Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jacqueline Warren

Her obituary:
Jacqueline Click "Jackie" Warren, 83, died Friday at Baptist Village in Waycross. A native of Briggsville, Arkansas, she has lived in the Brunswick and Waycross areas for almost 50 years. Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday. [...] Pallbearers will be her grandchildren, Erin Warren Gaston, J.J. Warren Wible, Jacob Warren, Hunter Warren, and Mac Warren; Steve Gaston and Jerry Wible. [...] Survivors include her husband, Rufus Warren of Waycross; two sons, Wayne Warren of McHenry, Illinois, and Mark Warren of Brunswick; five grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, 1501 N.W. Ninth Ave., Miami, FL 33136

Friday, August 25, 2006

Granny is gone

Jacqueline Warren: 1922-2006

Currently feeling:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Strike Three

As several of you know, I had another daycare tour scheduled today. With all of the advice I've gotten on finding a daycare, the most consistent thing I have been told is "go with your gut." Well, my gut says this is definitely not the place. I'm trying not to get discouraged, but it is hard.
Currently feeling: trying not to feel down

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

101 Things Update - August 2006

Credit: Blinkie Fairy

I've knocked a few of these off recently, so I thought it was time for another update. Recently completed are:

15. Rejoin the workforce - Completed August 21, 2006

28. Buy new undergarments - Completed August 2006 (various dates)

34. Print some photos of Luke and put them in an album - Completed 2006 (I have printed all of my scrapping layouts)

54. Replace ruby earrings - Completed August 19, 2006

74. Watch Firefly: The Complete Series on DVD - Completed August 18, 2006

90. Renew my passport - Mailed August 2006, waiting on arrival of new one

Currently feeling: making progress

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Friday Saga

As you have probably gleaned by now, I have had an incredibly crummy day this past Friday. It was supposed to be busy, not horrid. Here was the intended schedule: 1) Mandatory pre-employment drug screen, 2) return computer equipment from previous failed contracting gig, and 3) tour a daycare facility. And those three things did happen, just not exactly according to plan.

The drug test went fine, BTW, other than the embarrassment of having to drink 3 glasses of water (the maximum limit) and wait and hour before I was sure I could give a large enough specimen. Never mind that I had gotten up 2 hours before I needed to be there so that I could pee first thing in the morning (no way I'd make it there without going after sleeping all night) and drank lots at home. Apparently, I have a "shy bladder." Fun. They swear it is very common, but that didn't really make me feel much better. The lady who actually helped me was much nicer than the woman who checked me in, so that wasn't bad, but still. Anyway, the hour wait made me significantly later getting home, so I had to now choose between shower and lunch (had chosen not to shower this morning so I could sleep a little later, thinking there would be plenty of time after my "five minute" test). Plus more chainsaws next door (they had dismantled the tree, but hadn't cut it down into removable pieces), so Luke didn't nap after trying for 30 minutes, thus was tired and cranky and whiny when I arrived home. Given my mood at that point, I chose lunch, since I still had more running around to do (I'd showered around 4 PM the previous day, so not as bad as it sounds). DH said he'd make fish sticks, since they only took 10 minutes. He forgot to account for preheating the oven, and this is a completely different brand and type, so he was shocked when the oven temp was different (needed to be higher, so more waiting) and the time to cook was longer. Didn't figure this out until they were supposed to be ready and they didn't look done. Joy. [snort] They finished just as I had to leave to meet the guy to return my computer equipment (have new equipment from new contracting company arriving Monday), so I grabbed 3 fish sticks and ran out the door, snarfing them in the car on the way. The meet-up was fairly near my house, 15 minutes away or so (better than the hour away that he usually is; he just happened to be on this side of town for another meeting). Met him at 12:15, with plenty of time to make my daycare tour at 1.

Except they had the road between daycare and the place I was meeting him down to 1 or 2 lanes (from 4) in THREE different places, which I didn't know until I was on my way there. It was on the other side of the road, which was great for meeting him on time, but sucked for me trying to get to the daycare on time. Traffic was backed up for over a mile *beyond* where I turned to get off, so there was no way I could go back that way and have any chance of being on time. I used every ounce of back roads knowledge I had. Thank God I lived over that way for so long (our old apartment), or I'd probably still be sitting there! So I bust my butt to get to the daycare on time (arriving promptly at 1 PM, I might add), and the assistant director who is supposed to meet with me and give me the tour is not there. "She ran to the bank, but she should be back in about 5 minutes." Okay, I can buy that. She knew I was coming at 1, she left in what should be plenty of time to get back, but got held up. We all know how banks are. No problem.

30 minutes later, and I am still waiting, as is another couple who came in after me to fill out paperwork for their child who would be starting the next week. Both of us have 1 PM appointments with the same woman (how precisely does that work?), and both of us are still waiting. Then came another couple with their 4 year old. They had called about an open spot in Pre-K, and the person they spoke with around 12:45 (same woman who was not there at the time) had said to come on down right then, knowing (since the woman said she had told her) that it would take them about 45 minutes to get there. At 1:40 (when I had mentally given them until 1:45, and then I was leaving), one of the teachers comes up front and offers to give me a tour, since Paula (the missing lady) was not there. Which I appreciate, but #1: why did it take 40 minutes for this to happen, and #2: it should really be Paula doing it. Why is she still not here, when she had two appointments for 1 PM and essentially booked another for 1:30? As we are reviewing some of the security features up front, someone takes a phone call, then announces "Paula is running errands and she'll be back about an hour from now. She knows you are all here; that's why she called was to check on you. Do you mind waiting?" Hell yes, I mind waiting!!! What exactly do you think I've been doing for 45 minutes now?! So I took the tour with the teacher, and briefly discussed what each class did, but I got almost none of my questions answered between being annoyed at being kept waiting (stupid me for not making a list, and in my frustration I forgot what I wanted to know) and the fact that it was a teacher doing the tour (not of Luke's probable class level, even) and not an administrator, so she didn't know about some things (like the waiting list, of particular interest to me at this pint).

I'd been home less than 15 minutes (Luke had *just* gone down for an afternoon nap), not very happy about the way I was treated, when the phone rang. It was the director of another daycare place I had contacted a few days earlier. Oh good, I thought. I get another bite at the apple today for daycare, since the first one hadn't gone so well. Little did I know....

I asked if there were slots available, and she said yes she had one, but there were four other people she was interviewing for them, so she really doubted that I would get it. She had a very condescending attitude and was very snooty. Then she started asking questions about Luke (why, since you have essentially already said he won't get the spot?). "Has he ever been in daycare before?" (No.) "What kinds of skills does he have?" (Um, well, he's not even 2; what kinds of skills is he supposed to have?). "Can he say the ABCs, identify all of his letters, and count to 100?" I'm sorry, what?! I thought she had misunderstood when I said he was two; maybe she thought I was asking about Pre-K II (for children who did not turn 5 by the state deadline, so would not start "real" kindergarten until next year). So I said, no no, he's only 22 months. And then she proceeded to lecture and *scold* me about how far behind he is and how I need to devote my time to making sure he gets caught up before I bother sending him to daycare. "The youngest child I keep right now just turned two, and she can identify all of her letters, say her ABCs, and count to 100, and she is starting to read. You really need to read to him and do flash cards and things since he is so very far behind."

I beg your pardon? How DARE you criticize the parenting skills of a perfect stranger, especially one who is attempting to do business with you (though obviously not any longer). Not only was it rude and uncalled for, but this was after she had already told me she pretty much didn't have anything open, so what business was it of hers? I was literally speechless, I was so angry, and I all but hung up on her and then threw the telephone across the room and started bawling. I was hurt and angry and embarrassed and stunned; I already cried myself to sleep the night before at the thought of putting him in daycare (heavy with the guilt that I'm sure all moms feel), even though I am 99% sure that this will be better for him, and then this woman basically calls me a terrible lazy mom with a stupid child because he's not ready to enter 3rd grade at age 2, and acting like I'm an idiot because I don't know that *all* children are like this. And no amount of logic and knowing that she was being unreasonable was helping at that particular moment. It had already been a crummy day, I was already emotional about the whole daycare thing, I am already stressed about my first day on the new job being Monday and not having anything promising in the daycare department, and then this. It was just the last straw.

So I posted to one of my stitching boards, simply asking how many people had children who could do all of this before age 2. A few said theirs could, but most said theirs could not (or had only just started working on *some* of those skills). Someone asked me if I was being told that Luke should be able to do all of these things, and I spilled the story about the rude lady. Which was immediately followed by all kind of "that woman is a nutjob" type comments, which was very comforting. A few people who work with challenged children (thus are well aware of what skills are appropriate for what ages) posted lists for me to compare Luke to, and I felt a whole lot better. At that point, I just needed some reassurance that it was *she* who was crazy, not me. Luke has a pediatrician appointment in six weeks anyway (his 2 year well visit), and I know she will ask about such things then. She already mentioned getting him tested the last time we were there, which is fine. I *know* he is a little behind in the verbal department, but late talking runs in my family, and DH recently admitted that he was considered a little slow and behind through about first grade. Hmm... let's see. He graduated top of his class in high school, and he was by FAR my strongest competition in college (and I'm talking in calculus (six of them), physics, and engineering classes), usually beating me academically (but not always, LOL). So I'm not overly worried.

Anyway, such was my Friday; the rest was pretty uneventful (the usual dinner out (Wendy's this week) and grocery run, followed by finishing off Firefly: The Complete Series on DVD). The weekend has been much improved! Today's highlight was an almost-3 hour nap, and yesterday, I got to pick out my belated birthday present: new ruby earrings to replace the ones I lost a little over a year ago. Any weekend marked by long naps and new jewelry has to be great! LOL

Here's to a better week!

Currently feeling: shiny

Friday, August 18, 2006

Crappy day

I have had one of my worst days in recent memory, and I'm just too tired to recap it right now. Maybe later, maybe not. We'll see. If you read my post on the BB, then you only know one of the 5 crummy things I had to deal with today, some equally bad, some not so, but I've just had it. I'm going to crawl in a hole for the rest of the weekend and try to forget about today.

I haven't scrapped in days, but my mom posted a couple new layouts on her blog. The one of Luke and my grandfather still brings (happy) tears to my eyes. Enjoy!

Currently feeling: like hiding

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Chainsaw neighbors

What is *with* my neighbors and chainsaws lately? First, the idiot chopping down the perfectly good tree before 8 AM on a Saturday. Now, my next door neighbor was kind enough to wait until 5 minutes after Luke went to sleep to start up with not one, not two, but THREE chainsaw guys less than 100 feet from my sleeping child.

Now, admittedly, he has an excuse. We had some huge storms come through this weekend, and a large chunk of one of his trees just snapped right off. I'm talking well over 30 feet long, and at least 8 inches in diameter. I am amazed it didn't do more than rip down the power line to his house (and only his house, thankfully). It is laying across his deck, but it seems like a lot of the other branches broke the fall, and it was on the side away from the house, so there is virtually no deck damage, and none at all to his house. Or ours, thank goodness! It didn't even get close to the fence (and we have tiny hards, so that could have been very possible). So yes, it needs to be done, and I am not begrudging him that. But I swear, they had someone on the inside (probably a kitty), just waiting for the signal: "okay, he's finally asleep for his first nap after talking for over 30 minutes; commence noise!"

Then again, I haven't heard a peep out of him since they started, and I'm fairly certain that, had they started when he was awake, he would never have gone to sleep in the first place. Apparently, he inherited my "sleep through most anything" genes. Hmm.... maybe I owe the alleged informants some tuna for lunch....

Currently feeling: tired of the noise, but thankful it is chainsaws instead of a fussing child

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yuppies for the new millenium

Your buzz word for the day: GOSSIPS - Gadget Obsessed Status Symbol Infatuated Professionals, per this article. Says the person who put in the order for her new business line today, but who is rather happy that it is a land line (equipped with voicemail) so she can't be expected to answer no matter what.

Currently feeling: assimilated

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Conspiracy Theorist Heaven

Looks like NASA has lost the original moon landing tapes. And just how, precisely, do you *lose* something that freakin' important?! (You know what, don't answer that. I think it falls into the "unless you are absolutely certainl you want to know the answer, don't ask the question" category.) That should keep all those who believe the whole thing was a hoax busy for quite some time.

And I have been extremely remiss about posting my new layouts lately. I've been cracking out a bunch recently to try and complete 12 challenges for a particular kit being given away on one site. So here they are. I even made miniature versions to put here so you can see; each is linked to the larger version with description and credits. Or alternately, you can just click here to view the August archives, as most everything from August did not get posted (besides the bottom two). Hope you enjoy!

Currently feeling: baffled by NASA

Friday, August 11, 2006

I GOT IT!!!!

I got the job! He just called to tell me that they had extended an offer, and for only $1 less per hour than I had requested (and naturally, I requested higher than what I would have agreed to, because I knew they would negotiate, so I will actually be making more than I thought I would). I am so happy! Still have to sign the paperwork and all, but for all intents and purposes, I am officially employed. Thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers.
Currently feeling: ecstatic

Thursday, August 10, 2006

You did *not* just say that

I was just reading this article, discussing the current research being done into making a "hijack-proof plane." Uh-huh. It discusses all kinds of things, some of which I like, and some of which I don't, but that is not the point of this post. I was simply *floored* by one particular comment. I can't believe anyone could actually say this with a straight face:
"We have to show it's not Big Brother watching you, it's Big Brother looking after you," Ferryman said.
You have got to be kidding me! I mean, I appreciate what he was trying to say, but that was SO not the way to say it.

Currently feeling: speechless (well, almost)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Interview Complete

And yes, it took longer than 15 minutes. The manager (who I had already spoken with a few days ago) asked if 3 PM was convenient for me, and I did request 2 PM instead because Luke's sleep schedule has been really wacky today. We talked for almost an hour. I feel like it went really well. Turns out that the group I was in when I left AT&T, he was a manager for in the late 90s, so we knew all kinds of common people! It also gave him an idea of what kinds of things I know about equipment and systems without me having to try and specify it all. I don't know if this will be enough, but I certainly felt like I answered all of his questions well, and he even said "wow" a couple of times, which I think is always a good thing in an interview! LOL He hopes to make a recommendation to the procurement folks (who are the ones who *actually* decide who to hire; it's so messed up) if not by close of business today, then tomorrow. I do know that there are a total of 3 interviews scheduled for this position, including mine, and at least one of those was conducted before mine. So, it's not a sure thing, but I definitely feel like I showcased my knowledge and experience to the best of my ability, so it is really out of my hands now. I'll let you know when I know more.

Currently feeling: wait wait wait

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We have progress

On the job situation. I have been asked if a 3 PM phone interview is convenient for tomorrow. I replied in the affirmative, and we are simply waiting on confirmation from the interviewer. I'll let you know how it goes.

Quick update: I didn't check our voice messages until later, and there was a little more info there. He said that he knew they were considering some other candidates, but that to the best of his knowledge, none of them had been contacted for interviews, so I at least appear to be the front runner for the moment.

Currently feeling: just ready to know one way or the other!

Monday, August 07, 2006

You know you are addicted to poker when....

Not sure if I've talked about it much on my blog (it's hard to remember now), but DH and I have gotten really into watching poker on television. We started with Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo (I know I mentioned Phil Gordon being replaced by Phil Hellmuth), and now we watch it almost anytime that it is on. We are particularly addicted to the "High Stakes Poker" on the Game Show Network, which is a cash game played by lots of well known players, including one of our personal favorites, Daniel Negreanu. Yes, this is all related.

You know you are addicted to watching poker on television when.... you recognize a *dealer* on one show from another show you watched! We were watching High Stakes Poker this week, and DH says "is that the dealer from Celebrity Poker?" I hadn't actually seen the guy (I wasn't paying attention, and they rarely show the dealers), so we rewinded it so I could see (gotta love that DVR!). Sure enough, I was virtually positive it was the same guy, but we could not for the life of us remember which casino is home to High Stakes Poker (and we had come in late to the game, so we didn't have the opening in the buffer to go back and check). I wouldn't think that dealer turnover would be that bad, and certainly after changing casinos, a dealer couldn't have the kind of rank/seniority that would make them a candidate to deal a cash game with a $100,000 buy in. Sure enough, at the opening of tonight's episode, they said that they were playing at The Palms, the same casino where Celebrity Poker Showdown is usually played (except this season, which we won't even discuss). I guess we should be embarrassed. Not only do we know the players, we're starting to know the dealers! Sheesh.

Currently feeling: poker-faced

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Hubby!

My husband turns 30 today. (Yes, I married a younger man, LOL)

I know today hasn't been the best day, much like my own recent birthday. I hope you have enjoyed some of it anyway. And I hope you know how much I love you, and how I don't know what I would do without you in my life every day.

Currently feeling: thankful

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Vanilla Frosty?!

Why do I all of the sudden have way too much to blog about? Sheesh, it's either feast or famine. I still owe you my fan girl moment story from several weeks ago, but I think I know the right time to pull that one out in the future (give me a couple more weeks). I've seen lots of fascinating things while I was out and about lately, so I've been taking lots of photos with my (crummy) camera phone that I've been meaning to post. (Isn't there a blog system out there that is specifically designed to accept picture messages and text as a photo blog? Anyone? Bueller?) One of those items deserves an entire post in and of itself, and I think that is the one I will go with today. I had a couple of other things in mind when I started this post, but *naturally* I cannot think of them now. They're waiting for me to go to bed to pop back into my head.

So, the title of this post is Vanilla Frosty. Actually, since a picture is worth 1000 words, let's just get right to it:

See! Proof I'm not making this up. Not only do I have a photo of the sign, but I actually tried one. I can't say that I was wowed. It does taste exactly like you think it should, so I guess that's good. It is something between Dairy Queen and Chik-Fil-A. It took me a while to figure out why that wasn't enough for me to be happy with it, and I think I finally hit on it. It isn't anything special.

A Frosty (a *real* one, as in the chocolate kind) is a unique taste. There is nothing else like it, and if you are craving one, nothing else will do. That is part of why it has been so successful for so many years (IMHO). I don't see myself ever craving a vanilla one. If I want that taste, I can go almost anywhere to get it. Now it will be handy if that is what I want and there is only a Wendy's around. But I'd rather have Dairy Queen, personally. If I'm at Wendy's and I want something sweet, I'll just stick with a Frosty (chocolate, thankyouverymuch).

Currently feeling: chocolatey

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Granny update, plus new layouts

Sorry folks, I'm just not up for some kind of pithy title at the moment. I was recently asked by more than one person about how my grandmother is doing, so I wanted to give a quick update. She is still losing weight, and she is mentally losing it more and more each day, though she is not aware of it or frustrated by it, so that is a blessing. Essentially, my grandmother is gone in mind and spirit; only her body remains. Used to be she could at least carry on a conversation, though she may remember things incorrectly, either in timeframe (thinking something from years ago happened recently) or in reality (thinking things happened that have not). Now it is difficult for her to stay "with you" for even a sentence or two, and she is essentially hallucinating (seeing things near you or behind you when there is, in fact, nothing there; or sewing with her hands on some imaginary project). This is all being reported to me by my parents. I have not personally seen her since May, but I am so glad I did get to see her when she was still able to know me, and Luke, and converse in some sort of meaningful manner. In all honesty, as much as I love her, I am not looking forward to another visit, but I will do it anyway because that is what good granddaughters do.

On a happier note, I actually managed to crack out two layouts tonight (well, three, but one is a birthday gift for DH), both starring my favorite scrapping subject. You can read any of the gory details you want below each photo: Baby Blues (which actually uses a very recent photo of Luke, for a change) and On the Go (reverting back to old photos).

Currently feeling: I don't even know anymore

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Tale of Two Poops

No, I'm not kidding. Yes, this is a post mostly about Luke poop (I'm sure he'll love this in about 15 years), and yes, I understand that most people will stop reading now (if they haven't already). And the rest is just a big long rant about my crummy day.

But first, a little background. Luke has always had poop issues. I always hated that question at the pediatrician's office. "How many wet diapers a day?" 4-6. "And how many bowel movements?" One every 3-4 days. No, I'm not kidding, and no, he was not constipated. That was just normal for him when he was breastfed. He pooped twice a week.

Then we progressed to solids, and rapidly progressed to pooping once a day. The problem with this is that it almost never stays in the diaper. It is pretty common for him to wear two pair of pants on a given day, and that's why we have like 10 pair of pajamas for him (because that is usually what he is wearing when the poop-through occurs). Most of the time I just wait so I don't mess up any of his "good clothes," so for anyone wondering why so many photos of him show him in jammies, or who wonders why my child is still in pajamas at 2 PM, that's why. It's been this way for over a year. It is not a diaper problem (adult size diapers would not contain this mess); it's just life.

Until this week. This week, we have progressed to two poopy diapers a day. He's always had nasty stinky make-me-want-to-puke smelling poop, so I have to say, changing such diapers twice a day is not fun. But what really aggrivates me is that I am not reaping any benefits from it. One would think that progressing to two poops a day would allow for pants to stay clean, since it is now being divided between multiple diapers, right? Nope, I am simply doing twice the laundry. GRRR!! I know it won't last forever. People swear to me that the time will come when I miss the diaper days, and perhaps they are right (I'll keep you posted on that one). I don't really object to the diapers, or even the poop-throughs. I'm used to it by now. But could we *please* keep it to one a day?

As for the rest of my day, I awoke to a huge pile of kitty puke at the bottom of the stairs (that I thankfully did not step in), Luke spent most of the day openly defying me (doing something I had explicitly just told him not to do), Luke threw his green bean jar (which thankfully did not break) into the floor splattering green beans not only all over the kitchen floor and walls but over eight feet away onto the carpeting as well, it was hot as Hades outside and we had to go run errands that Luke mostly whined through (thank goodness he wasn't screaming, though, like that one kid), and I still didn't find or get everything that I needed, despite spending close to $100 while we were out.

It did have a couple of good points, though. Since I had had such a rotten day, DH knew better than to ask me to cook, so he took us out to Golden Corral. Now, this had the potential for disaster, since the last two times we have tried to eat out with Luke, he has pitched an utter fit about sitting in the high chair (which has never been an issue before), but he did fine. I also have been officially contacted by HR to set up an interview for that contracting position. It was after business hours that I received the email, so I'll have to call tomorrow, but I'd say things are looking pretty good. I'll keep you posted.

Currently feeling: stinky

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dare I get my hopes up?

Some of you may recall that I was previously offered a contracting position with my old company that never panned out. (I should mention that I am still in possession of all the computer equipment they sent me, though.) Well, I have once again been contacted about a contracting position, this time by someone I have never worked with directly, but who sent out some feelers for names with certain skills, and had two different people contact him separately (one is a current coworker of his) and mention mine. It truly is flattering to be thought of so highly. It is a good opportunity, but there are a few other names on the list. I think if it were up to this guy, he would hire me, but it is ultimately up to the HR department. Guess we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

Currently feeling: hopeful