28 January 2009

Broken and Disconnected

My boot broke today. I have a sort of old, but in really good shape (or so I thought), pair of Columbia boots. I got them a couple of years ago but didn't wear them much. Honestly, they look about as they did straight out of the box.

Since we got a decent amount of snow last night, I hauled the old boots out this AM. The right boot was a slightly different shade of blue than the left, but I figured there was some salt residue from the last time I wore them. The boots did their job as I cleared the wet, heavy snow off my car. They kept my feet warm and dry. It was a bit tricky to drive, but I managed OK.

I get to work and swap the boots for my work shoes. Did you know that if you haven't shaved your legs for 2+ months and wear Columbia snow boots it really hurts? Imagine tiny little evil elves yanking on the hairs on your ankle. Still not gonna shave. Moving on. It wasn't until I went to put the boots back on for my break that a coworker noticed the cracks.

Yes, there was a crack running all the way around the rubber part of my right boot. The boot that was slightly discolored, remember? I'm bummed, but I figure I'll break out the temperature-resistant tape and patch things up. I don't especially care how pretty they look. Though, I did get many compliments on my boots.

As I'm walking outside, I hear this crunching noise. I look down at my afflicted boot and see pieces of the rubber flaking away. I now have gaping holes where the rubber used to be. I may take a pic later and post it. Several people said I should call Columbia because that should not happen. I don't know that they will help me out, but I may try anyway.

That's the broken - here is the disconnected. jr and Jewfro were over the other night. jr and I made bacon cookies while Jewfro worked his magic and made it possible for me to Stumble without being tethered to my modem. There were some quirks: the network would say disconnected when I was still online, the icon showed a disconnect, but I didn't care. Access is access.

I don't remember if it was Monday or Tuesday, but I was having serious problems staying online. Also, it took an inordinate amount of time to connect (or not connect). I tried resetting the modem, restarting my computer, bupkes. I can't stay online wirelessly for more than 10 minutes or so. What is the point of having an awesome new toy if I can't go online? As it is, I'm posting this at work.

Oh, and nothing to do with anything, but I am surrounded by incompetents at work. Too many chiefs for us Indians.

26 January 2009




16 January 2009

Tiny and Adorable

Mmmmm, toys.

I got a text message from my dad today stating that I had a package waiting for me at my parents' house. I let out a little "squeee!" and may have wiggled in my chair a bit. My eeePC had arrived! Ohboyohboyohboy!

I made tracks to the parents' and there it was. Everything packed in a box that was about 8"x12"x4". I broke out the pocketknife and sliced happily through the packing tape. Nestled in a white wrapper was my tiny 1000HA.

It is super shiny and yes, it picks up fingerprints like a motherfucker. Luckily, a handy little cleaning cloth is included. The screen is bright and sharp. I'm still getting used to the smaller size, but hiding the taskbar helps. I've been playing with it for about 2 and a half hours now, and it's only warm. The shift key placement is a bit tricky, but I think I'll be able to adjust. The spacebar is about 2/3 normal size but it hasn't been an issue so far. The touchpad is super sensitive and the buttons work fine as long as you remember to tap on the front edge. The two-finger scroll isn't great, but that may be a practice issue.

So far my biggest problem is a wireless issue. I'm having some trouble getting on my network but I can deal with being wired for now. I'm beginning the verrrrrry slow process of entering passwords, bookmarking pages and downloading assorted junk.

Hooray for the Judicial System!

Who's super lucky? Oh yeah, that would be me.

I had my hearing yesterday for my traffic violations. I went into it hoping for, at best, no points. I knew I deserved the tickets, so I was willing to pay the fines in full. Not especially happy about it, but willing. I was early, as I generally am. I signed in and took my seat. I should mention that there is nothing on the walls to stare at and I did not bring a book in.

After a couple of minutes, I hear someone call my name. It's the cop who had pulled me over. Figures that he'd manage to show. We went into a conference room and he offered me a deal. Reduced violation on the running the red light so no points. He gave me nothing on the littering because Bensalem is zero-tolerance. Hey, I got my no points. I took the deal.

Proceeded into the courtroom and sat some more. The judge finally arrived and started calling people up. He seemed pleasant enough, but we all know that looks can be deceiving. My turn comes and I approached the bench. The judge quickly outlined the charges. I also got a fatherly "What happened there?" about the red light. Thankfully I stopped short of scuffing my toe and saying "Aw shucks, Pa. I guess I just wasn't paying attention." For once in my life, I managed to say nothing more than was absolutely necessary. Miracles do happen.

The cop outlined our deal, the judge asked me if I agreed. I said yes. Judge said that he would reduce the littering fine. Oh hell yeah! I was figuring that he'd knock it down by 50% or so. Heh, I was wrong. Maximum fine for littering is $300 - minus court costs, my littering fine was fifty dollars. That's right five-oh. I paid more in court costs than I did on that fine. The red light violation was the same fine, but did I mention the no points?

All told, I was in court for about 30 minutes and only 5 or so of those minutes were spent talking to anyone. If you gotta go to court, that's the way to do it.

14 January 2009

No Longer Hurting

I have merrily skipped past the sad and I am firmly ensconced in pissed off. You think I'm a bitch? Because I made a mistake? Boy, it must be tough to be your kids. Do you think I did it on purpose? Do you think my primary motivation in life is to undermine you or make you look bad?

I'm also angry that I was wasting so much thought and energy on this. Bah! I'm done.

Ok, Ouch

This may come as a surprise to those of you who think certain things don't bother me, but I am upset by the fact that a coworker/friend called me a bitch.

Short version: I said something that made it sound like this person made a mistake. She got really offended by this. I apologized, probably not very gracefully. A while later I decided a more sincere apology was in order. I sent her a text. Texting is an amazing thing. It gives people the courage to say things to you that they wouldn't say to your face. Ah, technology. So she called me a bitch and not in a roundabout manner either. Said it was always something with me and she was the one dealing with it. I'm actually kind of impressed with her balls. She's not usually the most confrontational person. Oh, and make of this what you will, but I couldn't help but focus on the fact that she said "your a bitch" not "you're a bitch."

Now I'm dwelling. One of the human animal's great skills is to take one event and make it into something large and unwieldy. Part of me wants to say to her, "You're too thin-skinned. Stop taking shit so personal." Most of me is moping around, wondering if everyone thinks I'm a bitch. Then I realize that I don't care what most people think. However, I care very deeply about what a few think. And posting about the situation is my compromise between whining to all my friends or sulking in silence.

2 Minute Update

In the surprise move of the decade, the maintenance crew decided to get off their saggy asses and replace the padding in my sorely abused hallway. Forgive me if I don't sound super grateful, but those dudes work so fucking messy. My cats were attempting to eat carpet fluff all last night. They should buy me a year's supply of vacuum bags.

In entirely unrelated news, I ordered a new laptop this past weekend: the ASUS eeePC 1000HA. Quite the mouthful, no? It's one of those mini jobbies, but not too mini. It has a 10-inch screen as opposed to the 8.9-inch screen most minis have. I'm sad my ancient Dell couldn't be salvaged, but very excited about a new toy. I hope it's as awesome as I imagine.

Another news flash that has nothing to do with anything I've already written about today (that's awkward), one of my supervisors is spying on me. He thinks I don't know, but I do. The supervisors can check on us using the VNC, but certain things happen when they pull you up. For one, the icon turns from white to black. For two, the screen blinks. For three, and this may only be me, my wallpaper (super cute pic of my nephew) disappears. Not as sneaky as you think, Mr. Supervisor. I'm on to you.

08 January 2009

To Whom it May Concern

An interesting thing happened today. OK, I found it interesting. You may think that I am just lame. Know what? I don't care.

Back in the beginning of December, my work gave us the opportunity to send a Christmas card to a soldier overseas. I decided that I wanted to send a card. Figure that everyone likes getting mail, right? So, I colored in my polar bear (camo) and wrote what I hoped was a witty and fun card. On a whim, I opted to include my email address. I thought it would be nice to have a pen pal. Haven't had one of those since, oh, 3rd grade or so. I gave an email address that I don't check much simply because it doesn't have my last name in it. Better safe, right?

Update: I'm finishing this post on Jan 9.

I checked the account and buried in my usual pile of stuff from Amazon and Comedy Central was an email with the subject "Ben in Afghanistan". Ben was the random soldier to receive my card and apparently liked it enough to email me. He was at a base for resupply and had emailed me on Jan 3. I wrote back, hoping that almost a week later, he was still able to get email. I told him he could include his APO so I could write him letters. I wasn't sure if I would catch him. He seemed pretty happy to have someone to talk to. Maybe he's hoping I will supply him with goodies from home. As he is from KS, I hope he doesn't expect any local delicacies.

Luck was on my side, and I did catch him before he went back to his usual base. Which, according to him, is one of the most remote in Afghanistan. He said it takes about a month for letters to arrive. He included his APO and I wrote him this morning. It's kind of strange writing a letter to someone who isn't going to read it for weeks. Oh, and the fact that I don't know him is a little weird too.

One thing I am refusing to do is imagine that he is some smart, handsome, funny, amazing guy. I did not write that card in the hope of obtaining a date. I'm not one of those sad women who write to men in jail and then marry them. And anyone who knows me AT ALL should know that I would not seek out another military man. Been there, done that, threw out the t-shirt. I really just wanted to brighten some poor grunt's day. It's got to suck so hard to be over there. And maybe he doesn't have a lot of family to write to him. Heh, or maybe he is hoping that I'm smart, cute, and awesome. Maybe he wants a date.

07 January 2009

The One Where I Whine About the Unfairness of it All

It has been brought to my attention that I am the most important person in my office. A VIP, if you will. I have skills that no one else possesses and these skills cannot be taught. My innate abilities, or rather the idea of no longer having access to them, make supervisors tremble. I am the Great and Powerful OZ!

The story: For the last several months, I've been working 10:30 to 7 four days a week. Not ideal, right? There are some perks: I miss most of the traffic, I get to sleep in (except Thursdays), and, and, I guess that's about it. In any event, on Monday I was told that I was getting a welcome sked change; 9-5:30. Sure, the traffic is a bit heavier in the AM and I don't get to sleep as late, but I also get home a bit after 6 instead of at 7:30. It would be nice to be able to make plans on any given night of the week - plans that start before 8 pm.

I had two days of pseudo-normality. However, when I got in today, promptly at 9, my supervisor walked up to me and said, "You're not going to like what I have to say." Evidently, she got some flak for changing my schedule. She was told that I have certain duties in the evenings. So wow! Who knew doing voicemail retrievals was such a complex endeavor? I wasn't aware that all the other people in my office were complete morons and unable to master the basic functions of phone usage. I don't even fucking bill for the time I spend doing VM. I would love to tell my client about all the other duties I perform while on their dime.

Yes, it's nice knowing that people at work find me competent, but honestly, the work is NOT difficult. It's hard to feel indispensable when a chimp, with minimal training, could do a passable job of it. Here's hoping that the Inquirer's Mega Job section will have something for me. My dad is right (dammit!), I should add this to the list of incentives to find a new job.

02 January 2009

New Year, Same Shit

It is a good thing I'm not the kind of person who believes in signs and portents. Because when I got home from work on Wednesday night, my hallway and bathroom had flooded. Not too awful bad, but there was definitely wet carpet. AND, it stunk. Bleagh. So, happy new year!

If that weren't annoying enough, I got home from my parents' house yesterday and the hallway and bathroom were reflooded! And this was a whole other level. I stepped into the hallway and water oozed up around my sneaks. Squishsquishsquish, I made my way into the bathroom. Floor soaked, bathmat soaked. Wall punched and profanity yelled. The towels I had used to sop up the previous night's flood were still damp. And stinky. And brown. I don't want to know where this water is coming from. My upstairs neighbor says I should call L&I.

I went to the laundry room to throw the damp towels in the dryer. As much as it pained me to part with the quarters, I couldn't NOT try to sop up the mess. The quagmire, if you will. The laundry room was a disaster. It smelled awful. The drain cover was pried up and there was this brown sludge splattered across the floor. Pieces of sheetrock decorated the hot water heater. Considering I live right next to the laundry room; I don't feel very safe. One day that fucking thing is gonna blow and I'm gonna be homeless and pet-less. If those cuntrags blow up my cats, I'm gonna go on a rampage. I mean, where the hell is my rent going?