Saturday, November 29, 2003

I forgot to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Oh well.

Anyway, I am very proud of myself because I actually cooked! I rarely cook (beyond grilling something on the foreman grill and steaming vegetables), but I had a hankering for stuffing (it being Thanksgiving and all). So I bought a chicken and stuffed it (a turkey would have been a bit much, don't you think?) And cooked it. And it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I didn't do potatoes, because that seemed like a lot of work and pretty silly just for me, but I bought some frozen turnips (I love turnips) and also made a little salad. Everything was surprisingly good, especially stuffing (that once in a year treat I hadn't really had in years). Lola even got in on it as I cut up some dark meat and mixed it in with her dinner (of course her nose was out of joint for the next meal when she discovered that fresh chicken was not going to be an ongoing accompaniment). So now it's nice to have some leftovers in my fridge that actually stand a chance of being eaten. Woo.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I Have a Question: I would really like to post links to some of the blogs I read regularly and enjoy, but mostly the authors of these blogs are more or less strangers to me. Is it good blog etiquette to post a link? Or should you gain approval from the blog owner first? Discuss...
So it's after midnight, I was just outside walking Lola and there are a bunch of obnoxious teenagers loudly whooping it up on the street so I go, "shuuuusssssh!" One of them goes. "shuuuush!" back to me and so I say, "you know, this is a residential neighborhood, you are walking among people's apartments, under the windows of people's homes, have a little respect". They don't answer until about a couple of minutes or later when they're all the way around the corner, then one of them yells, "slut!" I laughed out loud, and then reply, "oh yeah, I'm a slut, in baggy sweat pants and no make-up, picking up my dog's poop." If only my life was that interesting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Okay, I am now is such a freaking bad mood. Today is the day before Thanksgiving and my Company released everyone to go home around 2:30, yet my entire department remains! So, it's not like I can really just go waltzing out of here (although I would, if my boss would just leave already!) Argh! this is so frustrating. So here I sit wasting time by reading blogs. I've even already done my ass-sucking-self-eval-year-end-review. UGH.
What is Bugging Me this Very Second: The girl who sits in the cubicle behind mine crunching (unbelievably loudly) on whatever the hell it is she's eating -- ARGH!!!!

it's driving me insane...
I enjoyed last nights Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I felt a little sorry for the poor, deluded straight guy who was such a slave to his toupee. A toupee! I'm glad they were able to convince him to ditch it. (aside: I never knew that they glued these things to people's heads! Gaaaaah! Does not seem too healthy if you ask me). Anyway, one of the things that I think I really like about this show is that it has a heart. The Fab 5 really seem to care about the guys they make over (they also seem to really care about each other). They manage to make it funny and still be kind to the guy. The show could easily have gone in a nasty direction. Almost each episode seems to produce a straight guy who has true tears of graditude. Oh, and I must say, I really love what Thom did to that house -- it was gorgeous. Wish I could afford to have him come out to Queens and whip my little hovel into similar shape. So, for those of you who may have missed last nights episode, NBC is re-airing it tonight at 8 PM (EST).

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

As I sit here trying to remember what I was going to blog about, I notice that Lola is oddly absent. Damn! She's probably in the other room eating that napkin I left on the sofa. She can be sneaky, that one.
The project manager on my BIG project keeps changing the methodology and structure of the project. That means that the logic flow, applications and even the databases keep changing. Which means that I keep having to go back and change work that I've already completed. I wouldn't mind so much except that sometimes this means literally ripping the guts out of a program I spent weeks (or even months) building. Like what I've been going through all of last week and so far this week. So I completely broke my app last week. Nothing worked and I couldn't put it back together. It was like Humpty Dumpty. Imagine my panic (added to the stress of the layoffs). But I was finally able to fix it this morning. What a relief!

Speaking of layoffs. I had a nightmare on Sunday night. I dreamt that I was being laid off -- it was so real. You know how you can sometimes have a dream that seems very real, but then there is something weird about it that you can't quite put your finger on at first. Finally you have an 'aha', "oh, right. Tom Cruise is not my boss!" or something to that effect. Well, not so with this nightmare. Everything was like real life. My cubicle, the cast of characters, etc. I woke up and it took me a while to really shake the dream off. So I commuted to work with more than the usual Monday trepidation. Luckily I've had a relatively good week so far and have been able to banish the dream to the farther corners of my mind.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Minor Annoyances for Today (so far):

- People who bring small children on a commuter train.
- When you buy your whatever at Dunkin' Donuts and you're waiting for the bag, step aside so the person behind you doesn't have to reach over you to pay for their order.
- When you're getting on an elevator and there are people behind you also waiting to get on, do you think you can maybe step further into the elevator so the rest of us can get on???
- If you called and spoke to me last Thursday and confirmed my appointment with the dentist. AND called and left me a voice mail this morning to confirm again. Do not require me to call back to re-confirm! Gaaah! I'm busy enough today! (nobody is in here)

Added to the List (1:51 PM):
- HORRIBLE smell of (the chick's who sits behind me) lunch. I'm gagging bleargh.

Added to the List (7:32 PM):
- Duane Reade lost my prescription.
- My train home was late arriving to Penn Station, pulling in about 2 minutes before it was due to leave and thus causing a stampede rush for the available seats.
- The running shoes I bought this Summer are really not working out. I don't know if I just happened to get a bum pair (kind of like getting a lemon car) or that they've changed the model so drasically from last year. Either way, I am not pleased.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I took a nice, 3-mile walk with Lola this afternoon because the weather is so beautiful here and I never really get to see much of the daylight during the week this time of year. Queens is a completely different world to Manhattan, it really is. In the course of our 3-mile walk we saw 2 dogs. Literally. In Manhattan (in the neighborhood I used to live) you wouldn't be able to walk 2 feet without seeing at least a couple of dogs. And people's reaction to dogs around here blow my mind. You get everything from complete indifference, to suspicion to absolute horror and terror. At a pug. Imagine if I was walking a rottweiler or a bull mastiff or something. People are strange.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I have to say, I'm a little upset by the apparent demise of Dr. Romano on ER tonight. He was obviously not a favorite, but I think he added humor and sarcasm and a conflicted, multi-faceted villain to the show that they will be hard-pressed to replicate in his absence, I think. Certainly an edge that Carrie Weaver will not be able to provide as she come across as pure bitchiness with no humor at all (in my opinion).
I talked to my good friend Sandra earlier today. Sandra moved back to Ireland a few years ago and I miss her so much! One of these days I'll get my act together and make a trip over there to visit. Of course she was none too pleased with me to hear that I was in London in August. Said she would have flown over to meet me. Oops.
I believe that I had my singlemost worst (so far) LIRR experience this morning. Announcements of delays of 20 minutes, they then extended that to 30 minutes (while we're all standing there in the rain). Train that finally arrives was so packed, there was only room for maybe 2 more people to squeeze on (and that was by with practically standing on the toes of the people already standing there). I managed to just barely get on, but squeezed in so tight, I could actually feel and smell the hot, bad breath of the guy standing behind me (unbelievably gross). Train had to of course then stop at Forest Hills AND Woodside. There was a woman a couple of people away from me, who had dandruff (GROSS!). I felt sorry for the girl in the black sweater standing behind her, who kept having to brush off the flakes that came her way. ICK! It was such an uncomfortable ride and I was so frustrated that I literally felt myself on the edge of tears. I hate commuting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I. Am. So. Tired. I think I'm actually getting sick. Got all those warning signs, headache, sore throat, that heavy-achy feeling. Too bad cuz I was really on a roll. It's been about a year since I had any kind of serious cold.
Gaaaah! I must have the most uncomfortable chair ON EARTH! I'm not kidding.
I'm having a relatively good day today. Especially considering how this week started out. I've been busy and productive and was able to figure out something that had me tearing my hair out on Monday & Tuesday. I love when that happens. I all of a sudden feel "smart" again.

oooooo, someone nearby is eating soup or something and it smells really good. Now I'm hungry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Enjoyed tonight's Queer Eye. Of course I am pretty much always a fan of getting rid of the facial hair, in my opinion a beard or moustache is rarely a good look. Unless you're maybe trying to cover up a deformity or something. And I don't know what goes on in other parts of the country, but here in NYC we were treated to a cheesy, low-budget commercial for a Gay porn website (mygaydar dot com, or similar). At least I think it was for Gay porn, I can't imagine it was an ad for a hip line of clothing. Somehow I don't think this ad would be so welcome over on NBC. But I could be wrong, Gay seems to be the Black these days...
YAY! a new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy airs tonight at 10 PM (EST) on Bravo. Looking forward to it. (Yes, this is how exciting my life actually is)
Rant of the Day: The president (and owner) of the company I work for who made a point of being out of the country when the layoffs were happening yesterday. Nobody liked what happened, but be a man, step up and at least be present when your staff is being let go. Especially since many of these people worked for you for over 20 YEARS! Pisses me off.
This morning's tear-jerker Today segment featured Matt Lauer's admiration of Hospice Care Workers. A subject close to the emotions of most people who have stood over a loved one with a terminal illness. Why does NBC seem to plot these things for the exact time I'm trying to put my make-up on??? As if it wasn't already hard enough to get out the door in one piece in the morning. Sheesh.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Today was such a screwed up day that simple kindnesses really made my day. Like the guy who let me step ahead of him when getting off the train this morning. And the guy who held the elevator for me, even though I wasn't all that close. Little things like these seem big when ugly things are happening in your world.
OMG! I just found out that a long-time friend of mine here was laid off. Also upsetting is the fact that she is not a young woman. She had worked here for probably about 20 years. It's going to be hard for her to start over. Bastards!
So far, I have heard of a lot of old-time programmers being let go. People who have been here since the beginning of time, practically. Also heard about an admin from the department next to mine, whom I'm friendly with who was let go and some other people here and there. My friend Lares just called me to see if I was still here. Uh, yes, so far... (actually, I was led to believe that I was safe. For this round anyway, who knows what the future holds?)
Well, the layoffs have started...

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Lola has this weekend morning ritual of waking me up. First, she'll stick her face in my face (usually licking whatever she has access to). Then she will alternate sitting on one of my hands with sitting on one of my feet, moving back & forth across the bed as she does so. Well, this morning she added a new feature to her weekend repertoire. She stuck her face in my face and then she climbed up on my pillow, turned around, backed up, and sat. On my face. How weird is this dog?

Friday, November 14, 2003

So, they've pushed back the layoffs at my company until next week. This week they distributed a document about severances (as in, what severance people are entitled to, based upon years of service). The rumors are flying and I have a little more information. I know who is being laidoff in Chrissy's division. In my division I don't know, except that they are looking for 13 or 14 people from my VP's area (his area is comprised of five or so departments). Last I heard was that my specific department is not being asked to lay anyone off, but that also seems to be changing daily. Every round of layoffs seems to skim that much closer to us. I hate sitting here knowing that all of this is about to happen, just waiting for the axe to fall. I hate that there are going to be layoffs, but if they have to happen, then get it over with already! This is torture. Yet another weekend will be spent in complete anxiety.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I have two words for the wind out there tonight. In. Sane. Special weather broadcasts are calling a warning for winds in excess of 60 MPH! I would think that has to qualify for gail-force, at what point is it considered hurricane-force? 100MPH? Afraid to take Lola out there for fear that she'll just blow away.
It is a beautiful Fall day here in NYC. The rain and the fog from yesterday seem to have cleared out the air, so that by this morning it was crisp, with that slanted Autumn light I love so much. It was very windy, and I enjoyed watching the low white, blue & gray clouds moving quickly across the sky, against the vivid blue backdrop. The wind also kicking up all the leaves on the ground and stirring things around, making that rich, November rustling sound (before things turn to Winter harsh). This is the texture I've been missing during these unseasonably warm days.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Okay, so dinner wasn't so terrible. Except for the one stray comment of my father's asking wifey, "what's honeybun going to have for desert?" shudder
Okay, what is with the cleaning lady in this place?! She comes into my cubicle (without knocking, I might add -- my door was closed) reeking of her tacky perfume. She then proceeds to dust. Around me. While I'm sitting here. I know being a cleaning lady is not exactly the best job in the World, but geez, you don't have to dust if I'm sitting here! gaaaaah!
awwwwww -- a colleague here went out at lunchtime and bought a chocolate cake for me for my birthday. Isn't that nice?
Seen on my way down to grab my salad for lunch -- a man wearing a fez. Really.
So tonight is the dreaded dinner with my father and wifey. I am so not looking forward to this. Hoping to try and talk someone into going for a drink first. As Julian says, "I need a primer" (or two).

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I want to know who the brainiac is at my company who decided that it was a good idea to schedule a blood drive (today) the day before they hand out flu shots (tomorrow)??? I mean, really.
On an unrelated note. My train this morning was two minutes early. Actually about seven minutes early, when you consider that it is normally about five minutes late. The volume of people waiting on the platform was significantly less than usual. Have a feeling there was an unpleasant surprise in store for some of the lollygaggers.
So what is with The Today Show? Why do they always schedule these tear-jerking segments right when I am trying to get my makeup on and leave for work? This morning it was about some guy who wanted to thank the teachers he had had in 8th grade for making him feel like he was "worth something". ARGH! Kind of hard to stick to a schedule in the morning when you're crying all over yourself. I'm such a sap.

Monday, November 10, 2003

OMG. Cher has actually written two blogs in a month. So far. I can't believe it! (And, I should say, I'm impressed -- heh.)
Went for a bit of a run tonight. Started in Forest Hills Gardens, turned onto the quieter streets so that I could run in the street rather than on the sidewalks. Through my meanderings, I ended up on Metropolitan Avenue and so I followed that back towards Kew Gardens and Forest Park. I decided to brave the park, even though it was quite dark, but I just ran up the first hill into the park, to the top, turned around to run back down and repeated a couple of times. The park was deserted and it felt rather creepy, so I was careful not to run too far in (I saw no other people at all). Hardly the ideal run, but it was better than riding the couch.
Why is it, whenever you take a class (makes no difference what the class is) there is always one know-it-all in the bunch? I was in a half-day class this morning and wanted to smack the smug, techno-geek with greasy hair in front of me. Instead, I spent the three hours rolling my eyes behind his back everytime he felt compelled to impress us with his "superior" knowledge (which was often).

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Is it bad that all I want to do on the weekend is sleep?
So, I've spent most of this weekend worrying about the layoffs that are supposedly happening at my company this coming week. So far, over the past couple of years, my department has escaped the knife (so to speak), but I can't imagine that continuing indefinitely (should these layoffs continue). Friends in other departments speak with confidence that I would be safe. The opinion is usually that I have a lot of seniority and that I am one of the essential staff in my group -- how do they know? I think everyday of how I could be replaced. I don't think I would be so freaked out about the prospect of being laid off if, A) I was younger -- I'm just too old to start over, especially doing something else. And B) I didn't have debt. I would feel a lot freer to make a big change, if not for these things. Certainly, if it were to happen, I would think very hard about whether I wanted to stay in the NYC area. Julia keeps talking to me about relocating to the Boston area. And I would love it, truly I would. I've always considered myself a New England girl. Spent every Summer of my life on Cape Cod (until I was in my early 20s), I went to college in Massachusetts. I have two cousins who live in NH (v. close to the MA border), my roommate from college is in Wellsley, Julia & Joe are in Boston. I have other friends around the area. I also used to spend a lot of time in VT as my sister lived there until their big move to New Mexico a couple of years ago (they still come back every Summer for a vacation on Lake Champlain). I could have a life in New England. The big problem is finding interesting employment that would pay me a livable salary. Getting a car, finding a place I could afford to live, etc. Oh, it's just so overwhelming! Chances are I'm not being laidoff anyway, my manager is on vacation next week and I'm handling some things for him while he's gone. And I didn't get any weird vibes from him at all (and I tend to be sensitive about this stuff). Of course, on the other hand, he could maybe not even know that I am on the chopping block. He could come back to work the following week and find me gone (believe me, I have heard some stories from other depts in prior layoffs where this kind of thing happened). Anyway, see? I'm obsessing. Nothing I can do about it now anyway.

Friday, November 07, 2003

So my friend Julian happened to stop by my desk for a visit yesterday. During the course of our conversation, he asked how Lola was doing. I said, "Oh she's the same happy girl. In fact she is so happy, it almost breaks my heart. She's just so happy with so little." Julian gave me a strange look. He probably thinks I'm crazy.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

This morning for breakfast I had a Jello Pudding cup (chocolate, of course) and an apple. I feel like I'm about 8 years old.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I had to give a presentation this afternoon. Doesn't matter how many of these I give, I just can't get used to it. I hate public speaking. I actually don't mind presenting an application I've been working on to the users it's written for. But this kind of presentation freaks me out. But it's over now. At least until the next time.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

So, I had this nightmare about Dr. Phil the other night. I dreamt that he was living in this apartment building with his family and I happened to be walking down the stairs of the building. I knew someone who lived in the apartment complex, or I lived there somewhere (I can't remember which from my dream) but went to his particular building because I thought I might catch a glimpse of him (which is strange because I am not usually the star-struck type). Anyway, I was walking down the stairs from the floor above his apartment when he happened to be coming out of his front door. He saw me and thought I was some crazy loony stalker that had been bothering his family (knowing that I was not the person who lived on the floor above). He grabbed me and shook me and yelled and yelled at me and told me to leave his family alone. I was struck by feelings of guilt and shame (because I had been in the building for a Dr. Phil sighting after all) and upset at the unfairness of it all (I wasn't the psycho he mistook me for). It took a long time to convince him of my innocence at which time he finally, half-heartedly, apologized, but was none too thrilled with me nonetheless. I've got to stop watching so much damned TV. Sheesh.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

OMG! It is soooooo hot out, I mean like mid-70s hot. Like Summer. I was over-heated just walking around Columbus Avenue tonight, if I had to run a marathon tomorrow I would be freaking out.

Dinner last night at Rancho with good friends and tonight at Pomodoro with more of the same. I love NYC Marathon weekend, it just flies by too quickly though.