Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some things

I've learned over the past few months (post life-altering job change):

You can, in fact take a dump during a conference call
When not dumping, you can clean something
It's better than doing other work, which can be distracting
Best to focus on the voice(s) on the phone and scrub a toilet or sink
A handful of peanuts and a couple Mini Babybels is a good lunch
You've gotta get up and move around a little
15 hour days are good for you - really
If you can take a break and scratch your dog's belly for 5 minutes
Your dog knows when you need a break more often than you do
Someday I will yell "SHUT THE FUCK UP" at the phone
And it won't be on mute
You can get very tired of hearing the word "brethren"
Keep your phone on the charger
Keep your laptop plugged in
The music at Panera seriously sucks
The music at New York Bagel Deli on Wacker at Jackson is way better but they have no wall outlets
(A seriously bad business decision on their part)
Snow days are regular work days when you work from home
Sick days are regular work days when you work from home
Sometimes you just have to work from the couch all day
Just when you think you can't do any more...you can
Nobody knows where you are
And better still, nobody cares
Some days there's just no time to shower
It's bad when you wake up humming the hold music for your company's conference call service
When your Mom brings you a sandwich and tells you to take a break
It's the best sandwich you've ever had in your life
And you wish she could be there every day, reminding you to slow down
That it'll all get done, eventually
I am listening to (and sort of watching): The Devil Wears Prada
I am reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (trying again)
And I am: Not working tonight

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


"Vegas is amazing. There are whores EVERYWHERE."

"So you fit in nicely?"
I am listening to: Gromit lick his butt
I am reading: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
And I am: A little tired

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Simply Human

I've been eye-balling these shower soap dispensers from Simple Human for more than a year now.

Hedy, Hedy, Hedy.

Yep. I know. It's a long story.

There's too much clutter in our shower. Between the Makes Your Ass Smell Perty soap (I swear that's what it's called) and the Makes Your Hair Smell Not Like Your Ass Before the Perty Soap shampoo and the Makes Your Face Look Young Like a Baby's Ass scrubs, there's a lot going on in that relatively small space.

70 bucks, Hedy?

THAT'S precisely why I've been eye-balling it for a year. It seems like a rather pricey way to de-clutter the shower when I could just get a ginormous bottle of all-purpose Pert and be done with it.

Anyhow. I'm inching ever closer to making the purchase. But we're talking about remodeling the bathroom in the fall and I don't want to buy the wall mount woop-di-do only to have to re-buy the wall mount sticker bracket thingies once we redo the shower.

So I called Simple Human customer support. And that's why I'm writing about this and not myriad other ridiculous activities from the week.
"I'm looking at the Triple Wall Mount Pump soap dispenser. I want to buy it now but I have a question: We're remodeling the bathroom in 6 months. Will I need to purchase a new thingy to mount it on the wall when we tear down the old shower? Or does it hang with a bracket and screws?"

"You're remodeling when? In six months?"


"Here's what I'd do. Wait to buy it. It's a great product but we're in the middle of redesigning it and you'll really like the new version better than this one."

"Really? You're telling me to wait to buy something from you because a new version is coming soon?"

Triple Mount Wall Pump?

Yes. I want that. In my shower. Shaddap.
Isn't that great? A customer service rep tells me to hold off purchasing a product because a newer, better version is on the way.

That, my friends, is reason enough to make a purchase from the kind and thoughtful people at Simple Human.
I am listening to: The shower running
I am reading: Nothing much although getting the urge again soon
And I am: Surprised & grateful

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The other dog

"Peyton died."

That's how I found out about the neighbor's dog: Via text from Jim while I was in Michigan last weekend.


Apparently four weeks prior, the little guy's blood work came back just fine. Then Peyton stopped eating. And he went down hill quickly from there. Two weeks quickly.

So why am I writing about this now after being MIA - lost in the world of Oracle - for more months than I can recall?

Because I learned something from Peyton (something big) and writing about it will help me explain.
"He's just a dog."

You can't say that to me. So don't.

They're not people - I realize that - but 'just a dog' doesn't apply to these furry little friends we welcome into our lives.

You understand if you know a dog like Gromit. If you don't know, just stay quiet about it. Please.
As you might imagine, I struggled with how to respond to our neighbors' loss. I imagined what to say. But it was impossible, I always dissolved into tears. Not helpful. And so frustrating.
Maybe you know this already, if so, good on ya. I'm a slow learner but I've been noodling on this particular issue for a long time and Peyton finally helped me understand.
Here's the lesson: Part of being strong for other people is letting them feel their grief without making it about YOU. I can mourn Peyton without making it about me. Their sadness is more important than whatever I'm feeling and I need to be strong, especially around their children.

While I share in their sadness over the loss of Peyton, there is no way I can comprehend what they're feeling. And crying is not a helpful response. Being warm and supportive is. That's the lesson from Peyton.

Be strong for people who are experiencing pain. When you cry, it transfers the focus away from them and over to you. It is perhaps one of the most selfish things you can do in that situation.

That's what I learned from Peyton, the sweet fluffy neighbor dog who died way too early.
I am listening to: Hawaii 5-0, the TV show
I am reading: With reading glasses now, so irritating
And I am: A slow learner

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cuddly-Wuddly Christ

My good friend Dave at Rather Than Working requested an appearance of our Cuddly Wuddly Savior for the holiday season or Christmas season or Saturnalia or whatever you use as an excuse to eat/drink too much in December.

So here he is.

Realizing that I'm way overdue for any sort of meaningful update, it's my goal to spend time on this between the holidays.

It's not as if I'm not thinking about the typical stuff - why this and how this and WTF that - but my life is consumed with this new job. The folks closest to me know and (mostly) understand why I've had to go underground for the past 2 months. For the rest of you - deep, heartfelt apologies for not being more available lately. Everyone here says things will slow down in six months.

We'll see.

In the meantime, happy holidays and stay warm. Love & hugs,

I am listening to: A conference call
I am reading: Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Something or Other (these are awesome stories if you haven't checked them out already)
And I am: Busier than a whore on nickel night (Thanks, Google!)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Good Things Friday

Da has 100% blood flow in the post-surgery leg
And no pain
He's back doing yard work and going to the gym
It's fabulous
Started my new job this week
It is amazing and crazy and interesting
I think I will love it
It was so hard leaving my old job
But I've gained 3 hours of my life now that I'm not commuting every day
I can work from home 100% of the time
But am on the train today
Feels good knowing I have options
And I will work closely with my friend Scott
Jim started his new job too
We are both zombies each night
But it's good for both of us to get out of our comfort zones
There is a giant man sitting across from me today
He's wearing chef pants
They're black/white small checked
They look comfy
The only reason I'd go to cooking school
Would be to wear the pants
I do NOT have to take the bus anymore
My new office is a 2 minute walk from Union Station
"Two weeks from today, baby!"
Got a new Mac Book Pro
It's beautiful
Instead of a 1.5 hour commute every morning
I'm using that time to work out
Every day this week
I feel fabulous
Our good friend Steve's knee replacement surgery went very well
And he's coming home from the hospital today
Judy stopped in Tuesday night after the hospital and it was lovely catching up finally
Laughed with my Mom on the phone this morning
These are the best moments of my days
Halloween was fun - I think I had more fun finding my costume (Mrs. Frankenstein) and dressing up than actually going to the party
Lunch with Jim the IT guy today
Dinner with the You Know Who's tonight
I'm unbelievably blessed
I am listening to: Prince - Little Red Corvette
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Happy

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good Things Friday – Full Poop Edition

“Do you know anyone looking for a marketing position?”

That’s how it started.

Almost two months ago. With a call from my good friend Scotty.

“I’m sure there’s somebody I know…let me think about it,” I replied.

I referred two people to him.

Then, in a subsequent conversation with him, the topic turned to me – what I was doing and more importantly, what I wanted to do.

“I’m happy,” I said. “I love it here. I love the work, I love the people.”

“Just talk to him,” said Scotty. “It can’t hurt.”

It didn’t hurt. In fact, it felt great.

I’ve always really enjoyed interviewing (I’m kinda mental that way) but this was something more – to be talking about what I do with a Great and Powerful Technology Company. It was pretty amazing.

“You should know there’s another candidate,” said Scotty.

It was mostly phone interviews – with the VP I’d be reporting to and a handful of people who would be my counterparts across the U.S. One interesting thing: They’ve all been with the company more than 7 years. So once they work there, they stay – which speaks volumes about their business and how they treat employees.

I kept telling myself: What’s the worst thing that’ll happen? I don’t get the job and I get to stay at the company I love? What’s to lose?

But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted it.

I’d never worked for a company with more than 800 employees. This company has more than 80,000. I’d be working alongside Scotty, which was always fun and creative and cool. I’d be focused on one product line, only one aspect of marketing (live seminars and events) and one region.

Then there were the soft benefits. Work from home 100% of the time. A nice salary boost. Plus, I’m 43. Jim is 50. We’re in our prime holy-fuck-we-gotta-retire-eventually earning years and working for (and retiring from) a company like this makes a big difference.

Did I mention the work from home thing? Only genuine dog lovers will truly understand this, but Grommie is 10 years old. Having the option to be home with him as he gets older and needs us more is very important.

Yes, important enough to make a life-changing career move.

I started really wanting it. Really. Wanting. It.

As it turns out, they wanted me, too.

I start November 1.

I’m sad to be leaving the melty chocolate chip cookie place, but it’s a good decision for my family and my career.

It’s good for me, too.
Other good things
Jim got a new job too
He starts the same day I do
Different place
I keep thinking of all the things I can do with the extra 3 hours I’ll have each day
Not commuting
Yes, it's 1.5 hours each way
Working out is #1 on that list
We’re loving the new show Outsourced
“You treat my country like a cash register.”
“We call shirts like that wife-beaters in the U.S.”
“Ironic, since I do not have a wife to beat.”
I imagine there are people who do not find humor in a show about outsourced jobs to India
It bothers me
But not enough to stop watching it
And Big Bang Theory
Such an outstanding cast
Barefoot Shiraz is fucking awesome
Especially with Pizza Rolls
Yeah Pizza Rolls and wine for dinner last night
Shaddap, it was good
Makes me think of my very good friend DewMama
Had yet ANOTHER fantastic weekend in Lake Geneva
With Mr. & Mrs. You Know Who
Painted their shed
Long, lovely boat ride
The fall colors were magnificent
Watched the sunset from the boat for the first time
Then I woke up early to watch the sunrise over the lake
Listened to bantering fisherman, gathered in five or so boats near the dock
And this (just before they shot off in different directions across the lake)
“It’s smallmouth today. Everything is legal, boys. Be back here at 1.”
There was comfort in their language
I really wanted to be them for the next six hours
Then Mrs. YKW met me at the dock and we went for a long walk along the lake path It was one of the best, most relaxing weekends in recent memory
Took away all the tension of giving notice on Monday
“If I’d known she was looking, I would’ve offered her a job myself.”
The Oatmeal
The “hide” option on Facebook
My new cargo pants from Target
Super comfy and cute
“I love you and our ability to be honest with one another; and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” - Judy
Made me smile, made my day
Jim and I are doing dinner and a movie tonight
It’s been too long
Tomorrow we’re going to All Dressed Up to look for costumes
For a Halloween/50th birthday party
I am thinking about resurrecting Bride of Frankenstein
Or Wicked Witch of the East
Although Little Red Riding Hood was fun too
(If you click the link you can see the cape I wore)
Discovered a spot even closer to Union Station for catching the #11 bus
It’s great
Just in time to not need it anymore
Oh well
“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” - Meister Eckhart
I am listening to: Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
I am reading: My offer letter packet
And I am: Excited and no longer crazy