'm completely worn out now. Saturday we tried to go to Cafe Ponte with Betsy & Craig for the jazz...sadly, they had an oldies band instead. Now, when I say 'oldies' you might be thinking something along the lines of the Beatles, or Sinatra. I don't know what the heck these people were singing, but the band themselves were geriatric. The woman even had some kind of huge blue peacock feather in her hair. It was incredibly bad. A waiter sees us turn around and goes "Where are you going?" and Betsy's harried reply - "We came for the music, but no thanks!" We wound up at Ringside Cafe. It was ok. Though there was a fashion victim there. People with pot bellies should NOT wear fluffy pink shirts and pleated jeans skirts. Actually, pretty much no one over the age of 12 should wear a pleated jeans skirt.

Monday we told the team I was leaving. It was both good and bad. Everyone was shocked. Then we had our team lunch. I picked up the tab -- likely my last bit of largesse before I becoming a starving artist. Then all the managers went to dinner. We wound up going to Roy's, which is always a good place.

I will miss the people, but I'm so ready to GO.

Last night I had the most bizarre dream. I think it would make an excellent sci fi story, if I could work out some of the dream weirdness. Cloning, a war, mixed up brainwashing stuff...

Tonight is pottery class. Hopefully glazing some stuff.

Tony still hasn't heard about the job in KY. Yeeks, I wish they'd just hurry up and tell him. It's driving us both nuts.

Friday, November 19, 2004

What am I, some kind of trustworthy person or something?

I had jury duty again yesterday and once again I was selected for a jury. Luckily, it was just a one day trial this time and not a murder one. I must have an honest face or something.

This one was for a solicitation of prostitution charge of all things. Against this poor 72 year old Chinese guy that barely spoke English at all. It was a travesty. They have him on tape, but all you can really hear him saying is "Home" as in, I want to go home you crazy lady, you're scaring me.

We found him not guilty.

Crazy things. The state should be apologizing to that poor guy.

Anyway. Let's see, other than that...Mike is going to announce to my team on 11/29 that I'm leaving. Then we're going to have our team lunch, though I guess at that point it will be a goodbye lunch...

I'm so full. We had our potluck today at work and I'm just stuffed like a turkey. I don't really have anything clever to say or any witty remarks...I'm just full and I need a nap.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Another day...

Boy, I'm just barely getting through the days anymore! I need a nap! Actually, it isn't too bad, but I've written up everything that I needed to and now I just need to go through my files. That's about it.

Mike is going to take all the managers out the last week, not sure where. On Monday. I kind of hate note telling anybody. Part of that, to be honest with myself, is I don't want anybody to think I just got laid off like some slacker. ;-) I chose to go. Unofficially, since official with HR you can't volunteer.


That house in Louisville is down to only $159K. AGH. I wish Tony could find out now whether or not he got that job. I also don't want to send off any resumes or anything either, since I don't know whether we're going to be moving or what. It's worse for him though, poor guy, since it would be his job and he wants it. He'd be really good for it. But I guess they aren't going to tell him until around the last week of the month. Feels like forever from now.

For his birthday he got...
  • Dish towels and laguile cheese knives - Lisa & co
  • DiSarrono and home brew book - Pam
  • Hard Rock Key West shot glass (we used to collect them) and Wusthof mezzaluna - Royce & Janet
  • Artsy cutting board - me
  • M&M wine - Betsy & Craig

I think that's it. Mom bought him some kind of easel that she's going to bring down at Thanksgiving. We invited Charles & Phyllis over too. Haven't seen them really in a while. I'm not sure if Royce & Janet are coming or not. Haven't gotten that menu together yet either.

Ugh. Thought or more things to fix on the house:

  • get rid of rusty shower curtain rod in master bath
  • replace counter top in guest bath?
  • fix flap in swimming pool
  • fix fence
  • fix fence gates, if possible

I'm sure there's more. There's always more.

Monday, November 15, 2004


I'm feeling pretty good, really. I'm so ready to be gone. The news is good, bad, good, bad...but I'm just done and I don't really care anymore. Well, I mean, I do, because, no matter what the bigwigs think, what you're talking about are real people. They'd probably use a term like collateral damage or something like that, but everything comes down to a person. I think they (there it is again, that ubiquitous they) forget that.

So, just working on trying to get everything documented that I do.

Last night we went to Roy's with Vanessa and Herman. Good meal. Went a little crazy, but hey, it was Tony's birthday and soon we won't be able to really do that anymore. Had a $173 bottle of Sauterne. A Chateau Yquem...

Yquem is a Sauterne, but classifying it as such is akin to calling a vintage Bugatti an old car. It is the finest of the Sauternes because every grape is literally picked by hand, having succumbed to la pourriture noble, the noble rot, a parasitic fungus that dramatically alters the chemistry of the grape, consuming one-third of its sugars and five-sixths of its acids. It is this change in chemistry that begets the unforgettable color, texture, and flavor of the finished wine. It is the most rare — not only of Sauternes, but also of all wines — because only 240 acres are under cultivation, limiting production to roughly 66,000 bottles per year. It is the most expensive because every step in the arduous processes of pruning, grafting, picking, selecting, fermenting, bottling, and shipping is done by hand, and done in the same time-consuming, fastidious manner practiced over generations.

Found that on a web site. It was very good. More mellow than I expected it to be, but very, very nice.

I had ostrich and Monchongo ? Something like that. A Hawaiian fish. Everything was very good. Tony had two different Hawaiian fish. The other one started with an N and looked vaguely like Nairobi. It was impossible to pronounce.

My goals this week...
  • Finish the darn Clive Barker interview. Up to almost 2,000 words typed and still like 40 minutes of interview to go. Egad.
  • Re-do my resume.
  • Send a reminder e-mail to Richard.
  • Call that one magazine I sent the Wine Shop article to.
  • Send recently posted review copies to the publishers.

And that's probably enough. There's a bunch of other stuff to do, but I can only tackle so much at one time. Pottery class on Tuesday. Dinner on Thursday. Etc., Etc. There's never enough time. But soon, soon, I'll have more time than I know what to do with. And I already know what's going to happen...there will never be enough time. That's just the way it goes. It's like the stuff in your expands to fill whatever available space there is.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Tony's Birthday Weekend

Well, let's see what's going on...Tony got back late on Friday, but earlier than I thought he was going to. I was still making the ice cream and the potato dish for Saturday when he got here. He's not sure about the job. He got a fairly good feeling from them, but he's just not sure. They're supposed to let him know (hopefully) by the end of the month. So we're going to be in countdown mode until then. He really wants it. It's right up his alley. I hope he gets it.

If he does, then we'll be in scramble mode as we try to get our house ready to sell (and sell it) and find a new place and move to Kentucky (by god).

Saturday he went to play paintball with Pedro, Adam, and Clint. He's got these weird shaped paintball bruises all over now, like some strange kind of paintball ringworm. They look very painful. Vanessa thinks paintball is grounds for divorce. She just doesn't get it. I don't really mind, though I'm not sure I understand the bruises. But I look at it this way, he puts up with me playing computer games. I can put up with him playing war games.

Saturday night we had his big birthday dinner. Le Menu:

Rack of venison with shallots and dried cranberry and juniper berry gravy
Goat cheese scalloped potatoes
Green beans with carmelized onions and wild mushrooms
Chocoloate Souffles with raspberry semifreddo
Assorted cheeses beforehand, and Betsy brought these gorgonzola stuffed mushrooms that were really good. We had the Del Dotto wines we got on our trip last year -- 2000 Cabernet, one from Missouri oak, one from a French oak, and then the blend of the two. The semifreddo was primarily a semifreddo because I made failed homemade ice cream. But it tasted good. We started out with the Darioush Viognier. My favorite (and only) white.
A good night, all in all. I ate way too much though.
Tonight we're going out with Vanessa and Herman to Roy's. Actually got to make a reservation at OpenTable for once. ;-) I checked; Kentucky's got just two restaurants listed there, but one of them is Morton's. So maybe I'll get to have good steak. Or maybe not, since I'll be a starving writer, ha, ha.
I laugh, but who knows.
I did get my office cleaned while Tony was out paintballing, so I have no excuses now. I got part of the Clive Barker interview typed up, but I've definitely figured out that I SUCK at taking dictation. I need one of those machines with the foot pedal so you can start, stop, go forward, go back, etc. I think I've only got about 20 minutes of it down, so I've got like 40 minutes to go. I need to get that done. In fact, I should be doing that now...but I'm not.
I did get caught up on some book reviews though. I got four turned out, so I'm covered until the end of November at least. Still have a stack of more to do.
Man, I hope Tony gets that job.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Crossing Fingers...

I hope Tony's doing well in his interview(s). He called this morning before he left for the office. I don't think he got a lot of sleep. They did put him up at a nice hotel though -- his room has two four poster beds in it. Sounds very posh.

I'm taking a half day today and I'm going to go get the stuff to make raspberry ice cream and the goat cheese scalloped potatoes to go with the venison. Not sure if I need anything else. And was going to stop by Home Depot and get some weed killer stuff.

If we are going to sell the house, we're going to have to do some fixing up...
  • Fix master bath faucet
  • Fix master bath grout
  • Re-carpet living room/master bedroom
  • Get hurricane blasted trees upright again
  • Fix nasty grass patch
  • Paint the mail box
  • Fix the handle on the microwave
  • Probably paint all our multi-colored rooms
  • Get rid of water stains on garage ceiling

I think that's it. Hopefully. This is all very exciting, but very stressful at the same time. The thought of moving is both enticing and scary. But that might be a good thing. I don't think you should stay in one place too long, in a way. You can get in a rut.

Oh, I did call those Kamado people again. This time they are telling us that ours will be the first one shipped from their new facility, in about 2 weeks. Hmmm. Last time they said it would be shipped two weeks ago. I don't trust them at all.

Yeah, I do.

I love my husband. I don't think that's a crime. He makes me happy inside, like a warm and fuzziness that spreads through you like a good Scotch. Or even a bad one, for that matter. He's in Kentucky now. And I'm here. I'm weepy, but it isn't because I'm happy or I'm sad. Sometimes I'm just plain weepy. I can't explain it. It just happens, I think that's the thing that guys don't understand. Sometimes there is no cause and effect. Sometimes there just is. That's all there is to it.

Of course, it could be the wine. ;-)

What did we do before smiley faces, anyway? Before you could defuse text by a semi-colon, a dash and a right parenthesis?

I guess I wax silly at night when I am lonely. I wish Tony luck tomorrow. I hope he gets the job. Not for me, but for him. I think he needs this. He needs another windmill to tilt at. He needs another project, something else. Another battle to fight. You can't keep fighting the same battles over and over again and not winning. That's what I feel like I've been doing for years at my job and look where that's led me. Like I told Jeffy, stick a fork in me, I'm done. I'm not corporate. That's really Corporate with the capital C. Not corporate in the Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land sense -- I'm not going to go metaphysical or anything. Some things are better left on this planet, not the next, or even the next one after that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Well, I'm committed...

Or commitable. One or the other, I don't know. We're even thinking of maybe moving to Kentucky. Louisville. I can't even say the name right. But it actually looks like a fairly decent place. The thought of moving is actually kind of enticing. The kicker is the cats. Tony doesn't really want to move them because of what they've done to the house (which was primarily prompted by the presence of Pam's cats, but there's no guarantee). I understand that completely -- cat piss is not the eau du vie I want in my house either, but I also don't want to abandon them (well, I wouldn't abandon them, I'd find them a place to live). We made a committment when we got them and I don't want to be one of those people that dumps an animal just because of convenience. On the other hand, I've tried every recommended solution to getting them to stop peeing on the carpet and none of them has really worked. So I don't know.


I dunno, I dunno, I dunno. That's my mantra now.

Kentucky is kind of cold.

I kind of can't wait for the day to get here now. I've made my decision and I just want to be gone and get started writing.

First step...clean my office! It looks like a tornado hit it from when I was searching for something. Probably tomorrow night -- Tony's going to be in Louisville for his interview then. Tonight I get to spend a little time with him.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Big Night

I forget, I should talk about the good stuff too. :-) The Big Night dinner party went really well. We had a ton of food and the timpano came out just amazing. We even made hand made ziti for it. The bowl I found from the guy in Bradenton was perfect, even the right brand and everything. We had a total of 10 people. The cannellini bean thing was another big hit. I'll definitely have to make that again. All in all, it was a really good time and a good group of people.

It's closing time...

Yep, it's closing time...somebody's beginning end...that song, however it goes, kept running through my head. I've made the big decision. I've volunteered to take a package in the next layoff. It seems inevitable. Sooner or later... This way I at least have some control over where and when and how.

And, with Tony's support, I'm going to try and write. And be poor, I suppose.

It's freaking me out some, but I think it was something I needed to do. You can only take so much. We've had years of miserableness.

Now I've got to re-prioritize. I've put off the NaNoWriMo and I'm going to work on my "real" novel -- the one most likely to be published. I'll get about 4.5 months of paid time. I think I could finish it in 2...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

So tired...

I could have slept until 3 today. They should declare the day after election day to be a holiday. I made it a bit past one. I think Tony was up until well after 2. And of course got up bright and early. I don't know how he does it.

On the work front...ugh. That's all I have to say.

I'm definitely behind now on my novel. Hopefully will get to it tonight. I just can't hardly think at all.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Well, I voted

I did my civic duty and voted this morning, even carting a 19 page printout of all the constitutional amendments with me. It's ridiculous what they try to put through every year. 95% of the stuff just doesn't belong in the constitution at all.

I must screw with all of the demographics, since I don't vote along party lines. Heck, it's my party and I'll vote how I want to. Or rather, it's really NOT my party (any of them), so I'll darn well do whatever I want. Tony is more consistent. And I know he's right sometimes, but I just feel bad if I vote for someone that I plain don't like.

Of course, the problem being that I don't generally like any of them.

President was a tough one, but I'm sure whoever I voted for won't win. Maybe that's a complete cop out. But I'm just really deeply unhappy with this particular race. We really need more than a two party system, there just isn't really a viable third one out there.

For heaven's sake, I looked up a Veteran's Party Candidate in the Senate race and he was sounding fairly reasonable until I got a little farther down his bio and he started ranting about how no immigrants should be allowed in the country and that prisons should be moved to tropical islands ala Reality TV with prisoners just given "what they need to survive."

Where do these people come from anyway?

Monday, November 01, 2004

NaNoWriMo Month

I started a new blog to do my NaNoWriMo novel (National Novel Writing Month) in. We'll see how it goes. Last year I didn't find out about it until half the month was already gone, so I didn't really get too far. I'd like to finish one this time. The tough part was following the rules and starting a completely new novel when I've got like 4 partly completed ones sitting around. But I'm nothing if not a a stickler for rules, so here goes a new one: Splittsville. I'd actually had the idea for it a couple of weeks ago when I was looking at a billboard for a new bowling place called Splittsville. It's got nothing to do with bowling though. It's about a girl who's always breaking up with guys until she starts dating this guy who won't take goodbye for an answer. Not exactly my normal writing stuff, but I want to at least use this to get in the habit of writing consistently again.

And I'm not going to go back and edit or do any of the things I normally do. I'm not even going to type it into Word. I'm just going to directly blog it. Sheer word count baby.

We'll see.

Lots of other stuff has happened since I last wrote....
  • Pam decided that her problem isn't that she's co-dependent on guys and can't break up with anyone without stalking them, but that her family is the real reason she suffers from depression. She no longer wants to speak with us. Well, ok. I'm trying not to sound bitter and to see things from her side, but it's hard to do. She's right when she says I don't understand. I don't. I'd really like to, but I don't. I know she's not trying to be hurtful and she's doing what she can but sheesh. I dunno.
  • We went to Chicago and had a great meal at Tru and a general good time. I'm still not big on Fright Fest type of things. Roller coasters just make me ill, but all in all it was a good trip, except for the bar fight that I thought for sure Sherri was going to get us in. At the Holiday Inn bar, for heaven's sake.
  • More FMP's (forced management something or other, i.e. layoffs) at work. Constant. Probably another one in December. Lots of rumors too.
  • Yesterday we ripped out the carpet (and the underlying vinyl tile we found underneath it) and installed the new Legato carpet squares while fielding trick-or-treaters. Yay! No more cat piss smell!
  • Our receiver seems to have died, so we have no sound. That'll mess up the Big Night party this Saturday. Hard to watch a DVD with no sound.
That covers most things. Been busy and tired. And now I'm writing a novel in one month!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

When will I not be tired anymore?

I swear I just can't get enough sleep anymore. I'm always tired. I did go to the gym this morning, but not until a bit later than normal (6:30 rather than 5:30). Poor Tony headed off at 5:30 to work to try and make up for the lost time when we go to Chicago. I feel bad for my poor hubby. I'm sure he's even more tired than I am. He just hides it better, except for the occassional crankiness.

I sent off a query to the Times and got a response back that they were interested in the article idea, just not sure there was time to do it (being holiday themed), but that I should send in some clips. Haven't heard anything else back yet. So, luck to me.

Pottery class tonight. I wish I'd glazed something last week now. But, maybe I can finish up a bunch of pieces this time instead.

Found a goblin cheese ball recipe for the Halloween potluck. Very cute.

Went on an ordering spree too. Well, maybe not a spree, considering most of it was for Thanksgiving. Ordered the heritage turkey from HeritageUSA, two racks of venison and 3 tubs of duck fat from D'Artagnan, The Big Night movie from Sam Goody, the Big Night Soundtrack from Tower Records and also The Man on Fire Soundtrack, and a cookbook from Amazon I found references to when I was searching for info on heritage turkeys. I think that's it. Geez, I hope so.

I'll have to look back at my to-do list and see what else I'm missing. I did stop and get more cat food on the way home. Lucky little buggers. They're liking this all wet food diet.

Monday, October 18, 2004


I'm on hold with Countrywide. They managed to pay our flood insurance twice instead of just once. I should have plugged in the darn headset, instead I'm stuck with the phone cradled between my head and shoulder. I'll have a neck ache by the end of today.

They keep sounding like they want to blame the snafu on me.


220 calories for lunch today + water. I feel snacky, but I don't want to eat anything else. Been eating way too much lately. I was headed down weight-wise, but now I seem to be slowly headed back up. Need to do the gym thing more regularly and eat less. Too much weirdness been going on lately between the hurricanes, Pam, and just life. And the holidays are about to start.

Not to mention we're going to Chicago on Friday. Big dinner that night at Tru. That'll be a calorie-killer. Should be a really good meal, but it makes me feel even more like I need to slim down an extra pound or two before we go. I guess the good thing about Tony being back in school is that tonight and tomorrow night are small dinner nights. Lean Cuisine here I come. I do best if I eat 1,000 calories or less a day.

10 more pounds to go. 12 really, since I've gained a little back.

Friday, October 15, 2004

5 Years...and a letter

I guess I officially hit my 5 year mark with the company. They have a "service awards" recognition program. They used to give you a list of things to pick from, like a watch or a frame, etc.

Ha Ha Ha.

So I go to the website to see what I get to pick from. I only have one option. A form letter from Mr. Dave Dorman himself (the guy who takes the multi-million dollar bonuses the same year that no one else gets a raise).

But, they do allow you to purchase a pin or keychain, if you so desire.

You know, there are so many things I could say that I'm just dumbstruck and I'm not going to say anything at all. What can you say? It's just sad. It's beyond sad. It's cheesey. It's one of those, if I don't laugh, I'll cry.


Yesterday the mobile vet came and checked out the cats. I was hoping they'd find something wrong with Grace to explain the "inappropriate elimination" problem (i.e. pooping in the living room). So far nothing yet, but they're still running some blood tests. They actually had to give her an anasthetic to be able to take samples. They did discover that she's got this feline hyperesthesia problem, which explains why she freaks out when someone pets near her tail. I always knew she was psycho cat, now this proves it. The only thing I could find online was to try and change to a more natural diet (already have) and to try anti-stress medication. The vet gave me some kitty drugs, but I haven't gotten her to take one yet. She wouldn't eat one mixed in with her food, darn her. So I'll have to try the shove it down your throat until you swallow it and stress you out even more approach.

Happily, this morning there were no accidents awaiting us. I'm crossing my fingers for this evening.

I still can't get over that letter thing. That's just amazing. Why do I work here again? Oh yeah, the paycheck...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Must stop eating soup

Since I manage to burn my tongue every single time I've eaten it lately. And, I didn't have a spoon in my desk, so I had to buy something (a brownie, which I don't need at all) so I could legally procure a spoon from the cafeteria downstairs.

At least I had a long workout this morning. 40 minutes on the treadmill. It was my first time using the treadmill in a long time. The Arc Trainer is much, much easier on you. I was so red that Alexander, the trainer guy, was asking when I was going to get off of it (as in, Good Lord, get off, you're going to have a heart attack). Tony called me his little beet.

I got some of my pottery back glazed last night in class. Yay! They came out better than I thought they would. I brought one piece into work to use as a candy dish. I really don't understand how people make things a uniform size and shape. At this point, I'm just trying to get them to not be a lump of clay. I really was pleasantly surprised though.

I think I'll take the class again next session. I think Pam is going to take it too, even though she's in a constant state of AGH. It will be good for her to get out of the house anyway.

Yesterday I did send off the query/article to Tampa Bay Metro. Haven't heard anything back yet. *sigh* But, on a bright note, Richard had another article assignment for me that's due in two weeks. Gotta get crackin' on that one. At least I'll have something good to report in my writing group on Saturday...

The bad thing is, all I want to do is sleep. I'm so tired all the time anymore. Getting up at 5:30 AM is for the birds. It wouldn't be so bad if I could get to sleep around 9, but that's just not happening. I didn't even get back from pottery class last night until 10 PM.

I got a few more things crossed off my list too...I found a bunch of job postings for Pedro and e-mailed them to him, cancelled the appraiser guy, and figured out when my appointment with Sharlene is (Oct 27). So I'm making progress.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Cube Dweller's Rules

I sent this out to my team today, after hearing some mutterings and grumblings. Likely my crowning accomplishment (at least work-related) for the day:

As we get used to working in a cube vs. office environment, I think there are some ground rules that we need to go over to make sure that everyone is comfortable and able to work efficiently.

* If you are on a lot of conference calls (or even just a few), please use a headset or pick up the phone. If you don't have a headset, please let me or Traci know, as she "inherited" some for us to use. The speaker option should not be used at all, even if you want the person in the next cube to participate in a call.

* As a follow up to point #1...try and develop a "telephone voice" so that your conversations don't automatically become topics for everyone. Even in our new offices way over here on the "dark side," you'd be surprised how much you can hear.

* Lengthy project discussions should be taken to the team room (2511--Traci has the key) and/or scheduled in one of the other conference rooms in Pavilion. It's great when an impromptu discussion turns into a productive brainstorming session. However, your brainstorming may be someone else's headache. Rooms can be scheduled via BookIt at http://xxx.

* Respect each other's personal space. In other words, pretend that a cube has four walls. When approaching someone, don't just barge in. Be polite and knock, clear your throat, etc. That way, if someone is in the middle of something, they have the option to ask you to "come back later."

* And, since we know that someone's cube is their castle, don't 'borrow' things just because you can see them. If you need supplies, please see Traci. If you're just being too lazy to walk down and get a pen from your own cube, then darn it, walking is good for you anyway.

* Please listen to radio and/or music with a headset. Just because you like Jimi Hendrix (and hey, so do I), doesn't mean everyone does.

* Also please be aware of "other" noises that might disturb people. Distraction can be found, according to an article on Cube-Ettiquette, from "gum-cracking, coffee-slurping, ice-chomping, pen-tapping and, most offensive of all, full-bellied belching. A cubicle is a public area, and those working inside should act as they would in any other public area. If you wouldn’t do it in a fine restaurant, don’t do it in your cubicle."

* And it ain't just the noise...smells can be bothersome too. If you've got a particularly smelly lunch, please take it to the breakroom. Oh, and try not to 'bathe' in your perfume or cologne.

For some humor, take a look at the Cube Dweller's Manifesto at

And please, don't do this:

If you've got any questions, issues, problems, death threats, etc., please don't hestiate to let me know.

Who knew pushing the send button would be so hard?

I hate sending out queries into the ether. You have no idea where they are really going, whether someone's really going to read it (and I equally hate read receipts, since people can often see that you've set one and then they wonder about how insecure you are that you have to know exactly when they've read your message.

The bad thing now is that I'll be continually checking my inbox every 2.5 seconds until I either a) get a response, b) don't get a response and give up, or c) keel over dead.

Anyway, I'm going to eat lunch.

My plant is still missing.

It's good to have goals...

So instead of having little sticky notes pasted up all over the place, I thought I'd get my goals for the week down in here. We'll see how that works. I'm going to try and be reasonable though...if I set too many goals for one week, it's doubtful that I'll get them all done and then, once you get that ball rolling...
  1. Send off wine shop article to Tampa Bay Metro magazine. Keep fingers crossed.
  2. Write up article on Bonaire restaurant.
  3. Re-write second chapter of "Sylvie."
  4. Work on query letter for Organic Style.
  5. Get organized with all the various writing projects I've currently got going, pick one novel and work on it, by god.

There's also miscellaneous things that I need to do...

  • E-mail David & Cindy and tell them how nice it was to meet them and that I hope I didn't talk their ears off, since I was a wee bit tipsy from all the good wine
  • Find a job for Pedro!! (does anyone need a really good networking guy?)
  • Support Tony in his quest for greater meaning in his job
  • Find a good date to do a Team Dinner to promote greater togetherness...or, lacking that, to at least have a really good meal
  • Cancel the appointment with the home appraiser guy and just pray that no more hurricanes come
  • Call Sharlene and figure out when my hair appointment is

I'm sure there's a bunch of other things I need to do, but small steps, man, small steps.

Tonight is pottery class. I hope that they actually fired some of my pieces. I want to see how they come out, the lumpy things. More later.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Still no sign of my poor missing plant. I did, however, make a run for some chocolate, so my new office at least smells like something good.

I think I should be working at something. I'm just so dispirited I can't hardly bring myself to do anything. And the dust is about killing me. I don't think they've dusted in this building since the Kennedy administration.

On a good note, I think my sister has mostly moved out of my house. I just need to get her cats ejected and hopfully mine will stop using the living room floor as their new litterbox. If that doesn't do it, I'm not sure what my husband will do. He's ready to give the cats away. I'm getting there myself, but I'm trying to head it off. I've made sure the litterbox is clean, taken the hood off of it, given them the food they like, treated the carpet for residual nastiness, and even bought those Feliway plug-ins to make them all happy. Nothing seems to be making a difference. Anyone want a cat? A fat, fat, cat? A very sweet, but annoying as hell cat?

I wish we'd never gotten the second one now, but it's too late. It's a committment now. We need to rip out every bit of carpet in the house, but that's an expense I don't really want to take on right now, especially since I never know what's going to happen with work. They are laying off people right and left. And Tony wants to apply for a new job, albeit within the same company, but still. And he's back in school again.

I need to sell some more articles. A little extra income wouldn't be a bad thing. Sigh. Ideas are never the problem. Time is the problem. Time, as they say in Rocky Horror, is fleeting.

Starting Today

Starting today, I'm going to try and keep a regular blog. I used to write every day in a journal, and then for a while online at OpenDiary (is that site even still around? I don't know.) I've been working on my "real" writing fairly regularly now, but I think I need something that's just there, where I can brain dump periodically and not worry about anything.

A place where I can just write about the general crap that annoys me.

Like today. They moved us (they, the ubiquitous they, the all-knowing, all-powerful, screw you as many ways as they can they) from one building to another this past weekend. I'm a manager, but a low level one, and I had my own office before. Now, I still have my "own" office, but they are making me keep an additional desk in here that I'm not supposed to touch or use. No one is going to sit at it, I just have to keep it there.

That's just so stupid. Just one more way for the company to put you down. And put us down they do...20% layoffs this year. I know, I know, I've heard the line so many times: "Just be glad you have a job." but you know what, I'm not just glad that I have a job. Work is a high % of your life and it should not make you miserable. Especially when there's no reason for them to try to make you miserable.

And someone also stole my plant. I'm very annoyed at that. It was in a Pat O'Brien's hurricane glass that I'd picked up in New Orleans years ago. Why would they steal my plant? It wasn't even a very nice or very large plant, but it was mine. Anyway, screw it. I'll vent more later. Have to keep unpacking. See if there's anything else they stole. They, they, they, damn them.