Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just having a day...

Well - so far it's only a morning - but ARRRGH. I have one employee who can really drive me up the wall. She started my day off badly not even realizing it. See - she recycles paper. If she runs a proof report and then a final report, she saves the proof and then later puts that paper back in the computer for when she is printing something else. It was driving me up the wall. I would open up the journal entry book and not know which page I was looking at because she did this. She's really proud of herself. She claims to have saved us $28 this year by doing so. $28 freakin' dollars. That's nowhere near the cost of the therapy that the rest of the staff and I need because she drives us nuts. So - this morning, I walk in the office and there in the middle of the floor is a big box of her "recycled" paper. Then - I barely get to take off my coat - certainly haven't gotten my coffee yet - and she's pouncing on me about an issue with an invoice. She really likes to be right and find other people doing wrong. So - she's right about this one. I agree and tell her I'll talk to the other department head. She continues on for several minutes about the issue until I say basically "I get it. Shut up already." Not exactly what I said - but she got my drift. Maybe it wouldn't all be so annoying if she was a sweet lovely woman. She's nice enough, but she does like to find other people's mistakes. She also isn't always considerate of her co-workers rights and needs when it comes to time off. She has a sense of entitlement - with nothing to back it up other than longevity. She's overpaid for what she does - but she'll tell you otherwise. She has a seriously inflated title - Senior Accountant - when at best she's the Senior Clerk. She brings her outdoor plants to the office for the winter and they are ugly, smelly and she doesn't keep the space they occupy clean. She doesn't think about how her actions impact others - it's that sense of entitlement. She's a major suck-up to men in power, but bucks any woman who have more power than she does. In the past, I've had to tell her that she can't discuss items with certain department heads because she can't seem to show them the respect they deserve. And she hums. Off key. And sometimes she just layers on the powder and perfume. Instead of showering. She really needs to retire. Really.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Feeling sorry for the shithead

My brother is still a shithead, but right now, I feel bad for him. He was up for the spot as Principal at the high school where he has been an Assistant Principal for several years. According to an article in the local paper today, he is not going to get it. It is apparently going to a woman who used to teach at his school and has been Assistant Principal at another area school. I'm not sure what his next move will be now. I wonder if this is the kind of thing where he should look to move to another district. I also wonder if he shouldn't have considered doing so before now. The shithead has a tendency to take the path of least resistance - his behavior with the bitch he married is evidence of this. So what will he do now - lay down and be a doormat, put aside his dreams or take action and move on to a place where he can realize his dreams. Of course - no matter what he does work-wise, until he deals with the bitch and alters his own behavior towards his family, he remains a shithead.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doggie Update

Boomer's training is really paying off. So is owner training! We have used the "bonker" aka the "phooey towel" on him with great results. This is a rolled up towel that you throw at the dog's feet while yelling "PHOOEY" (or some other word you don't normally use) to startle him. It's only for really really bad behavior - like counter surfing, jumping on people, going after other dogs on your walk . It's working. Eventually, you are supposed to be able to use only the word and they behave. Last night, we went outside to do "business" and Boomer saw the neighbor dog which normally sets him off pulling me across the yard, yanking my shoulder out of its socket (okay not really, but close) and general ugly barking and growling. So - he started - I said "Boomer, Phooey" and that dog stopped. WOW!

I try to do some weight training at least two mornings per week. This can be tough with a dog who wants to snuggle up as soon as I lay down on the floor to do ab work. This morning, I'm trying to do my hundreds (a Pilates exercise) and I ended up doing it with the dog snuggled into my side, laying on his back while I petted him with one hand. He was just so cute, I couldn't move him.

His toys that I posted about are still alive. We've added two more to the list. One - a hedgehog - he got just this weekend. A couple of times, he has started to pull the stuffing out the poor hedgehog's butt. When he would do this, we would take the toy away. He would then cry for it. So pathetic, so cute. Well, the last two days, he has managed to play with Mr Hedgehog and not rip the stuffing out! YAY!

Have I ever mentioned that he sleeps with a blanket? This dog does not like the cold. He's a warm weather dog for sure. Sometimes we wake up in the morning and the dog has himself all under the blanket - head included. It's so darn cute. He also likes to sit out in the sun when it is hot out. He'll cry and cry to go outside in nice weather. I've also taken him out to do business and had him just drop down in the middle of the yard and refuse to move because it's nice out and he wants to sit in the sun. He's got such a personality.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


We all have some memories that stick with us more than others. Some good - some bad. I thought, as part of my self-exploration - I would look at some of mine. I don't know that any of them have shaped me - but I think that some of them did. Others I think just reveal part of who I am. Like a memory from when I was 8. I was running home for dinner and ran into a wire that was supporting a newly planted tree. I cut open my leg. The memory of the pain is still with me today - I don't feel the actual pain, but it's a real bad memory and very uncomfortable. Dislike of pain is part of who I am - unless it's someone else's pain, then I can handle it and perform well, unless there is blood involved.
Another unpleasant memory - from age 10 - part of my history of feeling 2nd best - our grammar school basketball team (I was JV) was having an end of season party at the coach's house. We decided to play a game of basketball! Two 8th graders were the captains and picked teams. I was the last player chosen. Bad enough - but one of the captains was my sister and she only took me because she had no choice.
Achievement memories - in 6th grade when I outlasted everyone and finally spelled Mozambique correctly to win the spelling bee!
Terrifying memory - I was 5 years old and my brother let me come up into his tree house. Then he left me up there. Was I afraid of heights before that or am I afraid because of that. Bee stings - one under my eye - definitely why I am insanely afraid of bees.
Bad day memory - 9/11 - there are so many memories of that day. One that in particular stays with me is my uncle calling from Ireland where he, his wife, my aunt and her husband were with my mother on vacation. He said "What's going on." After talking to him a bit, he put my mother on the phone. All she did at first was cry. I'll never forget that - such a raw expression of a mother's love.
Wonderful day memories - when A first said "I love you", when he proposed, when we got married - all such deep, beautiful memories that have filled me with a joy I never knew could be possible.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Where I've been

I don't mean lately. I've just been a slagger about blogging lately. I've been doing other stuff with free time. Today, I have a minute or so left in my lunch hour - so here goes. Here is my attempt at an analysis of where I've been in my life and how it has impacted who I am.

I'm the third of four children, but I was the baby for 8 years. I think that was the start of my feeling 2nd best or "not special". I was never any one's favorite. I went from being the baby of the family to just another middle child. Somewhere in grammar school - I think it was around 3rd or 4th grade, I went from being one of the most popular girls to being an also ran. That was when Mary Jean joined our class. She was cuter than me, though not as smart, but cuter won out. I was always athletic, but never the most athletic. Always smart, but not always the smartest. I always knew I was not the smartest child in the family, that was my older sister, and I don't think that really bothered me, but I hated it when I would be called by her name in school. In kindergarten, I was the kid who forgot her permission slip and so couldn't be in the movie with the rest of my class. I've had a "best friend" off and on, but never consistently. Until I married A, there was never anyone in my life, for all of my life, to whom I thought I was the most important person in the world. I had a best friend from as long ago as I can remember. She lived across the street from me from birth. When we moved when I was 5 years old, her family moved too - to the same street - so our friendship continued. Her mother was mean to me, but I still liked her. Then we moved across town and she went to public high school and I went to Catholic. I had a new best friend in high school, someone I had gone to grammar school with. When we went away to college, I tried to continue the friendship by writing and calling, she did not. When my father died, she didn't even acknowledge it. I could not remain friends with her after that. I had close friends in college and have tried to keep those relationships up, but distance and their lack of trying make it hard.

So more on school. Teachers from time to time had favorites - never me - and I guess that's where I first felt the injustice of things. But I learned good things in school too. I think that my 3rd grade teacher's English lessons are the backbone of my ability to ferret out bad grammar. Note - I am a much better editor than a writer. I spent sixteen - that's 16 - years in Catholic school. So - got my fair dose of religion. I also don't recall encountering or interacting with non-Catholics until I got into the working world. Dinner conversation at my house often centered around politics - hence my love of it and my desire to work in government.

Back to school focus - in high school - as fortune would have it, I knew a lot of the "cool kids" because many of them were in honors classes. But - I wasn't cool, so I was on the periphery. Once again an athlete, but not the best and once again one of the smartest, but never the top. It was in high school that I first learned sales was not for me. I was the business manager for the yearbook, but sucked at selling ads! My love of science started coming out in high school. I took every science class that I could. I was intending to major in nursing in college, until someone said to me that they didn't think I would enjoy taking orders from people, so perhaps I should set my sights on medical school. I wonder what my life would have been like if I had stuck to the nursing plan?

In choosing a college, I had a set of criteria that was important to me and used it to narrow down my choices. The list making appears for the first time! (Note - when I absolutely have to get stuff done - I make lists.) I chose a small women's college in the end for monetary reasons. Would have I been better off in a large college? I'll never know. I started off as a bio-chem major. I did fine with it until I went home for election day. I started thinking about working in government. I switched chem classes and had a teacher who was lax about lab reports - turn the in whenever, as opposed to my first chem teacher who had a rigid schedule. All of the sudden, I'm discovering government and beginning to hate chem lab reports. (Note for the record that I loved doing the experiments in chemistry and the lab work in biology.) These things kind of combined to lead me to the work I do today. Going to a women's college was not good for the dating life, but it was good for learning to lead. Women had to lead at our school because there were no men to do it. Definitely a good experience. I also learned more about faith there - not just the outward trappings of religion, but the deep abiding faith in God and his goodness. I can't say that I haven't ever doubted that since, but that's where I recognized it for the first time. I was not an athlete in college. We played in a league so small, it might as well have been intramural. Yet, they took it all as seriously as if we were a major college with chances of winning the NCAAs. So, I decided that there were other things I would rather do with my time and I did. I discovered Irish music in college. I mean Irish pub songs really. That is a love that is still with me. All in all, college was a learning experience in so many ways.

Okay - this is really long now, so I'll stop writing. I think the other thing I want to blog about in my little self-analysis is painful moments in life that have stuck with me and happy moments. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Directions Please!

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up some place else." Yogi Berra

I don't know where I'm going next. Things - life included - don't always go as you planned. So, I'm kind of figuring out where my life is going next. I know some parts of it, but not all. I would prefer to be the driving force behind drawing the road map, but I know I don't control it all. In crime dramas, they do profiles to try and figure out what the bad guy will do next. So, I'm going to study me a little. Maybe that will help me figure out where I'm going next.

I like 70s music. I loved science as a kid, but blood is not my thing. I always wanted children and thought I would be a stay at home mom. I love my husband. I love dogs. I have ambitions. I enjoy being a big fish even if it's in a little pond. I like helping people. I like nice clothes, nice shoes. I like to travel. I like the beach. I don't much care for the cold. Republican ideals are not my ideals. I am mainly a Democrat, but don't know how I'll vote in November. I think New York is a fabulous city. Boston's not bad. Philly I could take or leave, LA too. San Francisco is fabulous, but too cold. I like girlie girl stuff sometimes, but not too girlie girl. I like my toes and nails painted, but usually do it myself. I like order in my world, but I'm not neat. I like routine. I fear getting old. I consider myself religious, but don't go to church much anymore. I really liked wearing my wedding gown. I'm afraid of heights. I need reassurance at times that I'm good at what I do. I like gardening. I wish I were thin naturally. I have a big chest and would much rather be normal sized. I was a nerd in high school. I have realized that I'm on the downside of the curve in my working years - I've worked more years than I have left until retirement. I would like to take back some of my dating choices. I got lucky in the husband department. I prefer having a road map, a plan, knowing where I'm going. Next post is going to be about where I've been - maybe that will help me figure out where I'm going. Maybe I'll have to just wait and see.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

An ode to Boomer

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. ~George Eliot

Okay - not really an ode - just a post. The best thing about dogs is the way they just love you. But they are so cute otherwise. Don't you just wonder what goes on in their heads sometimes? My dog likes to be warm. In the summer, he's pretty insistent on being taken outside to sit in the sun. Inside, he'll head to the attic room and sleep. At night, he likes to be covered with a blanket when sleeping. Sometimes he has strangely human characteristics. He has a pillow on his bed. He'll sometimes sleep with his head propped up on the pillow. I love that he gets so incredibly excited to go for walks. And he doesn't mind that we leave him to go to work because our leaving means he gets a treat. He gets so darned excited for those treats. He understands certain words. Some get him excited. Other words - well - he knows he's been bad. I love it when you scratch his back near his tail and he dances from pleasure. All in all, he's so cute and such a love bug. Dogs are on of God's best ideas! (Chocolate is another.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. - Walter Winchell

A good thing happened to a friend of mine today. I am happy for her. She is getting a job she wanted. Yay! This woman has been a very good friend, though I've only known her for 3 1/2 years. She has nursed me emotionally through some of my hardest days. She's never told me my feelings were stupid or wrong. She might not have encouraged them, but she always listens and allows me to feel what I'm feeling. I'm happy that today she is getting something she sought.

Monday, May 05, 2008

When God closes a door....

he opens a window - or so they say. I'm looking for the window. I have to have faith in that. There are a lot of these abstract kind of things that I have to have faith in or life just wouldn't make any sense. It's like believing that people who do wrong to you will pay for it in some way. You just may never know about it. So, I believe that a window will be open for me somewhere. I hope I recognize it when I see it! (And that it's not raining outside!)

Oh - speaking of raining inside - funny story - the town I work for operates a parking lot at the train station. We sell annual passes and daily vouchers. If you are using the vouchers, you need a voucher for each day you are in the lot except weekends. So - if you park there on Sunday and don't plan to return until Friday - you would need 5 vouchers showing in the window. Okay - got that? So - last week, this guy calls Town Hall. He's parked in the voucher lot. He got stuck in the City for an extra night and doesn't have a voucher for the extra day. Can we do him a favor and not ticket him, he'll pay for the voucher when he gets back. The parking ranger gets the make, model and plate number and goes out to check on where the car is and alert his co-workers not to ticket it. And he notes what he sees. So - the receptionist calls our parker back with the good news and the bad news. We won't ticket the car. That's the good news. The bad news - the guy left his sun roof open. It's been raining all week.