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Fake snow is fake

We have a decorating contest at work every year.  I never participate (I don’t even decorate at home, most years), but some people go all out.  It’s amazing.  I share an office with one of the contest judges, and she likes to decorate (we can’t compete, but still), so I now work in a winter wonderland.  Sort of.  It’s like a winter-ish okay-land.  She put fake snow on a couple of shelves and on her desk, added some plush snowmen and a snow globe, and she hung little ornaments on my fake plant.  I think the fake snow looks like clouds, like we should have Care Bears instead of snowmen.



There’s a remarkable resemblance, right?

On my fake plant, the fake snow looks like fog.


My plant is hidden in the mist.  Very mysterious.

And then we have South Park snowmen frolicking on the window.


So festive.  (Such fun!)  Our office is NOTHING like the cubes belonging to the people who take this seriously.  One guy built a gingerbread house around his cube.  Roof, walls, and a door.  It looks great.  Another guy painted 12 pictures, all Christmas-themed but patterned after famous paintings, and turned his cube into an art gallery.  It’s incredible.  This guy goes all out every year (he recreated the Grinch Who Stole Christmas last year, complete with security video of the Grinch stealing Christmas), but I think this year is his best.  The paintings are REALLY good.

Wiped out

Today was a long day.  It wasn’t long in actual, objective time (it was normal), but it felt like it was going on forever.  It was nonstop, no  breaks, and the whole week is going to be like that.  It’s only Monday.  I’m home now, and I’m going to put on soft pants, sit on the couch, eat my dinner, and watch TV.  And go to bed early.  Grump grump grump.


I’m so not getting into the details, but let’s just say that I pointed out to a new-ish employee something that he didn’t do quite right the night before (nicely – I’m ALWAYS nice), I heard a tone in his response that was shrug-it-off/I-don’t-care/I-hear-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-do-that, I was a little sharp in my reply, and he didn’t like it. So off we went to a meeting where he told me he didn’t like being treated that way.


We discussed it, and it’s resolved, and we’re back to behaving normally, but what a way to ruin my day by 9am.  And to make me be extra-special careful around this one person and second-guess every interaction.  Ugh.

Going a little batty

I need to get my eyes checked.  Or maybe I just need a vacation from work.  Or maybe both.  I was logged in to a database at work, looking for which columns in which tables hold the data I need, and I saw a column called BATCHID.  No exaggeration – it took me a full 30 seconds to identify that column as “Batch ID”, not “bat child”.  I was sitting at my desk, almost scratching my head in confusion over why on EARTH we had a column to store data about bat children.  Was it a joke?  Did “BAT” stand for something and this is child data of some sort?  I’ve worked here for nearly five years – how could I have never heard of it?  Eventually, the light bulb came on, and now I feel stupid, but man – I was really puzzled for a bit there.

The update

Our house is still on the market.  Riley is still with us (he’s doing okay – still excited about going upstairs, eating (he’s eating pretty well – better than ever, actually), and walks).  We still have the same jobs (although I have finally updated my resume – progress!).  I get to puppy-sit for Emily this weekend, and John has to go to a bachelor party.  Emily is getting married in less than three weeks, and I haven’t taken my bridesmaid dress to get hemmed yet.  But I will tomorrow!  I ordered flats (I decided my sparkly peep-toe heels need to go back for the following reasons: 1) I’d take them off for dancing, anyway.  2) I don’t NEED to be the tallest bridesmaid (but I really really want to be the tallest bridesmaid).  3) No one needs to be peeping at my poor toe.), and they finally arrived today, so tomorrow I can take my dress and get it hemmed to the right length (to go with the shoes I’ll be wearing).  And not a moment too soon.

Open House #2

Lots happened last week, everyone.  We had our open house last Sunday (from noon to 5), and we had a whopping TWO people come by the whole time.  We were a little disappointed, but the second person stayed for a while, asked a ton of questions, and seemed fairly serious about it.  (Also, I kind of know her through the gym.)  That night we got a call from her realtor – boom.  An offer.  Her realtor was god-awful and terribly rude to us (we’re doing a FSBO for a reason – we’re willing to give 1% to the buyer’s agent, not 3), but the offer came in anyway.  It was a little low, but dude!  An offer!  So we panicked.  Kind of.  We were SO not prepared for that.  We had planned on using a real estate attorney to help us with closing, but we hadn’t even begun to find one.  Also, the buyer only gave us 18 hours to respond (the offer came in at 9pm Sunday – she gave us until 3pm Monday), so we spent Monday morning frantically trying to a) find a lawyer and/or b) figure out how we should counter.  Because we wanted to counter.  It was a reasonable, very fair counter.  Anyway, I found a real estate lawyer (through my gym again) who gave us great advice, and then at 2:45 (because that’s when I heard back from our new lawyer) I printed out the offer, made our changes, initialled and signed everything, scanned in the signed copy, emailed it to John, who printed, initialled and signed, scanned it in, and emailed the whole thing back to the agent.  At 2:50, I emailed her to let her know it was coming.  She got it by 3:15.  We gave them until 5pm Tuesday (a whole 26 hours) to get back to us.

Silence.  Just nothing.  No response.  Wednesday morning, I emailed the agent to confirm that their lack of response meant they weren’t interested in countering or accepting.  She replied quickly to tell me that was correct, and that was the end of that.  Except that we plan to email the buyer directly (because we have her information and I kind of know her) just to check in and be friendly.  There’s really no reason we haven’t done it yet.  Anyway, even though it didn’t pan out, it was exciting, and we feel good about it.  We do NOT regret not taking her initial offer.

Tuesday night we showed the house to a guy who seemed positive but is in no hurry whatsoever.  We made a deal with an agent we really like (he’s given us all kinds of advice on how to sell on our own, how to deal with buyer’s agents and the whole commission thing, and lots of other things) to have him list our house on the MLS for a flat fee, so we’re out there for agents to find us.  We’re having an open house right now (and clearly so overrun with people that I don’t have any time to write….oh, wait a minute), from noon to 3, with a showing between 3 and 3:30 and a guy who’s going to come by around 1.

It’s been busy.  We’re still homeowners, Riley is in a slow decline (his x-rays Monday morning were not positive), work sucks and is about to get suckier, and it’s the one-year anniversary of Roxy’s death, but hey – I had a milkshake for dinner last night and the weather is beautiful.  It’s not all bad.


I’m not afraid of my boss.  She and I see eye to eye on most things, we get along well, I know I’m a valued employee, blah blah blah.  But some days, when she sends me an email asking me if I have a few minutes, or if I can come by her office to talk, I get nervous.  Like I’m being called to the principal’s office.  Like I’m in trouble.  Have I done anything?  Not that I’m aware of, but I’ll start to get paranoid about something small, something that no one would get in trouble for, but maybe it’s something I thought twice about doing.  Not once have I ever gone to her office and found that I AM in trouble, that I HAVE done something wrong.  Will I ever grow out of that?

McDonald’s saved the day

Friday morning at work, I was havingaday.  Like, a DAY.  It was nuts, and not in a fun way.  So lunch was french fries and one of those little hot fudge sundaes from McDonald’s.  It helped.  John hates those commercials for chocolates that show a woman taking a break and savoring tiny bites as she gazes out a window onto a beautiful view and so do I, but I have to admit I took a moment for myself when I ate that first bit of ice cream and hot fudge.  Commercials don’t lie!

Cute animals are the cure

Had a rough week (or two)?  I did.  This should make you feel better.  It’s working for me.

From reddit.


I don’t care.  Leave me alone.

That’s what I wanted to say all day at work today.  Nothing bad happened – it was mostly a normal day, but I didn’t really feel like engaging with anyone.  Go away, everyone, I don’t care.  Leave me alone.  I just want some quiet time.

Luckily there’s a weekend in my immediate future.  :)  And an outing!

Goes with the territory

I don’t want to do the whole cliché “I hate Mondays” thing, like Garfield or that song by that one guy where the girl kills herself (I almost typed “where the girl girls herself” – I have no idea what that could mean), and NO, I don’t have a case of the Mondays, but ugh.  Mondays, you know?  (I really mean this, but I’m finding it hard not to smile at the ridiculousness of writing about it – ooh, solution!)  They wouldn’t be so bad if we had a day off in the middle of every week.  No work on Wednesdays!  That’s my battle-cry.  Or it will be.  My focus is entirely on lunch right now – more specifically, putting off lunch.  I’m hungry NOW, but I’m going grocery shopping after work today, which means dinner will be later, which means I’ll be hungry while I shop, which is bad.  So.  Eat lunch a little later, make it through grocery shopping without buying everything in sight because I’m the hungry hungry caterpillar.  I can do it.  I can make it to 1pm.  I can.

While I’m watching the clock, let’s talk about something completely different: it is fundamentally funny to overhear developers having serious conversations about clobs and blobs.  Yes, I work in IT, and yes, I know what they are (in the most general way – for the curious, they refer to different methods of storing data in a database.  Those of you who know better: how wrong am I?  No, wait – you don’t have to tell me), but that doesn’t make the words less silly.  The visuals are fun, though.  Maybe the world on the other side of my cube’s wall is animated.  It’s a childishly-drawn cartoon where clobs and blobs have faces and personalities and need to be readily identified by others.  You know, maybe.

Birthday Shenanigans

I’ve been trying really hard to be a caring manager and a good boss, create a fun working environment, all that sort of thing, but I keep almost screwing up birthdays. (Hey, celebrating team birthdays is fun.)  I have everyone’s birthday on my work calendar, so I know when they’re coming up.

Incident #1: My calendar showed one for a new team member for last Tuesday (the 21st) and another one for last Friday (the 24th), so Tuesday morning, I went to Wegmans and picked up some balloons (we know how to party around here) and another coworker picked up cupcakes.  Well, Tuesday was the day the snow started midmorning and we all headed home early.  Coworker #1 (whose birthday it was) checked in with me because she wanted to avoid the commute altogether and work from home.  Whoops.  So much for her birthday stuff.  I emailed her back and wished her a happy birthday.  She responded with confusion.  Turns out her birthday was the following Monday – I was just completely wrong.  Nice.  The rest of us couldn’t let the cupcakes go to waste (or wait overnight), so we divvied them up and took them home.  J  She doesn’t know that.  And since Coworker #2’s birthday still really was Friday and he wasn’t coming in at all that day (Tuesday) because of the snow (so he wouldn’t know) AND he was going to be out on the actual day of his birthday, I moved the balloons over to his desk.  Recycling.  We had cake for him on Thursday.

Incident #2: The following Monday, Coworker #1’s ACTUAL birthday, I had planned to pick up a cookie cake and balloons on my way in.  TOTALLY forgot.  Thankfully, I get in almost an hour before she does, so I went racing back out to the store.  Back no more than a minute before she got in, but it totally counts.  She doesn’t have to know that, either.

I think I’ve wandered from the point.  What is my point?  Oh.  I’m trying really hard, guys, and still can barely get birthdays right.  It’s a wonder I ever get the real work right.

Then there will be no one to hear you scream

Why haven’t I learned this lesson yet?

It’s never a good idea to go to work on the day you’re going to travel.

I should get that tattooed on my arm.  This was not a normal Friday.  They’re usually pretty slow, pretty easy.  Today should have been typical – my schedule was wide open. I should have had plenty of time to do the things I needed to do before leaving.  Did that happen?  Of course not!  Today’s the day everyone needed something.  I did end up getting the big things done and postponing the rest, but I spent the morning in a frenzy of activity.  Not the good kind of frenzy.

Frenzy is SUCH a weird word.

Now let’s hope I can get the last-minute packing details done before the cab comes.  I hate it when the cab arrives before I’m ready.  Of course, I hate it more when the cab is late.

Eh, it’s Friday. Don’t expect too much.

I like to think I’m a patient person, but sometimes I just run out.  Most of the time it’s work-related.  Hardly ever friends and family.  Occasionally the general public.  And when it’s work-related, it’s not everyone.  But come on, people, do your job.  I’m not going to do it for you.
I wrote that this morning.  HOURS ago.  Whatever was bothering me then couldn’t have been that bad – I don’t remember being bothered by anything after around 11 this morning.  That’s a good way to finish a Friday, right?
Consider this a public service announcement: be better than this.


We are free from our manipulative real estate agent!  Hooray for us!  She actually fired us.  :)  It was kind of awesome.  She said she couldn’t sell it at this price, we said we weren’t willing to change it, and she suggested we sign a release from the agreement.  We win!  And now we’ll take a little time, maybe enjoy the holiday season, and do it on our own soon.

I was doing so well with keeping up here, and then last week started.  It was a horrible, crazily busy, totally exhausting week.  Work was nuts, our evenings were not our own, and we just got back from a whirlwind 36-hour trip to PA and back for Emily’s engagement party.  I can barely keep my eyes open.  We braved Wegmans to get the basic pre-Thanksgiving shopping done, mostly because I have pies to make.  Lots of pies.  This year I actually need to double my recipe.

I’m too tired to make any more sense, so I’m going to shut down the computer, heat up dinner (we scored leftovers from the party last night), and watch TV with John.  I might last another hour, max.  I will try really really hard to post regularly again.  I like it.

Change of perspective

I have decided to stop feeling like I’m behind on everything.  I’m not behind on the internet; now I’ve got lots of wonderful things to catch up on.  I’m not behind on reading (now that I’ve finished my book club book); I’m reading at my own leisurely pace.  I’m not behind at work; I’ve just suddenly got two jobs to do, and I’m keeping up as best I can.  I’m not behind on blogging, either.  It’s not like I can go back and post something for all those days my mind was elsewhere.  I’m where I’m supposed to be, and that’s okay.

Yoga class was nice last night.  Can you tell?

Titles are hard when brain stops working

Sorry about yesterday.  This week was kind of odd.  Busy odd.  Like, I can’t remember sitting down and relaxing much odd, even though I know I must have.  My brain needs lots of help to get out of work-mode, which is why I’ve been relying on other websites so much.  Today will be no different.  Thanks to Tom and Lorenzo, let’s talk about Channing Tatum.

I like him okay (I’ve seen him in one movie and a couple of interviews, and he was plenty likeable), but I don’t find him attractive at all.  Certainly not HAWT, like so many other women seem to feel.  I think it’s his head.  And neck.  The combination of the two.  They’re thesame size.  I have the same issue with The Rock and Vin Diesel.  It’s a type, and it’s not mine.  Channing Tatum, at least in this suit, looks great if you only look from the shoulders down.

I still think he’s a little too body-builder for me.  I’m sure John will be relieved to know I’m not going to leave him for Channing Tatum.

Isn’t January over yet?

I can’t multi-task anymore.  I probably never could, but it didn’t used to be so obvious.  If my brain isn’t ready for, oh, let’s say…work, then work isn’t going to happen.  But when I’ve flipped the work switch to ON (and all connections have been made – no shorts here), then work is all I can do.  It’s all I can do, it’s all I can think about, and it’s all I can talk about.  It’s really annoying.  It’s fine during the workday, of course, but REALLY not okay once I’m home.  I don’t have that kind of job.  And look what I’m doing right now!  Stop it.

Hey, brisket sandwiches!  Are a wonderful thing.  I had one for lunch.  And we’re having leftover non-Mexican chicken corn chowder for dinner.  Because it turned out pretty yummy.

No segue.  Just videos. (Both are from The Daily What via wherever those guys found them. Video 1. Video 2.)

My favorite people are the ones who danced with the guy. I think I’d be one of them.

This is fantastic. Question: could it really be the cat’s first experience with snow? How did the cameraperson know to be ready?

The continuing saga of the mysterious battery drain

My car dies sometimes.  We thought we were holding the problem at bay by pulling the master fuse when we’re not in the car because that would keep the accessories (radio, lights, clock, etc.) from draining the battery while it’s off.  John was supposed to be using the time we were buying by doing that to research the problem so he could fix it for me.  We got about a year out of the last battery, which we replaced right after Christmas (just a few weeks ago).  Fresh new battery means no problems for a while, right?  Yeah…no.  I was able to start the car (and drive it places) three different times Monday night (after leaving it sitting in the driveway for three full days), but Tuesday morning it was dead.  Since I still pull the master fuse out every night, nothing on that panel can be what’s killing the battery (there goes my new radio).  The locks have been acting up all this time, too, so that night when we got home (in the dark, in the rain), John unplugged the relay for the power locks (and possibly some other relay, but I haven’t found anything else that’s been disconnected yet).  So far, I haven’t had any issues (and I was already used to using the key and the manual locks to lock and unlock the car since the power locks have been so unreliable).  Okay, it’s only been a day and a half.  We’re going to try not to use my car all weekend again as a test.  From Friday night to sometime Monday, we’ll leave it sitting in the driveway and use John’s car for any errands.  If it starts after two or three days, then we’ve probably found the problem.  I’m not sure what happens after that.  Is the relay bad?  Or is it something in the wiring?

Man, I’m much happier focusing on this issue than the stuff that’s happening at that place I have to go to every weekday.

Slow week

People annoy me.  I had lunch today with someone I’ve barely seen or talked to in months (we don’t work together anymore), and it was kinda good and kinda awful.  Awful like I don’t want to talk to her anymore.  Good like it was nice to catch up, but awful like after about 20 minutes, I couldn’t handle listening to her (and didn’t want to share anything from my life, either).  Lunch ended eventually, though, and I got to come home and relax a little and then I got to go to yoga and relax a lot.  And now I have to give Roxy her medicine (her 5 tons of medicine), so I’m off.  Sorry for the lack of entertainment going on up in here.