Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Called on the Carpet

I actually like my boss as a person, and even respect her as a manager/co-worker. I don't think that's something I've said about any of my previous jobs. Plus, she's made it clear that she likes working with me and thinks I'm smart and hard-working (if only she saw my blog post times ...), etc. *modest blush*

And yet ... when she asks me to come into her office, I still instinctively freeze up. Just the other day, she said quietly, so as not to disturb nearby meeting attendees, "Can you come into my office for a moment? There's something I want to talk to you about." Immediately, I knew I was fired. I just knew it!

I shook it off and went into her office. She shut the door behind me and sat behind her imposing wood desk, while I perched on the edge of a chair in front of the desk. As it turns out, the talk had nothing to do with me ... not at all. She had to make a decision, and just needed a sounding board.

Which I should have known. But I'm sure the next time she calls me into her office, I'll still have a moment of panic. Or, as my sister Amy's stalker once called it, "one little paranoid moment," ... but that's a different story entirely.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Irony, thy name is vanity plates

The roads were a little snowy this morning, so I left a bit early for work. By "early" I mean "on time." I always say I leave for work at 7:30, but can probably count on one hand the number of times that has actually happened since I got my car back.

But this morning, I was actually backing down the driveway at 7:30 sharp. And it's a good thing, too, because otherwise I would never have witnessed yet another incident of vanity plate absurdity.

Today, the car in front of me was a Honda Accord. A nice car, but not exactly a high-end, luxury vehicle. This was no Eddie Bauer edition Hummer. It was a newish, solid Honda Accord. It was not the type of car that should have the vanity plate, "No 1 B4Me", but it did anyway.

I was behind this car for probably 5-10 minutes—the majority of my drive. Through 3 traffic lights, at least. And the very best part .... he/she was the slowest driver ever! At every light, there was an entire car length in front of the Accord, and when the light turned green it took the driver an extraordinarily long amount of time to creep forward and accelerate to an astonishing 25mph.

What made this person pick this particular vanity plate? Maybe no one comes before you in your mind, but on the road ... you're at the back of the line.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Opening Doors

Speaking of things that drive me crazy at work ....

This morning, as I walked from the parking lot to my desk, I realized that I have a total of 6 doors I have to open along the way. Six doors! Doesn't that seem a bit excessive?

The reason it was particularly apparent to me today was that someone else had arrived at the outside door (otherwise known as Door #1) just before me. I don't know him, although I've seen him around and I'm sure he's a very nice guy. But I was running late, not in the best of moods, and didn't really feel like making small talk.

He didn't either, which was good. He opened Door #1, waited to let me through first, and we walked in companionable silence to Door #2. But here's the thing: there's etiquette involved in 2 strangers arriving at one door. Since I'm a woman, do I wait for him to open it? If I'm there first, do I open it and let him walk through? Or do I just open it myself, go through, and hold it open behind me?

It was a quandry, and it was repeated several more times in the next few minutes. Luckily, he peeled off at Door #4, so at least the last two doors there was no question of who would go through first: my ego, then me!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Well, maybe you can help me ...

As the person who answers the phone in an office where the project managers are often away from their desks/inaccessible, I have a special pet peeve.

I don't particularly like answering phones in general. But the WORST is the caller who asks for a specific person. I politely say he/she's not available—would you like voicemail? And the caller pauses, then says, "Well, maybe you can help me ..." and launches into a long explanation of what he (or she) needs concerning something I know nothing about. So now that he's made his problem MY problem, I have to run around the office and try to get answers, even though I don't have them because—guess what?—he needs to talk to the person he called for in the first place.

For the record: No, I can't help you. So stop asking.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Missing Merchant?

I *swear* I saw him in the opening episode of the new season of 24. And yet, not credited anywhere!

Did anyone else see him, or am I completely crazy? I thought he was a random CTU agent, sitting at a computer when Chloe walked by.

What does it mean if I'm imagining I see Stephen Merchant in random places? Does this mean I'm going to be suddenly funnier—like if you become superreligious after having a vision of God?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

After weeks of relatively warm weather, Cleveland has finally frozen over again. Several inches of snow are on the ground and more is expected tomorrow. Single digits temperatures for the next couple weeks.

I've been sighing about this state of affairs for the past few days, but today I decided to look on the brightside: It's my perfect excuse.

I'm actually not very adventurous. I don't like to "go out" or "be sociable" very often. (Sure I hang out with you—but you don't count as people. If you know what I mean.)

Sometimes, I have a hard time saying no to a social engagement. It's hard to admit that you'd rather read/nap/knit/watch TV than be amongst masses of humanity. But with the cold and the snow and the ice ... I don't have to make up an excuse! I can just shrug it off, mumbling something about the crappiness of winter .... and smiling inside because I'm in the middle of a really great book, and there's a new Office on tonight.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Already Faltering

Remember my New Year's Resolutions? The ones it took me forever to post?

Barely two weeks into the New Year, and I'm already faltering.

The problem is the resolution about strength training at least 6 times a month. I thought I was giving myself a lot of leeway. But last week I just didn't feel like it.

I knew I could lift just twice, 3 weeks a month, and be okay. So I figured it was no big deal, I could catch up this week and be back on track. But last night I ended up working late, and just didn't feel like doing anything when I got home, much less something physically demanding.

So here I am, January 17, and already falling behind on my resolutions. Hmmm ... maybe I worded the resolution so that I can do strength training every day in December and average 6 sessions per month throughout the year. See—there's always hope!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Just a Flesh Wound

I've been wounded in the line of duty. I was trying to get a ream of paper off a low shelf in a cabinet, and I scraped the back of my thumb knuckle against the shelf above. I managed to actually scrape off a large chunk of skin.

It bled a lot. And really hurt. And I walked around like a ninny, pressing Kleenex to the gushing wound and whimpering in pain.

I kept thinking of that line from Monty Python, "It's only a flesh wound!"

And all I could think was, "But flesh wounds really hurt!"

I've managed to staunch the blood flow, but I can't be certain yet if the thumb is going to pull through. Let's hope for the best.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Retribution Doesn't Equal Justice

So this guy at work has been trying to make me feel better about getting my car stolen. Which is nice and all .... but his words aren't exactly comforting.

It started right after my car was stolen—in the week before it had been recovered. He assured me on several different occasions that what goes around comes around. Whomever stole my car would one day be trying to steal another car and get shot, or get in a terribly mutilating car accident, or otherwise die a horrific death (usually related to auto theft, though not always).

It's now been almost two months since my car was stolen. I've been driving it again for about a month. The pain and angst is starting to fade. But just yesterday, this guy dropped by to talk. He wanted to tell me that, on his way into work that morning, he saw a brand new car that had been crashed into a tree. His point? In his estimation, the car was obviously stolen, the thief was taking it for a joyride, and crashed it.

I'm not entirely certain, but I think this was supposed to be a story of just retribution—exactly what he'd been trying to comfort me with a few months ago. Car thieves will pay!

But that really doesn't console me. The thought of someone else's pain and suffering, whether a car thief or not, doesn't really make me smile. I don't really wonder anymore about the person who stole my car, or why they did it. I don't want retribution. I just want my car to stay in my possession for the rest of its life. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sushi Rock

I finally got Keith to try sushi.

On Saturday night we were going to see The Good Shepherd, which was a big deal for us. Seeing a movie at a big movie theatre—that never happens! So we decided to make it a real date and get dinner first.

I had the inspired idea to get sushi. I love sushi. Keith had been saying for awhile that he'd be willing to try it under the right circumstances—in a restaurant that serves other food, so that he didn't have to commit to sushi as his entire source of sustenance. I'd asked around, and people said that Sushi Rock at La Place was the best place to go for sushi.

Of course, the fact that "sushi" was in the restaurant's title should have been a giveaway. But I'd been assured that they served very good "normal" food as well.

Maybe they do, but when we showed up there was an hour-long wait for a table. So we ended up sitting at the sushi bar. No menus, no implements other than chopsticks. This was hardcore.

In my opinion, the sushi was very good. But Keith wasn't a fan and I can't say that I blame him. It was supposed to be low key—no pressure. And that's not what it turned out to be at all.

He said that he's willing to give sushi another try. But this time, I think we'd get some to go, so we could try it in the privacy of our own home—with or without chopsticks. And with a back-up pizza, just in case he decides he still doesn't like it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Year's Resolutions: 2007 Style

2007 Resolutions

1. The Year of Nonfiction Writing
My goal for this year is to focus on my nonfiction writing. I want to write up a synopsis/outline for a book about my volunteer year in England and submit that to agents. Plus, I'll spend more time trying to find smaller freelance jobs.

2. Start a business with Keith
We've talked about it before, but I think we should definitely start a web design/development business. I work on the graphics/layout/organization/writing, and he makes it all work. I don't want to spend a lot of time soliciting clients. I just think we should make a business plan, put together a website, and see what happens.

3. Read 50 books (8 classics, 6 biographies)
Last year I made the 50 total, but definitely missed on the classics. So this year's classics goal is in-between what I read last year (6), and what I planned on reading (12).

4. Run sub-30 min 5k
I'm thinking this might be on the New Year's Resolutions list for the rest of my life. But maybe this year I'll get lucky...

5. Lift 6 times/month, keeping track on Fitday
Hopefully this is feasible, since I should be lifting 8 times a month if I do it two times a week. I really do miss it, so hopefully I can get back into the habit.

6. Visit 12 new places in Cleveland area
I'm looking forward to getting to know the city, since I haven't lived here full-time since I was 18. Most of these places will probably be restaurants, but that's okay with me!

7. Actually stick to a budget for 4 months
I'm great at making budgets, but I know that since we moved into our house in July, we've only managed to stay within budget one month. That's one out of six. So if we can stay in budget 4 months out of 12, it will at least be an improvement!

8. Volunteer/give money to charity
As always, something I say is important .... but never get around to doing. Now that we are homeowners in a community, maybe that will serve as motivation.

9. Visit Sara and Jason in Toledo
I think it's probably been at least two years, if not three, that we've said we'd get together and somehow it doesn't end up happening. Toledo is not that far away! So this year, I'll make it happen.

All I can say is, it's a good thing I didn't make a resolution about blogging regularly, because my track record for 2007 so far leaves a lot to be desired!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Bad Sign

Is it a bad sign that I've now put off writing my 2007 New Year's Resolutions for about a week?

I supposed some might see it that way. But I'm resolved to be optimistic. I've just been putting them off because I want to get them right, you know? I started writing them, but they're on a piece of scrap paper that's tucked into the back pocket of my jeans, which are folded on the shelf at home. So I can't write them from work, and when I get home I'm sooo busy doing all sorts of fabulous and exciting things that I forget all about it. I'm living life, not just talking about it!

So you see, I'm not procrastinating at all. I'm just making these the best resolutions EVER. When I get around to them.