Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ring Ring! It's me, phoning it in!

I promised myself I would blog weekly, but what if I have nothing interesting to report?

It's just been work, work, work this week, and crazy busy. Work/Life balance? Hah, what a joke.
I'm up at 6, at work around 7-7:30, home around 5. Put Molly to bed 8-8:30, then hop back online to hammer out some work while watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I'm trying to get much more regimented about sleep-- start winding down at 10, in bed by 10:30. I'm even trying to track my sleep with Electric Sleep on my Galaxy Nexus. I have serious doubts about the accuracy of the measurements, but it's something and it encourages me to go to bed.

If we ever get a complete treadmill, I'll try to get up at 5:30, so I need that earlier bedtime.

News? We booked a trip to Kansas. I am so not looking forward to flying with a toddler. I hate the TSA enough just by myself, thank you very much.

Funny, this will be the first time we need to go buy disposable diapers, so we stopped in the diaper aisle at Target, and were so overwhelmed, I think we'll just have to toilet train Molly tomorrow. WHY SO MANY DIAPERS???? I know one thing-- we can rule out anything with "snugglers" in the name, because Molly's idea of cuddling involves gouging your eyes with her fingers and punching you in the throat-- all with the cutest angelic smile. Also, holy crap, they have diapers for kids up to like high school now.

We took Molly to the park twice yesterday! Lucky little bean. She's suddenly sprouted a fear of slides, and a love of sand. Right now, she loves nothing more than lemons. Do NOT try to take her lemon away from her.

You know how sometimes you cook something, and it turns out that the only thing that will save it and make it edible is smothering it in cheese, or soy sauce, or whatever your thing is?
This was the kind of weekend that could only be fixed by beer. So I gave it the old college try, I did. I wanted to branch out into Margaritas, but then I found out that you can't get hard liquor at Target. WTF, Target? You could make some room for tequila by whittling down your diaper aisle, and that's not a bad place for it, really.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

OK! So it's been a week, and I bet you thought I would fall off of my weekly blogging wagon already!


It's been an insane week. I'm so far behind! I have not replied to that email you sent me! I know!

It started off innocently enough, sure. I had Monday off of work. But then Tuesday had me sent up to San Francisco for a work thing, which was nonstop until I ran screaming and hopped a Caltrain back home Wednesday night. Thursday, spent in a team offisite thing which really just translated to (OK, now that's three work days away from your work, so you are REALLY REALLY behind now. You don't mind taking these escalations during your bathroom breaks, right?)

Friday I did one thing that I loved. I fought my new Android phone, and I WON. You wouldn't think a simple upgrade would involve installing a Software Developer Kit and running a bunch of crap through Terminal, but then you'd have expected me to take "no" for an answer. OK, so it cost me several hours, but the important thing is my phone still knows who's in charge around here. Take that!

Saturday, I went with my mother and sister to a "Glass Artist for a Day" class here, and it was really fun! I made some stuff and got to play with fire and break glass!

Sunday wrapped up the week nicely with Craft Day! AND AND AND I actually sat down and started and finished something! I took my first stab (literally) at needle felting, and I came up with this little... thing. I found needle felting immensely satisfying and particularly appreciate that I could just sit and FINISH something, not at all like all of those sewing projects I have for years on end. (Hi, "quilt." I'm looking at you.)

In the second picture, you can see some of our other treasures:
  • A giant stein that belonged to Petje, apparently from a trip to Belgium.
  • An empty of Sippin' Syrup (Purple)
  • A train vase, brought to the hospital by my dad's parents when I was born, and then brought to Paul and me when Molly was born.
  • A porcelain bunny which you can fill with cotton balls and then pull out the of the bunny's butt, a baby shower gift for Molly
  • Two pretty Irish tea cups and saucers from my dear aunts' and uncles' Irish shop
  • The cake topper from our wedding: a bride and squirrel-groom. (etsy!)
  • A two-headed rooster, given to me by my husband for our 2nd year anniversary (the china anniversary!) (same etsy!)
  • And finally, the drink nametags we made to have at Grandma Kay's house to avoid the "WHOSE GLASS IS THIS????" issues. We kept Grandma Kay's, since we were the ones who brought the whole getup over in the first place and made her name band.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Yearly Thingie

Oh! So I have a blog. And it hasn't been updated in a long, long time.
I know exactly why. Not just because I'm busy, either.

Last year was a miserable mess. And who wants to hear about a miserable mess all the time? It's bad enough that the people around me have to hear about it. No, dear internet, you did not need to hear about what a miserable mess my year was.

But now, the year restrospective, whatever shall I do? I cannot pull my first sentence of every month. Last you heard, I put Stanford on my resume (I did, I really did. It's there, and I can show you, in case you are looking for an awesome project-managing, creative-problem-solving, troubleshooting, customer-relationship-managing person for your team!)

Things have happened since then. I wish I could remember what. Some of those things I think I'd rather not remember, but we must! So we can laugh about them in future-times.

Let's see...

oh, hey, I could always fall back on the old "yearly thingie" yes let's do that...

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
  • Navigated a very unpleasant re-org, and learned a *lot* about office politics
  • Had Thanksgiving dinner at home, with whatever we could scrounge up
  • Had a really fun time celebrating Molly's birthday!
  • Sucked it all up for the good of those who depend on me. Maybe this is the year I became an adult?
    2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    Let's see how I scored:

    • Keep my job.
      • REALLY? I wrote this???? I guess I did this one, despite the fact that I thought my goal was the opposite. mmmmkay then.
    • Grow my responsibilities and cross-functional work with an emphasis on projects that people who "matter" will actually recognize. (snip some comments)
      • Uh, right. This was made early in the year before things became clear about the role I was put in. So, no. Although I did kick some ass at the end of the year, it wasn't politically advantageous.
    • Do my damn PMP thing.
      • YES. I totally did this. Just in time for a role where no one gives a shit. Sigh.
    • Finish the Stanford Advanced Project Management certification in Q1
      • Did this too! And it was great!
    • Q1: Use Molly's nighttime nap (if there is one) to use the little exercise bike. -
      • no, this totally did not work. It was impossible to get out while she was sleeping, she dropped that nap, and I had to do too much other stuff during that time. Big fail. Also I hate exercise bikes. What was I thinking?
    • Max out my 401K by end of June
      • Done.
    • Add $X to our savings accounts each month. (X being a number we agreed on. Not sure I should really list the dollar amount publicly)
      • Done, and more.
    • Add $X to our 529 for Molly each month. (X being a number we agreed on, that, according to all of the college savings calculators, will end up making public college administrators laugh at her and say "oh, it's too bad your parents didn't really love you!")
      • Done.
    • Have monthly crafting day at my house with family and friends. (already scheduled Q1)
      • I'm gonna say I did this, though we may have missed one month.
    • Keep a journal daily, at least 90% of days
      • Hmmm, I was really good about this until the great Postini explosion of Q3, where I became so overworked that I just collapsed every night. I'd say I did about 85% of the time, so I'll give myself a green.
    • Create a will/trust by the end of March
      • Fail. Ugh.

    OK, so how about 2012:

    • Get back into a role that I love, whether that be growing in the dirt I was shoved in, or packing up and going. I want to feel valuable, and I want to feel responsible, and I want to feel the satisfaction of helping others. Doing a little planning, networking, and technical problem solving would round this out quite nicely. (this is a big, vague goal, implying a lot of little sub-projects and resolutions... networking! maintaining my accomplishments and resume, sharpening skills! oh my!)
    • Get some exercise for my poor little overbeating heart. Q1: Assuming Sports Authority isn't the sheisty operation they are looking like right at this moment, we'll be getting a treadmill shortly. Once that's set up, I want to get at least an average of 4 days x30 minutes on there every week. (yes, I know there's a free treadmill called "outdoors" but I've found that I really prefer indoor treadmill. I know, it's weird.)
    • Max out my 401K by end of March
    • Add $X to our savings accounts each month. On average, understanding that some months are harder than others.
    • Add $X to our 529 for Molly each month. Same $X as last year
    • Shut down BofA account. I've had BofA since college. But, yeah, I've been meaning to drop them since they bought CountryWide and pretended they had no idea how diseased it was. I've found a credit union with awesome rates and no bailouts.
    • Invest some of our cash. I do not know the first thing about investing money, and I would like to keep my life relatively simply (the thought of dealing with the taxes makes me sweat.) We need to do better than savings accounts this year.
    • Have monthly crafting day at my house with family and friends. (already scheduled Q1)
    • Keep a journal daily, at least 90% of days
    • Create a will/trust by the end of March (Let's try this again)
    • Craft more: I want to make something at least once/month and blog it. Even if that means phoning it in with a god's eye at the last hour of the month. Something. EVERYONE IS GETTING A GOD'S EYE FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!
    • Learn new skills: I want to get one chapter/week on this Python for Absolute Beginners book I've had sitting next to my bed for months. Let's DO IT!

    3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    no no no. But my sister became a "grandmother"... despite never having children.

    4. Did anyone close to
    you die?
    Yes. It was another reason for a shit year. My Grandma Kay left us in the nicest possible way this year, but she is sorely missed. The hole in my world is huge for such a little lady.

    5. What countries did you visit?
    None. We have a small child, and I hate the TSA. I really hate the TSA. Have I mentioned that I hate the TSA?

    6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
    A sense of "I love my job." I've had it before and I know what it feels like.

    7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    It's kind of all a blur, and I think I'd rather not etch any of it anywhere.

    8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    • Passed the PMP exam with flying colors. (Really. flying.)
    • Navigated some really muddy transitions at work
    • Didn't get ANY visits from Child Protective Services!

    9. What was your biggest failure?
    • Settling. Waiting in my chair when asked to do so. The people who asked me to sit quietly would not have done so if asked, and that's my big lesson. I should have been long, long gone, months and months ago. I think I've learned a lot about politics and alignment since, but at what cost?

    10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    • Nothing out of the ordinary

    11. What was the best thing you bought?
    • I bought Paul a broken motor. He loves that kind of thing.
    • I guess it's telling that I can't think of anything. So much crap to buy, and nothing of value to remember!

    12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    • Paul has been something of a hero, taking care of a screamy baby, a frequently unhappy wife, and a very sick mother, while trying to get some studying in on the side.

    13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    • I can just say, I've learned that people can have big impact on you even when they are a few steps removed, and you should keep your eye on all of them, all of the time. Don't assume malice is needed to destroy things; it could just be a blithely destructive nature.

    14. Where did most of your money go?
    • Savings and rent. Actually, no, taxes. Pentagon! Oh boy. Let's be clear that I do not mind paying taxes. I would gladly pay more taxes, even, but I want to have Single Payer Health care instead of all these wasteful wars.

    15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    • Molly. Everything she does is clearly the awesomest thing any child has ever done in the history of humanity. I mean, really. Have you ever seen such an amazing child? Why just the other day, she did just the cutest thing...

    16. What songs/bands will always remind you of 2011?
    • Hopefully, none.

    17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

    • End of 2010, I was happy but anxious. End of 2011, I was just happy to see 2011 go. I guess I'm tempered quite a lot. This has not been a happy year.

    ii. thinner or fatter?

    iii. richer or poorer?
    Richer. I mean, I have more money I guess.

    18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    • Exercise. Career-tracking

    19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    • Working in the suggested confines I was given. I should have moved quickly and drastically, and without so much fear. (on the other hand, it is hard when you are the sole provider for two others)

    20. How will you be spending Christmas?
    • I spent Christmas with family as always. But this time, at home, not at Grandma Kay's house, for the first time I can ever remember. It was still nice though. Christmas is the best.

    22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
    • Well, of course I did.

    23. What's on your night stand?
    • Earplugs, which Molly keeps trying to steal
    • half a glass of water, because I drink lots of water in my sleep
    • alarm clock that I no longer use because I use my Android phone
    • Glasses-because I'm legally bind in one eye
    • ballpoint pen, which I should use to journal every night before bed
    • My Ten-Year Journal which allows just a few sentences per night
    • a fancy phone new Android phone which I can't use because it is misbehaving
    • The case for my NTI nightguards

    24. What were your favorite TV programs?
    Still just The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

    (what happened to 25?)

    26. What was the best book you read?
    Probably some crafting and parenting books. I've been really bad about finishing books lately.

    27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    • I discovered that with Spotify, I can relive some truly bad music from my childhood.

    28. What did you want and get?
    • I wanted to get my PMP certification. I did it!

    29. What did you want and not get?
    • It must be obvious by now, I wanted to get myself into a role that is a better fit, and I did not.
    • OH OH OH. And I went through about 36 hours of seriously really very much so wanting to buy a Dorsoduro.

    30. What was your favorite film(s) of this year?
    • I haven't set foot in a movie theater in a few years.

    31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    • I turned 34. It was a great day. Paul got me an awesome blinking tiara, I got to have cupcakes with Jenni Williams (I KNOW!), and Amber India for dinner with family.

    32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    • Torn between "serenity to accept the things I cannot change" and "courage to change the things I can." I suppose that leaves me with "wisdom to know the difference." But I'm leaning toward #2: Courage.

    33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
    • First half of the year: "I just had a baby, screw it."
    • Second half of the year: "hmmm, I guess I should really start to worry about this."
    • Also, I got a standing desk, which has changed my footwear choices

    34. What kept you sane?
    • The quiet moments. Taking Molly for a walk to examine leaves on the ground. Sitting on the couch with Paul after Molly is in bed. 
    • The words "Now that I know Rebecca is handling this, I know it will be fine." and other such votes of confidence. I know I do good work, and I do best when I can work with people who need me and value me. Kicking ass at work makes me feel great.

    35. Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
    • Every single year, I have no idea how to answer this. "Celebrity?"

    36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    • Rootstrikers. Until we get the money out of politics, NOTHING in politics matters. All the political issues we get worked up about are just manifestations of this root problem.

    37. Who did you miss?
    • The list gets longer this year with Grandma Kay joining her husband.

    38. Who was the best new person you met?
    • I really need to get out more

    39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
    • You can work as hard as you want building a vibrant, wonderful, productive city, but all it takes is one Godzilla to destroy Tokyo. It's not even necessarily personal. I don't know if this means you shouldn't bother working so hard, or that you should work so hard that Godzilla can't get you. Or some, third thing about developing anti-Godzilla laserbeam technology.

    40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

    You made me doubt, you made me fear
    But now I´m not the same
    I don´t pretend that I love you
    'Cause there is nothing left to lose