Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It wasn't supposed to happen like this

I can't believe this. JoePa is retiring at the end of this season. That means this Saturday is the last game he will coach at Beaver Stadium and I can't go. :(

This is so freaking sad. I feel like a little kid who just got kicked in the stomach and told there's no Santa Claus. I'm so sick at the whole thing. All the media talks about with regard to this incident is Joe, because that's the name they're familiar with (oh and BTW, if you're not familiar with the name Jerry Sandusky, you have no business being a so-called sports writer) so that's who they focus on dragging down.

Every article talks about how Joe didn't handle the situation properly. But I have yet to read the article that says how he should have handled it. Joe went to his superiors with the information and they did nothing. What else was he supposed to do? He couldn't go to the police and say "Somebody told me they saw something" - police don't answer calls like that. Why didn't the witness who saw the incident go to the police himself? He was an adult and as such, maybe HE should have been the one to handle the situation better. That's who I have issues with. Him and Jerry Sandusky. LEAVE JOE ALONE!

I know Joe is in his eighties and would probably retire soon, but it should not have been this way. I will always think of JoePa as the best college football coach ever. I was fortunate enough to attend many games as a student and as an alumni, watching him pace up and down the sidelines with those thick glasses and those ridiculous pants. I was even able to attend the 1987 Fiesta Bowl where underdog Penn State beat Miami to win the national championship my senior year - a memory I will never forget. I've even met Joe a few times on campus. He's like a God on that campus, and he could be as aloof as he wants, but he's not. He always smiles and says hello. Not a lot of sports figures are as friendly as that.

But everyone is reading all the negative press and jumping on the hater bandwagon. I understand not everyone went to Penn State and shares my love of JoePa, but I just don't feel like reading the negative bullshit anymore. The worst has happened - he's announced his retirement. I got the news, yeleld and swore a lot, slammed the phone down and went outside for a tearful walk. I don't need all the negative commentary. If something terrible happened to someone you really admire, would you want to hear someone else bash them? Neither do I. So I think I'm just going to avoid reading anything online for the next little while. I have enough else to do anyway. People need to realize the university is far more than this incident.

Oh, and for the record I am and will always be Penn State Proud!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Whole Other Post

Okay, here it is. The story about the house.

I usually don't like to speak negatively of people, but it is difficult to convey what we've been through without mentioning some things about the previous tenants.

For the past 4 1/2 years we've been living in the basement apartment of a house, which the family upstairs was renting from the property owner. For whatever reasons I don't need to go into here, they were asked to leave and we were given the option of moving upstairs. The day before Irene, the moving trucks were there, they loaded up and were gone. So we went upstairs to see what the place looked like.

It's a much bigger space - 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, living room, dining room, work room, foyer and a porch. A lot of it was designed with a lot of thought in mind - a huge pantry with pull out shelves, bedroom closets with lights that go on when you open the doors, stuff like that. But most of the things had not been cared for in many years and there was a lot of damage and enough stuff left behind to more than fill a 30 yard dumpster.

We were able to work a deal with the property owner - 2 months free rent while we work on the place. So we're in the third month now, paid our first rent check and we're still working. I think he got the better deal.

The previous two months have been full of setbacks - problems with the utility companies, a sick bunny, a wall falling out, bad plumbing, etc. But last night I was able to walk into any room of the house I wanted and turn on a light just by flipping a switch. What a novel idea. It finally is starting to feel like the place is ours.

I wanted to do before and after pictures, but I only have the before pics. A few of them are below:

My future craft room (the yellow is going!):

Our future exercise room:

Future master bedroom:

Dining Room:

Living room:


Scott's future work room (can you find the full size washer and dryer in this picture?):

Friday, November 4, 2011

Where I've been

Actually, I've been here all along. Just been busy. You know, with stuff.

Staring with Irene. Bitch. We heard there was this big storm coming and there would probably be flooding. Our driveway always washes out, and we had just had it repaired from the Spring washout (no shit, WEDNESDAY before Irene the shit was fixed!) when Irene came in.

Oh great. It's raining. It's doing whatever it's doing, but it's early Sunday morning and I want to sleep. But no. Scott is waking me up excitedly saying "You have to come see this!" Whatever it is, won't it be much more impressive a few hours from now, like when I'm awake? Whatever. I put on my glasses and go look out the window. Wow - the pond is in the backyard now. Impressive. I go back to sleep.

"I'm going to take a walk outside and make sure everything is okay" he says as he wakes me again. "Okay" I mumbled. At least he won't be waking me up while he's outside. I go back to sleep.

2 seconds (I swear, it felt like 2 seconds) later there is a hand shaking my foot. "I may need your help with something." Oh, Christ - I know what it is. I distinctly remember asking SOMEONE to move the car yesterday. But it wasn't moved. So I got dressed and went outside to see this:

What the everloving fuck? Would the car start? Would he be able to get it out of there? Fortunately, the answers were yes and yes, but there was water in the floor pan and it smelled for weeks.

Yay! The car is safe! I can go back to bed! I go back in the house, put my jammies back on and step into the bedroom - splat! There is now water coming up through the floor in the bedroom - the only carpeted room in the house! So fuck sleep, I'm sucking up as much water as I can with a Shop Vac, but the minute I stop it just comes right back up. Scott goes to see if the neighbors need help and I just keep vacuuming. A few minutes later an alarm starts going off - I'm not sure where. It's loud and chirpy. then I remember that he put a water sensor in one of the hall closets in case water got in - that must be it.

So I'm vacuuming up all the water and I can't go shut off the stupid chirpy thing because the water will just get out of hand. Finally, Scott comes back as this thing is beeping away. "There's an alarm going off in the hall." I said. "I think there might be some kind of emergency." He shut it off and I continued.

After about an hour or so the water stopped coming in, but the carpet had sponged up most of it. We tried using a disinfectant, but there was too much moisture in the carpet for too long and we had to rip it out. We lost some furniture too, but we were fortunate - many people had it much worse.

Here are some of the photos:

The camp next door:

Our pond (I think):
The pool next door at Krucker's:
Scott in the driveway:
The other fun started the day before when our upstairs neighbors moved out, but that's a whole other post.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rainy Day

First attempt at blogging from my iPhone, so bear with me.

A lot has happened in the past few months, but I haven't documented it here yet. I will. But I want to write about this first.

As I walked out of the house this morning, it was raining lightly. I walked to the dumpster to throw the trash when I noticed the sound of the rain hitting the many trees on the side of the mountain. I love the sound of rain, but this was like a large rain orchestra playing a piano (meaning "softly", not the instrument, for you non-band geeks) section of the piece before the crescendo. It was lovely.

I got in the car thinking "Why can't I work from home so I can take a few extra minutes and enjoy this, rather than rushing off because I might miss the train?" I want to take a walk and enjoy nature's concert, admire the fall colors, smell everything so fresh and so clean clean. ;) Then I'll go have a fresh cup of coffee as I take out my spinning, picking colors to resemble the fall landscape. I'll find a good rainy day movie to watch while I'm spinning, because I find daytime TV insufferable. Of course I'll take several breaks to play with a bunny and refill my coffee cup. I'll put some chicken soup in the crock pot for dinner and bake some fresh bread to go with it and the whole house will smell amazing.

But instead, I am on the train on my way to a sloppy, wet jaunt to the office where I will answer emails, measure a ton of tee shirts and try to figure out the fit problems with our new line, the whole time fantasizing about the Martha Stewart life I've described above. Maybe someday. Publisher's Clearing House, are you reading this? Please come visit me with the big check in my name this time. :) You can even stay for dinner.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I Need This Bobdamn Vacation - so I can Enjoy my Coffee

I usually don't have many complaints about work - I love my job. I love the company. I love their products. I also love coffee. But if someone tried to steal it or slap the cup out of my hand every time I took a sip, or refill the cup until it overflowed and then I had to clean it up, I probably wouldn't want to drink it as often as I do.

The amount of work I have is insane. I handle spec and fit for ALL the menswear in our company - which is our main product. Just me. There are six product managers who handle the fabric, trim and styling approvals for the same products. SIX of them, ONE of me. That's fair. We have another full-time spec person here who handles our women's line - he has about 1/3 of the product I do. So I have a LOT of work. But I handle it.

So the owner of the company thought it would be a good idea for me to take our fit model and do 2 fittings a month at our retail stores. The weeks that I do this, it adds 2 days of work for me that week - one out of the office and one back in the office writing emails of what I found in the store. Here is where the coffee overflows all over my desk and all I can think when people bring me more is "Can't you wait until I've cleaned this up?"

Yet I'm still handling it. The metric fuckton of work doesn't bother me anywhere near as much as this next crap.

They've been shuffling the products between the different product managers (I guess that's the advantage to being just one person on the job) so every time I think I know who handles what, it changes. They brought in two new people to handle the denim line - that's cool - they have a lot of experience with denim in another well-known company.

These two noticed how much work I had, and one morning, Denim Guy comes to my desk and tells me they talked to my boss and they're getting me some help. They hired a temp to take all the denim product from me. This didn't sound to me like they wanted to "help" me. It sounded more like they hated the way I handled the denim and found someone they thought was better. I developed all our denim specs with the head designers and the owner's wife when I first started here - I've managed this product from the beginning - why was I being left out now? This is MY coffee! I ground it and brewed it just for ME! If you want some, you need to ask ME!!

If they really wanted to help me, they would have come to me, not gone to my boss behind my back. This was a big red flag not to trust these people. (Wraps hand around coffee cup as they walk by.)

Denim Guy was all flustered and disappointed when I wasn't all happy about his news. I didn't care - I was pretty pissed at the way it was done. So I sat in my fit sample cave with my headphones on (and my coffee) and didn't talk to anyone for two days. After the second day, Denim Guy and Denim Chick called me into a meeting and apologized for not including me. And that was the last time I was included. Temp has started working on the denim and I still haven't worked on anything with her except to tell her where to find stuff - not everything, of course. >:D (Hahaha - I'll never tell you where I keep the GOOD coffee!)

After Temp had been here a week, my boss mentioned that Temp was re-doing all the denim specs because I did them wrong. 0_o WTF?? They were so sorry for going behind my back and not including me, that they went behind my back again and told my boss I did it wrong instead of asking me why I did it that way. So now I not only have coffee all over my desk, I also have to keep watching my back for that guy who's trying to steal my coffee. I just want to do my fucking job! I don't want to have to watch my back every second too!

But wait - there's more!

Most of my coworkers are pretty cool. There's one who is so annoying she's earned the name Co-Irker. Every office (or group project if you're still in school) has one - she talks loud and fast (she sounds like the Asian Santa in the Christmas episode of Family Guy - go watch it - you'll see) and she runs around the office shuffling papers to look as busy as possible while actually not doing much. She was complaining about how much work she had the other day. When she showed me the pile it was a quarter of the size of the pile on my desk. Stabbity.

She's incredibly rude - she waits until the end of the day to bring me samples, she'll email me at 5:45 asking if I can send comments out today. She shows up at the fit meetings with a stack of samples without telling me first and then pushes to get them all fit so we don't have time for other people's stuff. She interrupts me at lunch and when I'm on the phone. When a factory emails me with a question, she forwards me the email again with "Can you answer this?", even though I've asked her not to do this because my email fills up too quickly.

If all this didn't make me stabby enough, a few weeks ago when she was on vacation, one of her factories wanted to change a zipper on a jacket and they needed approval that day. I consulted the only people who were here who could answer that - two designers - and they both agreed to change the zipper. So I emailed the factory. Well, she came back Monday morning and had a Royal Fit. She emailed the factory and cc'd our boss saying why did they ask a Tech Designer to approve a zipper and were they crazy and WAAAHWAAAHWAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! So I got an email from Boss saying don't approve anything but spec and fit. Fine. Whatev.

So yesterday (here comes that slap of the coffee cup), she sends spec comments to one of the factories without asking me about it! I ignored her email and sent my own comments, which were not the same as hers - she wanted the pockets lowered 3/4", I wanted them lowered 2" - which is our regular placement. Again, she had a fit because SHE already commented first! After arguing with her I said fine - we'll do it your way. She proceeded to reply to the factory's email which was addressed to ME. I sent her a reply asking to please let ME reply to all spec and fit issues so we don't confuse the factories and because it is MY JOB. She replied that maybe there is a communication issue and we should sit down with Boss to resolve it. I said "Bring it." Actually I just said "Fine." The "Bring it" was implied.

So here I am, with my desk covered in coffee, trying to watch my back for the people trying to steal it or knock the cup out of my hand. Can't I just enjoy the damn coffee???

Fortunately, Boss has been to busy to meet with us over something so stupid. Maybe we'll sit down next week. Who knows. I just know next time she tries to knock my cup out of my hand I'm throwing it in her face.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Actual Spinning Content: Tour de Fleece 2011

Spin city is participating in the Tour de Fleece again this year. It's a competition that runs in conjuction with the Tour de France - this year from July 2 to July 22 - and each person sets their own goal. My goal this year is to spin a pound of fiber. But not just a pound of plain 'ol fiber. I'm celebrating the fact that thanks to Governor Cuomo, many of my gay friends who have worked so hard campaigning for years can finally get married in the great state of NY! So I am spinning the colors of the rainbow - 2 oz. of each color - plus 2 oz of white fiber to equal a pound.

From left to right:
Red = striped merino from The Yarn Tree
Orange = 80/20 merino/silk from TheYarn Company
Yellow = I can't remember what fiber, but I dyed it with Kool-Aid
Green = koigu Targhee roving from MDSW 2010
Blue = misc fiber batts from Stitches East 2009
Indigo = don't know what from a recent fiber swap
Violet = romney from CTSW 2010
White = merino/silk/angora from The Yarn Tree

I have a bunch of empty spindles and a brand new pre-owned Roadbug portable wheel to get me started. It's going to be a lot of spinning for the next few weeks. I'll post pictures and updates whenever I can. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind


I tried taking some pictures somewhere during the course of this event, but they all came out blurry - probably because it was getting dark and the batteries were dying. So, to make a visual recreation, I used one of my photos of the pond as a backdrop and I've cut and pasted some other photos and stick figures. DON'T JUDGE ME!! I AM TRYING TO DO THIS AT WORK!!

After the Yankees/Red Sox game on Friday night, shopping and planting all day Saturday and doing spinning demos with Spin City at the Queens Farm Sheep Shearing on Sunday, I was ready for a nice, relaxing evening before having to start another work week. Scott was helping friends move upstate all day, so he picked me up at the train, we went out to dinner, picked up a few things at Shop Rite and went home.

It was dusk, so I figured I would take a few minutes to go out to the pond and see if there were any turtles or frogs still hanging around. There weren’t – we usually see them more during the day. There were about 10 geese hanging out on the pond with one mallard trying to fit into the crowd. I did one last scan for amphibians and was about to turn to go back to the house when I heard something walking toward me under the trees. I turned to see a HUGE black bear WITH HER CUBS about 20 feet away from me! I felt like I may as well have been covered in barbecue sauce because I was convinced I was going to be dinner.

This is about how far I actually was from the bear:

And this is how far it felt like I was from the bear:

It seemed so surreal at first, because about a month ago I had EXACTLY this dream! I was outside and did not notice there was a bear near me until he was uncomfortably close. Unfortunately, I woke up right after that, so I didn’t even have any answers – just a weird bit of déjà vu to add to my “OH SHIT!” feeling. I had to figure out what to do.

I was too far from the house to get there safely and unnoticed. Should I stand there and let them walk by? Yeah, that’d work. Bears never eat anything standing still. Lie down and play dead? That only works in cartoons. I definitely knew that I should NOT run! Bear food usually runs and I did NOT want to look like food! Confront her hoping she’ll run away? If I knew she’d run, that would be a good option, but I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to risk pissing her off – she was a lot bigger and could easily kick my ass. Climbing a tree was out – I can’t climb trees and bears are excellent climbers. I did the only thing I could do – I backed away slowly toward the gazebo – I needed to put something – anything – between me and her. She was still walking in my direction, but not quickly or threateningly. I kept inching backward until I was next to the gazebo and slipped through the screen flap.

Okay, so now how do I get out of here? If I stay still in here they might walk past and not see me because of the screen. But she had stopped coming toward me – she was just hanging out under one of the trees. Why was I out here by myself? Scott didn’t even know I was outside. If I had my cell phone I could call the house, but I didn’t. Why didn’t I have my cell phone with me? This is why we should always go outside together – because it’s when you’re talking and making noise that the bears don’t want to be – WAIT!!! THAT’S IT!!!! Bears don’t like people noise! I needed Scott’s help anyway, so I stood in the corner of the gazebo and screamed as loud as I could “SCOTT!!!” No reply. I kept screaming for him – I figured eventually someone would hear me and come to help. The bear looked in my direction like “What’s that screamy thing over there?” but she stayed under the same tree. I saw her, but I didn’t see the cubs. Where did they go? I was sure she had cubs with her.

FINALLY, I thought I heard Scott yell “DONNA???” inside the house and I yelled back “SCOTT!! HELP ME!! I’M OUTSIDE!!” The next thing I saw was the screen door folding over as he burst through it and into the yard. He looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator- at least that's what I pictured.

“WHERE ARE YOU?” he yelled. I forgot he couldn’t see me through the screen because it was getting dark.


He looked over and saw the bear. “She’s beautiful!” 0_o That’s nice, but I didn’t want to talk about how beautiful she was, I wanted to talk about getting me the fuck out of there! “Stay right there – I’ll be back” he told me. Like where would I go? He went back in the house for what seemed like an eternity and came out with a sickle and a machete. He started walking toward the bear clanging them together and yelling “Get outta here!” to try to get her to leave. She walked back a few steps, but stayed close to the same tree. Scott was a few steps from the door of the gazebo at this point and said “Come out toward me.” I walked slowly over to him but did not take my eyes off the bear. We inched toward the house while she stared at us from the base of the tree. I was finally able to get safely inside the house. Now I could breathe.

Apparently, I had a bit of memory FAIL at this point. I originally thought he had the machete and sickle when he first came outside. He was actually holding a can of air freshener, so in reality, it was more like this:

So, back at the house I couldn’t believe that with all the noise we made that our upstairs neighbors weren’t out on their porch wondering what happened. Scott called to Ed, Breda and their kids and they came to the window. “I thought you’d want to see this” Scott said, pointing to the bear now laying down at the base of the tree. Everyone thought it was really cool. I agreed – from this distance – not from out by the pond where I was earlier! “This is cool” Ed said “but I don’t want her to be comfortable here. I think we should chase her away.” They decided to use the lawn mower to make noise, so Ed and Scott ran into the shed to get the mower.

When they came out I said “Just be careful because I saw cubs with her”. Ed walked over to the woods to see if he could see where they were, but they were nowhere to be found. I knew I saw cubs- I was sure of it! I wouldn’t have been quite as scared if I didn’t see the cubs. I didn’t want either of the guys to accidentally get too close to them – wherever they were hiding – and set off mom.

They started up the mower and pushed it toward the bear under the tree. I thought “This is what we have to do to get Ed to mow the lawn?” 0.o As they approached her she sprang to her feet and scaled the tree trunk up into the boughs where we couldn’t see her. Ed and Scott ran to the base of the tree to see how far she had climbed. “That’ll suck if a 400 lb. bear falls on you” I thought. But they knew what they were doing. I guess.

They started up the mower again and were pushing it around the base of the tree when Ellie – Ed’s 12 year old daughter – came running out into the yard screaming “STOP!! STOP!! THE BABIES ARE IN THE TREE!!” They stopped the mower and everyone looked up at the tree mama bear had climbed. She was too well hidden to be seen. I looked toward the top of the tree, but still couldn’t see anything moving.

Then I looked at the next tree over and sure enough there were 5 little black lumps hugging the tree trunk way up near the top, inching their way higher. I wasn’t crazy! I only saw 3 initially, but there were definitely 5 cubs! I didn’t want them to fall out of the tree or get hurt. We decided we needed to let them climb down on their own, which wasn’t going to happen with all of us outside making noise. The guys put the mower away and we all went back in the house.

I grabbed a glass of wine and Scott and I went out on the enclosed porch. Mama was down from the tree already waiting. Shortly, one by one, we saw five little silhouettes scurry backward down the tree trunk and spring onto the ground next to mom. You could hear their little claws scraping the tree bark the whole way down. They were really cute – what I could see of them in the dark. I wish I had noticed them more when I saw them up close, but my brain was elsewhere. Below is a diagram of the thought patterns of the human brain when encountering a mother bear with her cubs:

Mom led the crew around the pond to the driveway, having to stop several time for the last 2 cubs who wanted to climb every tree on the way. They finally hit the driveway and headed up the mountain into the park.

I’m really glad nobody was hurt and it was such an awesome thing to see. I hope mom finds a quieter place to feed her cubs. I still can’t help thinking what bear fur would be like to spin. Not gonna happen. Shearing would definitely piss off a bear!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kate Fucking Spade

When Scott drives me to the train station in the mornings we usually stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee if there's time before I have to get whisked away to the rat race. One morning we had to park a few doors away and walk up the block. We passed a consignment shop with a lot of handbags in the window, so we got our coffee and I stopped at the window to take a look on the way back to the car.

And there it was. (Cue angels singing.)

A simple, little black bag with a red gingham lining and the label stitched on the front that said "Kate Fucking Spade, Bitches!" Actually it just said "Kate Spade", but I envisioned it the first way. I had always wanted a Kate Spade bag, but after going to the outlet store at Woodbury Commons where the cheapest one was $600 I figured it wasn't happening. Then I saw the price tag - $40! But WAIT! The $40 was crossed out with $25 written under it. A $25 Kate Fucking Spade bag? 0_o WTF was wrong with it? Did it smell? No, the store probably wouldn't have taken it if that was the case. Maybe the lining was torn - I could fix that! I had to see the bag for myself to decide if I should get it. I looked around but no store hours were posted. I googled the store and got their hours: Tuesday - Friday 11 - 7 and Saturday 10 - 4. Since the earliest I get off the train at night is after 7, it had to be Saturday.

So I told Scott "Let's get up early on Saturday. We'll go to breakfast and then go to the store so I can get that bag." He agreed. At least that was the plan.

So Saturday morning I get out of the shower and he's on the phone. At least he's showered and ready. I finished getting ready and he's still on the phone. Ok, I'll feed the birds. Start the car. Take out the garbage. Water the plants. Round up allt he lawn furniture that blew all over they yard the night before. I come back in with my coat on. Still on the phone he looks at me and holds up his hand saying "Five more minutes." Fifteen minutes later I'm standing in the doorway seething. Purse in one hand, keys in the other and wondering why his face isn't meting off with the glare I'm giving him, he finally wraps up the conversation and hangs up. GAH!

But we can't leave right away. Now we have to put the cover on the grill and do some other shit before we leave. FINALLY at 1:30 we're in the car heading down the driveway. I inform him that he can go to Dunkin Donuts first if he wants, but I'm going to the store to get that bag before I do anything else. He said no, he'd come to the store with me and then we'd go get breakfast together. Breakfast. At 2:00 in the afternoon. Better not get your fingers in the way because I am STARVING! And cranky.

And then the worst thing happened. We park the car. I get out and as I'm getting out I see two girls leaving the store AND ONE OF THEM HAS MY KATE FUCKING SPADE BAG!!!!!! I could feel the mercury quickly rise and explode out the top of my head. I spun around and I swear I could smell Scott's flesh burning as I glared a hole through him and screamed "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???!!!??" He knew I was beyond pissed. He was actually going to run down the block screaming "AAAAGGHHHH!!! IT BURNS!!! IT BURNS!!!!" to try to get me to laugh, but he thought better of it. Good thing too. It only would have escalated my rage and he would have become a puddle on the sidewalk.

I went in the store to take a look. Maybe they had another Kate Spade bag? Or maybe they had another bag I would like even better? No such luck. My bag was gone and there was nothing I could do about it except stew over the fact that if people actually only took five minutes when they said five minutes I would have that fucking bag right now.

Of course I took advantage of any oppotunity to bust balls about the situation. Like when we went to BJ's and realized we forgot to put an Ikea bag in the trunk to carry the stuff to the house when we got home. I said "It's okay - we can just put it in my Kate Spade Bag." Glare.

He did redeem himself a bit later at the Ecko outlet store. There was a pair of boots I wanted to get, but I thought they didn't have any more. While I was trying on a pair of high tops he came over with the boots in the color I wanted. :D

About a week later I bought a Kate Spade bag on ebay for $30. He said "So will this shut you up?" I said "Probably not."

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy New WTF!

It's 2011 and time for a whole new batch of WTFery. Besides the usual stuff like change all the specs and when the factories have finally quit bitching, change them again, they decided to move our office. And not a move like when my old company moved to the building across the street to a bigger and better space. We moved from a nice neighborhood on 23rd street to 10th fucking avenue! For those not familiar with the city, imagine your office is in Disney World. It's pretty and bright and shiny and sparkly with lots to do and you never have to go very far because everything you need is right there. Transportation even drops you off right there! Then one day someone says "Hey, we're moving to a swamp in the everglades! There's not much there and you'll have to walk further and you might get eaten by alligators along the way, but maybe one day they'll be able to excavate enough of the swamp to put a foundation in and build a Starbucks!" Riiiiight.

Okay, we're not in a swamp, but Jeebus Fuck it is, wow. I just can't think of what to say. It's just awful. Once you walk west of 8th avenue people start disappearing like coke and booze at Charlie Sheen's house. The next thing you know you're walking to work by yourself. Because nobody fucking works that far west unless they're going to a trade show at the Javits Center. And then they'e saying "Thank God I don't have to work over here every day! This is faaarrrrrrr!" GAH!

Then there's the wind. Apparently from 9th avenue to 11th avenue is the vestibule to the city. It's that windy, noisy compartment you have to go through before you're safely in the airlock of the city. Dirt flies around in here as well. Lots of dirt. I think city workers are supposed to sweep the dirt into the Hudson, but they only sweep it as far as 10th avenue because they figure the boss will never come over here and look. And everything smells like pot and pee.

It also seems the city does not have enough of a budget for DOT to fix any of the roads this far west either. 10th avenue is laden with giant potholes that will eat your car. Hopefully I will remember that they're there when I'm running to get the train at night.

Anyway, I knew all this going in. Which is why I got all my bitching done early - before we moved. Which was answered with a barrage of replies like "Maybe it won't be that bad" - yes it is. And "At least you still have a job". True, but I still don't have to be happy about the move. By that same token, if someone is having marriage problems I should say "At least you have a husband." Cuz that'll make them feel better.

So we finally got here (after the movers lost half of my stuff) and got settled in. NOW other people are bitching. Not saying I'm not anymore, but I'm not bitching as much as I was. We're here now and it's not going to change, but I wasn't surprised - I knew what to expect. I have found a few delis, and there's a Duane Reade across the street, but it's definitely NOT 23rd street. No more going to the park at lunch - there's not even a place to sit outside anywhere. But I can come in, do my work and go home.

The non-believers are the ones who are bitching now. Ooooooo, we didn't know it would be this BAAAADDDD!!!!

See what happens when you don't listen to me?

Monday, February 7, 2011


Finally! After 10 years we get to take a real get on a plane and fly the fuck outta here vacation!

Got good prices on flights - not the best because I was still waiting on approval for the time off. :(

Got great hotel rates - $38/night at the Luxor - woo hoo!

It started on Wednesday - finished work and took the bus to Livingston so we could drop Hef off at Scott's sister's. It had started snowing sometime in the afternoon and was pretty bad by the time I got on the bus. The bus even got stuck at a few stops, but managed to get through. I finally got off the bus and walked through calf-deep snow to their house. We had dinner and left for home, leaving our little Ootums behind. :( It was our first time without the little guy.
So, the drive home, which should have taken 40 minutes, took 3 hours. Snowy and slippery and eeeccchhh!!! And the snowplows plowed us in as we were on the ramp to 280. We couldn't wait to leave for warmer weather.

Got up super early the next morning to find out our flight was canceled. Booked another flight out of JFK for later that evening. Slept a little more, packed up and headed to the airport.

Flying out of Kennedy and Into LaGuardia - where should we park? We decided not to risk hitting traffic and head for JFK already. Got there 3 hours early - even had a snowplow there to clear out a space for us - got on the shuttle bus to the airtrain.

And that's when it started. Waited with a bunch of people for about 20 minutes until the airtrain showed up. But we couldn't get on because it was an employees only break train or some shit. That train left and another one came in about 10 minutes and we got on. After about half an hour of closing and opening the doors, they decided the train was broken and told everyone to go downstairs and take the bus. It was a giant clusterfuck where nobody knew what the hell was going on. After about 8 buses left for not our terminal, people started coming down the escalator and asking us why we weren't taking the airtrain because it was running. Back upstairs, they told us to go back down and take the bus. After a bit more back and forth, we were finally on an airtrain moving toward the terminal. Got to check in 15 minutes before our flight so they could tell us we were too late. :( Rebooked on a Continental flight out of Newark and then sat down on the floor in the terminal and ate the sandiches we had made for the flight.

We paid our $18 to get our car out of parking, then drove home. Got to bed at midnight so we could wake up at 3 AM and try again. Everything was cool - got to the airport super early, got the attendant outside to jump the HUGE inside line and check our bags for us, took off our shoes, went through the metal detector and off to the gate. :D Only to find out our flight was delayed TWO MORE HOURS! :( We could have slept more. So we hung out, checked out some shops, charged our phones, etc. before going to the gate. We watched them de-ice the plane as we were waiting to board, then watched more de-icing after we were on the runway. It started snowing and I was thinking "Come on! Let's get outta here before we get stuck again!" But we finally took off for Vegas.

A long flight and two bad movies later we were in McCarren airport looking for my dad at the baggage claim area. I hadn't seen him in a while, so I was just looking for a big bald guy in a bright orange shirt. Scott saw him first. We got the bags and enjoyed the scenery on the 2 hour ride to Dad's house.

It was nice to change into warm weather clothes! We went to pick up Grandmother and got a tour of her house, which had an interesing game room off of the living room with a Harley Davidson style pool table and a jacuzzi. 0_o Then we went out to a great steak place for dinner and great margaritas!

On Saturday we went to Oatman - a little old mining town where Clark Gable spent his honeymoon. There were lots of shops, staged gunfights and donkeys roaming the streets. Very cute!

We went back to Dad's and sat out on the roof for a little while before going out to dinner at a nice place next to London Bridge.


The next day we were off to Vegas for a few days. When we got to the hotel people grabbed us right at the door and offered us free show tickets. While I was looking over the list, Scott figured out what it was and said we weren't going to be in town that long, so no thanks. It was a timeshare thing. So we brought our stuff up to the room and walked around a bit before stuffing ourselves at the buffet.

On Monday we got all day bus passes so we could go up and down the strip and see stuff. We went all the way to the north end to the Stratosphere where they had this ride on the roof that shot you over the edge and left you hanging. No. Thanks. We then worked our way south, stopping at Bonanza, the forum shops and M shops before taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel.

Then we went to see the fountains at the Bellagio:

After that, we went to dinner at the Excalibur, which was less spectacular than I remembered. While we were having dinner, I checked on our flight home for the next morning - it was canceled. :D When we left, we went straight to those timeshare people and signed up to sit through their schpiel the next morning so we could get free tickets to see Criss Angel - OMG!

I never sat through a timeshare presentation before. It was long, but not that bad. And at least they gave us good coffee and food. My favorite part was how the price started at $41,990, then they kept cutting it in half. It was $9,900 when we finally shook the sales guy's hand and said goodbye. We had to stop to fill out paperwork for our tickets, when another guy cut the price in half again. 0_o When we finally got on the shuttle bus with our tickets I asked if someone was going to come on the bus and try to get us to sign for $2450.

We went back to the hotel, did some more touring and went to see the show. Unfortunately, the timeshare only buys tickets in the last row. Fortunately, Scott was able to schmooz the usher to get us into the $150 seats up front. :D The show was AWESOME!! I have no idea how he does any of the stuff he does.

Afterward, we tried to go on the rollercoaster at New York New York, but it was closed because the weather got unusually cold. So we walked a bit, and I decided since it's Vegas I couldn't leave without playing a couple games. Neither one of us gambles, but I think the video games can be fun. So I put a dollar in the Wheel of Fortune game - nothing. Another dollar - nothing. Then Scott suggested why not pull the lever instead of using the push button. So I tried it and won $25! Played a few more games - video poker and blackjack, more slots, etc. Went up, went down - ended up cashing out around $23.

We got into Newark around 7 pm - broke ALL my nails trying to get our bags (apparently TSA does not care if you walk around the airport with a bloody hand, but they do care if you try to bring a bottle of water through their security check), sent Scott to get the car and later realized I had the ticket for parking in my purse. We went to Linda & Paul's to pick up Hef, who we were told we were not getting back. He had a great time, but was happy to see us. He hated the car ride, but was so happy when we got home.

So all in all it was challenging but fun. Plus now we know what NOT to do if you're flying when it snows is rely on the stupid Airtrain!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moving to the Ghetto

Well fuck me. We just got an email saying we're moving. Which sucks royal ass. This is a great building in a great neighborhood - nice and residential with upscale shops and restaurants. I'm close to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, School Products, Madison Square Park, Cosi, Argo Tea, Live Bait, Garden of Eden - the list goes on. And the subway stop is right on my corner - I don't even have to cross the street!

And what's in our new neighborhood? NOTHING! And the closest subway is a good 15-20 minute walk.

OH GREAT!!! I just remembered that I will no longer be able to visit the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck at lunch! GRRRRRRR!!!!!

I hope at least we all get raises for this asshattery. But I'm not holding my breath.

And the next person who tells me "At least you have a job" is going to the hospital with my foot stuck in their ass.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why 2010 can go eat a bag of dicks

Don't get me wrong- 2010 wasn't all bad. It just managed to get most of its punches and ninja kicks in in December.

The first punch: early in December I was all excited about the Spin City Holiday Party coming up mid-month. I get a call from the venue that they have a $600 minimum for private parties during the holidays - this is our fourth holiday party there and this is the first I'm hearing of this. After much complaining, I got them to waive the minimum, but it really destroyed my enthusiasm for the event. We actually did end up meeting the minimum, but I feel like they were trying to pull something over on us.

Then came a series of punches and kicks regarding my grandfather. He had part of his foot removed due to circulation problems in his legs. Then they decided he needed to have the whole leg removed from the knee down. When they removed the leg, there were all these clots that released and went up to his brain causing a stroke. We thought he was doing better, but I got a call from my Dad the day before my birthday that he passed away the night before. I'm glad I remember him as I do and not suffering in some hospital toward the end. But I wish I had taken the time to go out and visit, have dinner with him and chat about stuff. Now it's too late and I feel awful.

Got kicked again when I got sick for my birthday, so we didn't do anything.

Punched again on Christmas Eve when Scott woke up and told me he was too sick to go to my mom's and I shuold go by myself. He was erally sick, and I didn't want to force him to go, but I didn't want to spend Christmas without him. We ended up going out Christmas day and coming back that night. Missed chruch with my mom and dinner at Emeril's on Christmas Eve though.

The TKO came the following week, when my beautiful Nilla passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I cried nonstop for days until I was so sickI couldn't get out of bed all New Year's weekend. I miss my little girl - it's not fair she was taken from us so soon.

So 2010 can suck it. Good riddance. 2011, you better not let me down!