Friday, June 29, 2007

And the theme for the night was ... disappointment

Ever paid for something, to be somewhere and while you’re there you are mentally adding up in your head how many people paid to be there and what there must be in the bank account of the event group? Ever then start adding up what the cost of the event was and see a giant discrepancy and want to gouge your eyeballs out due to sheer anger?

Oh, hi, did I mention my class reunion was last weekend?

The theme was pirates of the Caribbean – which I can only assume they came up with after buying this cheap treasure chest from Oriental Trading Company which sat on the check in table. NOTHING ELSE was piratey or Caribbeany. The theme for the night should have been disappointment.

I’m not saying I want this job in 10 years, but I am saying I could have done a much better job. I have a few issues with the way things went down. And they’re kind of rambly because I just typed as I thought of them.

First of all, there should have been a breakdown of the cost for the afternoon event and the evening event, if you chose to attend just 1 of the 2 you should only have to pay for the one you attended. Second of all, you should not be able to show up and pay at the door. There should be a deadline to RSVP, you cannot plan an event based on an unknown number of attendees. A monetary surplus is inexcusable, because this is not a for profit deal. And those who paid ahead should have pictures on their name tags, and those who didn't should not - not the other way around.

Why did we fill out those little forms about what we’re up to? Why weren’t there awards? Most kids? Most successful? Living furthest from “home”? Ehh – I need more time to ruminate, but I could have come up with a good 10 or so awards. Why was there not more than plastic trays of food? For the amount of money we paid, there should have been more decent catering. I’m not saying there had to be a sit down meal, but it could have been actually catered – like we were told it would be. Why was there not a cash bar? Nothing says “classy” like hauling a cooler in while dressed in cocktail attire.

What’s going to happen to the pictures taken that night? Are they available for purchase? He certainly didn’t take the time to photo graph each person, so it’s not like I would buy a huge set of photos. Is there a scrapbook being put together somewhere? Will it be at the next reunion? What’s the point? What about the DVD? Who the hell is going to watch a DVD of their 10 year reunion? Totally unnecessary.

What happened to all the questions about what giveaways should be? There were no giveaways. There were 2 items in the drawing at the end of the night, one was a digital picture frame which was fine and the other was a picture frame mat. Whose idea was it to have everyone sign a picture frame mat and give that away? What is anyone going to do with that? Should I have a picture of my class hanging in my house somewhere? I highly doubt it.

They need to publish a ledger now. I realize that some people paid as little as $35/head, and some paid as much as $55/head. I really am interested to see what was spent where. And what the balance in the account is at this time.

I compare this event to a wedding, only because by my own estimation about 100 or so people attended. 100 people at an average of $45/head – is $4500 they had to work with. Take a wedding reception, replace nuptials with awards, adjust the cost of the flowers into the awards, and you have a much better reunion for roughly the same price. I know it can be done. I’ve been personally involved in at least 2 of similar cost.

Beyond my disappointment for not getting what I paid for, I saw people that I hadn’t seen in a long time, I talked to a few people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise seen again. But it felt very much like high school, where the people you see anyway are the people you’re sitting with all evening long. I know I was not the only one who was disappointed.

The Modernish Father has a pretty good wrap up of the night.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yea Boo

I started my new job Monday. Since I was coming back to a company I previously worked for, I did not have to attend the safety training and sexual harassment training, so HR released me and I threw my department manager’s schedule off. It’s such a relief to be somewhere that they actually have work for me. I’ve already done more work here than I did in the past 6 weeks at my old job. And it feels great; it’s exactly why I had to leave. Although, apparently I’m not smart enough to program my speed dial buttons on my phone.

Oh, and I’m wearing jeans today – at work – on a Thursday (and also Tuesday and Wednesday) – and I didn’t have to pay for the privilege. I may actually get to finally retire my maternity clothes (and therefore prevent any future Kris Kross incidents.)

I also had my first and second day of my Legal/Ethics class, for which the teacher was 45 minutes late – he thought it started at 5:30 and was only 15 minutes late, and I parked in a parking garage that I thought was going to cost me $10.50, and I about had a heart attack after I read that sign, but had no way to get out – but thank goodness they validate parking. Also, I discovered their weird system by which I can leave the 7th floor to go to my truck on the 5th floor, but if I - and I'm just hypothetically talking here - say forgot my cell phone and parking ticket (with validation) in a bathroom stall on the 7th floor, I have to then go down and get the security guard to let me back up on the 7th floor. Not that that happened to me or anything.

Meanwhile, Clint spent his first and second evening alone with Landon. He had said on Sunday that he was going to do some laundry and try and clean up a little too…and I laughed and laughed. And he thought I was being mean. I got home Monday night and he had very wide eyes, and he said “I didn’t get anything else done!” And I said “I told you so.” But he did it and they both survived, just like I knew they would.

This has been a week of ups and downs, so I thought we’d play the yea/boo game…ready…

I started working at Mustang … yea!

I forgot some of the stuff I needed for my direct deposit … boo!

They let me out of nearly half the orientation because I’d already had the training … yea!

I can’t figure out how to program my speed dial buttons on my phone … boo!

They actually have work for me to do … yea!

The commute is longer … boo!

The commute is not as bad as I thought it would be … yea!

We had a sewer back up in our house … boo!

When the guys came to investigate that, they also made note of the water main leak in front of our house … yea!

They did not fix it … boo!

But they’re going to … yea!

Our baby sitter’s air conditioner is broken … boo!

I found out my results from my PE exam … yea!

I did not pass … boo!

I know what I need to work on for next time … yea!

I was so close it made me madder than if I had totally bombed it … boo!

And to end on a yea…in talking with the people in my current class, the class I’m going to register for in August will most assuredly make and I will be able to register to take the inspectors exam…yea!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Change of Scenery

I quit my job.

Yesterday was my last day.


Relax - I start somewhere else doing almost exactly the same thing on Monday.

But I thought it might be prudent to show you the things that made me wonder about my current..former...workplace.

This is the only sign on the escalator that make a reference to bare feet, because the people on the third floor were always taking off their shoes and driving their vacuums on the escalators.

Someone taped an obituary to the wall by the water fountain. Maybe they worked here, but really? Taped to the wall? By the water fountain?

Oh, and as a special bonus; I get to attend my 10 year class reunion - technically unemployed!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kris Kross

Maybe it’s because I didn’t get enough sleep that night.

I had been at work a mere 3 hours. I had been dressed for 4 hours by the time I needed to go to the bathroom.

At which point I discovered…my pants were on backwards. And NO ONE TOLD ME.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hippie Chick / Small Change Challenge #5

This month’s challenge is to get out there and clean up a local park or playground. I’m going to twist this into “do something for the environment.” We pretty much never go to the park or a playground. For one thing, my non-walking child doesn’t really mesh with the playground equipment that’s available. And his tolerance for being in the stroller doesn’t even last long enough to walk down to the park, much less around it or back from it.

I stumbled across a blog a while back. It’s extreme. It’s about a guy and his wife and toddler who live in NYC and they’re spending a year doing an experiment by which they try to live with no net impact to the environment. Knowing that they will have some impact no matter what, for those things they do proactive things for the environment – replanting trees, etc. So they’re going in phases, reducing trash, not buying new items (except food), buying locally grown food, going vegetarian, not using electricity (his laptop is powered by a solar cell). They’re in NYC, so giving up the car is easier for them.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about what I do and used to do for the environment. When I first started caring about the environment I started with cutting up those plastic rings that 6-packs come in. I made everyone in our family napkin rings and we used cloth napkins. I also made my parents start recycling. They still recycle, but have given up the cloth napkins.

And coming full cycle, I’m now trying to figure out what change I can make to help the environment now.

So I brought out the cloth napkins. Hey, guess what, I’m finally using one of my wedding presents, Thank you nonsoccermom and Modernish Father!!! We already plan errands to conserve drive time. I already don’t litter, and I already do what I can to conserve water. So technically with the bringing out of the cloth napkins I’ve already completed this challenge.

Our city also has a recycling program, where we can bring in items to drop off. And eventually I’d like to do that, but for now, I don’t have the time or energy to do it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I will soon have no excuse

In October of 2005 Clinton bought me a GPS. So I could go geocaching. [Link to] I thought it would be a neat way to accidentally get some exercise without mentioning to my body what I was technically up to (because it totally shuts down when it hears the word, so keep it down). I had a wonderful time doing the geocaching right up until I got pregnant and fell asleep for 9 months. And then for the past 7 months, I’ve been all “oh the pool is too cold” and “it’s raining” and “I can’t hold him AND the GPS.”

Well, I’m out of excuses now, because the pool is warm enough, the motor is fixed. And we bought a float that he sits in and I use as a kickboard. And he’s big enough to put in the back position in the carrier for geocaching. And for Mother’s day, I got a kickstand and a seat for him and a helmet for him for my bike.

(He didn't care much for the helmet and spent his entire first bike ride desperately trying to take it off.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Retail Therapy

Ever been upset and someone suggests you spend money? Yeah, cause if I’m upset, what I need to do it go out and spend money that I probably need to pay a bill, so I will be sadder when the bill comes in and I can’t afford it and they shut off my electricity and I die. What? Too dramatic?

Ok fine, I just don’t understand retail therapy. I have never felt better after buying stuff, much less stuff I don’t need, much less expensive stuff I don’t need.

And so, my apologies to the salespeople and other customers for melting into a puddle of goo on the floor of Best Buy last weekend when I discovered that my coveted laptop had been $150 cheaper the day before. I did not mean to stain your shoes. Oh and kudos to whoever’s fine idea it was to change the prices, but not remove last week’s sale prices so I would know that. I get that your computer wasn’t working or whatever and you had to handwrite the prices, but you could have cut off the old price from the old tag.

Never have I spent so much money on something I could neither sit in or on.

I don’t know why Clinton appointed last weekend as “Laptop or Die” weekend. I don’t know why I went along with it. I certainly didn’t need it yet. And now, I’m afraid to touch it. I have had it almost a week, and I have yet to touch it more than to verify that it does turn on and what programs I may need.

Eventually I'll get used to it, I know, and eventually, I'll have an internet connection and I can post my blog from it and I will be able to post more often, but I'm not promising I will, I'm just saying I could.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Body Part Donation

I already blogged about the bone marrow donation, and how they were going to send me a kit.

I did something else too.

I did this:

I’ve been losing my hair – apparently there’s post partum hair loss, yet another side effect I had no knowledge of and was not experiencing until someone mentioned it. So I decided I should cut it for Locks of Love. I made the decision to do it about a month ago, I decided to do it in August. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how much damage I was going to cause it by being in the pool all summer. This weekend provided the perfect culmination of events. Clint’s cousin Shelly sometimes cuts hair at family functions. I would ask if she would cut mine. I didn’t tell anyone but Clint and Clint, being that he’s been begging me to cut my hair for like 83,000 years now, immediately flipped open his phone to call and ask if she would be cutting hair and if she’d do mine. I also wanted to make sure she’d be ok with the long cut. Some hairdressers don’t want to do it. She said she’d love to. And I still didn’t mention it to anyone. At least not until a couple hours prior.

Anyway – I’m pretty happy with the result:

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Monthly Newsletter #8

Dear Landon,

I saw you do it for the first time 3 days ago, you didn’t really want to, it seemed like more of an effort than it was worth to you, but you did do it, so I know you can. Oh sure, you put forth the effort to appear to be crawling, you lay on your tummy pull your knees up under you, rock back and forth, then put your legs out behind you again and flail your knees about, grabbing the floor with your grubby little palms, you pull forward ala an army man. But you have no real interesting in being on your hands and knees, you prefer standing. You prefer standing so much, that you may just walk before you crawl and all I can say is “PLEASE DON’T!”

We finally had your border put up in your bedroom. We had to pay someone else to do it, because apparently we’re too dumb to put up a stinkin’ border. Actually according to the lady we hired, we were lied to about what extra glue we should put on it. We were lied to by people who SELL wallpaper…it’s their job to know what to put on it to make it stick and they said, “Here use this chewing gum.” Anyway, it’s up, and it’s cute. We have a new rocking chair we still haven’t put together, and your toys are more or less uncontained in your room. And at this rate, your nursery might be finished in time for you to move on to college. I hope I can still lift you over the crib rail by then.

This has been a month of road trips. Can I just ask up front that you tell me what exactly we need when we go on these trips? Quite frankly, I’m tried of over-packing. Can you tell in advance that you will not be as hungry as usual? Or that this will be the one time we take a trip where I don’t need the nasal aspirator? Or that you’re going to actually go a full day without a second or third change of clothes?

We went to Lake Limestone for an overnight; you had your first dip in a lake. You were a little concerned that the water wasn’t as clear as your pool, but you quickly decided that was ok, and maybe it should be tasted anyway. You splashed around a lot. And you nearly worried Scarlett to death, since she couldn’t get to you and why would you even go out so far as that anyway? “Float, Schmoat, and I don’t really care if Mom was right there beside you, sometimes a dog has to check on her hairless puppy, and you know I don’t swim.” You were supposed to start fruits this month, and you did have your first taste of watermelon, which you prefer to suck on from the rind. You loved what was essentially watermelon flavored sugar water. In the real business of introducing foods, we tried applesauce, and everyone said once you tasted fruit you wouldn’t eat vegetables, and that’s not exactly true, you’ll still eat the vegetables, but you have to have them first in the meal.

This month will forever go down in history as the teething month from hell. You having been trying to pop 14 bazillion teeth out of your poor little gums for so long, it’s hard to remember the last day you got to go with out Tylenol or Motrin. Your pain varies from “eh…something is bothering me” to “someone must be trying to pull my toenails out with pliers.” I’m trying my hardest not to over medicate you, but the toenail scream deserves something I think.

We also went to Gun Barrel, where your grandfather had bought a wagon. Your father and I worked to put it together, and probably would have been more successful if they had actually included all the parts you need. Or at least made them look like they do in the drawings. Also, they should include a couple extra of the small parts, since, deck boards are not the most forgiving place to be dropping 10 mm washers, or lock washers or tiny tiny hub cabs. We also put the screws that hold the wooden slats on backwards, but we did it on purpose and there was method to our madness, we didn’t want you scratching yourself up on them while sitting in the wagon.

This weekend, we went to your Great Uncle John’s Memorial service. We stayed in a hotel Friday night, it was you first time in a hotel. We met up with your Aunt Kathleen and her clan and went to the best steakhouse EVAH. Just ask your uncle Austin about it, I’m sure he’ll still be talking about it in 10 years.

The memorial service was nice, the lake was pretty and people said a lot of nice things about Uncle John. I wish you had gotten to know him.

All in all it was a decent month, but I hope you don’t mind if we hermit ourselves up and don’t go anywhere for a while. Between the terrible sleep patterns when we’re not at home and the price of gas right now, I don’t think we can afford to go anywhere anyway.