Saturday, January 26, 2008

Video chat with the grands

Today the Bug had her first video chat with my parents. We'd given them a webcam for Christmas 2006, but never quite got around to hooking ours up. After an hour on the phone today - and it was me, not them, who hadn't downloaded the proper AIM client - we finally got the whole thing to work. It was pretty hilarious, I think. I couldn't see that much - I was pretty focused on not letting the Bug stick the webcam into her mouth. She crawled around, and the webcam followed her, which worked great. She clapped, we played patty-cake. My parents sounded totally thrilled.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Most annoying thing

There are many things that can get under a person's skin: TV static, people who talk during the movies, Brendan Fraser... But I may have actually found the worst. Each of the past two days, the phone's rung with "800 Caller" in the caller ID. I answered expecting a telemarketer, which would have been annoying in and of itself. However, it actually gets worse. I said, "hello," and the automated voice told me in return that "my party was busy and I would be placed on hold." I was placed on hold - twice! - by an automated caller that called me! That has to be *the* most annoying thing.

And by the way, our home number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Times New Roman ain't that cool

A couple of months ago, I read on something to the effect that when a person has reached a certain point in her career, she really should have someone professional design her resume. About that same week, my husband suggested that I have a good friend of ours - and a professional graphic designer - revamp my resume. Apparently my 15-year-old formatting in Times New Roman was not what you'd call fresh-looking. I took this advice, not reluctantly but not wildly optimistic either. I mean, how much difference can a new font make?

The answer to that question is, "all the difference." Stacey just sent me the final version of my resume, and it is an unbelievable improvement!! The difference is immeasurable. It doesn't even look like the same document! It is now something I can be very proud to send out, and something that is much more pleasing to read. All I'd told her was that I wanted a new font and wanted the layout to be "more modern." How this lame directive could possibly be translated into the work she did is for more creative minds than mine to contemplate. But trust me - it's beyond worth it!

Now for the plug: If you're on the job market - or even if you're just thinking about updating your resume to have on file - I cannot recommend Rasa Design highly enough. Thanks, Stace!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wineless, post script

I just finished one bottle of wine, but since I bought three after my last post, I am not yet wineless.


Each January for the past two or three, my husband has gone on the wagon - no drinking from New Year's Day through the Super Bowl. While I respect his moxie, I have chosen not to participate. I feel like doing 10 months at a stretch a couple or three times is plenty; no need for voluntary Januaries. Unfortunately, though, he buys most of our beer and wine, and with that errand not particularly on the top of his mind, today I find myself completely wineless. It's the lamest.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Complete drivel

The other day I had a couple of hours to kill when a meeting got postponed. My next meeting was in the Time Warner Center, so I figured that would be an easy place to hole up and read my book for a while.

As it turns out, there isn't a Starbucks there, and the cafe within the Borders was packed. I ultimately found a quiet corner within the bookstore, but before I even pulled out my book I got distracted since I was in the music section. There's a book about golfing by Alice Cooper, which seemed pretty amusing. And an annotated book of Grateful Dead lyrics which was shockingly uninteresting.

But the one that I couldn't believe was called The Heroin Diaries, which is not something edgy and interesting by Irvine Welsh. No, this is a book by Motley Crue's drummer Nikki Sixx. It is supposedly his diary from one year in his heroin-addled life. After each entry - and let's be honest here; does anyone really believe that moron kept a diary? - there's current commentary from either himself or one of the people involved in that particular anecdote. It may be the absolute worst book ever to be published.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

News in Jobland

First, let me share my sister's very exciting news... She'll be moving to Minneapolis in a couple of weeks to begin her new job as Minnesota's State Director for America Votes! Yes, you heard that right, less than two months past her 30th birthday, and Jessie's going to be managing the progressive coalition in one of this election's swing states! Huge kudos to her, both for nabbing a fabulous gig and for having the nerve to move to set off on her own to forge her way in a new (notoriously cold!) state!! She'll be sending postcards from Lake Wobegon to everyone who wishes her well in the comments below.

The second thing I have to share is my own job news. I currently do not have one. On Friday morning, I was told that "it's not working out" and was asked to leave. I don't want to get into any further details on my blog, but feel free to drop me a note and I'll fill you in. Suffice it to say, I no longer feel any hesitation about pursuing things with the EEOC. The good news is that I now actually have the time to look for a new job. The worst thing about it is that I wanted everything to be on my own terms.

I've already had a few meetings and a couple of job leads (from my former clients, no less, which sure helps the bruised ego), and have a bunch more on the calendar. I'm not too worried about this shit-bag of lemons turning into lemonade, perhaps even spiked with a big ole shot of gin.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Democratic primaries

I was very pleased to see that Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary yesterday. I am supporting her for a number of reasons, including that she's smart as hell and that I think she'd be a great leader. I love what she's done as a New York Senator, and I was wildly skeptical when she took office. She's been able to accomplish a great deal as a relatively hawkish, moderate Democrat by reaching across the aisle, listening, and crafting smart legislation that could get through the (until recently) Republican-dominated Congress. Plus, she's got great experience that includes an unparalleled eight years in the White House already. If you have the time, check out Gloria Steinem's excellent piece in yesterday's New York Times.

That said, I am not "anti-Barack Obama" by any stretch. Truth be told, I agree with Steinem that eight years of a Clinton White House (preferably with Obama as VP), followed by eight years of an Obama White House, may be the very best way to clean up the mess that W. has created. I hardly dare to hope that a Clinton-Obama ticket will become reality, and if Obama is the Democratic nominee I will support him enthusiastically.

I hope that this race does not deteriorate into character slanders and other negativity that somehow open the door to a Republican victory in November. This election is wildly important for our country, and I believe a Republican victory would be a disaster. These two politicians are both smart, capable, and great leaders. I hope that the Democratic campaigns smartly demonstrate the candidates' differences, and allows the primary process to put forth an impressive and highly electable ticket.

To that end, please vote in your state's primary (to the extent that your party registration allows), or participate in your caucus. And if you're participating in the Republican primary process, good luck to you in finding a great candidate in this candidate pool.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Out of time

In what seems to be a major life trend for the past few months, after another weekend of going non-stop all day both days, my list of things that I just am not getting done has only grown.

This weekend I took down Christmas, went grocery shopping, ran a couple of errands, fed/dressed/bathed/played with the Bug, did some online shopping for things she desperately needs, visited with a couple of friends, and had a family holiday gathering. I'm not at all sure where the time went! I was up before 7am each day, and didn't go to bed until around midnight, so how did I not get more things accomplished? I have not put pictures of the Bug online in months, I haven't finished my resume and certainly haven't gotten a job search rolling, I didn't read any news (or read a book or watch TV) either Saturday or Sunday, I haven't written a single thank-you note for Christmas, I haven't run or done yoga in going on three months, I rarely catch up with even my closest friends, and don't get me started on the state of my hair or nails.

I feel like the things I am doing - work, raising the Bug - I am doing quite well. But there are just so many things I simply don't have the time to do! How in the world do people manage?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's effing cold!

I am not a person who tends to get hung up about the weather, but I have two things to say about this mid-teens day.

1. Apparently they turned off the radiators a couple of months ago on a day when the office got really hot, so now there is no heat. It's freezing. I am wearing my scarf, and would wear my gloves if I didn't need to type.

2. The Bug needs a hat. Her little peanut is too big for two of her winter hats, and her other one is has bunny ears which, while adorable, fall into her eyes causing her to pull the hat off. It's not particularly effective in keeping her head warm when it's on her lap. I guess I'll hit a Baby Gap or something around lunch time to see if I can find an adequately adorable hat without bunny ears.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Airline woes

It's certainly been a while since my last post... and a couple of weeks away from things was no where near long enough! I hope the holiday season was good to you all, and that your 2008 is off to a great start. Our trip to Colorado was awesome - the snowboarding was great in Breckenridge (tons of fresh powder), and we had plenty of very fun family time.

That said, the air travel was much more of a hassle than I remember it ever being. I'm not talking about traveling with the Bug, or even with the holiday lines and traffic. Those are inconveniences that even the least savvy of travelers can anticipate and plan accordingly.

What I am talking about is the service (or lack thereof) that we received from United Airlines. Our return flight was scheduled for early the morning of the 26th. At about 9pm on Christmas Eve, I got a voice mail message stating our flight plans had been "affected by a cancellation." The only instruction was to visit the website. Which I did. And the website told me that our flight was still scheduled on time. On Christmas afternoon, however, the website informed me that our flight was canceled, and that there was no way to re-book online.

I finally got through to a real-live person, and we were placed on an early-afternoon flight on the 27th. We also each received a $100 voucher, although not until I asked. The person on the phone explained that the flight was canceled because of a "crew issue." With a day and a half of notice, I don't even know what that could possibly mean!

We thoroughly enjoyed our extra day in Colorado, returning to Estes Park for the first time since our wedding. While the rest of the family went snowshoeing, my husband and I took the Bug to Rocky Mountain National Park where we walked around Sprague Lake in the cold and the wind. Which the little nut loved! She pushed my hands away when I tried to shield her from the wind.

As I said initially, it was a fantastic trip. But I certainly am not in a hurry to fly on United again any time soon.

Happy 2008!!