Rarr busy!

Our internet went out last night, thanks Verizon, though it seems to be back on this morning (based on the lights on the modem, I didn’t actually try to use the computer). I just realized we have a bill due tomorrow and I’m not sure if it covers the couple weeks recently where we had such slow connection speeds over the weekends that it was pretty much futile to try to do anything. I think those weeks might be on our next bill. Whenever it is, I’m going to call them up and try to get a discount of some sort.

They just replaced the arms on my desk chair, which is great because one of them was all torn up and it hurt to rest my arm on it, and I was just dealing with it, but then the other day our VP was like, “What happened to your chair?!” So I figured maybe I should call and get it fixed. Also, we’re having that April birthday party this afternoon that I’m hosting – I didn’t really have anything planned, but somehow yesterday afternoon threw together a nice menu of veggie tray, crackers and cheese, ice cream with a couple toppings, and a tray of brownies (that I baked!) with buttercream frosting and red sugar sprinkles. Whew!

My to-do list (updated since yesterday):

  • Tuesday 4/29 – Department birthday party at work, print band concert programs after work, move stuff in basement so windows can be reached
  • Wednesday 4/30 – Band practice
  • Thursday 5/1 – Band dress rehearsal
  • Friday 5/2 – Work from home, basement windows installed (and try to catch up on The Office and Lost online!)
  • Saturday 5/3 – PSP Alumni events at MU
  • Sunday 5/4 – Band concert
  • Monday 5/5 – Buy ketchup, mustard, and relish for a wedding shower at work
  • Tuesday 5/6 – Wedding shower at work
  • Wednesday 5/7 – Band practice
  • Thursday 5/8 – Meet with financial planner
  • Wednesday 5/14 – Band practice
  • Friday 5/16 – Another surprise wedding shower at work
  • Saturday 5/17 – Brandon & Brea’s wedding
  • Wednesday 5/21 – Band practice
  • Wednesday 5/28 – Band practice
  • Saturday 5/31 – Jess & Rob’s wedding

Also, I have to shop for food and decorations for the surprise wedding shower we’re throwing, and we might be getting carpet installed somewhere in there. And before we meet with the financial planner on 5/8 I have to finish reading that book he told me to read so I have all my questions ready for him (I was taking notes and writing down thoughts and questions, which does not lend itself to bedtime reading, and since that’s really the only place I read books anymore, I kind of stopped reading it).

More RIF News, To-Do List

I just found out about a couple more people who were laid off on Friday. One I’m happy about, one I’m really going to miss. I’m going to see if I can find out her contact information from someone. I wouldn’t have know she was gone, except our department (and me, specifically) gets the request forms to have people’s LMS accounts deactivated, so they’ve been trickling in today and I’ve found out a few more people.

Things to do (just listed for my own benefit):

  • Monday 4/28 – Buy food for department birthday party, save band concert program to USB drive
  • Tuesday 4/29 – Department birthday party at work, print band concert programs after work, move stuff in basement so windows can be reached
  • Wednesday 4/30 – Band practice
  • Thursday 5/1 – Band dress rehearsal (and OMG I just realized I’ll miss The Office and probably most of Lost!)
  • Friday 5/2 – Work from home, basement windows installed
  • Saturday 5/3 – PSP Alumni events at MU
  • Sunday 5/4 – Band concert
  • Saturday 5/17 – Brandon & Brea’s wedding
  • Saturday 5/31 – Jess & Rob’s wedding

Weekend Digest

In an effort to force myself to write less, I’m going to try using bullet points.

  • The rest of Friday was pretty horrible at work, all together we lost four positions (three people plus one vacant position) from our department, plus a lot of people in other departments – 1200 total, from the whole company. It was a really tough day, but our VP let us go home early.
  • I was pretty ticked off all Friday morning because how could they be laying off all these great people, yet The Troll gets to keep her job? Then after lunch, I found out – The Troll has been RIFed! I was so excited! That alone makes up for losing all these other people, I think.
  • GG and I were going to see Baby Mama on Friday night, but ended up sleeping instead. So we went out Saturday to see it. It was cute, but all the good jokes were in the previews.
  • I made us pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning, spent the day doing laundry, then cooked dinner Sunday night. It was very domestic. I made this pasta with goat cheese, which I didn’t think GG would like because he’s very cheese-averse, but he promised me he liked goat cheese. Turns out he’d confused goat with feta, and he actually didn’t like the meal. Oh well, more for me!

Okay, I think I did pretty well!

TOCTWD 2008, Other Work News

Yesterday was Take Our Children To Work Day, I actually missed most of the kids around our office because I was part of a group from our department who were running a physical/mental obstacle course for the kids as part of the career fair, so that took up most of my day. It was pretty good, and the kids seemed to really like it (we got lots of nice comments, some of the parents even told the head of our department how good it was). Funny thing, though, they set us up across the hall from the Fitness Center’s obstacle course! Theirs was much more professional looking and one of their obstacles was playing Guitar Hero, which was projected onto a huge wall, and they had music and it was pretty awesome. But the kids really liked ours and some came through multiple times, so I guess it was good! I was at one of the question stations, where we asked science-type questions based on grade level. Most of the kids were pretty good, some were so smart I was really impressed with some of the stuff they knew. And then there was this dumb kid who was in 6th or 7th grade but couldn’t even answer the 3rd grade question of “What is cheese made from?” “Cows?” “Well, it comes from cows,” I prompted him. “Umm… Cow poop?” Cow poop?! Seriously kid? You think cheese is made from cow poop?

There were rumors going around that today would be a big layoff day at work, and we had lots of clues and hints that something was up. So far today I saw one person called into an office by their boss and walking out with someone in a suit (probably HR), and I saw cardboard boxes delivered to another person’s desk. (Both were people rumored to be getting RIFed today.) And of course Heather is working from home today, so she’s been calling and e-mailing for the latest updates. It’s pretty crazy because we all totally know something is up, and have known for a while, but we have to just keep acting like nothing is going on. Exciting times.

Linky Thursday – 4/24

Windows XP Going off Market in June: What it Means: Wah. But, they’re already working on Windows 7.

Twitter in Plain English: Still don’t quite “get” Twitter? This adorable little video might help explain it. (Actually check out all the Common Craft videos, they explain a lot of potentially confusing things.)

Tweet What You Eat: I was hoping for something like this to be invented, and here it is! Using simple syntax, you send TWYE direct messages via Twitter to track the foods and calories you’ve consumed. Very basic, tracks only calories and no other nutritional info, but extremely convenient considering you can track foods via phone as well as on the web. Also, if you don’t know the calories you can still track the name of the food and then go back and add calories later (very handy).

Fun From Yesterday!: Check out these “forgotten” Atari games. I totally cracked up over most of these. Some examples: “Every Sport Ever – In Pong Form,” “Find the Koala – find him again and again!” “Gay French Mario Bros.” …and more!

E-Mail, Carpet

Yesterday they sent out an e-mail at work that everyone’s e-mail box is going to be limited to 1 GB, which is enough space to store about 9,000 e-mails. I usually have around 200 in my inbox (which is bad, I know), but I have more filed away in folders, dating back to 2004, when I started here. I do periodically try to go through and delete or archive things I don’t need, but it’s hard just to find time to do that. So in the message they sent out, there was a link to a web page that would show your e-mail space usage. I am using over 600% of my alotted space. I felt pretty bad about that. However, this morning Heather checked her usage, and she is using over 1200% of her space – twice as much as me! So I don’t feel so bad anymore! I’m also thinking of poor Julie – she keeps 4-5,000 e-mails in her inbox, and I don’t even want to think about her folders! There was no date in the announcement of when this limit would take effect, and there was no explanation of what would happen if you are still over you limit after it takes effect, but everyone here was totally freaking out about it.

GG and I went to pay for our carpet last night – whee. Actually, I called the store on my way home yesterday to see if our measurements were in the system and the quote was ready yet, and it was kind of sucky – they kept transferring me back and forth between the flooring department and the front desk, putting me on hold, etc. I should mention that this is one of the stores GG works at (as a vendor, not an employee), and he was actually working there yesterday. It rhymes with “Dome Repo.” So when I finally got to talk to someone and I gave them the name on the order (GG’s name), I heard someone in the background go, “It’s [GG]’s wife!” Then suddenly they were really nice to me on the phone! So we got the quote, paid it, bla bla bla. Some exciting news is that there will be no seams in our carpet downstairs because the carpet is exactly the width of our house. We’d been worried about where the seams might fall, if they’d be in a high traffic area. In the hallway upstairs there will be one seam, and it’s coincidentally in about the same place where our carpet is currently sliced open from rescuing Ivan from under the floor when we first got him. Some less exciting news is that our stairs are apparently some fancy shape that costs $14 per step to carpet, as opposed to $6 for a regular step. And also we might have to pull off all our quarter-round trim from the floorboards – I have to call the carpet expert this morning to find out for sure about that. So, lots of exciting stuff happening around the house!

Home Improvements

So remember how my kitchen sink has been leaking for like two months? On Sunday night as we were cleaning up from making dinner it finally got to the point where I couldn’t fix it by hand anymore, and I called my uncle and he said he’d come over with his big wrench. So he came last night thinking we might have to go buy a longer piece of pipe, but really it was just that the pipes had moved down two or three inches from where they were supposed to be. So he lifted them all up, tightened everything with the wrench, and marked on the pipe where the next piece was connected. So if I see a gap starting to form under the mark, I’ll know it’s all slipping again. (But hopefully with the wrench it’s good and tight.) While I had him there, I also got him to move my stove about half an inch to the left, so it is touching the counter, which I’ve wanted to do for a while so there’s no gap between the stove and the area where I’m chopping food – I’m always paranoid I’m going to drop some little bits down there, never to be seen again. And I asked him about the possiblity of replacing our kitchen faucet (which has also been leaking pretty much since we moved in, there’s a big crack in it), and he said when he replaces faucets he also likes to replace the whole sink, so I guess we’ll be doing that at some point!

In other home improvement news, we had a guy come give an estimate on putting glass block in our basement windows last night, and we’ve decided to go with them and are actually scheduled for May 2! It cost a little more than I’d expected, but my guess was based on reviews I read on Angie’s List, so it wasn’t really exact. I think our windows are slightly bigger than modern basement windows, plus we’re getting a little opening vent in the middle of them. It should be really nice when it’s done, currently our windows are like little “Enter Here!” signs for burglars or something. (Though I guess living next door to the police station is a good deterrant for that.) But yeah, they’re just crumbling, don’t even stay shut, etc.

And I guess I didn’t mention it, but we also got measured for carpet on Saturday. That was pretty cool, the guy used lasers and a tablet computer to map everything out. I asked him about carpet widths and where the seams might fall, and he said he didn’t actually have anything to do with that – when he sends his measurements back to the store, the computer will automatically calculate where is the best placement for the seams at both a 12- and 15-foot width, based on traffic patterns and stuff. Pretty awesome! So we’re expecting a call from them sometime soon so we can review that and schedule a date to get it installed. That will be a hassle, moving all the furniture (we’ll probably have to disassemble the dining room table and may have to take the sofas outside because I don’t think they’ll fit through the kitchen doorway), but it’ll be so much nicer in that house when it’s all finished.

Still to do: build a patio, replace stairs at side door (they’re wooden steps held up by a pile of bricks, I’m pretty sure they weren’t meant to be permanent), maybe do something in the bathroom?

Name + Verb Meme

I think I’ve done this meme before, but I just saw that Aimee did it, so I figured I’d try again. The answers seem a lot lamer this time than in the past! It might just be the way Google works, but it seemed like a lot of title of things and dog videos. Oh well. Anyway, it’s the one where you put your name + verb into Google and write down the first result.

“lola needs”
Lola Needs To Watch Some Porn [blog post title]

“lola looks like”
I do think Sam looks like her dad, but I think Lola looks like her mom.

“lola likes”
Zoey 101: Lola Likes Chase [TV episode title]

“lola wants”
“Whatever Lola Wants” is a popular song, sometimes rendered as “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets”.

“lola does”
Lola does cool hand shake [YouTube video… of a dog]

“lola hates”
lola hates garfield [another YouTube dog video]

“lola goes”
Lola goes bump in the night…

“lola loves”
Lola Loves London

“lola has”
Lola Has Something 2 Say!

Linky Thursday – 4/17

What to Do With a Boss Like Michael Scott: Amusing analysis of Michael Scott, Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch – how he could improve if he were an actual person, what he’s doing wrong in that regard, and why Dunder Mifflin might be keeping him around anyway.

From Farm to Table: Farmers’ Markets: It’s farmers’ market season! Here’s some recipes to get you started.

How to Subscribe to Toilet Paper: Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program lets you schedule automatic deliveries of non-perishible grocery items – cool!

How to Store Parsley, Cilantro, and Other Fresh Herbs: I will try this next time! Mine always get wilty and limpy. (Also recently from Simply Recipes, Blue Cheese Burgers, which I would totally make except GG hates blue cheese.)

Kootsac: I just discovered this Etsy shop! She makes reusable nylon bags you can take to the store to use instead of the plastic bags they provide for bulk foods. I’ve been bringing my own shopping bags to the store with me, but I love this idea of going even one step further in reducing plastic bag waste.

Our Cats are HUGE!

We took Ivan and Katrina to the vet last night for their annual check-up and shots. I always worry about how we’re going to get Ivan in the carrier, but then he ends up just sitting like a lump and I can scoop him up and get him in there. They both hate riding in the car, though. They howled the whole way there.

When we pulled up at the vet’s office, GG mentioned that the car next to us looked like his mom’s car. He looked inside and decided it was. We went inside, and someone loudly commented what a handsome cat Ivan was. Suddenly one of the exam room doors opened, and there was GG’s mom! “I heard someone talk about a handsome cat, and I knew you were here!” She had her FIV+ cat Charles, who hasn’t been doing too well lately, though he’s certainly perked up since his trip to the emergency vet a week ago. He has the best little personality, too. Anyway, she sees the same vet as us now since we told her how great they are.

So when it was our turn, they examined Ivan first, and then Katrina. Ivan would not come out of the carrier, he was so terrified! (I guess he remembers the last time he was at the vet, when they had to poke his bladder with a syringe to get a urine sample out of him.) At his last check-up, he was 19 lbs and the vet said to watch it because at 20 lbs they can start having health problems. So GG and I were kind of betting on how much he would weigh this time. GG said, 20, I said 21. Turns out he’s 21.7 lbs! Holy cow! And Katrina was 16.3 lbs, a weight gain of over 2 lbs since her last visit! How is this happening? They actually have less food available to them now, plus there’s a third cat they’re competing with for food – you’d think they would lose weight. The vet said not to worry, though, I’m doing everything I can, and indoor cats just tend to gain weight. I guess we can try exercising them more… (Laser pointer?)

Also, Ivan has a cavity in one of his back teeth, but she said the gum around it looked fine, so she preferred not to do anything right now. They’ll check it again when he goes back next year. But in the meantime, I should watch for him tilting his head, dropping food, or rubbing that side of his face, which could indicate that it’s getting worse or hurting him.

Since I guessed closer on Ivan’s weight, the vet said GG should take me out to dinner. So we dropped the kitties off at home and then went to Bennigan’s. By the time we got back, they seemed to have forgiven us :o)