Monday, December 31, 2007

What do you do if



you stupidly buy a frozen pizza on special at the grocery store, but when you get home you realize that there is no way it's going to fit in your freezer? Well, if you live in New Hampshire in December, 2007 you bury it under a big pile of snow that is sitting outside on your deck. Sheesh.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Relaxing Christmas / Chaotic Week



Christmas day turned out to be quite lovely and relaxing. I went down to my cousin's house in Hollis, NH and had a really great day. It was my cousin and his wife (and their two, teen aged kids floating in and out from time to time) and my other NH cousin and his wife and me and that was it. We had a great time just hanging out all day and socializing and drinking wine and even watching some very old home movies from when we were all incredibly young. It was a hoot to see their parents and mine hanging out in the movies when they couldn't have been much older than 30! I don't remember them ever being that young. For a change, my cousins' step-sister did not show (with her four children). She's okay, but I've always had a rather uneasy relationship with her and four brooding teenagers tend to add a real chaotic element to the day, so I found the day much more fun without her and her brood. I didn't want to bring all the dogs with me because I thought it would be too much, so I selected Fitz because he's been such a good boy lately and I thought he would get along well with the other dogs (cousin Peter has an enormous English Bulldog and cousin Greg has an Italian Spinoni, which is a type of large, shaggy sporting dog). Also, Peter's daughter, Viv loved Fitz as a puppy, so I thought she might like to see how nicely he has grown up. I'm proud to say that Fitz behaved beautifully and had a very good time himself, sinking into the passenger side car seat and snoozing deeply the entire ride home, he was that tired from the visit. So, all in all it was a very great day.

The mystery of the Hunk of Orange Salt continues. I received a perfume bottle (!) in the mail from my father on Christmas Eve. This is a somewhat odd gift too as I don't wear perfume and am not too sure where to put this either, but it's not nearly on a par of strangeness with the salt thing. I spoke to my sister at length yesterday and while I did not bring up the salt rock, neither did she mention having sent something. I guess I'll just come out and ask her once she gets home from her vacation in Salt Lake City.

So, the rest of the week is taken up with appointments, ugh. Yesterday was a consultation with the oral surgeon for my dental implants. My original surgeon ended up leaving the area, so I have to start new with someone else. And of course, since he has his own requirements, I have some other prep stuff I have to do (and pay for) -- impressions and labs and such. But I've made the appointment and am having two dental implants done on January 11th. Then that has to heal for three months and I have to go back to my original dentist for crowns, etc. Which will be a few thousand more, of course. I wasn't aware that the crown part wasn't part of the whole implant cost and process, so the costs just continue to grow.

I have an appointment this morning to put some cargo netting in the back of my car (to hold packages so that they don't roll all over the car) and then it's back to the regular dentist for yet more work for other issues that are plaguing me. Basically, I've been in more or less constant pain as the teeth on side opposite of where the implants are going bear the entire pressure of all chewing activity. One tooth with a huge filling literally cracked under pressure last month and has since been further broken open by the dental work and root canal (last week) to eliminate decay. I'll eventually have a crown done for this tooth too, but in the meantime the sharp edges of the broken tooth cut into my check without relief. And now the newest development is the tooth underneath that one is flaring up -- there seems to be a pocket that's opened up between two teeth and underneath the gum line that packs with food immediately (which also causes immediate pain) as soon as I eat anything at all. So, I'm getting all of that looked at this afternoon. Ugh. Just UGH.

The expense of all this is literally making me shake, but I really don't know what else to do. Except, that is, to curse my former NYC dentist whose incompetence caused most of these issues. The tooth that cracked, for instance, was mostly made up of filling and thus was very fragile. I've been told recently that most dentists would have put a cap/crown on it to protect it. The dental implants are necessary because of this ill-conceived canter-levered bridge that same dentist had talked me into years ago which never worked well. He then added insult to injury by jamming a huge screw post into a tooth under the bridge after a root canal -- a result of the bad bridge -- which completely fractured the root, finally making that tooth not viable. I am just depressed and livid and trying to find the positive in all of this. But in the meantime, it's endless ongoing dentist appointments, constant pain and discomfort and a diminishing bank account for me. And I don't even get a new kitchen or bathrooms once it's all done. But there is nothing else to be done really, the alternative is losing teeth and it's also not something you can sit on and wait about either. So I just have to suck it up and deal. It doesn't make for a very relaxing vacation week, but it's easier to try and do it all now than to run around on work lunch hours or something. Sheesh.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!



Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Pictures



First, a picture of the Orange Rock Thing (ORT) or, if you prefer, the Hunk of Orange Salt (HOOS):







Some pictures of the incredible snow we had over the past week and a half (the snow is up to almost my waist in some places -- and I know because I had to go out and push through it to drag Fitz out from under a bush the other night. Lovely):







Saturday, December 22, 2007

That Time of Year and Weird Mystery Gifts



I used to really hate this time of year. The commercialization, the financial pressure, feeling like an outsider to the season by not having a significant other or close family. But I've found that since my financial picture has improved, I feel so much more optimistic about the holidays. I now love to give gifts while not having to stress about paying the electric bill. I've also gone past caring about what I get in return. Well, that is until today. Kind of.

So, the mailman came to the door this afternoon carrying a box that he said was kind of heavy. The box was from a place called the, "Alive and Natural Health c/o Horizon Distribution Logistics" (what the ... ) I opened it and inside was this bubble-wrapped thing with this electrical cord dangling out. Cutting away the bubble wrap revealed this orange rock on a stand, with a cord to plug it in (WTF???) The tag tied to the cord reveals it to be a, "Salt Crystal Lamp (mined from the foothills of the Himalayas)" and is apparently a natural air purifier. Whatever. So I plugged it in and am currently sitting here looking at this glowing orange thing completely mystified as to who sent it (there was no card or even a gift receipt or catalog included in the box). It could maybe be from my sister (she is the person most likely to send me something like this, I suppose), but she had already send me three embroidered stockings with my dog's names on them a few weeks ago to hang on the mantle, so I wasn't really expecting anything else from her (and she hadn't given an indication that anything else was coming). Or it could possibly be from my father, but it really doesn't seem like the kind of thing he would send and also, when he asked about a week ago what I maybe wanted, I had sent him an email with an idea or two, neither of which was even close to this orange rock lamp. On the other hand, I haven't received anything from him yet, so maybe it is his gift. So, I'm not sure what to do. I guess I can call and ask him if he sent me something, but it's just so weird. Really, a Pottery Barn gift certificate would have been perfect. I don't mean to be ungrateful (and I'm not, really), but I don't know why he thinks he needs to suddenly get creative now. It can't be from him, I just can't imagine! But who then, WHO??? The mystery is killing me. And where to put this orange rock is the other part. Where do I put it? Where??? Sheesh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Things I Love



Whole Wheat penne pasta with (my own) meat and garlic chunk sauce and fresh parmesan sprinkled on top. Had some last night and it was yum!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things I hate



Prime Time game shows. This one is on. Every. Night. This. Week. I mean, WTF???

You know that you're having a bad day when ...



You are actually looking forward to the root canal appointment you have scheduled in the afternoon because it means that it will release you from what you are dealing with at work for a couple of hours. Sheesh.

Yikes



It's a little disconcerting to come to work and have the person in the cubicle right beside you hacking away with a phlegmy cough. Ick.

Monday, December 17, 2007

There's nothing like online shopping



My Christmas shopping is done, done, done. Not only done, but also all delivered & received at this stage too. I can't even imagine going to a mall during the holidays. I think you'd have to bind and gag me and drag me there kicking & screaming. Seriously.

I feel so lucky



Since finishing up on my two-year project about a week ago, I was finally able to move back to the other building where my team is located. I wasn't sure if or when a cube was going to be found for me, so I was a little concerned about where I would end up or if I would have to work from home everyday (which is great as an option, but maybe not so great when suddenly it's your only option). So they wanted to move me into a currently occupied cube and move that person out of that cube and into a nice window cube (since she considerably outranks me). But the current occupant didn't want to move because she has been there for three years, so I got the window one by default! So Day Two of sitting next to a window and I have to say that I really love it. I never realized before how much I was missing natural light and being able to easily glance outside without getting up and making a big point of it. And being by the window also means that I am also at the end of a row, which means that it is so much quieter (a huge plus for me because nothing stresses me out more than noise). This area is also much more laidback and casual than my former location too, so all-in-all I am not feeling the cubicle stress and claustrophobia that I normally feel. I am so grateful to now have this great space! I hope I get to keep it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm really in the mood for ...



Grand Marnier. It's just that kind night, cold, snow dumping down, wind whistling outside, fire going inside, etc. Too bad I don't have any though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Things I Love



Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap. LOVE!

Home Improvements



December is always an exciting time at my company because it's bonus time. And this year was even more generous than last year (as a side note: I dearly hope that I will continue to have a job at this most wonderful company until the day I'm ready to retire.) Once I knew how much to expect, I started planning what I was going to spend it on! Well, I have to really save some of it, but I do want to spend some of it on some house stuff. Late this afternoon I met with a custom window treatments place (they came into my home with samples) and chose a roman shade design and fabric for my triple living room window and a shutter for the side-light window beside my front door. This week I also contacted the guy who painted my living room, kitchen and guest room last year about coming back and starting on my horrible mustard-colored textured hallway walls -- I've been living with those for a year now and I hate them as much as I did on the day I moved in. It's going to be a mess and an enormous pain-in-the-ass to live with, but the end result will be worth it.

Anyway, it's a little exciting to have a few home improvements on the horizon. I haven't done anything about the house in so many months that it was starting to get to me. Of course, the big projects, like renovating all of the bathrooms, are still going to have to wait a few years, but it feels good to be inching forward in some fashion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It never ceases to amaze me



How a woman can get all dolled up, skirt, high-heeled boots, meticulous make-up, hair just perfectly so. Yet come out of a Ladies Room stall and not give herself even the most cursory hand washing. This same woman will then take the time to step up to the vanity mirror and zone in and analyze the state of said hair and make-up, but a little hand washing apparently requires far too much effort. As Holden Claufield would say, she must be a "secret slob". Sheesh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bitter and not getting over it



Last Monday was my birthday. I hate my birthday. I try not to have any expectations so that I won't be disappointed, but it's hard to expect absolutely nothing. This year my father topped his emotional distance by completely forgetting my birthday altogether, he's never done that before. I received nothing from him, not even a phone call. At some point afterward he finally did remember (frankly, I think my sister called to tell him) and he has left a couple of voice mail messages during the week, but has done nothing else to make up for it. He has had a week now to send me a card or a gift and I have to finally come to the realization that nothing is forthcoming. This is what my family relationship is reduced to now, I guess. I'm a little miffed at my sister too, to be honest. She did call me on the day, but would it have killed her to send a card? I spend $100s on her kids each year for their birthdays, and I make sure to at the very least send her a card for hers (sometimes a gift too), I feel that the least they could do is all get together and send me a card. The kids are old enough now (11 and 14) to do this too. It's not that I am going to stop sending birthday & Christmas greetings and gifts for my family, but I do feel pretty hurt and bitter about it all. I have a couple of very nice friends who sent me cards but, other than that, I got absolutely nothing at all and it just completely depresses me. I know, I know, I'm a grown adult and I shouldn't care. And it's not even about the gift or the materialism of it, certainly there is nothing that anyone could give me that I couldn't easily buy for myself these days, so that's not it at all. It's the fact that someone thought enough of you, to take the time to think about something small that you might like (even if it's an amazon gift certificate for $10).

So, I'm mad and bitter right now. I'll eventually get over being mad, but I think the hurt feelings are going to take longer to overcome.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Best Shoes EVER





And so incredibly comfortable (and I usually have trouble with shoes). I bought them in "shale" and like them so much, I think I'll buy a pair in "black". Gotta love a good pair of comfortable shoes.

Things that annoy Me



Women who wear copious amounts of perfume. Particularly, women who wear copious amounts of bad perfume. Particularly when I have to stand behind one in line for coffee. Particularly when I have to stand behind a string of women ALL wearing copious amounts of different bad perfume. Blech.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Shorter Days



I rushed home today to try and get there in time to catch enough remaining day light to take the dogs for a walk. That's the bummer with these shortening days (as much as I absolutely love the Fall) and the time change makes it even worse. Fitz decided to be squirrely about putting on his harness & leash (I'll never understand why he has a problem with it) so he got left behind (with a raging tantrum once he realized what was happening, of course) while Tig and Lola and I took a new-ish route across the way. We meandered through a church yard and then a school area and were going to try a road that would have taken us farther away from home, but it was getting dark fast and there was also a lot of ground fog making things murkier and I thought better of it. Instead, I found this trail through the woods, that was kind of creepy, but also kind of cool in the deepening gloom, that I correctly suspected would lead us into a neighborhood with which I was familiar where we finished up our walk. So, it only turned out to be about a half an hour or so for the walk, but at least it was semi-interesting. And there aren't going to many more opportunities for post-work dog walks now, unless I invest in some reflective gear for the dogs (especially Tig who is pretty dark) and a headlamp or something with myself.

When I got home since the walk was shorter than I had wanted, I decided to get on the treadmill for about twenty minutes -- I even threw in a couple of running intervals and kept the belt on an incline. I hadn't been on the treadmill in a long time as I had lost the magnetic/key thingie in my move last year and just got around to ordering a replacement (for $5, I might add). So, I feel a little better today and managed to forget my dental issues and work worries for a little while. And now that we're in my most favorite time of year, I really should be trying to get out and walk at lunch or something more. Hmmmm, maybe I should buy a pedometer.

The Cat



This is really funny and very cute:

The Cat

More Bad News from the Dentist



Went in yesterday to repair a fractured back tooth and prepare it for a crown, once into the process the dentist realized that the tooth is probably not going to be viable. He's sending me to a root canal specialist to see if they can save it (but he didn't sound too optimistic). If RC won't work, I'm looking at another extraction and implant, at about 5K+ a pop. So, just for those who haven't been paying attention, I've already spent about 5K out of pocket so far this year for dental work, with another 5K to be spent in January for the implant I've already got scheduled. Now if I need this additional extraction/implant (and it sounds like I will) that is about 5K more. Bringing the grand-total spent on dental work in less than a year to about 15K, not including what insurance covered! And I'm not even going to mention what a horror show the actual extraction was last time, I'm freaking out about the thought of having to go through anything like that again any time soon.

I had really hoped to start saving more aggressively now, wanted to start an additional IRA as well as a non-retirment investment fund. I also wanted to move forward and do some more painting and other home improvements on my house (window treatments, re-surface some textured walls, replace some damaged windows, etc.) and now it looks like I'm not going to be able to do any of it. I feel sick.

On a good note, I wasn't charged for yesterdays appointment. I think the dentist felt sorry for me.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A bit of a blow



Well, it looks like we are in for a bit of a blow for tomorrow. A good nor’easter is making its way up the coast and due to hit New England by Saturday. Happily it will be a weekend and I have no hair appointments, no pedicure scheduled, nowhere I have to be. So it will be lovely and cozy to be cocooned at home with the dogs while the weather rages outside. Most people pray for great weather weekends and that sure is nice, but once in a while it’s wonderful to have a weekend where it’s in your best interest to stay warm and safe inside. I’ve got stacks of movies and books around the house, and plenty of beer and beverages. One last stop at the grocery store tonight will ensure that I will be fully prepared to enjoy the time-out forced by the storm.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dealing with Hardware



So, my laptop is broken. Again. This stupid thing has had the hard drive re-built two or three times (the last time was about a month ago) and had various other issues that have needed to be fixed. Every time the hard drive has to be dealt with, I also then have to go through the exercise of re-installing various needed software, re-establish all the various certificates or whatever needed for VPN and wireless access, etc. not to mention trying to re-find all of my bookmarks and whatever. It’s all an enormous pain in the ASS. Anyway, so last night it crashed yet again. I got a very ugly black screen (never even made it to the Blue Screen of Death) error about some missing or corrupted file. So, I dragged the machine in today and opened yet another tech problem ticket. The technician contacted me with the bad news that I would need a new hard drive – ARGH! And then he went on to say that I have the dubious distinction of being the most interesting problem ticket of the day by starting off my ticket description with, “I can’t believe this, but my laptop seems yet again to be broken.” (I guess those tech guys don’t get out much). He also asked if it would be problematic if I didn’t get the machine back today and I said that since I have a desktop supplied to me by The Business Group, I could luckily use that today. His response was to start to reply, “huh, well we handle The Technical Group … “ since I am used to this response, I had to patiently explain how I am working for The Business Group, but am really a member of The Technical Group, so my laptop is owned by The Technical Group, yet my desktop is a Business Group machine. Sigh. This always confuses them and I have to explain it carefully lest I be pawned off onto another support group. So he paused and then said, “Oh, so YOU’RE the one!” I hope I’m not on some support black list somewhere! Yikes!

I swear, I’m going to buy an Apple laptop for personal use after all this.

Things that PISS me off



People who decide to lean against your cubicle and have a whole meeting while standing over your head like you're not sitting there trying to work. Uh, hello???? Am I invisible??? FREAKING pisses me off. Bastards.

Happiness is ...





Butterscotch pudding. Yum!

It's the simple things in life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

That Time of Year



What is it about this time of year that makes me constantly feel like I am on the cusp of getting sick? I have the sore throat that waxes and wanes, slight achy-ness, constant sneezing and a prevailing, overwhelming exhaustion that doesn't seem to go away no matter how much sleep I manage to get. Of course it could possibly have something to do with the warm days and the cold nights. You know, it's probably never that good to go to bed with the windows wide open, only to wake up at 3 AM shivering to find that it's 30 degrees in my bedroom. Yeah, not good.

Make it Stop!





Seriously, is it almost over? Because, I swear that if I have to deal with one more day of hearing about the blasted Red Sox, I'm going to go stark, raving mad.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Families and hurt feelings



So, I am trying very hard not to feel bitter, but I've been struggling with this for a couple of weeks now and I still feel pretty wretched about it, so maybe it will help me to blog about the issue.

A few weeks ago I was talking to Cousin Greg (one of my cousins who live near me in New Hampshire) and he let me know that he is hosting Thanksgiving this year at his house, and he invited me for the event. He then asked if I thought that my father might come up from New Jersey for it, especially as he could stay with me. I told him that I didn't know what his plans are for the holiday, but that I would ask him.

I hadn't heard from my father in a few weeks anyway, so I gave him a call and during the course of the conversation I mentioned Greg's invitation. My father's response, "Well, we're going down to Lancaster to --Wifey's daughter #1's-- house. --Wifey's daughter #2-- is coming and everything". All said in a tone that seemed to say, 'Well, OF COURSE we're going to Lorie's daughter's house. How stupid!' Soorrrreeeee -- sheesh.

Then I asked him if he (they) wanted to come up here for a weekend sometime (anytime they wanted, didn't have to be a holiday). And he, in a very exasperated tone, said, "I don't know when I can find the time!" I responded and said that was fine, I wasn't requesting he come up, but more that he was welcome to at any time if he wanted to. SHEESH. He then went on to say that Lorie (wifey) is not going to want to come up when it's going to be cold and/or there is a chance of snow. WTF??? First of all, I really don't think we need to worry much about snow until January. Maybe we'll get a little in December, but we don't usually have much before the end of the year. And secondly, there really is only about a two degree difference in temperature between where I live and where they live. Seriously. Is she THAT sensitive that she can handle 54* in NJ, but not 52* in NH?. Thirdly, pretty much every weekend for the past MONTH (since this conversation) the temps have been in the 70s! I suspect that SHE does not want to come up here (the weather & temperature is an excuse) and he is not willing to come without her.

I've just been feeling so bitter and hurt and mad about his attitude in general. I don't even really know why I am mad specifically, other than because of his wish to constantly cater to "Wifey" and her family while completely ignoring or eschewing his own. The fact that it doesn't even cross his consciousness that any of his children or grandchildren might feel hurt or cast aside is particularly troubling.

So now it's been about another month since we've spoken. Doesn't seem that he's going to call me anytime soon, so I guess I had better call. I just hope that SHE doesn't answer the phone (and of course she always does).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tig: Patiently waiting for dinner



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fitz: Patiently waiting for dinner.



Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh ... GOD Help me!



I somehow just volunteered myself to be put on the election list for my HOA board of directors. WTF was I thinking? Well, I probably won't "win" anyway as I've only been here a year and no one really knows me. But still, sheesh.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pedicures are GOOD



Work has been insane lately. I mean, working 10, 11, 12 hours a day insane. Insane where I am logging in from home at 6:30 AM before I can even leave the house. Insane where I'm dreaming about it, which of course makes me feel like the workday never ends. I can't remember in recent history looking forward to a weekend more than I did this one. I just need two days to do basically nothing at all productive and try not to think about work. Well, as much as is possible anyway. Luckily I had a pedicure scheduled for this morning, which couldn't have come on a better day. Such a sweet, selfish indulgence -- it was lovely, as always. Complete with foot and leg massage, parafin dip, foot mask and a fantastic dark red nail color (that only I will see and admire now for the next couple of months). Also got my chronic in-grown toenails taken care of -- so I should no longer be howling with pain every time I bump them up against something innocuous (like a dog). At least they're taken care of for a little while. Added to the pleasure was being out and about on a crisp, perfect Autumn morning. D&D coffee in the console, windows down, leaves turning, breeze breezing, long, slanting sunlight ... ahhhhh, I just love this time of year. So now my feet are sweet and soft again. I'm reasonably relaxed and a little better rested. Hopefully I will be ready to again re-join the insanity back on Monday morning.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pug Screen Cleaner



OMG, THIS cracks me up!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Things that PISS me off (Part II)



People who think it's a good idea to stand beside my cubicle and have a good, long coffee clutch gossip session because they have absolutely nothing better to do. I mean, can't they see that I am sitting here completely swamped with work and in a state of extreme panic? I mean ... Sheesh!

Things that PISS me off



Cutting in line! It's one of those socially obnoxious, entitlement-minded things that some people do that make me crazy. And rarely is it really worth making a big stink over (I mean, do I really want to throw a hissy fit in the middle of the company cafeteria?) But instead I am sent away from the experience seething with resentment and rolling my eyes & muttering in frustration. People suck.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Work!



I. Am. Soooooooo. Freaking. OVERWHELMED!!! ACK!

Friday, September 28, 2007

This F*ing HEAT



rant

What is with this freaking heat?! I'm ready to spontaneously combust, I swear. I really, really look forward to the crisp Fall temps. I suffer through Summer with the thought of the lovely relief that comes in September. Well, we've spent the last week (really, since last Friday) in a 89 - 91* hot & humid HELL. First the temperature was supposed to break by Wednesday. Nope. Then Thursday. Nope. Finally, this morning I was convinced that I was going to finally wake up to my cool Autumn morning -- NO! Not so much. Ugh, I really hate this weather. HATE IT. Swampy and sticky and completely uncomfortable. I'm sick of having to run an air-conditioner, I'm sick of running around in the morning, only to over-heat so much that sweat slicks off my face and pours through my freshly washed hair. I have to bring papertowels into the backyard with me in the morning so that I can mop up my face while the dogs do their "chores". Ugh! I hate it, hate it, hate it.

/rant

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Obsessed with Boxer Rescue!



Why, oh WHY? Can I not stop checking in at the Boxer Rescue site??? I now have my perfectly wonderful rescue dog (who is doing wonderfully, btw), but I'm still obsessed with checking their site (particularly the "Available Dogs" section) a couple of times a day. Someone please save me from myself! Sheesh!

Life in the "Country"



As much as I really have been enjoying living in the "country" (well, I'm not exactly rural, but where I live is not the type of suburban as one would encounter in metro NYC), once in a while I am reminded that perhaps I had lived in the City for far too long. I can handle the moose & bear sightings and sitting out on the deck at dusk and watching the bats come out and fritter above eating mosquitoes (I actually find all of that pretty cool). But last night when Fitz wasn't waiting right at the back door with the other dogs after a pee break, I knew that something was up. I went into the yard with a flashlight calling him and there he came shooting out from under the deck looking guilty and carrying something in his mouth that I immediately knew he shouldn't be carrying. As I chased him and got closer I realized that it was a dead chipmunk -- ewwwwwww! So there I stood in my backyard screaming & yelling at him and swinging the flashlight as I freaked out (the neighbors must think I'm insane). I finally managed to grab a hold of the dog and carry him struggling inside. I then had the lovely job of going back out into the yard with a papertowel so that I could pick up the corpse and deposit it over the fence -- ICK!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More Dog Pictures









Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Today's Dog Walk



Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tig is doing well ...



Wow, we're about five days in at this stage and everything is going very well with all the dogs and especially with Tig. He seems very happy and well adjusted here, I have not noticed any anxiety or fear from him at all. Tig has been sleeping in the bed with Lola (older Pug) and me and has been wonderful, except he sure does like to take up a lot of real estate! I think that he finally figured out sometime last night that he didn't have to get up and come with me to the bathroom during the night, at least not every time. He still seems to want to keep an eye on me though.

Today was my first day back to work since adopting him, so I was really curious to see how it would go. I've decided that I'm going to return the ginormous crate that I bought and so I took a chance and gated him in the kitchen (using the ridiculously short, pug-sized gate that he could have stepped over at any time). Today was an unfortunate day too, one where I had six(!) meetings and plenty of work and thus no time to run home during the day or even to come home a little early. But when I finally made it home he was still in the kitchen, nothing was chewed, nothing had been pulled off the counter tops, no accidents, nothing. Just a happy, excited Boxer who was over the Moon to see me. So, I'm thinking that maybe a crate won't be needed for him after all, which is especially nice for him, considering how much he has been crated so far in his young life, I am happy that he can probably say goodbye to that now.

This morning I took all three dogs for a walk before I left for work (probably a little over a mile or so) and then for another walk after work (about two miles) all dogs walking nicely beside or behind me -- I continue to be: Master of the Dogs -- heh. I think it will be best for all involved if I can continue this routine.

So anyway, Tig continues to be a truly wonderful dog. I am really glad that I decided to give the rescue thing a try, it was definitely worth all the hoops I had to jump through and the months of waiting.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Some Tig Pictures


they're not all that great, hopefully I can get some better ones soon ...

As you can see, wherever Tig is, Fitz is always somewhere close by!











Saturday, September 01, 2007

"Tigger" Update



Well, I brought him home! He really is a wonderful & sweet dog. He already is quite affectionate and attached to me, not reserved at all. His story is a bit of a strange one, his former family got him out of a shelter last October, he was only a couple of months old at the time! Just so odd to think that a purebred dog like that was in the pound that young, no one seems to know how that happened. Anyway, the former family basically kept him crated day & night and finally gave him up to rescue a short time ago when they faced the fact that they were never going to be able to give him more than that. He's amazingly happy and outgoing for a dog that hasn't been offered a lot of socialization or affection up until a few weeks ago.

I have to say that I am just so happy & excited about this dog! Tig (not crazy about the name "Tigger", so I've been calling him "Tig") is wonderful. I was slightly concerned at first about how Fitz and he were going to get along because Fitz was a little overwhelmed by him at the rescue house this morning. He wasn't fearful or cowering, but he wasn't up to his usual play & exuberance standards. But once we got home and everyone settled in, it's been great! Both dogs have been playing so well together. Fitz is all over Tig, continuously engaging him in play and in total Heaven because Tig is happy to chase him around the yard. Once Tig catches him, Fitz will stop and roll and then bounce right up again and start all over again. To Tig's credit, when he catches Fitz, he bumps his nose into him almost like he's tagged him, but doesn't pounce hard on him or anything (I was worried how a lively bigger dog would be with a lively smaller one -- I wasn't too worried about aggression, but was worried maybe things could get out of hand with play). With Lola on the other hand, Tig has been completely respectful. He's interested in her, but hasn't bothered her too much. Lola seems happy because more of Fitz's attention seems focused on the new dog, so she is no longer bearing the brunt of Fitz's attention.

Anyway, Fitz is completely enamoured by him, it's almost like he has a big brother to look up to, he's been following Tig everywhere. Tig, on the other hand has been following me everywhere. I took him for a nice, long walk, just the two of us, to start to get to know him a bit, to help acclimate him to our neighborhood and to drain energy also. Anyway, he's an absolute dream on the lead. Loose leash the entire walk, he stayed right beside my side the whole time barely distracted by people and other dogs and squirrels and such. We passed this woman with a fluffy white dog twice (walking the opposite direction of the loop) and the second time she, almost in an embarrassed way, laughed about how her dog was making her do what he wants -- I honestly think she was impressed by how Tig was walking so nicely with me, especially compared to her dog. I wish I could take the credit for it, but it was pretty much all him. So anyway, so far, so good. It seems like a pretty good match!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dog Adoption Update



I received an email from the President of the Boxer rescue group about a dog that she has been fostering that she feels may be a good fit. "Tigger" is about a year old (about the same age as Fitz) and just sounds like a wonderful dog -- I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with the rescue woman about him on Wednesday night and came away from it very excited to meet this guy. He's a small-ish (on the shorter side, 45 lbs, but very muscular) brindle Boxer who is energetic, but enthusiastic, loving, listens, likes to learn, loves to play and is great with other dogs. He's also completely housebroken and crate trained. So, I'm packing up my dogs and driving down to Bellingham, MA tomorrow morning to meet him. If all the dogs get along and it looks like a good match, I'll most likely be bringing him home with us tomorrow! I will post an update here over the weekend either way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crazy



Do you ever get the feeling that you're so crazy busy and going in so many different directions that you're actually getting nothing at all done? Thus has been my life at work lately. It's great, but ... it's nutz.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Email trapped in the SPAM folder since Tuesday morning (sheesh!)



"Congratulations! You have completed all the steps in our adoption process and you are now approved to adopt one of our dogs. We recommend that you become pro-active in this matching process, and work with us to match the right dog to your specific circumstances. Please continue to review our available dogs and contact us when a dog that you believe to be a good match for you and your family is available. Be sure to read that particular dog’s information to ensure you can offer what he/she needs (another dog, a fenced yard, someone home more often than not, etc.) and remember that the goal is to find the best match for you regardless of age, gender, color, etc.

THANK YOU! "

YAY! I'm officially approved! I guess I'm an acceptable adopter, imagine that?

What a Ditz



I don't know whether I'm losing my mind or what, but I swear I had an 8 AM meeting today. I got up early, rushed through my morning routine, got to work by about 7:15 AM so that I could enjoy a cup of coffee and read some email without having to rush around to be ready for the meeting to start ... Well, I just realized that I haven't seen a reminder yet so I checked my calendar and ... no 8 AM meeting! WTF? Did it disappear? Did I imagine it? Did I get the days mixed up? Am I just going insane? Well, at least it's nice and quiet here for a little while, so I can enjoy that before the craziness starts. But still ... SHEESH! It's going to be a loooooong day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dog Interview Update



So I had my home visit with the rescue group last night and it went very well. The woman they sent seemed to really like my home and was also impressed with my dogs (who behaved very well, I might add) and said that I obviously love them and care for them well. She brought her 12 week-old Boxer puppy with her to see how my dogs interacted with him and I was just ready to swoon over with love for this cutie! What a face! 12 weeks old and he & Fitz were about evenly matched in height, although Fitz has a lot more girth on him. Anyway, it was fun to watch them romping in the yard and there was obviously no problem with any of the dogs getting along, so no flags there for the group. So, I believe I've passed all the hurdles at this point. As she was leaving she said that she would file her report right away (that night) and that the next step is that the rescue group directors would be in touch with me about dog placement! So ... YAY!

Sunday, August 19, 2007



Is it possible to LOVE an appliance?



Because, if it is, I think I truly love my new vacuum. I've come late to the Dyson craze of course. I know many people who have one or another version of this vacuum (I purchased "The Animal") and all have been singing its praises for years. I knew that it was just a matter of time before I caved and got one. There have been a lot of things on my financial plate, however (buying a car, buying a house, buying stuff for the house, or improvements, etc. thousands of $$$ in dental work, and so on) so a new vacuum had been pretty low on the priority list. That is until I broke my old vacuum by sucking up something it wasn't suppose to suck. Then the question is, to cheap out and buy a lesser vacuum to make do with and someday upgrade to the Dyson? Or just bite the bullet and go for it. I went for it. Well, let me tell you, this thing is incredible! I'm almost embarrassed to explain how much dog hair it sucked up. And then today after using it, I realized that I needed to empty the cannister. I was dreading this exercise with the bag-less unit expecting it to be a messy & complicated ordeal, but I was incredibly impressed with how easy it was! I had brought both vacuum and trash can out on the deck, anticipating the big mess when really all that was involved was clicking the cannister off the machine, holding it above the trash and pulling a trigger. The bottom flipped open and all dust and hair, etc. slid easily out and into the can. It couldn't have been easier. So yes, anything that makes my life easier and a dreaded chore a pleasure is worth at least a blog post in my book.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Work is Lovely



I have to say that I've really been loving my job lately. I've been extremely engaged and busy and involved in an ever increasing variety of stuff, all of it at the same time both interesting and overwhelming. I have so much to learn, but I feel continuously grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Friday, August 17, 2007

So Excited




I am a step closer to adopting a rescue Boxer dog. The rescue group with whom I filled out an application contacted me about a month or so ago for an in-depth phone interview and they followed up by contacting my personal & vet references. Well, I must have passed all that because I received an email yesterday from a woman with the group who wants to set up a home visit. After a little back and forth it looks like we're targeting for Monday evening! I had really hoped for a weekend because I would presumably have a chance to wear out my dogs (especially Fitz) a bit in preparation for the meeting, and especially as she plans to bring her male Boxer along to see how my dogs interact, but hopefully everything will still be alright. If all goes well, there may very well be a Boxer out there that will be a great fit for my little canine family.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Seen at Work Today



A woman dressed head-to-toe in plum velour long-sleeved top and matching pants. In August. Didn't anyone tell her it's like 80-something degrees outside?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

and now I'm getting sick!



Sore throat, keep sneezing, etc. This is just fantastic news.

(oh yeah and my iron count was too low to donate blood today)

People are so freaking inconsiderate!



So, I get to work this morning and all is pretty quiet except ... some asshat two cubes up who is on an early morning conference call on her freaking speaker phone!!! WTF???!!! Oh don't worry hon, the World truly does revolve around you. Sheesh!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Okay, someone just shoot me!



I have 5 meetings tomorrow. FIVE!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dental Horrors



So, I had to have oral surgery on Tuesday. In consulting with the oral surgeon and his nurse in the weeks leading up to the procedure, I was assured that it was going to be no big deal and that I was going to be surprised at how easy it was going to be and how quickly I was going to bounce back and feel great. Well, not so much. I went in at 1:30 on Tuesday for what I thought was going to be an hour appointment, I ended up leaving three hours later in severe pain and completely traumatized. It was horrible. They had to extract this back molar and apparently the tooth that had been under the bridge was so decayed that there was nothing for him to grab on to. He ended up having to hack it into pieces and crack the tooth out of the bone, piece by piece. My every limb was shaking like a leaf and the novacaine was wearing off by the time I left the office. I then had to make a detour to get my prescriptions filled, by the time I was finally driving home, I was in so much pain and in such a state of panic that I was literally freaking out. Looking back at it a few days later, I am completely relieved that it is over but still somewhat traumatized by the experience. My lower jaw is also still pretty sore and swollen too, but at least have some Vicadin that I can take at night. I am not having a good week at all.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Singing Pug


This cracked me up so much that I had to post it.


It's been so long ...



Oh MAN it’s been a long-ass time since I’ve written! Bad blogger!. Maybe you can blame it on my new life in New Hampshire. Used to be while living in NYC, I spent pages ranting or complaining about all the annoyances of daily life there. Here I honestly find very little to complain about.

Here are just a few quick notes about what’s been going on with me over the past few months:

Travel. In late May I traveled to Las Vegas for a conference for work. The conference was pretty good and it was also good to see a few former colleagues from Old Company. Vegas though, I don’t think is really for me. Maybe I would feel differently if I was there with friends and just hanging out, but I don’t know. Everything is so … fake. And, yes, you KNOW it’s fake going in, it’s not like they’re trying to pull something over on you or anything, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting myself to find it so cheesy. I also found it surprisingly expensive, but I didn’t have much time to go wandering around looking for deals either. So, bottom line, I guess if given the opportunity to go another time with friends I would give it another chance, but I’m not going to be going out of my way looking for trips out there either.

Sh*t Happens. Coming home from Vegas late after about 12 hours of travel, I somehow managed to back into this low-slung cement pylon at the Manchester Airport. $1,300 worth of damage – lovely. My wonderful, wonderful car! Of course I got it fixed, insurance paid, but I still had to shell out $500 for my deductible.

Home. Around that same time I discovered that the air-conditioning set up here did not work at all. I had deluded myself into believing that I could struggle through this Summer with what was here (two completely antiquated wall-installed units). After getting a couple of quotes I found that these 20 year old units are not salvageable and are not even a standard size, so the cost of replacing them would end up costing as much or more than the solution I finally went with, since they would have to resize the wall cut-outs. It just didn’t make any sense to spend that kind of money on something that wasn’t even an efficient or adequate cooling method. Because I have radiant, electric heat, I don’t have ductwork in the house, so installing central a/c wasn’t a viable or affordable option (I could probably have gone into debt for about $20,000 and had ductwork run and central installed and hoped that my heating network didn’t end up being damaged in the process, but I didn’t want the debt or the risk). So, I finally ended up having a “ductless central a/c system” installed. It basically works very similar to traditional central air, only instead of ductwork, there is a unit on the wall that distributes the air, it works with a condenser that sits outside (like central air) and eliminates the humidity too, etc. Anyway, it wasn’t cheap, but it was the best option that I could pay for with cash, so that’s the way I went. There are plenty of days here where I don’t need a/c (like tonight), but on the days that get up there, and/or are very humid, I’ve been pretty happy with the results. It’s also nice and quiet, so I hardly even realize it’s running sometimes. Anyway, so that was a chunk of change.

Dental. After my root canal and other dental work I had a few months ago, I had a consultation with the oral surgeon about the work I have to have done on the adjacent tooth. I actually have to have the tooth extracted, they will then do a bone graft and let it heal for about five months and then I get a dental implant. The cost for all of this is $6,000 – yikes!

Money. So, with all the outlaying of cash I’ve been doing over the past few months, most of my home improvement projects have been on hold for a while. I’m determined to live without debt (other than my mortgage) so the stuff I want to do in the house will have to wait until I have some free cash. Luckily with the dental work, at least, I get to pay for it as each piece of the work is done. This means that I only have to pay about $1,800 this month and the balance won’t have to be paid until the rest of the work is done, about five months from now.

Anyway, so I’ve had some financial things come up. I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t been able to do anything more with the house at this stage, but I figure that I don’t have to be in a rush either, so I’m not really stressing out too much about it. I really would have liked to get some wicker furniture for my screened porch though, but maybe I’ll be able to find something on sale next month. If not, it can wait until next year.

Friends. My friends Luminita & Paul are moving to New Hampshire! Luminita had contacted me months ago because she was interested in looking into opportunities at New Company. At the time I asked my manager for help in finding an area where I could target her resume. Well, Manager liked her resume and kept a hold of it, hoping that maybe something would open up (he actually had hoped to create something). Well, that never happened, but then a great position opened up in the group (our internal customer) where I’ve been working and so, we forwarded her resume to our contacts there. They interviewed her, they liked her and offered her the job! So, they move up here next week. It will be great to have some local friends and they’re also very excited about their new lives here, especially now they will now be able to afford a house.

Work. I got a raise! And had an “Exceeds Expectations” rating for my review. I was almost more excited to hear my rating than I was for the extra money. I still continue to struggle with confidence issues and concerns that I could be doing a better job, so it is very nice and a relief to get such positive feedback. I love my group at New Company.

Dogs. My dogs are the greatest, I just love coming home to their funny, happy faces every day. That little Fitz is not so little anymore, he’s kinda huge, almost as big as Lola at this stage (I’ll have to post some updated pictures soon). He is a total sweetie too, as well as a little naughty boy (as dogs his age tend to be). I have also filled out an application with a New England Boxer rescue group. They followed up with a lengthy phone interview, they’ve checked my personal and vet references and now I’m waiting for a home interview to be scheduled. If I make it over that hurdle, I will be cleared to adopt a Boxer sometime in the future, when an appropriate dog for my situation and canine dynamic becomes available. I know some people think I’m crazy for wanting to have a bunch of dogs, but I don’t care, it’s always been my dream to have a few and it’s something I was never able to have while living in a city apartment. Anyway, with all that said, I think three should be enough for awhile. Someday I may live in a place with more space and a bigger yard or whatever and may consider having more, but I think three should do it for now.

Exercise. I’ve been trying lately to walk more, taking my dogs on 2-mile loops around an adjacent neighborhood. And I joined a gym in town this week. It’s amazing how inexpensive it is! $20 a month and I can also go to any other location they have (it’s a Gold’s Gym). I figure for $20 a month, even if I’m not going every day, it’s worth it. They have a pretty big facility and they have Spinning! In NYC, a similar membership would cost close to $100/month.

Health. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning with a new doctor (primary care recommended by my GYN). I’m nervous as I really hate going to doctors and I get especially freaked out when I’m scheduled to see a new one. I’ll be a lot happier when the appointment is over.

Female Problems. Nah, I’m not going to go there. Consider yourself spared.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Definition of Irony



There is not a staple or a stapler to be found anywhere on this floor at work. I did, however, find a large cache of staple removers.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You Know You're Not Fully Awake ...



... When leaving the house in the morning, instead of giving the dog her morning doggy treat, you try to hand her the cell phone instead. You know, in case she wants to make a phone call during the day or something. Sheesh.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spring is about change



What is it about Spring that makes you want to get organized, clean up, get rid of clutter? Why do I start feeling restless this time of year, tired of being cooped up inside, sick of TV? I guess it's the opening up of windows and the fresh air -- still fresh even if it's raining outside.

I woke up on Saturday morning and felt invigorated to unpack some more boxes, go through papers, throw a lot of crap out. Last week during our impromptu, unseasonable "Summer" weekend, I very much enjoyed sitting out on the deck reading and listening to music. I've been taking the dogs for walks around the neighborhood after work and Fitzie and I are on week 3 of obedience training at the Nashua Petsmart. It's great to get out of the house on a weekend, but it's especially been a hoot just to go there every week and socialize with all the dogs and let all the people we encounter admire and fawn over him. Anyway, more and more as Spring burgeons I'm enjoying cleaning up and getting out more. During the Winter it was lovely to be cozy inside with the dogs piled on top of me with a fire going and the latest Netflix delivery, or "Grey's Anatomy" installment playing. Not that I don't enjoy these things during this time of year too, but I also feel motivated to clean up and get some fresh air.

There have been some recent changes at work as well. There was a big personnel change on the project where I am assigned. Basically, all the major business project managers and sponsors have left the group or moved into different roles. This has been stressing me out quite a bit over the past couple of weeks just with the uncertainty with everything and what this was going to mean for me. But I finally had some information about who I was going to be working with and had a meeting first with the head of the tech group I'll be aligned with and then with the entire group later in the week. They all seemed great, very open and with good communication and I really feel like I will be integrated with the daily workings of the business and with the end users like I never had the opportunity to be before. So, I came away from last week encouraged and excited about these new changes and the opportunities they represent.

Saturday, April 28, 2007



I just posted this picture again because I really like it. I'm also amazed ... Fitzie was a fraction of his current size when it was taken.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Matt Lauer





I had a dream this weekend that I was tooling around with Matt Lauer in a Mini Cooper. Now, that was a fun dream. heh.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This is what is happening in my yard RIGHT NOW












(You can't really see it falling all that well in the pictures, but trust me, is is!) Crazy snow on April 15th. Woo!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's April 12th



Can someone tell me why there is about 3" or so of fresh snow in my yard? This is some crazy shit. Seriously.

ARGH!



It's been a bit of a crazy week at work. I have my usual project work going on, there have also been some new-customer-related meetings and activity to supplement my regular work. Plus, they are going through a major personnel upheaval in the group with my current project. So because of all of these changes, I have the added tasks this week to create process flow documents for a bunch of the reports I've worked on over the past year. So, this is pretty time consuming and a bit stressful because of the time crunch outside of my other work, so I thought I'd get a jump on some of it for today by working on one of the bigger flow charts last night from home. Okay, so I finally finish it at 11 PM, come into the office this morning and go to drop it into the document this morning and I can't open it! Turns out that the version of Visio I have on this machine is incompatible with the version of Visio I have on my home machine. ARGH! I mean, it's not the end of the World, I'll just complete it from home a little later, but still ... ARGH! Sheesh.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Work. Is. Good.



So I had a short meeting with one of people I'm writing a series of reports for the other day. I know that this part of this project is particularly high-profile. It's not anything that looks so impressive on the surface to the lay person, just a bunch of columns of numbers. But there is a lot that is going on under the surface to pull all of this data together. Many different data sources are involved, lots of pulling of bits apart and lots of putting bits together, lots of analysis and various other moving parts to put everything together into one, seamless-looking output. Anyway, the professional portfolio managers know the value of what they're looking at and the portfolio manager that I spoke to the other day just gushed on & on to me about what a fantastic application this is for them. He actually said, "this is revolutionizing how we manage and invest these (big magilla company) plans" (big magilla company being my words, of course). He also said that the data has been going directly to the Senior VP, head of this entire trading division. Wow. I was blown away (and a little impressed with myself, to be honest). It's especially nice because too often you don't hear much unless something goes wrong. It's truly deeply satisfying to know that people are getting lots of immediate benefit out of something that I actually created. Woo!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Shelton Kang



lindashel

Shelton & Linda in November, 2002

I've wanted to write something about the passing of Shelton Kang before now, but I don't really know how much I can add to what Julia wrote, she spoke about him so perfectly and beautifully. I will say that Shelton was a genuinely nice person who always saw the best in people. I never heard an unkind word come out of his mouth. He was a man who, despite his limitations, really knew how to get the most out of life. After losing his wife Linda suddenly and being diagnosed with congestive heart failure himself, he could very easily have just stayed home and used it as an excuse to give up and wallow in misery, but not Shelton. He reinvented himself and started a walking program, ultimately walking four marathons and countless half-marathons and other races of varying distances all over the country. Everywhere he went he made friends and spread actual joy. How many people do you meet in life who spread actual joy? He was just a sweet, sweet man who enjoyed life & people. And he was a total dog lover, which always makes someone pretty great in my book.

The news of his passing struck me particularly hard for some reason and I'm not even that sure why. I knew Shelton, I probably saw him about once or twice a year in a group setting. In fact, I had just seen him a couple of months earlier in Boston. But I didn't see or talk to him often enough to really consider him one of my closest friends. Maybe it was just that buoyant spirit of his, it seemed like he would always be around. Or maybe it was just that he always should be around.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Finally: my completed living room bookcases












Spring Snow April 5th, 2007










Thursday, March 22, 2007



Oh and



On an unrelated note ... I'm finally finished with the antibiotics (feel like I've been on them constantly since January). I think I'll have a beer. At last.

Weird Freaking Dog



So, very recently Fitzie (who is being neutered tomorrow, btw) has taken to peeing in Lola's food bowl. He doesn't pee in his own bowl, nor the water bowl, always just her bowl. Bizarre. I guess he's trying to tell her something. Poor Loly-girl. I made him eat of of the pee bowl tonight (I washed it first, of course).

Tax Woes




I am really annoyed. I had an appointment scheduled with a CPA for late this afternoon to help me with my tax preparation since my financial picture for 2006 is pretty complicated (between moving from NY to NH, relocation benefits, selling property in NYC, buying property in NH, higher salary, bonus, rolling over IRAs, etc.) Anyway, I was looking for CPAs in my town and had found her name somehow and sent her an email inquiry to possibly set up an appointment. In the email I briefly sketched my situation and she wrote back, “I don’t do NY tax returns”. Okaaaaay. So I wrote back and said, well I was really only living in NYC for 2 weeks in 2006, but could she perhaps recommend someone else? She writes back, “Well, I guess I can help you”. Gee thanks, don’t knock yourself out or anything (it’s not like I was insisting that she help me or anything, I just asked for a local recommendation). All of this tax stuff is stressful enough, do I really want to deal with someone who is so lukewarm about working with me? Anyway, not knowing who else to contact, I made the appointment.

So, since I have the appointment for late this afternoon, I go to the trouble to make sure that I get to work early so that I can work a full day before having to leave to make it to her office on time (which is conveniently located around the corner from work). But what happens? I get an email from her around 8 AM stating that she has to cancel because she’s not feeling well. WTF??? So, obviously she doesn’t really want my business. Frustrated, I vent about this to a co-worker and he suggests that I contact my realty office and see if they can recommend someone. So I do. It ends up being a good idea because they recommend a CPA firm (raving about them in the process) who I call and who goes out of their way to accommodate me (scheduling me in on a Saturday) and who also, when I mention the NY aspect of my situation, says, “No problem! We can deal with any state”.

I sent an email to the first CPA chick that says, “I’ll just make other arrangements then. Thanks for your help.” I haven’t heard back from her. I’ve got to wonder how someone like that is able to run a successful business. So unprofessional. She could have just said, “I’m sorry, I’m not very comfortable with the NYS stuff, but perhaps I can recommend someone else for you”. How hard would that have been? SHEESH.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

toe






This is what my toe looked like when I took off my sock tonight. Gross.

Yet Another Pug Picture



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It Never Freaking Ends



So, I went to the dentist on Monday and apparently I have a number of problems going on in my mouth. In addition to the needed root canal and abscess, I apparently have some major decay around the tooth adjacent where I had a root canal about two years ago. They're not even sure if they're going to be able to save this second tooth. All of these problems stem from this ill-advised bridge my former dentist talked me into getting years ago and I am finding myself quite bitter about it right now.

Anyway, the root canal doctor managed to get me in this afternoon which really ended up being a good thing because once she opened up my tooth, she said that the decay and infection was more extensive than it had appeared on the x-ray. She seemed to think if I had waited much longer, I could have lost that tooth too. So, I had the root canal today, but am still finding myself in pain which I hope is not an indication of the problems with the other tooth. I have to go back to the first dentist in a week or two to have him finish the work on the RC tooth and to evaluate what we're going to do about this other one. I am so ... I don't know, depressed, overwhelmed, stressed about all of this. And of course my out-of-pocket costs for all of this work is going to be in the 1,000s. TG for insurance (at least they'll be paying for some of this) and TG that I'm debt free! If this had happened two years ago I would be screaming and crying and completely freaking out & panicking -- at least I can pay for this. I'm not happy about it and some of my home improvement plans will have to be put on hold this year, but at least I don't have to go into debt to do this. At least it's not going to completely wipe me out.

To add insult to injury, tonight my cell phone was ringing. I could hear it and I realized that it was still in my jacket pocket. So, instead of just letting it ring, I jumped up and ran for it, vaulting over something on the floor and catching my toe on the corner of a chair in the process. Now I'm afraid I've broken my toe! Oh and that phone call was my father. I have no doubt he was calling about having me send him more money out of our trust account, I've already had to do that twice in the past week and that seems to be the only reason he ever calls me lately.

But I'm not bitter, no, not at all.

Monday, March 12, 2007

It's Always Something



Spent the weekend in pain as it seems that I have another abscess in the area where I need a root canal. I've been putting it off and I guess I've just put it off too long. I called the root canal dentist and the soonest they can get me in is April 6th. ACK! In the meantime, I've made an appointment for this afternoon with another local dentist as I really don't feel comfortable going back to the "Super Cuts-esque" place that I went to the last time. I'm hoping this new dentist will maybe be able to get me in someplace sooner, or at the very least will have some good drugs to prescribe. UGH!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm SUCH a worrier



Seriously. I wish I could just stop. I go through these periods of intense anxiety sometimes that I just can't seem to shake off. It seems to get worse as I get older. A number of things contribute to this, lack of confidence/self-esteem issues, growing up with a mother who worried about everything, probably having too much time on my hands. Worry, worry, worry. I. Just. Can't. Stop. Sheesh.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Signs You're Getting Old



It must be a sign that I'm getting old when I actually prefer Mondays to Fridays. Used to be, Friday was my favorite day. Usually the weekend would start on Thursday with Happy Hour and then on Friday it was out directly after work until all hours, Mondays were to be dreaded. Nowadays, by Friday I'm tired and running down on energy, yet Mondays are fun! I'm well-rested, re-invigorated with energy and enthusiasm for the work at hand. I always seem to get a lot done on a Monday and the day just flies by. Preferring a Monday to Friday ... what's up with that?

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Puppy is getting so big!



Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sleep



It seems like sleep or rather, the lack of, has been in the media quite a bit recently. The Today show has been doing a segment about it this week and the subject keeps popping up from various other sources too. “They” are saying now that sleep is not just as important, but that it’s even more important, to one’s health and well-being than diet and exercise. More important to your health than diet and exercise. I don’t think I know even one person who consistently gets 8 hours a night. I know that I don’t (and for no good reason either). I heard a blurb somewhere, I think it might have been on Oprah or something, that said, “you can not be the person you were meant to be unless you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night”. I kind of like that, it sums it up neatly for me. And it kind of makes sense, if you think about it. You’re not as sharp or as intelligent. You don’t have as much energy or passion or enthusiasm or whatever as you would have if your body was getting enough sleep. Anyway, I don’t have children, I have a ridiculously short commute, and I am generally a pretty good sleeper. Or I am, once I finally turn the lights out. I have no excuse not to be getting my 8 hours. No excuse except that I just stay up too late at night. I watch TV, I am on the computer (I mean, at least two nights this week I was still logged into work at 11 PM – I just got a bug in my brain about something I’m working on). I finally go upstairs and get into bed and that’s when the reading starts. Half the time, I’m turning the lights off at 1, 1:30 AM. And getting up around 6:30 AM. Not acceptable. Last night I think I managed to turn the lights off at 11, and it’s amazing how much better I feel. No wonder all I want to do on a weekend is laze around and relax. I’m exhausted from lack of sleep. This is probably the most easily fixed thing in my life, so I really need to be conscious of it and really work on getting that consistent sleep. Like, starting NOW.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

These are the kind of dogs I have:



Most dogs, you let them out the back door, they're like "woohoo! outside" run, run, run, sniff, sniff, sniff, pee, pee, pee. Mine? I let them out the back door and they just sit there, peering back at me through the glass.

Most dogs, you come into the house, they're right there at the door to greet you (if they're not barking on the other side of the door as you approach). Mine? I come in, no dog, walk through the downstairs, mill around in the hallway sorting the mail? No dog. Finally walk upstairs and there is Lola, all curled up on the bed and looking up at me like, "what?". Sheesh.

Most dogs, you pick up the leash and they get all excited, "woohoo! goin' for a walk! goin' for a walk!" Fitz, I pick up his harness & leash and he cowers and runs in the other direction (even if I'm bribing him with food).

These are my freaks, they are not normal.

How Many Times ...



Do you have to tell a person, "no sugar" for them to figure out that you don't want ANY sugar in your damn coffee???? Once or twice a week I treat myself to a Dunkin Donuts "Turbo" coffee, which comes with a shot of espresso and is delish and also gives that sometimes much-needed extra morning kick, but when they don't get the order right, it completely spoils the experience. This is the second time this has happened with my coffee with them. Very disappointing.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wake Up, It's Monday Morning



Nothing like almost waltzing into the Men's Room to realize that I am not really fully awake this Monday morning. Sheesh!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Home Improvement Continues



One of the things that I've really wanted to do in my new house is have some bookshelves and an incorporated TV-stand/entertainment unit built into my living room. A couple of weeks ago I interviewed a few carpenters and last week finally decided which one to hire. Today I signed the proposal and gave him my deposit and the work is meant to start at the end of this week. It's pretty exciting to see something I've envisioned actually start to happen. In the past I've never really had the resources to have anything significant done in my home, it's almost a weird feeling to realize that I actually can do this kind of thing now. I'll be very happy to finally get these shelves installed. I can unpack all of my books, hang some pictures and finally have a completely finished room! Well, it won't be completely finished until I replace the carpeting and get some window treatments, but it'll be close enough to satisfy me.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rant of the Day



When you sit in a cubicle, in an open-air, cube-farm style office, using a speaker phone is really not the most considerate choice. But then, it is all about you after all, isn't it? Sheesh.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Lots o' Snow


























Monday, February 05, 2007

sick, sick, sick



So, as I posted previously, on Thursday I started getting that sick-y feeling like I was coming down with something. By Thursday night I had a fever and chills and by Friday I had that strange chest rattle-wheezing thing I also posted about. I felt pretty miserable for most of the weekend and then Sunday afternoon I felt worse, with my fever spiking over 102*. I managed to speak to a nurse over the phone through an after-hours nurse service through a local hospital who advised me that I should probably go to the emergency room, just to be safe. So I drove myself to the closest one, up the road in Manchester. This was the ultimate example of how living here differs from NYC. No one in the waiting room, they took me right away. I think I was having a chest x-ray within 20 minutes of having checked in and I was out within an hour or so. Anyway, the bottom line is, I have bronchitis. The doctor says that I *can't* go to work for three days and I'm on antibiotics. Ugh, I am never this sick! It's so frustrating! The doctor also lectured me for not having a local doctor yet. Sheesh. So, I'm sick, sick, sick and will most likely be whining and complaining about it for a couple of days.

Friday, February 02, 2007

This is so weird



I don't know if it's because I'm sick, but I seem to have developed the strangest affliction. I am making this weird noise, deep in my lungs, with each breath I take. At least, I hope it's my lungs and not my heart -- ACK! Anyway, with each breath I make this wheezy-whistle-y noise, kind of a cross between a stomach growl and that noise your nose can make when it needs a good blowing. This noise actually kept me up for half the night. Even the dog could hear it! She sat there on my bed looking at me completely perplexed. I don't usually freak out over health stuff, but this is rather strange, so I'm a little concerned. Maybe I'll call my cousin (he's a local Dr.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

UGH



I have tomorrow off (and long weekends planned for the next couple of weeks in order to use up vacation time from 2006) and now I feel like I'm getting sick! It's that scratchy-frog-in-the-throat-sneezy-coughy-general-funky feeling. It just figures. And I really can't lay around nursing myself either as Painter Guy will be there all day. I plan to use the day to do errands, get a facial and get some of the stuff done that I always say I'm going to do on weekends and hardly ever end up doing (browse a furniture store, shop for linens, get a facial, go to Trader Joe's and/Costco, go get more paint chips, etc.) Damn.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Shoes



I have the worst time finding shoes that are comfortable on my feet. Where most women swoon over shoe shopping and love to have new shoes, I personally hate it. And when I do find shoes that are relatively comfortable in the store, after wearing them for a couple of hours, they inevitably have me in serious pain. The exception, of course being running shoes, Merrell mocs and Teva (or similar) sandals. That is until this past Summer when I discovered Rockports. Now, Rockport shoes are not the most fashionable shoes out there, they are a little doofy, but they are pretty comfortable and look more professional in the office than my Merrells, so my Rockport driving mocs are what I usually wear to work. But then, a few days ago I was browsing the zappos.com site and happened upon these shoes:




So I bought them. They're not fashionable in the pointy-toe, sling-back, kitten, spiky heel sense, but I kind of like them anyway. I feel so much more stylish in my red suede with croc trim shoes!

I just thought I'd share ...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Reason #5,654 why I love living in New Hampshire



The smell of woodsmoke every time I step outside of my house (because pretty much everyone has a fire going in their fireplace).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wacky Pugs



Little Fitzie is trying to teaching himself how to lift his leg. I've been cracking up watching him, it's really very entertaining. About once every three or so times he goes out to pee he'll give it a shot and lift his leg so high that he'll end up standing there all wobbly and falling over. It makes me laugh until I cry. So freaking funny.

Good News on the Painting Front



Turns out the Painting Guy will have time to do the kitchen right after he finishes the living room after all. I am so happy! Now at least my downstairs will mostly be done (except the dreaded hallway and the powder room). Got to find someone for those bookshelves though ...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oh, and



I have to say, I just LOVE that it snows here! It is snowing here as I write this. I'm like a kid that way, I still get excited when it snows.

Yes, It's been a very long time



I just don't know why I'm having such a hard time posting on a regular basis. I think of something to write almost every day, but by the time I have a chance to log in and post, I've either forgotten what I was going to write about, or I just don't feel like it.

Anyway, there really hasn't been anything too interesting to write about, I've just been working and trying to settle into my house and cleaning up dog pee & poop (Fitz knows that he he's not supposed to "go" in the house, he just doesn't know enough to ask yet).

I've finally started the painting process at the house. Painter Guy started today with my living room. I'm painting it Benjamin Moore "Shaker Beige" (HC - 45) with a crisp, white trim. It's a nice neutral sandy beige, a bit warmer and richer than your typical beige. Anyway, I hope I like it once it's done. The kitchen I think I'm going to go with the color I painted my kitchen in Queens last Fall "Straw" (Ben Moore, of course). The rest of it, I'm not sure about. I think I want the hallways just a little darker beige or taupe color to compliment the living room and for the bedrooms (at least the guest rooms) I am thinking of "Philadelphia Cream". At the moment I only have a commitment from Painter Guy for the living room, he's got other jobs to work around -- I guess it's probably a good thing he's so popular, hopefully that means he's good! Anyway, I'm not sure when the other rooms are going to get done, but I feel great that the process has started at least. I still have to find someone to build me some bookcases in the living room though, I haven't had any luck there. I will be so glad when the bulk of this work is done, I think I'll continue to feel a little disoriented until it is.

My one-year anniversary at New Company came and went last week. It's sort of a bizarre feeling, I feel both like I just got here a week ago and that I've been here for forever (how is it possible to feel both simultaneously?) I worked at Old Company for almost seventeen years, so long that it was almost a part of me. Moving to New Hampshire and working for New Company has been such a mental adjustment for me that it really has felt very new for the full twelve months. I'm feeling a little more comfortable now though and hopefully I can relax a bit and start spreading my wings at work some. I spent so much of the past year in total fear that I was going to be fired at any moment, I really need to take a deep breath and get myself out of adjustment mode and to start to assertively move forward.

2006 was a big year of adjustment for me, I really feel like it was mostly all transitional. Now I need to start focusing on the things that have fallen to the wayside while I settled into the new job and the new area. Most notably fitness stuff. I am right now so out shape and so out of balance that I feel overwhelmed with the task of changing that, but I'm never happier than when some semblance of a fitness program is a part of my life.

So, these are the things that I've decided I need to focus on for 2007:

1) Work: Strive to learn, grow, take on more stuff. Full-fill my potential.
2) Physical: Make fitness a part of my life (once I'm working out regularly, try to make running a part of my life again).
3) Home: Get the rooms painted and figure out and schedule other work needed to improve my home.
4) Social: Develop a social network here in New Hampshire.
5) Money: Get out of debt. Wait, I did that last year! heh. (well, I do still have a mortgage). Okay, build a solid emergency fund (well, I do have a savings, but I'll feel more comfortable with more, plus I need some of it for the home improvements). Start investing (in addition to retirement accounts).
6) Dogs: get Fitzie house-trained and somewhat obedient (yeah, right).
7) Recreation: Plan a real vacation (one where I actually go away somewhere and stay in a hotel or something) this year. I think I kind of need one.

That should be enough to worry about for now, sheesh.