Dec 19, 2003

It's the holidays and the end of 2003. As we end probably the most important year of my life I have to sit back and think about all of the things I've learned. I am happy to share my wisdom with the masses:

My 20 most important discoveries of 2003:

1. Pumpkin cookies are not good.
2. Chicago is damned cold.
3. It's easy to lose weight when you have food poisoning as a starting point.
4. Weddings are only one day. Marriages are forever.
5. A marriage is hard work.
6. Marriage is wonderful.
7. Cats will do whatever the hell they want to when you're away.
8. A pain in the abdomen does not always mean appendicitis.
9. Having your toenail ripped off hurts like hell.
10. I have a lot to be thankful for.
11. You never know what you have until you almost lose it.
12. Good friends and family are valuable assets.
13. It's ok to change.
14. Money is the devil.
15. Never ever let a new hair stylist give you a drastically different haircut.
16. I am capable of more than I think.
17. Jeans for short people really do exist!
18. It's healthier to be happy and poor than rich and miserable.
19. Life is expensive.
20. Mojitos.

Dec 18, 2003

To add insult to injury, I have a sore throat today. I don't get a new job, instead I get a new cold. This how life works for me. I'm drinking my chicken bullion, I'm going home at noon to rest, and I plan to be up and running tomorrow for a marathon day of eating, drinking and being merry with my coworkers, to be followed by the beginning of a driving expedition half way across the country. My coworker has been sick for two weeks, my boss looks like he wants to die, the head of our sister department is also dreadfully ill, and now, with two days to go until I'm off work for two whole weeks, I contract their sickness. Fantastic. If I was putting in my two weeks I wouldn't mind so much. It would be sort of ironic. But now that I know I have to come back after the New Year to the same ole same ole, it's just an insult that I would get sick. It figures.

Song stuck in my head: Just Like Heaven by the Cure

Dec 17, 2003

I shed a tear or two, and am now ready to admit defeat. I didn't get the job, but was assured that I was an impressive candidate who's resume will be passed on should another position arise sometime in the near future. I'm not going to scream or pout. I am just worried about my employability. I don't like to settle for things. I don't want to end up 50 and working the same low paying, low responsibility job.

Maybe 2004 will bring something better my way.

I made the official transition to my clean blank little black 2004 datebook. I feel a little empty, like these blank pages are just waiting to be filled. (There's that damned uncertainty again.) I feel like this step should be symbolic of bigger and better things. New Year and all that. Fresh start, new lease on life, new opportunities, fresh experiences. Only time will tell.

Tip of the day: Don't count your chickens before they're hatched, even if there's only one.
Employment Update, Day 9: So I finally broke down and called the hiring manager at 3pm yesterday afternoon. She was on the other line so I left a message. I left work at 4:50 (my building closes at 5:00 during the holidays, so I have to shuffle out of my office a few minutes before) and get to work this morning to a message she left for me at 4:59pm yesterday. So I call back at 9am today and hear a message that she is out of the office until 2pm today. God love it. You know, I just about want to scream. All of this whining and pouting must sound pretty petty and silly, but I have been turning myself inside out for the past week. I seriously may have an ulcer forming. Maybe they'll just go ahead and hold out until after New Years to help me battle those holiday pounds. Anxiety burns mega calories.

In other news, I've finally decided to put down the mixing bowl and turn in my baking rights. I can finally admit it, I just can't bake. I am stubborn, can't follow directions, don't like to measure and hate to have boundaries when it comes to working in the kitchen, so baking is naturally a disaster for me. I tried to make fudge over the weekend and ended up with a thick gooey grainy mess. Not even my husband would eat it. We both wanted it to taste good, but after going back a fourth time we decided it had to be laid to rest. Baking and I just aren't meant to be together. Now I absolutely love cookbooks, but I look at recipes as starting points, as a basic guide which I am free to liberally alter. I can add an extra ingredient on a whim, or leave out something if I so desire. Now, if you pull the old switcheroo on ingredients or amounts while you're baking, you end up with crap. (Nothing can substitute for baking soda, that Splenda sweetener is not a good replacement for the real thing, and canned pumpkin is not a good additive to sugar cookies.) My last two attempts at making sweets have been miserable failures. There is a reason there are no recipes for pumpkin cookies, so I should not have tried to make one up. And I don't know what went wrong with the fudge. Of course, I tackled a complicated recipe for my first attempt at fudge making, so maybe that was the problem. Start with the simple, work up to the complex. Didn't I learn that when learning how to throw pottery? Why can't I apply it to baking? Oh well, my loving husband will just have to be the baker of the family. I'll stick with savory meats, veggies and starches. I will make you a feast, and Craig can make you the dessert. (Unless it's apple pie, which is the only thing I have ever baked well, and will continue to make until I die.)

I love the kitchen, and the kitchen is usually pretty good to me, though some gremlin is let loose when I open the sugar jar. Well, no more I say. I'm giving up on something, only for the second time in my life. (The first time was a chemistry class in college. Maybe these two failures are related?)

Dec 15, 2003

My god. I don't know how much longer I can wait. I keep thinking "today will be THE day" but noooo. I must go home deflated and ulcered only to face another anxiety ridden day tomorrow. Will I be eating out tomorrow night for comfort? or celebration? or will it even be tomorrow? I can't handle this uncertainty. I am a rock, built on stone set rules and schedules. The rest of this year is a mystery. There is no comfort in that for me. I don't like surprises.

Cajetan: patron saint of job seekers
I love pregnant women. They are just too cute. If I could be in a perpetual state of pregnancy, I might do it just for the attention. Except that everyone wants to touch pregnant bellies, and I don't know how I feel about that. My belly is off limits to anyone but me at the moment. But maybe it's different when you have a baby right there. My coworker is pregnant, and the process just fascinates me. I can't get over it.

Still waiting for my new job. My fingers are cramping from keeping them crossed all weekend. Please just let me know!!!!

Tip of the day: When you get back to your hard wood floor apartment above me at 4:30am Monday morning, take off your high heeled shoes.

Dec 12, 2003

4:32 no news. i checked the phone, and there's a dial tone, so that's not the cause of the delay. maybe their building burned down. maybe they're drafting up a congratulatory speech. maybe they're ordering me flowers. or maybe they offered the position to the mystery candidate. this weekend is going to suck not knowing the details of my future employment status.

i am emily's childish lack of patience.
"It seems to me now that the plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone." Nick Hornby, How to Be Good
Work is not a good place for me today. I wish I had remained in bed, which is where I will settle as soon as I can get home. At least it doesn't smell like bacon grease here. Frasier is blasting from the tv behind the counter. I hate that song. I went to get a slice of pizza, and it was nearly frozen by the time I walked back to my office. It is about 1 and 1/2 degrees outside and my toes are still cold. I wasn't invited to the Women's lunch today. I didn't want to go anyway, but I still feel left out. No phone call from admissions yet. I miss my friends. I wish I had been invited to the Women's lunch. Everyone here hates me. I HATE THAT SONG.

My stomach is going to orchestrate a violent attack against me if I continue to mistreat it so. It's only a matter of time. I will never again combine pate and crantinis. And vodka, and wine, and rare tuna, and whatever those little filled pastries were. But really, how much fun could a Christmas party be if you don't have a throbbing headache and nausea the next day to remember it by? The Greatest Husband in the World made me bacon for breakfast, which fast settled the party that was still going on in my tummy, but smelling noxious pork fumes an hour later makes for an unpleasant experience. The leftover liquor in my blood mixed with thick bacon air and the anxiety of waiting to hear if I got this job is not a good combination. Granted, this is all self-imposed suffering, but suffering none the less.

Highlight of the night: A horse drawn carriage ride around our city and seeing my husband sit on Santa's lap.

Souvenirs of the night: A terrible hangover, a bra shaped purse and a cowboy pig piggy bank.

Tip of the day: All of your coworkers will remember you being a belligerent drunk at the Christmas party. Keep that in mind when ordering your fifth martini. And don't call everyone "Fukker".

Dec 11, 2003

Interview #1 on Tuesday went well. So well that I received a phone call a mere 4 hours after meeting with my possible employers, inviting me back for a second interview on Thursday (today.) This position carries more responsibility, a fantastic change of scenery, a bigger office, a bigger paycheck, an actual salary instead of an hourly wage, and a more professional environment. Today I am to meet with 4 new people who will determine my immediate employment fate. On Tuesday I was told that they were moving fast and wanted to make a decision by Friday (tomorrow) on who they want to fill this position. Wow. I had no idea things would move this fast. Now, I was also told during my phone call inviting me back that "This is a good thing. Not necessarily THE thing, we have another highly qualified candidate, but we are very interested in you." Not THE thing. Ok. But I still can't help getting overly excited about this, and I have already started planning my January calendar accordingly. I'm quite sure they're lying about the other candidate. My two weeks notice goes in on Monday, last day officially the day after Christmas, be back home on Monday the 29th, first day of new job possibly Friday, January 2nd, 2004. Of course, this is all speculation. Of course I can't get too giddy. But I feel confident that I look too cute today for them not to hire me, if only for office adornment. :)

Drug of the Day: Pepto Bismol for my butterfly laden stomach.

Breakfast of the Day: Stale cheese popcorn from the 25 pound tin gifted to me by a group of happy patrons. Good for my stomach, I'm sure.

Dec 8, 2003

I'm all about numbered lists lately.

5 reasons that I am looking for a new job:

1. I want to make the transition from hourly to salary.
2. I need more responsibility, challenges, stimulation, workload....I'm serious, I want to be busy.
3. I want room for advancement.
4. More money. I need a raise.
5. Change of scenery. I'm bored.
My 10 favorite things about today:

1. I wasn't too late to work today.
2. I got to eat ripe strawberries in December.
3. I accidentally ran across an old friend's e-mail address. I e-mailed her.
4. My very best friend told me I'm one of the only people in the world who can make her laugh. I always thought she was just easily amused, but it turns out that I'm actually funny.
5. My hair isn't too frizzy.
6. At least 4 people have said "I Love You" to me so far.
7. I discovered my favorite vanilla lotion in the bottomless depths of my tote bag. I thought it was gone for good.
8. The grapefruit I left in my office all weekend was still good enough to eat for lunch today, and I still had enough sugar to eat it with.
9. I found $5 more in my wallet than I thought I had.
10. All of my bitching and moaning has payed off and I landed a job interview for tomorrow!! Wish me luck!

Dec 5, 2003

I am in a perpetual state of anxiety waiting to hear from possible employers while trying to maintain a cool demeanor at my current workplace, which I am failing miserably at. I've been secretively yet desperately trying to bail out for more than two months, to no avail. It is obvious that I'm ready to leave. I've updated my job manual, even printed it into a tidy neat little book. I've finished all major projects that I've been putting off since being hired here, and have delayed the projects that I have no intention of ever completing. I just don't care. They can't fire me just because they know I'm looking for employment elsewhere, can they?

I have the easiest job on the planet, and isn't that a desirable position to be in? To be able to spend 85% of your workday doing personal things? It's been nice, being able to freshen up on my online shopping skills, to be able to read the newest headlines every hour, and I have found myself subscribing to all sorts of daily e-mails. (Word of the day: soup├žon.) I am way overpaid for what I actually do, but tragically underpaid for what I am capable of giving. I'm intellectually wasting away to nothing working here. I need stimulation and challenges. The most stimulation and challenge I get at this point is reading and filling out e-mailed surveys, which have been thankfully plentiful lately.

George Bush
Rich girls in Porshe SUVs who illegally park in handicapped spots
Electronic Music
People who don't use apostrophes correctly
Ignorant stupid people

Oh, and my job.

Dec 4, 2003

Almond m&ms are the devil, the DEVIL, I say!

Dec 3, 2003

Happy late birthday to Craig, happy late birthday to Craig, happy late birthday to Craaaaaaiiig, did you like the balloons?

Today I am thankful for: Coffee and gummy strawberries.

I'm totally ready for job interviews. SOMEBODY PLEASE CALL ME!

Dec 2, 2003

I keep feeling like my financial situation is a terrible math word problem.

If Jack and Jill have a variable monthly income of X, fixed monthly bills of Y, variable monthly credit card bills of Z, an outstanding debt of Q resulting in J number of total payments, owe P per month on their car loan, eat out L times a week spending M on each outing, buy H number of plane tickets per year costing between R and T, and have $3.52 in their savings account, is it possible to survive month to month?

X - {Y+Z+P+[(LxM)x4]+{[(R+T)/2]xH}+(Q/J)+3.52 = I sure as hell hope so.

Dec 1, 2003

Why is it that we look forward to holidays spent with the family for weeks, only to stress out and over analyze so much that we fail to enjoy the time for all that it's worth? Or is that just me?

I can't wait until I have Thanksgiving at my house.

I found an outfit, or rather outfits, for my holiday parties. The world is as it should be. First one on Thursday and I'm ready to party.

Highlight of Thanksgiving '03: I'm not kidding, I loved seeing Elf.