Monday, July 31, 2006

Rough weekend

Well, we did manage to move one load on Saturday (thank you Stefanie - you and your trailer were again an amazing aid to helping me!!! and thank you to the three teens plus Big A that did most of the heavy lifting in 3 digit weather!!!).

Didn't try a second load - it was bad enough doing one.

Saturday night evening, once it cooled off a bit, I managed to reload the SUV with a ton of boxes and took it to the apartment on my own on Sunday morning. I spent a couple of hours unpacking and sorting stuff out at the apartment - even managed to empty a few boxes of "where the heck should I put this junk" kinds of things!

Then I headed out to my mom's to pick up little A. Who has managed to get VERY spoiled all over again by grandma dear! She rarely cooks - so she had to make sure he ate what he cooked instead of cooking and getting "I no want" from my little stinker. What she doesn't get is that at home - if he says "I no want" I set the plate aside and he comes back about ten minutes later and eats it. I think there's only been two dishes in the past three years that he really didn't like.

Oh, well, it's a grandmother's perogitive to spoil!

But, the fun didn't truly begin until I made it to Cedar Rapids... my sister, the shopping expert, found me a $30 box spring & mattress for the single bed... and then with mom's help found out that Slumberland was having a $99 mattress sale - so I got my other box spring & mattress brand new for only $200 - a Simmons mattress, nonetheless. I've been looking, and I had complained to her the day before that I could never find a $99 mattress sale when you need one!!!! And, lo and behold there was one in Cedar Rapids. When it looked like they might have been sold out, we asked to see if we could get it in Des Moines instead at that price (which would have meant I could pay for delivery)... but the sale was local to CR. When we discussed buying mattresses before I left Des Moines - my sister had said that she had straps for strapping them to my luggage rack... problem was that she didn't realize that the two straps she had were only 6' each. So I ran over to Home Depot which is a connected parking lot and spent $30 on new straps.

This was all on the way to my moms... so after a lot of waiting and standing in unbearable heat - and moving things that I was giving my sister from my car to hers - and then fitting a twin mattress/box springs into the back of the SUV, and a full mattress/box spring on top... I headed out to my mom's. As I pull into the driveway - one of the straps slips and gets wrapped somehow around the front axle. I stopped asap - tried to roll backwards to see if it would un-wrap... which only tightened it worse. I disconnected & reconnected it - but the strap showed some rough edges. I was worried about it - but everyone thought it would be fine.... from my mom's heading towards Cedar Rapids to head home though - the strap broke. This is at 7:30 pm on a Sunday evening. As anyone from Iowa can tell you - most of the stores are shut at this time!!! I re-finagled the straps enough to get me the rest of the way to Cedar Rapids. That only got me about ten miles - before another strap broke. Wouldn't you know it - I manage to pull over into a bunch of nettles (wearing sandles and shorts... to rework the straps!!!!) But, I had enough still attached - so I reworked them yet again - which got me as far as Walmart the only 24-hour store I was sure would be open to pick up new straps.

Since this is now after 8:00 pm - and knowing I needed to pick up a few things for Monday morning - I go ahead and pick up diapers, wipes, etc for the new daycare Little A starts today... as well as my new straps.

I make it all the way back out to the car (well after 9:00 pm at this point, as anyone shopping with a 3 yr old can attest is actually a QUICK trip to Walmart). Only to find out that the stupid straps were connected to the package with screws. So, back into the store again to buy a cheap screwdriver!!!??WTF???

Good news is that all the remaining straps seemed to last/work not get caught in the axle, not break - not anything... I made it back to Newton at 11:00 pm... which was too late (in my mind) to mess with packing an overnight bag and head to Des Moines to spend our first night in the apartment. Guess we'll save that for tonight!

Good news? I made it home... I have new mattresses... Someday they'll make it to the apartment... and even if I'm not finished moving yet... I will someday! I'm sure.

Big A? in the dog house. He's been a complete butt and totally inconsiderate. When I went downstairs to pack up the bar glasses (IKEA glasses) - he told me that he would handle it. I said, ok, thanks. Went upstairs to get different boxes, and came back down to pack books. Again - "I'll take care of it". I just wish I knew then what I know now - that in teenager speak "I'll take care of it" translates to "I'm not going to do it, but I want you to leave." Grr... He packed one box of glasses and quit for the night.

He had told me he was going to ask his friends to help move on Saturday - but then didn't tell them to come at 10:00 am which is when I wanted to start - "because we wouldn't be packed by then"... which was his decision because he chose not to pack the things he said he was going to pack. Oh, and this is the first time I hear the words out of his mouth "I never told him to pack his things".... even though I told him twice he had two weeks to have his things packed whether he was moving with us or whether he was staying in Newton - because either way, he was moving out of the house. I apparantly am lying when I say that I had told him to pack already because he has been waiting "every minute of every day" waiting for me to tell him to pack. Christ - was I feeling pissed off. It wasn't worth arguing with him, and it was too hot to think.

Sunday, I asked him to do 3 loads of laundry.... "No problem" which translates to "duh, you said do laundry right - ok, one load should do it."

I've told him I would prefer that he NOT move to Des Moines... am I being a b*tch... or is it right to say that if he isn't going to do the things he's asked to do, that I shouldn't support his efforts in avoiding all work and responsibility? btw - no job yet, Walgreens, HyVee, etc are all refusing to hire him.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My turn - Questeions, questions...

1. What is your full name now? Penny Jo Heeren
2. What colour pants/trousers are you wearing??? Black & white diagnally striped skirt
3. What are you listening to right now? Recording of the Office
4. Where were you last night? Home
5. What was the last thing you ate? Chicken tenders with BBQ sauce, Egg Rolls with chicken & a tangy sauce inside... and pork pot bellies at Star Bar as an appetizer
6. Do you wish on stars ? when I was little
7. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? purple
8. How is the weather right now? Hot - about 85 F and it's after 8 pm
9. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my mom
10. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes (I wouldn't reply otherwise!!)
11. How old are you today?? 40 years, 29 days
12. Favorite drink? buttershots and baileys
13.Hair colour? blond with a little bit of really, really dark hair at the roots.... :-( I'm actually thinking it's so dark it's not mousey brown any more... and have thought briefly about dying it auburn
15.What was the last movie you watched? three-fourths of Cars with litte A until he decided to head home
16. Favourite day of the year: an easy day
17. What was your favourite toy as a child?? Ms. Betsy doll
18. Summer or winter? summer - except maybe the triple digit days
19. Hugs or kisses?? depends on who it is !!!
20. Chocolate or Vanilla?? chocolate
21. Do you want your friends to answer you back? of course!
22. Who is most likely to respond- Stefanie
23. Who is least likely to respond? my mom
24. Living arrangements? moving to an apartment day after tomorrow
25. When was the last time you cried? last winter
26. Favorite TV show? House
27. Happy in life?? Yes
28. What are you afraid of ? having a serious stroke and being completely disabled
29. Plain, buttered or salted popcorn? Not a fan of popcorn - but buttered & salted if any
30. Favorite car? mustang
31. Favorite Flower? Rose
32. Number of keys on your key ring? WHICH ONE???? Normal - five, three house, one who can remember? and the key to the Toyota... been borrowing Big A's keys for the Saturn - that has three house keys plus the key for the Saturn... then there's the key ring with the apartment keys - that has four keys - two identical keys for the door and two identical keys for the mail box... then there's the key ring for the storage locker - with two keys... geez!!!
33. How many years at your current job? 1 year - but on Tuesday, I start my new "job" doing the same thing at the same place with a different employer signing the checks
34. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
35 How many cities have you lived in? jsut big towns, not any cities
36. Do you make friends easily? Social friends, yes - takes me a while to make good friends though
37. How many people will you be sending this to? four

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Does anyone else believe that bad things happen in threes?

I do... and the proof?

1. The other night I got pulled over for doing 30 mph in a 25 zone. About ten feet past the sign where it changes from 35 to 25. At least she only gave me a warning. This was last week - I didn't post it because, I was waiting for number 3 so I could tell the whole story.

2. We have an overflow parking lot that is actually a city lot at work. If the regular parking lots are full, you have to park on the other side of a six-lane street with medium (and no crosswalk). No biggie, it's only another block away from work... yeah, it's a pain to cross the street... but eh... Only after work, as I was walking back to my car. I'm standing in the medium waiting for the cars to go by. There's more cars sitting at a red light about two blocks away (and I'm sure it's about to turn green). I decide that even if it does turn green. They can see me pretty clearly, so even if I don't have time to cross fully, they have plenty of time to slow down. So... I cross with a little scurry (not much, it was over 100 degrees that afternoon).... and then I scurry a little faster, and a little faster - why? Because I've got this big old SUV barrelling at me... picking up speed. The jerk actually had the nerve to honk at me just as I get up on the curb, so that he knows I know how close he came to hitting me. JERK. Only it doesn't end there. I get back to my car and have a $40 parking ticket because I'd forgotten the work tag in the other vehicle and it's illegal to park in this lot with out it. It's the only time we need the tag - so as I've been switching back and forth between car and SUV all week - I spaced it. Grrr very irritated with myself.

3. Last night as I was heading toward the interstate after work - someone called my attention to the fact that I had a low tire... great... I'm downtown... the closest gas station for air is about twenty blocks back or fifteen blocks forward... so I head to the closest one. I get there and I realize that I'm about five pounds of air short of having a flat tire. Hmmmm... it's not flat. But, I've been driving on side walls - but not with the rims... hmmmm.... I put air in it, it seems fine. I think - well, if it'll get me home, I'll be fine - right? Ten miles shy of home - the tire blows out. I make it to the side of the road fine... then realize that my son's jack is destroyed. Great. I spend an hour on the side of the road on interstate 80 waiting for him to show up with a friend and my jack out of my SUV. Then I spend an hour waiting in line at Walmart to request a replacement. All after drinking about 40 ounces of water..... my gut still hurts - !

Oh, well, hope this means my string of bad luck with cars is over.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Big A may have a job

He's got a good lead on a job at Walgreen's here in town (which happens to be where another friend works)... don't know how many hours he'll get and if it'll be enough - but you know what - that'll be his issue. At least he's gotten on the ball. I've seen three to four different job applications sitting around which means at least he's looking finally.

He's determined not to move, I think... but he waited until 10 days before final move date. So who knows how well this'll go!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Trouble getting started today

I've got about 38 hours in before I came in to work today. I've been here over 3 hours and have completed only about 10 minutes worth of real work. I'm trying... I'm just struggling getting going. I know this happens when I try to do too much... but what am I to do? I have work and a lot of it, and a ton of packing/moving to do. I'm hoping to spend Saturday working and Sunday packing/moving & unpacking while my dear, dear friend babysits little A - he's determined to go to L's house anyway... thankfully!

The plan are to pack my two bookcases that are in Big A's room (fiberboard... cheap, but effective and skinnier than my oak bookcases) in the SUV and take them and put them into the apartment's spare storage room.... where I can unpack a bunch of extra food items (thanks again sis!) and "stuff" that doesn't really have a good home. That'll clear out a bunch of stuff and make room for new stuff that I haven't moved yet. So that during the week next week I actually have places to put things when I unload the SUV during the week.

Big A did two loads of laundry then promptly left them in the basement and disappeared for a few days. He's staying at friend's houses to avoid chores and a confrontation with me. I get it, I do... I never wanted to help out around the house really either... but still... I think he's convinced he'll be able to support himself at Newton - which would be great if he actually had a job or a good opportunity towards one. We'll wait and see I guess. If nothing else, he should be able to get a job at the speedway when it opens in a couple of months. Doubt he can support himself off something like that, but they'll need a ton of people for the special events.

It's official about the new job (again, I know). But this time - really. After I accepted the job offer, I had to sign a consent form for a background check which came back and I've been accepted as being non-fraudulent and not a criminal. Awesome and news for some of you, I'm sure. So, they finally made the official announcement today. I got an email from my bosses, bosses, boss... wants to take me out for lunch one day in a couple of weeks. Interesting. I've been working with the group now for about eight months and this will be the second time I've met him. Our group is the 'ugly stepchild' that does all the work and make the department look good - yet he only tends to deal with the employees in his other group. I got "congrats" emails from almost everyone in the "other" group... none from my own. Interesting.... hmmmm.... my supervisor - who I love working for - took me aside and reassured me (?) that if I were interested in perviewing the internal job postings that she would support me all the way (now that I'm officially on board)... not that she wants me to leave, but that she knows that my skills are such as they are and that I shouldn't let anything hold me back (???). Sweet girl, love to work with her and love her honesty. No matter what happens - I'd like to stay in touch with her. Reminds me as being a little milder but similar situation as to when I worked for Phil. She might be leaving soon unfortunately and has been outspoken to the point where it's affecting her in her current position (specifically regarding bosses boss.... junk). Whereby I've kept my friendship a little more low key than I would have otherwise because I think Phil & I were too much of a threat to certain bosses back in the day when I were cozy. That could have happened again... and even though it's ridiculus - it's still the game of office politics.

Anyway - long post, and I've managed to blow some more time. Maybe now I can get some work done. LOL

Can you tell, I'm avoiding work a bit???? lol

What Your Face Says

At first glance, people see you as down to earth and reliable.

Overall, your true self is moody and dynamic.

With friends, you seem logical, detached, and a bit manipulative.

In love, you seem like a huge flirt.

In stressful situation, you seem like you're oblivious to the stress.
Your Brain's Pattern
You're a simple thinker, and this is actually a very good thing.You don't complicate matters when you don't have to.You look for the simplest explanation or solution, and you go with that.As a result, your mind is uncluttered and free of stress.
What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a wanderer. You constantly long for a new adventure, challenge, or eve a completely different life.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You see yourself with pretty objective eyes. How you view yourself is almost exactly how other people view you.

Your near future is calm, relaxing, and pretty much what you want. And it's something you've been anticipating for a while now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sorting Laundry

OK - I know that I'm usually a slob (see how gross I am below)... but when it comes to sorting laundry I have five bins.... Whites, Darks & colors are how most people sort... I add a fourth for towels because I like to wash them separately (keeping lint off my good work clothes), and a fifth for reds because I have so many of them and I've had enough green and white shirts turn pink and white - that I feel better with reds in a separate bin....

But even then... it's pretty easy - if it's a towel - throw it here ... if it's white or red - there you go... all that's left is the darks and the light colors. Not exactly brain surgery.

But Big A feels that he's perfectly incapable of understanding my sorting system. I've long since determined its lack of motivation that is the issue... and the desire to try to prove incompetent so as to no longer have to do it at issue.

Last night while I traded a load of dishes in the dishwasher for doing the laundry sorting for him.... we discussed it. His issue? His only reason for not doing laundry for the past two weeks when he's done less than an hour of other chores? "Because I don't like touching your dirty clothes". Well, nobody likes to touch other people's dirty clothes - for goodness sake... why do you think a lot of women bitch about their men leaving dirty clothes on the floor. Because if it's in a hamper you're less focused on if it's briefs or nasty, smelly socks, or whatever... and you can "self-deny" the grossness of it all if it's in a basket....

So... how do you propose I motivate a teenager who leaves his dirty clothes/towels etc in the middle of the bathroom floor (knowing that I can't stand it there and will pick it up myself as opposed to leaving it in his bedroom where he knows he'd have to handle it and I can ignore it easier)? Postive reinfrocement???? Like what? let him do whatever he wants all day? Oh, wait, he's already doing that.... hmmm... like free room & board? No, wait, he has that too... Less responsibility? Nope.... his chores are laundry, taking the garbage out once a week....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A thought about blood clots

Even though I am suffering from a "clotting disorder" it does help to remember that there is a benefit to having strong clotting factors in your body... not that it's great all the time.

I got to thinking about it the other day... and while my father died from multiple PE's back in the late 60's... he had suffered extreme trauma before that. He was working as a construction worker on a staffolding that collapsed and he fell 40 feet to the cement parking lot below. He survived against all odds - and the more I think about it, the more I realize that we probably would never have had the three months with him after that accident if he didn't have a clotting disorder - that's probably why he and some of other ancestors that carry clotting disorder genes survived accidents or injurys that might have killed someone else. Albeit, he still died afterwards from blood clots from being laid up from the accident -but as the doctors learn more and more about clotting disorders (they hadn't even identified half of the known ones now back then) they can do more in clot prevention and the more we know about all this, the more likely it could save our lives in the future.

I don't know, maybe I'm just grasping at straws trying to look for a positive side.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Oh - and Bob --- you're still in trouble!

Little A is still bringing up L's party every single morning and every single night! The babysitter is dreaded even more than before. I'm trying to distract him by telling him he's going to be going to "school" soon (new daycare is ABC School of Learning daycare)... but no go.... all he wants to do is go back to L's party!!!

Bad Timing --- or moving sucks!

The heat this weekend was extreme - moving during this weekend and this heat was the worst example of bad timing that I've experienced in a very long time.

Either I was gasping for air, a friend was puking her guts out or my son was sitting with his head in the freezer. It was NOT a pleasant experience. Sweat getting in our eyes; or in my scratches ... burning! Oh, and yeah, I'm a complete clutz! I can't walk "over" the tailgate - half the time I have to trip over it tumble... roll... spin around... and stand up and do a bow afterwards... or at least it might have looked like a bow when I was checking out the damage to my feet and legs. Not too bad, thankfully! However, sweat & open skin are not a good combination.

Thankfully, Little A stayed with daddy the entire weekend - his first weekend at dad's house. Which went really well. I am completely filled with gratitude that he was comfortable doing this so that we could focus on moving and not chasing a little one around... and that he was in the cool, comfort and I wouldn't have to worry about him getting dehydrated or ill in this heat. It was hard enough keeping the three of us adults healthy.

Big A is determined to round up the troops for the rest of the big move... yahoo!!! Me, I'd rather be in the air conditioning ponting out where to take things!!!

I'm hoping to talk dear, dear, friend Stef who has gone far and beyond already... into babysitting little A on Sunday. So that the boys can play and Big A & I can get more things moved/packed/unpacked.... and I don't have to worry about the little one since it sounds like the heat wave is continuing into next weekend. Saturday is out for moving.... I've got a ton of overtime & am hoping to go to the blogger bash that's being promoted for Saturday evening... not sure I can make it, but that's my current plans.

Freaky....

Your Life Path Number is 3

Your purpose in life is to express your unique self.

You are a creative and artistic person with an interesting view on life.
Witty and outgoing, you enjoy sharing your crazy ideas with anyone who will listen.
A total social butterfly, you're the life of any party.

In love, you inspire and enchant your partner. You are often an object of fantasy and desire.

While you are very talented, you sometimes lack the ambition to put your talents in play.
And while your wit carries you a long way, you occasionally use it to mask your true feelings.
Your natural abilities can bring you all the success in the world ... if you let them

Birthdate - more of this creativity stuff?

Your Birthdate: June 29

You have the mind of an artist, even if you haven't developed the talent yet.
Expressive and aware, you enjoy finding new ways to share your feelings.
You often feel like you don't fit in - especially in traditional environments.
You have big dreams. The problem is putting those dreams into action.

Your strength: Your vivid imagination

Your weakness: Fear of failure

Your power color: Coral

Your power symbol: Oval

Your power month: November

Darn... I'm gross!

You Are 52% Gross

You're more than a little gross, but probably no more gross than the average person.
Maybe it's time to drop some of those disgusting habits that could eventually embarrass you!
People Envy Your Ingenuity

You're a person with unique ideas, big plans, and a zany outlook on life. Many people look to you for inspiration.
People envy your creativity and "who cares?" attitude. They feel very ordinary next to you - and they usually are!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Busy at work again

Had another 3-day working session - only this time it was with a slightly larger group. Since I'd gotten volunteered to participate in this effort because of my "organization" skills - i.e., computer/spreadsheet/database skills - I got to take a leadership role again. Long and grueling, but very necessary discussions to ensure that our new system works the way it needs to.

Starting to move this weekend, even though I think I only have about five boxes packed. It's a start and I know I need to take things kind of slow. Have NO idea how I'm going to fit everything, even with rented storage unit and a large storage area within the apartment itself. It's just not all going to fit - I know this... and yet... we'll just have to see, I guess.

Of, course, today and tomorrow are only going to be the hottest and most humid days yet this summer - but that's what I get for agreeing to wait until school was out - moving during the summer gets HOT!

Oh, and big bummer... I knew it was probable - but was waiting to find out for sure before worrying about it - but I'm going to have to pack up my waterbed! Grrr! I'd hoped that waterbeds were so out of fashion that they'd fallen off of leases. My last apartment didn't care that I had a waterbed, but it showed up on the lease - no waterbeds unless you're on the ground floor and have extra insurance that they offer..... so sad.... sob....

Anyway - Little A is off to spend the weekend with his dad - and big A is crashed and completely zonked out and in no shape to help tonight - but you can bet I'm going to work him twice as hard tomorrow because of it. So - light things and one trip tonight, come back, and pack up another load for tomorrow morning... and awaaaay we go!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Vent about idiots at work!!!

I can't go into any details - as some of it is highly confidential. But basically there are several hundred people working on a major financial software project, and as always, timelines are shorter than realistic - and while requirements aren't finalized yet, design has already started. Par for the norm for most companies - especially when timing is critical for delivery.

OK - so there are multiple "pieces" of software that all interact through a "translation" piece of software... and there are a ton of people on each team assigned their "piece". Makes sense so far, I'm sure. But, the "quality" people are raising a very pertinent concern that without good, clear, finalized requirements - how do we make sure that when team a says "financed amount" or "net loan amount" that team b knows where to find it - and how do we ensure that value a is passed between each of the "pieces" of software and doesn't get dropped or altered or misplaced anywhere between step 1 and step 99999999 ? Good question right?

So, it was decided that since each piece has to talk to the translation layer - we would require that each team "map" their data with descriptions of the data to the translation layer fields - and we would use a simple Access database to "bounce" each spreadsheet against the other all with this "pivotal" translation layer to enable us to compare descriptions and ensure that we are looking at the data from step 1 to the last step and ensure higher quality. Another option - where this might not be ready or current - is that we could also map to a glossary which is a common list of terms and definitions (which is a work in progress and in terrible shape as of right now - and completely not ready for us ot use for this). Great idea. I agree with the concept COMPLETELY.

However, the person who is in charge of gathering the requirements is a complete idiot. She's a member of a team that has gotten a lot of heat lately for delaying the requirements gather process in the first place for this project. This team has been prevented from participating in additional discussions of requirements and has in fact, cost my department positions as they moved our work (which was supposed to be managed by this team) to an outsourced vendor.

First mistake from the idiot? She spent very little time talking to the people doing this "mapping" process to understand their concerns, issues, process.

Second mistake from the idiot? The few times she talked to me (and I would presume others) about how we would use this information, she became extremely upset if I had any questions about anything to do with this effort - and refused to answer any and all questions - which means that I'm not sure I was providing the exact information she really needed.

Third mistake? When asked about my little piece that I'm working about and getting told that the terms that my team used to describe something (i.e., our unique identifier for the field, the field name, the field description) are synonyms for oh - um the list I gave you in the parenthesis... she insisted on defining them separately and keeping them separate from oh - I don't know the unique identifier, the field name, the field description.

Fourth mistake? She's requiring that everyone map to the translation layer and then provide their information in their columns... only instead of defining common columns since each group is providing virtually identical information.... she set up columns for each group submitting information (except maybe like 2 that are given the option to share their columns)... building a spreadsheet that contains 190 columns 90% of which would not be populated by any one group.

Fifth mistake? She's asking for six status columns for the "mapping" effort - 1 that's status in words that are different than the status that is required for another department - which is status in codes (i.e., MA means mapped, OS means Out of Scope, etc...). So the first set of status columns are associated with the translation area (color coded). The second set of status columns are associated with the glossary. And the third set of status columns are associated with our fields and our definitions. So, my question is what is this third set of status columns for? Apparantly I'm a troublemaker for asking such a question. The answer was "to show the mapping effort for the glossary and/or the translation layer". OK - doesn't really help... wtf is that supposed to mean?

Sixth mistake - the status "words" we're only allowed to have four statuses - "Not Started", "Completed", "Outstanding Business Questions", "Outstanding Technical Questions". All good statuses, however, not quite "enough". First - no "Out of Scope" option - second no "In Progress" option and third no "Duplicate" option - which by the way is the requirement that we have to repeat rows for specific terms based on how it's defined in the glossary - certain elements have to be listed two to three times - which means you'll have up to 3 rows for each of these items... and even though only 1 needs to be represented - you can't mark the others as duplicates to help keep reporting consistent to the actual counts of this mapping progress to the other counts of mapping status as we work through this same process to do this mapping as part of our design.

Seventh mistake - not being willing to admit to any mistakes... when I asked (as part of the business who is needing this system)... if we could get additional statuses added to this status column - even after spending almost an hour explaining why it's critical that we report "progress" on our "In progress" elements (i.e., we've had a dozen people traveling to Des Moines several weeks in a row spending days on end in group sessions going through every single one of these items - stating "Not Started" is going to infuriate some bosses - and inappropriately so since it's not an accurate statement to say "Not Started"). etc. Oh - and btw - a week after our discussion "In Progress" did get added - apparantly I'm not the only one who bitched - and apparantly someone had more say or influence. Oh - and "Out of Scope" still not an option - even though "We're NOT to leave any values blank for status" and none of the other "allowed" values are appropriate. Which she seems to think is fine because "Out of Scope" is only being identified in the "Status Code" columns - which btw is an optional column - and that we aren't going to create any reports including out of scope items. So - I posed a question to someone (other than her, but copied her on it) - stating that I wasn't sure how they were going to be able to perform any reporting when Out of Scope is only being provided in an optional column. But, that I wasn't going to worry about it - because it wasn't my problem - LOL.

Which got me a nasty response (go figure) stating that Out of Scope was a valid value in another "required" column. Only what she didn't think through is that other section isn't a required section... it's an optional section.

Bleeping idiot if you ask me... but why would anyone ask me? I've only been doing the exact same type of "mapping" excercise within my own project across eight of the dozen or so groups that are doing this process for the items specific to our group. It's not like I haven't been doing this same "bounce" of data to the translation layer to help automate and simplify our own tasks at mapping... It's not like I haven't already tried three different types of status to settle on the required status column from another group that's using our data... no - instead, I'm considered a bad apple for having ideas on how to help simplify and/or make the rpocess more "appropriate" for the users.

Good thing I already have the official job offer - and that she works in a different department. Good thing I have friends who at least pretend to read my blog so I can vent - otherwise, I'd probably say some of these things in front of her and really get my ass into trouble.

I need a smiley icon that shows me slapping a dumb blonde repeatedly... that's what I need.

A few thoughts about messes around the house

  • Someone equated a messy house with problems within the family, and stated that when things are going well, you feel more like doing chores... because you're in a good mood, they're easier to devote time to...
  • Not sure I agree... but I do think there is a correlation - but it's the opposite for me.
  • When the house is a mess, I HATE it - it drives me batty and turns the best day into a pain in the butt day - I get grouchy and irritated.
  • On the other hand, when I come home to a clean house, there's a lightness about it - a feeling of pleasure and welcome home-ness.
  • When the house is pretty clean, it's easier to keep it that way, and the amount of work to devote to it seems equally dependent upon the amount of time that I allowed either of my children to initially make said mess that needs to be cleaned.

I blame you Bob!!!

Little A has talked of little else except "Liam's party" ... what do I hear? "NOOOOOO, I don't wanna go to Jeanne's House (sitter)!!!!!!" then "Liam's party".... "NOOOOOO, Nooo HOME!".... "Liam's Party".

My telling him that Liam's party is over and that we have to go to work/daycare/home isn't helping any... he wants to go back to Liam's Party and that is all there is to it!

Think he had fun???

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Why is it so hard for me to let people help me???

I talked to my mom the other day. And she's well aware that I am moving to Des Moines in large part because of the money problems I'm going through. She doesn't want me to move to Des Moines - and is primarily worried about the boys. Big A finally has friends - only these friends are also moving away - plus staying in Newton is only encouraging his intention to sponge off of me for the next however long it is he thinks he can get away with it... Little A is going to struggle just because we're taking him from the only home he's ever had - plus he's finally starting to really advance his verbal skills - moving and a new daycare could set him back - but they can both adapt - so, so be it. Moving to Des Moines isn't going to destroy their lives or anything.

She keeps trying to remind me that the major reason I'm struggling financially has nothing to do with my ability to manage finances nearly as much as it has to do with having been ill so many times in the past two years, cutting into income, huge medical bills, etc. Which I admit is the main reason I'm struggling, but to be honest, I didn't adapt my spending habits quickly enough after the first illness, and I didn't have enough "buffer" savings to protect myself against time without work. If I hadn't ran up my credit card bills, then I could manage a short fall of income much better. So I do feel that a big part of my financial problems are due to mismanagement... poor planning for emergencies.

I do feel that moving to Des Moines is going to save me money... my new job isn't a big increase in pay, but the increase in benefits more than make up for it, plus I'm elegible for a bonus every year, plus I've got a lot of room to grow and move up in the company... and position myself into a "good income" long term. I HATE giving up my house, but it's the SMART thing to do. Decrease expenses will only help in the long run. Its still going to be slim pickings for a little while until the bills get under control again... but, I know what I need to do... it's just a matter of continuing with my plans and following through.

My mom has offered to give me a couple thousand dollars... she offered to make it a loan if that would be easier for me - but my problem is that I don't feel right borrowing money when I have NO idea when I would be able to repay it. And the "gift" feels wrong. She says it's my money anyway, whether I accept it now or after she and Carl pass away... if I need it now, why not use it to help get on my feet? But it feels wrong. Very wrong. She asked me if I was in a position where I could help her by giving her money and she needed it would I do it - and of course, my answer was Yes, in a heartbeat. And it's not like she's putting any strings to the money, it's mine to use how I wish... She's had to help my sister and all my brothers when things were tough for them... in fact my sister and my baby brother have asked for help many, many times over... they need money for a new furnace or something - and yet, are driving new vehicles. And it's not like they've had health issues causing most of their financial difficulties either.

Why am I so stubborn about accepting help offered so willingly???
Is it just pride? In which case I need to get a grip?
The last time I needed help was after my first divorce... when I moved back home and needed a couple of loans a couple of times to get by... but the loans were like $10 or $20 and I'd be able to pay them back within a week or so. A couple thousand dollars is not the same. Not the same at all....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Start Dates

July 14th is my first day in the new apartment - I figure I'll spend the first two weekends and weeks moving stuff into storage and/or non-immediate need stuff. Try to get Big A to spend some time packing and purging during the day so that I have more stuff to take to the apartment the next day kind of thing. Then the "big" move in day will be July 29th and I'll hire the van for all the big stuff.

August 1st is my first day in the new job - sitting where I am now, doing what I'm doing now, on the same projects as I am now, with the same supervisor that I have now - but having my paycheck signed by someone new. I do have a full month that I have to work before benefits kick in - but I also have 60 days to decide if I want to pay for a month of Cobra insurance - so we'll see how expensive August is medical bill wise and let that work out to the best case scenario.

I've been on Big A repeatedly to look for work - and he's just not "into" it. So, I've told him to start packing his things - he either needs to move with me so he can find work in Des Moines - or he's moving out - either way, I'm gone. I've also forwarded several job postings in the Des Moines area where they are hiring a dozen or more people... I know, it's a passive aggressive tactic - but, he obviously needs some prodding and it's not like I haven't been forthright about my expectations of him - as I roll my eyes.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Big A losing license

Did I not post this??

When I was ill, he was out driving past midnight alone... and got stopped and given a ticket for 1) driving too late, and 2) not stopping long enough at a stop sign (both count as moving violations). Then two weeks later he got a speeding ticket (going 90 mph in a 70 mph zone)... which is 3 tickets within a year - which loses anyone their license for three months.

When he gets it back, he has to pay for SR-22 high risk insurance before he can get his license back - and I'm NOT paying for that shit... so who knows how long it'll be before he's driving again. Since I'm paying the car payments and licensing, as well as new tires, oil and gas - but the car is sitting in the driveway, I figure I might as well use the vehicle with the best gas mileage.

Quiet long weekend

I have been only slightly busy with chores - we got new tires on the Saturn which I'm going to use to drive back and forth to work (since Big A doesn't get his license back for at least two months) AND GAS COST!!!! Right now driving the SUV is costing me about $400 / month. I know I only have a month of driving left to do - but every little bit is going to help.

Yesterday was Little A's birthday - we bought cupcakes and a couple of movies and some toys and spent most of the afternoon on the couch. Only issue is that Little A likes to lick all the frosting off the top of the cupcake and ask for another - guess he inherited my sweet tooth.

Today's plan is to pack up the left over baby clothes for Goodwill - I'll have to keep a count to be able to use it on my taxes next year - so it might take a bit of time... but it'll be worth it ... there's about five to six large boxes of teeny-tiny clothes ... I'm just convincing myself that it's worth taking the time to deal with it today. It is - I'm just being super lazy I guess.

We also need to do an oil change for each vehicle - since Big A is actually awake today - I'm figuring I'll make him baby sit while I take turns driving vehicles for the oil changes.

But, I figure that I'm not tackling any more than this - I've got a busy week next week with only 3 days of a work week... so taking it easy now hopefully means I'm stocking up on potential energy for then. ??? well, it sounds like it's feasible.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Had my garage sale yesterday...

Made over $200. Got rid of a ton of stuff, stillhave a ton of stuff left, but I'm fine with taking most of what's left to Goodwill. Tons of baby clothes left! Sold a ton too - but geeze, louise - who knew I had so many baby clothes for Alex. No wonder I'm so broke - LOL!

A couple of the big things left are things I wasn't so sure we wanted to get rid of anyway - so I'm pretty cool about it all.

Today, I'm cleaning and then taking Little A to go see Cars in the theater... Big A didn't get to go to the theater until he was almost 6... but Little A sits still and listens a bit better (just a bit though), but I think he'll be fine in the theater.