Category Archives: Work


So around 3 times a year, I am “on-call” for my company. I work around client services in a technology/marketing services company. (I don’t do anything top secret or controversial, or anything, but I don’t post about work.) This means, that I need to stay local and near a computer in my off hours time for an entire week, including the weekend. So, I couldn’t go out this weekend. Instead, I had my old friend Daniel come to me.

We had another pretty epic board gaming session yesterday. Over all, we’ve been pretty spoiled with gaming, since my H.S. friend Jay came over for another epic board game session last weekend. (Last weekend we played some “Betrayal at House on the Hill,” “Love Letter,” “Masquerade,” and “Eminent Domain.” It was kind of Halloween themed.)

This is what we played yesterday:

This is a new game my husband bought. He thought it would be more my style and it’s growing on me. I realized that I like a certain type of strategy games. This is a card/deck building RPG co-operative game. I picked a human sorcerer character. My husband, of course, picked the dwarf fighter character. Danny was the human wizard character. You basically go through missions and build up your character stats and items. Similar to “Legend of Andor” and “Descent: Journey in the Dark” you keep the final stat and keep building your character on an on-going basis. Come to think of it, we have a pretty good collection of co-operative RPGs, if people want to start campaigning with us. Kind of like D&D on a smaller scale… probably without B.S. drama.

City of Thieves
So… husband gives me a hard time about these guys. They have beautiful gorgeous gothic figures and artwork. It’s actually pretty fun, but I have a mental block about these types of board games. I don’t think I am as much of a fan. I like deck building games with a Eurogame twist, like Eminent Domain. I get super bitter and competitive in games where you can actually screw with your opponents. I think this session made me a convert.

This is always fun, because it’s so zany. Did you know this game is pretty old (although we have the new edition) and is a precursor to “Magic the Gathering?” You are a bunch of wizards trying to steal each other’s treasures and/or kill each other. You get to zap one another. I think I had a “Ka-Bonk” card where I produced a giant mallet to attack Danny, at one point. You run around a small map creating walls, eating walls, throwing fireballs, etc. Overall, it’s a game where if you lose, you can’t really take it too personally, so it’s good. It’s a good laugh.

Overall a pretty active late late night.

I’m home, “on-call” for work. So what did I do? I cooked a bag of dry black beans so we can have a little for breakfast and the rest for the week. I cleaned my aquarium (hopefully to fill with colorful platys), hooked up the XBox to YouTube and discovered Vice Japan Channel, and now I am watching reruns of Sex and the City. I randomly picked the episode where Aidan leaves Carrie for the second time after she cheated on him with Mr. Big. In that episode, they say goodbye in her bathroom… and that shower curtain!!!!! I NEED IT! I searched for the last 50 minutes and I cannot for the life of me find that particular screenshot.

It’s long and sparkly.

So this is what it has come to. Season 4 has pretty good outfits, I must admit.

At least I have some Rose wine.

I’m looking forward to getting my freedom back next week.

Edit: Pebbles Silver shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond! Voila! Pretty close.

I’m also digging the discontinued Tender Falls Anthropologie Shower Curtain.

And a little more affordable Kate Spade shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Everyone knows that I LOVE THE OFFICE. Parks and Recreation got off to a bumpy start, but I really like Amy Poeler and after a while, the show really grew on me. It was a subtler humor, not as sad or as sardonic as the office, but kind of light hearted and zany. And some of the humor is SO abstract. I love Ron. He is my favorite character, I think. I love how he loves breakfast foods, enough that there is a mention of it in almost every other episode (how there is a larged framed picture of eggs and bacon as his decor. I too had a picture of a banana… committing suicide…).

I love how Parks and Recreation is different. All the main characters on the show are quirky and weird, but in a different way than in The Office. I like how, “Middle America” it is. I like how it’s a departure from the British-based show and something completely different. I like how both shows are feature bosses/management being completely passionate about a thankless job that most people wouldn’t think twice about. I was really skeptical about the show, but I think it’s really well conceived and has finally developed a great identity. I’m just afraid that it doesn’t have too many fans as of yet… (And I am secretly afraid it is turning into a show that focuses on romantic relationship/melodrama… instead of awkward encounters and other work based quirky work relationships.)

And really, work is just like The Office and Parks and Recreation (and even 30 ROCK!). Seriously. People get really bored. For example, at my last job… I had an on-going “cube war,” with the guy who shared my neighboring super cubes. (As people left, we would poach and take over other cubicles, as F-ed up as that sounds.) One time, he spent … I don’t know how long, making like hundreds of tiny paper balls. And then waited until precisely the right moment to ambush me showering me with it all, shouting, “CUBE WARS.” Unfortunately I was in a really foul mood and he almost made me cry. :P But yes, this was also the same guy that made creepy masks of people in the office so that a bunch of us could wear it and walk around being … a group of really creepy people.

You know, fun times.

I think work comedies are a really good idea, because it kind of forcibly brings together a diverse group of people, the audience can definitely relate to most situations, and zany shit really does happen.

One time in one of my other jobs, someone high up was getting fired. As one of the managers of the IT stuff in the office, I had to watch her pack up and walk her down. In the process the woman took out a crystal ball (and I all ready knew she had some zany new age stuff up her sleeves) out of her desk, and asked me to keep it for her. An awkward exchange happened, where I just said, “No.” And she was trying to be sweet and leave it behind. Yeah. Don’t ask. I think she pawned it on the controller until around 6 or so months later when she had some random guy pick it up.

Everyone has odd coworkers, right? When I was in my government job, there was someone everyone referred to as “Inspector Gadget,” because he was a hoarder and would go dumpster diving. All the weirdest stuff (like when I needed to get my key altered (cut/trimmed a little), you would go to him and he would have EVERYTHING and the most random-est shit ever.

Everyone has crazy work stories. Next time, over a few beers, ask me about the time I came back from the Consumer Electronics Show and had to deal with a bleeding crack addict in my work elevator… coming at my coworkers.

I am convinced that I have enough true life material to come up with at least a season’s worth of materials. I really do.

(Hey I noticed something funny. I’ve worked for a sales oriented company, aka. a Dunder Mifflin, a government office/branch, like Parks and Recreation, and am currently working for a network… kinda like 30 Rock!)

At work I’ve witnessed several moments where people “lost it,” this week. I don’t know what it was about this week that did it, but it was from all the different corners of my work life. Seriously. I’ve appropriated my supervisor’s analogy that we’re all in a sandbox, and no one is behaving nicely. Pails are being tossed about and shovels used to hit each other.

I was running through entries on my blog and I had one post right before I started at my current digs. I was apprehensive and unsure whether I made the right choice. There are several snags, you see, such as whether you will like the work culture, coworkers, etc… Then there are other sacrifices you make, such as, changing health insurances, downgrading insurances, or maybe even a pay cut. Stuff like that make the process really nerve wracking and you’re most of the time unable to see whether your leap of faith will work out.

This is all to say that things have gotten much rockier at my previous job and I feel relieved to not be there anymore. I’ve been meeting with old coworkers for the past couple of weeks and I’ve been getting a lot of the dirt. They tell me that I’m lucky to have gotten out when I did, which was a combination of luck, timing, and connections. Either way, this is a rare thing, where in hindsight you are proven right and glad that you made the choice you did.

So what if I pay more now for my dentist (that brought out that bling-ed piece of tooth). I made the wrong choice there in opting in for a DMO plan, rather than a PPO that they accept (although since they used to accept the DMO, they are still listed on the DMO website – what the hell is up with that?). Clearly, wrong choice, but I had no way of knowing either way. (Also when I had to make my choice my dentist’s office was closed)

You know choices…

So here’s another one to think about. I am content enough right now with my current job. It challenges me sometimes, but I am confident that I can do whatever they ask me. My skill set is sort of perfect for this job… in that the only anxiety comes from finishing multiple things in a timely manner and not that I can’t do something. Sure I want to be paid more, appreciated by upper management more and all that… stuff normal people want… So here’s the thing. My field right now has an influx of openings. I get calls from head hunters ALL THE TIME. Like, at least 1-3 a week, either by phone or email. I got someone actually calling my work phone the other day and that sort of creeped me out.

So my instincts tell me that I should contact them just to see what they have and to keep my people skills sharp. I always encourage friends that are looking for jobs to apply for everything and talk to everyone. You want choices. You should have the choice to turn them down. It’s hard for me to keep to this adage, you know? Even if I am not looking for another job, if they come looking for me, I should always keep my options open. I should, right?

I had a dentist’s appointment on Monday morning. I figured that if I went early, that there would be less of a wait. I had to reschedule this appointment (since my crown wasn’t ready) and I was anxious to just get it done. I kind of dislike to take time off work for these “personal errands.” I would much rather spend a lazy day home on my day off. Either way, I was ready to get in there and out in minimal time.

The whole visit was a waste, because as soon as I sat in the chair, they opened up the package and took out my crown… And folks, it was gold. GOLD. Shiny. Very shiny and gold. Seriously? And the doctor was speechless, but the nurse had the gall to ask me, “This isn’t what you wanted, right? Well, do you like it? Do you want this in your mouth?” And really, it’s a molar, but it is my front molar that is quite visible. I want a shiny smile, but not by those standards. I might have done it if I had matching grills or if I was going to go meet Flavor Flav. I mean, c’mon!

So, they had me get out of the dentist’s chair and ushered me into accounting to wrap up my billing / insurance, and booked me for another day. Again. Monday morning… 2 weeks from that date. So I can take another morning off of work. I rolled in and I think my story made up for a lot, but it still didn’t make up for the fact that I wasted my morning. It was lost between a bad commute to the dentist’s office, getting my crown NOT put in, and then going back downtown into work. Uhg.

I went to Portland, came back, started the new year at work, had a million annual reviews (ok… just 2), and on a whole felt so unmotivated by everything except my gym membership. In the midst of that, lo and behold, no update.

For the first time in my life, I got offered a first class ticket + a $300 voucher if I would take the evening flight instead of my super early morning flight into PDX. However, I decided not to take it, since although I can just go my mother’s place and hang out (and bite the Newark train fee), I didn’t want to lose a whole day of doing nothing (and I took off from work – precisely so I would get to the west coast early enough to actually do something). So, I got to PDX, Ryan and I got lunch, and then my friend George was going to come over and crash at Ry’s parents’ place for the night. Well, some crazy ass snow came. It shut the town down. George couldn’t even drive to our place, since he wouldn’t be able to climb the snowy hills. If I had taken that later flight and got there at 10pm, I would’ve been stranded!

Portland was fun and relaxing. I didn’t do any crazy shit and I spent most of the time stuffing my face. I gained 6lbs in 7 days, people. Almost 1 delicious pound per day. This was, of course, before the New Year and it’s been 2-3 weeks and I finally just got to my pre-Portland weight. Sigh. Which is still like 15 more pounds than I was at my fittest 2 or so years ago.

I’m trying to go to the gym at least 4 times a week. However, fitting my workout around work is cutting most of the it short. 30 minute run here, 10-15 minute weight session there… At least I managed to lose those 6lbs. WHO PUTS ON THAT MUCH WEIGHT AT ONCE?

Anyway, I should change the topic. While Ryan was still in Portland, I was staying with my mother in Manhattan, because I was lazy and didn’t have the XBox at home… and then what was I going to do? Errr… I mean, I missed Ryan. Not the XBox. Ahem. So, while I was at home, I was also flipping through a copy of Elle magazine I bought for the plane ride and there were these crazy set of articles of a couple of bored editors challenging themselves to change up a feature of their appearance everyday for 30 days… not clothes, but hair and make-up. Like, how many different hairstyles can you do for 30 days straight, you know, without cycling through the same thing. I think it was interesting, but obviously in the realm of, “you ran out of ideas, didn’t you? Great way to get out of a rut, though. This is something I would crazily do for my blog if I thought I had enough discipline.”

So, for a series of 3 days? Less than a week, I know. I came into the office with a Snooki/bumpit half ponytail and lots of eyeliner and shadow. People in the office would ask me, “what looks different about you?” And I would say, “this load of makeup on my face that I never wear?” And they would reply, “No, you did your hair differently.” Facesmack. Still, I will never be afraid of too much make-up again, after Cambodia. 3 Neutrogena face wipes and there was still make up on my face. They gave me new eyelids for shitssake! Anyway, so I know bored when I see it.

Like, for example, there was a time in elementary school where I saw how long I can go without wearing the same top twice. I started raiding my mother’s closet… yes, in elementary school, and cycled through ALL my t-shirts. I am pretty sure I lasted at least 3 months. No joke. I just wore a different tshirt every single day. I had a lot of damn t-shirts. (And yes, this was happening while I was wearing all those crazy leggings, because no one clued me into the fact that leggings were no longer acceptable for everyday. I think my first pair of jeans was this black skinny jeans, because I was that devasted about my leggings.)

Now, I am back to my careless aray of dressing kind of like Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, sans make-up, and seeing how long I can continue to get dressed in 10 minutes flat in the morning. Meh. If I think about going to the gym later in the day, I don’t even want to bother doing my hair or make-up. This is a far cry from my last job where I would make an effort to sort of dress up. I was also single then.

Although I am thinking that sometime in the future, I need to rock these eyelid tattoos the girl in the Elle magazine rocked… in pink and purple leopard print that goes over the entirety of the eyelid.

I try to be a good gift giver. I mean, I try to care what people would like. Usually, I’m good at just envisioning what I would want. I’ve had Sophear and others claim that they enjoy my gifts. I also think the key is that I give gifts to people I know quite well. So, the other day when I was involved in the office white elephant, I thought it would be easy finding a gift. Then I started over thinking it. Do you spend the dollars on a gag gift? Something that doubles as funny and practical? Something completely awkward like a sex toy? Seriously. Or something that people would actually want. I had some initial ideas, like champagne from Trader Joe’s (since the cap was at $20, I can get something nice), but then I knew what some coworkers were doing… Snuggies. Yeah. For some reason this Yankees snuggie got stolen the most.

I love shopping for gifts when I’m traveling. I think that’s the best time to get gifts. And I actually kind of dislike being pressured to buy gifts. I feel the stores pressure you to get certain gifts. Only certain things are available seasonally. If I thought about this earlier than I would have gone to my go to online store: Think Geek.

I actually had the perfect gift in mind, but it wasn’t anything I can pull off. Stevies’ model photos, autographed. There is this whole HILARIOUS story about how he used to be an Abercrombie and Fitch model. After that got out, we hired a new customer service rep, ie. Kelly Kapor, called MJ and she ended up having these very posters on her wall. She recognized him… although he looks quite different now. Anyway. This guy is hilarious for other reasons that would take too long to go into, but it is an unintentional hilarity. Still, we all love him.

He’s the type of person to easily get persuaded to come into work in a Santa outfit and push back his vacation flight. Of course, in the end we told him he didn’t need to… although I do think someone should have dressed up after hours as Jesus, a la The Office, to be offensive. This guy is one of the most gullible person in the office. And he’s such a good sport about being Mark’s main tease.

I was trying to convince my boss to participate and wrap a huge box with a gift certificate to our company store or something. Haha. However, he’s just a scrooge. I pointed out that he could always rewrap the 100s of vendor gift baskets we received. Oh my gawd, this whole week I was munching on chocolates, chocolate cookies, butter cookies, buttercream frosted cookies, caramel popcorn, and chocolate popcorn. For real. I practically did not need lunch everyday (although that didn’t stop me). Insane.

I think I do good on individual gifts for people but these general gifts throw me off. It needs to be unisex and I don’t want to get something random. In the end, since I give out tea quite often, I got a tea set, which was received well with the person that got it. It came with some dorky lap mug. I also enclosed a silicone teaspoon, which I thought was cool. And a variety of Stash tea.

I think it was the knowledge that last year the present that went through the most people’s hands were the lottery scratch offs. I didn’t understand it, but I thought maybe there was something I was missing. So, this year, I stole some scratch offs. Last year, 3 people stole scratch offs and I was puzzled. I stole the dartboard and kept it in the office. I screwed Ted over, who in the end got a leather wallet. So, I got $18 in scratch offs. It wasn’t very satisfying, actually. I would have gotten the borders gift certificate or something. I was actually thinking of taking this one gift, but I’m glad I didn’t. I guess I need it. It was a coin counting jar. Yup.

This year no one wrapped a present in a shoebox and duct tape, no security needed. ;) And the for most part it was quiet, unlike last year. Last year it was Christmas Eve and last minute thing and we went to go find something during lunch in the snow storm. This year, my cube was my gift storage and I had wrapping glitter tissue and bags galore stored there, along with boxes for Sophear and Danny. This year my presents were different things for just lounging or something. I don’t know. I got them a cool around the world tea set (see a pattern – I saw it when I was shopping for white elephant), silicone teaspoon, a game, a scrap booking kit for our trip, and a schedule book for Sophear.

The other day I went with my coworker MJ to get her new pair of glasses. I thought, “self, maybe I should get my eyes checked and get shiny cute new glasses?” So, this afternoon, I went to get my eyes checked. And I possibly wanted new frames.

The issue is that my health insurance is United Health Care. And through their portal, I went to the “vision claims,” section and it said UHC Vision. So, I went to the store and told them I have UHC Vision. They said that must be part of a larger vision benefits plan. They guessed Spectera, they looked up my name, and lo and behold: I WAS THERE! So, I get my eyes checked. I give them the $20 copay. Then, they tell me that I have no allowance for frames or lenses. They tell me that lenses are $45 and they can give me a 15% discount on frames.

For a copay, MJ got a new set of glasses. So, I got my prescription and came back to the office to investigate. MJ told me where she got her benefits information on the site, and it ends up she has VSP. Wait, I have VSP too. Why do I have Spectera, also? Is it the same thing?

I called the glasses shop to confirm, and no, it’s not the same thing. I guess UHC gave us a secondary vision plan for exams, except I paid $20 with Spectera and VSP only had a $15 copay. It’s kind of really annoying to me. It shouldn’t bug me, but it does. The good news is, though, that I can go pick up glasses up to $130 in value for a $25 copay. Anything above that I get 20% discount off the amount over $130. That’s pretty decent.

I would get the lens on my current glasses switched, but there really isn’t much of a difference, the doctor says. Just some small tweaks. I just want some new glasses. I think they want me to get some new glasses, too.