Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I Just Can't Take This Weather, I Just Can't!!!

One more day of this impossible heat & humidity and they're going to have to lock me away in some padded (and, hopefully, air-conditioned) room. I can't do anything in this weather. Even rushing around in the morning getting ready for work is a miserable experience. Just standing outside on the train platform is worthy of suicidal thoughts. GAH! Luckily the weather is supposed to break for tomorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2005

this weather is DISGUSTING!

Nothing like a 95% humidity, 90+ degree Monday morning to start me off for the week in the worst possible spirits. The air is so thick in NYC today that I swear you can see it and, no, it is not from pollution! And it seems like it's been like this for weeks. The last reasonably comfortable day I can remember was over Fourth of July weekend. This must be what it's like to live in Louisiana or Mississippi or some such place, it's like constantly trying to move through a swamp. This morning I was standing in the street waiting for Lola to pee while mopping my face with a papertowel and this random woman pulling away from the curb in her car rolls down her window and says to me, "You KNOW it's bad when you're standing still and can't even stop sweating!" Yeah, thanks for pointing that out for me.

This weather makes my fingers blow up like sausages.

On a positive note: I saw a pug puppy on the train into work this morning. Her name is Olivia and she's adorable.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Forgotten Gift(s)

I've written before about losing my mother to cancer a few years ago, and I've mentioned here and there about what it's now like to deal with a father who seems to have generally eschewed what is left of his family, in favor of his "new" wife's family. Being a grown adult with my own life and issues, I should be able to just "get over it", but sometimes it still hurts. Last Christmas I remember sitting in his living room while his wife's daughter opened gift after gift, many of which were items of jewelry that had been purchased on the various trips my father and his wife had taken that year. I remember feeling very forgotten and sad that the same consideration had not been made for me (or for my sister) while they were on those trips. All especially in light of the fact that I used to receive gifts (usually of jewelry) purchased while he and my mother had traveled (usually the gift would be saved throughout the year until Christmas). It was hard, cold reality to realize that those days are over. I guess it wouldn't have been so obvious or painful had I not had to sit there and watch another open the types of gifts I used to enjoy. Anyway, recently I discovered a couple of pieces of jewelry among my possessions, items that, for one reason or another, I had forgotten that I had. One is a long necklace of alternating silver and lapis beads and the other a small silver cuff bracelet with a sliver of turquoise inset across the top. I don't believe I had ever worn either piece much, which is probably why I didn't remember them. The necklace maybe was longer than the way I usually like to wear a necklace and the bracelet, well working on computers all day, I tend not to wear bracelets much. However, recently discovered, I was flooded with memories of receiving these two as Christmas gifts from my mother. Gifts of the type that I regularly used to receive and of which I shall most likely never receive again. All of a sudden I love these pieces and I've been wearing them both quite a bit. The length of the necklace now seems to make it more unique. And the bracelet I love the most, it's of the cuff variety and wears very close to the wrist and thus does not interfere with a computer keyboard at all. It's almost like I've received an unexpected gift from my mother. Each time I wear one or the other, I remember her and realize that there once was someone out there who cared quite a bit about me.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

What is it with People and Free Food Anyway?

This morning there was some kind of meeting or conference on my floor where breakfast had been catered. Well, they must have ordered way too much food and have finished early because there was a feeding frenzy on the floor at around 11:10 or so. All of a sudden there was this stampede to this conference room, like a pack of desert camels catching a whiff of a watering hole or something, and people came filing en masse back through the hallways with plates laden with tons of crap. French toast, sausages, bacon, etc. It was both amusing and sad at the same time. You just have to assume that most of these people had already eaten breakfast by 11:00 AM, and I can guarantee you that most were planning on keeping their lunch plans. There is just something about free food in an office that creates this almost frenzied desired to eat it, with no thought as to why. Now, if it had been an open bar, that might have been different story as far as I'm concerned.

What is it with Dogs Anyway?

Coming in through the basement this morning after Lola's trip outside, I am hitting the button for the elevator and look over and notice her snuffling with her nose and mouth on top of something on the floor. I call her away and see that it was a water bug, on its back, still alive, legs kicking in the air. I just stare at it in horror, practically gagging and shuddering. The dog had her nose and mouth on that thing! I try reasoning with her, "Now, why would you want to touch that gross thing?" (Lola, just looks at me). I'm still shuddering over it. Why is it that something so repulsive to humans, always seems so appealing to a dog??? Dogs are weird. Well, at least she didn't eat it (GAG).

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I Can't BELIEVE This!

Major grocery store drama and checking account angst.

So, I stop off at the grocery store on my way home tonight to pick up a few things. My total comes to $24.06 which is about $2 more than I happen to have in my pocket, so I pay with my debit card. Well, as I'm standing there, I see the (teenage) clerk typing on the credit card machine furiously and slip after slip appears to be spitting out of the top. Finally she hands me the receipt to sign and says, "I entered in the wrong amount, so I had to void it first." So, okay, I sign the thing and then say, "oh, show me what you voided so I know what to look for on my account". So she hands me a wad of papers and points to the amount that she charged first. $240.66!!! Yikes! So I feel a bit unsettled about it and come home and go online to check my bank account and sure enough, these funds are now subtracted from my balance! Now, usually this wouldn't really be the end of the World, except that we are at the end of a pay period, the first half of the month is when my mortgage and my co-op maintenance is paid, along with a good number of other bills and then there is the little bit of excess that is siphoned off into savings. So, basically, my checking is pretty much down to bare bones until payday on Friday. I am sitting here still waiting for my co-op maintenance check to be debited from my account (they haven't cashed the check yet), so I need to make sure there is enough left to cover that. Still, not a problem with only a few days to get through, I have enough left as a buffer for groceries and incidentals. That is I did, until afore-mentioned grocery clerk screwed up my CHARGE!!! So, I call the bank and (this it the other thing) I have to rush through my explanation of what happened because the battery on my home phone is dying and I only have a few minutes before the phone drops the call (not being one to talk much on the phone, I haven't gotten around to getting a new battery for it since it means taking the handset and finding a radio shack or similar) and so the guy I'm talking to is "ummming" and "hmmmmming" and I am tapping my foot and desperately thinking to myself 'hurry the F*** UP!!! For all that is good & HOLY!!!' The guy finally, basically, tells me that usually it takes up to seven (7!!!) days for a voided charge to clear because they have to get some invoice or paperwork back from the merchant. Now I am really freaking out because I know that maintenance check is going to come through in a day or so and now it's going to bounce. And I am very upset because this is all clearly not my fault (unless you can fault me for not having a raise in over four years and not making enough money to keep thousands of $$$ in my checking account as a buffer against such a happening) and there is nothing at all that I can do about it -- I have plenty of money that could cover it in my emergency fund savings account, but it would take a few days to move that money over, and by then I would have been paid anyway AND the check would already have bounced. Am ready to scream and cry. The unhelpful bank guy then says that the only other thing that I can do is go back to the merchant and have them contact the bank to verify the void and they'll see what they can do from there. However, even this approach will most likely still tie up my funds for over 24 hours. ARGH!!!! So I go ripping out of my apartment and back to the grocery store. Where I stand there by the checkout and babble (hysterically) my pathetic tale while waving the wads of receipts illustrating my charges and voids. All the clerks listen, as do all the people on the checkout line, all rubber-necking to catch a glimpse of my sad state like I'm the local freak show. Manager is not there, so I have to stand at the front of the store and wait, all the shoppers filing past me, while I stand there on display like I've stolen something. The manager finally shows and I explain the situation to him. I am a little unclear on what needs to be done on his end since I had to rush off the phone with the bank rep before my phone died and so I am basically an incomprehensive mess. Finally after I explain it a couple of times and he reviews my receipts and the credit card machine records, he understands and so agrees to call the bank. He does so and talks to a rep, he comes back and hands me the phone so I can verify to the rep what happened, and who I am, etc. He speaks to the rep again and finally, I talk to the rep for a final time. This time I appear to have a very helpful person who says that he is going to go ahead in the system and delete the charge from my account and that the funds will now be available for charges or checks against it. I sag with relief and profusely thank the bank rep and the grocery store supervisor and apologize all over the store for freaking out. What a nightmare! What a relief! Such drama. I have to say this about my bank. This is the second time a customer service rep has helped me out of a jam (last year I had made an online payment for a bill that had gone to the wrong place, it was my mistake, but the rep that helped me had fixed everything and the bank had not charged me a cent). It is really a level of service I don't usually expect from such a large and (supposedly) impersonal company, but the second time that they have really come to my rescue. Although, the first guy I spoke to this evening was not very helpful at all, so it may depend on who you get on the phone. Now, I'm going to feel embarrassed to show my face in that store again, but there aren't too many options in my town for food shopping, so I'll just have to bite the bullet and hang my head in shame. Anyway, so that is my sad, pathetic tale for this evening. At least it has a happy ending. I made the evening even happier by stopping and buying myself a couple of beers on my way home. You know, for the stress and all.

Monday, July 11, 2005

It is SO hot Outside...

I don't know what possessed me to take a walk at lunchtime today. I pretty much never leave my desk at lunch, but today, when there is a heat advisory in effect for the entire afternoon, where the heat index is right up around 100, where I am admittedly one of the biggest hot-weather wimps going, I think to myself, 'Hey? Why don't I take a nice walk of (almost) a mile (and almost a mile back) to that paint store to grab some paint chips? It's only 12:30 in the afternoon, how bad could it be?' How bad? Bad. It is so unrelentingly hot on the asphalt of Manhattan today. I was torn between trying to walk as slowly as possible in an attempt to ward off overheating and hurrying and dodging all the slow pokes to try and get back into air-conditioning as quickly as possible. This is one of those ugly Summer days when I absolutely hate living and working in the City. This is also one of those days when the Weather Newsmen like to say, "the best place to be on a day like today is at the beach!" (complete with smarmy smile and fake cheer). Gee, thanks for the damn tip.

Friday, July 08, 2005


You know what really annoys me? People who share a common space who cannot clean up after themselves! Here at work we have common pantries on each floor. It's kind of nice because, in addition to coffee, tea and water, they provide microwaves and refrigerators (and sometimes toaster ovens). Because of this (and because it is so expensive to buy your lunch around here) many people bring their lunch to work. What pisses me off, however, is that every. single. afternoon, there will be at least a couple of dirty tupperware containers sitting in the sink in the pantry on our floor. I just don't understand the selfishness of some people. You are sharing this space was scores of your co-workers, yet you think it's your right to dominate the one sink that we all have to use with your dirty, food-encrusted containers and utensils. ARGH!!!!!! Makes me wonder what their homes look like. Sometimes I just hate people.

Just the BEST Way to Start a Day...

Over-sleep because I've been waking up during the night all week and I'm just plumb exhausted and it's one of those stormy days best spent indoors, preferably in bed. Run the dog out in the pouring, torrential rain. Drag dog around in the rain because she wants nothing to do with it. Plead with dog to puh-leeze (at least) PEE! Get back home and make coffee (after first spilling yesterday's coffee grinds all over kitchen counter), rush through a shower, only to come out into the living room to find that the dog has puked all over the bright, red rug. Run around like a complete maniac while: trying to clean it up, get dressed and keep afore-mentioned dog out of afore-mentioned puke. Realize that there is no way I'm going to make my train. Take a deep breath and "decide" that I'm going to be late. Call in work and leave a message in case anyone cares that I'm going to be late. Try to relax and drink some coffee while getting ready, when dog starts to puke again -- this time I manage to direct her off of the rug and onto the bare floor. Clean up massive amounts of puke and realize that now I have to rush again to make my late train. Run through the rain to the train station only to hear the announcements that the train is delayed because of a medical emergency (yeah, right, I'm sure it was delayed because of rain. It always is). Wait in the rain on the platform for about twenty minutes or so until the train finally arrives. After all that, make it to my desk just to realize that my manager, who I had sent a message to, to report my lateness is not even here yet. Also realize that I am so hungry that I'm just about ready to pass out. All I can say is, TG it's Friday. Sheesh!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wow, this past week has flown by without seeing me post anything. Anyway, I just wanted to comment with shock, horror and utter sadness on the happenings in London this morning. It brought 9/11 crashing right back to me, like it was happening all over again. I guess it should really come as no surprise that this has happened again, but who can ever get used to the images and the idea of such senseless horror. Not a day goes by for me that I don't think of how vulnerable we all are here in NYC. 9/11 certainly took that innocence away and the London bombings just made those feelings all the more raw this morning. My heart goes out to the people injured and killed, to the families who have been affected, and to the people of London who will now live with the images and memories of this horrible day.

Friday, July 01, 2005

So much for a slow, quiet day before the start of a holiday weekend

In by 8:30 and right away have to sit down and recover three days of transactions for our company Sales file (God only knows what happened). Write a procedure to flip the statuses and then create a new procedure to re-load all the data over.

Meeting with users on one of my big projects to go over a big reporting request they have. Also go over how we're going to handle what people see on some of these reports (such as back-office users v. general field staff).

Upstairs to my desk to do some more data recovery work on the Sales file and some snooping around the data that I moved over this morning.

Big, last minute reporting project dropped in my lap at around 1 PM -- high priority revenue/points web report needed for High-Falutin'-Mucky-Muck-VP-Marketing-Guy. Oh and btw, we should have that for him today. Oh, and btw, he leaves early on Fridays. Oh, and btw, especially on a holiday weekend. Turn around last-minute-high-priority project in about two hours and so actually have time to start my other new, big reporting request.

So much for having a quiet day. I think the rest of the company went home early. Sheesh!