30 November 2010

That's how they get ya.

I went into our system where we request time off today to switch around a day off so I could go to the First Ave 40th Anniversary party the night before.

A couple of weeks ago I went in to the system to request my time off, as we found out our New Year's Day holiday is actually on New Year's Eve and I'd already requested that day off. However, I changed my time off, but didn't get the day back. Imagine my surprise then, when I go in today and magically have an extra three days sitting there. What the fuck?

I swear I already requested all of my available days months ago. I've gone in and made adjustments and those three days were nowhere to be seen. My guess is this is some sort of "system glitch" that helps them make us forfeit vacation days. (It's benefits open enrollment time, so we're all very into the "this is how they're trying to fuck us over" meme.) Nice try, but I'm taking those days.

Earlier today, I got an e-mail saying that the horrible project on which I'd been working the last few months was ending. Like, today. It seemed a bit unceremonious to some people -- me included, but only a little. The two things I worked on were clearly wrapping up. I figured I'd almost certainly be done by the end of this week. Making it happen at the end of the month is just that much easier.

So now I really don't feel bad only working seven days in December. SEVEN. Of course, the system could be all different when I go in tomorrow, but everything added up correctly (though, I thought they added up perfectly a couple of weeks ago, but I apparently wasn't counting my personal days in the total and they were). I just don't know why those days weren't available a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not going to lie, y'all -- I'm pretty fucking stoked about this. I won't even think about how horribly, horribly cruel January is going to be. I'm going to enjoy December.

29 November 2010

This is shaping up to be a long four-day week.

I really didn't think today was going to be so terribly awful, even if I was going back after several days off. But it really was not good.

For starters, I forgot to bring the bread product that was supposed to serve as the conveyance for my turkey and assorted leftovers (but not all of them) for lunch. Then, when it was time to actually eat, I realized I didn't even put my turkey in the fridge. It had been sitting out for like, three or four hours. To the trash with you, then.

The office next door must have received an infusion of new employees who were raised by wolves, because there were used paper towels around the sinks and trash cans, plus bloody toilet paper on the floor in the stalls. AWESOME. I just do not understand how one place can consistently employ so fucking many people who do not know how to fucking act. It boggles the mind.

But maybe things would get better after I left work. Except it took me 40 minutes to get home because of some fucking mist. Not to mention those 40 minutes were filled with dizziness-inducing cramps. I just had Shark Week two fucking weeks ago. Why is it happening again? I'm ugly, cranky as fuck, bloated as hell and these cramps make me want to stab someone. The good news, however, is that my IUD did not expel itself as I was fearing it might have. Something felt weird downtown, but after some poking around down there I didn't find anything out of place, so I assume everything is peachy-keen.

Of course, the gym was full of douchebags, too. It's been so busy already, I can't even imagine what it will be like when the New Year's Resolutioners arrive. So many people ignoring the signs posted all over the gym telling everyone there is a 20-minute limit on cardio equipment when there is a line. Does that stop the douche on the treadmill whose timer says he's been on it for well over 30 minutes? Hell no. He even looked back at the six-person-deep line and kept right on fucking going. I was in line for a fuckstick who stopped not long after 20 minutes, but just fucking walked away and didn't wipe down his machine. If it's not one kind of asshole, it's another, I guess.

Still, once my cramps subsided (thanks to fistful of ibuprofen), I felt better. Not so much better I didn't think I deserved a treat at Trader Joe's, however (the treat was not breaking into a Subaru and stealing the Samoyed who looked at me with pleading eyes -- I resisted!). I picked up a box of dark chocolate sea salt caramels. They're not as good as I was hoping, but I do enjoy all of the elements.

Now I'm concerned about these last three minutes of the Gopher game against UVA for the Big Ten-ACC challenge. The Gophs were looking great in the first half and not so awesome in this tape-delayed second half. But I've gotten this far without finding out the results, so that's something. It would really be nice to actually represent the Big Ten well in this contest for once.

I'd talk about my potential day working from home tomorrow, but I don't dare go to the Strib's website to check the weather until after the game finishes. All I can do is get another glass of wine. I deserve it after going spelunking for my IUD, I think.

Looks like the Gophers will suffer their first loss of the season. Just the cap I needed to my shitty, shitty day.

28 November 2010

But I don't want to go back to work.

Having a week off work -- even if it's a week in which I would have worked just more than two-and-a-half days -- is good for the soul. My soul, anyway.

Not only did I not work, I did a shitload of fun stuff. In fact, I had very little couch time. I'm regretting that a bit now. However, the awesome fun stuff I did with really fucking wonderful people was also good for my soul. Being busy helped me to not miss The Boy I Currently Like so much while he was out of town, as well.

Thanksgiving Eve was a very long, very fun, very drunk night at Liquor Lyle's that wrapped up at Fat Mike the Gangsta's place. My hangover dissipated enough for me to enjoy a crazy good Thanksgiving dinner with The GTs', their families and Jen and Mojo.

My chocolate stout cake went over well, but the meal (prime rib with horseradish cream, rosemary-parmesan mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, popovers and a Caesar salad featuring homemade dressing and homemade croutons -- oh, and an apple-cranberry upside-down cake) was the star. Unfortunately, by the time I got home, I was just too stuffed to do anything other than put on yoga pants and lay on the couch. So, I didn't get to go to W&J's place for more food, booze, dogs and company.

Friday, Sweetness and I went to The Replacements tribute at First Ave. It was BRILLIANT. I had so much fun. I mean, I've gone to tons of great shows over the years, but this was different. There were local bands playing short sets in both the Mainroom and the Entry and you were free to go back and forth. Unfortunately, we ended up leaving before the main event, which was a cover-to-cover performance of Tim. We'd been there and on our feet for more than four hours and we were TIRED.

We totally saw Nick Swardson there, too. He's super short.

Last night was the annual post-thanksgiving eating of leftovers and drinking ridiculous amounts of red wine at The GTs' place. Apparently, we set a new record this year. That's impressive, because we downed about 16 bottles of red wine last year. I brought a Bota Box instead of a single bottle of wine this year. Yet that and the second Bota Box were gone before 9:00 (I think). I love these people.

So now I'm sitting here watching Sunday Night Football and doing laundry and dreading going back to work tomorrow. There will be no sleeping in, no leisurely trip to the gym around mid-morning. At least it's only a four-day week. As is next week. And the week after that. Then two more weeks of blissful not working. Quite frankly, I don't want to think about what happens after that.

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving.

My hangover is gone and I'm ready to rock. I'm looking forward to eating myself into some sort of food coma at The GTs' and then possibly heading to W&J's place later for more eating, drinking, football-watching and hanging out.

Thanksgiving Eve was brilliant, as usual. I've had time today to lay on my couch and watch football, but I'm not succumbing to the laziness. At least not yet.

While I'm really missing KayGee, The Prison Librarian and The Boy I Currently Like, I'm super thankful to have so many friends around to spend time with over this holiday weekend.

Safe travels, and Happy Thanksgiving y'all.

23 November 2010

Productivity!

When I was tossing and turning in bed from somewhere around 3:00 a.m. until well after 6:00 a.m., I really didn't think I was going to get much done today. When I woke up at nearly 10:00, I couldn't possibly imagine I'd be getting everything done I had on my list. Okay, so there wasn't a list of things to do, but I had some ideas in my head.

Much to my surprise, I managed to clean, run errands, wash my sheets and towels, run another errand and go to yoga. YAY ME. I did also want to throw together some cookies, but it just didn't work out.

I still have to actually put my clean sheets on my bed, wash dishes and take a shower. There's plenty of time, though. I don't have to be at Lyle's until 4:30 tomorrow. Of course, I need to go to the gym and make a cake before I go to the bar.

Getting to Lyle's could be a bit tricky, what with the weather coming our way. I figure, as long as I'm able to get to and from the bus stop without ice skates, I'll be there. Not so sure about other people, however. I hope people make it out. There's something delightful about sitting in one of my favorite bars during a snowstorm.

Sounds like I'll be able to get out to The GTs' on Thursday for Thanksgiving; but just in case, I have my own Thanksgiving meal waiting in the wings. That sounds a bit crazy, and I agree that it is. However, I decided I wanted the "traditional" Thanksgiving leftovers (honestly -- all I want are the leftovers), so sometime Friday or Saturday (maybe even Sunday), I'll be cooking up a turkey breast and some sides. Plus, I need something for the Leftovers party on Saturday.

I have plenty of booze to get me through tomorrow and Thursday, as well, if the weather is too bad to venture out. I AM PREPARED, y'all. I could hole up in my clean apartment and cuddle up in my clean sheets and drink to my heart's content, if necessary. But I hope I get to do some drinking with my friends over the next several days.

22 November 2010

Make it stop.

Sweet Jebus. It's not even Thanksgiving and I'm already about to go on a rampage because of these god-fucking-awful Kay Jeweler commercials.

Look, just because you have "chocolate diamonds" and a surprisingly (like, shockingly -- I kept going on and on about it to The Boy I Currently Like on Saturday night) well-preserved Dorothy Hamill (seriously -- she looks GREAT) doesn't mean you don't have shitty, cookie-cutter, mass-produced, UGLY jewelry.

It's entirely possibly that Dorothy Hamill isn't shilling her Jane-Seymour-knock-off-bullshit-jewelry (though, I think it's a breast cancer awareness thing, unlike Seymour's lame attempt to tug on the heartstrings to make a quick buck) via Kay, but she might as well be. All of that shit blurs together in a hatred soup in my brain.

But it doesn't matter. What matters is that a) I have time off, which means I'll be sometimes working out during the day and will be able to watch TV in the evenings like a regular person and b) I'll be watching a lot of basketball. The former means I'll be home in the evenings when my DVR is recording two shows at the same time, which means I have to watch one of them, commercials and all. The latter also means I'm watching live and can't fast-forward during commercials. At least in the case of the latter, I can change channels, but it really seems like EVERYTHING is in commercial at the same time when you're trying to find something to occupy you during commercials. It's fucking evil, y'all.

21 November 2010

Nerdgasm!

I recently returned home from the Lagoon, where I met W to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 1. It was awesome!

When I got home, I was still a little jazzed, even. I can't believe I have to wait until, what, July? to see the next one. Of course, I'm probably going back to see this one within a week. I have seen the last several movies with my sister and nephew and I felt like I should see this one with them. However, I just didn't want to wait that long and W wanted to go, so I went. I certainly won't mind seeing it again.

So the movie was awesome, but it's not even the cap to my weekend. The Gophers are playing West Virginia for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship right now. It's exciting stuff, y'all. (I just screamed "Yeah! And one, bitches! to my living room, for example.)

It's not like my weekend is really going to end, anyway. I'm not going back to work until a week from tomorrow. That is all kinds of awesome. Of course, I'm hitting that point where I'm not exactly sure what day it is. I had a horrible time trying to remember what I did Friday evening (stopped briefly at a friend's place for a birthday drink and then came home to bake bread and watch the Gophers beat Carolina, which was AWESOME).

Yesterday, I hung out with The Boy I Currently Like. I'm bummed he's going out of town for Thanksgiving, as are KayGee and The Prison Librarian. However, other people are going to be in town. There seems to be a sizable contingent checking in for Thanksgiving Eve at Liquor Lyle's. I'm going to The GTs' for Thanksgiving, and then possibly to W&J's, as well.

Not only are these some of my favorite people, but that means a little dog-petting time for me, as well. Part of the reason I was briefly considering giving in and going home to do Turkey Day with the fam was because I miss the dog. I'm glad I didn't do that, because now I get to spend time with awesome people who also happen to have dogs. I love Brandi, but the dog only does so much to make the situation palatable. When I'm hanging out with really awesome friends, having a dog around is the icing on the cake.

I'm feeling like I'm rambling a bit. I may be drinking a little. Hey -- I don't have to work tomorrow. But I do want to hit the gym before I get my hair done. And I need to clean Tuesday before I head to yoga. And Wednesday, I need to go to the gym and make a Chocolate Stout Cake before I head out to do some Thanksgiving Eve drinkin'.

Doesn't look like there is a ton of couch time in my week ahead, but that's probably for the best.

Addendum: There's a really great post on Jezebel about how choosing to spend the holidays away from your family can really be seen as an act of love. I don't really feel guilty about spending Thanksgiving with friends anymore, but it certainly doesn't hurt to read this. I'm going to make sure to re-read it when I want to come back "early" from Christmas to hang out with The Boy. Or just not be around my family.

18 November 2010

Vacation: all I ever wanted.

Gotta love The Go-Go's, yes? I wish there was more Go-Go's on Rock Band. As far as I can remember, The Boy I Currently Like and I just did one Go-Go's song the last time we played. I feel like I would have done more songs if they were available, no matter how much he raises his eyebrows at me when I pick them.

So, it's not an actual "vacation." But it's time away from the office, and that's what matters most. When I finally dragged my ass out of bed this morning, I turned my alarm off. I don't need to use it for like, nine days. Okay, I might use it Monday and possibly on Thanksgiving. But that's it.

There is basketball and football to watch, drinking to do, being lazy to ... well, be lazy.

One big news thing: I'm drinking white wine tonight. This is shocking, believe me. The Bota Box Pinot Grigio is not hateful. In fact, it's quite delicious.

The description is this:

This wine exhibits citrus, candy, and floral aromas that are supported by flavors of lemon, vanilla, and stone fruit in the mouth. It has a rich texture and mouthfeel with a light mineral and ginger flavor on its extended finish giving it a refreshing quality.

I'm not sure I taste candy in it. But it's still good. In my defense, I'm fucking CRAZY about Bota Box. It's beyond delicious. I loves me some Malbec and Zinfandel. But if they can make a white wine I like? Well, kudos to you, Bota Box.

I feel like there was so much more to say, but it seems my brain has left for vacation. What can you do?

17 November 2010

Could this week possibly go any slower?

I am 100 percent certain the answer is "Hell 2-da naw." Oh my God. How is it only Wednesday? HOW?

Perhaps it's because tomorrow is my last day of work for well more than a week. Perhaps it's because I'm itching to see The Boy I Currently Like. Perhaps I'm something of a nutter. I don't know. It could really be any or all of those things. But this week is draaaaaaging.

The fact that I've been staying up late and therefore have been tired all day isn't helping matters, either. Add to that boring work and god-fucking-awful meetings (more on that later), and I'm something of a mess.

I think that fatigue was a factor in my forgetting to pack a shirt for the gym this morning. I was debating whether or not to work out in Uptown or St. Louis Park and I packed my gym bag at the last minute and I just didn't do a very good job. So, that has made my night feel interminable. Plus, I feel gross not working out. Fun.

Since I'd have all evening at home, I decided to make these muffins I saw on the Internets. They have ground flax (I ground mine myself!) and wheat germ. I mean, I might as well have gone to the gym if I eat one of these, right? They're not bad, as it turns out. A little flax-y tasting, but that's okay.

Unfortunately, the Wolves game was not on TV, as I thought it would be. I swear to God, they keep changing which games are on TV and which aren't. I should do a screen shot or something. I've been listening to the game, when my Internets are cooperating. But it's not the same. Though, it's less of a distraction when I'm in the kitchen. So maybe it's not all bad?

I was going to write about our benefits meeting today ... our plan is changing again, of course. My premium is going up about $11 per paycheck, which isn't bad. However, my prescription costs are going up close to $150 a month. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 percent. My deductible is going up about $1,000. AWESOME. The good news is our 401k match is improving (and everyone else's is getting worse) and eventually, the entire company will be on our no carryover of PTO scheme. But that will be in 2012. Assholes.

Hey, I get all this time off, though. To do nothing.

Even more good news -- my aunt just called and we're having a shower for SILTB the night before Family Christmas. Then the other side of the family is having one a month later. Then it's the wedding. Any fleeting notions I had of possibly giving in and going to the farm for Thanksgiving are gone. I just can't.

14 November 2010

Take that, work!

It's Sunday night and I've managed to not work at all since I left the office Thursday. Oh, I checked my e-mail, but that doesn't really count. I'm pretty proud of myself.

My weekend wasn't nearly as productive as I had hoped it might be. My apartment isn't clean. I didn't bake anything. But I had fun Friday night with W, and with Law Talkin' Gal.

I also managed to clear off a good bit of space on my DVR, and spent a lot of time on my couch. I got to the gym two out of three days and I think I got most of my errands done. That's about all I can ask for, I think.

My lunch is ready for another short week -- four days in the office and then I'm off until November 29. Oh, it will be glorious.

Or, it would be if I wasn't starting to get a little depressed about spending my favorite holiday alone. KayGee and The Prison Librarian are going to Chicago. The Boy I Currently Like is heading in the same direction. So I'm doing Turkey Day on my own.

There have been a few times I've wavered a bit and considered telling the fam and spending the day with them. However, I think I'd rather be alone than spend it with them. I'd rather make my own dinner at my own pace, get drunk and watch football all day. Oh, and some college basketball. I know that will be on, too.

It's not like I'll be totally alone the entire time. Law Talkin' Gal and her boyfriend will be here for Thanksgiving Eve, and I'm hoping a few others will be, too. And then there's the Post-Thanksgiving Drinking and Leftovers Extravaganza at The G-Ts abode. It'll be just fine. Right?

13 November 2010

I'd like to hear the story behind this one.

Someone founds my blog earlier today Googling the following search term:

"christmas presents for a couple of assholes"

Google doesn't appear to have been very helpful either. What do you get assholes for Christmas?

Did you guys know it was snowing?

I honestly expected my Facebook feed to be full of weather-related posts yesterday, but I guess people don't start posting about it until it happens.

Snow (and a hangover) seemed like a really good reason for me to lay my ass on the couch all day. My DVR was getting awfully full, anyway. I had to do something about that. Unfortunately, we got enough snow that the city declared a snow emergency, which meant I had to put on real pants and go out and move my car before 9:00 tonight. BOO!

I figured I could run to the grocery store while I was out (had some really good coupons that were expiring today), because how busy could it possibly be? There's a major snowstorm happening, for Christ's sake.

Of course, the grocery store was fucking busy as hell. I got what appeared to be the only open parking spot. The liquor store I drove past on the way home was also packed. People are out and about. A foot of snow is not about to stop Minneapolitans from going about their business. Why I would have thought any different is beyond me. It's not like I've not lived here for years or anything. I mean, I certainly wouldn't go out in weather like this. Oh, wait.

It was probably good I went out, because I found out my boots are in serious need of re-waterproofing. They keep out nothing. My socks were soaked because my boots were filled with water. Lovely.

Oh well. My feet are warm and dry and I'm back in yoga pants on the couch. Drive safe and be careful with your shoveling, fellow Minnesotans. That shit is HEAVY.

10 November 2010

"Welcome to my world."

This is what my sister says whenever my brother or I mention how busy we are with work. Keep in mind, this is usually in response to a question she or someone else asked. She's a teacher and spends a lot of time outside the classroom grading and planning and so on.

I'm not sure why she is compelled to do this. I've never once said anything about how hard she works or anything like that. I know teachers work very hard for not nearly enough money and put up with a ton of shit from so many different places -- again, for not nearly enough money.

So, why my sister feels the need to point out that she works at night and on weekends, just like I often do, is beyond me. I don't know if she's being defensive or she thinks she's better than me/us. Wait -- she actually does think she's better than me. That's pretty obvious. That response that comes up every. single. time. I say something about working at night or on the weekends. It is a large part of the reason I've taken to just saying, "I don't want to talk about it," when someone in my family asks me about work.

We were out to dinner last night for her birthday, and she and my brother got on my ass again about meeting The Boy I Currently Like. She'd said I could invite him to dinner. I mean, I half-assedly did, but it was not a scene for him -- loud, crowded ... not an environment that would be good with someone who has anxiety issues. I told them as much, and I'm pretty sure one of them said, "So?"

You know what? If this is the kind of empathy you show when you don't even know him, why on Earth do you think I'd subject him to meeting you? I swear to fucking Christ, everything they say just makes me want to protect him from them even more. Quite frankly, I get the impression he thinks you're not the best people in the world. He hasn't seen you openly insult me, as some of my friends have, but he's heard enough stories, I think.

My sister asked if he could come to one of their houses. "Or, could we come to your house?" Oh yes. I'd love to have you come to my house to meet The Boy, and while you're at it, criticize my housekeeping and any number of other things you think I'm doing wrong. I don't intend to ever invite my family members to my house again, if I can help it.

09 November 2010

Winning.

Man, I am on a hot streak. In September, I finally won the Trader Joe's reusable bag raffle. I've only been entering it multiple times a week for a year. The $10 gift card went straight to the wine shop. My philosophy is, if you get free money, spend it on booze.

Please note: I've never won more than $100.

Last week, I won tickets to the Timberwolves game vs. Atlanta. As I mentioned in the previous post, the seats weren't that great and they lost, but it was fun. I mean, the tickets were worth $80, so it's nothing to sniff at.

Then today I got a call from the commissioner of my nephew's football league. I won something in their raffle! Last year my dad won a gift certificate to some restaurant. The big prize is a TV.

I got neither of those things. What did I get? A "professional outdoor family photo." As the guy was explaining it, he said something about doing a picture with my family, "or, you know, your boyfriend." Is there something in my voice? That's probably a stupid question. I have a coworker who is convinced that I get help from IT quicker (or at all) and responses to requests for interviews with much more regularity than he does because I'm a girl with a cute voice. Whatever.

At first, I was all, "What the fuck? This isn't even a prize!" I didn't even want it. I considered calling back and telling him to give it to someone else. Then it hit me -- my siblings, nephew, SILTB and I can do a picture to give to the 'rents for Christmas or Mother's Day or something. I mean, we'd still have to pay for the photos, but there's no sitting fee. And we can get the prints made anywhere.

Either that, or I'll round up a shitload of my friends and take them to get a ridiculous photo done. I almost would rather do that. A lot of the time, they feel much more like my family than my biological family does.

07 November 2010

Nothing to see here, you lookie-loos.

Went to the Wolves game Friday night with Law Talkin' Gal and her man. Spent yesterday into today with The Boy I Currently Like.

For the second Sunday in a row, I didn't have to do my cooking for the week. Last week, I made veggie chili on Saturday. This week, I made lasagna for me and The Boy for dinner last night. The leftovers should carry me through the rest of the week.

Of course, not having to cook just meant I could spend time working. However, I'm due to have Friday off, and I really, fully intend to not work on Friday. I might even have plans with Law Talkin' Gal (afternoon drunk, anyone?). Things actually might be wrapping up with the project from Hell, but I could totally be wrong on that.

I have to go to my sister's birthday dinner on Tuesday, which I don't really want to do. It was her idea for the three of us siblings, and SILTB I assume, to not exchange birthday and Christmas presents this year. She had the idea last year, and I was absolutely for it. For whatever reason she didn't go through with it. This year, there's an actual reason -- The Wedding. Lovely. We're spending so much money on the wedding, we can't afford to buy each other gifts.

She wants to go out for dinner instead. So, she wants to go for sushi, so she picks a non-sushi place that is fairly expensive. I mean, the nigiri runs a good dollar more than sushi places I generally frequent in the city. Fucking suburbs. And then she picks a place that is like, a regular restaurant, but it also has sushi. Anyway, it's going to end up costing me as much to buy her damn dinner as it would to buy her a fucking birthday present. Nice work.

But it's a short week. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, I already knocked my Monday out today.

04 November 2010

What exactly is going on here, Gmail?

Recently, I've been getting e-mails that are not meant for me in my Gmail account. They are meant for some other Jess with the same last name as me.

It wasn't obvious at first -- there were a couple of weird lists I was on for which I never signed up. But then there were e-mails from some some paralegal in Australia who was apparently house/dogsitting for a Jess with the same last name as me while that Jess was on holiday. This Jess's poor dog fell ill and then I started getting e-mails from the dog/housesitting paralegal and two different vets. The thing was, these e-mails were going to the Jess's work and home e-mails. Why didn't she realize it? I e-mailed a couple of times and never got a response. However, they did eventually stop.

There have been e-mails for a Jess who is affiliated with a camp and was requesting a a quote for postcards, a Jess who was some sort of teacher, the Jess who signed up for Facebook with my e-mail ...

But it's not just me. KayGee is having similar problems. Some KayGee imposter thinks KayGee's e-mail is her own -- I believe her husband has e-mailed KayGee. She's now job searching with KayGee's e-mail.

How exactly do you screw up your own e-mail? I understand a typo here and there. But when you're giving out someone else's e-mail out to your former job, your relatives, potential employers ... as KayGee said, "she's basically hopeless."

There is also the whole idea that if I'm getting e-mail for someone who isn't me, are there people getting my e-mails? And how do you end up with an e-mail so close to mine when apparently capitalization and periods don't matter?

Seriously Google. This isn't cool. It's also really fucking annoying.