Monthly Archives: December 2002

While I was out.

Work isn’t so bad, it’s just there’s so much of it.

Certain persons at work are literally, crazy.  Too stressed to listen to what you’re saying, quick to jump to conclusions, incapable of maintaining a moderate voice level, quick to speak loudly, harshly, and over the end of your sentences.  Crazy persons.

I went kind of online shopping crazy.  I bought all kinds of stuff, like books, and slippers, and soaps, and they’re mostly for me.  There’re some gifts in there, but mostly it’s for me.  Because I’m working so much overtime, maybe.  Unfortunately, the more overtime I work, the more taxes come out of my paycheck.  So I’m really not being reimbursed for the time I’m working.  I’d prefer to take comp. time but if that were possible, I’d end up being able to take a whole month off.  And that wouldn’t go over well.

I want to take from the 23rd to the 1st off from work. And I want to charge sick time, because I’m not going to be doing fun stuff, I’m going to be resting.  Odds are I’ll get sick within 3 days of not going to work in the morning, once my body catches on that I’m resting a little.  But there was a little bit of conclusion where a certain persons thought I would be in on the 23rd and the 24th.  Aaah! I don’t want to be in!

I absolutely couldn’t work last weekend.  I told El B. that and he was very sad.  He was the only person who could work, as the rest of us had planned on having our lives back, because, you know, the deadline?  Was the 9th.  That was a whole week ago.  I had made plans for the weekend!  This project is like a train made out of molasses in the middle of winter cruising down a hill.  A train, or a molasses volcano. I’m not sure which.  It moves so very slowly down the hill, but nothing can make it faster except for warmer weather.  No matter how much work I do, the molasses train/lava won’t go any faster towards the deadline.

So Friday night I worked really late.  Saturday I had lots of errands to run, including getting the fixings for my holiday cards (this year will be the weirdest year ever!), and then there was our building holiday party, which was going very well and fun until the karaoke was introduced.  Then it got weird, and quick.  And then Sunday afternoon:  I had a wonderful crafty party with so many fantastic girls over.  It was ostensibly for last minute holiday crafting.  That morning we went out and bought a Christmas tree and cleaned and cooked.  I made fondue!  It’s so good.  Gruyere cheese is some fantastic stuff…  And so many girls came over, and we listened to cha cha cha records and Etta James CDs and ate cheese and cookies and hot apple cider. Mmm.

I must say, I was totally working the late 50’s, early 60’s hostess thing with the fondue set and the crock-pot warming the cider.  Heh.  All I lacked was an apron, and I just haven’t had a chance to sew mine yet!

And speaking of last minute holiday crafting, I haven’t finished making nearly anything for presents.  I did nearly finish my mittens, but that’s for ME, and not a gift!  I’m a terrible and reprehensible person.  At least I started my holiday cards.  I bought envelopes today, and have cut and folded enough to get started with the sending out.  All I have to do is remember to bring home my good pen and my glue stick so I can get these puppies going.

Utch.  Back to work for me, I guess, and maybe we’ll actually get this final volume off to the printer.  Honestly!  People ask when this project will be over and I say “last Monday.”  I caught myself telling someone yesterday that “I can sleep when I’m dead!  Lots of time for sleep then!”

The problem with my ego.

First things first, I’m totally a knitting fiend when it comes to making myself mittens! I mean, check it out:

Almost done with the first one, and then it’s on to the second! If only I could spend more time working on these, and not working on work.

Right, so, speaking of work, I nearly got into two fights with El Bosso today at work.

Well, the first one wasn’t really a fight, so much as it was a narrowly avoided pissing contest. This morning I mentioned to El B. that someone wasn’t in yet today b/c she had errands to run. He fussed that we had deadlines, and he had errands to run too and he’d been putting them off. I pointed out our deadline was MONDAY, and we’d all postponed our lives until after that deadline. Also, speaking of deadlines, I said, I have a doctors appointment tomorrow AM and won’t be in until mid-morning. He fussed that he’d been putting his doctors off for 3 months. I bit my tongue. I mean, my doctor’s appointment could have been about something terrible! I could have been going in for a biopsy, or a CAT scan, or an MRI, or to find out if that lump really is cancer or not! (Don’t worry Mom, it’s just a check-up! Everything is just a-ok.) And it’s none of his business. It’s none of my business that he doesn’t go to the doctor.

But I bit my tongue, and I didn’t have to get into how I’ve put off nearly my whole life until this Monday (last Monday!). And I didn’t get into how the deadline is PAST, and I worked pretty darn hard up until then, and we missed it anyway, and it wasn’t anyone’s fault. And I didn’t tell him it wasn’t any of his business if I was going to the doctors or to the moon, I told him as a courtesy.

This afternoon was a really weird ‘confrontation.’ We just got our 1st of 7 fully completed and reproduced volumes back from the printer: (Look! That’s 30-4 inch binders full of pure scientific fact there!)

There’s a streak down some of the covers, and El B. is totally fixated on it. He keeps trying to get rid of it. But he thought I was INSULTING him for saying we shouldn’t ‘play around with different printers’ trying to get the right color/print quality when we know we can just get the preferred color printer serviced instead. He was really insulted. We all thought he was kidding when he called me on it, and then I noticed this weird look on his face that I’ve never seen before and realized he was serious and also angry, and so I interrupted what ever he was saying and said “I wasn’t trying to insult you…” and he said “well that was a really insulting thing to say.”

I could make a list of things he says that I find really insulting. But I’m not going to. That’s a whole ‘nother pissing contest. And I think I’ve done enough bitching on this site to last nearly 2 weeks, at least. I will list the reasons why he might be hating me right now instead:

He’s never been able to break my cool demeanor. He can see through my thinly veiled distrust of his management methods. He’s found this website. He doesn’t like the way I keep interrupting him to tell him things I’ve already told him that he hasn’t heard lately. I worked more hours than he did this weekend. He’s just really tired, and acting out. He’s jealous of my long luxurious hair. He doesn’t know why I don’t try to walk as fast as he does any more. He is really stressed out, and sees me as a “safe zone.” I did a bad job on the table of contents last night. He wishes he could knit, but doesn’t know how to ask me to show him…

So, my ego wants me to tell him all of these things that have been rankling around in my head. About management. About my feelings. About the insults of micromanagement. But my head knows that I don’t need to say these things if I’m leaving. That it’s not really enabling a codependent, it’s just sticking it out until I get things figured out. Makes sense, right? The problem with my ego is that it wants me to tell him off, feel vindicated, and ride off on my white horse. But I’d just feel bad for acting unprofessionally. I’d feel bad for hurting feelings. I’d feel bad for shooting my own feet. And I don’t have a horse! Too many shades of gray, too many bridges to cross without burning. Stupid Ego.

Yarn Riot! And my first ever 76 hour week. My last? Perhaps.

Things I’ve wanted to write about but haven’t been able to because I’m working too darn hard:

The yarn riot.  Fantastic.  I got 3 different kinds of yarn, all very colorful or very unique.  I am so excited to make mittens from this kind (very hard to see the colors, but it’s almost right) and another wooly kind of interesting yarn will make very very pretty socks, or a scarf, or something.  It’s also exotic – an Italian yarn!  whoo!  Third was some nice homespun-esque wool yarn, and lastly, about 5 or 6 pairs of double pointed knitting needles.  Yes!  I can make my mittens, and also, start socks (after holidays of course).

I dragged Colby with me from work that day, and we had a great lunch together. And, I met Linda on the train, which is always marvelous, and one of those freaky things that happens sometimes in NYC that could wig you out if you think about it too much, even if she WAS going to the same place as we were. And Peggy was at the riot when we got there, and she’s like the best hugger in the entire world (tho’ Colby thought she was just a lady there, and didn’t realize I knew her when she started hugging.  Colby said she thought it was some weird yarn ritual, and she’d have to hug strangers all day!)  Last night I started knitting some mittens from the colorful yarn.  Really, it matches my new coat very very well.  Not because my new coat is like Joseph’s, or anything, but it does match.

I worked a 76 hour week last week.  It’s my first, and hopefully my last.  I worked so darn hard and we’re not even going to make our deadlines.  It’s very frustrating.  Like, incredibly, incredibly frustrating.  But the other people (who are “holding us up”) aren’t slacking off either; it’s just that our deadlines were crazy to begin with. I’d like to put a list of things I did this year inside my Christmas cards.  I still don’t know what they’ll look like, but I think I’ll photocopy a checklist style thing and put the years highlights on it, like:

  • worked first 76 hour week of my career.
  • decided to apply to grad school.

Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything else that’s good and happy funny and not sad to put on the list right now.  I hope I do, I need some good year in review perspective!

Here’s a sad thing that won’t make that list:  My kitty Boots died.  He lived with my father in Albany, and I found out on Thursday that Maggie had found him, dead.  DanAaron told me.  I was initially afraid the dogs had gotten him (as they may or may not have gotten a cat before), but they said that wasn’t the case.

Bootsie was a great cat.  When I was 12 we got my mom a cat, Mittens, because we wanted a kitten so bad.  But then she and dad divorced, and she moved out, and was still so raw from her cat Venus dying the year before that she left us Mittens.  And then we thought maybe Mittens needed a friend, and the neighbors’ cat had kittens the next summer, so we took Boots.  DanAaron and Daddy picked him up and brought him home and then went to a scout thing, and I got home later that day and found this little adorable kitty sitting in the upstairs bathroom right where they had left him.  He was scared, and lonely.  I took him all around the house and showed him his litter box.  I wanted to name him Mr. Kuss Kuss, because had just started taking German and thought it would be a great idea, but luckily Dad vetoed it and we went with Boots.  Later that year Mittens was hit by a car and killed, and I remember holding Boots tight and crying as Dad went up to get Mittens out of a ditch.  We were good friends, Boots and I, he slept with me and loved climbing under the covers and curling into the warm spot behind my knees.  I spent many nights unmoving, because I didn’t want to disturb him.

Boots was also a real spit-fire.  He’d play roughly and suddenly, often when you were petting he’d flip over, hug your hand to his head with his front paws, and kick box your arm with his back paws.  We all had scratches and scars from him.  He was an outdoor cat, and would climb in my window at night when he was done running around.  He once killed 5 squirrels in a single day and left them propped up around the house in various stages of rigor mortis.  Every window you’d go to, you’d see a new dead squirrel.  I had to get a shovel and fling them deep into the woods.

This Thanksgiving Boots was extra sweet.  He followed me around, and slept with me in my bed again.  I snuck him turkey to his spot on top of the fridge, and he poked his head around the microwave when we reheated the dinner the next day, following the smells.  I’m glad I had this time with my poor old kitty.  But I’ll miss knowing he’s sitting on top of the tallest appliance he can find, surveying all below him.  Or, maybe he still is sitting on the very tallest appliance, watching the dogs mill about below him with an eagle eye.

Oh the weather outside is frightful. Part II!

December 5, 2002. Oh the weather outside is frightful. Part II!

It’s snowing!

(What you can’t see in these pictures are the big whirling flakes that are all around.)

It’s been about, oh, forever long since we’ve had a good snow. The national weather service said “driving and walking” would likely be dangerous tonight. It also said that there would be unusually high tides! Whee! Best day ever.

Best day, you know, except for the working part.

I’m working so hard this week: everything is due to the printer on Monday, and we have to incorporate all of these new comments, and print everything ourselves to be sure it looks nice. And, we have to do these rounds of reviews so everyone is sure that everything is done correctly. Now, we’re talking over 2 feet of document here if stacked. And today the color printers stopped working (must print nearly 100 color figures). And then El Bosso started yelling, and cussing, and dashing around, and freaking out (must fix error in data analysis and computations). And I’m really tired, y’all. I’ve been at work all week from about 8 or 8:30 in the morning until 10 at night. That’s no way to live. And El B. still rides me for standing around because he ‘doesn’t want to wait until the last minute to get this done.’ Apparently, I do, and I’m goofing off purposefully so as to drain the sands from the hourglass that is the Nasty Lake Documents.

You know, when I work hard, and get less sleep than I ought to, and don’t eat right, and only have a little bit of relaxing time every day, I start to feel really fragile. Today I am fragile. I start to cry easily. I am tired. I am overworked. People are thinking the worst of me. I only have the snow for comfort right now, but at 6PM when the building shuts the power off and the air starts to cool down inside? I don’t know that the snow will be much comfort at all.

(This must be the most manic entry every. Yay! Snow! Boo, Sob, Sniff, work.)

Oh the weather outside is frightful.

Lordy Bee, it’s cold outside.

I love walking from the subway to work in the winter once it starts to really get chilly. It’s about 22 degrees in the morning this week, and I get all bundled up in a ridiculous hat and my knee socks and a sweater and gloves or mittens and my coat. I love seeing all of the different outfits that people wear: the older people, with stylish vintage hats and coats. The young professionals with their dapper coats flying in the wind behind them. And then there’s the guys around my age, who are too tough to wear a hat in the winter, and who feel that they must comment on MY hat. Ok, it’s a crazy hat. But c’mon! wear a hat, dude! Your ears are bright red and scary looking! How is that more fashionable than a hat?

Here’s my hat. And my long socks that I wore on the way to work today so my skirt wouldn’t be the death of me. I bought some Swedish military issue wool leg warmers today on ebay. They’re coming from Canada, so I don’t know how long it will take for them to get here. But you better believe I’m going to wear them EVERYWHERE. In the office, in the street, around the house, with fancy dresses. Oh yeah.


(look at how smart she is with glasses on!)

This morning I picked up my new winter coat at the post office! It’s beautiful. It’s light blue, and wool, and lined with thinsulate (it reflects the heat back to you! Creepy!), buttons up all the way to my neck, and has cute collars, and buttons on the sleeves. It is perfect. I am so glad I have it for this cold weather, even if it is a little late. Michelle tried to pick it up for me on Monday at the post office and we learned that she needed MY identification to pick it up. Um, what? I asked again, and they said that was the case. I think it’s just a local misinterpretation of the postal rules, because Michelle had called a 1-800 info number and they told her that she should have been able to pick it up with just her ID. Those crazies. Ever since they changed the name of the post office from “Hell’s Gate” to “Someone Riverez” I haven’t loved it there as much. You really can’t improve on calling something “Hell’s Gate.”

They’re saying it’s going to start snowing on Thursday mid-morning. They also say that with these cold temperatures, there’s a good chance for some accumulation by the evening rush hour. The weather service said it could make driving or WALKING dangerous! Hee. I’m really looking forward to some winter, especially with my new coat. But, the only problem is my hat starts to look kind of sad when it gets wet. Like in a drowned skunk kind of way. But I can’t leave the house without a hat, and my other hat isn’t as pretty!

We weren’t allowed to leave the house in the winter when I was little without a hat. Even if we were just going from our warm house into our warm car and into another warm place, Mom would say “but what if the car breaks down?” and once it did, when I was driving from Albany to NYC for a new years party we hosted in our SoHo apartment. I spun-out and went backwards into a ditch and crashed the car into a rock wall in a snowstorm and had to change my tire with my own two hands while it blew and snowed. And then I hobbled the little broke car off the road and took a bus the rest of the way down for the party. I was so glad that I had 2 wool sweaters and a hat and mittens to wear as I jacked the car up and jumped on the tire iron to loosen the frozen lug nuts. And that the auto mechanic I left the car at let me put the plants I’d been bringing home to my apartment in their store front so they wouldn’t freeze to death until I could get back there to claim my stuff.

In NYC I think it’s even more important to have warm outerwear accessories, because the wind comes off the river, whips around buildings and down long avenues, and hits you hard and cold. My cool hat isn’t the best, because it doesn’t really cover my ears all the way, but it does look freakin’ cool. I don’t have any mittens right now, and I really need some, because my fingers get too cold and lonely in gloves. These are my after-Christmas projects, I guess. Before socks. After lace scarves. That’s a good interim project, quick, easy, and for me.

A swamped note.

Goodness gracious.  I am so swamped here lately.  I am working very very hard, and then staying up late at night reading romance novels.  I had a fantastic weekend.  I had a super duper thanksgiving.  I am so sorry, Mom, my one devoted, true, regular reader (not true?  Prove it!), that I haven’t updated yet.  And here you’ve been spreading the good word!  Don’t worry.  I’ll put things up.  Piecemeal-style.