Friday, February 27, 2004

Crap. I just finished typing the post, but forgot to save it before making other changes to the site, so I lost it. Crap.

So, it's finally Friday, I couldn't be happier, unless my cleaning person was coming tomorrow instead of two weeks from now. Since we're having friends over to watch the Oscars on Sunday, Saturday is going to be all about cleaning for me. However, since I'm cleaning so thoroughly, I have decided to treat myself to a massage, manicure and pedicure this weekend. One of life's better trade-offs.

Ruby is healing nicely from her run-in (literally) with my truck. She seems to be back to her peanut-butter-and-popcorn-loving self. Maggie has settled down, and finally, after 3 years has accepted that Ruby lives in the house, too. She sits in the sun all day, and performs various rolls and tricks for me when I come home each night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I finished my Unix class last night - an "A" on the final, and an "A" overall for the class. I feel pretty good about that. My only regret is that it's over - I feel like I was just getting started, and there is so much more to learn. Alex has set me up with a test server at home, so I can start to study one of our sites and figure how all the files and scripts call on each other. He also gave me a book to read, on PHP and MySQL. The book is about 3 inches thick. I'll get right on that.

The other piece of good news is that I finally have someone to come clean the house once in a while! Her name is Jennifer and she's coming over tomorrow afternoon to walk through the house with me and give me an idea of what she would charge. I'm so relieved already, it's amazing that I feel better even though she hasn't started yet. Just the idea that I won't have to tackle that big house all by myself anymore...

Monday, February 23, 2004

It's quiet at work this week - our company has an annual conference that takes place in Philly, so between people attending the conference and others out sick or whatever, there are about 6 people from my department who are in the office today. That works for me, because I have a final tonight in my Unix class, so I can use the quiet time to get some studying done. It'll be nice to be going to only two days a week of school after tonight.

No movement on the house in LA. I still think it will eventually sell, and for close to what we're asking, but it might take a while. Meantime, my mother is pretty unhappy still being there, I think she's ready to move on and get settled in her own life. We're looking at houses just north/east of Boulder, where the houses are older and on much larger lots, with lots of trees and open space. Perfect for two big dogs, and for when the kids come to visit.

I'm going to the gym today, I've taken to swimming at lunch (when I can get away). This week will be perfect, with so many people out of the office. Alex got me to ride the trainer (stationary bike) last night, my behind is pretty sore today. I don't know how people ride hard on bikes with those little, narrow seats! Ouch!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

YES! Taxes are done, e-filed, return should be here w/in two weeks. Alex gets credit this year for moving so quickly to get this done - once I saw him finishing his up yesterday, I knew I had to do mine as well. Not as big of a return as I expected, but (as my mother would say) better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Ruby had ANOTHER accident last night - this time it was her little face colliding with the bumper of my truck (I was in park!!). She was playing ball and thought it was about to be thrown to her, so she took off and slammed right into the bumper. She has a big gash underneath the scar from where her right eye used to be. :-( Poor little dog. It wasn't bleeding, and we checked and couldn't find any broken bones in her face, so we decided not to do the vet thing. She's a little swollen and a little quiet this morning, but seems to be okay.

I finally made up my mind to hire someone to come clean the house - a cat and a dog produce an ungodly amount of hair that lurks in all the corners and all over the wood floors. The last thing that I feel like doing each weekend is cleaning - I'll still have the usual grocery errands, laundry, ironing, cat box detail, etc. - but someone else can vacuum and clean toilets from now on. The other problem besides paying someone was finding someone - but Joni has started having someone come in on a regular basis, so I'm going to call her, get her over here to have a look around and tell me how much she'll charge (if it's in the $75 neighborhood, it's a deal). Then we'll set it up for her to come and do a top-to-bottom on the place, with every other week after that. What a relief that will be. One of the things I get from my mother is that I absolutely hate a dirty house, it kills my mood and makes me grumpy. I don't mind the actual cleaning, it's just that with a house this size, it feels overwhelming to get started, and it usually takes me most of the day. No more!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Sorry about the weeklong lapse. I've been incredibly busy at work, and keep meaning to mother flew out on Tuesday night and went back to LA last night - she was hand-carrying a film to be screened in Denver. We were able to look at a couple of houses before taking care of her business. Unfortunately, all three of the houses we saw were eventually discarded for one reason or another, so it's back to the drawing board we go.

My situation at work has not been great - in fact, Tuesday I left the office in tears. The pain in my department (who I've taken to calling Leo) was particularly nasty and abusive all day Tuesday - at one point, I was getting a snotty email about every 15 minutes - I couldn't even get anything done, he was spamming me so frequently. After much thought over the past couple of days, I've decided to just do nothing. Literally. Not answer his emails or respond to his voicemails. I think that there is no response that I can make to him that won't be perceived as combative, so I just am not responding at all - kind of a "if you can't ask me nicely, I'll pretend you didn't ask at all" kind of message. I just refuse to become part of the problem, and if I end up arguing with him or complaining about him, then I am part of the problem. It just reinforces for me the need to move on, find another job, one with potential for me to learn something and be valued.

I'm getting excited for spring to come. The days are getting longer - it's no longer dark when I leave the house in the morning at 7am, nor is it dark when I leave work at 4:30. It's great, it feels like I'm being lifted right out of the winter gloom. I can't wait to see my flowers blooming, the grass turning green, the leaves returning to the trees.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I spent a lot of time yesterday writing my feedback to my review. It's a fine line between defending yourself and coming off as defensive - I think there is a line there, and that it's appropriate, even necessary, to defend yourself from what you think is unfair criticism, especially in the workplace. It's also important that it not come off sounding like a knee-jerk, defensive response. While I think I did the right thing and was fair in what I wrote, I am of course second-guessing now. I gave my comments to my boss last night before I left so he could read them and digest overnight - I'm a bit nervous to talk to him when he arrives, which I hope will be soon so I can get this over with.

I got a call from Amy at BCC yesterday - turns out I did win both the bowl and the sweater at the auction! I'm very happy to have the bowl, and thrilled to be able to give the sweater to Amy. She does such a great job in a role that is low pay, low prospects, huge amounts of time and energy. She is just the sort of giving person that would take on such a thankless job and be fulfilled by it. She's also always been very good to me. In fact, she and I spoke at the fundraiser, and I think we agree that I'm going to take a few weeks off from BCC, at least until one of my classes finishes. I'm on the brink of burning out, and I don't want to give up on something that's always meant so much to me - but it's too much right now with work and school, so a break is the right thing to do.

It snowed hard all day yesterday, and was clear and beautiful this morning - and a balmy -6 when I drove to work at 7am. I think my mother is panicking about moving all of the sudden - this snowy, cold winter is giving her pause. I think she'll get over it quickly, but it's funny to hear her voice change on the phone when I tell her what the temp is on any given morning. She's experience it first-hand next week, she's coming out on Tuesday so we can look at houses for her on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sorry for not posting yesterday - was busy all day long with work, and trying to get some studying done for Spanish class. Today looks to be more of the same, plus I want to try and spend some time with my Unix textbook - midterm exam is tonight.

I had my annual review at work yesterday, and it went pretty much as I expected. There was one twist though, some feedback from three people (who are not part of my group) who felt I deserved a lower rating, but only one of them pointed to any particular circumstance that made him feel that way. The other two were more vague (one of them made what I felt was a particularly personal set of comments - kinda out of place)...."not a team player" was one comment. I don't know if it's true that I'm not a good team player - I feel like I play well with and for my team, but I have a problem when the other teams aren't doing their part, and I usually say so. God, I hate the work "team" in the context of work, it's like it's not enough to say we work together or we're a group, we have to inject it with this false sense of camaraderie. Oh, it looks like my esprit de corps is absent today...

On the bright side, it's Wednesday, so I'm on the downward slope of the week, and next Monday is a holiday. It's snowing right now and is expected to continue snowing for a couple of days. Alex has started complaining about the weather (that's a first for him, he must be getting old), last week he said he felt like we had moved to North Dakota. He is right that it's been unusually cold for Boulder, cold enough that the snow is actually staying on the ground for days on end. My friend Kim was telling me last weekend that she had to plow through several feet of snow (she and Dean live waaaayyyy up in the mountains) just to get out of her driveway. For me, this is the best part about living in Colorado, that the seasons are so distinct, it makes you grateful for each change throughout the year - just as you start getting really tired of the snow, spring is here, and so on.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Last night's fundraiser for BCC went very well, I think. There was a $5 charge at the door, and we probably collected at least $400 that way. We also had a silent auction for items that had been donated - everything from haircuts and car washes to hot air balloon rides and rounds of golf. It was nice to see how many people turned out and were so generous. I bid on a hand-thrown bowl, painted a beautiful shade of purple, and on a child's sweater from the Himalayas - if I get the sweater, I plan to give it to Amy (the BCC director) for her little girl.

I didn't really get a whole lot done this weekend - I did spend some time with Joni and the boys, I did lots of laundry, went to the grocery store, cleaned the catbox - no manicure, pedicure, movie or yoga class. Will have to make more of an effort next weekend. I really want to see "Miracle", and at least that's a movie that Alex will be interested in seeing.

Friday, February 06, 2004

A whirlwind of activity around the office today, and none of it good. None of it involves me directly, which is good, but everyone is incredibly stressed out and in need of a nap. I'm hiding in my cube and am considering going to a movie instead of working this afternoon.

Poor Thor (Mama's dog from Rick) had to go and get fixed yesterday, he kept trying to mount the kids. He's groggy and sleepy and Daisy can't understand why he won't get up and play with her. I know it only lasts a couple of days, but geez - the poor guy has been through a lot lately. I think he'll love living in CO - I can't wait to take him on the trail near the Boulder Reservoir. He'll be able to run through the fields, chase horses (no, he shouldn't chase them), and swim in the pond. I think Daisy will like it, too, although she'll obviously be moving a bit more slowly. BTW, Daisy and Thor both have their own pages on Dogster, now. Daisy is especially charming in her denim jacket (oh my God, is my mother turning into her crazy aunt that used to dress up her dogs at the holidays?).

Gotta go, lots of anxious visitors hovering around my desk. More later.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Another day, another class. Wednesday and Thursday are the longest parts of my week - already had a couple of days of work/school, and still have a couple to go. I enjoyed my Unix class last night, took a test, got 100% correct. That's a good feeling. We have a midterm next Wednesday, and then just 3 more classes. Spanish will meet twice a week until May 6, but that's a manageable schedule.

This weekend....trying to think of something fun for us to do. I have the shelter on Saturday night and a BCC fundraiser on Sunday night. I'd like to see a movie with Joni on Sunday, would like to get a manicure/pedicure, would like to go to a yoga class, need to do about 10 loads of laundry, need to clean the house and the catbox...well, there goes my weekend.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Here's another map of visited states, this one is JONI'S MAP

create your own visited states map
Mass. High Court Rules for Gay Marriage

It's about time.
I'm so sick of hearing about Janet Jackson's boob! Give me a break already. The thing that gets me is all these people who complain that their kids were watching - ok, so how many of you have cable television? Do you think they don't see that (and worse) any time they want? And really, the reason that we like those cheerleaders in their skintight bikini tops is that it looks more comfortable for them. Go take a stroll down the boardwalk in Venice Beach, I guarantee you'll see more than one breast w/ a pasty. So what? Are you going to holler at the woman on the park bench who is breast-feeding, too?

Had a test in my Spanish class last night, which I think I aced. I feel like I'm doing pretty well with school, considering that I'm trying to balance it with everything else in my life. Some days I feel like I'm falling behind, but I seem to be able to get caught up quickly. I think it helps that I'm really enjoying both classes - going to school doesn't feel like a chore at all. Of course, that's not to say that I won't be thrilled to have a couple of evenings a week off once the Unix class wraps at the end of this month!

I'm having dreams about vacations. I have to stop thinking about it, because we don't have time to go before racing season starts, and once racing starts I can forget about having Alex do anything non-motorcycle. I was surfing around yesterday, looking at vacation packages to Belize, Costa Rica, etc. Guess that will have to wait for a while. On the bright side, I chatted with my friend Vic last week about finally taking a trip to Europe that we've been discussing for years. That would be a solo trip for me, meet up w/ Vic and some of her other girlfriends and do a few weeks in France. I'll have to sell that idea to my boss later.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Coolest toy! Check out the states I've visited (I've actually passed through many more than this, but I was going for the "quality time" factor:

create your own visited states map
Okay, okay - so I haven't posted any photos of my haircut yet! Geez! I'll get around to it soon, just have to get a good photo. In the meantime, check out Ruby's web page on I can't remember where I read about this site, but I went yesterday and created a page for Ruby. You can post your dog's picture and list all the things they like, and can set up a "corral" with all of your dog's friends. Now I just have to get Louie up there, too.

Unix class was a little frustrating last night, we spent a long time trying to make certain commands work, some without any success. Alex pointed out to me that it was probably a good lesson for me, as that is usually how it works when you're programming something. I'm not sure that my teeth are up for all the grinding involved. The only good part about last night was that I got my first exam back, and I only missed one - and he gave me partial credit for it anyway because I argued that there was technically more than one correct answer. I knew all those years of arguing with my mother would pay off.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Super Bowl Sunday! Go Pats! I've just been looking at my numbers from the pool at work, and it doesn't look promising - (in order, Pats/Panthers) 1/1, 6/0, 8/5, 9/2. Ah well, there's always hope. Our pool pays $100 at the end of the first, at half time, and at the end of the third, and $200 for the final score. With my winnings, I would buy a Pats T-shirt and then have a massage.

I'm a bit sore this morning. Last night I was working on the computer, and then got up, wine glass in hand, turned and started to walk out of the room. Only problem was that Ruby was asleep on the floor directly in my path, and I didn't see her until it was too late. I stepped on her foot (poor baby), and then I fell, coming down hard on both knees. While I didn't drop the wine glass, I did manage to spill a considerable portion of it on the floor and wall. The carpet cleaned up okay (amazing), but when Alex cleaned off the walls with spray cleaner, some of the paint and plaster came off, too - so it looks like we'll be repainting at least part of this room. Worse though is that my bad knee took a pretty hard hit, got a lovely bruise/bump coming up already, and it's feeling mighty stiff this morning.

I went to get my hair colored/cut yesterday, and took the plunge - we cut a good 7 inches off. I love it, it hits right at my jawline, is kind of piecy - it curls in some places and not in others, so it's just kind of messy. She took a razor to it and thinned it out considerably - I feel like I lost 15 lbs. of hair. I'll be so grateful when it starts to get hot here, it was awful last summer to be carrying around this huge head of long hair when it's 100 degrees out. Check my Mac website in the next few days for a photo of my new 'do.