Friday, February 27, 2009

Making things Pretty...

Look out for a new addition to my blog very soon...

(And no, I'm not pregnant. For some reason every mention of "new" or "looking ahead" is now construed as pregnancy. Not pregnant. Just FYI.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

If only everyone would make such a promise. From here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tale of a Sock

I tend to find myself thinking of odd things during meetings. Like the CFO’s sock drawer. I wonder if he has a lot of really old socks. Faded black socks that now look grey. Socks his mom got him for Christmases. Socks that itch, so he never wears them. His favorite socks, which his wife begs him to throw out. Maybe, like my father, his sock drawer is filled to the brim with socks. His wife even thinks of secretly throwing some out, but she knows he’ll probably notice, so she doesn’t.

I imagine him, like my father, getting up in the wee, dark hours of the morning to get dressed, his wife still asleep. He pulls out a trusty night light – it’s an old, battery powered light that’s supposed to be hung on a wall of an electricity-deprived closet. It’s from the 80s, and has a pull-chain rather than a switch. It’s the size of a salad plate and runs on a nine-volt, and he palms in his left hand while the right rifles through the socks.


He uses this light because his wife spent 22 years raising their children, and to let her sleep past 6:00 a.m. was his way of thanking her. But he’s up at 6:00 or earlier every day, putting together his clothes for work – sometimes it’s a misadventure, and she laughs when he gets home to discover he’s got on brown socks with a black suit and a black shoes.

But she doesn’t gloat too much, because she knows his morning ritual with the pull-chain light and sock-hunting. She knows because she sometimes wakes up and watches him, smiling, knowing that this started when both children began simultaneously sleeping through the night. Now, more than thirty years later, he can’t stop, because it’s become habit. And because, even after 30 years, every home-cooked meal, every middle-of-the-night feeding, and every load of laundry she did deserves that extra hour or two of rest for her.

All this from the CFO's sock choice today (green argyle, if you wanted to know...)

A Case of the Mondays

Feeling pretty down today.

Got nominated for a scholarship, then proceeded to forget to submit the materials for it. Last week was so hellish and long, and it was the thing that got lost in the shuffle. I felt nauseous when I realized it. I could have had free money, the prestige of getting a scholarship, and the bragging rights. Instead I have an email saying I couldn’t send it in late, but would I like to fill out the form for other scholarship opportunities? To top it off, whatever faculty member nominated me (and I have a pretty good idea who it was) gets to learn that I wasn't even together enough to submit my information in time, I have to live with that disappointment. I have a feeling this was kind of a one-shot deal, and I didn't even bother aiming for the right target.

I hate when I forget the important things. I hate it even more when they’re things for my benefit.

Other things I’m neglecting to do right now that are making me feel pretty crummy:

1. Finish my thank you cards for the wedding gifts… from OCTOBER.
2. Take my dog to the vet for a booster shot…in JANUARY
3. Get my teeth cleaned, which hasn’t been done in more than 2 years.
4. Make an appointment with my girlie doctor.
5. Clean up my house, which I’ve routinely trashed and let Greg clear up after me.
6. Take my dry cleaning in, so that I can wear the shirts I haven’t worn in over a year.
7. Go grocery shopping so we can eat something other than garlic-stuffed olives and cheese toast for dinner.
8. Clean my car out, which is littered with old magazines, papers, receipts and boxes from varying events over the winter.
9. Make an appointment with a mortgage professional to find out if Greg and I will qualify for a home loan in the foreseeable future.
10. Pay my insurance for the items I bought on my FSA last year, for which they are now asking for receipts and which I do not have.
11. Do our taxes.

So here’s to an awful day, a craptastic week, and a disappointing month.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Friday!

I learned something disturbing today – my traffic from search engines (according to Google Analytics) is about 17% of my total traffic. Of that 17%, about 40% had looked for something relating to prepubescent teens, or tits.

I wonder how many hits that will give me for this post….

I just made some pervs VERY angry. And that, my friends, is a good Friday.

Because I got...

Really, any excuse to show pictures of my dog in her puppy stage is a good one. Seriously, how can you NOT love that face?

A couple times in my youth (read: my college days, which ended 3 years ago), I tried those things that everyone refers to as “Just Say No!” I think it is everyone’s inalienable right to do so. To say you have and you didn’t like it (or did). To know that experience, and to be able to relate to others who have had it. To know what it feels like to eat an entire bag of ranch-flavored Doritos in fifteen minutes. Wait, that one was just me?.... Oh.

Anyway.

When I did it (and I can count the times on a single hand), I always had this feeling of “out of control.” Not in a way that would make me lash out at people, but more in the way that I couldn’t catch up to what was happening. I couldn’t get control of my brain, so it could tell me what was happening. My brain was lagging behind by twenty seconds, so I got the joke a little late, and I figured it all out seconds after it was over. It’s how the mentally challenged feel most of the time, I’m sure. Needless to say, I didn’t like to feel (shhhh) retarded. So the last time I did it, it was the last time.

I feel like I’ve been doing nothing for the last two days but getting inadvertently high. I can’t concentrate. I don’t get it. People look at me, call my name, ask me questions, and my mind? It’s on vacation somewhere. I can’t avert my attention from the task at hand to the question I’m asked. They’re out the door and down the hall, when I suddenly call out, “Yes, I’ll take care of it!” They’ve moved on, but I am only just getting it.

This head-cold, this brain-lagging, half-baked-ick that I’ve had for the last few days, is just not right. It’s not right to feel like I’ve just smoked a giant joint, especially when I haven’t. The very least it could do is make me really sick, with vomiting and fever and the whole kit-and-caboodle, so the only one to witness my apparent lack of cognition would be the dog.

Grammar Police

Once a quarter, we have a formal board meeting, during which the founder of our company comes for a visit. To prepare for this meeting, we publish a very long, very involved board book, which contains updates from every major division of our business. It’s my job to proofread, make copies and assemble (with Mary Tyler Moore’s sometimes haphazard help) 40 of these books.

Our owner (who needs a fitting name… we’ll call him…Richie Rich) is a stickler for grammar, punctuation and overall language (a man after my own heart). I once drafted a letter which he revised – there were so many revisions, my paper looked like it had been massacred. So when we create his board book, we are meticulous in ensuring it is correct. We even make sure there are no errant marks or smudges on the paper or the book itself. Like I said. Met.ic.u.lous.

My official “boss” Bad News Bear (she thinks delivering bad news to people is her official role in life and does it with gusto, but that’s another blog), always gives me her report – a 14-page monstrosity – in the worst possible condition. There are days that I dream of just printing it as-is and letting Richie Rich unleash his wrath on her, and ask how a woman managed to become an executive without learning how to punctuate, capitalize, spell, or at least use spell check. Here are just some highlights from her report:

“during this time of staff transision” – Yes, spell check would have worked here.

“working with th.e staff” – Maybe the period in the middle of the word really emphasizes THE staff?

“key performance indicastors” – This should have read “indicators,” however she must have been thinking of rolling something on wheels when she wrote it?

“we’ll high level review of illness and is specific to treatment being offered onsite” – Um….what??

“The purpose of the team is clarify how to urgent assistance when needed and is particularly helpful in situations…” – Apparently “urgent” is now a verb. Good luck with that.
“The therapists’ instruction to the patient that exercise and being active is the first line treatment for the condition readily escapes our patients’ reasoning” – Now this isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s just a bitch to read. Perhaps one of the ugliest sentences ever.

Ugh.

P.S. The Bad News Bear has a little bit of a cold, and when she wants sympathy, she exaggerates the gravelly voice brought on by the cold. The remainder of the time (namely when she’s chatting with her friends in her office), she talks normally, and you can barely tell she’s sick. I hate when people do stuff like that to try to drag out the comments of “Oh, I’m so sorry you feel bad! Why don’t you go home and rest?!”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Days, People Baffle Me

From: Huginkiss, Amanda
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 8:12 AM
To: Jennifer
Subject: flowers

Hi Jennifer,

Hope all is well! Kerry Patient, one of our employees, had surgery yesterday. We are not aware of where she had her surgery or when she will be returning home but we were hoping that youwould still be able to send flowers?

Thanks,
Amanda Huginkiss

____________________________________________________

From: Jennifer
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 8:12 AM
To: Huginkiss, Amanda
Subject: RE: flowers

Amanda,

Sure, I'll just fire up my ESP, magically conjure up where she is and have the flowers put into her presence by teleportation. No problem. That's what us executive assistants do. It's in the job description.

Thanks,

Jennifer

... If only my actual responses were as great as my imaginary ones...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Moment


You know how, very occasionally, you see a moment to finally give someone some clarity on an issue?

This happened Friday with the Young Gun (the boss of all my bosses). Each day, Mary Tyler Moore goes through his stack of things to sign and puts certain things into a “rush” folder, which she places in front of him near the end of the day. (We have to put the rush folder together because the Young Gun has an adverse reaction to signing things, much like the episode of the Office where Pam must get Michael Scott to sign to concurring sets of papers at once, to the result that everyone has to stay late waiting for the signatures.) These are the things that we’ve gotten repeated, “Has the Young Gun signed this YET?” requests about. All. Day. Long. These people are so anxious for their pieces of paper, they think it’ll help to make our lives that much worse by asking about them as often as possible. But that’s a different blog.


So, I told Mary Tyler Moore that she could go on home on Friday, and that I’d get him to sign the things in his rush folder. I wasn’t in any hurry, because Greg was going to be running late, so I took my time about shutting things down for the week. I walked in to get the Young Gun to sign the few things I had while he chatted with a VP, who we’ll call Mr. Clean.

There were only three things in the folder, so the Young Gun looked at me and said, “Is there anything else I have to sign? I can get some of it done while Mr. Clean and I wrap up.”

This is one of those moments. Like when you find a $100 bill on the street. Or you see a car pulling out of the perfect parking place at the mall during Christmas rush. Or you discover that your cancer has miraculously disappeared and you have your whole life instead of only two weeks to live. Yes, it’s that huge.

I said, “I'll go look!” and ran back out of the board room and into his office, grabbed the three file folders FILLED to spilling over with things to sign. Stacked on top of one another, it amounted to about four or five inches of paper. I was giggling as I ran back to the meeting with Mr. Clean and the Young Gun. Sticking my head in again, I said seriously, “You asked if you had anything else to sign?”

Then I walked in, massive folders practically spilling over with every form of document imaginable and dropped them on the table with an extremely satisfying “THONK!” The Young Gun looked up at me with this, “Oh my God” expression, and it took everything in me not to burst into huge belly laughs, although I did giggle. A lot. Maybe I should have felt bad, but really? Not so much.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I'm supposed to make a decision by midnight tonight on the topic for my final paper for one of my classes. The topic has to be on a "current issue in organization of information."

I just started this program. I don't know what the current issues are, and a preliminary literature review reveals... that I have a hard time discerning at a glance what the literature is saying.

Does the organization of the files on my computer count as a current issue, you think? It's definitely an issue for me...

Wish me luck.
P.S. On a sidenote, I've decided if I ever start a blog specifically for stuff about my master's work, I shall call it "Miss Information." Cute, right? Except I'm not a miss anymore. Oh well.

Ode to a Coffee Urn




I have this lovely travel mug.
It keeps coffee warm for hours.
I find it very useful,
As I often forget I poured my coffee.
And every day
I pour my coffee
At 7:45 a.m.
I carry it around.
And take it to my car.
But I wait until I’m at work
Before taking that
First,
Lovely
Sip.


Picture from here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Information Interruption


So, as you well know, I have begun my education as an Information Junkie. I am getting as abstract as possible, and spending my evenings reading information about information. Crazy as it sounds, I love it so far. It’s fascinating to me. However, I understand if this is not as fascinating to you as it is to me. So, going forward, anytime I am about to embark on a school-related rant or rave, I will preface it with the above graphic (or a slightly cooler graphic that I will eventually make when I get more skillz). I feel it is only fair to give you this much warning. I would feel excessively bad if you began to read only to wake up three hours later with your keyboard ruined by drool.

Has school changed or is it just me?

I began “classes” last week. It was an exciting moment, opening up those online courses and beginning to understand what this semester will be like for me. So far, things look pretty good. There’s a decent amount of reading, a few papers, but nothing too exhaustive (i.e. no 20-page papers or multi-faceted projects to work on).

The one thing I found most interesting about beginning this semester is the vast difference between the two classes I’m taking. I haven’t been out of my bachelor’s program that long – just two and a half years. But I remember most of my classes being similar in approach. Readings, papers, short assignments. And one of my classes follows this format. It’s very straight-laced. The entire semester’s work is already posted, and it’s up to the student to slug through it all, completing readings, journal entries, quizzes and other things as assigned.

But my second class? I mentioned it briefly in an earlier post, but I continue being surprised by it. One morning I checked out the website to see if there was anything new I needed to read or work on, and there was a new link posted. I assumed it would be an article. Something dry. What I got was a video of the Colbert Report. Oh, how I needed a class like this during my junior year of college when I was reading 18 books of British women’s lit and spending 12 hours in the library researching some dead author’s work. I only hope the hits just keep on coming.

On top of all that, the professor actually found my blog and commented. And luckily I didn’t lambaste her too much. But the fact that the professor has her feelers out (Greg and I discussed how she found it – Google Alerts? Did I mention it somewhere that she would have seen? Is my full name actually associated with the blog?) is impressive. In my other class, I doubt the professor would be so engaged. No offense meant, of course.

So, Mr. Eliot, school has begun with a bang and a whimper. Who woulda thunk?

P.S. Even with the straight-laced class, I’m finding the readings enjoyable. I think I might have just picked the perfect career. Apparently information about information is just fascinating to me. I’m officially the geekiest person I know, and I love it!