Thursday, February 24, 2011

AdVENTures in Babysitting

I would really like to be a calmer, gentler person, and I often realize how irritated I am only to vow to relax more and let things roll off of my back.  But one of the main frustrations in my daily professional life is how often I have to babysit other people.  And I don't (usually) mean my co-workers, but our vendors.  Part of my job is to order services for the office, ranging from IT consulting to copy machine leasing and all other supplies.  If I ask for a service, I expect it to be delivered within a reasonable time period, or at least some update or response to be given.  With almost every single one of our vendors, I have to chase them down. 

We sent you a letter regarding your breach of contract with us -- why hasn't someone called us back for a month?  I asked you to fix this on our computer system. ("Oh yes, I did that over the weekend.") Well, you should have confirmed with me as we've been avoiding that program until it was fixed.  You told me these would be delivered on Tuesday, and it's Wednesday -- no, Friday is not acceptable.  Our order was missing one piece, and yes, I'd signed for the other piece, but I wasn't told my signature was accepting delivery for two boxes.  You're charging us for extra telephone lines that aren't functioning, and no one will return my call about this, which is why I'm not paying your goddamn bill.  No, I will not pay interest charges on overdue payments when your company won't get back to me. 

I know I can be very specific about correct information, good customer service, and what goods I'm paying for, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that in a professional environment.  So I'm not sure how to resolve this -- my stress level hits the roof when dealing with the morons of the world, and I can't seem to escape them.  I know People are Terrible, but seriously, that is no kind of life plan.  It seems that almost every vendor requries chasing if I want any information from them, and I've spent days and days of my life getting after people.  This is not fun for me -- the only part that is a little fun is telling someone off, but lately I'm tired of it.  Just fucking get the thing right the first time.  I will petition the Boss to take our business elsewhere if you continue to act like it's my job to find you, WHEN WE'RE PAYING YOU FOR A SERVICE.  And folks wonder where my superior attitude comes from...  it's because I'm competent and efficient, and I expect the same of others.  Are there really this many stupid and/or lazy people?  How do they all have jobs?  How can we get rid of them?  How can I keep my shit together and possibly not let this spill over into my evenings, and especially not into my relationship with my boyfriend?  Because after dealing with this all day, I'm sure I'm harder on him than he deserves.

And scene.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Boyfriend Took Me to Newport and I Got Crabs

Friends! Lovers! How are you? 

I'm very blah this week.  I really do blame the winter doldrums, as for a brief period last week, I was motivated and had energy and exercised and was happy with the world.  Now I'm back to feeling sleepy all the time, cranky, and fat.  I know it'll lift soon, but maybe it's OK to not exercise as much in the winter for my life plan?  And so I'll get winter chubby and make up for it the rest of the year?  It doesn't sound like the worst idea.

So last weekend was my romantic trip to Newport, RI with Hike.  The town was lovely! We ate a lot of great food, especially seafood (lobster roll, crabby patty, seafood stuffed mushrooms, salmon, tuna, lobster blt, lobster tart, etc., plus on Sunday night I had this roasted duck in a honey-lavender jus that was AMAZING, with sweet potato gnocchi!) and we napped every day and we kept our fireplace on in the room whenever possible, and the B&B was cute and Victorian and we could see the ocean from the window, since we were right across the street. Saturday was super windy (I guess it was everywhere) so it was tough to be outside, but we saw a bit of an ice sculpture competition and then looked in some shops.  Then we went out (after napping) for drinks and a late dinner, and I discovered how much I love a Dark & Stormy (drink). Sunday we had breakfast at the B&B in the fancy dining room with classical music playing, then off to tour a mansion, where he bought us a Christmas ornament souvenir of this fancy crab with moving legs (we named him Crabby Patty), then lunch and nap, then out for dinner again.

We drove back after fancy breakfast on Monday and some driving around time, looking at the dates on all the houses and taking pictures, and it was pretty since they'd gotten about an inch of snow, and then we were home by 4 pm. At night we visited his aunt on LI who is sadly passing away from cancer, and it was really tough but I'm glad I could go with him.  We stayed with her for a little while then came back to eat dinner and watch Fraggle Rock at my place.

And then yesterday I was feeling worn out and slightly sick (sore throat, fuzzy head) so I just went home and watched movies and went to bed early, and then today someone brought in COOKIES and DONUTS to work, so right, I've pigged out and will probably sugar crash after work again.  I have no willpower, as we know.  Also today one of my eyes is bloodshot, and it's really gross.  Poor me.

Overall the weekend was really nice, and we enjoyed being history nerds and food nerds.  Now I just need something else on the horizon to look forward to -- all of our planned events are pretty far away (concerts, games, and trips to the Poconos for a wedding!) 

And obviously my food is a wreck right now, though other than unplanned sugar binges and planned mini-break eating, I'm eating pretty well at home.  My portions are probably a little too large, though, so I need to reduce those a bit at a time.

Right, that's the haps! Things are good even if I don't always realize it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh, Just Laughing at My Desk Damn You, Auto Correct!  I can't help it.  It's the best mood lifter ever.  Not that I need one, since today is GORGEOUS.  I wore a skirt and boots with no tights!  It's so freeing!  The only downside is that I miss smoking, because it was an excuse to go outside in the warm weather.  I may bum one, and I had one on Monday (when it was nice, too), which is not great.  NOT GREAT.  But I'm not buying any or anything.  It's been since Monday, Jan. 10.  Wow, that is over a month...  why do I still even want them at all?  GO AWAY, cravings.  But remember how I said I can have whiter teeth and carry smaller purses?  CHECK.  I finished my month of Crest Whitestrips (well, 20 days) this week, and I carried a little clutch last Saturday on my date and was complimented.

Soo our server crashed at work last week, which was so much fun for me.  I'm trying to field everyone's questions but yet the boss doesn't always communicate with me, so it's very frustrating.  We're mostly back up this week with some lingering issues, but I was really behind on work once we got going, so I'm sorry for my silence.

Things in life are great!  I have more energy now that winter is giving us a break, and while I'll still up a few pounds due to the relaxed quitting smoking diet, I'm going to start getting stricter again, except for when I eat out with my boo.  That is difficult, but worth it to enjoy the meals.  Last weekend we went to his mother's on Friday night, then on Saturday I saw Blue Valentine in the afternoon with my ladies, then Hike & I celebrated pre-V day and I took him to dinner at a new Italian place in Astoria which was OK, not fantastic, but it was a romantic celebration.  Then we watched Shutter Island, and then Fraggle Rock before bed so I could sleep without being totally depressed about humanity.  Sunday we went to see his grandma, and his brother and mom and her bf came, too, and it was a lovely day of macaronies and gravy, then a stop at Waldbaums for some suburban shopping on the way home.

And!  Then Monday was Valentine's Day, and it was the best one I've ever had.  He sent me two dozen roses at work, plus a box of chocolates, plus took me out for italian/sushi fusion before our theatre tickets to see Rain.  I felt very, very cherished.  And I gave him a card and some chocolates, but I'd given him his main present on Saturday, which is none of your business.

So right, ONCE AGAIN, I am surprised and thrilled with how this relationship works.  This week has been mellow since -- I did laundry and cooking on Tuesday and last night I hit the gym and did some random home stuff, and tonight I'll get my nails done and eyebrows waxed.  Tomorrow night I'll watch a movie with him at one of our houses, then up early on Saturday to leave for Newport, RI!  We're staying here, in the tower room, where we're sure to be haunted at night by ghosts walking in the tower above us, waiting for their sailor husbands to return from sea.  We'll also cuddle up in front of our fireplace and make mushy faces at each other.

Annnndddd I just got totally busy at work and let this sit for HOURS, so I'll go ahead and post while I'm ahead.  I miss writing, and I miss emotionally vomiting my feelings here, but I won't abandon you, dear readers.  Especially not when I'm thinking about SWIMSUIT SEASON, plus BRIDESMAID DRESS WEARING.  Gasp.

Monday, February 7, 2011

So This Is the Miracle That I've Been Dreaming Of

Hiii friends.  How are we?  Isn't it just sunny and warm enough today to make us happier?  I think so.

The weekend was lovely.  Since I went to bed at 10 pm on Thursday night, I was able to finally kick my week-long headache, so Friday was just fine.  I met Schmillie at Rock Center to catch the F down to THE MEATBALL SHOP, which was amazing and we ate entirely too many balls.  I had 3 sliders -- pork with mushroom sauce, beef with classic tomato sauce, and chicken with pesto sauce.  We shared a salad and roasted squash side dishes, and then had those homemade ice cream sandwiches -- I got caramel ice cream with a ginger snap and a brownie cookie.  Oh, and we split a bottle of wine.  DELICIOUS.  So full.  And we lingered for over two hours, which meant they HATED US.  It was great though, because we had no wait when we arrived, and when we left there was a two-hour wait.  Suckers.

So then I cabbed it back to Astoria, stopped at home due to Crohn's-related issues, then met Hike at Crescent Lounge for a couple of romantic drinks, then back home.  Saturday was mellow during the day, then we met up with Schmannon and Schmeather and others at Sweet Afton for a few drinks, then we went across the street to Ovelia for dinner.  It was pretty delicious, and it had a nice atmosphere, but the reviews about the long wait time are all true.  No one greeted us for about 10-15 minutes, but then I caught the eye of the manager and told her so, and from then out things went rather smoothly.  I had the lamb kebabs with fig and cherry tomatoes, and they were amazing.  It was a nice date-dinner with great conversation (I'M REALLY TRYING HARD TO NOT GUSH ALL THE DETAILS RIGHT HERE ARRGGHHH), then back to his house to watch Inception (his first time, my second.  It makes much more sense to me now.)  We were going to watch Shutter Island afterwards (as I'm insisting on watching it on night where I won't sleep alone, as I'll be to scared) but it was too late, so we're saving that one. 

Sunday I had a nice walk (of pride?) home in the sunshine, and went to get a mani/pedi, then grocery shop, then home to make Steelers-themed brownies (with just the yellow and brown Reece's Pieces on top), shower, and relax for a bit.  Hike picked me up and we went to Schmess' house for the first half of the game (with a great spread of wings, quesedillas, etc.), then drove to his friend Yoshi's house for the second half party.  It was a fun night but SO SAD as far as the game goes.  My poor father and brother.

Last night when I got home, my roommate told me she'd seen Mex at the bar where she watched the game.  With a girl.  Ignoring the girl he was with, actually, and quite drunk.  It bothered me for about a minute, and I expected to feel more angsty about it, but it lifted and just kind of went away.  It does mean I'm still going to be looking around, hoping I don't run into him in the 'hood, but it doesn't depress me anymore that our terrible situation didn't change him.  I mean, if anything, it shows that what happened needed to happen to set me free.  And I'm also pleasantly surprised that I don't feel to much about it either way.  It helps that I've found a nearly perfect boyfriend -- this is what it's supposed to be like. 

ANYWAY, I'm very happy today and I feel awake again -- the sunshine and warmth helps a lot.  I'm going to reign in the eating habits this week, and then hopefully get back to exercising soon (but not tonight.)  OH confession: I smoked two cigarettes on Friday (one with Schmillie and one at the bar) and then one American Spirit on Sunday night.  Just for fun.  But I don't feel any daily interest in it, so I really think I've quit.  I just like to socially indulge now and then.  I think that's permissible, as long as the indulgences are few and far between, right?

And it sounds like my parents will visit again this spring.  It seems like my mom didn't realize I wanted them to?  Whatever, she's weird, but I asked her specifically and so she wants to and will discuss with Dad.  They need to meet some people here and I may not have as much time to visit Ohio this year, so it's a good idea for many reasons.  That should be FUN.

Fa la la...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sweet Little Apathy

Oh no, it's been a week since my last post!  Work was pretty busy until today, so I haven't had as much internet time as I'd like.  Let's catch up.

Last weekend was very lovely if a little quiet, as Hike was suffering from a cold/cough situation.  Friday night he had plans with friends and I had scheduled my facial, which was amazing and relaxing and the only problem was that I had to pee after about an hour, and there was no easy way to get up and excuse myself, since I was covered in a mask and various towels.  So I loved it, but I decided that next time I'm going to discuss with Crystal beforehand (yes, that's my Irish lass' name.  I love her.) and have a bathroom break planned.  Then I won't be distracted while relaxing.  Crystal also talked to me about how Proactiv is not good for your skin as it's made from harmful chemicals and it's addictive, and no matter what when you stop using it, you break out for at least 6 weeks.  Which means you'll never stop because you'll think you still need it.  I decided to try and wean myself off of it, since I tried to quit using it before and had that exact experience.  I'll try to wait it out, and if I keep breaking out excessively after a certain amount of time, I can use it again, but hey, while I'm quitting all sorts of chemicals, why not pick another?  Though it'll take awhile till I stop using it entirely, as I'm going to slowly use up the stuff I already have at home.

ANYWAY, then Hike came over later and we watched more Fraggle Rock (which is NOT a euphemism, though that is an entertaining thought), and then Saturday I relaxed in the afternoon and at night we went to eat at Cafe Bar in Astoria (terrible name) and I had Pumpkin Ravioli in this tomato mushroom sauce that was really good, and then we saw The King's Speech.  YOU GUYS, I've now seen all of the Oscar-nominated movies except Toy Story 3 (which I have at home from Netflix now) and Winter's Bone, which I don't know if I want to see.  I've never been so caught up!  Anyway, The King's Speech was great and heartwarming and I liked it a lot, but I think I still would pick True Grit as my favorite.  Sunday we watched Emma, his pick, as he'd just finished reading the book on his Kindle, since classics are free.  It was nice and nostalgic, since I hadn't seen that movie since Britch and I would watch it at slumber parties in high school.  The rest of Sunday I watched Toy Story 2 (to get up to speed) and got stuff done around the house.

Monday night was Harpie dinner, and the theme was McDonald's updated and a little Russian, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first McDonald's to open in Moscow.  Everyone had great ideas, from Chicken Nugget apps with Russian dressing to a Mickey D's salad to cokes with vanilla vodka in McD cups to our individually-wrapped desserts of Russian tea cookies!  And I made a hamburger pie.  Yum.  We also played Apples to Apples and got silly and laughed a ton.  I realized later that I am no longer coughing when I laugh really hard -- yay! 

Tuesday was mellow and catching up on home stuff, and then last night my roomie gave us tickets to see Colin Quinn's Broadway show.  We went to the Red Lobster in Times Square beforehand, since Hike's mom had given him a gift certificate for Christmas and told him to take me, plus who doesn't love a RL, amiright?  Anyway, we had a big caloric dinner, then rambled around Toys R Us until showtime, and the show was hilarious.  Then a taxi home!

It's been a good week, but I've been fighting a splitting headache since Tuesday night, and that's very unusal for me.  I'm wondering if it's sinus-related, since my nose is slightly stuffy and today I'm a bit hoarse, but it's not like full-blown sick, so I can't justify staying home.  I took Tylenol all day yesterday and felt better by the evening, and then woke up this morning before the alarm in lots of pain again, so I took two Tylenol and two Ibuprofin, and that'll be my regimen today.  I also feel sort of disoriented, so I'm looking forward to crawling into bed after work this evening.  I was saying how I wanted to get sick so I could have a day off of work, but I don't want to get medium sick!  That benefits no one.  Lame.

Anyyyyway, starting next week I'm going to try and be healthier again with my eating habits.  I've been lax for these first few weeks of not smoking, but I can feel the weight gain now (I'm at 138 as of yesterday) and I don't like it, so I need to buckle down again.  Which means this week I'm eating lots o' junk while I can.  So what who cares? 

I also ordered two different pairs of rain/snow boots since my pair with owls on them has been compromised with some cracks -- it makes sense considering I bought them last year for $20, and those things have about a year or less of usage, not to mention how often I've worn them this winter.  My plan is to try both new pairs on and compare, but I think I'll have a hard time deciding!  Check them out.


Haa since they've sold out of that last pair, I can only view the tiny thumbnail, but they're black with a silver branch design.

Well, I guess that is all the big news.  Oh, I did pick out a bridesmaid's dress for Britch's August wedding, and while I don't know yet if Hike will be able to join me, he's changed his grad school intentions slightly and that may mean he's free the last week of August!  We'll see, but I hope I don't have to attend a romantic Scottish castle wedding alone...  I'm trying not to worry about it, but you know me, friends.  The potential for messed-up plans stresses me out. 

That said, I'm way too worried and anxious lately for no good reason (except maybe nicotine withdrawal) so I'm trying to recite this mantra while breathing to calm myself down:  Breathing in I relax my body, breathing out I relax my mind.  You know, just anything to stop the incessant crazy that happens in my head.

Andddd it's almost Valentine's Day!  I'm so confused about how to handle the present portion.  Do we buy presents?  Do we talk about it beforehand so we're on the same page?  Is a card adequate, with some small token plus a romantic dinner?  What do I do? 

Breath in, breath out.