Monday, December 26, 2005

The holidays were good at my house. My sister has been in town, and we've had a great time together. I managed to shop for my family without feeling compelled to go overboard (a first for me). My husband, clever boy that he is, got together with the husband of my girlfriend Joni, and they got us each a spa day setup - so that we can go together and be spoiled.

But the food!! The food was the best. And by "best" I am referring to the fact that I didn't have to do much of anything. I made some lentil soup on Christmas Eve, but my mother ruled the kitchen on Christmas Day. Breakfast was green chilies filled with cheese, baked with eggs and more cheese, plus cheese & garlic grits and homemade sticky buns. Holy cow. Dinner was delicious as well - standing rib roast, yams (with a really delicate orange flavor), green beans with pine nuts, biscuits, and candy-cane Jello. The Jello is a family favorite, we've had it every year for as long as I can remember. The kids do exactly the same thing that my brother and sister and I did years ago - you take a big helping of the Jello first, and then say "well, I guess I have to hurry up and eat this now, so it doesn't get contaminated by the gravy..."

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm finally home from my business trip, with only a couple of days to spare before the holidays. It was a good trip, but two weeks is a long time to be away. I spent the first week in a kind of general training, more of an overview of the company and the industry, and then the second week was more hands-on work. There is a lot to learn, and they didn't really have much of a process in place to explain the day-to-day work tasks, but I'm sure I'll pick it up. I'm smarter than the average bear.

I love working in Boulder. My commute is 10 minutes by car, or 20 by bike. We're having an unseasonably warm December, so as soon as I can find my backpack, I want to try to ride to work until the weather gets bad. Our office is the top floor of a small building, on the corner of the main shopping street in Boulder (Pearl). About 4 blocks west of my office is the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian mall that is home to a ton of yummy restaurants and cafes, and some pretty decent shopping, including my favorite kitchen store. I've been walking every day at lunch, plus my parking space is about three blocks from the office, so I've really enjoyed having the excuse to get out. At my last job, there was NOTHING near the office, and it was right next to the freeway, so you never wanted to just get out and walk around. Let me sum this up by saying the "quality of life" change is immeasurable.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I miss my doglet...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Drinking is so much more fun when you're with someone. Actually, drinking alone is more than just sad, it's probably dangerous. Being a thousand miles from home, in a city where I have only one friend (we don't meet up until tomorrow night), it's just easier to go back to the hotel each night after work. Yes, I went to a movie already (saw "Syriana", more on that in a minute), I found the mall and shopped, Google Map'd the nearest Trader Joe's and In-N-Out it's not as if I have been hiding in my room. The work days are a bit longer this week, and I'm TIRED! So, I picked up a couple of bottles of wine last week (at half the price they are in CO - God love Trader Joe's!), and have been working my way through them ever since. Actually, I only bought two bottles, and that was like 5 days ago - I think I'm doing pretty good! Tomorrow night, though - drinks! Much drinking! Many glasses! I will be sitting with three friends (okay, I lied, I know more than just one person), and we all met twenty - yes, 2 with a 0 - years ago.

So, "Syriana". I really enjoyed this movie, but it sure is unsatisfying. I'm actually not quite sure what it was supposed to be about. (Haha, I just typed "aboot", made me think of my friend Vic in Canada - yes, Bunny, you do say "aboot") Anyway, the movie was beautiful to look at, and I'm not just referring to Mr. Clooney. That man can pack on an extra 50 lbs or so and still make me lose my train of though. Ask my kid brother how much I love George - he and I were watching "Out of Sight" together a few years ago, and when G.C. takes of his shirt in the hotel room with JLo, I made this little kind of "oh!" sound. My brother turned and looked at me, then threw his head back and roared with laughter.

Besides gazing at George, there is Matt Damon, the newly-married, more-talented half of the "Good Will Hunting" team. Matt is perfectly fine in this movie, but nothing to write home about. Infinitely more interesting is the actor who played the older son of the Emir, I'm not sure of his name. You've got Amanda Peet being all intelligent and edgy, and Christopher Plummer lurching through his scenes (I think actually that you could swap out all of Mr. Plummer's roles for the last few years, and no one would be able to tell the difference). There's a wonderful cameo by William Hurt, an actor I've always adored, but don't tell that to my ex-boyfriend the actor, who thought he was constantly losing roles to "Bill".

I think I'll see "Syriana" again. Maybe I wasn't paying attention the first time. Maybe I was distracted by all the male booty. Maybe I was just drunk.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What do you do about someone who is sitting on the other side of a short cube wall from you, attempting to cough up a lung every few minutes? Christ, she's not even covering her mouth! Ew! Rude person germs!

This is one drawback to the new job - it's straight hourly, almost like being a contractor. That means no paid leave: no vacation, sick or holiday time. So it's no wonder that she'd rather sit there and basically cough on me, rather than go home - she wouldn't get paid if she left, dammit! What the hell am I supposed to do? Offer her tea, or a cough drop? I'm semi-serious here. I can't get away from her, because this is where I sit, and the cubes are configured so that I can't move away from this short (maybe two feet above the line of my desk) wall.

I've been sitting here for the past hour, scrunched down low in my chair, the collar of my tshirt over my nose and mouth. Think anyone will notice?
By way of Ali:

Which John Cusack Are You?
I know it's been a long time since I posted. So much has happened in the last month - I went from kind of looking for a new job to starting a new job in less than 30 days.

My previous employer (the evil THEY WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED) had been dangling some bait in front of me for about 9 months - the promise of a promotion to a much better job. In true THAT COMPANY fashion, I had to actually do the work of the new job, in addition to my actual job, in order to be worthy of the promotion. So I did it. I worked my ass off for 8 months, crafting a job description and rallying supporters within my department. It looked really promising. I advised my boss that if that promotion didn't come through, he should plan to have replaced me by January. He didn't take me seriously, I guess. The budget axe fell, and my new position was cut. Actually, it's too convenient to blame it on the budget. It was actually a result of tremendous spite and venom from our COO, who hates me but hates my boss even more. It was payback.

So, on to bigger and better. Two days after they cut my position, I reached out to a friend who had just started working at a new office in Boulder, a regional office for a company based in CA. I sent my resume, and a couple of days later I heard from their HR person. I interviewed with her on a Thursday, and with 3 other people from that company on Tuesday of the following week, and two days later I had an offer. I gave notice at my old job the same day. Basically, from the first time I spoke to them, it was 7 days until they made me an offer. It felt fantastic.

It's been an odd transition for me, which is one reason I've been so quiet online. I worked for my last employer for 4 years, and prior to that I worked for one executive for almost 10 years. I'm not a flake, I don't job hop - I find a niche where I'm comfortable and feel valued, and then I dig in and work hard. All I've wanted for the past few years is to be allowed to do that, and to be paid what I think is commensurate with that kind of commitment. Hopefully I've found it.

Sorry for the boring post. I'll be working on some catch-up stuff for you later.