Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Irritating action by an ex-coworker

My BF told me this story last night and it really pissed me off. He was hanging out with some coworkers and one of them wanted to invite his GF to join them - said GF being another of the coworkers who was laid off at the same time I was. One of the other guys begged off, saying he had been advised by counsel to distance himself from the people who were bringing legal action against the company. He's trying to get ahead there, has hopes of running a division, and doesn't want his rep to be tarnished from contact.

Now, first of all, I am in the same boat as this girl. My BF still works at the same company where I used to work, so these are ex-coworkers of mine as well. I've hired an attorney to negotiate with the company in an attempt to get a better severance package than their crappy offer. I was with the company for almost three years and I thought it was paltry. Also, without getting into it in detail, it was fucked up the way they picked who they laid off. My attorney felt I had a decent case, and sent a letter. I haven't heard anything back, which in and of itself is enraging, but I am trying not to believe the worst yet.

Secondly, and clear enough from the previous paragraph, I haven't brought any legal action against the company, at least so far; I've just hired a guy to negotiate on my behalf. I haven't brought a lawsuit (and hope I don't have to) against anybody. Nobody has, yet; it hasn't come to that. The most that has happened so far is attorneys getting hired and letters being sent.

Third, the guy's "counsel" is his GF, who's had her law degree for about 45 minutes. And it's so fucking grandiose of him to think that anybody gives the least bit of a damn who he hangs out with.

Obviously I'm taking it personally - and it wasn't even to do directly with me, but I'm in the same boat as this other girl, so it could have been. What a douchebag! This guy is actually a pretty nice guy, and although he was one of the "in-crowd" at the company (where good-old-boy cronyism was RAMPANT) I never held it against him. But now ... I just feel like, dude, FUCK YOU and the horse you rode in on. Good fucking luck at the company, hope you get ahead, don't call me on your way back down.

Monday, July 23, 2007

"Yer a Wizard, 'Arry"...

Finally finished book 7 of the Harry Potter series. After I ruminated on it a little bit and discussed pieces of it with my BF, it occurred to me that bloggers the world around would be posting about it, and why should I be any different?

No spoilers, here, just wanted to be a part of the mass movement I imagine taking place 'round the globe. My take on it, in brief: I loved the book. I was happy with all of the story lines' wrappings-up. I loved the ending. I loved the series, and I loved this last entry in it.

Now I have to clean up all the mess around the house that accumulated while Adam and I were both so completely absorbed in the Deathly Hallows.

Friday, July 20, 2007

45 Life Lessons and 5 to Grow on

May 28, 2006
By Regina Brett
The Plain Dealer
Cleveland, Ohio
Archived version of article (for pay)

I received an email containing the text here in my inbox and I liked it so I decided to re-display it here. Disclaimer: Because the article in The Plain Dealer's archives is for pay, and I opted out of paying to read it to be sure, I haven't confirmed this is the exact text from her article. But I bet it's pretty close.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21 Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34 God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46 No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

today's harvest

seven - count'em, seven - cucumbers today, with many more on the vine a few days away from ripening, lots of peas, and the first TOMATO!!! i despaired of them ever ripening, but today this little beauty was hiding under the leaves. hooray!

Monday, July 16, 2007

black mulch

here's the famous black mulch. photos taken at dusk last night. oooooo!

black mulch 1

black mulch 2

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend stuff

I got Adam to cut the lawn today and I put down mulch. I found black mulch at the Home Depot; but it was a cooler idea, I think, than it turned out in execution - it looks way too stark. TOO black. Maybe it will mellow out soon.

Here's the man and his grill:

We picked our first cucumbers and peas, and we have been arguing about whether the corn is ripe yet. I say it is, based on what I have read online, but Adam says no. Finally his curiosity got the better of him and he picked one ear which we are boiling now. It looks a bit small. I agree with his assessment now that a little longer on the stalk may give the ears better size.

I have like 2 dozen tomatoes on the vines, but none of them are getting red, and I think they are too crowded to get enough light so they never will.

Next year I will do things better. I will:

* plant fewer squash type plants of each variety, and stake them a lot earlier;
* plant more peas, of a green pea (not sweet pea) variety, and stake them earlier;
* give the tomatoes a lot more room - further away from the fence, and from each other;
* plant more corn, in stages as they recommend so that we have a longer harvest time;
* de-rock-ify the soil for the carrots, as the rocks make them split and bulb;
* mulch everything as soon as I plant it to keep the weeds at bay.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bling and other lovely things

Adam did get home on time, a little early even. He came in and immediately got my present out and gave it to me to open. I had suspected it would be, and it was - diamond earrings! Hooray! They are beautiful. I LIKE diamonds. He said I am not allowed to wear them every day, though; they are for special occasions.

On Friday we went to the chocolate restaurant. It was a little on the overkill side. The best dessert I've ever had was at a restaurant here in Clifton, a Mexican resto whose name I'm blanking on right now. So this was good, but not the best I've ever had. But it was fun. Audrey was there, and pals from work. It was really nice to hang out with them all.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

yes, it's my birthday. i'm 44. it's a non-event this year. i was sick, until ... well, today was the first day i woke up and didn't think about being sick before i thought of anything else. so i didn't really organize much. adam got a few coworkers, ex- of mine but who are still friends, to join us tomorrow night for dinner. i called the place i wanted to go to make a reservation and they have a rehearsal dinner scheduled for the whole night so it's not available. i decided we will go to "max brenner, chocolate by the bald man" which is a place i've wanted to go since i saw them getting ready to open last year. i like chocolate, it's my birthday, we're going there. the only one of my non-work friends who can come is audrey, but i'm glad she will be there. and i like the coworkers adam corralled into coming quite a bit.

today i am going to do a couple errands, go to a meeting, and go to a knitting group at a yarn store in montclair. i need to let them get to know me, so although it's scary to go to a social thing like that without knowing anybody, i'm going to take the plunge. adam is in chicago and hopes to be home before midnight, but i'm not going to sit around home this evening because he might be home early. he also might be home late - if his travel history is anything to judge by...

i bought myself an orchid:

(that picture is from the website where i bought it.) it's the same one i bought for my mom for mother's day. she reports that it actually does smell like chocolate when the blooms open. it arrived this morning and there are little buds all over one stalk, almost ready to open. hooray!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yarn Pirate

I found a new yarn vendor of whom I want to sing the praises: Yarn Pirate. I bought this:

Aint she pretty?

I found her through links on, a cool site devoted to smallish yarnists. And I love anybody who's a pirate, even though the jolly roger is OVAH (too bad, too; it was fun). I like people who dye their small lots of yarn. Although, she has a yarn o' the month club (called Booty Club, heh) which is full up, so maybe her lots of yarn aint that small, at that. Anyway, she's no Rowan Yarns yet. I like to support the small.

I believe I will use this yarn in a purse, or handbag for those of you who, like me, dislike the word "purse" (it makes me think of pursed lips, reminds me of Church Ladies).

Today I had a better interview

Consequently, I feel more optimistic about my future. Slightly. I do still feel like I am on the wrong track, somewhat, because I don't really want to keep doing this forever, but I don't feel as demoralized as I would have if the interview today had sucked. I actually felt like they liked me and were impressed with my techishness, and even that they might hire me. They asked me when I could start. I called the agency who sent me over there, and they asked me to send them a thank you note that they could forward to the company, so when I got home I did this. We shall see.

* * * * *

Thank God for today's interview, because I was pretty down about career stuff last night. I had an uncomfortable but honest conversation with Adam where I asked him, "You don't think I'm a very good developer, do you?" and he replied that he didn't. He said, "You struggle with basic problems." It's true, too. It was depressing. I would like for him to think more highly of my professional skills than that. I appreciated the honesty, certainly, but it was painful to hear it. He then said, "You don't even want to do this, though. Why do you care if I think you aren't very good at it?" I told him, "I feel like you are saying I am not smart. I know you aren't saying that, but I still feel like it." I also said it depresses me to be doing something that I'm not very good at, as my career. I'm a smart person and extremely capable in many arenas, and to wind up in a career in which I am basically mediocre is galling.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

On the mend

I went to the doctor yesterday because I couldn't take it anymore, and he wrote me a prescription for antibiotics that started making me feel better within two hours of my taking the first dose. Evidence that it was a bacterial infection, not a viral one. I felt better enough by last night that I was on looking for a job again.

So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

* * * * *

The job search SUCKS though. I had a couple interviews last week that looked good, one of them a second interview with the company. I thought I did okay with one of them (not GREAT but okay) but fine with the other; however, they both reported to the agency that sent me over there that I was a little light technically for the jobs I was interviewing for, and opted not to hire me. The more this happens, the more I dread future interviews. I don't like what I do and I don't want to dig deep to get more technically solid. So I go into these interviews and I'm fine until they say, I just have a couple basic tech questions I'm going to ask you, and that's when I know it's over. It's just a formality, going through the motions of them flapping their lips (asking questions) and me flapping mine back (spewing nonsense that I hope sounds like I know more than I really do).

What am I going to do?

I am at a perfect dis-ease in my chosen field. I don't care anymore about cutting edge technologies. I don't remember terms for things and I get a sort of selective aphasia in the interviews for them. It sucks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

happy birthday to angela

my swell sister-in-law. she rocks.

more car sadness

adam took the car into the dealership today and found out that it is badly enough damaged that we had to make a claim with the insurance company. god DAMN it. this SUCKS. it turns out that i cracked the support for the radiator assembly, or something like that, and that will be $800 alone to fix, let alone replacing the hood and the plastic thingys that i broke off. i can't believe the damage was so bad, given that it was such a tiny accident. i scraped the car along the side of a pylon, that's all i did, and it did this much fracking damage? sad sad sad sad sad.

adam is THE BEST EVER! he took the car up to the dealership for me because i am sick. he is the winner! how i love that D&D playing dude!

i'm in bed all day (except for a few computer minutes, here, evidently) with this heavy chest cold. my throat and lungs and head all hurt and i am coughing only when necessary because it's painful. i hope to be better enough to go to my brother's tomorrow for the 4th of july. but it doesn't look good right now.

Monday, July 2, 2007

a little hiatus

why, when i am busy, can i find the time to blog, but when i am unemployed, can i not? is it that i don't wish to be introspective when i have no job because i fear i have no purpose?

i've been on several job interviews lately and they are depressing things. people are not deceived about my expertise. i am not really a senior developer. i am more senior than junior, but i have gaps in my knowledge and i am mentally lazy and do not want to investigate deeper or learn any more about my subject. plus, today at least i am sick and it reduces the amount i give a shit, and probably friday as well, when i was starting to come down with this, that was the case also.

i have a monster cold sore on my upper lip, not actually on the lip like usual but instead higher up so it looks like half a mustache. hooray! good look for me.

and finally, today, because i was talking on the phone when i was driving, i scraped the front of the car against a pylon in the garage when i was pulling out, and i pulled the front left plastic protective thingy off the wheel well. i burst into tears and cried hard over this, because my lovely perfect little car is now crapified. it was perfect and i ruined it! i was so, SO upset. i tried to take the car up to the place i bought it to have it fixed but i couldn't find my way up there. i thought i knew how to go but just drove and drove until i found myself in wayne, nj, whereupon i just fucking turned around and went back home. it was getting on toward 5pm and it was already pretty trafficky and it was only going to get worse at rush hour. i figured i'd head up there first thing tomorrow instead.

i came home and went to bed, and slept for a good 2 hours, and although i don't feel any better now, uh, ... not sure how to wrap that up into a nice optimistic statement. life is kind of crappy today and not looking like it will be better soon. although, adam will be home soon i hope, and that will help things a lot.