Sunday, February 25, 2007

Paid In Full

When you think all hope is lost, sometimes you get proven wrong. It's been three years since I lent a former friend, Lee, a total of $1,100 and I had really given up any hope of ever seeing it again. When I would harass her I would get some of it back, but it was always a production and never a simple payment. It was always surrounded by excuses and promises and disappointment. The last $400 finally showed up at my house Friday night. It was supposed to be left at the front desk at work, but that's another story. The end result is that I did receive the $1,100 in full, and the best part of it is, when I lent it to her it was "married" money, but the return was all for me! It feels like a little lottery win. A happy ending to this little saga. Lee was always good for some crazy story but the drama and the money just wasn't worth it. We'll find someone else to talk about, someone who's less expensive to have around!

I started training for my new job this past week, working 1/2 days over in my new department. So far it seems to be what I had thought it would be, which is great. I have high hopes that I am really going to enjoy this job. I had to fill out travel information, so maybe there will be a few little work trips in my future, and I got new business cards. That's quite a to-do at American Greetings, they regard business cards as prized possessions and don't let just any ol' body have them - so I must really be something :)!

Melinda starts her new job on Monday. I'm excited for her, she's been unemployed for about a year now, maybe a little longer. She'll be doing menu planning for troubled yutes for Parmadale Family Services, just up the street from where I live. I find it interesting that they hired someone with zero experience in this field, but it's a Catholic Charities service so they don't pay dietitian wages for this position. Melinda will have a 90-day training period and then she'll be off feeding kids on her own. I think she'll really like it, she likes kids, even troubled ones. Not me, that would be a hell-job for me - I don't want to deal with a bunch of good teenagers, much less a bunch of "troubled" ones. I think they just need hard spankings to straighten their shit out. Too much coddling, in my opinion. We weren't allowed to be troubled when I was growing up - we were told to go to school, get a job, suck it up.

It was a quiet week for the most part, and a rather quiet weekend. The house still is in-process for organizing and cleaning, but it doesn't look too bad around here. Last night we went down to Akron for more games of skill, we certainly can kill a day doing that. It was fun, I won a small jackpot of $275 so I was happy about it. I got an all-screen of black flags. I'm still chasing my Mt. Everest of winnings on those machines, an all-screen of crowns. With a 1-bet (40-cents), the payout for that is $500. Some lady won that last night while we were there. I was bitter that it wasn't me, but I was gracious about it :) I was using Lee's re-paid monies to fund my gaming, so now I have a nice little amount for my pooch.

I went to a new dentist yesterday. I have been worried about a crown I have on my lower molar, it has been hurting for about a month now and I imagined the worst. Dr. Tooth (not his real name, but it sounds good!) told me he couldn't see anything wrong with it so we took some x-rays and I go back on March 8th for the results. I hated my old dentist, he had a full-wall salt-water aquarium and I always felt like he was making up stuff concerning my teeth to fund that little extravagance. This new tooth doctor had a nice old-fashioned spitting bowl and didn't come up with any ridiculousness concerning my teeth. He did, however, give me the name of a cosmetic surgeon in the event I want to get my teeth veneered to look the way I would like them to look - which, in spite of all the money I've spent on them, they don't. I'll probably schedule a consultation just to see what he has to say.

This was supposed to be my weekend to detox my body, but I couldn't commit to a pooping-weekend so the magic liquids I purchased from GNC a couple of weeks ago remain unopened on the counter. It's a 2-day process, and while I normally would have either Saturday or Sunday to commit to it, I haven't been able yet to devote both days to pooping. With my public-pooping quirks, I need to be sure I'm home during those days since I won't use a public facility for #2. In the meantime I'm still toxic inside, I guess.

That's all the happenings from here. Twink really enjoys the new furniture and the ottomon is the only piece that has suffered a back-clawing, which was from Widda. I can't really hold her responsible for it, she can't retract her claws on that paw, it's the paw that was injured when she was a baby and has a couple of toes amputated. So it was beyond her control and no cats have been yelled at so far.

Peace and stay healthy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

We Lose A Friend

Dave Vargo lost his battle with cancer today. Sometimes there just are no more words.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Peeking Out from Safety

Sometimes you just feel like peeking out at life from the security of a box. At least that's how Widda feels most of the time. She has gotten my money's worth out of the laptop box. The hole is where I had to cut out the UPC/Barcodes/Hearts and Livers of the box to send in for my rebate. Which, by the way, I remembered to do and they are both sent off to the respective processing centers. Now I await my refund.

It was a snow-filled week in Cleveland. It started coming down on Tuesday and while it's nothing compared to what happened on the East Coast, it was enough to keep many of us off the roads on Wednesday. I - along with most of my department - stayed home on Wednesday and did some work on the computer from the warmth and comfort of my living room. It cleared up by Thursday, but it has started to come down again on & off today. Our driveway is heaped with snow on both sides and I feel like I'm driving in a toboggan chute and it scares me. I've been having the boys pull my car in & out for me when I'm nervous.

Our new living room furniture arrived about an hour ago. It's lovely. Like any change, it took a few minutes to get used to the look - it's very puffy compared to what we had, and much taller. The end tables & coffee table won't arrive until March 2nd, but it's starting to come together and is looking rather nice! I need to get some of my pictures out of the garage to hang up, but that's not going to happen until the snow thaws a bit - there's a huge embankment blocking access to the garage right now. I'm just a little anxious about the cats mixed with the new leather - I hope they keep their back toenails in and give me at least a few days without any scratches.

Speaking of pictures for the living room, the little Picasso-like beauty shown here has been a source of contention between Kenny and me. He HATES this picture and refuses to budge on this one - he does not want it hung anywhere in the house where he will be subjected to viewing it.

I got this picture from a gallery show at work, my friend Melissa Bollen made it and sold it to me for the cost of framing because I liked it so much. It used to hang over my bed in my past life. Funny enough, it's one of the four things that Fsteve and I were fighting over during the splitting of possessions era. He wanted it. I refused to give in on this one. And now Kenny wants to put it on the tree lawn. Funny how that works out. Actually, the four things I was fighting for - this picture, my 32" t.v., the treadmill, and .... well, whatever the last thing was, I can't even remember - have all ended up as being totally unimportant in my life now. Jill has the t.v. in her attic for future use, the treadmill is taken apart and resides in our garage until we one day, maybe, have space for it, and this picture will probably never again have a place of prominence in a home shared with Kenny. So what did any of it even matter. All the fighting, just boils down to a pissing contest for shit that doesn't even matter. I have the cats. Those are what I still enjoy and the only thing that truly mattered to me, in hindsight. Ah, & learn.

Saturday was Girl Spa Day. I was too distracted to take pictures of the extravaganza, but it was a fun day nonetheless. We had a bit of a scare in the morning, Rusty wasn't feeling well and Geri took him to the emergency room/Urgent Care facility so she, of course, missed out on mani-pedi morning. We're all very - VERY - relieved that Rusty is going to be okay, it was some type of virus. Fran, Jill, Vicki, Kenny's mom Linda and I all got our fun treatments at the spa and then had a nice lunch at Maggiano's in Beachwood. I was supposed to get a microdermabrasion treatment with their new "diamond tip" face-sanding machine, but it was broken so they gave me a free $70 EuropeanPlus facial in lieu of this service. It was wonderful, with hot towels, lotions & mini-massages all over my face, chest & arms. It was Linda's first spa-type treatment ever and she seemed to love it. I treated her to it since she's always so nice to me. Frannie also had her hair done since she had a fundraising benefit that night, and she looked lovely. Of course, no pictures. Had Twinkle been getting a hairdo, you can believe I would have had a picture - I've always got pictures of cats. Here's a new one of Twink now that I've mentioned it:

I start 1/2 days with my new job tomorrow - I'm excited and a little nervous. I'll be glad to get out of my current department, though. My manager had me working on something and on Friday informed me that they were changing the format so there was no need to finish it - which is typical for that area. Very frustrating to know that the time I've spent on it was wasted. But I'm leaving so whatever.

We have a 50th birthday party to attend tonight for one of Kenny's friends. I think I'm going to take a nap on my new furniture so I'll be fresh for the extravaganza.

Stanley has made himself very comfortable on the new ottomon. He is conked completely out. Like his cat-mama (me!), he loves anything soft & puffy.

Peace out, stay healthy! I can't afford the worry-wrinkles.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Various Stages of Garbage

Holy Cold! February is not playing games in Cleveland for 2007. It has been cold all the way to the bone this weekend and more of the same is expected. I added weather stripping to the large picture window in the living room as well as our bedroom, and I believe it was in the nick of time. I used to feel a little whoosh of air through the panes and even in this cold the weatherstripping is keeping it at bay. We always have the option to cover up in cats to stay warm.

My big, big news is that I was offered a new position at work on Tuesday. I had interviewed for the job back in early January and I finally got an official offer this past week. I am so excited about this new opportunity! My new department is called Product Insights and as of the 19th I will be an official Product Analyst. Currently, I'm a Marketing Analyst so it's very similar to some of what I currently do at work. The difference is that I get to take the analysis even further and not just look at data but also at what the top raters/low performers have in common and foster some insights. Then I get to put all that info into a cohesive presentation and clue in everyone else. I hope I can do it - I'm a little nervous about knowing how to put all those words together for a presentation. Jill does it for her job and I want to know where she gets all the words. I have a lot of words, to be sure, but not sure I have "presentation" type words. I may have to copy Jill!!

Friday night we used Kenny's Christmas gift and went and saw Jerry Seinfeld at the Playhouse. He wasn't content just seeing the 7:00 show, he actually went online and bought last-minute tickets for the 9:30 show as well. I thought it was kinda over the top, but I didn't care - whatever makes ya happy in life. The opener was really funny and Jerry was better than I anticipated - both times. His second show varied by about 30% with different material from the first show. I expected the shows to be nearly identical and we wagered on it - I said it would be 99% the same, he said 80%. He won and he was really happy I was wrong. They sold really good cookies in the lobby of the Playhouse, by the way.

Jerry's show had a really funny bit about people and their stuff and how everything we get is eventually trash and it's just in varying stages of becoming garbage throughout it's life cycle. And once something makes it's way all the way to the garage, it never makes it back into the house - it's one step from being garbage. He said garage and garbage even sound the was a funny - and true - little vignette. Kenny and I have a lot of shit that is one step from being trash. It's a treasure right now, can't part with it, but it's just on the verge of finding the treelawn - his stuff goes first, of course! Poor guy, he's had to throw out his computer desk, kitchen table (that went to the garage, along with the pinball machine :)), bed, kitchen applicances, coffee table, pillow - actually all bedding - his entertainment unit thing, and now his living room furniture. Wait, one of his living room chairs made it to the treelawn about a year ago. It's all new for him. I like to think it's all better!

Kenny and I used this very cold Saturday to do what else - shop! For new, wonderful things that will eventually just be garbage. His computer could not be revived and they told him it wasn't covered under the warranty because it had water damage inside. I had a few things to say at the Geek Squad counter today and let them know we'll be following up with the main headquarters on Monday or whenever we get his computer back - it's still at the repair center. There's no water in it - but it's the one excuse they can use to void a warranty if they can't fix the machine. It's not like we have a toddler running around who could have accidentally dropped something into it - I was sitting right next to Kenny when it just died, after he'd been using it all day long. So Best Buy doesn't have any problem taking your money for the warranty, as long as you don't ever intend to use it. To think I used to be particularly fond of Best Boys! The deal that comes with the policy is, if they can't fix it you get a credit for the value of your machine to put toward the purchase of something new. Well, he didn't get that but ended up buying a new laptop anyway. They wanted $990 to fix his old one. Yes, that's right, not a typo. He got a new Gateway for $850. It's a gigantic laptop. I can't even see his head while he's on the couch and I'm sitting in the chair - total obstruction. But he loves it.

Afterwards. we went to Circuit City in search of a new laptop for me - which I am now using at this very moment. I think I got a great deal on it, $699 after a mail-in rebate. Of course, I'm about to have an anxiety attack just trying to fill out the rebate forms. The child who sold me the computer told me I could bypass all the mail-in shenanigans and do it all online, which I just attempted to do. I got to the end of the various screens that needed filled out and then got the message that I need to print that screen, cut apart the box everything came in, divy up barcodes and mail it all in. So what, exactly, did the online exercise do for me? I still haven't received my $50 rebate from my new cellphone, which I purchased back in October. Odds are against me, I fear.

My old laptop had me concerned, I believe I had purchased it in '02 or '03 and it has been struggling for the past couple of months to work without freezing up. The good news is, Kenny will be on his own laptop and won't be able to play little "it's me, Tracye" jokes on Rob via IM. Kenny was having a fun time pretending to be me when Rob would send an IM. Rob, his name is crikey7878 (in deference to the Croc Hunter) if you want to add him to your your buddy list.

We went and got more new things after the computers were all squared away, heading to the furniture store. I wanted to pop in and look for a coffee table and end tables since we haven't had any since the summer. Kenny's found their way to the garage...... I gave mine to Fsteve in the divorce, but that's okay because I probably would have ended up just giving them to someone anyway. I'm all about a fresh start lately. I'm glad that I finally have a laptop that his nasty nancyfingerfuckers have never touched. Yeah, maybe still just a tich bitter :0 .... still working on that!

Back to the point of the story....we ended up with a new granite-top coffee table, sofa table and end tables as well as a new leather sofa, chair & ottoman. Kenny thought his were fine, and they actually aren't horrible, but they have lived a hard life in our house and it's time to move them along. We chose a darker leather in Cognac rather than the lighter tan similar to the current set. I've asked my little brother if he needs this and I hope he can use it -it's not that bad that it's unusable. If anyone out there could use the set, let me know, just in case Chucky can't use it. We deferred delivery until the 17th to see if we can find a home for the stuff we've got before the new set arrives. So it'll be a whole new setup in here - hooray! One room at a time and it's going to all come together. Sometimes I'd like to move to a large, modern place, but we sure can't beat the living expenses here so why should we lock into a large mortgage if we don't need to - I love vacationing instead! It's all a trade off, every decision we make. I sacrifice an orderly, more updated place to be able to go out and buy more crap I don't need (but like having!) and taking fun trips. I think that's working for me for now! We're looking at booking another cruise for September.

Mimi's coming back to work too soon to be happy about it. She's due back in about 2 weeks, I believe, and she thought she'd really be feeling well enough to be enjoying her days off. She was surprised to learn that she would spend the majority of her time just recovering. Mimi feels pretty great and her biggest happiness about the whole thing is that this huge pain that she had on her tailbone is gone - I guess that stupid fibroid she had was resting right on her tailbone and the source of the pain she's lived with for well over a year now. She feels like she has a new lease on life, and I'm so glad she got herself squared away down there.

My littlest nephew Trevor turned 13 today - he's a MAN! Well, if he were Jewish he'd now be considered a man. Since he's not Jewish he's just a teen. I got him a fun gift I think he'll like, an MP3 player. I usually spend only $25 on birthdays, but on the milestones I like to do something a little more special. I did make quite a gaffe with his card, however. I actually picked up one of our GI Joe cards for him - and received a look of disbelief from Kenny when I showed it to him. He informed me that it's a swell card for a boy 5-9, but NOT for a boy who's now an official teenager. The fact that the card came with stickers just added insult to injury, I was told. I have to go and get a new one, something from the "toilet humor" section, I guess. Trevor told me all about a card he got for his birthday from one of his little friends, it was a 'scratch & sniff" humor card, the punchline being "smells just like a birthday card, huh". Well, Trevor thought that was absolutely hysterical and apparently noteworthy, as he told me all about it on the phone. I still have their Christmas gifts, so I guess we need to somehow coordinate schedules for gift giving, I'm getting all backlogged with presents.

I caught a stomach virus on Wednesday, had me laid up for a couple of days this week. I'm all cleaned out inside, to be sure. Clean as a whistle in there. Luckily, the day I got sick I had only had an orange juice that morning so it wasn't entirely unpleasant - it came back up and left a little citrus flavor in it's wake. It also gave me horrendous indigestion which Pepcid was having a hard time controlling. I'm a terrible sick person, I laid around moaning loudly so Kenny could know how bad I felt. He was a very good caretaker and only threatened to smother me with a pillow once.

The girls had card night Friday while I was at Seinfeld. They celebrated Meggan's and Fran's January birthdays with cake and pizza and I'm sure a table laden with goodies. I wish I could have attended, I love card night - but next time. Meggan's in the process of having her bathroom entirely remodeled, which would be so much fun to plan. That will be a huge 2007 change for her!
Jill and I talked about starting a
Bunco night, which is a type of dice game. We have a lot of info from the Internet and are going to look into getting that underway. It sounds like a lot of fun and would be one more reason to get together.

I bought a new book I'm very excited about starting: The 4th Summer of the Sisterhood.

I love this series, have not been disappointed yet, and I even liked the movie. Those girls are good friends, just like me and my friends, and even though they don't always get along perfectly, they always remain true to each other and there when they need each other. It's just a really good story, for girls that is. I've committed to finishing The Great Gatsby before I start this little nugget, so as of right now it's just sitting on the table tantalizing me. I can't wait to see what Tibby, Carmen, Lena and Bridget are up to this summer!
I'm always surprised when I start writing just how many words I have to say about a week's happenings. And I'm worried I won't have enough words for presentations?? One thing I know for sure, I am rarely - if ever - out of words.
Blogging off for now, still updating my new laptop with my old "favorites" links, I'm surrounded by cats & computers.

Peace out & stay safe this week - bundle up!