Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Never before have I been moved to jot down quotes while on the road with my cow-orkers. I don’t know what about this trip was different — that cow orker C and I were celebrating our 10-trip anniversary, that there was a male cow-orker present, that I out-aged the youngest member of the team by 13 years, that we were in Nebraska and Missouri and what else is there to do there after work besides patronize the local watering holes, that we drove *between* Nebraska and Missouri and what else is there to do in the car for 3 hours besides be rude … so here they are in all their glory. And I duly note that the only ones from my mouth are the very few with no curses in it (as the boss I feel it is my duty to shut up and buy beer and offend people as little as possible.) And as an aside, I note that the night I flew home, my cow-orkers “sheltered in place” in C’s hotel room while a tornado ripped through Kansas City...

F-ing Congress, they can ask for anything.

This is how I learned to snow ski.
Do you KNOW how?
F-you, man.

With a name like Quaalude you expect something with a little punch.

F-you bitches, I’m wearing Lucky jeans

Mmmmmmm. Anne Bancroft.

Sorry, you seem to have lost your filter. Would you like it back?

What the hell was that?
That was my sympathy.
That was the coldest piece of sympathy I’ve ever received, you cold-hearted bitch!

I’ll try to restrain my inner asshole as much as possible.

Why do they call it Missour-uh and not Missour-eee?
Because they’re f-ing hicks.

Hey – your inner asshole has escaped.

Now THAT’S a tramp stamp.

“My inner asshole is coming out…”

“I’ve eaten nothing but desserts and beer for the past four days”

“This is kinda’ fun because I’ve never had sisters”

“Remind me to stop winking at the bartender”


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Out of the Closet

It is time. Finally, finally, I can speak publicly about what has been consuming my life for nearly 10 weeks. We are…

…moving to New Hampshire.

Anti-climactic for you all, I know. No death, destruction, divorce (yet) or babies belonging to the milkman. But this has been a roller-coaster since damned near Christmas and because it generally was not public knowledge for various reasons I couldn’t write about it here and writing is the best way I know how to process stuff.

D was presented with an opportunity he really can’t refuse. It’s in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region of New Hampshire, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere — both a blessing and a curse.

We have talked for a long time about raising the kids away from a metro area – somewhere more outdoors-focused and generally environmentally friendly where people hike, bike, camp, fish, ski, waterski, snowshoe, etc. A place where once is not concerned about French immersion programs for 4 year olds; where you don’t have to schedule swimming and play dates and sports teams to ensure your kids get enough exercise. But this plan was always for “someday” – not for now. So when this opportunity presented itself no one was more gobsmacked than me. I oscillate from being excited to being convinced that agreeing to do this is the worst.decision.ever. Not that there was ever really a decision to make – D wants this so badly he can taste it and although he said we won’t go if I don’t want to, I know that isn’t an option. I can’t in good conscience not agree to try something that means this much to him…even though I am not convinced he would do the same for me if the situation were reversed (his selfish gene is waaaaay stronger than mine – and a giving nature combined with 30+ years of Catholic Guilt is such a winning combination…) And parts of me really want to go. Especially since my office – which has to be the most wonderful, flexible place of employment in the DC-metro area – has agreed to transfer me to our Boston office and let me telework a few days a week because New London, the town we’ll likely be living in, is not commutable to Boston.

There are good things about the move – probably more good than bad. Like this and this and this. And this and this. And all the 1950s kumbaya idyllic childhood stuff I mentioned above. Like the near-total financial freedom that comes with selling this house at about a 180% profit, which will allow us to pay off every bit of debt we have, flood the kids’ college fund (at the moment, the college plan in my house is “somebody dies.”) and buy a new house with lots of land and have a 1/3 smaller mortgage than we do now. And being within a few hours of a couple of good friends we hardly ever see.

But there are completely, totally, *sucky* things, too. Like moving 8 hours from almost all of our friends and family. Like me having to stay overnight in Boston 2 nights a week – away from the kids – to make the job situation work (thankfully I am paid more than well enough to make it worth it, financially.) Like leaving my friends/neighbors I’ve known for 9 years…we live on the best.street.ever. Like completely side-tracking my career (in terms of advancement).

But hey – there are silver linings, too. Now when I have to go to DC for work, I’ll have to stay in a hotel. Maybe I’ll be able to suss out who Clients 1-8 are.

And here’s where I need to thank – from the very bottom of my super-sized heart – a handful of dear friends friends for keeping me as sane as possible these last few weeks…you know who you are, and I love you to bits.

Here’s to our adventure…D leaves March 30. I stay here with the kids until school is over (let’s hear it for single moms) and follow sometime this summer.

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Google Me This…

I am overseeing a project at work that requires me to learn about USCIS services and fees. Lucky for me I have a Total Star leading this project for me — and as such, she has already done a ton of research and is able to tell me what to read to quickly get up to speed, important tidbits, etc. In one of our “what have we learned this week” sessions she told me about CIS Processing Centers that perform what is known as “Slit and Peek” — their responsibility is to slit open envelopes, see what type of application and check is enclosed, and determine where it is to be sent for further processing. She couldn’t remember which services centers are the slip and peek centers, nor where she had read it…so I Googled “CIS Slit and Peek.” Don’t ask me why I thought I’d get legit results from doing this…

Let’s just say I got a list of links that, had I clicked on them, would have gotten me fired. 😀

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One of the benefits (or not, depending on your point of view) of where I live and what I do is that I sometimes attend events where Very Important Political People speak. I was at just such an event a few weeks ago and Clay Johnson III, the Office of Management and Budget’s Deputy Director for Management spoke to the crowd. Mr. Johnson has quite an impressive resume. According to his bio, he has been the Chief Operating Officer for the Dallas Museum of Art and the President of the Horchow and Neiman Marcus Mail Order companies. He also has worked for Citicorp, Wilson Sporting Goods and Frito Lay.

Mr. Johnson was also President George W Bush’s college roommate at Yale. (an irrelevant but amusing fact.)

What is not amusing is that I have heard Mr. Johnson speak several times over the past several years and this last time, my ears stopped just short of bleeding. Mr. Johnson was speaking about measuring and improving the performance of government programs (who’s not for that? Baseball, mom, and apple pie, y’all.) During his remarks, he made the following statements – they require no snarky commentary from me…they stand on their own.

“The key is greater effectiveness-mindedness.”

“We need to scare people more. And more importantly, embarrass them.”

“We don’t know what this means yet, but we want to be successful at setting the table.”

and my personal favorite…relaying President Bush’s comment about the new French President, whom a white house staffer had just referred to as smart…

” We got a whole lotta smart. What we need is courage.”

Lades and Gentleman, I give you one of the most influential officials in the U.S. Government.


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Say, Say, Say…

I might be investing in several magnets and stickers for work…

I’m not mean. You’re just a sissy.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Don’t take life so seriously – it’s not permanent.

I’m the Decider.

Sharp as a marble.

You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.

How about a nice big cup of Shut The Fuck Up?

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BoBo the Sperm Girl?

I was traveling in Seattle and LA all week with some cow-orkers. The days are long and intense but they usually end with beer and I was with cool people so…

Thursday night we got on the topic of nationality-specific sperm banks (don’t ask – apparently there’s a branch of a Scandinavian sperm bank operating in NYC because the demand for Blond/blue-eyed babies is so high) — we wondered how they enforce such policies. The conversation further degenerates…Do you have to prove your nationality? What if you *are* that nationality but don’t look like the stereotype? What if you emigrated to said country from somewhere completely opposite looks-wise — like from China to Sweden?

Now – keeping in mind the aforementioned beer…I chimed in with “HEY – what if *I* forged a Danish passport and went to the Scandinavian sperm Bank in NYC – they’d HAVE to take me even though I am short and Italian, otherwise it would be discrimination.

So my friends look at me and say:

“I’m betting you’re not donating at a sperm bank no matter what nationality they require. But otherwise, good plan.”

Good thing I know these people fairly well by now, as I think this may be why ABL told me years ago “let people get to know you a little bit before you let them see that you’re a complete spaz.”

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