Mama is on the move

Come check me out here. I think my archives are on their way to New Jersey, but most of my stuff is where it ought, and I'm getting used to the neighborhood.


Not dead, just resting

Yeah, nothing like going almost a month without posting to drive away any interest whatsoever... Coming up with a ton of justifications for my absence would just sound defensive, but I shall do so anyway, at risk of being blown off by the two of you who are still reading.
  • I was wallowing. I had an anniversary in late July that hit me harder than I thought it would, and every post I started to write sounded really self-indulgent and stupid
  • I had to get ready for my vacation (July 28-August 4). Posts about packing suitcases and buying bottles of sunscreen by the gross aren't all that interesting
  • I went on vacation (see above) and didn't have many chance to drive to the coffee shop that had WiFi, and my dad used up all the dial up minutes that Nic bought so he could shop on eBay
  • I have an offsite meeting coming up, smaller scale than my regular quarterly meetings, but not as easy for me to plan because it doesn't follow the typical preparation process.
  • I have another big project at work, which involves a lot of Internet time, but is not really bloggable (which is probably not a real word, but I guess I can take liberties with the English language sometimes)
  • The problem with knitting baby gifts for people who insist on being due within a couple months of each other is that my fingers are occupied and cannot type
  • I'm auditioning for The Peevery this month, and I'm not allowed to cross post, so they get first crack at funny tidbits. And not so funny tidbits, actually. Anyway, the point is, if I have any good stuff, it's being posted there because I have to put my best work forward in order to crush the competition (I mean..."in order to provide the best reading experience for the wonderful Peevery staff and their faithful readers.")
  • We are still in the midst of potty training Lil Joe. Lil Joe is very stubborn. It's humiliating to have to admit that I have been reduced to actually cheering about defecation in the appropriate location (the appropriate location for the feces, that is. There is no appropriate location for the celebrating the act of pooping. It's just wrong.)
  • Despite having been told that I am a modern day Erma Bombeck (the check is in the mail, by the way, Dr. B), I just haven't written that much lately that I think it any good.

But, I shall rise above this patch of bad posting, and return to my former glory (as much glory as I ever had, which is not much.) Until then, please come read about whatever I am complaining about elsewhere and I'll catch you on the flip side.


Buzz, buzz, buzz

I stopped at the coffee shop on my way into work today, and I ordered a triple grande drink, which is sort of typical for me in the mornings, since I have a high tolerance for caffeine, and when I get espresso drinks I switch over to non-caffeinated stuff for most of the rest of the day, but the barista accidentally hit the double shot instead of single shot when she was giving me my extra, and so I got a quad shot of espresso this morning, and I'm fearing that I may experience a crash pretty soon.


My brain is mush

Lord love a duck, my life feels like a whirlwind right now. I leave for vacation in 10 days. How much planning have I done in terms of what I need to pack and such? Ooooh, let's see. None. Oh, and I am being moved to a new office on August 23. I don't have moving crates yet. I also have an offsite meeting from August 18-20, I'll get home around 6:30 a.m. on the 21st. Oh, and that meeting on the 18-20? Doesn't so much have an agenda yet, because it's not our normal format, and I won't be able to sit down with the facilitator to iron out the details until early next week. But that's OK, because I'm too busy thinking about whether or not there is still a ginormous whole in my basement floor from the pipes being run for the bathroom we are building. Did I mention the bathroom? The one that requires me to keep going to the design center to look at cabinet stains and shower fixtures and tiles and glass doors. I already told Hubby that I like the stuff he had picked out a month ago, but I have to go back to look at it again so that he knows that I still like it. Or to look at the alternate color, because the cabinet we want doesn't come in Cognac, and would I like to substitute Java? Actually, right now I could probably use both a cup of java and a glass of cognac. I'd go sit out on the deck and drink a glass of wine, but we don't have a deck right now. We had to tear it down. It was all dry-rotted, and the support poles were only, like, ten inches into the ground with no cement or anything. It's kind of a wonder that it didn't collapse. So, we have something blocking the door in addition to having it locked up, so that no small people decide to take a header into the backyard. The small people are driving their father nutso, incidentally. He's not so good at this "stay at home parent" gig. How do I know how crazy they are making him? He lets me know. Everytime he calls my office. Many, many times a day. How nice of him to share the crazy, don't you think? Thankfully, Princess has ballet camp next week, and then we have vacation, then it's only a short time until Hubby is back at school and Lil Joe starts preschool. At least I think Lil Joe is starting preschool. We haven't actually gotten him signed up, although I know there are openings at the one near our house (the one Hoss attended.) We just don't know if the teacher with whom I had issues is still in charge of the 4-year old class. Because if she is, we don't want him in that preschool, for fear of the same unrealistic expectations of behavior that we saw in the past. Not to mention that I don't know how much my pay raise will be, so I don't know if it will cover the cost of preschool tuition. But I can't think too hard about that right now, because I am still trying to schedule calls between our CEO and every one of the board members within the next week. Which wouldn't normally be too big of a deal, except that the CEO is offsite for meetings on Monday morning and Tuesday morning, and is scheduled to be on vacation starting on Thursday. So, he may be making these phone calls while in a hotel lobby or an airport. In any case, if you don't hear from me in a reasonable amount of time, you may want to verify that my head is still intact, since it's very close to exploding right now. And I don't want anyone to be stuck with cleaning up that mess.


Mmmmm, doughnuts

I stopped at the doughnut shop in the way to work. Happy Friday, people, we need deep fried dough covered in sugar. My cube neighbor has her daughter at the office today. While Pat declined to eat any, her daughter decided to take advantage of the sweet breakfast-y goodness. "These are the best doughnuts ever made in the entire world," I told her. "Better than Dunkin?!" she asked in amazement. Oh, infinitely better than Dunkin.


Like the Vulcan mind meld, if my sister happened to be Mr. Spock

For a number of years, my sister and I worked in the same division of the company for whom we were both employed. At first, I worked in a cubicle a few doors down the hall from her office. Then, a few months later, we had some office moves that put each of us in a different one of our company's three buildings. If someone left voicemail or email messages for her without getting a response, they would stop by my cube. My cube in the building that was not the one housing her office. As a matter of fact, my building was the one attached to the company's garage, so we wouldn't even be parked in the same area in most circumstances. "Is Nic in today?" folks would ask. Regardless of the fact that she and I do not live together, and do not make a habit of phoning each other upon waking, everyone assumed we would be able to account for each others' whereabouts. It used to frustrate me, the expectation that we had some sort of psychic bond based on our sibling relationship. But today, I had a converastion that made me realize that there may be some validity to that expectation. "I saw Phil at the hotel yesterday," I told her. "I was teasing him about eating nothing but doughnuts for breakfast, and so was...oh, crap, I can't remember her name...that girl from the other building who was friends with that other girl..." And she actually knew who I was referring to. But Nic couldn't remember her name, either.


Oh my God, in four years she will be a teenager!

I was in the powder room curling my hair when Hubby approached. "You look much better than you did at this time nine years ago," he said. "At this time nine years ago, I'd been having contractions for four hours and my water had broken," I replied. "It's not tough to look better than I did at that point." While Hubby was in the shower, Hoss came in. I told him that we were having a little party tonight, and asked him if he knew why. "For Princess' birthday!" he grinned. "Oh, is it her birthday?" I joked. "How old is she anyway?" "Nine," he said, matter-of-factly. "Ninety?! That's old!" I gaped. "No, no! NINE, not nine-TY!" "Oh. Is nine old?" "Well, she's halfway to being an adult," he said, with eyes wide, "so I'd say yeah it's old!" Gone are the pudgy cheeks and the the stubby little fingers that used to grasp mine. Instead, she's all gangly limbs and long fingernails that she wants painted and eyes that roll in irritation instead of gaze in wonder. I hate to tell you this, kiddo, but you're always going to be my baby girl.


The subtext is "Duh, Mom!"

The eye rolling tendencies have spread to the boys. Recent conversations: Hoss: Mom, why is Daddy's school having their picnic on a rainy day?! Me: Well, they didn't know it was going to be a rainy day when they picked the date. And since the food and games and stuff are already at the school, they'll just move it all inside. Hoss: Well, of course they didn't know it was going to be a rainy day! Nobody knows when the rain is coming except God and Mother Nature! *********************************************************************************** Lil Joe had on his cranky pants at bedtime last night. Me: I'm going to start calling you Oscar, 'cause you're just a grouch! Lil Joe: I not Oscar! I not green! Me: No, you're not green. Guess what- Oscar wasn't always green. He used to be orange! Did you know that? Lil Joe: Orange?! Dat's just silly, Mommy! Not orange!


Striving for a medal in the Passive-Aggressive Olympics

When I worked for OldBoss, I often ended up doing support tasks for other people who had assistants of their own. This generally happened because they were trying to "coordinate" their travel or registration with that of OldBoss, so it was just easier all around to dump the whole thing on me to do. When I got tasked with the short term "project detail" supporting OldBoss until the organization firmed up some new high-level staffing, I began the juggle of prioritizing the aspects of my regular job that were part of my job description (i.e., considered when my annual review is done this summer) with the tasks necessary to support OldBoss (i.e., what I will probably not get credit for doing anyway). OldBoss has found a new job. Some of his upcoming trips and responsibilities are being taken over by others within the organization. One of these people is one of the folks who used to dump their administrative tasks on me. Is it so wrong that I go out of my way to make sure that all the email traffic back and forth about what I cannot accomplish for said dumper because it violates the laws of time and space, and all the messages in which I let him know how he will have to do certain things on his own, end with my full signature block (the signature block that has my title, which no longer contains the words "administrative" or "assistant," and my department, which is completely separate from the division in which said dumper works)? Since I can't have the email read "Listen up, whiny-head, the fact that I'm even thinking about helping you is a favor in and of itself, so shut up and make your own secretary do this crap for you!" I can at least remind him that I don't answer to him, and he has to go aaaall the way up the chain of command before the two of find a common boss.


Don't get hot, 'cause girl you've got some hard times ahead

Hubby just finished another one of his rough times of the year, and now does not have to think about rehearsals or concerts or festivals or whatever until Fall. He can start golfing again! And riding his bike on weekends instead of having to work! When he came home on Thursday night, and I said he could breathe a sigh of relief, he said that "the gorilla is off [his] back." To which I told him that I now had the whole barrell of monkeys on mine. "Why?" he asked, proving that he has paid no attention whatsoever when I respond to his questions about what's going on at work, or how my various doctor appointments have gone. Had he been listening to my answers he would know the following:
  • The extra boss that I inherited earlier this year isn't exactly low maintenance
  • I am in charge of planning an offsite meeting for said boss, which takes place on June 11
  • June 11 falls right smack in the middle of my most detail-oriented, high pressure portion of the planning process for my June Board meeting
  • The time between meetings is usually about three months, but is compressed this time around
  • I don't know how to expand time to allow myself to do a three-month process in only 2 months without going batshit crazy
  • The dermatologist has requested that I schedule a biopsy, just in case
  • The school counselor has suggested that I make an appointment for Princess with the counselor who helped Hoss
  • Princess also needs an eye exam
  • And a dentist appointment
  • And a haircut
  • My pay raise for the new fiscal year will have to cover the cost of Lil Joe's preschool tuition
  • I will not know what my raise is until August, so I do not know what I can afford to spend on tuition
  • I cannot wait until August to enroll Lil Joe in preschool

And he wonders why I lose my cool.


Dancing fool

The latest bonding experience for my mom and me is...dissing the DWtS judges. We used to talk about books. Sometimes, maybe, current events or an article from my parenting magazines. Now, as soon as I walk into the kitchen on Tuesday mornings, I'm greeted with "Was Apolo not completely robbed?!" (He was, incidentally. I mean, he and Julianne are so cute I want to just tuck them in my pocket, although their cha-cha was racy, but they were remaining true to the song and they weren't nasty or anything, like we've seen from other dancers in the past.)


Driving me crazy

Apparently, if a driver is both clueless about the concept passing another driver who is turning and also not very good at communicating or writing down the appropriate information that is to be exchanged in the event of an accident, said driver is destined to be driving with me. Last night's incident was not really a repeat of my last accident, and the damage is not as severe, but seriously, what did I do to piss off the driving gods? I was in a lane in which either driving straight or turning right is permitted. The lane to my right is a right-turn only lane. So why would I even think to be watching to my right while I made the turn to ensure that the brand new SUV in the far right lane was indeed turning right instead of going straight? And why, once we had both stopped our cars and exchanged information, would I expect that I would be able to call this driver's insurance company and actually get help, as opposed to being told that the policy number and insured name I provided do not correspond to the name for that policy number in the system? Oh, and did I mention that, once again, this happened when I had the kids with me and Hubby was not available? So I was late bringing the kids home from school, and I was trying to report a claim while also attempting to get homework finished and dinner prepared.


And who is buried in Grant's tomb?

Princess approached me yesterday. "Mommy, what day of the week is Mother's Day on this year?" "Mother's Day is always on a Sunday," I replied. "This year it's May 13." The answer seemed to satify her. Later in the evening, after the kids were in bed, I was filling Hubby in on plans for the next few weekends. "Nic is fixing dinner at Mom's house on Mother's Day," I told him, "so I told her we would come." "What day of the week is that?" he asked. Well, at least I know where Princess gets it.


No luggage needed, it's just a day (guilt) trip

Today is Administrative Professionals' Day (the day formerly known as Secretaries' Day). Amusingly enough, because I was promoted a few years ago, and therefore am a professional at a higher level of administrative duties (and on my way to being certified as an administrative professional), I am no longer on anyone's radar for recognition on Administrative Professionals' Day. We are still in the midst of my being on loan to OldBoss, and I stopped into his office a few minutes ago to drop off his expense check from last week's meeting as well as pick up his expense report for the meeting he attended earlier this week. He asked me what day today was ("Only two more days until the weekend! After today, right? Today is Wednesday, isn't it?") and I jokingly reminded him that it was not only Wednesday, but also Acknowledge Your Administrative Support People Day. "That's right," he said, "that is today. But since I don't have a...OH. Oh, God, yes I do!" "Not really," I said. "I'm not yours anymore." "No. I need to take you to lunch or something. Oh, geez, I'm sorry! I honestly remembered and thought about it logically, but my logic was faulty." "You seriously don't need to do anything. I'm just poking fun at how many executives have said that it slipped their minds. You know, since it's their secretaries who always remind them of upcoming important events. But there is no professionally appropriate way to say 'Hey, don't forget to get me a present', is there?" Which explains why the assistant down the hall had to order her own lunch for the department meeting, and why the Executive Assistant at my last company was the one who ordered flower arrangements for all of the support staff who covered the phones.


Getting Hoss ready for first grade

Alternate title: Kindergarten can't handle him anymore! Not true. Yes, it's true that I had Hoss read and do the activities in "Let's Get Ready for First Grade!" from Cedar Valley Publishing. Yes, he does tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to what a kindergartener is learning (acedemically, that is. Socially, well, that's another story), and the faculty and staff at his school comment on how smart he is. But the real reason we jumped into this book is because I got the chance to participate in a review for Parent Blogger Network, which means free stuff and a chance to express my opinions. You know I'm all about stuff and spouting off. I'm totally behind the whole idea of preparing our children for school, and am totally on board with new ways to do so. Children are like sponges sometimes, so the more you introduce them to before they hit the classroom, the more likely they are to expand their knowledge once they get there. And you cannot rely solely on educational TV and pre-school computer games. Seriously, once you've sent one child off to school, you have seen enough of Blue teaching you how to measure and you are ready to gouge your eyes out with a plastic spoon. Variety is pretty darned important, especially since so much of what Princess was watching or doing when she was in pre-school had already crept into her baby brother's mind. The book is sturdy and has a wipe off surface, and is full of bright pictures on each page to help illustrate each concept (odd and even numbers, vowels and consonants, the food pyramid...) Hoss zoomed through the early pages, since he has already mastered basic phonics (long and short vowel sounds, etc.) He seemed interested when we stumbled upon some new grammar bits, though, such as compound words and contractions. Having terms to apply to both types of "smooshing words together to make new words" perked him up (he loves to let you know when he knows something new). Hoss also made a point to look for Yodie the coyote on each page, like a wild canine version of Waldo. Being from the mid-Atlantic, Hoss isn't overly familiar with cacti, scorpions and cowboys. He seemed to be attracted to the teacher (Ms. Best) and her coyote mascot because it was different than so many of the generic Anytown, USA settings in many books. Many of the illustrations are funny, and many of the pages have good "jumping off" points beyond the questions or quizzes at the end of the page, providing an opportunity for continued use. From a grown-up's point of view, I liked the markings on the edge of each page indicating the concept ("Let's learn about ordinals!") because they help when you want to flip quickly to a particular lesson to reinforce. I also appreciate having wipe-off books for repeated use (both for reviewing the concepts with Hoss, and reusing the book for Lil Joe!) Many books I've found for my children have either left them bored because the concepts were "old hat" or left them frustrated because they were not able to acheive the outcome expected. The difficulty level of the activities and questions in this book varied to allow both challenges and successes. Every school has a different curriculum for teaching the early grades, but I firmly believe that this series of books provides a basis that will be beneficial to any of them. And, if you go to the Parent Blogger Network site and comment about why you need this book for your child, you may find yourself with some free stuff of your own!


Conversation at the cafe

Me: The briefing books came back from the printer. Michelle: So, how do they look? Me: Pretty good. Well, at least the ones with the tabs that start at 'A'. The ones that start with tab 'K', those I'm not so happy with. Michelle: Wow. You are...remarkably calm about this. Me: Here's the thing- I can't change it now, and everyone knows it's not my fault that they are screwed up. Michelle: Yeah, but not being able to change it and not being at fault has never stopped you from freaking out before.


Bizarro world

Yesterday's Easter dinner with Hubby's side of the family thrust me into a world I did not quite recognize. Hubby's Aunt Joyce hosted the holiday, and her dining room does not quite accomodate everyone, so we had two auxilliary tables (the tried and true "kiddy tables" perhaps). Place cards indicated that Princess was at the main table, Hubby and Hoss and one of the subsidiaries, Lil Joe and I at the other. With me were Hubby's cousin Meghan (who I haven't had a chance to see since last summer), BIL and his girlfriend. As dinner progressed, BIL's girlfriend's contributions to the conversation indicated that she was not on the same wavelength as we were, since her non-sequiturs seemed to be in response to comments other than those heard by anyone else at the table. At the end of the meal, Meghan left to exhibit her one last bad habit (smoking, despite the fact that, as a nurse, she should know better), and I quickly followed her out the door. The conversation started with no preamble, despite the fact that this is a family that talks in hushed tones, never letting anyone in on who knows what about whom. "You picked up that I was noticing, right?" Meghan asked. "Yeah," I replied, "She's definately not taking her medication." "It's clear that she's in the mania phase now," she sighed. "She's acting just like the patients at work who are hearing the voices." Observation upon question upon statement- before long, we had cataloged each twitchy behavior, each peculiar anecdote about Julie's latest job (the third or fourth since last Spring). I let out a heavy sigh. "Hubby answered my cell phone the other night, and was suspicious about who this 'Dr. Abby' was on my caller ID. He seemed surprised that I would get a call from my psychiatrist." Meghan rolled her eyes. "It's not his business. Are you having sessions?" "No, just medication management appointments right now," I answered, "but my other counselor is only a speed dial away." Three cigarettes and lord knows how much time later, we had touched on all the things that could have kept a team of mental health professionals occupied for quite some time. How much happier she was dating the current guy, the one with the preschool son, than she had been with the one she lived with briefly while she finished nursing school. The recognition that he had been verbally abusive, and that her self-esteem issues stemmed from all those years of seeing her mom cover up and try to control her father's drinking. My lack of control with money, and how I was working to regain Hubby's trust with the finances by keeping my paycheck in the join account so he could see how much I was spending (both on necessities and on splurges). How worried I was all those years, when the family's objection to the man she was with pushed her further and further away, and I feared it would be too far away to catch her when he eventually hurt her too badly. Somehow, in the midst of all the crap that has happened in the family into which I married, the two flighty, chatty girls who have to depend on Zoloft to get us through the day, have turned out to be the most grounded and sensible ones in the crowd.


Have some drama, courtesy of Mama

That last post was probably a bit over the top, with the vague implications of breakdowns and such. My sister called me just to make sure that I was OK, and we discussed how I should develop a code system for the people who know me, just so I don't panic anyone. So, like the air quality index or the terror alert or whatever, I should note that Monday-Tuesday were code orange, downgrading to yellow as time went on. Without my Zoloft, we may have been looking at a code red- thank goodness for pharmaceutical advances. And while I am still not back to normal, and am not sure when I will be, I can say that things are getting better. I've progressed from being shut out completely (since the yelling that Hubby did on Monday night seemed to have taken away his ability to speak even simple words like "I'm going to bed now," or "I already made sandwiches" to me) to listening to him talk about his day and engaging in small talk. But I am still treating the topic that set him off as Voldemort, since we've already established what we are doing to address the item that needs to be addressed now, and we can't address the other items until later anyway. La la la, I think we will just talk about what I will fix for dinner, and the fact that I am probably crazy to take all three kids to the hockey game (even though I will have additional adult backup), and who will drive Hoss to his little friend's birthday party on Saturday, and the fact that my cousin had a baby. This has been a test of the Psycho Mama Warning network. Had this been a real psychotic breakdown, you would receive a frantic phone call. If I was not able to make a phone call, a call would be made by my officemates. This is only a test.


Again with the stuff

I'm not so good with dealing with stuff. There's a lot of stuff at work. Mostly normal stuff, but I still have to try really hard to motivate myself to do it. And the kids have school stuff, like Princess' teacher wanting to meet with us (most likely because she works as slow as molasses and therefore has to spend an hour finishing up classwork at home in addition to doing her actual homework), and Hoss' continued outbursts (which are improving but are still prominent enough for me worry about). Hubby is having a tough time because of work stuff and worrying about his dad's situation, and the loss of two of his friends on the Transplant Games team (one died a month or so ago, and BIL spoke at the funeral. The other was only 23, and his transplanted heart just gave out last week). And then a big sore issue raised its ugly head again, in the form of the fallout from something I thought I'd taken care of awhile ago, but I hadn't, not really. This is stuff that happened before the mess blew up in my face, before Hubby and I had a blowout of a fight and then got all of our cards on the table and figured out what to do to fix the problem. And he's upset because he thought it was done rearing, but it popped up again. And I'm upset because he's acting as though nothing's changed, even though many things have changed and he is fully aware that they have- that I have. And if he says I'm forgiven, I can't have it thrown back in my face. He can't throw stuff back at me (even though he has a right to be upset when an obstacle pops back up) because it's not an obstacle that popped up because old habits die hard, it's an obstacle that popped up because events don't just wrap up into a neat little bow when they come to light, sometimes they have ripples. And I'm upset because he can't see that the reason the problem grew to the point it did was because I was afraid of him behaving or reacting in a certain way, so I tried to do the right thing without his help so that he wouldn't have to be the one to make sacrifices or take care of it, and instead I found out that I couldn't rectify the stuff on my own and he reacted in the exact manner I feared he would, a manner he said he would not have reacted in if he had been able to help me earlier. Except I don't think he would have reacted differently. Which is a moot point anyway, because I didn't involve him with dealing with the stuff early enough in the process so that he could have reacted differently. And we've taken a step backwards in the grand plan. And it's a small step backwards, but he's acting as though it's a giant step. And there is more stuff coming down the pike. There is stuff about Lil Joe's schooling and the changes necessary to make it happen. And there are details related to those changes that we need to know in order to plan, details that may eliminate some of the obstacles. But if those details cannot eliminate the obstacles, the alternatives must be examined and possibly implemented earlier than is feasible. And if the alternatives are implemented, but the details can eliminate the obstacles, it may not be possible to use the details to their full advantage. And there's no guarantee that the alternatives will work either. They may be better than the original grand plan. But they might not be. And he is looking at the half empty glass of alternatives and is angry at me that I tell him that I don't see a glass to look at yet. In any case, I'm feeling like I'm not very good with dealing with the stuff.


Pretend I'm grunting like Tim Allen

How funny is it that I am the go-to person when someone needs pliers or a tape measure? Yep, if you need to find someone with a toolbox, try the perky chick with the pink high heels over in the second floor cube farm!


Yet another post in which I moan and complain like a self-centered princess

The bullet points of my discontent
  • On Tuesday afternoon, one of my co-workers (not my boss, but the next person down the totem pole in my department) approached me. "Darling, we need to talk." I immediately thought I was in trouble. But no, he was trying to soften the blow of telling me that the cubicle next to mine (the one I use for filing and storage of all of the materials that my former boss cleaned out of her office and file cabinet, but I have no space for because I have no file cabinet) was needed for another staff member. He didn't know who was moving in, he only knew that the guy in charge of facilities told him to relay the message to me that I had until Friday to clear it out. Note that the facilities dude did not tell me this information, nor did he tell my boss to tell me this information, but rather told a random co-worker because he couldn't be bothered to look at the org chart and see who I actually report to.
  • I cleared out all of my stuff from the cubicle and found other locations for storage by the end of the day Wednesday, but sent the facilities dude a message that there were five boxes of items for shredding as well as random office supplies and such that were in the cube before I had use of the space remaining in the cube. I got no response.
  • As of 3:45 today (Friday, if you're keeping track) there has been no indication that anyone is moving into the cube.
  • It is rainy and cold today. A few hours ago, the fire alarm went off. Many, many people asked me if we were having a drill. "Let's assume we're not," I replied. Many, many people were standing directly outside of our building, under an overhang, blocking the path to the area in which we are supposed to congregate when we evacuate the building. "Excuse me," I said, "I need to get to the evauation area over by the courtyard." When these many, many people finally joined me in the courtyard, they bitched and bitched and bitched about having to evacuate the building in the rain, and complained "they shouldn't plan drills on such yucky days."
  • If we have an actual fire, instead of workers who accidentally set off the alarms, the firefighters will have to risk their own lives to save these morons who deserve to go up in flames.
  • Hubby has a band rehearsal tonight, to which he will travel immediately after work. So, I'm on my own to pick up the kids and take care of dinner. This will cause me to get home a bit later than normal.
  • Days like these (rainy and nasty) are the ones on which my in-laws like to be on the road as early as possible. As a result, FIL is likely to be in a foul mood by the time I get home, as will MIL (since she will bear the brunt of his constant "why haven't we left yet? We should be on the road by now! We always leave by 4:30!" grumpiness). No matter how many times she assures him that I will be home soon, he will be convinced that I am holding them up, even though they never leave by 4:30 because neither Hubby nor I even leave work until at least 4:30.
  • I made an eye doctor appointment for tomorrow afternoon, based on when Hubby is expected to be home from work, and have just found out that it conflicts with a counseling appointment for Hoss, which was not on the calendar.
  • My brother gave me a bottle of shiraz as a gift. I opened it last weekend when we had people over for the boys' birthdays, but by the time I got a chance to go back into the kitchen to pour a glass, it was empty. I'll have to ask my mom if it was any good so I know whether to try to find another bottle of it.
  • There is a ginormous zit waiting to pop out on my chin. I can feel it under the surface, but it hasn't made an appearance so that I can zap it with salicylic acid. I expect it to make its debut next Monday when I am in the middle of a meeting with the two perfectly poised and immaculately put-together ladies who are helping me plan the consortia meeting from Hell for OldBoss.
  • I have to miss my cousin's baby shower in a few weeks because I will be flying to a conference during which my shortest workday is expected to be 14 hours.
  • My nail polish chipped within 12 hours of my manicure.


Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a day...

As the phone rang, I saw on my caller ID that Boss was trying to reach me. I picked up with some trepidation. "Good morning, this is Karen." "You say that so...carefully," Boss laughed. "Listen, are you doing my expense reports? Or am I supposed to do them on my own now?" "I can do them if you need me to, I guess," I said. "But they're still pretty straightforward, right?" "Well, I don't know. I can try to do it myself, but I need you to look it over..." I was sort of confused. Expense reports are pretty easy. Then the light dawned. "You've never done an expense report by yourself, have you?" I asked. "No," he said sheepishly. "I've never had to."

I probably should not find this funny. Yet, I do.

On our way to see a minor league hockey game yesterday we passed this establishment I kow it's wrong, but I almost choked on my gum when I saw "Your Second Amendment Connection!"


I need to add "vodka" to my office supply order

What's better than a slushy Monday morning commute? Getting a phone call from the CEO a few minutes after you arrive asking you to join him for the first segment of his call with the Board Chair. And an email a few minutes after his call ends asking you to join him and the Chief Legal Counsel for another meeting so that the three of you can "brainstorm." These two meetings are on top of the meeting you already have scheduled with him to go over the things you need him to approve so that you can go forward with your planning of the conference that has been dumped into your lap because of your "stepping up to the plate" to support Boss, now that he does not have an assistant. And the morning is barely half done...


What's old is new again

In June 2005, I got a promotion and cruelly abandoned my Boss. Because I am a neurotic freak, I had some issues with letting go. Although I have fully embraced my current position, I still keep in touch with Boss, and we interact at conferences and I see him sometimes when he is meeting with BigBoss, and I drop by his office to say hello when I am on his floor. About a month ago, Boss got a new position in the organization. He is at the same level as he was before, but is no longer in a management role and instead is doing a good deal of travelling and meetings and organizational outreach. His assistant was reassigned to assist in other areas of the organization. One might wonder about whether someone whose meeting and travel responsibilies are increasing would need to have a full time assistant. It would seem to make sense that administrative support would help such an executive, would it not? We have a new corporate officer coming on board later this year, and when that is in place, Boss and some other executives will report to this new officer. Until that time, those divisions report to BigBoss. And BigBoss is all about making sure his divisions have support, so he is making sure that Boss has someone to assist him. Guess who? So, I am on loan. And after 20 months, I am back to trying to read Boss' mind, violate the laws of time and space to get his calendar under control, and reassure him that the details (of everything from room set-ups to plane reservations to document control) are under control. And in honor of this return to the past, I've informed Boss that I intend to start visiting my therapist again.


Enjoying this while I can...

The kindergarten class finally had their Valentine's Day party on Friday, and I led the art project. Hoss was very excited to see me, and kept calling me over so he could say he loved me. ***************************************************************************************** It was very cold last night when Lil Joe was leaving the house to go to his grandparents' house for a sleepover. Hubby insisted that he put up his hood, since it was too cold for a bare head. Lil Joe was not happy with this idea, so I looked for his favorite hat. When I placed it on his head, his eyes lit up. "Fank you, Mommy," he exclaimed. "You amazing!" ****************************************************************************************** so, anyone want to place bets on how long it takes before the "I love you" turns to "I can't stand you" and "amazing" turns to "awful"?


Sometimes life gets in the way

Bad Karen, not posting.
  • big boss has loaned me out to other execs, and the bunch of them have tasked me with violating the laws of time and space to get some meetings scheduled with visitors
  • cold and flu (and sinus infection and sore throat and nasty cough) season
  • snow and sleet and ice, oh my! The kids' Valentine's Day party is being rescheduled yet again. At least I think they're still going to have one. It may turn into a Mardi Gras party instead.
  • Clogged arteries (not mine). The good news is, the balloon angioplasty worked. The bad news is, Hubby had to drive all over creation to attend to family members who were trapped by the wintry mix and to pick up his parents' car from where they left it just prior to the ambulance ride
  • I'm a boring dork who can't come up with anything entertaining to write about.


Insanity is a chemical imbalance

When I was in college, I read one of the best Cynthia Heimel columns I had ever seen. It was about the bad clothing choices she made whilst in the midst of PMS. Daring color combinations, avant garde styles... I, too, need someone to save me from myself during hormonal fluctuations. Yesterday, I cut my own hair. Yes, I should know better, and I should have someone lock up the scissors during certain times of the month, but it's too late now. I was overly frustrated with the hack-job that I got at the discount haircut place at the mall, and how the layering in the back was so much more drastic than that in the front, so I took matters into my own hands. I did some "blending" and some "trimming" and some "touching up". Well. The good news is I'm not using as much shampoo as I did last week, and it doesn't take too long to dry...


Fun with stats and search strings

Sometimes I wonder sometimes about my readership (in a "I wonder who is reading my inane ramblings" not a "I wonder about them because they are not normal" kind of way). My stats show that someone logging in through the Central Intelligence Agency is reading. Which is probably not a big deal, since anyone who was investigating me for the CIA would be more subtle than that. Unless they want to throw me off by making me think that they aren't investigating me. Hmmm... And apparently I'm very big in Scandanavia- I get a fair number of hits from Norway and just recently got one from Denmark. None from Finland yet, despite the fact that I talk about Hubby's band every so often, and they have quite a Finn following. I've also been checking out my search strings. Most of my readership (60 something percent) doesn't come from search engines, and another 8-9% comes from some search related to the eight Polish foods of Christmas Veggie Tales song. For your entertainment, here are some other searches that have led people to my site:
  • "i just got my car washed and my airbag light came on" Next time try the touchless car wash, dude.
  • "You'll strangle the baby with the umbilical cord" I will not!
  • "flat tire karen" Yes, that's me. Some folks go their whole lives without changing a tire, I've changed at least one on every car I've driven.
  • "but a few kids in high school told her she was uncool" Actually, more than a few
  • "how to keep lint off pants" Let me know when you find out, 'cause God knows I don't know how
  • "how to slice bagels" Ditto. I've got the scar to prove it
  • "What's in kielbasa?" I don't think you want to know
  • "why can't I attract any boys?" How the hell should I know?
  • "lean cuisine causes allergic reaction" Is this the new ad campaign for Weight Watchers frozen meals?
  • "franzia vs. almaden" Hmm, that's up there with "root canal or corporate retreat for your afternoon plans" as far as decisions go
  • "being uninvited to his parents for christmas" For some people, that's a happy holiday
  • "lousy mom" Um. Thanks.
  • "schmutzy pants" Fine, I'll buy a lint brush
  • "gigantic red zit" There's not much for me to add to that
  • "parenthood sucks" Not always.
  • "night the lights went out in georgia why did the sister shoot" I've been trying to figure that out for years
  • "does anyone have sandwiches for thanksgiving" Yeah, my sister does. She can make a sandwich out of any meal
  • "hate my in laws" Well, 'hate' is a really strong word...


Oh, if only you knew...

I just got the suggested revisions for my meeting minutes from one of your upper-level people. She had only a few tweaks, but commented that the minutes "seem to be somewhat wordy." My notes are about 6-10 pages long for each meeting. Prior to my doing the job, the minutes tended to be about 20-30 pages.


A week to make me weak

So far this week I have experienced the following:

  • 31 hours of clocked worktime, despite the week being less than half over
  • Hearing both a guest speaker and a CXO drop the f-bomb
  • a tempest in a teapot about electronic access to documents, and who is or is not capable of keeping their darned mouths shut
  • a whole lot of examples of how my children only want me around when they are sick or injured
  • a three-day headache that is akin to a group of caffeinated squirrels slamming sledgehammers into my temple and eye socket.

And it's only Wednesday...

Good stuff

Further proof that Beth is a really good person. With her encouragement, a whole bunch of us are going to be doing a bunch of small good things that can add up to some big good things. Go check it out.


Shout out!

I am so happy to find people as insane as I am about certain TV shows. From my "Sports Night" message board:
I've been keeping up with this board thanks to my email subscription (I simply haven't had the time to get lost in TWoP anymore), but seeing the posts about today's anniversary made me play a dedication on my radio show this am. I played "Boogie Shoes" and sent it out to "[MamaKaren] over at Television Without Pity, who at the unanimous request of the board of the Jeremy Goodwin Foundation will be downing blue drinks and dancing on the table. Damn, I wish I could be there to see it."


This may be the only time I can say this without irony

Hoss is an angel. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


I know that I've been whining a lot about how much I have left to do for Christmas, and how stressed I am and all that, but the truth is that I really do love the holidays. I like light displays and seeing little children dressed up for the Christmas program (as soon as I get a chance to sit down with my card reader, you will be gifted with photographic evidence that Hoss really can be an angel). I like the smell of pine trees and gingerbread. I love how the kids' faces light up when they see a full stocking on Christmas morning where an empty one had hung at bedtime. But... This year we made beigli for the first time without needing to reserve any for my aunt. And when I made my annual order with Harry and David, I had to remove her name from the address book. And last night I addressed the Christmas cards, and she is still in my PDA. I didn't usually see Mimi at Christmas anyway- she didn't get out to come to our house for dinner with my parents, and it was hard for me to make the time to get out to see her when we had the kids to bring along and all. But I always sent the card and the fruit-of-the-month basket and she would send her thank-you note where she gushed about the delicious pears and such, and that's gone and it sucks. And I've spent so many Christmases so caught up in my own stuff that I didn't go and see her enough and now she's gone and I can't go back and do things right. So instead, I'm sitting at my desk at quarter after 8 trying not to cry because I'm out of tissues and I don't want anyone in the department to see me and ask what's wrong because it all sounds so...whatever.


The final countdown

I have twenty-four hours and thirty-seven minutes until I have to turn the book over to the printer. I have a 124 page business plan with faulty bookmarks (lots of "error! link not valid!") and a printer that only wants to print three pages at a time. I have a report that may or may not be ready to go in the book (which means that the quarterly report, agenda, and Committee attachments will need to be revised to indicate the applicable tab references. Or not.) And I have a CEO who decided to make some more edits last night to the documents he has seen and approved thrice over. Tell me again why I love my job?

Fa, la, la, la, la, blah, blah,blah

In today's procrastination news, I still need to purchase gifts for Nic, MrNic, my brother, my brother's girlfriend, and the stocking stuffers for all three kids and Hubby. My new dining room set is being delivered on Sunday morning. As in Christmas Eve. And we have people coming over for dessert on Christmas Eve as well as dinner on Christmas Day. The house is still a mess, so we have a lot of cleaning to do in the next two days. But, I have good news! I stopped at the liquor store to get the rum and vodka necessary to keep me in the holiday spirit, and I got carded!


Flat out annoying

Do you know what's better than having a flat tire while coming home with a car full of groceries and three slightly cranky kids? Having a blowout while in the Harbor Tunnel on the way to take the little one to his grandparents' house. I swear, Hubby has to try to outdo me at everything.


Adventures in babysitting

I've been on my own with the kids for most of the day while Hubby was out at a football game. Since I got home from my annual holiday pastry extravaganza with Mom and Nic (more on that later...) not long before Hubby had to leave for his Transplant Team Christmas party, I couldn't do the grocery shopping yesterday and I didn't get a chance to get online and put in an order for delivery. Soooo... Grocery shopping with three kids. Yeah. We stopped at the coffee bar and got drinks, but that didn't keep them distracted for long. For some reason, every item I put in the cart offended Lil Joe. He did not want the lettuce or the celery or the orange juice or the iced tea. He screamed for a solid 5 aisles, only to calm down upon reaching the deli and getting a piece of cheese. Princess and Hoss kept running ahead of me down the aisles, much to my embarrassment and chagrin. But we made it out of the store mostly unscathed. As we approached home, the car began riding a bit rough. I eased off of road into the Park and Ride lot with a sense of dread. "Are we running out of gas?!" Hoss asked. "No. I think we have a flat tire," I replied. I was right. Princess and Hoss were very excited, and asked if they could come out for a look. "I've never seen a flat tire in real life!" Princess exclaimed. "I've only seen one on TV." We have AAA, but my card was not in my wallet. Also, I figured that my milk would spoil and the natives would get mightly restless if I waited for someone to come out and do the work for me. Sooo... I unloaded enough of the groceries to access the jack, lug wrench and access to the spare tire. And I got to work. Thankfully, a guy did stop and offer to help, since he had a lot more weight to put behind loosening the lug nuts than I have. One of the bolts was so stripped it broke off. But, between the two of us, we got the tire replaced without much more incident. So, who wants to buy me a new tire for Christmas?


Can't help lovin' that Joe of mine

When Lil Joe arrived home from his grandparents' house, he was very tired. He had just fallen asleep in the car a few minutes earlier and he barely spoke a word as I removed him shoes and socks and tucked him snugly into bed with a hug, kiss and zrrbrt (his nightly routine). Imagine my surprise when I heard the TV on in the living room a few minutes later, and saw Lil Joe on the couch with the remote. I turned off the television, removed the device from his grip, and scooped him up. He protested as I carried him back down the hall back to bed, but climbed in obediently to receive another round of "good night" while Hubby brought my laundry up from the basement to be folded, leaving it in a pile on the couch. As I was in my room hanging some clothes in the closet, I heard noises from the living room. I approached to see Lil Joe in all his glory, remote in hand. My laundry was in less glory, spread all over the floor. I didn't know whether to yell or laugh (both of which are pretty painful anyway, with the sore throat and sinus infection and such). I scolded him for dumping the clothes, and he parrotted my words and tone, as three year olds like to do. I stalked down the stairs to blow off some steam, since laughing at him would only encourage the behavior that had me so conflicted. When I came back up, the laundry was still spread all over the floor, but Lil Joe was no longer on the couch. He was, instead, sprawled on the pile clothes, chin in hand, grinning at me. "Lil Joe! That is not funny!" I said. "Is not funny!" he repeated in a stern tone. Then he giggled. "NO. I am very angry at you!" "I angry at you," he said with a scowl. And I had to walk away so I would not laugh. "Mama, where you going?" he asked, as I headed for the stairs. "I need to go away from you for a minute," I replied. When I returned a few moments later, my giggles having subsided, Lil Joe met me at the top of the steps. "I fixed it, Mama," he said. "Fixed what?" I asked. "The waundry." And indeed he had. All of my clothes were back on the couch, as they had been before his appropriation of the space. Except now they were covered in dog hair, and the couch probably was as well. But seriously, how can anyone look at this chubby little face Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting and be angry?

Today's selection from "Condescension Theater"

I just got a call from one of the VP's in my building. She had me on speakerphone so the Manager-Who-Likes-to-Flaunt-Her-MBA who was in her office could hear me as well. "I just heard the most intriguing thing!" VP gushed. "Is it true that you have an Excel spreadsheet that you have formatted to populate deadline dates for activities based on your meetings dates?" "It's not an Excel spreadsheet," I replied. "I use Microsoft Project. I created a template with the tasks I need to complete so that I can enter an end date and the due dates for each step are calculated for me." "Oh, that sounds like just what we need! Would it be OK if we set up a time for you to show us how you do it?" I agreed to a meeting in mid-December, which I said should only take 30 minutes (not so much because it's that incredibly easy, but because that's as much time as I can reasonably spare whilst smack in the middle of all my deadlines for the preparation for my Board meeting.) Isn't it just super that I've learned how to use a software application to do my job efficiently?! And that the entire administrative support in this woman's area is completely oblivious to the existance of it?! Gosh, teaching them to plan a project will be so much fun, just like a slumber party!


I'm totally out

Well, I lasted for over three weeks on the "post daily" bandwagon, but tanked as of Wednesday. And when I fall off the wagon, I fall all the way off. Thanksgiving was fine, except for the meltdown that Lil Joe had (hinting at the possibility that his ear infection was returning) and Mom being somewhat short tempered at me for bringing a sick child to the party. But, my mother loves me even though she yells at me, and I love her even when she annoys me. By Friday, my sore throat and muscle aches had returned, and I was having trouble swallowing. My fever has risen steadily, peaking at 101.7* and the gunk I've expectorated in the past two days would gross out even a middle school boy. OK, I'm going back to sleep.


This may fall into what some may call "obsessive planning"

Hoss got a birthday party invitation today. The party is from 11:50-2:30. The invitation has a pie chart, which appropriately labeled slices for "pizza time" (11:50-12:30), "clown time" (12:30-1:30), and "pinata time" (1:30-2:30) Thankfully, the invitation did not also include a listing of the proposed outcomes, motions and action items.


In today's news: I am a big geek

My latest knitting designed is called the Mathmatician scarf. It's a moebius loop knit with a Fibbonacci strip pattern. And the fact that actually consider myself clever because of this is sort of lame.


It's a small world, after all

The VP at my office in charge of training programs invited me to a party at his house last night. One of T's hobbies is crafting beers, sodas and wine coolers, and he hosts a huge party each Fall to show off his creations. A few days ago, I stopped into T's office and asked him if his teenage daughter, who he had mentioned on a number of occaisions, ever took on babysitting jobs. I am always searching for more local sitters, since you can never have too many people to call on. T let me know that his daughter does, indeed, babysit and now that marching band season is done, she might actually have time to do so. When we arrived at the party and entered the house, Hubby caught sight of a familiar girl. "Hey, Hoss," he said, "you know her! That's one of the ladies from your KidsGym!" As we approached the girl to say hello, T saw us. "Karen! I see you've met my daughter." Yes, we've answered the question of whether T's daughter might be willing to watch my children, since she apparently already does.


Release the inner fashionista

Let me preface this situation by noting that Hubby is a stereotypical guy. He owns all of half a dozen pairs of shoes. He wouldn't know Ralph Lauren from Ralph Kramden. He rolls his eyes at the idea that I distinguish between rose and fuschia ("It's PINK!") There are no skin or hair care products in his part of the medicine cabinet. I was getting ready for church, having already put on my suit but not having assembled the appropriate accessories. "That jacket looks like it's showing a bit more skin that it should," Hubby noted. "I hope you plan on putting on a camisole or something." "I'm going to wear a scarf," I replied. "It fills up the neckline. By the way, 'camisole'? Way to go, getting the terminology right." Hubby looked embarrassed. Give me time, I'll turn him into a metrosexual yet.


Are you ready for some Yuletide?

Thanksgiving is still a week away. Yet one of the local radio stations has already started the round-the-clock Christmas carols. There was a time when the Christmas season started the day after Thanksgiving. By the time I got to college and worked at a department store during the holiday season, we were putting up decorations in mid-November and taking them down on Christmas Eve. At this rate, though, we will soon start the Christmas preparations as soon as the Independece Day fireworks displays are over.


Uncharitable contributions to the greater good

I have a confession to make. I am a snotty pain in the butt when it comes to charity. There. I've said it. I've owned up. I try to make contributions, money or time or advocacy, for a number of causes. I raise money and participate in charity walks for all sorts of ailments. I donate clothing to shelters. I buy toys to give to the Marines at Christmastime. I add that extra couple dollars to my grocery bill to go to the food bank. Lately, though, I've been almost rude to some requests for charity. Here are some recent phone conversations I have had. [one ringy dingy] Phone Bank Chickie: Good evening, Mrs. H, this is BigNationwideCharity (not Purple Heart, who is always nice to me). We will be in your neighborhood on Saturday and will pick up one bag of clothing or household items, where is the best location for you to leave it? MamaK: I'm sorry, I don't have anything this mo... [click. dial tone] ____________________________________________________________________________________ [one ringy, dingy] Overly Perky Guy Whose Voice I Do Not Recognize: Hi, Karen! How are you this evening? MamaK: um, fine thanks. Perky Dude: Have you been happy with the service you get from your police and fire fighters? MamaK: Sure, I guess so. Perky Dude: Great! We'll be sending a pledge card to you to support your local police and fire fighters! Can I put you down for $50 or would you like to give another amount? MamaK: I really can't give anything right now... Perky Dude: Many of our local officers are killed in the line of duty each year. Don't you want the widows and orphans of our fallen comrades to be cared for? Don't you feel as though you should support the men and women who protect your community and keep you safe? [Isn't that part of why I pay taxes? For public services like the county police and fire departments? Do these police officers and firefighters not have life insurance?] MamaK: Yes. And the police officers in my own family know that I am supportive of the people who protect and serve. They also told me not to give you money that is probably going toward union dues. good-bye.[click] (OK, maybe that was rude. But it's also true.) _____________________________________________________________________________________ [one ringy, dingy] Call center person: Hello, is Hubby'sFullFirstName available? MamaK: No, he's not. Call center person: Is this his wife? MamaK: It is. Call center person: Wonderful, perhaps you can help me. [blah, blah, long winded explanation of the cancer charity that is not the National Cancer Society, and how they think it is important for cancer patients who do not have insurance to be able to get their medical treatment.] MamaK: I'm sorry, we're not in a position to donate anything at this time. Call center person: Oh, you don't have to give me an amount now, we will send you a postcard in the next few weeks for you to send in your donation. What amount works for you? MamaK: We're not in a position to be committing to a contribution right now. Call center person: [Heavy sigh] Well. Thanks. Have a nice evening. _____________________________________________________________________________________ So, basically, because I get my feelings hurt, all the good causes can just suck it. Follow up- OK, I want to point out that it is a complete coincidence that Rude Cactus posted this account of people being obnoxious in the name of charity on the same day I decided to complain about it.


Sometimes, parenthood sucks

Do you know what one of the worst sounds in the world is? The exhausted, agonized screams of a three-year-old with an ear infection. I had to listen to those screams for the entire evening commute last night, because the homeopathic ear drops that might have eased the suffering were at my house, not my mom's, and the pain didn't start until mid-afternoon. The drops kept the pain under control for most of the night. I heard Lil Joe cry out a number of times, but he never woke all the way up (unlike his mama, who stayed awake on hyperalert at the slightest squeak from the angelbaby.) I would subject myself to all sorts of abuse if it meant that my children never had to have ear infections. Fill my cavities with no novocaine, set my hair on fire, anything- if it would save my kids from the searing pain that feels as though it's splitting their brain open, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Any sickness is bad, but I think ear infections are the worst possible scourge to be infliced upon pediatrics. Thankfully, I was able to get an appointment within an hour of the pediatrician's office opening, and we've filled the scrips for the oral and topical antibiotics (the tugging and poking he did at his ear to try to alleviate the pain opened the skin and caused a bit of a scab.) Seriously.


A love that is not to be spoken...

I didn't expect to see you today. I thought you were gone, and that I would have to wait in anticipation of your next visit. I try to be nonchalant about your unexpected presence, since so many people wouldn't understand what you mean to me. My husband, for one, would not be happy if he knew how often I seek you out when you are here. So, I do not talk about you, and I hide the evidence of our interludes. I don't admit to anyone the way my heart quickens with you, and how you warm me up from the inside out. I know our time is fleeting, and I am briefly giddy at that extra stolen moment. And I will wait for the time when you return to me. Oh, limited edition pumpkin spice latte, I wish I knew how to quit you.


I would have been ahead of my time

I went to the library near my office today to apply for a library card (I am not a resident of the county in which I work, although I used to be.) The clerk at the desk asked whether I had ever had a card from this county. "I used to," I replied, "but it's been a very long time." "How long ago?" he asked. "Um...before I was married, so at least eleven years." Upon further thought, I realized it was even longer, more like 20 years. The guy checked the system under my maiden name, and did not find me in the system. Since I was not in the computer, he entered my information and began my process. "What was your PIN?" the clerk asked. "Excuse me?" I responded. "What PIN did you have in the system when you had a card before?" he said, with some exasperation. Yeah, I had an online personal identification number for an electronic library system in the mid-80's. You know, before any of us knew what the Internet was.


Ho ho ho hum

Halloween is over, so that means one thing. It's time to be hit over the head with Christmas preparation. My parents, like many parents, have become hard to shop for. They rarely have any big gift ideas, if they want something, they tend to get it for themselves instead of asking their kids to do so. They aren't even buying gifts for each other, they're just buying themselves what they want and calling it Christmas. So, Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad, you're getting the new flat-top stove you want (but haven't had time to really shop for, and since the ones Nic and I have are part of the reason you started wanting one, we'll get it for you.) My mother called me yesterday while I was at the grocery store. She wanted to know if the kids had lists, what sizes they wear currently so she could buy them some clothes, if there were any books or games I thought would make them especially happy. Needless to say, I haven't had time to compile Christmas lists for everyone, so we're having to wing it for now. The "gold, frankinsince and myrrh" idea (if Jesus only got three gifts, then three should be plenty for my kids) sounds really good right now. The reduced cost, shopping time and wrapping are as appealing as the lesson that we don't need a ton of stuff to have a happy holiday. We are hosting Christmas dinner for my side of the family. Last night, Hubby and I began discussing menu. In past years we've done lasagna, ham, pork roast, cornish game hens. "We should do something really nice this year," Hubby says to me. "We've always kept it simple before." Simple? I guess he sees it that way, since he wasn't the one with his hand up in the body cavity of a small fowl. We did come to a conclusion about our own gifts for each other, though. Every year Hubby asks me what I want, and jokes that he's not getting me anything since I won't give him any ideas (since, you know, being married to me for eleven years shouldn't give him any insight to appropriate gifts if there is not a specific something that I have my heart set on.) This year, I'm getting new engine parts (thanks to the $1400 bill from my mechanic last week) and he's getting new brakes (since, apparently, 24000 miles is all that our pads can handle. Our "cheap" car may be more expensive than I thought.) Merry bleeping Christmas.


Retirement reflections

One of my former bosses retired yesterday. (Well, he sort of retired. He'll be doing consulting work, which means he's not really gone, but now anytime the company asks him to do anything, he can decide to say "no".) Because he was with the company for over 28 years, this was cause for a fair amount of recognition. Dr. F was a respected scientist and public health advocate, not only in our company but with groups we work with. He came here from Romania in the 70's, bringing his young family along and starting a new life. The turnout at the retirement celebration yesterday was huge, including some surprise guests (including former co-workers and all five of Dr. F's grandchildren). Dr. F was my boss for less than two years, but I still worked closely with him for another four, since my leaving his department was only so I could work directly for his boss. As is his nature, Boss decided to pass the microphone to solicit stories and parting messages for Dr. F. Most of the words spoke of Dr. F's mentoring or his contributions to public health programs or other scientific accomplishments. Before I knew it, Boss had handed the mic to me, and I had no grand speech to offer. Instead, I recounted a memory that I only hoped was appropriate for the occaision. As Dr. F's secretary, I was often called upon to help him with many aspects of his computer. He couldn't always open attachments properly, and didn't know the features of many of our software applications. He preferred his paper agenda to the electronic calendar we use company-wide. One day I was passing Dr. F's office and he flagged me down. "Karen," he said with a bit of indignation in his voice, "I need you to look at something on my computer." I entered his office expecting to deal with an attachment to his email, or a template that needed to be filled out in Word or Excel. Instead, the screen was filled with an electronic photo of an adorable two-month old baby dressed as a pepper for Halloween. His voice was a mixture of fury and pride as he exclaimed, "Look at what they did to my granddaughter!" As the party came to a close, some of my co-workers approached to tell me that the story I told, unlike the ones that others shared about the brilliant scientist he was, provided a perfect example of the calibar of man he was.


The post of no posts

Post 1: involves some possible changes to the scope of my job (except, not really, because it's more like the actual job stays exactly the same but how people interact with me will change somewhat.) Except it's not a done deal, and if the outcome of some related job changes don't pan out the way we all envision, we're going right back to the way things are on paper. So, no post. Post 2: involves how we can stop Hoss from being so Jekyll and Hyde. Except we have no idea yet, and are in pretty much the same holding pattern we have been in for a couple months. so, no post. Post 3: relates to a scathing email I got from someone. Except it's related to an activity that at least one of my readers is familiar with, so it would be out of line for me to talk about the email and my reaction to it. So, no post. so, um, Happy Friday, y'all. Maybe I'll have something that I can talk about by the end of the day.


Back among the living

Still sick. But improving. I ventured out into real life today, taking Hoss for psych testing to determine whether he really is an explosive child, or whether he's just a typical five-year-old boy. I went back to work, since I'm no longer contagious (although my throat is still on fire and one of my glands is so swollen it is actually painful to hold my phone propped against my shoulder). And I am ready to go to bed now, even though it's not even my kids' bedtime yet. I committed to blogging every day. I didn't commit to having material worth reading.



Very sore throat. Muscle aches. Low grade fever. A note from the school office regarding strep throat going around. Yep, I've got myself the makin's. I'm going to go crawl back to my deathsofa and wait for the antibiotics to kick in.


She's totally a bad influence. As am I.

So, Nic babysat my kids on Saturday. And, following a long standing tradition of lazy moms nationwide, I left her some cash and the take menu from the local pizza place. Hoss only ate one piece of his pizza before going to bed (there was a saga involved with dinner's arrival that I'm not even going to try to document), so Nic stuck the leftovers in the fridge. Sunday morning, I woke to hear Hoss in a heated discussion with his father. "But Aunt Nic said I could have my leftover pizza today!" "Not for breakfast," Hubby retorted. "You can have a granola bar or some cereal or some toast..." "But I want my pizza!" he insisted. "Why can't I have my pizza for breakfast?" Hubby came into our room, rolling his eyes. "What is your sister teaching them?!" he asked me. "Don't worry," I told him, "I'll smooth things over." As soon as Hubby left for church, I sat down with Hoss to discuss the breakfast situation. He ate an organic toaster pastry as I explained his father's stand on what to eat early in the day and what to save for later. He seemed satisfied with my explanation, and didn't ask for any more pizza. What he didn't realize was that the problem with the situation was not that he asked for pizza at 7:00 a.m., but that he asked the wrong parent. When will my children learn that Mommy's food rules are much more open than Daddy's, and it's OK to keep what we eat a secret when he's not around?!


There are some gnarled limbs on this family tree

My grandmother turned 84 over the weekend, and we had a party at my aunt and uncle's house. My mom is the oldest of five children, all of whom have at least two children of their own, so there's a pretty decent number of relatives. When I was growing up, we had a family party every month or two to celebrate the various children's birthdays or gather when an out of town relative was in town. As time went on, and the grandchildren grew up and started families of our own, the parties became less frequent, and many of the cousins need crib notes to identify each other ("OK, I know that one is one of Jeff's daughters, but I always forget which one is which...") Memories were dredged up, sometimes with background added for people who joined the family after the stories had originally taken place. Some of these events were things I had only heard about, others were part of my memory as well (although seen through a very different filter). The story of the renovation of my parents' basement, including the installation of a powder room, came up. My uncle Ned was the unlucky main character in that scene, complete with cut pipe and a child who had not been told not to flush the upstairs toilet. "Karen stuck up for me, though," Ned told the group. "She was sitting on the stairs saying to her dad, 'I don't think that's very funny at all' while the rest of these idiots were falling over in hysterics." "I didn't think it was very funny," I replied. As the family began to rib me about not having a sense of humor, I clarified. "I was six years old and he's my godfather! At the time, I didn't think it was funny. Now, on the other hand, I think it's a riot."


the post in which I try to pretend I'm hip and/or classy (and probably fail miserably)

Being the middle-aged mother of three young children, I do not have many opporunities to eat in fancy restaurants with valet parking. Nor do I have many opportunities to mingle with members of the local indie-music scene. This weekend I did both! The singer in Hubby's band got married this weekend, and she asked Hubby's brass quintent to play at the wedding. As part of the wedding, we were invited to the rehearsal dinner. I've met the groom a number of times, but never really talked with him about his family (who was hosting the dinner), and when I asked Hubby about the groom's parents, he didn't have much information for me. "Well, they're local, and his dad works at a car dealership or something," he told me. "I heard the restaurant we're going to is pretty nice." So, being the web diva that I am, I decided to Google both the restaurant and the host. Mr. S does indeed "work at a car dealership." In fact, he is the Executive Vice President of said dealership, a very well respected Mercedes place in a wealthy area of the county. The rehearsal dinner was at a swanky Italian place near the dealership. We mingled a bit, and as one of the passing waiters handed me a nice glass of Cabernet, he very nicely directed all of us to our appropriate tables. Upon overhearing Hubby mention that I couldn't eat any of the appetizers becuase of my allergies (there was a shrimp cocktail and a calamari), said waiter slipped away to put together a little prosciutto plate. This waiter was very solicitous (not to mention pretty flirty, in that "stereotypically gay guy is over-the-top flirty with the women" kind of way) through the entire evening, which is his job but I decided to ignore that it was his job and pretend like I was actually getting special treatment. The pasta course was delicious, and the entree (I went for the filet mignon instead of the rockfish or chicken) was perfect and the tiramisu was to die for. And I made conversation and mingled and generally managed to have fun without spilling anything on myself or being a total dork. I even made a joke during the slide show prepared by the mom and brother of the groom that I was thankful that my family had not compiled photos of me through the years for my rehearsal dinner, given that I didn't need a restaurant full of folks to see me all chubby with bad hair. One of the other guests reacted in shock, saying there was no way I was either chubby or had bad hair. Obviously, she was drunk. Then the wedding- we had to be at the church an hour early so that Hubby could set up music stands, etc. and warm up before guests started arriving. One of the other guys from the band was an usher, so when he arrived he came over to talk to me and one of the other early-bird musician appendages. "This just seems so wierd..." he said, "You both look great!" "It's weird that we both look great?" I asked with a smirk (so witty! Or lame. You be the judge.) Anyway, we bantered, and I said I was going to wait until more people had arrived, then blend in with the crowd waiting to be ushed. The wedding was very nice, the guys played well (although Hubby was not happy with his performance. Damned perfectionist musicians), and the whole wedding party seemed very relaxed and happy, looking as though they were about to burst into laughter at any moment. There was some time to kill after the wedding was over, though, because the reception didn't start until 5:30. Hubby had to go back to work to oversee the marching band in the pre-football game parade (yesterday was the game against the school's biggest rival), so we headed to his office where he changed out of his tux and unlocked the equipment closet for anyone who arrived after he left to drop me back off at the historic mansion where the reception would be held. He drove me back to the reception site, but it was still a full hour before the party was scheduled to begin. Luckily for me, the bride and groom and their families was very happy to invite me to hang with them. The staff of the mansion led us to an upstairs conference room, where some wine and sodas were available, and returned to the rooms downstairs to finish setting up. The nieces and nephews of the wedding couple were taking turns at the head of the conference table shouting orders and hiring and firing people as the adults observed. By the time it was time to go back to start the reception, the ushers and I had be hired, fired, and hired again in a bidding war that brought us each a few billion dollars a day in pay (for doing no actual work), two jacuzzis each, and a gold plated helicopter to take us whereever we felt like going. Not a bad deal, I must say. Hubby missed the wandering hor d'oerves (including a plethora of mini quiches- I was so loving this reception), but arrived just in time for dinner. We were seated with a few of his bandmates and a couple members of other local bands, one of whom was also serving as the DJ. She had arranged for a CD compiled by the groom to be played while we ate, and when one of the songs from one of the guys at the table next to us started playing, she gave him the wireless mic so he could table hop through the reception lip-syncing. It was much more amusing in person that it seems on screen. After dinner, the dance floor was crowded and the wedding cake was chocolate, so it was an awesome reception. We stayed longer than we should have, probably, since my poor sister was stuck babysitting for us. It didn't take long after we arrived home for me to be dead asleep. Unfortunately, reality reared its ugly head this morning, and I was right back to being awakened by Lil Joe asking for milk while Hoss screamed about Princess pushing him off the couch and changing the channel, and I hauled myself out of bed and ran to the grocery in my ripped jeans and baggy sweatshirt before Hubby left for the stadium for his regular football game with his family. Oh, well, sooner or later I knew I had to go back to being the geeky-mom...


Another first!

A drunk post is a blogger's rite of passage. And now I'm passing! If the wandering waitrons at hte wedding reception keeping filling your wine glass before you've finished it, can you say that you only had one glass of wine? 'Cause I don't think I ever actually emptied a glass. I'll post more coherantly (did I spell that right? I am not such a good speller most of the time and my judgement is slightly empaired now anyway) tomorrow about the rehearsal dinner on FRiday and the wedding and how i crashed the wedding party because Hubby had to drop me off at the reception site an hour before the thing started so he could go back to work, and so I hung out with people who actually had a purpose at the wedding.


In other shocking news, the sky is blue

Hey, guess what? When mothers travel for business, sometimes we enjoy ourselves. Do I enjoy spending hours on a plane, or sitting in an airport when my plane is delayed? No, of course not. But I do like reading a book or doing my knitting without Lil Joe trying to pull things out of my hands so that I can pour him some milk. Do I miss Hubby and the kids when I am away? Absolutely. But I also enjoy having a bed to myself in which no one is fighting me for the covers, and I like being able to have someone else make the bed when I leave the room in the morning. I like being able to change into my pajamas and order room service and relax for a night when I know that the following day is going to be 14 straight hours of notetaking and setting up panel discussions and directing meeting attendees to their appropriate track sessions. Hubby has taken a lot of small trips (both work related and personal) over the years since Princess was born, ranging from an overnight excursion to a five-day trek. No one has ever asked him who was taking care of the kids, since it's a pretty simple assumption that I am. Yet, every time I've gone to a conference (three, if you're keeping score) someone brings the question up to me. Before I leave for my trips, I make sure the grocery shopping is done and I leave a list of reminders and tips stuck to the fridge ("Chicken casserole is in the freezer- thaw it overnight and cook for 20 minutes at 350*", "Thursday: ballet class- leotard and tights are in bag hanging on the closet doorknob") but I get to leave it in Hubby's hands beyond that. If I decide to get a massage at the hotel spa after my meetings are over, it's not an indication that I'm a lousy mom who wants to be away from her kids, it's an indication that I'm good enough at managing my time to recognize when I can take advantage of the amenties available to me. That seems like something that men who travel for business learned a long time ago.


Sports Night Thursday 13

I have mentioned in the past that I am a rabid fan of Sports Night. So, in honor of my repeated viewings of the entire series (thank God for DVD's!) here are thirteen of my favorite quotes/scenes from SN (in somewhat random order, not in order of preference or anything).
  • Isaac: "Casey is on a date with Pixley? Could they be any more white?"
  • Casey: "A jabby right hook. And he did it with his left hand." Chuck "Cutman" Kimmel: "This fighter's got remarkable skills. He's not to be trifled with."
  • Dana: "Isaac had a stroke. And someone tried to blow up the building. We're not having our best week, are we?"
  • Dan: "I gotta tell you, at this point the length of this conversation is way out of proportion to my interest in it." I find many, many opportunties to use this line myself.
  • Jeremy (regarding a hunting segment): "What we did wasn't food and it wasn't shelter and it sure as hell wasn't sports." This whole speech was good, but this line just summed it up.
  • Isaac: "Because I love you, Danny, I can say this. No rich, young white guy has ever gotten anywhere with me comparing himself to Rosa Parks."
  • Dan: "You got married at 23 to a woman you met at 19!" Casey: "I know, I was there."
  • Sam Donovan: "Don't assume that just because I'm looking at you when are talking that I'm paying any attention to what you are saying."
  • Calvin Trager: "Anyone who can't make money off of Sports Night needs to get out of the money making business."
  • Dan: "I've got the intellectual property cops up my butt."
  • Casey: "Gordon, you're wearing my shirt." The line is good because it's a perfect underlining of the scene itself, when Casey realizes that Gordon cheated on Dana. It's so much more subtle than an outright accusation, but both the characters and the viewers know exactly what it all means.
  • Dan (in response to Casey asking how he can be cool again): "First I have to disabuse you of the notion that you were cool in the first place.
  • Dana: "I have seen enough to know that I have seen enough! And now I want something good to happen. I want just one good thing to happen before the day is over and I will be the judge of what is good! One. good. thing before the day is over, that is all I ask!" And then you hear Isaac's voice off-screen, and you see him with his cane, moving all slowly because he just got released from the hospital that day and he has a lot of recovery still ahead of him because of the stroke, and the scene is all that much more poignant because it's the first episode that Robert Guillame was able to film after his real-life stroke, and...excuse me, I need to get a tissue.


Bring some cheese, I've got plenty of whine

So, I decided that I was going to try to post more often and I took advantage of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). And then November started off in the middle of a crappy week. A week that began with Lil Joe puking all over the floor first thing Sunday morning. And Hubby being off on the golf course for longer than planned, so I had pukey-boy and his bickering siblings by myself for an extra hour or so, delaying my trip to the grocery store. (But my being trapped in the house was no big deal, since I didn't want to drive the minivan once the "check engine" light came on on Saturday evening.) A week that continued with me getting a call at work on Monday telling me that Hoss had thrown up during gym class. After which he felt fine, so I spent the rest of the day trying to make him understand why he wasn't allowed to be at school or eat whatever he wanted. And I got another call on Tuesday telling me that Hoss had a meltdown during class, hitting and kicking and trying to bite, so he needed to be removed. So, instead of leaving work at lunchtime to go watch the Halloween parade and help out in the kindergarten classroom for the party, I stayed at work while my mom picked Hoss up and I took the boys home. I thought about making my post a picture of Princess and Hoss in their costumes from last night, but started getting nervous about posting a picture of my children in light of recently debated kerfuluffles in the mommy-blogging world. I am just not in a place right now to have a thick skin if someone decided to make fun of how my kids looked in their costumes. Or if someone look the pictures for something worse. But, by tonight I may have changed my mind and posted the photo, since I took the time to make the damned costumes and therefore I ought to show them off. You know I waffle like that. I thought about posting about all of the projects I am working on for my booth at the Christmas thing at the kids' school. But those of you that give a hoot about what is on my needles are probably reading my other blog. So, my auspcious beginning to my daily posting attempts is...a post about how I don't have a decent post. Let's hope I can shake this off soon, or I will alienate the few readers I have instead of attracting any new ones.


You would think...

You would think that a committee of only three people should be able to find an hour during the week of December 18 during which everyone was available for a conference call. You would think that a caterer coming to a 400 person company would have made note of who asked him to show up "right away" with a new urn of coffee, as opposed to having to grab a random employee in the kitchen to figure out which conference room needed it. You would think that having an in-box with a label that says "IN BOX" as the first thing visible when entering a cubicle would mean that mail was not left piled on my chair. You would think that someone who made a big point of needing completed drafts of documents by a certain time on Friday would be in the office to read them on Friday, or would at least open her e-mail before Sunday night. You would think that a grown man whose radio is set to start playing the all news station when he wakes up would have an idea what the weather was going to be like instead of asking his wife while she is trying to get lunch made. And you would think that he would also have an idea that the field trip to the farm would require jean and boots, regardless of whether the specific activities of the day included anything more than just a tromp through the pumpkin patch, without needing input from the wife. You would think these things, but you would be wrong.


My name is Roseanne Rosannadanna

My mobile phone is sitting on the kitchen counter, where I dropped it when I came home from the grocery last night. Since I am not at my home, it's not of much use to me right now. I got scheduled for a last minute conference call which ends 30 minutes after I typically leave work for the day. I forgot to verify that the sleeves on my blouse are loose enough to roll up far enough for a flu shot. They aren't. Luckily, only about half a dozen people had to be cleared from the room long enough for me to partially disrobe and expose my upper arm. The school nurse just called to let me know that Hoss fell in gym class and hit his head. He's doing OK neurologically (BTW, that is not a phrase one likes to have to hear. I mean, it's better than "He's not OK neurologically" but still...) but he's got a big lump on his head and needs to be observed. Honestly, it's always somthin'.


Still preoccupied with 19-19-1985

I went to Hubby's high school reunion with weekend. He went to a private, all boys school with a graduating class of around 300 guys. The 20 year reunion is the first one where the grads bring dates, so this was the first reunion I attended with him. Many of Hubby's high school friends stayed in his close circle of friends for awhile, but have now fallen into "acquaintance" status (Christmas cards are exchanged, maybe they bump into each other at the football game, but no other contact.) None of the guys we were so close to when we got married were at the reunion, so I spent most of the evening doing the "Nice to meet you!" gig. The invitation for the reunion boasted at 80's band including alumni from Class of '86, which I suspected meant "Kenny on sax." Kenny plays with the alumni jazz band with Hubby, and also sometimes calls on Hubby to sub with his swing band. Also at the reunion were Mark, who became a Christian brother and is now working as Hubby's music department assistant, and Rick, who was ordained as a priest not long after Hubby and I got married. Other than that, I knew nobody. The band was pretty good, and I was having a lot of fun but no one- seriously, not a single person- was dancing. Mark and Rick and I kept "woo hoo"ing after each song, getting a couple shout-outs from the band, but I couldn't convince anyone to come on the dance floor with me. I finally convinced Rick to dance at the end of the night. Me and the priest, having a good old time singing along with the band. So, to sum up, just like in high school, I was the geeky girl at the back of the gym who couldn't find anyone to dance with until someone totally unattainable took pity on me and danced along.


I like to refer to it as "networking"

After my third straight day of meetings last week, after I felt as though my fingers were ready to fall off from the notetaking, I gathered with some of my colleagues at the hotel bar. As the evening progressed, the group grew. A new VP sat across from me, and since the hour was a bit late, all talk of the conference and the exhibitors had been exhausted. Conversation at that point was more geared toward things outside of the office. During a discussion of homebrewing supplies (or maybe the discussion of bike trails, or the discussion of what drink it is that is a mixture of peach juice and champagne) the VP and I realized that we live about ten minutes away from each other. Wow, what a small world. And also, we realized that we both eat the same kind of energy bar. Imagine my surprise when I saw VP in the hallway a few minutes ago, and he stopped me. "I was looking for you!" he said. "You saved me ten minutes on my commute this morning, because I tried one of the routes you mentioned when we were talking." And he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a Nutz Over Chocolate Luna Bar. See, even when I'm blowing off steam and kicking back, I am helping out upper management.


I'll be updating my resume now, thanks

After almost six straight hours of meetings, I met the Board in the hotel lobby to go to dinner. You know how when you go to a Mexican restaurant and everyone says it's your birthday they bring out the big sombrero and sing to you? Well, at this place, it's not a sombrero, it's more like a Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo hat, and it doesn't have to be your birthday, you could just be the CEO/Grand Poobah.

I may be a dork, but I'm a validated dork now

I am posting this from the staff office at the hotel in Denver where my conference is taking place. It's currently a smidge before 7:00 a.m. local time, and since the meetings don't get underway until noon, I'm the only one dumb enough to be up and about yet. There will be many days of wake up calls and early room set-ups, so everyone else is taking advantage of the time to sleep in. This is my first meeting without my boss, Beth, as a safety net, so I was freaking out a bit about it before I left town yesterday. Anything that goes wrong is on my head this time. On the other hand, anything that goes right shows everyone that I am competant at my job, not just an employee who is managed well. My friend Lee is the assistant to our CEO, and she is on the trip this time to help me out with the running around and small stuff that comes up during the course of the week. She shared a cab from the airport with the Big Boss yesterday, and they made small talk about the conference, and Beth's absence, and how things were flowing. Lee said that she felt as though everything was running quite well even though my boss was gone, and BigBoss shocked the hell out of us and agreed with her. BigBoss thinks that Beth walks on water, so he has been known, all too often, to credit her with the success of those of us that work for her. Good work from people is often to the credit of a good manager, but BigBoss tends to only see the people right in front of him, so his direct reports get the praise (and in all fairness, they also get the brunt of his displeasure when employees below them don't measure up.) It seems that, unsolicited, BigBoss told Lee that he was very pleased with my meeting preparation- that the briefing materials were wonderful. I have to confess that when Lee relayed this compliment to me, I literally jumped up and down in a little happy dance in the hotel lobby. Now I just need to move beyond "pat on the head" and on to "fancy title and more money."


All our life's a circle

So, we are back on the roller coaster. I went to a family wedding this weekend. We hiked with the groom as some of his friends on Saturday morning, and the wedding on Saturday night was a beautiful ceremnoy under a canopy in the woods next to a waterfall. The reception at the Museum of Civilization lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Sunday consisted of more sightseeing, sampling of the local cuisine (specifically, Tim Horton's coffee and poutine-not at the same time, of course) and visits with family. Coming back yesterday, I faced last minute preparations for next week's Board meeting, and an early afternoon conference with school officials (teacher, aftercare director, school counselor and principal) to discus Hoss' meltdowns, defiance and inappropriate socialization. Surprisingly, I made it though almost the whole conference before needing a tissue. The school staff admired by ability to hold the tears back for as long as I did. Last night was also Back to School Night, so I has to rush out the door to go back to the school as soon as Hubby returned from his doctor appointment. I came home to a broken sink (the replacement part for which was not available at Home Depot) and a call from one of my credit cards saying they had not received the $2,023 payment I scheduled online last week to pay off the account in full, and I was therefore about to be reported to the credit bureau. I managed to do a masterful job of rearranging the schedule tomorrow to create a space for a conference call without have to create any conflicts for any of the senior mangagement level staff necessary. It was like one of those tile puzzles, where you slide everything around until you manipulate it into the right place. Then I got an email from one of the assistants telling me that she was really impressed with how smoothly I have run the meeting preparations on my own, even noting that it seemed that I have done a better job without my boss around! I got an email from the school with the sad news that the 15 month old niece of our assistant principal died in her sleep. Which, I have to say, make all of my downs seem quite minor. It's turning out to be a hell of a ride.

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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

    Wanna contact me?
    Send me an email.