Tuesday, January 27, 2009

night owl

I'm naturally a night owl. If I don't have a schedule to follow, I'll stay up late and wake up late. Guess who's going back into her night owl ways? :)

The dogs are a little off schedule with that as their morning routine is later than normal. They don't seem to mind all that much, which is good.

The bad part about being home all the time is that I can hear just how many times the heat goes on during the day. Yikes!! Trust me when I say you don't want to know how often it is on these really cold days. I'm not even turning the heat up either, just letting the programmable thermostat take care of it like it normally would. I do have a blanket in the office tho' to keep me warm as I waste time on FaceBook. Damn site.

It's 12:36am and I'm watching Paranormal State. I probably shouldn't watch ghost stories before bed but they aren't scary at all. I love the gay medium, he's the absolute best!

I saw a commercial for the movie Taken today. I want to watch it but I'm afraid there might be some startling moments and I need someone with me to grab on to if I get scared. I can't stand scary movies by myself... my imagination really is that good. :p

The funny part is I used to *love* to get scared. I used to watch scary movies in the dark. My father would come up behind me and startle me during a really intense moment. I would, of course, scream and then start laughing - I loved it! Now, not so much. I have no idea why it changed.

The business website is coming along pretty nicely. Most of the products are loaded in. I have to create the navigation and test the credit card integration. I am not storing any credit card numbers, I'm sending them all through PayPal. I don't have the knowledge or experience to safely keep that stuff so I'm leaving it to the experts.

I'm not sure how I worked a full-time job with all the appointments and stuff I have going on. Sheesh! Today I went to the eye doctor, tomorrow I have that outplacement thing-a-majig, Wednesday is something I can't remember. Ugh.

I'm off to go read a bit before bed.


Friday, January 23, 2009

house stuff

I rearranged my desk and tossed everything that was on it on the love seat. What? The desk is still clean! Anyway, I started going through the piles of piles (because I'm quite the piler) and I found a bunch of post its stuck together that I haven't seen in a while. Ok, fine, they were lost in one of the piles, happy?

I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to do to the house right after I bought it. Actually, I think I started the list when I was walking around with the house inspector. Regardless, I've been adding to it and crossing things out over the years.

House list

tile bathroom floor
replace toilet
replace bathroom sink
add garbage disposal
rip up living room rug
install flashing
install gutters
insulate attic
replace floor registers
replace wall intake cover
replace broken toilet paper holder
replace sections of deck
install pool
remove wallpaper in bedroom
replace screens
install Atrium screen
replace back door
replace pipes under kitchen sink
replace stove
replace kitchen floor
replace rotted wood in Atrium door
add door to office
get gate for deck
get 1/2 door for cellar - NO
dryloc cellar - NO
replace locks
replace ripped screen (cellar)
replace ripped screen (front door)
install programmable thermostat
add fencing section
plant trees
extend sump pump hoses
rewire house
replace bathroom switch
replace kitchen and office ceiling fans
add closet doors
fix under deck (yeah right!)
fix fence near wall
add fence blocking driveway
new baseboard
paint bedrrom
add baseboard
install fireplace
rip off bathroom tile
rip off kitchen tile
replace motion lights
add wainscoting to bathroom
replace soffit
add heat/ice melter on roof
paint kitchen
refinish LR baseboard
clean cellar
replace hinge on big kitchen door
add threshold in living room
build bookcase in living room
install attic ladder
replace kitchen window
build closet
add cellar door
add motion light for the back door
add outlet in attic
replace cracked vinyl siding
install hot tub

All in all I think I've done pretty good over the last 4 years. Just giving myself a pat on the back.


Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have an appointment in my phone for 12:30pm tomorrow. Lunch @ Bamboo. I have no freakin' clue in the world who it's with. I hate my phone calendar. If it's with you, please let me know.

I did pick up a planner to keep on my desk tho'. I knew there was something else I was supposed to get but couldn't remember what it is - until I got home, of course. Yup, the good old wall calendar. One could ask why I feel the need to have two planning devices. The reason is simple. I'm a freakin' moron. Or did you not figure that out from the 1st paragraph?

Ash has been doing really well on his training. I swear, there's no way better to bond with a dog than training him or her. I love him, but I'm starting to love him even more now. Training rocks. Since I have the time, I'll try to capture more of his training on video and post it online.

I'm still struggling with the stupid website. I can't get the cart to connect to Joomla properly. Looks like tomorrow will be spent combing through the forums on each of the software sites trying to find a solution. So much for it being online by the end of the week. :p Damn thing. I think I'm getting closer though.

I have no plans for the weekend and I'm going to try and keep it that way. Instead, I think I'm going to try and clean this dump. The living room is the only room partially under control. I rearranged my desk yesterday and I feel so much better about this little area. Now I just have to do something with everything I took off the desk. :p I think the shredder is going to get a huge workout. I have to get this place under control because even *I* can't stand to be here. Plus, I don't have work to escape to anymore. :p

I have some web stuff in the works, some sites that have been started and will soon be finished. Just in time to add them to my portfolio before looking for another job. If you know of anyone looking to have web work done, send them my way.

I had lunch today with a co-worker that I wasn't able to hook up with before leaving. We didn't talk about work *at all*, which was really nice. Instead we talked about her husband being on TV, how her kids are doing, how the business and the dogs are doing, etc., etc. It was good and I hope we stay in touch.

Now that I have some time off, I'm trying to figure out when I can get the time to go on a few small trips. I definitely plan on spending some time in NJ, that's a given. But I'm also trying to schedule a trip to MI to spend some quality disc time with Ron & April. It's a really long drive so I don't want to just go for a weekend but a little longer. With flyball tourneys every other weekend in Feb, I think it'll be tougher than I thought to find the time. Maybe my new planner can help me figure it out. :)

My brother is leaving for Florida tomorrow. I stopped by his new place tonight to pick up a key so I can feed her. I'm not sure I knew he had a cat before this trip. Apparently he picked her up from the shelter over a year ago. Her name is Abigail. I don't know if my not knowing about her shows how bad a communicator my brother is or how bad a sister I am for not asking. Probably both.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

it's the wish, not the word

I don't belong to a mainstream religion. I also don't sneer when someone says "God Bless You" to me.

I don't get offended when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Easter or any other religious holiday saying.

It's not the words that are important, it's the well wishing that are behind them. Who cares what specific words are used? I don't.

That was my conclusion after watching the inauguration of President-elect, now President, Barack Obama. It was a weird kind of segue, one that I'm not sure I can even explain.

I thoroughly enjoy listening to him speak. He captivates me with his unique style and concise pronunciation. He could be reading a menu and I'd be hooked. He had a lot of really good sound bites too- phrases that will be repeated, hopefully, for years to come.

If he can accomplish even a 10th of what he'd like, I'll be impressed and thrilled that we're on the path to fixing all things broke.

Some observations of today's event:

- George Bush didn't look pleased at all. I wonder what he was thinking through all of that?

- Bill Clinton is really wearing his age and not in a good way.

- I don't give a rat's ass about Aretha Franklin's hat. Jeez people! We just made history!

- I thought the respect shown to the Bushes by walking them out to the helicopter was extremely admirable. I was impressed that a) it was done and b) that it was one of his first actions as president. Regardless of what you feel about either of them, you have to admit that that was a cool thing to do.

- Apparently I can't listen to the national anthem without tearing up. (Should that be capitalized?)

- I knew who Yo Yo Ma was because he was in a West Wing episode. (I'm not sure if he was *actually* in the episode but he was supposed to play for the president in it.)

- I've never seen so much fur in an audience before. Are only rich people invited to sit in that top area?

Today was officially Day One of unemployment. Yesterday was a holiday and I would've had it off anyway so I'm not really counting that. I worked on the website, got frustrated, uninstalled everything, reinstalled everything, got frustrated some more and then gave up for the night. Productive? Hardly.

I've decided that I actually need to leave the house tomorrow, unfortunately. I haven't been out of the house since the last snow storm since some bastard stole my shovel and I couldn't dig out. Not that I really wanted to go anywhere anyway. But I have a dr's appointment that I can't miss and I need a wall calendar and a small planner. I can't keep track of everything I have to do and the calendar on my phone blows. I'll have to see if there's an app I can grab for it but since I lost my outlook calendar too, I need to have something in front of me telling me what to do. It's amazing that I have so much to do now that I have nothing to do!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

One more day...

Tomorrow is my last day at work. All in all I think I'm handling this pretty darn well - almost like a grown up or something. Yesterday and today were a little tough tho', having people come in to say good bye. It's the hugs that get me every freakin' time and leave me a little teary eyed - especially when the people come in with those telltale shiny eyes. Ugh. That's when it's tough.

I sent out my email to a select group and hope they (and I) keep in touch. We'll see... you know how people lose track of each other over time.

I have a meeting at 10:30am, then will go over my package with HR and then that's it for me. I'll come home, play with the puppy, screw around on the computer for a bit before heading to the Irish bar to meet whomever wants to have a few drinks.

Since I have the time, I'll be heading to lunch with a few people next week that I didn't get a chance to hang out with before leaving. I'm waiting for Susan to get back from vacation before deciding when to go hang out down there for a week. If I push it out far enough, we might be able to squeeze in a few classes or something, which certainly wouldn't hurt. :)

For those of you not on FB, here are a couple of pics from a photo session with Furry Moments Pet Photography. I'm rebuilding her site next week so it'll be better then. :p

Signing off...


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ooops - almost forgot...

The latest tattoo...


Laid off

Friday is my last day at *****. I can't say I'll miss being there because I really, really won't!

I don't think I'm a "government" kind of person. I like to think outside the box and actually get shit done instead of just writing about how I want to get shit done. To me there's a big difference. My boss can certainly talk the talk but after a year he still has nothing to show for it. Well, except for laying me off that is.

I was there for 8 years (look at me already speaking in past tense). I went through a lot of stuff there and in general since I first started. After leaving Lotus/IBM, I didn't want to work for another big company. My Dad talked me into it. :p When I could work and actually get stuff done, I was happy and had no desire to leave. About a year and a half ago, that changed and I've progressively grown unhappier with every passing day. This is the perfect ticket out for me - I get a little bit of severance to tide me over while I look for a new job - one in a smaller company where people say Hi to you in the morning and you got out to lunch together once in a while and you aren't debating between slitting your wrists or getting ready for work. I think I could even work at McDonald's and be happier than I was there. Which very well may be the case with the economy tanking the way it is. :p

But, I have some stuff lined up to do. I have 4 websites to build, I have some dog sitting and private dog training to do and of course, first and foremost, I have to get the business up and running. I'm sooooo close! I'm picking up the CD of images this week and will have alllll of next week to work on it. I'm hoping against all hope that it goes even half as smoothly as I think it will. Of course I just cursed myself with that but ah well. :)

I think the part I'll miss the most is not being able to go to school. I'll have to see if Baker has any scholarships for out of work people. :p

I started bringing shit home from work so I wouldn't have to do it all on Friday. It's amazing how much shit you can accumulate in 8 years. Sheesh. I don't even know what I'm going to do with it all, which means that while I'm not looking for another job, I'm be freecycling, recycling and tossing shit out.

The two main goals I have besides the business is to clean off the kitchen table and my desk. It would be amazing to be able to see both of those surfaces at some point in the next 3 months.

Some of the benefits: the dogs are going to love, Love, LOVE having me home during the day, I'll save money on gas, I'll have time to clean the house, I'll be able to get my laundry under control once again, the puppy will be properly house broken in weeks, I can come up with a freestyle routine and actually train Tweak to do it properly (still need a song dammit) and I can go for long walks/hikes with the active ones! Not to mention that I won't have to get up at any certain time, deal with people I seriously dislike or put up with my boss's bullshit anymore.

The downside: money. I have to make sure I'm not spending needlessly until I get another job. Thank dog I ordered and paid for that flyball box months ago. :p Priorities y'know...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm in love...

...and I'm not even talking about my dogs. :p

I am in love with Arizona's Pomegranate Green Tea Iced Tea mix. I think I've gone through 3 containers of it in the past week and a half. I swear I drink about a gallon of it a day. If you try it and get addicted, don't blame me. I warned ya.

So I was actually kind of productive today. I got one of the sink bowl full of dishes done, which is huge for me. I also got the Xmas tree un-ornamented and taken down. It hasn't made it downstairs yet and probably won't until tomorrow but that's still pretty good.

I have a Border Collie laying across my shoulders and neck like a stole right now. Gods I love that dog!!

I've been trying new toys with the puppy, trying to find the one he prefers for tuggin'. The little bugger won't make up his mind so I have 8 kinds if tugs in every room of the house. I pray that he makes up his mind soon although it probably won't happen until he gets his big boy teeth in.

It's funny how it seems like I just got Tweak a short time ago and it feels like I've had Ash for forever. I wonder why that is. Is that a bad thing?

Tomorrow I'll put the Xmas tree away and work on being able to see the top of the kitchen table. At this point the pile o' crap on top of it is close to a foot tall. Yeah, it's time for some kind of organizational system for stuff coming in the house. Or, I could just not bring anything in the house. I like that idea.



Monday, January 5, 2009


So my new puppy makes the craziest damn sounds you've ever heard.

One of the first days I had him I swore someone had him in a noose and way. Apparently that's called chortling. I call it scary and have vowed never to be 5 minutes late for his meal ever again.

Somehow I have to clean this pit of a house by Thursday. Sue & Mary are coming over to play with the puppy, get some product-in-use shots for the business and get take some pics of the puppy. How that is going to happen, I haven't the foggiest idea since I couldn't even manage to get some of the dishes done tonight.

I did, however, manage to play with the puppy lots! I think Ash has learned that biting my face isn't nearly as much fun as biting the tug toy. Probably not but one can hope.

The toy I got Zeke for Xmas freakin' rocked! Who's the best Auntie John in the world? I am! People say you can't buy love... clearly they haven't had the opportunity to give gifts to kids because you most certainly can with the most rockin' of toys! The Roboraptor was one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time and I have no idea how I'm going to top that for his birthday. I'll figure it out. Going back to the toy, it was so cool I'm even thinking of getting a few for myself!

I'm thinking of the robopet or dawg and/or the robo/femisapien. I probably won't but it would be cute for a bit - until it became Millie's chew toy.

Saturday I'm planning my birthday dinner/drinkfest. There's a potential for some drunk tattooing too, but I have to check in with Ken and see what he has for plans.

Sunday I'm heading to the World of Wheels with Glen & Elissa. I was supposed to go to Monster Jam with them in Feb but can't because of a flyball tournament. :( I love flyball but I love Monster Jam too. I hate that they're on the same weekend.

It's time to go read, I'm bored with writing.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

This one's for Sarah

Because god forbid she should be bored at work and have nothing at all to read. :p

I guess I've been going through one of my don't-feel-like-writing spurts. Well, that and I'm chasing after a 10 week old puppy and exercising my 2 year old Border Collie so it's been a little busy. Add in the holidays... you get the picture.

I'm not even sure I can remember everything that's happened over the past month or two - there's been so much!

Yesterday we went to a one-day flyball tournament in Manchester, NH. Freddie did very well all day and earned his 9th flyball title - ONYX. I'm so proud of my little man and he was beyond thrilled with the plain double cheeseburger he got as a reward! I'd like to get one more title on him but we'll see what happens. He is 10 and the next title is 10k points away. Fingers crossed!

I picked up my new puppy the day after my niece was born. Short of winning the lottery, there really wasn't any chance that week could get any better! I'm still deciding on a kennel (long) name but his call (everyday) name is Acheron or Ash for short. It's based on a character in a series I read and fits in with the whole phoenix tattoo theme.

I posted about my niece, she's a cutie! There really isn't a whole bunch you can do with them at this age since all they do is eat, shit and sleep but wait until she gets older! I'll be dragging her to flyball and monster jam shows in no time. Korn will also be one of her favorite bands. :p

A couple of weeks ago I was told there was a 90% chance I would be laid off in January. I was upset about it at first, now I'm seriously looking forward to it. There are a number of things I have/want to do and that would certainly allow me to do them while looking for another job. I wrote that I was itching for change and bam! here it is! I'm actually quite excited about it now!

Tweak & I went to a toss & fetch competition on New Years Day. We ran in the Pro division for the first time and did A-ok. We were tied for 3rd place but didn't get it as the other person had one more successful throw than I. Ah well. At least I didn't get spanked across the field.

Speaking of the other half of my heart, I have to start working on this year's freestyle routine with her. I wish I was better at it - she would rock hard with someone who knew what the hell they were doing! Step one, pick a damn song! Suggestions are welcome. :)

Today I'm heading to Glen & Elissa's to hand off some annoying Xmas presents that I'm sure the kids will be thrilled with. Probably not so much for Glen & Elissa. Ah well. That's just the kind of "Auntie John" that I am. :)

The business stuff is taking far longer than I thought it would. I was hoping to have everything up mid-November but considering I just got the product picture options over the holidays, I blew by that date. Now I'm hoping for end of January but think sometime in Feb is more feasible unfortunately. Of course, getting laid off would help get that up and running much more quickly!!

Was that long enough for ya Sarah? :p