Friday, October 31, 2008

Costume at work

I couldn't find a good costume, so instead I threw on this crappy wig, some glasses and led my groups. At least people got a good laugh.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New England Fall

This weekend some friends and I ventured into the north to take in beautiful fall in New England. We were a little late in the season, but we hadn't missed everything. I found a farm in New Hampshire that advertised apple picking, wagon rides, corn maze, hot apple cider, apple crisp, pumpkins and just about anything else you'd want. I convinced a few friends to come. We made a few stops along the way. We visited the Old North Bridge and actually listened the little ranger man tell his story of the miraculous way the militia was able to defend their homes. I love American history and all the stories that show just how much of a miracle it was that we were able to free ourselves from the British.
Our perfect fall scene. A blanket of leaves resting on the ground. It was heaven. We also stopped in to see the Groten School. It's only one of the most prestigious prep/boarding schools in the nation. (That's what someone said anyway, I have not done my own research.)

They had a backdrop with hay and corn stalk conveniently set up for us. We had fun with that!

Here we are mesmerized by the ranger. He was a fancy story-teller, that's for sure. I think my favorite part was Amy the boy early American who chopped off the head of an injured British soldier just as the rest of the British army was arriving to the scene. The army looked at Amy marched right past him and instead killed about 300 innocents living in Lexington on their way back to Boston as retaliation. Jaw-dropping story telling!!

Isn't this tree perfect! I love it. This was on the way to the estate sale that turned into crapper farmers sale of really old junk that NO ONE would ever be able to use EVER.

But this truck was pretty sweet and served as another great prop for our adventure. There was no apple picking, but we did hit up the corn maze, and wagon ride, burned our tongues on hot apple cider and shared some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. One of my friends also made out with a mirror and desk chair from a road side yard sale.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Against all Odds!!

On our first phone call, he noticed I was talking about my meeting with him in front my co-worker. He challenged me enthusiastically to which I responded by saying, "are you yelling at me?"

Once arriving at our first meeting I forgot his name. AND the name of the agency.

I also forgot my resume.

Because I'm so charming they invited me back. I said I'd email my resume the next day.

I forgot his card. I had no email address. I decided to fax it in. Then I discovered his email address. I emailed it also. Overkill?

I went to a staff meeting. Arriving I run into the partner. She says, it's great to see you. You have an impressive resume. I say, really? I'm SO glad you think so!! At the meeting over and over I admitted that I had NO experience. Some how I was able to twist all my many weaknesses into possible strengths. At one point I said out loud, "Am I still talking?"

unsure. I'm not that experienced. I doubt I got it.

The CEO and CFO came to my staff meeting. They reported the tough news that because of HUGE cuts in the state budget, day treatment, employment programs, clubhouses and other programs would be cut out. There was a good chance we would be without jobs in a month.

Awesome. I can move like I always talk about. I am a little concerned though. It's not pleasant.

My new boss calls. He offers me the job. He said the team really liked you. Really!?!? He said I sounded surprised. I told him I just never know how I come across. I also told him about the meeting with the CEO. I asked him when he wanted me to start. He told me to talk to my boss and come up with an agreed upon date. We agreed I'd call him the next day.

I forgot to call.

How is that possible? I forgot to call.

The next morning I called and left him a message (which he apparently didn't receive) because he emailed me and said he thought I was going to call. I emailed him telling him I had left him a message. I got a phone message from him later saying he'd be happy to talk further about my questions. I emailed and said I'd call him when I got out of work.

I forgot to call.

How is that possible? I forgot to call.

How did I get this job?

I got a new job. I start it on the 10th. I'm pretty excited. I hope I can play it cool. Cooler then I have been.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Simple Communciation?

Brought to you by: silly phone survey all about Google's new Goggle feature to prevent drunken emailing. (you can make a setting on your computer for nights and weekends in which you will have to answer simple math questions in a certain amount of time to enable you to send messages.)

This is an interesting concept. The problem: I'm sober and send stupid (really stupid) texts and emails and sometimes chats which I immediately regret. We'll call it impulsivity.


A. A few weeks ago I was hanging out with a friend of mine. It was a fun night, we hadn't spent time together in a while and after he left I felt the need to communicate to him that I enjoyed the night, that I've missed talking with him, that we should do it again soon, blah blah blah... This is what was actually sent from my phone: Gosh, I really missed hanging out you. Not a huge big deal, but unbelievably annoying. How hard is it to simply communicate a thought without screwing it up?

B. This weekend I ran into someone I don't know very well, we see each other so rarely, that when we started to chat and were immediately interrupted, I was quite annoyed and bothered. Later that day I was thinking about how I wanted to talk more, so I looked up his email address and sent him an email. I'm not even sure what I blabbed about but I'm sure I was blabbing. Again, not a huge big deal but annoying.

C. Important thing to know about me: I think I'm pretty funny. Yesterday I sent a text to a friend of mine who recently moved out of state. It said: I think we should go see Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist tonight. He responds with something like, What? you do realize we're in different states/cities/time zones? To which I responded, You have no imagination. Yes I realize that. Last night around 7 I sent another text saying: I'm so sorry I'm not going to make it tonight but lets try again later this week. JUST PLAIN DUMB. But this morning I felt the need to acknowledge it. I was chatting and said: sorry about my obnoxious texts, I'll try not to do that even anymore. Yes. Again, how hard is it to eliminate unnecessary stupid communication or at least communicate an idea or thought simply and easily?

These are just a few examples. I could go on and on and on and on. I don't know if Googles Goggles will help me stop being so dumb and quick to send incomplete unclear messages to people. But maybe an official hand slapper. Someone to stand over me to slap my hand every time I try to send some ridiculous communication that isn't necessary and I'll wish I hadn't in about 5 seconds. Or a buzzer of some kind. I could just tag people in my phone or computer that every time I try to send something I get an electric shock. This way I would only send things that would be worth getting shocked over. So only absolutely necessary communications. Somehow I must be stopped!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Name

I believe I have mentioned it before, but every morning on my way to work I listen to a radio station that has a survey question each day. Often I find them silly and mildly entertaining, and sometimes I find one that actually promotes deeper thoughts. This morning they were talking about how people change their last names when they get married. They started with the example of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise and how they didn't because they were both established prior to their union. There are many ways people choose to do this, but the question they were asking this morning was along the lines of: should the person who is the LEAST successful in the relationship submit to the success of the other and change their name. I guess asking if the woman is more successful and established, should the man just deal with it and change his name to match hers. So like I said before, silly and mildly entertaining, but today it got me thinking about a few things. Mostly, my own name. (and no this isn't a thoughtful tribute to my ancestors or anything, much more trivial)

When I was born my parents opted not to give me (or my sisters) a middle name. When I asked as a child about not having a middle name they said that when I got married I would take my husbands name and my last name would become my middle name. In a way, this always bothered me. In some way, I got the message that as a girl I shouldn't get a middle name or something and it also made the assumption that inevitably I would be wed. When people would ask me for my full name, I always wished that I had a full name and didn't sound so lame as saying just my name again. Lately this has changed! Mostly because of two of my sisters marriages.

I hate hyphens. I think it's really lame to hyphen your name. Sorry if you love it, I reserve my right to hate it as much as it is your right to do it. When I do get married I hope that we will start our family. Having our family I would like us all to share one name, one that unites us all. I am still myself, unique in my traits and talents and even though I plan to change my last name, I feel no threat to my identity or heritage. (I'm not saying that people who don't change their names feel these things, I am just talking about relax if you feel the need to defend others choices.) That all being said, I really love that I can reserve my current last name as my middle name! My parents are brilliant! I won't have to drop anything! I think of my married sisters names and how beautiful they are. It works. I was talking to a co-worker about this and asked if she would change her name when she gets married. She told me that hyphening was not an option because it would be Lord-Killgoar and she'd have to carry a sword to pull that one off.

Then there are those who just choose to combine names without a hyphen like Clark Donavan. If I can barely write my first name I'm not writing out two last names. It's just not going to happen. What about those who create a blended name for all to share? Claravon? I guess you can if you want to. I think it would depend on what you're working with. Lordgoar I'd vote no. Killord--maybe. What about Brangelina? Blending first names and eliminating last names all together... it just wouldn't work, not feasible.

This leads me to my next tangent. My signature. This is actually where all these thoughts are coming from. The phone survey was about changing your name, I thought about how I'd like to change my signature. Which then led me to when I get married will I change my signature then? Right now I just sign my first initial and then my last name. This mostly came out of laziness. I can't do the scribble thing. It just looks sloppy. If I'm going to sign my name it should read as my name I guess. So when I was in college I just started signing my initial and last name. This was never an issue until I was applying for student aid for grad school. Someone called me and said I hadn't signed the forms correctly and I needed to submit again with my full signature. By that time, my signing was habit. I called them back and said that this was indeed my signature. I sign all documents this way. The person on the phone gave me a hard time but finally accepted my signature. (seriously, you can scribble and make wavy lines and no one says a thing, but an initial and last name was somehow wrong? It just doesn't make sense to me.)

But lately I was thinking that I want to write my name out but I guess I hesitate to change my signature. So thinking about all this I was wondering do I have to get married to change my signature? Probably not, but it's still wildly inconvenient. It will probably stay as it is. I don't know why I don't like it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Diagnosis Week

My sister declared this week salad lovers week and wanted me to post a salad recipe a day to share with her and whomever else. I really would love to participate in such a thing so here's my FAVORITE salad recipe:

Romain lettuce
green peppers
cherry tomato's
feta cheese

I put it all in a bowl and then I use a Italian Basil dressing. I eat this every other day. It really makes me happy. Sometimes I'll put cooked chicken on it, but that's a rare event. Boring I know, but so basic, good and true. Salad in it's purest form.

Although this week for her is salad lovers week, I will dub my week diagnosis week. It's been amusing to see just how much stuff all happens at once in my life. Why oh why!??!

1. Last week I was at home working on my laptop (working is used very loosely--I mostly recreate, compiling music, "research", watching Arrested Development on, and stuff like that). While I was compiling a great new play list the screen started shaking, bouncing up and down very fast, and then it turned a greenish hue and then went dark. I shut the top and put it aside hoping that in the morning it would return to it's normal level of functioning. Of course, I was wrong. It's clear that the computer is still working, it's just the screen that isn't.

I spent some time on the phone yesterday with our pals and the geek squad. Did you know that they'll charge you $70 just to look at your computer? I told them that I knew what the problem was, the screen. The guy said it sounded like the LCD screen or something and that would--judging from the age of my computer, purchased in 2002 a Toshiba--cost me close to $500 to fix and that I should probably get a new one. Then I was wondering about external hard drives. These can range from $80-$120 or so. So how much will it cost me to have them save my data? It depends on how much but possibly $160. Now I don't know what to do. Would they charge me the 70 to talk to me, the 100 for the hard drive and then the 160 to transfer data? And that's not even considering the cost of the new computer.

2. My dear sweet car does a good job. She is a little old and has 123 plus thousand miles. She's a Toyota Corolla and I try to take good care of her because she's helping me out a bunch. The other day I was thinking about how I know there is an oil leek in my car and I was pretty sure that if there was any oil in the car at all, it was probably very little. I decided to do the right thing and take it in. My findings? I need a new oil pan and gasket--maybe $400, but they also decided to tell me I need new front brake pads and new rotors because they were bent--maybe $300. Really? So I'm trying to shop around for that. I can't imagine an oil pan being that expensive. I suggested duct tape, but they weren't amused.

3. Yesterday I couldn't speak. I had a scratchy throat for a few days but the last two days were really bad. I could hardly leave a message for my boss when I called out sick. I love that I don't have to try to sound sick. It was the strangest thing though. I've never had a sore throat like this. I had no other cold symptoms. I felt fine physically except that my throat felt like it was on fire. I hadn't had strep throat since I was really young, so I thought maybe that was it. I spent a lot of time yesterday on the phone changing my PCP, learning that my new PCP wouldn't give me a referral because she wouldn't see me until Nov, my new PCP's secretary is a JERK, my health insurance is a joke, I can't go to a walk in without a referral from my PCP, and my only options were to change my PCP again to someone who could see me that day or go to an ER where my awesome insurance lets me pay $75 for an ER visit but I also have a $500 deductible for lab work. What kind of insurance is that? I HATE our health care system and what I hate even more is that people are making other people purchase this insane insurance that then isn't helpful for them when they actually do get sick. But I don't want to go off on my thoughts of insurance (I just deleted a ton--you're welcome)

So yeah. I guess I have a lot of diagnosing going on. What's wrong, what's the necessary treatment, what do I want as my desired results? For now I will just try to find relaxing activities, you know things that help me distract/avoid the rest of my life. I could probably do that for a while.