Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Whining Wednesday

Can you believe we've been playing No Whining Wednesday for 3 months now?  That's 12 weeks of making a concerted effort to focus on the positives (for one day a week) rather than the negatives.  That's pretty damn impressive, mon petite chou-chous!   For 1/4 of a year we've all chosen to turn our frowns upside down (okay, maybe not - but we've TRIED and that's the important part)!

My dad told me a lot of shit over the years (seriously A LOT of shit), but one thing he consistently told me is, "what goes around comes around" and he's not wrong.  It may not happen immediately, but I've seen it happen enough to believe it's true.  It's kind of the same concept with No Whining Wednesday. I'm a big believer in "you get what you give".  I can't speak for the rest of you, but for me, I both look forward to and dread Wednesdays.  I dread it because I know that I have to watch my stupid mouth and not be an asshole even though it's my automatic response and I look forward to it because I know that all of you are watching your mouths and not being assholes, too! 

I want to clarify a couple of misconceptions about NWW for people who've been around since it started and also for new readers (Hi, new readers!  I don't know why Blogger doesn't tell me when new people start following, but don't you think that would be a good idea?) who may want to participate, but aren't sure of the specifics.  You don't have to be sprinkles and light and not have a bad day.  I think I may have given the impression that you have to *only* talk about positive and happy things even if your day sucks beyond the telling of it.  That's not true.  Just try to find a way to focus on the up-side or find one good thing in that shitty day.  Find the good in the situation.  Even if you have to really s t r e t c h to find it, I promise you'll feel slightly better (if only for 2 seconds) when you identify the positive spin.  Like the cartoon above illustrates, your mood is up to you.  Also, I think some people think that by NOT posting about anything positive, they're not playing.  So not true!  If you're just refraining from bitching about how rotten your day/life is, you're TOTALLY playing!  That's really what it's about.  It's not about only having a good day; it's about not letting your bad day overcome you or seep into everyone else's day.  Does that make sense?

There's a website I found this past weekend that sorta' exemplifies what No Whining Wednesday is about.  It's called, "It Made My Day" and it has some entries that are totally in line with the sentiment I'm trying to get across.  A lot of the entries lean toward the petty-ish, but a lot of them are about finding the silver lining without being all psycho pep squad about it.  Check it out and let me know if you agree.  Also, as usual, if you're feeling it, please let me know what good things are going on with you. You have no idea how much I look forward to your happy moments!

Happy No Whining Wednesday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Addictions, Obsessions, Fixations...

Recently, I've become fixated on three new foods.  Well, the foods aren't new; I'm sure they've been around for ages, but they're new to me.

Based on the recommendation of my friend Kellie (who makes up one third of my brain, which is composed of me, Kellie and Anna von Beaverplatz - I'm not even lying, we are totally the same person!), I finally tried real maple syrup.  I'd only ever had imitation maple syrup, like Mrs. Butterworth and Log Cabin and I didn't really like them very much, so I assumed I wouldn't really care for the real stuff on which it was based.  So, yeah, I was wrong.  Real maple syrup is the SHIT!  Ohmynomnomnom!  Every day I have to talk myself out of having pancakes, French toast or waffles.  Every day.  Because now, that's what I want all the time, just so I can put maple syrup on it.  And here's the thing, guys, real maple syrup is NOT cheap!  I bought this wee 3.4 oz bottle for almost $5.00 from the Amish Market (which is also a new obsession - I can't even stand going to the regular grocery store now because their produce sucks hairy, sweaty ballsacks.  The Amish Market has locally grown vegetables and fruit, fresh churned butter, cheese, fresh baked bread, maple syrup, homemade pies {and they have MINI pies, so I don't feel like a giant hoggy pig girl}, and beautiful and inexpensive flower bouquets.  I love the Amish Market SOO much!)  FIVE DOLLARS for like 1/3 of a cup!  So worth it though.  A little goes a long way and it just has so much more flavor than fake syrup and it's not sickly sweet.  If you haven't tried it, I recommend picking up some.  Don't waste your money on the Canadian crap though.  You can get US made and then you're not contributing to the impolite, hockey-loving Canadian economy.  Fucking Canadians, all superior (oh, pardon, "superiour") with their REAL fucking maple syrup.

The other food I've become addicted to is spaghetti squash.  Mmmm, spaghetti squash...  Evidently, people put pasta sauce on it and use it as a substitute for traditional spaghetti.  I haven't done that yet.  The texture isn't even similar to pasta, so I'm not sure I could fully embrace that dish.  However, baking the squash (which I call "squish" because I amuse myself for reasons I'm completely unable to explain) and then using a fork to separate the strands, like spaghetti, and eating it with butter, salt and pepper or with butter & brown sugar is so yummy!  It's even good mixed with rice and Chinese food.  I had some leftover Spicy Brocolli and only a little bit of rice, so rather than making more rice (because I'm lazy - I feel certain that we've covered this fact before), I added a clump of the spaghetti squash to the mixture.  It had a great texture and was a bit healthier (or at least less carby) than white rice.  The squish is a bitch to cut before you cook it, fucking rind is HARD, but if you nuke it in the microwave for about 5 minutes and let it cool a bit, it's easier to cut it in half so you can bake it.  Also, I wouldn't have known to do this if Resa hadn't mentioned it, but you can totally roast/bake the squish seeds like you would pumpkin seeds.  They make for a damn tasty little snack!

Speaking of seeds, I've recently become obsessed with black sesame seeds.  I put them on *everything*.  I add them to salads, the aforementioned squish, crackers and cream cheese, asparagus or any steamed vegetable, Chinese food, etc.  They're delicious and nutty tasting with a tiny, little crunch to them.  They're ridiculously high in fat, so I'm not sure what's up with that.  I love seeds and nuts, so finding these and the squish seeds pleases me greatly.

Are you fixated on any foods right now?  Anything you'll pay WAY too much for?  Any spaghetti squash recipes for me?  Know any Canadians who are all stuck up about their delicious syrup?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Am Not the Mom of You!

This has been a challenging week at work.  Well, hell, most weeks are challenging, this one has just been mildly more irritating in its challenges.  I was tasked by the VP and Directors to create & head a committee of employees to come up with ways to "fix" the office.  Fix morale, fix shitty attitudes, fix low productivity, fix high turnover.  Yeah, that shouldn't be too hard, right?  I mean, gee, "Here Lainey, in addition to all of your regular responsibilities, we are charging you with changing the attitudes of 370 people of varying personalities, ages, genders, socio-economic backgrounds, etc.  You need to make 370 people 'like each other and like their jobs'.  You're creative and we haven't been able to do it, so here ya' go.  Make it happen!"

So, I'll get on that this week, but I have to make sure I leave time for the following conversations that I have daily:  (I'm not making any of these up.)

Employee #1 - I don't know what to do anymore.  The co-worker in the next cube over eats chips and salsa every afternoon and the smell is killing me.  Can you make her stop or move my desk?

Employee #2 - My co-worker hums.  It's really annoying and I can't take it anymore.  Also, she chews gum pretty loud.  Can you please send out an email telling people to be respectful of the people around them?

Employee #3 - Someone is wearing really strong perfume or lotion and it's giving me a headache.  Can you please send out a reminder email that people shouldn't wear strong scents because some people are sensitive and have allergies?  (By the way, we send this out at least 5 times a year and we cover it EXTENSIVELY in New Hire Orientation.  It doesn't work.)

Employee #4 - My co-worker made fun of me today because I'd never heard of putting sour cream on jojos.  My grandmother is dying and I don't appreciate being made fun of.  Can you please move her to another department or tell her she can only talk to me about work-related things?

Employee #5 - Why do the heavier employees get to wear leggings/stretch pants if the rest of us can't?  I don't think it's fair.  They have stores for bigger people, why can't they get clothes that fit them when we're expected to adhere to the dress code?

Employee #6 - I need copies of my paystubs for the last 12 months.  (Me: did you save any of them?) I have most of them at home, but they're not in any kind of order and I'm missing some, but I don't know which ones and I need them today because I'm trying to get a loan.  Can you just print them all out?  (Without going into the system and individually opening 26 paystubs and reprinting them, no, I can't just print them all out.)

Employee #7 - (Anonymous note on my desk) Please make the supervisors stop calling employees "honey" or "sweetie".  It's insulting and demeaning.  It's unprofessional.  They should be written-up.

Employee #8 - My supervisor has cankles and someone needs to make her wear long pants instead of skirts because it makes me want to puke when I see her legs.  (Ok, I *might* have made this one up, but it's not that far-fetched.)

Employee #9 - Someone stole my Pepsi out of the refrigerator.  This is the 5th time this has happened.  Can we set up a security camera?  (Yes, we'll set up a camera for your $.60 soda.)

Employee #10 (my boss) - Ohmygod, did you watch "Two and a Half Men" last night?  It is HILARIOUS!  God, I love that show!

So, surely I'm not the only one with petty co-workers.  What's the most ridiculous/silly/whiny/petty thing you've heard from your co-irkers or supervisor?  Please help convince me that while my employees are "special", they aren't unique.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FANfreakinFABULOUS Fall!

Happy No Whining Wednesday and Happy First Full Day of Fall!  (I love alliteration so much because I am a doofy dorkface!)

You guys, I love fall so much.  SOOOOO much!  The trees are just now starting to change and having grown up in San Diego with palm trees & perpetually green leaves, it's still breathtaking to me every year when the trees here change color.  I drive over a bridge (well, two bridges actually, but I'm usually SPEEDING over one of them and I can't look around at the scenery...sorry, tangent...) on my way to work and watching the valley change colors during the next month will make me happy every single morning, if only for an instant; I look forward to it every year.  

I start cooking in fall.  Crock Pot meals that cook all day and smell amazing when I walk in the door after work.  Giant pots of chili simmering.  I might buy a bread machine and see if that's something I like.  I see the pictures Figgy posts (oooh, happy birthday, figster!!!) of the gorgeous loaves of bread and I can only imagine how fantastic fresh baking bread would smell....mmmmm.....yeah, I'm gonna' buy a bread machine! 

I love wearing my fuzzy socks and my flannel jammie pants. I can't wait to wrap myself in my pretty fleece blanket (Sarina's making me a blanket.  Why?  Because she is AWESOME and because she loves me even though I yell at her and shun her.) and curl up with a book.  I love rolling down the windows in my car and turning on my heated seats.  I love wearing darker colors because I look really good in dark purples and dark greens and because I often spill shit down the front of my boobs and I feel darker colors hide it better.  There are just so many things to love about fall!  Even the name, "autumn" sounds beautiful, doesn't it? 

Ok my little sweet potatoes, what's your favorite thing about fall?  (And don't say summer's your favorite season - I don't give a shit.  We're talking about fall.)   What do you look forward to each autumn?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Whining Wednesday Whatchamajiggy

Ok, quick and dirty (no, Cindy, it's not the SEX story...sorry!  BUT, keep checking back.  You never know when the SEXY SEX story might pop up)!

I was at the Amish Market after work today (I got a basket of the most delicious strawberries and this wee basket of tiny pears for 99 cents - I have no idea why I even go to the regular grocery store) and I'm perusing the asparagus when one of the stockboys walks by and kind of trips on ...nothing?... There was a woman about 35ish and her daughter standing next to me.  The mom (quietly & in a sing-songy voice) said to the daughter, "toe pick!"  I giggled like a dork because ...well, because I'm a dork, but also because *I* say that in my head every time I trip (which is a lot, granted, but I don't trip on *nothing*.  I trip on real, tangible things, like lint and dust and AIR!  I'm not a total spaz.)   If you've never seen "The Cutting Edge", you probably have no idea why this is funny to me, but I've seen it 5320 times and I love that stupid ice skating movie so much!

So, there was that little giggle and my bowl of strawberries, grapes, pineapple and pears and I'm pretty content.  It's in the low to mid 70's all week, I have a few new readers (HI there, new readers!!  I don't like saying "followers".  It sounds all Charles Manson-y)  and I'm ready for Wednesday!  I'm not even going to mention (I'm such a lying liar.  I'm TOTALLY gonna' mention it.) how excited I am about new episodes of Bones, The Office, Glee, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia this week, because there's more to life than teevee, ya' know? (No there's not)

Tell me kids, what good things do YOU have going on this week?  Tell me, tell me, tell me!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time to Put on My Big Girl Panties

No, this isn't about how I'm gaining weight (although, if I keep buying caramel apples and banana cake & pretending they count as a fruit, then my ballooning weight might be the next entry), it's about me needing to "man up" and get through tomorrow morning and the next few weeks.

My office crush resigned.  Yesterday, you'll remember, was No Whining Wednesday, so even though this happened at 10:00, I kept my mouth shut (except for a couple of strongly worded emails to Sarina) about it.  It would be sad if he was just my crush, but he's more.  In the last year, he's become my friend.  He's one of the VERY few people I can talk to and in whom I can confide at work.  I can be myself around him and not some robotic HR version of myself.  And, I think, he can be himself around me.  We camp out in each others offices when shit's going down and we've had it with the staff.  On Friday afternoons, we eat chocolate and surf the internet shopping for Movado watches, (which, OMG, do I want one SOOOOO badly [wait, for real, is it 'badly' or 'bad'?  Why can I never remember the rules for adverbs?] but yeah, I can't drop $800 on a watch, but ohhh, so shiny!) and bitch about the retarded decisions the senior executives are making.  I can call him anytime and say, "Got a minute?" and if he's not in a meeting or on a conference call, he says, "Sure, come on up.  Bring chocolate."  Or he'll get finished with a particularly aggravating meeting and he'll come to my office, quietly close the door, sit down in the visitor chair and exclaim (in a loud whisper), "FUCKING IDIOT COCKSUCKERS" and then stand up, nod at me, smile and leave the room.  We get each other.  That's not easy in my position or in his because we always have to be on our best behavior and you never really know who you can trust & a lot of people in upper management are arrogant jerks.  I've trusted him since the "Peanu(t)s" incident, I guess, and he's trusted me since the first time he lost his temper about an employee and dropped the F-Bomb and instead of looking shocked or admonishing him, I laughed. 

So anyway, I've known about it since yesterday, but wasn't allowed to discuss it with anyone until today and that blew!  So when the supervisor called me this morning at 9:03, crying , I started crying and it was just a big ol' crying thing, off and on, for most of the day.  Because, in addition to being all kinds of adorable, he's good at his job and replacing him is going to SUH-HUCK and his supervisor is going to have to pick up the slack until a new director is hired and is up to speed. It's a lot of work. 

The staff will be told tomorrow morning and I have to go sit there, stoicly, and be the "HR Presence" when it's announced and I can't cry or even register any emotion.  My stupid, little, asshole heart is being ripped out right now because I will miss him so much.  With him and Jackie both gone, I have no one at work that I can really talk to.  No one I can be my obnoxious, snarky, sarcastic self with.  I can't talk to anyone when my boss declares that she can't decide who she loves more: Nickelback or Creed...I mean COME ON, I need to be able to laugh with someone about that shit, right? 

This was pretty long and rambling and it really boils down to me being a big, whiny, baby, but I needed to get it out.  It's been eating at my insides and I thought maybe if I got it out, it would be easier to sit impassively at the meeting tomorrow.  If you've read this far and haven't made the "L" for loser sign with your thumb and forefinger, you're a peach.  Thanks for that!

So, in conclusion, do any of you know a cute guy with a Master's Degree in Finance who's looking for a job? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009



Happy No Whining Wednesday, y'all!

I don't have much to add to this week's entry, but I'm going to dig deep and come up with something.

1)  My skin is really soft right now.  I have no idea why, but I like it and I keep petting my face.

2)  My inappropriate crush on one of the Directors at work is now shared by one of his subordinates!  It's so awesome.  She's the supervisor for his department and we act like dorky, giggly 16-year-olds; calling each other in the morning, "Have you seen him today?" "YES, he looks so adorable!  He's wearing your favorite shirt." "OMG, teeheehee!"  And then I find a reason to go upstairs to her office so we can casually stroll by his office to say "hi".  Yep, I'm a spaz and I don't really care.  It's amusing as hell and the supervisor and I are having a ball acting like moron teenagers.  I'm fairly certain that this will be HILARIOUS when I'm packing my personal belongings in a box and being escorted out of the building...

3)  The President of the United States addressed school children today and I have yet to see a parade of zombified, Commie kids roaming the street attempting to round up Death Panels to kill all the old people - ooh, like "Children of the Corn"!  OUTLANDERS!!  So, yeah, I think that's something good, right?  I mean, think of the HORRORS that could have occurred from THE PRESIDENT addressing innocent schoolchildren and encouraging them to stay in school, work hard and take personal responsibility for their successes and failures.  Oh no, just IMAGINE the horror!!!  Holy balls people are retarded.  
(Ok, so that last one wasn't really a No Whining Wednesday thing, but it needed to be said and it's my blog, so fuck it, I said it.)

4)  Blogger has a new editor, so I can write in red and I can cross out strikethrough and write really big or really small and I can change the font to different styles now.  There are no limits to the AWESOME things I can do ... but, yeah, I'll probably still write in the default style with bold and italics and *s because I'm very lazy and I don't really embrace change.

What's going on with you guys?  Anything new and fun?  Anything sorta boring, but not sucky?  Anything?  Anyone?  Don't be shy! 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Should Have Been a Pre-School Teacher...

An employee, in her late 20's/early 30's sent me an email this morning. It read, "I know you're very busy and there's a lot going on, but can I please come down and talk to you? It's not urgent, but it's pretty important." I told her to come down. This is what she said:

Employee: There's a girl in my department who calls me a nickname and *sniff*, I don't know what to dooooooo!

Me: What does she call you?

Emp: Queen Bee

Me: Ok, have you asked her to stop?

Emp: *crying* Nuuhh-uu-hh

Me: Ok. Have you thought about just asking her to not call you that?

Emp: *sniffle* Yes, but I didn't want her to be mad at me. *snuffle* I don't want to cause any problems or anything.

Me: Ok, hmm. Does she say it in a mean way? I mean, does she have an aggressive tone of voice or expression?

Emp: Nuh-uh.

Me: Hmm. Ok. Um, are you here because you'd like me to ask her to stop calling you that?

Emp: *snifflesnort* Whull, yeah. Um, I mean, I don't want to make a big deal out of it or anything because I don't want her to be mad at me.

Me: So, ok...Do you think she would be less upset by being called down to HR & being talked to? Do you think if you just maybe said, "Hey, um, I know you're just goofing around, but can you not call me that?"

Emp: *gulp* Yabbut, I'm afraid if I say something to her about it, she'll get upset & think I'm being a baby.

REALLY???? Why in the world would she ever think you're being a baby? *sigh* How do you function?

People, your Human Resources department is there to help you and make sure you're being treated fairly and everyone's following all the rules and crap, but we are NOT here to be your mom! In fact, if you act like this, your mom should be fucking smacked for failing to teach you to put on your big girl/boy panties and grow the hell up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whatcha Watchin'?

I think I watch too much tv. Yeah, I'm actually pretty certain that I do. I am WAY too excited about the new tv season starting! I'm already planning my tv events. I *cannot* wait until "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" comes back on September 17th and I'm looking forward to the new Joel McHale show "Community", which I think also starts on the 17th. I watched the pilot online and it was pretty funny. I really liked the pilot for "Glee" that aired in May and am looking forward to seeing more of it. I think the pilot is being re-aired tonight at 9:00, so if you missed it, you should check it out. It's pretty darling.

I've also succumbed to the "Doctor Who" peer pressure over on Pajiba. Steven Lloyd Wilson's articles really piqued my interest and then Dustin's ringing endorsement finished the job - I need to watch this show. It's available on Instant Viewing through Netflix, so I may try to get in a season or two before the fall network season kicks in and I allow it to suck up all of my free time.

I haven't watched the season finale yet of "Fringe". It's stored on my DVR and I was holding off until right before the new season starts up, but I'm getting antsy because I forgot that stupid FOX doesn't usually start their fall season until after the World Series, which is when? October? I don't know. The fucking Indians are never going to be in the stupid World Series, so I don't really pay any attention. OOOH and then there's basketball - I think that starts up again in like October, so I'm going to be tied to the tube watching the Cavs with the new combo of Lebron and Shaq. Until they start losing and then I'll get bored and unless my dad gets me loge tickets again, I'll go back to not giving a shit about basketball.

It goes without saying (except obviously it doesn't, since I'm going to say it anyway) that I can't wait for "30 Rock" to come back and "The Office" (but only episodes when they don't actually leave the office. Those episodes outside of the office tend to get on my nerves because they're SO slapsticky and over the top). I'm curious to see what Joss does with the second season of "Dollhouse" and to see if Eliza Dushku's acting improved over the summer. I'm betting it didn't, but I'm going to be POSITIVE and hope it does (there's my No Whining Wednesday contribution)!

I'm sure there are other shows I'm missing. "Friday Night Lights" and the final season of "LOST" don't air until next year, so I'm not including them. What am I forgetting? What are you looking forward to watching and are there any returning shows you recommend checking out?

Oh and happy No Whining Wednesday! I've been off work for 4 days in a row, so Wednesday is either going to be a piece of cake (mmmm...cake...) or it's going to irritate the crap out of me to be back at the office. If things start going south, I'm going to really try to remember that it's only a 3-day workweek and then it's a 3-day weekend.

I want to hear from you kids. What are you looking forward to? Tv stuff? Holiday weekend plans? Just general life stuff? What keeps you going through the week?