Other Things…

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First, no news about the job. At dinner Saturday, both Gene and Denise reminded me that I’m probably a little abrasive for a company with a spiritual bent different from my own, so if it goes nowhere, it’s OK.

Second, darn it all to heck, PLEASE?

Third, Gene and I spent some time on January 21 cleaning out our filing (because we are losers!) and I found the file of random stuff that I’ve saved throughout the years. I learned that January 21 is the anniversary of the passing of one of my great grandmothers. I also found a postcard that my Grandma M sent me from Florida that was postmarked on….(cue eery music) January 21.I know that none of that means anything, but between those two things and the pool smell at the hotel restaurant the previous Friday… Ugh, I am totally rolling my eyes at myself.

Fourth, speaking of family, the 22nd was The Boy’s 18th birthday. Now he is The Young Man. I wish he was still in our lives. I’d like to write more about that, but not right now.


Restaurant Week in Review…

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So, Restaurant Week is over.

(Spoiler Alert: Gene and I skipped tonight’s reservation in lieu of just ordering pizza…first world problems, yo!)

Night One: Dinner @ the restaurant in a hotel a town over. Yummy, delicious, and the smell was incredible (I have more waxing poetic to do about that, BTW…later?). Gene won because his salmon was better than my beef.

Night Two: Dinner with Gene’s coworker and his partner at an Italian restaurant down in Cheesecake City. The best decision I made all week was ordering a glass of wine. The second best decision I made all week was ordering the second glass. The food was good, but not as good as last Restaurant Week. It was nice to patronize an Italian restaurant without the words “Olive” or “Macaroni” in the name but the drive was pretty long. I had carpaccio, veal and chocolate lava cake. Gene had…hmm. Scallop, something else, and panna cotta for dessert.

Night Three: Back to the seafood restaurant where we celebrated Gene’s birthday in August. I had peanut soup (yummy!!!!), duck (also very good!!) and a delicious dessert that I can no longer recall, even when looking at the menu. Gene had mini fish tacos (deeeelicious!), sea bass (as opposed to land bass? Or Chuck Bass?*) and a not-chocolate dessert. I noticed that we got spotty service, but I still want to try this restaurant’s huge sushi menu someday. (But why drive 30 minutes away when we have delicious sushi 3 minutes away?). My duck was better than his sea bass, so I won.

Night Four: I had to work late, so we ate at a nice restaurant across the street from our neighborhood. I started with the calamari (with a drizzle of wasabi sauce, sooo good!), had a lovely entree (the salmon, I think?) that was just a touch over cooked and chocolate cake for dessert. Gene had goat cheese on pita (it sounds meh, but it was very good), the crab cakes (He thinks, but the more I consider it I think he had chicken) and carrot cake (?) for dessert. I won. Or maybe Gene won. Who remembers? The bottled water cost as much as a mixed drink. Feh.

Night Five: I was supposed to leave work @ 6, ended up getting caught up (Stupid Year End!) and had to have Gene reschedule our dinner reservation for 7:30. To be honest, when we made the schedule this was one of the nights that I would have been pretty happy with grilled cheese at home but when the rubber hit the road…who wants to clean? I started off with a shrimp appetizer that was nice but very complicated in presentation (the theme of the restaurant, I think), veal osso buck (very delicious!) and apple tart for dessert (the tart was inexplicably paired with mint ice cream…wtf?). Gene had mussels (which were very good), crab cakes and creme brûlée for dessert. This was the night I devised the rule “If we can’t choose who wins, we must consult the server” (because we apparently enjoy looking like giant assholes in public?) and we spent the meal discussing restaurants we preferred to the one we were sitting in.

Night Six: Wednesday! The night we ate at our very favorite local restaurant (that we are going to sometime in the future with Denise and her husband the Almighty G)! Yay! Compared to the crush at the other restaurants in the week, it was nice to be some place where the servers recognize us and we could actually talk. I started with a ‘mini’ wedge salad that was so good. I love wedge salads. I had the steak entree, which is quite rare for me (beef joke!) but was amazing. For dessert, I had a root beer float and regret (but on the bright side, it cured my root beer float craving). Gene had risotto, chicken, and the house specialty red velvet cake (which is why I had regret for dessert). He won on the strength of his better tasting dessert, although my steak kicked A Serious Amount of Ass and we probably should have consulted the server.

Night Seven: We ate at our former favorite local restaurant. I started with deviled eggs, then prime rib (yes again) for my entree and super decadent brownie for dessert. Gene had pimento cheese and guacamole dips for appetizer, trout for dinner and strawberry shortcake for dessert. I won because the shortcake was actually served on a biscuit (why do restaurants do this??? I think a shortcake may technically be a biscuit but…meh), although it helped that Gene drank both of our complimentary glasses of wine. (I was driving, Mom).

Night Eight: Dinner was at a “Brazilian” style steak house. It was the first restaurant where the three courses that make up a restaurant week meal did not include dessert. At a Brazilian steakhouse, you start with a trip to a really big salad bar and then you eat your salad. After that, waiters wander around with huge skewers of meat and they offer it around. It’s kind of a reverse buffet. No winner that night because we both had the same thing. It was all a little too Golden Corral for me so I don’t think we’ll go back.

Night Nine: Mexican with Denise and the Almighty G. The town I used to work in is home to a fancy Mexican restaurant and we always make it a point to visit it during Restaurant Week because it’s a convenient excuse to hang with Denise for a couple of hours (to be honest, it could be Emissions Inspection Week and I’d do the same thing). I had seafood enchilada thingys, Gene had some sort of fancy Mexican pork chop. The service was slow but it turns out that neither couple paid for the queso and guacamole, so, huzzah. The restaurant was pretty crowded with big parties so by the end I think we were all ready to clear out. I automatically win this night because I got to hang with Denise.

Night Ten: About 3 PM today, I looked at Gene and asked if he really felt like going down into the city for dinner. He didn’t. I didn’t. We ordered pizza.

* Ah, I kill me w/ the Gossip Girl puns. Chair forever!

And now, the not-worklife…

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I swear, I totally have a life outside of work. Really.

We’re about 80% of the way through restaurant week again and once again we’re eating out every night.

Last Friday, dinner was at the restaurant in a hotel the next county over. The hotel was part of a chain that I stayed at once when I was a little girl, with my grandmother. Indoor hotel pools smell like the best parts of my childhood and it makes me so unbearably nostalgic, I can’t even say. The glass of wine with dinner was so nice and relaxing though. I had prime rib, Gene had salmon. I think he won because his salmon was better than my beef. The amuse bouche (they called it that) was a jalapeño stuffed with barbecue. I think there was bacon involved somewhere, too. Yummy.

More about Restaurant Week later…


Worklife…

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(Alternate Title: Is it February yet?)

So, I had a first interview for the out of the blue job I got the call about two weeks ago…

And a second interview yesterday.

And now I’m sort of patiently waiting for a call or an email or a carrier pigeon or a fax or a smoke signal telling me “yay” or “nay”.

BAH!

I know that I’m one of three candidates being considered, so I guess I have a 33% chance.

It’s not a totally perfect situation…for example, one of the company’s core values is one that I don’t share (hint: it’s the reason I have a category here called “Snaked Again, Naturally”). But it’s an environment that’s at least 50% less stress, theoretically better money and the location is literally a quarter mile from where I work now…

(which will be super awkward in the line at the nearby Starbucks)

In other news, I found out – through sheer nosiness – that one of my teammates has given her notice. Which means that Big Payroll Co may work harder to keep me, but it also means that after my coworker leaves, it’ll be me, Broomhilda, Boss Belinda, Token Dude and The New Girl. (And two other New People To Be Named Later).

(Oh, and Broomhilda interviewed for a job working closely with Pattie, our former team lead).

This means that I really, really want this job. It’s not just the anxiety talking when I say that my team in a month will be radically different from how it is now, and not for the better. I just can’t do it.


The Isle of Big Payroll…

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OMG, I have a job interview tomorrow @ 2 PM. I am SO SO SO excited. I keep thinking of that “I hope I get it” song from (I think) “A Chorus Line”. OMG OMG OMG I want this job so bad. Honestly, it’s not even that I want this particular job, it’s that I don’t want my Big Payroll job anymore. Maybe I do want this particular job. Okay, yes, I want this job. But I also want to not work in Big Payroll anymore.

Yay!

(I’m filing this in “Mahnewjobiscoolis”. Yes, Mahnewjobiscoolis and I believe that even now, but after a full year of this…and months of being under the thumb of Boss Belinda…I don’t want it anymore).


Mixed Up Blessings

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(Ha ha, yes, I said blessings…shut up)

So, things at work are getting a little different. Right now things are a little worse but they’re on the road to getting way better.

We have a new girl on our team. Yay! She is unbelievably new to our industry so we have to teach her everything. Actually, I have to teach her everything. She can barely use the software and Boss Belinda told me today that even her skills with Excel are limited.

(Where do they FIND these people? Aren’t there ANY qualified payroll people masochistic enough to jump into Big Payroll at the craziest time of the year? HR gave us a song and dance about finding the right person…just how awful were the wrong people?)

Anyway, today’s training with New Girl was:

1) Showing her how to input payroll for 3 people. Not 3 clients, 3 people. We got interrupted by two different clients calling in their stuff. The goal was that she’d then input the stuff but no such luck.

2) Shipping out 40+ payrolls.

3) Showed her where the copier/fax was. And then the CEO walked past while we were waiting for the copier/fax (the worst piece of equipment in the entire office) to reboot, while we were discussing dogs with the girl from tax who rescues dogs. Damn, damn, damn. (Seriously, it was 6:30 and the CEO is usually out the door by 5! Argh!)

I have learned that I am a terrible trainer and awful at letting go. New Girl is going to get to do the easy stuff while I’m back on the phones and boo hiss, I want to keep doing the easy stuff.

In other news…

1) I broke the hell out of a fingernail about two months ago (while opening a case of Cherry Pepsi), damaging the nail bed. Today the rest of the nail fell off so now my right middle finger looks like a horror show. Awful.

2) Gene’s out of town, it’s 10 PM and he hasn’t called. Other hilarity during this ridiculously long trip includes The Time His Female Coworker Answered His Cellphone and The Time A PowerPoint Slide Had Gene’s Last Name Listed as Same As Female Coworker’s.

3) Dr. Hottie called in a prescription for Crazy Pills for Elaine so now I can officially fire Dr. Always Late. Strike that, I fired him last week. Yay! Now to file the insurance claims to get back some of the ridiculous money that I have paid Dr. Always Late.

4) I had a spontaneous phone interview today with a company located about a quarter mile from my current employer. They use a software package that I’ve never heard of but could it really be any different from the 4 different packages I’ve already used? They didn’t blanche at my salary ballpark. I may escape from the Isle of Big Payroll yet.

 


Weekend…

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Saturday I worked from 10-5 and then went to Target (yeah, some boycott…).  I made it home about 7:40, took an Ambien soon after and woke up sprawled on the dog bed in the living room about midnight.

Sunday, I went to the mall with Denise and bought some cute clothes and went out for Mexican food.

The rest of the weekend was Netflix and a little laundry. Whoops, forgot to clean the house.


Bah

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I’m having one of those moments where I wish we still used credit cards because I would go crazy buying things that I want and may or may not actually need. Cute boots (Elaine, but you don’t WEAR boots, you idiot!), goorrrrgeous handbag (Elaine, you need another purse like you need a hole in your damn head). Is there anything more ridiculous than the idea of me with $200 boots, an (gulp) $800 purse, ill-fitting pants with wonky zipper and a pilly $7 Old Navy t-shirt? No!

Bah. I’m going to go move laundry around and get the hell away from the twin demons of Shoebuy and Bag Borrow or Steal. I should probably disconnect the internet altogether and hide my cell phone. And debit card. And car keys.


Year in Review 2011

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1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

The only thing I can think of is that I really started to follow Twitter. I don’t Tweet that often but it’s very interesting. Ooh, and I also started texting. I love my smartphone!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
So apparently my 2011 resolutions were to dress nicer, embrace Tough Love and have more fun. And get my super awesome certification. I think I’m 1 for 4, although I’m doing better about the Tough Love thing. My 2012 resolutions are to read more books and worry less.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My boss did, but we’re not close. Fingers crossed for anyone hoping for a 2012 baby!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I got this one wrong last year, but in 2011 I’m pretty sure that no one close to me passed away.

5. What countries did you visit?
I am marooned in the Isle of Big Payroll but I did not visit any non-imaginary countries.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

2011 was mostly a non memorable year for me, but let’s go with October 4, the day I got my certification. I think. It may have been the 3rd or the 5th but it was definitely October.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I received my super hard payroll certification. We also adopted Sadie Pot Pie.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I fail at something every day so it’s pretty hard to determine which one is biggest.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A near constant sinus infection in July and August.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Sadie Pot Pie. And Silver Dog. And the smartphone. Ooh, and my Ugg Cardis. Love them.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Gene’s, for making amazing progress. I am so proud of him and I really think that the last 4 years (which have ranged from hard to fucking impossible) have made us closer.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Someone’s ex-something. Stupid whore. (Same answer since at least 2008)

14. Where did most of your money go?
Visa (and it’s paid off, WOOT), and a puta estupida (May 2012 is coming, bitch! Save. Your. Pennies).

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My awesome blue pedicure.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

That Pumped Up Kicks song. Some of the radio stations here censor the words “Gun” and “Bullet”.

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

Sadder maybe, but it’s just part of the anxiety I’m trying to fix.

18. Thinner or fatter?

Fat fat fat fat fat. I think I weigh 900 lbs. But I have been informed that I have low triglycerides, which I understand is a good thing, so yay!

19. Richer or poorer?
In my mind I feel one of them but in reality it’s the other. We’re doing OK but not “Elaine can be a housewife” OK.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d taken more time off. The new job’s policy on vacation is that we can roll over up to 40 hours from year to year but not sick time and I have 20 hours that I didn’t use. Sad. Stupid healthy Elaine.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Freaking the F out about work stuff when I’m supposed to be sleeping.

22. How will you be spending Christmas? Xmas 2011: at home, just Gene and I and the dogs. We’re making a standing rib roast on Christmas eve and then going to the movies on Xmas day.

23. Did you fall in love in 2011?

No

24. Any one night stands?

Nothing new on the nightstand front…but we did paint our bedroom and replace our ceiling fan.

25. What was your favorite TV program?

Gossip Girl, Ringer, Community. I’m kind of done with Glee.

26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No one new, although I am not a Fan of My Boss.

27. What was the best book you read? OMG, the Hunger Games trilogy. I am SO stoked for the first movie, which is being released the day after my birthday in 2012. YAY.

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don’t think I had any newly discovered music. I’m still listening to a lot of Top 40 but my The Very Best of Don Henley CD gets some play too sometimes.

29. What did you want and get?
My pretty new cardy Ugg boots, my bedroom repainted

30. What did you want and not get?
While I wouldn’t have refused a baby, I also didn’t get to go to Vegas in November. Oh well. Maybe next year?

31. What was your favorite film of this year?
Bridesmaids.

32. What did you do on your birthday?
Worked until only 6:15 (HUGE!), had sushi for dinner with Gene, hung out with Denise that Saturday.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
GETTING PREGNANT. It never, ever goes away. Seriously, the year I turn 60 I’ll still think, “Huh, I really thought 2037 would be my year…” I wrote this in last year’s year in review but it’s still true. I had a ‘scare’ in November but that’s all it was.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Lame. Other than my cute new boots, I am so shlumpy, it’s ridiculous. I think I’ll order new black shoes in January. (Edited: Frickin fraking budget. Maybe February).

35. What kept you sane?
This hasn’t actually been the sanest of years so I’m going to leave it at that.

36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Blah blah blah Henley c. 1991.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?
None, I’m not even remotely interested in politics. Well, I’m still annoyed that Congress or the President or whoever won’t extend the Social Security tax cut for one more *&^#ing month so Big Payroll won’t tear their hair out over it.

38. Who did you miss?
The Boy. The Boy. The Boy. And Blanche. And Grandma.

39. Who was the best new person you met?
I don’t recall meeting many new people, but I did meet a new puppy (Sadie!)

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

A good mental health professional is worth their weight in gold; a bad one is just burning money.

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

The more I know, the less I understand

All the things I thought I’d figured out, I have to learn again

(Don Henley, The Heart of the Matter)