Category Archives: Money Matters

Let the chips fall where they may.

Despite the wet, cold weather, Thanksgiving at Lake Fork was great. We were trying to figure out when the last time ALL of us kids and our parents were together for a holiday. I don’t think we ever came up with an exact time, but for sure it was more than a decade ago. Add to that all of the nieces and nephews (with the exception of Dilbert’s daughter and her bunch) and it was a madhouse of mayhem, fudge pie, and jailhouse rolls.

Dilbert’s new house was christened with the chaos of its first holiday gathering. It worked out perfectly because there was plenty of room to spread out. Plus RedBaron & fam drove their motorhome out. I think it was their retreat to peace and quiet! Anyway, there was much laughter and silliness, and of course, Texas Hold ‘Em.

Coming back to town and to work was a bit of a drag, but I’m exploring some potentially interesting possibilities. Actually had a job interview today that I think went pretty well. It’s for a position in a different business where I currently work (read where, not for whom). I have until Thursday morning to decide if I want to persue it. The lady I met with wants to make a decision next week and, if I’m game, would consider me on her short list of candidates.

I’ve got a call with GP HR tomorrow. They’ve been circulating my resume internally as well so I want to see what, if anything, they have/can come up with. Plus more followup conversation with my current boss about how he sees my existing role evolving.

Hopefully I’m arming myself with enough information to make smart decisions. And, if nothing else comes of it, I’ve gotten to refresh my interviewing skills and let it be known that I’m open to new opportunities.

Send me down to Tucson…

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. First, a fast trip to New York. I did manage to get out and wander Times Square the night before I left. Neat to see….but it seems like one of those things that, now that you’ve seen it, there’s really no need to go back. Of course, if you were going to a show or something there. But all I really did was walk the streets for a couple of hours and see the sights. My old camera stood in and did a decent job in the hands of a slightly inebriated girl.

The following week I was off to Tucson for work. I learned my lesson last year when I went so made sure I got a rental car this time. Plus I stayed over an extra two nights and made a mini-vacation out of it. I’m so glad I did. It was nice to get away and unwind a bit. Even if unwinding meant that I spent most of that time walking outdoors.

The weather was gorgeous. Sunny and cool. I saw the botanical gardens, the Tucson zoo, the San Xavier Mission, the Arizona Sonora Desert Musuem, and Old Tucson Studios. I meant to blog about these places each night, but I guess I took a vacation from that as well. Samuel L was out of rehab so got to make the trip with me. She’s not perfect, but she’s functioning and doing well so far.

Lots of interesting possibilities coming up at work…we’ll see what happens. I do feel it is time for a change, so am giving things more consideration than I have in the past.

After a good workout and then a yummy lasagna dinner with friends at V’s yesterday (and wine and drinks, a trip to a bar, and IHOP), today is all about being a bum. I was planning to watch a movie but got sucked into a damn philosophy special on QVC. Not that I’m going to buy anything. I’ve weaned myself off of their skincare in favor of my BeautiControl stuff, but I still absolutely love their fragrances and body products.

Alright, enough catching up. I’ll try to keep things more current going forward, but I’m not promising anything.

I want to get away.

And so I shall…tomorrow I leave for my first-ever trip to New York. I’m still not convinced I’ll get to see much of it while I’m there, but I’ll do what I can. I’m charging the battery and dusting off my old Kodak DX6490 as I write this, so at least I’ll have a camera with me.

I think I’ve got everything I need. Went shopping yesterday and got a new suit…my first time ever shopping at the big girl store, but at least I found something that fits nicely and is pretty darn cute while still projecting a professional image. I refrained from using this as an excuse to buy new shoes, although that would’ve been nice. Instead, I get to be me and wear some chunky brown suede heels I already own.

Oh, and I got 6+ inches of hair whacked off. No one ever even notices when I get my hair cut, but this time it is actually different. Not drastically, but noticeable I think. I’ve got bangs. Long-ish ones, but not long enough to tuck behind my ear. That’s driving me a bit crazy, but in weeks, they’ll be long enough I’m sure. And I have layers! I’ve been wanting some but they always tell me my hair is too thin. Apparently not, because I have them now and I like them. My hair isn’t so limp now and actually has a tiny bit of volume.

I’m all packed except for the camera and the laptop. And a few books to set free along the way. Think I’ll find some dinner and get ready to watch the game!

Sunday, bloody Sunday

I have a love/hate relationship with eBay. I keep my distance from it usually, but once I take a peek, I just can’t help myself. This is just one of THREE vintage cameras I bought tonight. If they all work, I’ll be thrice as giddy!

And before anyone gives me a lecture on how I’m broke and not supposed to be spending any money….I realized I had a balance in my Paypal account from some old auctions I ran. So that paid for them.

I like it like that!

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

RE: United States v. Defendant(s) Cxxxxxx Nxxxxx Hardaway

This notice provides information about the above-referenced criminal case.
A trial is scheduled on December 3, 2007, 09:00 AM…..

That’s what I’m talking about! All that fraud paperwork is paying off so far. Turns out there were 6-8 people involved in this check stealing/fraud ring. And multiple FDIC financial institutions. Most of the other defendants changed their plea to guilty after a trial date was set and have sentencing hearings scheduled. Will be interesting to see what happens with this one. All I know is this is the girl my stolen check was made out to and who cashed it, and I wasn’t the only “victim.” Can you say multiple felony charges?!

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US (1)
  • Bank fraud (5)
  • Theft or receipt of stolen mail (2)

I know who I’m rooting for!

He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich.

Note to self: Next time you decide to let your brother take you for a ride in his boat on a 100+ degree day, without a cloud in the sky, even if it is just a quick ride, WEAR SUNSCREEN for crying out loud!!! It’s a wonder I didn’t spontaneously combust.

Was a fun time though. And now Mexigoalie can finally stop asking, “Who the &^%# is Dilbert?!?!”

Their new house is pretty darn sweet. It will be nicer to visit once the weather cools down a bit. 100 degree days just aren’t my bag, baby.

Oh! Speaking of bags. Or pouches. Whatever. I saw my very first, up close and personal kangaroo! TWO of them! In freaking Emory, Texas. Who’d have guessed that?! They were so freaking cute! One was about 3 years old and the other was just over a year old. And they shared a yard with two boxers. I kept wanting the dogs to chase them just to see those roos take off, but the dogs apparently know better. It was fun to see them hop around though. The kangaroos, that is. Not the boxers.

Interesting discussion with the boss this week. A little disconcerting and certainly has me wondering….and, ok, a little bit worried, even though I was told not to be. The not knowing what it all means exactly is going to drive me crazy, but I’m going to take him at his word when he says I’m in demand.

Tomorrow (later today) is the Artists’ Reception for the On My Own Time Art Show at work. We get to pick up our artwork and the winners will be announced. I think the first place in each category goes to the city-wide show at North Park.

Having been one of the volunteers to collect and store the art on drop off day, I have no illusions of winning. Based on what I’ve seen of the others, and of previous years’ winners, the safe, generic, technically correct images seem to be the preference (oh that was tacky of me). And that’s just not me. And I saw a lot of really great entries. But I’m happy to have put something out there. This is the first art show I’ve submitted anything to since I’ve been in Dallas. That’s just silly.

The new flickr group is going well so far. We are doing our first assignment this week, due on Saturday, which is Self Portraits (darn you, Flirt). I haven’t a clue what I’m doing for that yet. But I’m glad to have the excuse to play with Samuel L this weekend.

All I needed was TWO things!

This is why I avoid going into Target, Walgreens, CVS, hell…basically any store.  Tonight I needed to pick up some manilla envelopes to mail the BotB tshirts (a month later…I know!  I know!).  I also needed cigarettes.  So I figured I’d run into Walgreens, where I could get both of the things I needed in one quick stop.

Thirty minutes later, I exited the store with the following:

  • 3 notebooks and 2 sets of dividers for two of my work projects (stuff I could get from the supply room on Monday!)
  • a cool brown leather photo album (for pictures that I’m too lazy to scrapbook…even though I have empty photo albums around here somewhere.)
  • padded envelopes (to mail some books to my fellow bookcrossers)
  • plain envelopes for mailing the shirts
  • a carton of cigarettes
  • a variety pack of brightly colored notebook paper

Why couldn’t I wait until Monday to organize my projects?  And why do I need brightly colored notebook paper?  I have no idea.  It’s wide-ruled.  I don’t even like wide-ruled paper.

Could we please have some rain?

It is so dry and so hot here right now.  My water smells and tastes like dirt and is literally undrinkable.  I can’t even make coffee with it.  Yuck.    I just went outside to get the mail and I swear, it must be close to 100 degrees still!  The news cut-in just confirmed it’s 97 degrees out.  Ugh.

I went out for a smoke break at work this afternoon and didn’t take two puffs before I had to go back in.  The heat is hurting my lungs.   It’s completely miserable. 

I found out why my boss wanted me to keep the first week of November blocked off on my calendar.  Turns out he is sending me to Orlando for 4 days for a learning conference, with topics ranging from developing online content to LMS systems to global learning and a lot more.  He’s going, too, so as soon as the publish the schedule of sessions, we’ll have to figure out who is going to what and that sort of thing.  I’m kind of excited…I’ve never had to travel out of state for work before.

Since this will be after the big 8.9 upgrade, I may tack some travel days on before or after the conference for a little R&R while I’m there.  Not sure how exciting DisneyWorld will be by myself, but I’m willing to find out for the right price.  I need to figure that out soon because I have to get with my other boss to book travel and hotel.  Apparently the hotel tends to fill up fast for this thing.  And I have no idea how my company handles this type of expense.  Hopefully it’s not a reimbursement thing…surely not!

My parents are on an Alaskan cruise this week.  I’m still in shock that they actually did it, along with my mom’s brother, sister, and their spouses.  I hope they are having a blast and taking lots of pictures!

Mama’s got a brand new bag!

In defiance of the ridiculous hours I’ve put in this week, I took the afternoon off today.  Well, I took a couple of hours off and then came home and worked some more.  That customer issue from Monday is still ongoing and the lady behind it is making serious waves.  I think a discussion with my boss is in order because she is expecting things that we cannot, and have never claimed to be able to deliver. 

Anyway, so this afternoon I got to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure at the Red Door Spa.  I don’t think I would ever in my life spend that kind of money to do it again, but since this was a secret shopper thing, I’ll be reimbursed, so it was basically free.  Except for the time it took to fill out their survey online when I got home.  And the 4-5 weeks it will take to get repaid.

It was nice though.  I got their Sea Spa pedicure, complete with a tingly peppermint mask on my feet.  And a pretty dark burgandy color for my toenails that, after the first coat looked frighteningly hot pink.  But luckily the second coat cured that.

The lady talked a little too much for my liking….I just want to relax, not carry on a conversation.  She talked me into a french manicure for my fingernails.  I’ve never had one and since my nails are actually all relatively long right now, I agreed to it.  I’m not sure I like it though.  I just don’t see myself as a french manicure kind of girl.

I stopped by Kohls, too, and picked up a few of their little patio table things that were on clearance.  And….not one, but TWO new purses.  The most amazing part, however, is that I didn’t buy any shoes.  I didn’t even bother to look. 

I desperately need some time away from the computer.  I swear my eyeballs feel like they are on fire lately.  Hopefully this weekend I’ll get a real break and can stay away from it for a few days.  Knowing me, that’s highly unlikely.  Not that I won’t get a break but that I’ll stay off the computer.  😛 

This is Otis. I love Otis.

Ok, so I worked all weekend.  That I was expecting.  What I was NOT expecting was to end up working 13 hours yesterday, having to cancel my plans for the night, and working about 4 hours today.  Damn customers with their damn issues.  Granted, this one came up last week, but I wasn’t working it.  When the lady sent a very irrate email to me, my boss, and a number of other people yesterday, I responded and explained to her what I had already explained to a member of her team last week.  To which she replied that was completely unacceptable.  Um…? 

So I call her and talk through it and she insists it should’ve been fixed last week.  Critical, audit, blah, blah, blah.  And everyone on my team took the day off.  I can handle part of it, but need some stuff from others.  Several phone calls, emails, and hours later, around 10pm, I finally accept that I’m going to have to work today and call it a night for work. 

The really irritating part, aside from the fact that I badly needed those drinks with friends last night, is that these completion issues have been going on for far too long.  I keep saying we need to overhaul the whole process, but instead, one little thing gets fixed.  And probably ends up breaking something else…..which we realize when the next big issue gets escalated.  Ugh.

Anyway.  I just plopped my pajama-covered ass onto the couch and turned on the tv, accepting that this will be how I spend what is left of my day off.  Screw that list of errands.  I’m going to be a complete sloth this afternoon.

And as I’m flipping through the movie channels….JOY!  Rapture!  Pretty in Pink is on HBO (nevermind the fact that I own the dvd).  I love love love this movie.  I can’t possibly be grumpy while watching it. 

Like so many songs, this movie takes me back to my younger years.  I was so in love with Duckie and lamented the fact that I could never meet anyone like him.   My brother and I had the movie soundtrack (on cassette!!  lol) and used to listen to it endlessly.  That led to buying the Psychedelic Furs, and, my favorite band of all time, The Smiths.   I credit this movie for introducing me to them.

So here I lay, on the couch, watching Duckie Dale plant one on Iona.  And quoting every line, since there is no one here to be annoyed by it. 

Of course, I’ll change the channel before Andy goes back to the major appliance at the end.  I hate Blaine.  In MY version, she always stays with Duckie at the prom.

Money, it’s a gas.

I made the right choice in not going to the lake this weekend.  Granted, it would’ve been more fun, but as a result of my staying home, I manged to get a ton of work done yesterday.  I still have more to do today, but I feel a huge weight off of my shoulders already.  Of course, that weight will be replaced with all the other tasks coming in relation to testing, recreating training, and the upgrade itself.  But…it’s nice to breathe a little easier, if only for a day.

I’m trying to get control of my finances.  I’m an online shopaholic.  There’s just something about those lovely packages arriving on my doorstep.  Nevermind the fact that I already have enough philosophy, smashbox, and bare escentuals stuff to open my own store…I have a hard time passing up a deal.  And wouldn’t you know it, philosophy had the TSV on QVC yesterday.   I lead such an exciting life.  Yes, after working more than a full day, I spent my Saturday night with the infamous shopping channel on in the background while I read.  I displayed some restraint, but not enough. 

Anyway, I need to cut my expenses wherever possible if I want to get out from under my debt. A car note would not even be close to an issue if it weren’t for that…and I will be needing to upgrade my transportation soon.  So I’ve just changed my wireless phone plan (I never came close to using up all my “anytime” minutes), found a plan that include the earlier time for night and weekends (that I was currently paying extra for), eliminated the PCS to PCS (because I talk to less than a handful of people who have Sprint), and got rid of that stupid insurance they talked me into with my new phone last year.  Should result in about a $25 savings per month over my previous plan. 

Now I need to get to work on my cable tv & internet pricing.  I’m considering ditching the HBO for awhile.  I rarely have time for it anyway and, besides, that’s what Netflix is for!  And that, I will NOT live without.

Zut alors!

Well it is official.  I’m going to miss Cat’s big 4th of July bash at the lake for the first time.  It sucks and I’m bummed about it. 

But, I’ve got to keep my job.  And since this is MY project, it’s not like I can run away for the weekend and put it off any longer.  Testing starts, worldwide, on Monday, whether I’m ready for it or not.  So I’ll spend the weekend making damn sure I’m ready.

I dug my hole.  I made my bed.  I had my cake.  However you want to say it, it’s poor time management skills on my part, mixed with a little too much faith in others.  There has just been entirely too much going on lately.  Hell, I’ve had the first 2 discs of the final season of QAF here since Tuesday and haven’t even been able to touch them.  That’s just…wrong.

I’m hopeful I’ll at least find some time to drive over to downtown Garland Saturday evening for one of the 3-part city of Garland celebrations.  Might be some good photo ops there with the little street fair going on and such.  And, of course, there’s that nighttime Plaza Theatre shot I want still.

A quick update

Work is about to become insanely busy, between testing the new version of our LMS to be installed in October, creating training materials for the entire system, and an internal customer project I’ve been “hired” to manage, the rest of 2006 promises to keep me on my toes.  I’ll try not to let this affect my blogging time too much.

Mazzy is doing well.  She had her drain tube removed on Friday and, today, I took her back to the vet to have her bandages removed.  Now I can see the stitches from both her spaying and tumor removal.  Poor thing looks like Frankenstein.  I haven’t seen the vet since before her surgery last Wednesday, but I am assuming that Mazzy must be healing as expected because the tech told me today I could go ahead and schedule an appointment to have her stitches removed next week. 

I wonder how long it will take her tummy fur to grow back.  Although, in this heat, she may prefer the shaved look. 

This weekend I’ll be holed up in my house trying to get the programs done for our charity hockey game on the 24th.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.  Hopefully the team coordinators will have all the bios to me by then. 

I’m not sure what the deal is.  This is the 3rd year we’ve held this event and I’m not sure if people just don’t care anymore or what.  No one seems to be hyping it up.  No one wants to do anything to help (not entirely true, there’s a few, but I’m whining and it’s more dramatic if I say NO ONE).  Everyone just wants to show up and have fun.  But there is soooo much that has to go on behind the scenes for that to happen.  What good does it do to meet and come up with all these great ideas of how to bring in more money if there is no follow through?  And I don’t have the energy to pick up the extra tasks.  There’s no time now anyway. 

I have a meeting with my design team tomorrow morning  that I am just barely prepared for.  And I’m afraid to go to sleep now because I suck at waking up with the alarm.  I hate when I do this. 

Team Celebration

Last night, our team plus the leadership team and the head of our department went to Jasper’s for dinner to celebrate the launch of our new platform.  Basically an 18+ month project. 

I wasn’t really looking forward to it initially because this week was crazy busy and I just wanted one night to actually be home before 8 or 9pm and just relax.  But it turned out to be a really good night.  The food was INCREDIBLY good!  Everything from the appetizers to the desserts and every bite in between was excellent.  If I were independently wealthy, I might eat there again.  But this was, luckily, paid for by our boss.  And he was very clear in telling us to order WHATEVER we wanted.  And told the waiter to keep the wine coming, which he did.  I have no idea how many glasses I actually had because they just kept topping it off.  Good wine, too.

The big surprise of the night came when our boss presented each member of our team with a “thank you” gift.  FREAKING IPODS!!!  The 30GB ones that do video and everything.  Definitely wasn’t expecting that!

I never really thought I’d want an ipod, so of course, I joked about selling it on eBay.  Until I realized they had our names and the project and date engraved on them.  Tongue  I think they are pretty cool, I’m just not a headphones person.  I know I can use it in the car, over my home stereo, and a number of other ways that would be cool, but those all involve buying extra accessories.  Everyone who has one tells me I will be addicted to it in no time, so we’ll see.

So tonight I’ve installed the software and am converting all the music I already had on my computer to iTunes.  Then I guess I’ll start importing some of my other cds.  I’m confused though because supposedly this thing will hold like 7500 songs.  But on iTunes, where it is still importing what’s on my computer, it shows like 680 MB already.  That’s 68 GB, right?  Or 6.8 GB?  Or .068?  Oh.  Nevermind.  Duh.

Currently listening to, watching, reading, planning to get, etc.


Pure Blues
By Various Artists
Release Date: Apr 17, 2001

Today’s the day.

Since it’s after midnight and all, technically, Dr Honeydew arrives later tonight.  I’m relieved in a way.  Too much time leading up to it.  And personally, I’m sick and tired of reading my blog entries lately. Could I possibly sound any flakier and mental??  lol

I should really be asleep.  Loooong day at work tomorrow, rush home, pick up clothes from the cleaners, last mad dash at cleaning the house, shower, change, and try to relax for a bit before I have to head to the airport.  I haven’t been in DFW in years.  And the drive over there at night will be no fun.  I just hope I don’t end up wandering around the wrong terminal looking for him or anything like that.  Thank goodness for cell phones I guess.

I’m really going to try to blog as I can during the visit.  Just because it might be more fun to go back and read my reactions as they took place rather than a rambling summary after he leaves Tuesday.

I head to San Diego next Thursday for a much-needed week-long vacation…and my first two Stars road games ever.  Wheeeee!

Potpourri

That word is just so lame.  I feel funny just saying it.  But that’s what this entry is going to be:  A combination of incongruous things.

Work is still crazy busy and making me feel utterly defeated because I haven’t been able to swoop in and save the day by working ridiculous hours to knock things out and get caught up.  I’ve done the ridiculous hours, but the catching up part has been elusive.  I’ve got all of these balls up in the air, so it came as no surprise when a few of them started falling today.  Luckily, new boss seems to be aware (thanks in part to old boss, I’m certain) of the fact that I’ve been managing way more than a full workload for some time now.  And has put things in motion to, hopefully, get me some relief soon.

My trip to San Diego is coming up at the end of March (after Dr Honeydew’s visit, of course).  This will be the first real vacation I’ve had since 2000 when Badass and I went to Mexico.  That’s just sad.  I am finally eligible for some of the perks that come with having a pilot for a brother and have yet to be able to take advantage of them.  Finally, I grew a spine and said enough is enough.  I am taking ONE WHOLE WEEK off from work.  Deal with it.

The U.S. Mens’ Olympic hockey started today.  It was on during the day, so of course I missed it.  Sadder than that, I completely forgot it was happening today.  And the most disheartening of all….our beloved team, filled to the brim with professional NHL players, TIED.  With Latvia.  Who the fook is that?  And why didn’t we skate circles around them?!   Oh well…maybe we just got off to a slow start and will start kicking ass now.

I am completely annoyed by the fact that the V-day gift I sent to Dr Honeydew has still not been received.  The ridiculous part is that, his real  gift was a preorder item that wasn’t scheduled to ship out until 2/14.  And since I didn’t want him to not get ANYTHING from me on the actual day, I sent him a little something else, along with a card, so that he’d atleast know I had thought of him.  I didn’t get it mailed as early as I planned, but still.  He should’ve had it by today.  I checked the status of the preorder item and it is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.  The item I mailed Monday is not even showing up in the damn USPS tracking yet.  WTF?!

I did my taxes last weekend.  That was a pleasant surprise.  I had only been in my house for 3 months in 2004, so I didn’t get much benefit from the mortgage interest deduction.  This year, however, I’m getting more than double back over last year’s refund.  Woohooo!  Now the problem is figuring out what to do with it.  Put it towards another car?  Buy that much wanted new furniture?  Put it towards my credit card bill?  Buy that new digital SLR I’ve been eyeballing?  Put it in savings for emergencies?  I know I’ll keep some of it as spending money for my trip to California.  But I’d really like to do something useful with the rest.  With it alone, I can’t completely pay for new furniture or buy another car or pay off my debt.  But it would be a decent chunk towards any of those.  Putting it towards my debt, while probably smart, wouldn’t be very satisfying.  I’ll probably just hold onto it for awhile until I can decide.  I just don’t want to end up spending little bits and pieces here and there on random crap. 

Pheh.  It’s late.  I should try to get some sleep I suppose.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day anymore.

Oh…and P.S.  Could my dog possibly stop shedding?!  Damn.  I just vaccuumed and there is already hair all over the place again.  Stupid weather needs to make up its mind.

That Ditsy Chick is at it again!

Yep.  Another tag.   And holy crap, is it long!!!  So I’d better get started…ok, let’s see.

4 Jobs I Have Had

  1. Catering – From junior high until early college, I did VIP catering at the local university.  Started out working concession stands with our church group, but ended up playing endentured servant at dinner parties held at the University President’s and Chancelor’s homes.  The Chancelor’s wife made us get those damned french maid uniforms (not the porn version, thankfully) for events at her house.  The first time we wore them, I was standing at the door greeting her guests with a tray of champagne.  And she had the nerve to comment about how “cute they look in their uniforms.”  I’ve never wanted to bash someone in the face with a silverplated tray more in my life.
  2. Office Manager at Rentronics – I met the manager in a pool hall while I was in college.  He was looking for a new office manager, I was looking for a part-time job.  I didn’t have to try and sell that crap to customers, just manage the paperwork and computer stuff.  He got fired several months later and the new manager (who apparently was a former manager) was forcing me to do sales so he could bring back his former office person.  Yeah.  I’m going to talk people into spending $10,000 over a few years on a used television.  I think NOT. 
  3. Crap Jewelry Store Manager – After Mission Jewelers shut down, the manager brought me over to manage a new little costume jewelry kiosk in the mall.  That was fun, until his drinking problem surfaced and I was being called at midnight to meet him at bars for “business meetings.”  The kiosk pretty much fell apart not long after, but he gave me the best damn reference that essentially guaranteed my getting my current job, which I started right after college.  Sort of.
  4. CG & Camera Operator for TV station – I wanted to do television production when I first started college.  Really, I wanted to film, but a scholarship to the local school kind of changed my mind for me.  So when I had an chance to get my foot in the door at a local news channel, I grabbed it.  After working the news for a few months, I decided that I would never ever be able to do that for a career. 

4 Movies I Could (and Do) Watch Over and Over Again

  1. Tombstone – Val Kilmer as Doc never gets old.
  2. Pretty in Pink – Jon Cryer as Duckie…I had the biggest crush on him after seeing this movie the first time.  He was my ideal man…when I was 12-18.  He could ride his bike past my house any time! 
  3. The Princess Bride – Just a fun (and also very quotable) movie. 
  4. Any Marilyn Monroe movie – some of my very favs are Some Like it Hot, River of No Return, and Gentleman Prefer Blondes

4 Places I Have Lived – I haven’t moved around much actually.  But here’s what I can come up with.

  1. Memphis, TN – don’t remember it, but I lived there for the first 11 months of my life
  2. Beaumont – with my parents and later in a trailer that was essentially in their backyard. 
  3. DFW area – in a townhome
  4. DFW area – in my very own first home!

4 TV Shows I Love – I don’t watch a lot of tv.  But I do watch a lot of tv shows on dvd after the seasons end.  I’m impatient and forgetful and can never remember the schedules.  So I just watch them all on dvd in a night or two.  Most of them aren’t even being made anymore.  :(

  1. Queer as Folk – I’ve only seen the first two seasons so far (I think the show ended after 5 seasons) but I absolutely love it.
  2. Six Feet Under – Another one I started watching after the show ended.  I’ve watched through the 4th season.  Very dark but also very human and touching.
  3. Carnivale – I still can’t believe those jerks at HBO cancelled this after only two seasons. 
  4. Most anything on HGTV – I love Designed to Sell, House Hunters, Landscaper’s Challenge, Decorator’s Challenge, Curb Appeal, etc.

4 Favorite Books – I read a lot, but in spurts.  I may go months and months without touching a book.  Then, the mood strikes and I’ll knock out 3 or 4 within a few weeks.  I can’t think of any individual favorites…hmmm…

  1. The Mayfair Witches Series by Anne Rice
  2. The Harry Potter books
  3. Most anything by Stephen King or Dean Koontz
  4. Dr. Seuss books – I think all of life’s lessons can be learned from these
  5. BONUS:  The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

4 Places I Have Vacationed – I haven’t vacationed much, aside from the trips with the family growing up.  But here’s a few.  In a few months, I’ll get to add San Diego to the list!

  1. Memphis – Growing up, this was about the only place we ever got to visit.  It wasn’t until I was much older that we actually got to go out and see some of the city:  Beale Street (which is very cool), The Peabody Hotel, Graceland, etc.
  2. Seattle – Oldest brother, Dilbert, used to live there.  Got to go there a few times.  Pike’s Place Market was fun.  And of course, my beloved Fluevog store was there as well.
  3. France – My youngest brother, Duckie, and I got to go for 2 weeks the summer after my high school graduation.  I’d love to go back someday.
  4. Puerto Vallarta – Badass and I went for a week back in 2000.  Would like to go again someday as well, but with better company.

4 Websites I Read Every Day – Sadly, my job doesn’t allow me much time for daily visits anywhere these days.  But here’s the ones I try to hit as much as possible.

  1. My Blogroll Buddies
  2. Dallas Stars sites
  3. Yahoo 360 – similar to MySpace but cooler, unless you want the whole music scene
  4. Google – my quick source for everything 😛

4 Favorite Food (Groups)

  1. Salty
  2. Sweet
  3. Spicy
  4. Cheese

Tagging:  Anyone who wants to participate.  I’m lazy tonight.  Let me know if you post yours!  :)

Show me the money!

I had my performance review for 2005 today.  Because I am outsourced, I essentially have 2 managers.  One is my manager for my actual employer (female) and the other is my manager for the company I do work for exclusively (old boss male, new boss male).  So when SHE and I met today for my review, I was relived that she had gotten input from (old boss) HIM.  New boss really has minimal knowledge of what I do or, more importantly, what I did in 2005.  But he’s quickly learning.

Anyway, the review went great.  Old boss had given me glowing feedback and considerable praise.  My overall performance was rated as “Exceeded Expecatations,”  which is the highest selection.  Surely that should result in a nice raise.

Sadly, I have no idea how long I will have to wait to find out.  My company requires that the performance review take place, everyone signs off on it, and it must be submitted to HR along with the appropriate forms for a salary increase.  It is not until those forms have gone through all the various levels of approval that my company will give me any inclination of whether or not I will receive a raise, which would go into effect on March 1.

I hate waiting.  I don’t understand why they can’t say, “Daisy, we are submitting a request for an increase of X% and are awaiting approval.”  Or even acknowledge that an increase has been submitted and will go into effect March 1, pending approval.

Just tell me SOMETHING.  Because I hate sitting here assuming I will get a raise but not really knowing for sure.  Everyone is so damned afraid of a lawsuit these days.

You said I was great, spectacular even.  Don’t get me wrong, the praise is always welcome and appreciated, but in the end, it’s the dollar signs I want to see.

Hump Day

Thank goodness.  Finally on the downhill slide towards the weekend.  This week has been insanely busy at work.  I’m horribly behind from being off during the holidays and have little hope of catching up anytime soon since I feel like I have been in one meeting or another non-stop this week.  My support queue is overflowing.  I normally keep it around 20-30 tickets at most.  Currently I have 84.  Between the projects I am currently working and all the meetings, the tickets have just had to wait.

I can’t stand being behind on things.  It drives me batty.  So it looks like I’ll be doing the unthinkable this weekend…working.  One of my goals for this year was to learn to really be off when I’m not in the office.  To not let work run my life.  So if I have any shot of doing that, I need to go all out for the next week or so until I have regained some sense of control over my workload.  And then get organized again so I can stay ahead of the game.  Or atleast not get left behind. 

Now I’ve got this ridiculously demanding customer who, no matter how many times I ask for advanced notice, insists on throwing things at me at the last minute.  She asked me ONE day in advance to attend their pilot group (so they can start using one of our systems) and walk them through the process.  This includes, but is not limited to, training for them, preparing training for their organization prior to rollout, establishing roles and setting the timeline and expecatations for their employees.  Um….sure.  I can cancel the FIVE other meetings I have the next day and show up to meet with your group, who I have no prior experience with, and tell you how to be successful in three hours.

We talked to them back in December about this and gave them the option of using our example rollout documents and doing it themselves or us scoping and managing the project for them.  Or a combination of the two where they could bring us in, as needed, on an hourly basis for consulting.  We heard nothing back from them until a few days ago, when I received her request for me to attend the pilot group meeting (which they had already scheduled) the next day.

I told her (again) we would be happy to help, but that we need more notice.  We do have other customers and committments and projects, you know.  I tell her I have a fairly open schedule next week so far and to feel free to schedule something on my calendar.  So what does she do??

Today, she calls my (new) boss and tells him that I just can’t seem to make time for her.  Luckily, new boss and I had already discussed the situation (as she has been previously identified as a very “needy” and “demanding” customer).  She told him she needed me to move forward with their project and was having a hard time getting time with me.  To which my boss replied, “You and everybody else.  She is incredibly busy right now and is booked solid this week.” He also told her that he believed I had offered several options for meeting next week (because I was smart enough to copy him on that email so he’d know what was going on).  Yay new boss!

After a lengthy discussion with old and new boss about this, new boss is supposed to have called her this evening and discussed it with her.  Basically, we are not going to do the project the way they are trying to make us do it.  Poor to no planning, thrown together, and unorganized.  It leaves the door wide open for failure and we don’t operate that way.  He is going to suggest them “hiring” me out at my consulting rate for a few days to spend with them assessing needs, etc, and plotting out a plan for implementation. 

*singing*  I need $50 dollars to make you holler.  I get paid to do the wild thing.