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Technology February 29, 2008

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 7:29 pm

So I finally got with the times and got myself set up with google RSS reader to keep track of all my blog reading in one place.  It was pretty simple once I got in there.  I don’t remember what service I tried last time but it was all confusing and shit and I gave it up.

That got me thinking about all the newfangled technology out there and how amazing it is that we’ve come so far in so few years.  I can remember actually dropping a class my junior year of college because it required you to use that new fangled e-mail to turn in your assignments.  And it was such a giant pain in the ass to treck to the computer lab and get online and nobody understood how it worked and blah blah blah new is hard-cakes.  I graduate in ‘97, so that was just barely ten years ago.  By the time I finished grad school 3 short years later, I wouldn’t even go to the library to do research anymore-if I couldn’t get a background article online, I didn’t need it!  My cell phone back then was about as big as a brick and reserved for emergencies only.

And now we have tiny rzrs, and iphones you can watch movies on, and IM, blogs, and text messaging and twitter and tumblr and wikis and all this social media and it blows my mind if I really stop to think about it.  And with wee baby on the way, I wonder what is in store for the future.  The kids will probably be text/IMing via brainwaves by the time he is a teenager.

We got our first computer when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, the kind with a black and green only screen and giant floppy disks.  Now you can carry essentially a whole computer the size of that floppy disk around in your pocket. 

The upshot of this technology advance that I’m not so happy with in light of wee baby on the way is that all this seems to moving to younger and younger generations. Twelve year olds gab away on their cell phones, toddlers have TVs in their bedrooms, and god forbid you go to the grocery store without popping Dora the Explorer into the minivan’s DVD player.  Whatever happened to shut up and look out the window?  They have video games for BABIES. I’m really hoping to hold out as long as possible before exposing wee baby to any of that…He’ll probably want his first cell phone before he turns 4.

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Just a quick one… February 27, 2008

Filed under: ?Baby?,Daily Grind — booksunread @ 7:32 pm

…to say: This kicking thing is still so freaking cool!  I’m sure by the end of this I will be all “For the love of GOD, knock it off!” but right now every single ripple and nudge makes me smile.  I’m sad when he’s quiet, I want to jump up and down to wake him up and get him poking again.  Alternatively, shoveling in a bunch of sugar is looking like a good strategy.

Speaking of cookies, I screwed the pooch with the GS cookie lady.  Either I really did mess up filling out the form, or there was a shortage, and they won’t own up to it.  Happily, when I went to the grocery store yesterday, there was a troop camped out there and I was able to get 2 boxes of Tagalongs. (Although they just say pb patties on the box? I noticed the Samoas were also called “carmel delights” or something. No wonder there was confusion-they can’t decide on the names. I hope they don’t phase out the tried and true names, it’s part of the nostalgia!)  Anyway, I STILL screwed the pooch because inside the grocery store, they didn’t have the Edy’s Tagalong ice cream-just the Samoa.  I’m never going to get my cookie-crumbly sundae at this rate. 

Also, under the catagory of “isn’t that cute?” I asked Miguel to guess my weight yesterday and he said 135-bwah ha ha ha ha! That’s what I weighed last spring when I was skinny and working out. So not even close.

 

Bad Travel Juju February 26, 2008

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 3:50 pm

Man, am I glad I’m done traveling for a while.  Last week’s trip to Tampa was just about as bad as all the rest of my travel this last month.  For starters, it was snowing heavily for the trip up to the airport, and the lot was not plowed. So after a slow careful drive, I got to trudge in ankle deep snow after the shuttle bus.  Of course, as I was heading to FLORIDA, I was not sporting boots.

Once I got into my seat on the plane, I whipped out my wet wipe and proceeded to disinfect all the hard surfaces-arm rest, tray table, wall, seat belt buckle.  With the amount I’m getting on and off planes these days, there was no way I was taking the chance of catching any germs; bad enough I was breathing all that recycled air.  Just as I finished up, I thought, “hey, my butt feels damp, why would my butt feel wet?” Touch the cushion, which is decidedly damp and smells like pee.  I just finished disinfecting my area, and the entire time I was sitting in PEE!!!

WTF?!?! Who DOES that? Let’s their kid PEE on an airline seat and then hustles him/her off the plane without alerting the flight crew?!?!?  I immediately leapt up and asked for a new seat.  The flight attendant told me to wait, went up to the front of the plane, and started walking back towards me with a fistful of plastic bags.  Oh hell’s no, I am not sitting in the pee seat covered with a flimsy plastic bag!!! I will be moving up to first class or a g.d. jump seat if there’s nothing available in coach.  Luckily, there was just one seat open elsewhere and I was able to move.

When I arrived in Florida, it was glorious to walk out of the terminal without my coat and feel the warm breeze on my face.  I went to Budget to get my rental car.  She offered me an upgrade which I declined.  When I travel, I choose compact for a reason-it’s much easier to maneuver an unfamiliar small car than an unfamiliar large car, especially when you don’t know where you’re going and may have to weave through traffic to get to your exit.

When I get out to the lot, there is a mini-bus parked in my spot.  I asked the guy with the keys what was up and he said they didn’t have a compact ready, so they upgraded me to a Chevy HSR.  Thing looked like a special ed version of a PT Cruiser-more boxy and bus-like. And I said, why didn’t I get upgraded to a real car, or something that’s at least not a bus.  And he very snottily informed me that he had no idea how long it would be for another car so they were doing me a favor by letting me drive this piece of crap and get out of there.  Not wanting to risk having to navigate rush hour traffic, I agreed and took the car.

What a giant piece of crap that car is.  It’s boxy and hard to see out of in the mirrors and side windows.  It’s impossible to gauge how much room you have backing up.  The controls are all jacked up with the window buttons on the center console instead of on the freaking door like every other car.  And, it had over-air freshnered smell.

Then, on the way to hotel, and again the next day back to the airport, the GPS was unclear on the concept of a highway like elevated main road, and kept telling me to turn where I couldn’t get off. I ended up driving over the bay bridge and back before I could get going the right way.

Upon arriving back home, it was rush hour and had been snowing heavily for several hours.  It took me almost three hours to drive 40 miles home, over a highway where the lanes were completely invisible due to the snow.  About halfway there, my wipers clogged with snow and were barely working. I had the defrost running full blast, in an effort to melt it, and was ready to pass out from the heat inside the car. It was completely ridiculous. 

So I’m glad I’m not going anywhere until mid March!  I’m sure another freak late blizzard will hit then.  Maybe my seat will be puked on instead of just peed on and I’ll catch the ebola virus.

 

Cookies February 25, 2008

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 2:07 pm

It is Girl Scout Cookie Time!  That special time of year when you pay $3 for a half-full box of cookies that were probably made a year ago. Yum.  And yet, some of the cookies just don’t compare to what you can buy at the grocery store.  There is something magical about the Girl Scout cookie.  And if there is a cookie that can rival the taste of a Thin Mint or a Tagalong, I’ve yet to find it.

Given my current “eat all the cookies you want,” diet, I was especially looking forward to the cookie delivery this year.  You can imagine my joy upon arriving in the office on Friday and discovering the bag of treats on my desk.  You can probably also imagine my disappointment when, after forcing myself to wait until I’d had a nutritious lunch, I tore into the bag to find that two of the three boxes were NOT what I had ordered.

Sure, my Thin Mints were there, but the Tagalongs and chocolate dipped shortbreads had been replaced with plain, non-chocolatey shortbreads and crappy peanut butter sandwich cookies (I still have a box of these in my pantry from last year-Miguel had ordered them from one of the neighborhood kids-that they are still there is a testament to how much I dislike them as few cookies are so bad I will not eat them in a fit of sugar desperation).

I should have known not to trust our near-senile office admin with the important task of accurate cookie delivery (she brought the order form in for her granddaughter).  She is in her upper 60s, and comes in two days a week to answer phones and complete any general admin work that needs to be done.  I have learned over time that there is pretty much no admin work that is basic enough that she can’t fuck it up.  She misfiles things, types all her e-mails in ALL CAPS, is mystified by the intricacies of MS Word, and generally needs everything explained to her ten times.

I hate to be age-ist, but she came from an office environment at one of our subsids, she’d worked there for years, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be up on basic office technology.  She is a very nice lady, but it is time for her to retire. 

Anyway, back to the cookies, I could conceivably keep my mouth shut and pay for cookies I’m not going to eat, but that is not going to get me my Tagalongs.  So I asked the office manager for the admin’s home phone number so that she could get it straightened out before she comes in next time, and bring my correct cookies with her.  The office manager was all, “yeah, I didn’t think I got the ones I ordered either.”  So she made a list and called.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will be munching on my Tagalongs.  Luckily I have my Thin Mints to sustain me in the meantime.

Speaking of Tagalongs, Maybelle is in trouble for recommending Edy’s Tagalong special edition ice cream to me.  Holy crap is that stuff good. I bought a gallon of it Friday night and it’s almost all gone.  Each time I had a giant bowl, I had to restrain myself from going back for seconds, I was so disappointed when I finished.  The only thing that could make it better would be to have some actual Tagalongs to crumble over the top.

 

Holy Crap! February 22, 2008

Filed under: ?Baby? — booksunread @ 7:16 pm

Wednesday, I was sitting in my hotel room reading with my hand on my lower belly when all of a sudden it felt like someone was trying to give me a gentle high five from inside! And then, he did it again.  And again. I immediately called Salsera and then my sister in law.  She said “pretty soon, you’ll be able to tell what will make him move, like when you eat sugar or certain foods.” I had just eaten a Twix.  Perhaps this was wee baby’s way of saying “thank you sir, may I have another?”  Since the show appeared to be over, I was sorely tempted to go get another Twix.  You know, for research purposes.

I’ve still been trying to figure out for sure if what I was feeling inside was wee baby or gas, and not really worried because it’s still early. I had no idea that someone else could actually feel it from the outside at this point. I thought it was too early.

I figured that would be it for a while, but yesterday, sitting in the airport after just snacking on a reeses pb cup easter egg, I felt it again! Three little taps in a row, then nothing. I’m guessing it was morris code for “send more chocolate.”  Lying in bed last night, he started up again and today he’s been going nuts.  I’m barely getting any work done, because I keep stopping to put my hand on my tummy to catch the next one, and they are few and far between.  I must look like a freak when people walk by, because this is all going on very low on my belly, at the bottom of the curve of the hump so it kind of looks like I’m molesting myself under my desk.

Speaking of, want to see what my belly looks like?

belly

I had no idea I was getting so big…I’m pretty sure there is a good bit of that made up of chocolate and icecream.  My thighs have become disgusting cellulite ridden tree trunks.  I will not be sporting shorts this pregnancy-it will be all about the capris and below the knee skirts.

Okay, I really do have to get back to work; it took me all morning to get through my e-mails with all the kick breaks.  I need to get some actual work done before I scoot out for the day!

Next week, I will be staying put, so posting will be a bit more regular. And hopefully on topics a bit more varied than “baby, baby, baby”!

 

Back in the Saddle February 19, 2008

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 1:24 pm

Sort of. For a day at least.  I was out Friday and Monday on vacation in Chicago.  I’m in the office today (only 74 more new e-mails to sort through!), then off again tomorrow and Thursday for a meeting in Tampa.  Where it damn well better be warm and sunny.

So no time to write. Trip home was nice, but still rushed.  I also wish I had not been sick.  With a cold I caught because one of my coworkers thought it would be nice to bring her kid in when she was home sick from school.  And then let her wander up and down the halls, touching everything with her germy hands.  I’m extremely pissed about that. 

Am also pissed that my e-mail to management about how this is a terrible habit was totally ignored.  Am seriously considering forwarding again with the message, “are my concerns not valid or do you just not care?” 

 

Executive Decision February 12, 2008

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 1:00 pm

So I got up at 4 am and my flight was still not cancelled, despite the 2 inches of thick snow covered by a sheet of ice, with more sleet on the way.  I couldn’t imagine getting in my car at 5:00 in the morning for a pants-shittingly terrifying 40 mile ride to airport over the hilly, barely plowed, dark, icy highway.  Not to mention, our original morning flight had been cancelled and we were now getting in an hour and half later. If we got delayed even a little bit, the whole meeting schedule would be thrown to hell.

So I cancelled the trip. Luckily, because they cancelled our original flight, they changed the tickets without any fees or anything. I pushed it back two weeks.  Miguel’s work called a snow day. My small office, typically, has been mum.  It’s an every man for himself policy. The gist of it is: If you think it’s too bad to come into work, then stay home (but we will secretly think you are a big slacker pussy).  Well, it’s 8 and this slacker is going back to bed for a couple hours, because she’s been up since 4.  I will try to get into the office around noon or so. Miguel will probably drive me.