Archive | January, 2009

Why I Love My Team

Enough bitching.  Enough gloom and doom.  Let me pontificate for a moment, if I may, on why I love working with my team.

Aside from the fact that I what I do is cool.. I work on the program that is designing the next vehicle to make it to the moon and beyond.. it’s also cool to work with such a young, spirited team.  Seriously, almost every one on our team is under 45, which is nearly unheard of in the engineering world.  And even our “older” crowd is typically executives, and they enjoy being around the younger set.

Sometimes, though, there is a clash.

For example:

Our facility is OLD.  Like, seriously, the Saturn V rocket was designed in our building.  So the restrooms are, perhaps, not as strong as they once were.  So you will signs like this in every stall:


And obviously, even that wasn’t enough for some people.  Soon, we had additional information:


Now, look.  I agree that no one likes to walk into a stall that has bidness floating in there from some previous occupant.  But damn, there are only so many instructions one can be bombarded with upon entering said stall.  So finally, this post-it was left on Friday:


(I know it got cut off. I didn’t want to stand in the stall taking pictures for too long, because then I’d be THAT GIRL.  So anyway, here’s what it says: “Dear Helpful Instructions Flyer Author, Repeated Instructions Numerous Times.  Bowl refills with water despite efforts to empty.  PLEASE ADVISE.” )

I love watching soap operas unfold around me as I take a leak.

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I really don’t even know how to start this post.

Because part of me wants to tell you that I am an empath; I truly absorb emotions of those around me.  You can scoff and think that those people don’t exist, but we do.  I can’t move things with my mind, I can’t read thoughts, I’m not Criss Angel.  But I can sincerely read people.  That’s why there are some people that it makes me physically sick to be around.  There are some people who cause me to shake uncontrollably whenever they’re in close proximity to me.  And this one person who I went to middle school with and then ran into later in life .. and he’s the only person to ever strike me so vividly .. everytime I looked at him, I could see his insides rotting.

Now you think I’m crazy.  That’s fine.  But I felt like I needed to put that out there to explain what happened to cause me to meltdown in the middle of Target yesterday.

I have had a week from hell.  My manager is out this week and I’ve been doing her job and mine and doing neither one of them perfectly.  My days have ranged from 10-13 hours, with visiting executives and offsite events in the mix.  The baby has not been sleeping through the night.  I have not had the energy, time, or wherewithal to exercise.  All in all, it’s been a really lousy week.

After working 10 hours yesterday and having our ceiling fall in and other various and sundry goodies, I made myself leave work and have some downtime.  This is always incredibly hard for me: when I leave work, I feel like I should pick up my kid.  Even if it’s early for his pick-up, I think that he should be with me and not there.  Mommy guilt is a bitch.  Anyway, I convinced myself to go to Target, if for no other reason than I could pick up a pot roast for dinner.

Driving over there, I was just stewing about work.  I’m one of those people who has long, violent arguments in the car with myself.  I used to pretend I was on the cell phone, but then I stopped caring.  I was having one of those conversations.  Loud, angry, frustrated.

I pulled up to Target and watched some of the perfectly coiffed soccer moms, with their Burberry scarves and SUVs that they can’t park and lambskin leather gloves holding their skinny non-fat half-soy no-caff lattes.  I HATED THEM.  I sat there, exhausted and drained, knowing that my day wasn’t even half over, and I coveted their lives so badly.  I want to be the stay-at-home mom who has a nanny and can go to the gym and drive a huge, expensive car and carry Kate Spade purses and all that stuff.  Why don’t I have that?  WHY DON’T I HAVE THAT?

I twittered something about it.  I parked.  I braved the cold and went inside.

A side-effect of mommy-guilt is that you are hyper-sensitive to other children when yours is not with you.  I was getting my cart when the tinkling voice of a little girl made its way over, talking about her “doll baby” and what she wanted to buy for her.  I naturally glanced in that direction, and what I saw has stuck with me since that very second.

There were two red carts sitting still by the doorway.  In one cart sat a baby carrier with a sleeping infant nestled inside and a three-year old blonde toddler.  The little girl stood in the buggy of the second cart, holding a naked bald baby doll and talking to a boy who looked to be about my child’s age, seated in the child’s seat of the cart.  The boy that was Binja’s age clearly had Down Syndrome.  The girl went on and on to the older child in the second cart, chattering a million miles a minute, and I wondered where their parent was.

Their mother was seated, which is why I couldn’t see her.  She was filling out an application for employment at the kiosk.

Those four babies, all blonde-haired and blue-eyed like my own, have struck me more deeply than perhaps any unemployment rate or foreclosure statistic or any other doomsday media we’re being fed daily.  That mother was so torn between the potential hope of receiving employement and the potential grief of not being with her children that it suffocated me.  The little girl waved at me happily, since I could not turn my head away.  The little boy with Down Syndrome smiled and pointed.

I don’t have an ending to this post, much like I didn’t have a beginning.  I do know that I spent the morning collecting Binja’s toys that he’s now too old for and clothes that he’s grown out of, and we’ll be donating those to a charity shortly.  I imagine we’ll do the same with The Boy’s things.

In reality, I want to find that mom again.  I don’t know what I could do.. I doubt I could do anything.. what could I say or offer to ease that pain?  Especially when, not but five minutes earlier, I had been cursing my well-paying, white-collar job.  I felt like karma had jabbed me in the kidney.  And I knew that I had deserved every single guilt pang of that one.

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Cause We All Thought It

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Lord Almighty, She is Dull as a Box of Hair

Y’all, for real.  I know that CommentLuv has been screwing all of y’all over, but you know what?  I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO UPGRADE.  Yes, it’s true.  I am a moron in an engineer’s velcro shoes.

It keeps asking me to Automatically Upgrade?, and I’m all, YEAH, DO THAT SHIT FOR ME, but you know what?  I CAN’T.  It asks me for my login info, which I faithfully and blindly hand over (aside: is this stupid of me?), and it FAILS TO CONNECT WITH BLAHBLAHBLAH.  At which point I start chewing my gum even harder, as if this will stimulate my brain cells into making sense of this fantastical language that WP 2.7 is spewing in my general direction.

She’s been blogging since 2004?  REALLY?!  And she can’t upgrade her plugins?!  Oh, har de har har, let’s all laugh and point and mock her out-of-date plugins.

It is points like this in life that I realize: I do not drink nearly enough.

I am pretty much self-taught when it comes to code (read: idiot savant wannabe), so I only know the basics.  I know how to track and block IP addresses.. a feature I use more often than any other.. and I know how to capture screenshots of repeated attempts to access my site by an unwanted visitor.. and I know how to create sidebar items like current productions that I want the world to know.. but other than that?  Yeah.  Even “Blogging for Dummies” is over my head.

I like to think that this makes me the everywoman’s poster child for blogging.  I can do it, so can you!  You can be half a fucktard and still write a blog! (Not that you needed ME to point that out.)

I hate it when I feel like technology is advancing ahead of me.  I had this same realization yesterday while playing Wii with my stepson, who knew every secret and turn and code before we even knew there was a need for one.  And I was all longing for the two buttons of the Nintendo, when your biggest challenge was merely avoiding those pesky flying turtles.  My stepson?  Was playing GameCube games on his Wii and declaring them “old school”.

I imagine that Binja will dismantle and reassemble a Rubik’s Cube before too long.  While I try and get the child-proof cap off of my arthritis medicine.

Well, it’s nearing on 4:30, so I’d better hobble on down to the buffet so I can get my early-bird discount before the riff-raff takes it over.  Damn kids always take all of the mashed potatoes, and rarely even eat them.  I need those potatoes for my gums!

In other news today, I announced I was 28 today in a hallway after my hip popped so loudly that someone DOWN THE HALL turned around to see who had fired a gun, and everyone within earshot said, “You’re only HOW old?”

I guess it’s all relative.

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Little Happies, Fish Tacos, and Burping

So, last night, I committed a cardinal sin.

I skipped Book Club.

Why?  Well, I could give you several lame excuses about my need to be home with my family, or I could feign illness, or I could just lie and say I forgot.  But A) family schamily, B) I’ve been sick and gone before, and C) I sent out the reminder email just a day earlier.

In reality, I just couldn’t deal.

Most of my Book Club is also part of our little theatre community.  Meaning that 95% of our gossip revolves around the ridiculously scandalous aspect of our incestuous little groups.  Did John and Marlena break up?  Will Luke and Laura ever tie the knot?  HOLY SHIT, STEFANO ISN’T DEAD?!  And this is fun when no one you care about is actually involved in the scandal, but it’s a lot less fun when someone you know IS involved.

And when the someone involved in the scandal is YOU?  Well.  Sucks.

Please don’t misunderstand; I love my Book Club.  LOVE THEM.  With all CAPS: LOVE THEM.  I have no doubt that had I attended, it would’ve eventually wandered into a rah-rah-sisboombah cheering section of GO, SARAH, GO!, but that would also involve me rehashing every.minute.detail, and Lord, I just don’t want to.  Can’t we just go on as if nothing was ever said, and pretend that life skipped over the last week?

So I didn’t go.  Stayed home and watched PBS instead.  I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE WINE, PEOPLE.  That’s the level of depressed I was feeling last night.

And I seriously woke up this morning thinking, “I should just become a recluse for, like, a year.  And I need a new bra.”  The two weren’t connected, although it would be awesome to emerge from my reclusion (word? anyone?) with a greatly supported rack.  Everyone would be all, Did she get her boobs done?  and I’d just smirk and think, “Hells no, bitches.  UNDERWIRE.”

I digress.

And, for the record, I am not normally a woe-is-me kind of person who sits and mopes.  I am typically a silver-lining-finder, a person who knows that karma will come back around if I just hang in there.  But I haven’t been this go-round.  Um, why?  I really don’t know.  That’s a good question for another post.


I began with my Recluse 2009 plan by turning off my phone last night.  When I booted it up this morning, I had tons of emails and a few texts waiting on me, worrying that I wasn’t at Book Club.  It was sweet to be missed.

Ooh, and then, it was a GORGEOUS day.  I’m always surprised by the huge effect sunshine has on my mental health.   So I was even, like, kinda skippy going into work today.

And then I had an email waiting on me from Moe, who surprised me with the news that A Little Happy was waiting for me at home!   How awesome IS that?!  (And she also admitted that she brought some pics of us in high school to Book Club last night and everyone was all, “SARAH’S BLONDE?!”)

(Yes.  I am a natural blonde.)

Then I met Steph for lunch at Bandito, where we devoured fish tacos.  I know it sounds all gay, but they have the BEST fish tacos.  Not a fishy taste at all. (THAT’S WHAT HE SAID.) And if anyone can cheer me on to get over something sucky, Steph is the queen.  Not only is she quick to defend her posse, but she’s also BEEN through so much crap and come out on the other side the wiser. 

Did I mention how beautiful it is outside?  I actually stopped writing for a bit to go outside and revel in the sunshine.  I cannot WAIT for spring.

So anyway, then I was walking down the hall and I passed one of our head honchos that I’ve literally worked for since before I was married.  He stopped and watched me for a little bit, and I figured he was trying to remember something he needed, so I stopped and asked what was up.  “You just look.. different,” he said, cocking his head.  “I don’t know.  You look more like yourself today than you have in a long time.”

“I look more like myself..” I repeated.

“Yep.  You look like you did when I met you.”

Our VP breezed by and said, “She’s doing that Scale Back Alabama thing, you know.”  And he kept walking.

And yes, it was a backhanded compliment.  Sure, he said I look good.. but he was saying I was fat.  But you know?  I was.  I’m getting not so fat anymore.  That’s good news.  And all the criticism the last week?  I did all that I was accused of. (Years ago.) I’m not that girl anymore.  That’s good news.  Looking back sometimes is the way to look forward.

I leave you with this picture of my baby.  It’s bad resolution (I NEED A NEW CAMERA), but I still love it.  We had just handed the baby a lemon, which he loves, but before he enjoys it he makes this face.  And while I know it’s his “lemon eating” face, it always makes me think of Homer Simpson’s animated burps.

The end.


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