Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who Was That Masked Bandit?

So it's Saturday night and I'm sitting on the couch watching Two and a Half Men reruns and crocheting on a new project (yeah, no date. Amazing, huh?) when I hear noise at the cat door. I look over expecting to see Sam, but no--there's a new kid in town.

The pic was taken with my cell phone during his second entrance. The first time he stopped halfway through the dining room and just looked at me while I stared at him in surprise. By the time I could form a coherent thought, he'd turned and fled.

I think this solves the mystery of why the cat food is disappearing so quickly, and likely why the water bowl is so dirty every morning.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Didn't Really Need a Test to Know the Results

Thanks to a link over on Mudflats today, I found myself taking the Nerd Test. I scored 66%, Becci scored 59%, and my boss came in at 34% (I think he fudged some of his answers!)

Then there was Nerd Test 2.0. Becci thinks she's hot because she's a "Cool High Nerd". Here's news for her: High Nerd outranks Cool High! She outscored me on math and technology, but I scored higher everywhere else. (Is that really something to brag about?? At least I didn't immediately post the results on my MySpace! Just my blog.... D'oh!) says I'm a High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Ice Baby--Too Cold!

Everything is covered in ice outside. It'd be pretty if it weren't so damned cold and I didn't have to be at work.

That's one of the problems with being a manager and working in the industry that I do. The "show" must always go on. The office has to be opened so the phones can be answered and reports must be generated so tomorrow can happen. And that's just our department. We can't just shut down because of the weather even when all the schools and government offices are closed.

On days like this my morning begins really early. I monitor road conditions and prep myself to head to work early in case the person scheduled to open can't make it. I really worry about something happening to one of my employees on days like this (not to mention our delivery force.) I just wouldn't be able to live with myself if something happened to one of them on their way to work. I'll take the responsibility of getting here on time and let them get here as they can.

But I do have to fight off panic. It's not an easy task. I've been in two accidents caused by icy conditions. I managed to hold it together while driving this morning, but as soon as I got into the office, I had to take a few minutes to get the shaking to stop. (I've always been one of those people who falls apart after the disaster.)

Now that everyone has made it safely to work, I'm ready to go home and go back to bed. But right now that would involve driving on icy roads again. Thankfully this is Texas, so the ice should be gone by noon. I just have to stay awake until then.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Real Stick Up His Butt

It's been a while since the boys pulled something new. These three furrballs have gotten into so much that it's almost impossible to for them to do anything I haven't seen before. I mean, these are the cats who have napped in the fireplace, gotten locked up in the attic, gotten into fights with stray cats inside the house, and stuck on the roof (not to mention the broken dishes, poop, vomit, and other disasters.)

But last night was definitely a new one. Tommy came running into the bedroom with Sam following close behind. I thought Sam was just picking on Tommy in his usual fashion, but no. He was trying to catch something that was stuck to Tommy's rear end. Sam's got OCD, and once he's fixated on something, it's almost impossible to distract him from it. So it took me a bit to get rid of him and get Tommy to stop and let me see what was going on.

That cat had somehow managed to sit down on top of a two-foot long branch from a rose bush. And with the long hair, the thorns tangled up in the hair on his butt. His hair's so thick he probably never felt a thing.

I really, really wish I had gotten a picture. But I admit I was laughing too hard. He couldn't walk without the end of the branch hitting something. I really wish I'd seen him coming through the cat door with that thing sticking out sideways! And of course, the more he moved, the more tangled the thorns became. I tried tugging on it, but that thing was not letting go! So, just to keep Sam away from it, I snipped the stick short and snipped a few smaller bits in his hair just to make sure he had full movement. It's going to take a bit to work those thorns and tangled hair out. And let me tell you, cats DO NOT like it when you use scissors near their sensitive bits!

I got home from work and found Tommy sacked out on the bed with the two short pieces of stick beside him. He must have spent all day getting those things out of his fur. Thank goodness he saved me from having to do it!

Monday. Dang.

I was just starting to enjoy the weekend and now it's over. Of course, I was home sick on Friday, so that added a day to my weekend, but it doesn't really count when you can't stray far from the little girl's room or the bed. And the weather on Friday was gorgeous! I managed to open the bedroom window, so I did get to enjoy a small portion of it. Now it's back to cold. Plus they've added rainy and winter weather advisory to the mix. I hate weather.

Feeling better--at least well enough to go out and spend some money yesterday--and of course am back to work today. Bleh. Same old stress. Same old feeling of ever-encroaching burnout. I so need a vacation. I don't care if I just sit at home for a week, I just need to get out of this office! I am sick and tired of this blasted system update that has dragged on for over a year now and we aren't even halfway through all the rounds of testing. The thought of having to repeat all the steps and tests three more times makes me want to vomit. Even worse are the meetings. Oh My God! Can we work instead of talking about it again???? (Not the mention the fact that since the beginning I've requested NO MEETINGS on TUESDAYs because I have other work that MUST be done. Guess what--4 hour meeting tomorrow! *bang head on desk*)

So, I'm at the point of wanting to turn my car around and head back home every morning before I even get here. I wake up trying to find reasons not to come into the office that day. Forget motivation--just wait out the hours until 5 o'clock. Yep, a vacation is definitely in order.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photo Essay Wednesday

Here's just a few pics of some of the stuff I've been working on at home. I've mentioned them in past posts and thought one or two of you might like a follow-up.

Picture #1
New siding:
We couldn't get the exact same siding, so this has to do. Am thinking I need to redo at least the entire front of the house to match. This is it after painting. No more rotted boards!
Picture 2:
Bob the "stray" dog. Haven't seen him in a few days, but I took his pic while we were hanging out.
Pictures 3-5:
The craft room. Finished at last! I found the table and two wooden chairs this past weekend at a flea market and a garage sale, respectively. Now I just need to get that green paint off the enamelware tabletop and repaint the chairs. (The director's chair is something I've had since high school--never let it be said I let anything go!)

Note the chalk portraits of the furrballs on the closet doors. I love chalkboard paint! I'm not sure Tommy's thrilled with his likeness, though (see photo below.) He had to oversee the final placement of furniture and cleaning of the room.
Next we have the sign on the door. Every good witch needs one of these! I made this one night before Halloween.
And last, here's my latest really cute find:
My patio and front walk are filled with turtles (and just so you know--the cat came to me named Turtle. I didn't give him that moniker!) so when I found this little guy and his bunny buddy, I couldn't resist. Plus, I got it at Ross!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a Brand New Day

It's cold outside, but who cares? We're swearing in a new president today! Hip Hip Hooray!

Obama made a lot of promises. Will he be able to keep them? I honestly think he will do his best to fulfill them, but he has to traverse the shark-infested waters of the Senate and the House in order to get anything done. Here's hoping that those groups will think more about the good of the nation rather than political favors.

Ah, hope. Strange feeling, isn't it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's Only... Six More Hours Until the Weekend!

I woke up feeling pretty good this morning (Hot and sweating, thanks to the pile of furrballs, but otherwise good.)

I got up early, ate some breakfast, fed Turtle breakfast in bed (yeah, spoiled, I know, but it's easier to feed him in the bedroom where I can lock Sam out.) The old cat actually polished it all off, which makes me think he's not actually on his last leg, although those legs are getting pretty skinny. He's 17 now and with just the one good eye, he's needing a lot more TLC. Plus, he's just not handling the cold weather very well at all. So if it takes feeding him from a plate on the bed every day in order to get him to eat while Sam tries to shred the doorframe, then that's what I'll do. I will have to draw the line when he demands the newspaper and remote, though.

I got to work and immediately sank back into the funk that had overtaken me before I threw in the towel yesterday. This would be thanks to a voicemail from someone who thinks I need a primer in what is going on every time she contacts me. Slamming the phone really didn't help. I just can't understand how someone can be so stupid as to think I'm that stupid!

Anyway, whatever. Deep breaths and go to my happy place. I am deliberately not responding to the phone call until later today. For now, it's crossword puzzle time and counting down to lunch. Thank goodness it really is Friday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cat Nap Thursday

Now that I've taken the afternoon off, I can turn my attention to topics other than my frustration with work. I need to get in a few updates on Old Fart, Big Fluffy, and Turds for Brains (that would be Turtle, Tommy, and Sam, respectively.)

As I type, Sam fights for attention. Now that Tommy's come into the room, he's decided to get attention from him. For the past few days Sam's really been pushing the envelope on good behavior. When I walked into the kitchen this morning, I discovered that someone had chewed into the brand new bag of bread I bought yesterday. This is on top of the sack of cat food that was broken into and the two days in a row that cat food somehow ended up in the water bowl. Not to mention the fact that he'd rather eat Turtle's special senior cat food rather than his own canned food and believes that he has every right to jump onto the kitchen counter whenever he feels like it. If it weren't for the moments of extreme cuteness, he'd be homeless.

Speaking of homeless, I'm still trying to decide whether or not the little dog I keep seeing in my neighborhood needs a place to live. He's wearing a collar, but he's skin and bones, and he's wandering the streets in the middle of the day. Last Friday I was out painting the new siding on the house when he showed up. He just sat and watched me for a while, and of course, I started talking to him. I guess he decided I was harmless, because next thing I knew, there was a chihuahua mix pup all over me. He's really sweet! At one point he even walked right into the house and acted like he belonged there. I started calling him Bob. (Yep, I'm a sucker for a furry face and a sob story.) He wandered back down the street after a while and I haven't seen him since. I really hope he's safe and warm.

Last night I had the weirdest dream. I was at my high school reunion and for some reason I kept trying to push a hood off my head, but even in my dream I wasn't wearing a hood! It was really annoying and I couldn't figure out why something was on my head. Well, I figured it out--when I woke up I found myself cuddled up with a cat bed.

I'd put it on the bed last night in the hopes of encouraging Turtle to sleep in it rather than on top of me. Obviously it didn't work and I was the one sleeping in it. Thankfully I can say that's the weirdest thing I've ever woken up with.

The day really turned around as soon as I decided to take a breather. I was even able to grab an appointment with my hairdresser to get a long overdue haircut. Now I think I'll snuggle up with the furrballs and take a nap!

Calgon, Take Me Away!

It really is too bad that I can't blog about work. I'd have some really great shit to share if I didn't have to worry about confidential information and getting fired and all that shit.

But I just cannot resist the urge to make the following observation: Corporations as a whole are stupid. There might be a few geniuses hiding in some cubicles, but overall, they're a bunch of effin' morons. The reason for this is the mere fact that each individual knows his or her job, maybe their department, but no one knows what's happening in the company as a whole, and very few bother to think outside the parameters of their job description. It's a situation that will NEVER change!

I've lost count as to how many times I've had to explain the exact same thing to a certain convenience store's corporate offices this week. I cannot take it anymore. I should start charging them per email and phone call. Maybe I should just keep resending the same email--it would save me hours of having to retype the exact same information.

I'm ready to go bowling. I need to throw something at something. Plus I'm thinking it's going to have to be a half mental health day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Non Sequiturs

So I have discovered my purpose at work--providing snarky comebacks to my coworkers for their emails. Not that they ever actually use them, but they like them. I guess I'm really the comic relief. Especially when they walk past my office window and see me actually trying to rip out my hair whilst I labor through yet another endless conference call.

My friend Stacy is in the hospital fighting a staph infection. In fact, she's in the process of being transferred to another hospital in the hopes that they can do more for her. She's been in for two weeks and while she hasn't gotten worse, she hasn't gotten any better. Here's hoping things will finally get better and she can get back home to my godchildren.

Becci and I went bowling today at lunch. She did about average, I just averaged bad. Out of 4 games, I could barely get my score over 100 for two of them and managed to crawl over 90 for the other two. Bleh. Honestly, we should have waited until after my conference call. I'm still ticked off enough that I could have thrown a perfect game. (With all the little pins named after people who ticked me off!)

My friend Bettina had her house broken into yesterday. Evidently the felons waited for her to leave before they knocked in the front door, which we are all thankful for--who knows what could have happened if she had been home. They got away with a couple TVs, DVRs, the XBox, her jewelry box and a few other things. Her son discovered the break-in when he came home from school. Luckily he was smart enough not to go into the house and went to the neighbor's instead and called his mom. I can't imagine coming home to something like that. Here's hoping they invest in a good security system! I should send her my cute salesman!

I have a story from last Friday regarding a family member and the ongoing adventures of her husband's travails around the house. (I'll keep the names out in order to protect the guilty.) Seems their electricity went out that morning while they were getting ready for work and in their search for flashlights he remembers he left one up in the attic. Well, my cousin was getting their baby dressed when she heard a loud crash from the living room. She goes out to see what happened, and you guessed it, he took a wrong step and crashed through the ceiling. Luckily, he did not fall to the floor, but he had a heck of a job getting all of that repaired.

The Leg Magic machine is working. It is causing me pain. So something must be happening. I just really hope I start seeing results instead of just feeling results soon!

I've been at work five days straight with two more to go, have been sleeping through the Daily Show, and too busy to read Huffington Post, so my political knowledge is a bit behind, but I did see that the Adolf Hitler kid and his siblings were removed from their home. No news as to why just yet, but it is certain it was for more than just their parents' choice of names.

All right. I have now managed to write about 7 totally unrelated items in one blog. And yes, I did spell "sequitur" correctly. It just looks weird.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weight Loss Inspiration

Here's a good, um, representation of why I need to lose some weight--

Because I look like this in the nude:

Minus the ray gun and trunk-like nose, that is. (That would be Nudar, the nudist alien who led a takeover of Earth in Bender's Big Score--for you non-Futurama fans.)

I think I'll post this on the refrigerator for inspiration.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Can't Breathe in These Pants

OK, it's a new year, and I can't deny the fact that I've dragged something into this one that I would happily have left behind in the last one--a fat ass. And fat thighs, not to mention the belly. A veritable farm--nay, plantation--of cellulite has sprung up down there. I now weigh 30 pounds more than I would like. I've outgrown my underwear and I saw a picture of myself with extra chins. Ick.

So what am I going to do about it? I'd like to ditch my size 10s and get back to those sixes that are hanging about in my closet taking up space and taunting me.

I'd like to say that I'm going to start exercising and eating right. But that's the same thing everyone else is saying right now, aren't they? Let's face it, I've still got a buttload of chocolate and popcorn (Oh, Dale and Thomas! You're goodies aren't good for me!) from the holiday waiting to be consumed. Should I chunk it all and let my OCD spin out of control at the thought of all the money I just dumped in the trash, or should I consume it and move on from there? Neither's a good plan.

Can I say that I've been eating more? No. In fact, I've cut back on going out to eat. What's happened is stress, too many hours sitting at my computer, and lack of exercise. And of course, too many excuses to not exercise and eat better. Shame, shame on me.

So, Becci and I were talking on Friday. We're both unhappy with the state of our midsections. What we're going to do is go back to bowling every day during our lunch hour. It will help us exercise as well as help our scores. I promise to actually use the Leg Magic machine I got at Christmas, and take more walks as the weather permits. (OK, that "weather permits" part is vague--I could opt out of that one too easily, like today when it's 34 degrees out there.)

I'm thinking of doing the Bridget Jones Diary method--keeping a written log of what I eat. Right now I'd be too embarrassed to post such a thing online. But maybe I need to. The shame alone would help motivate me, right? If I'm craving a hamburger and large fries, I should stop and consider--how would this look on the blog? The shame would hopefully lead me back to the salad bar.

Well, I'll let you know how it goes. Or you just might start getting a peek at my daily menu. Prep yourselves--it won't be pretty.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bow Down Before It

I was cleaning the kitchen last night and after moving piles of discarded plastic grocery sacks, Hershey Kiss wrappers and empty pizza boxes, I made an archaeological find--there's this magic box that makes food hot! Does anyone else know about this?!?! If you put a pan of water on top of it and turn it on, the water starts to bubble. Amazing!

OK, I admit it, I'm no chef. I'm a microwaver with some rudimentary baking skills. (Just check out this post for an example!) In my opinion, if it doesn't come in a box from the freezer, then there's not much point in me messing with it. I prefer popping something in the nuke box or the oven and walking away until the timer goes off. Having to stand over the stove and stir, grate, stir, chop, stir, blah blah blah, stir, simmer, stir, just leaves me desiring a trip to Sonic.

But, except for a few ice trays and smoothie mixers, the freezer is currently rather bare. So I had to go spelunking in the cabinet and uncover a box of mac and cheese. (Thanks to a high utility bill this month plus the money I spent during the holidays, it looks like I'm going to be eating a lot of mac and cheese.)

Purpose of this post? I can't really find one. Purpose of Joe the Plumber getting a job as a foreign correspondent? Even less. It's just a desperate attempt at extending his fifteen minutes of "fame." And depressing to those of us who went to school to learn about reporting the news.

I need to run my journalism degree through the shredder. Or maybe I'll fry it up and eat it with a nice sauce.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It Had to End Sometime

Yes, my freedom from database access has ended. The mysterious IT wizard waved his magic data stick and banished the demons from my hard drive. Dang. I guess this means I have to work. I did win the prize for having the most infected files, though.

All right, I have to take a second to plug a company here. Too bad I'm not getting any kickbacks for doing this, but Dale and Thomas Popcorn is, ummmm, well, WOW, is really the only word I can find to accurately describe my reaction to them. Their Frosted Gingerbread popcorn is unbelievable. Who would have ever thought to make popcorn taste like gingerbread? Oh My Gawd! So far I have also tried their White Cheddar & Black Peppercorn flavor and it is just as great! My sample box still has four other flavors I have yet to open--Almond Biscotti, Peanut Butter & White Chocolate, Cinnamon Creme, and Hall of Fame Kettle Corn. I'm afraid that if I open up any more packets right now I won't stop stuffing my face until the paramedics have to pry kernels from my windpipe in order to perform CPR.

If you feel the need to take your popcorn consumption up 12 steps, visit these guys at and check out the many flavors. I found out about them thanks to an insert in a DVD I got for Christmas, so that gift has jumped up several notches on the "happy I got it" scale. (And guys, if you should just so happen to stumble across this little ol' blog, I wouldn't mind taste testing some of your Dark Fudge with Praline Almonds or the Chocolate Chunk and Caramel. *innocent flutter of lashes*)

OK, product plug is over. Back to work!

This New Year Smells Just Like the Old One

Here's some advice: don't leave leftover food in your office garbage when you're going to be away for a few days. P-Yew! That sour cream I enjoyed with my quesadillas the other day didn't age so well.

So, it's the sixth day of a new year. The only thing that's changed is the date. I still have a desk piled high with work and deadlines that are causing a ginormous headache. Not to mention the fact that my computer got infected with malware and shut down my access to the database I need to be testing. So work is pretty much on hold until the IT guy gets here and fixes it! Yay. Can I go home? I really hate having to sneak in computer time at someone else's desk just to get database access. Not to mention the fact that I don't have my email or documents when I'm at someone else's computer. Seriously, can I just go home?

Spent New Year's with my nephew. I made it until midnight, wished him Happy New Year, and hit the sack. He wasn't tired, so I left him to play with his Nintendo DS. (My only instructions were don't leave the house, don't cook anything, and don't set anything on fire.) He didn't go to sleep until well after the sun was up. Yes, around 11 o'clock he was getting pretty quiet, said he was feeling dizzy, and then he passed out asleep. Mountain Dew and chocolate can drive a kid a long way.

Hope you all had a pleasant Christmas , your new year is advancing swimmingly, and that your garbage smells much fresher than mine!