Thursday, August 30, 2007


As a women who works in a world of men, there is one thing you NEVER want to be seen doing.


Not to say it doesn't happen even to the best of us. but under no circumstances do you want to become a blubblery mess for "no reason" around the dudes.

Today was out little farewell party for those who are going in the layoffs. Some beers, some munchines, some last good times with good people.

Um. Yeah. I totally lost it a couple times. Which is SO NOT my work persona.

I'm a bitch at work. A horrid, ragin bitch. You don't wanna piss me off. It gets my job done.

But in my personal life, I'm a girl. I like sparkley things. I like the color pink. I take pride in being a "good wife".

But you'd never know it if you only knew it from work. And i like it that way.

So.... the times tonigh I became a blubbering mess.... even the guys I respect most were a little surprised and they voiced that they never expected me to be the one crying.

But... the worst of all.... I left the bar.... no more loaded than I have been many other times when getting behind the wheel.... and I just fuckin' lost it. Totally lost it. Tears everywhere, shaking, more tears..... pulled over and called the hubby to pick me up, I was too much of an emotional clusterfuck to drive.

And he did pick me up, god love him. And I'm still an emotional mess, god love me. I've been thru layoffs before, I've been the one to loose a job before..... but this time it seems to suck so much worse. I've never worked with such a great bunch of people. God willing... I will work with some of them again, but never the whole group. And O.m.G... that just sucks big time, if you know these people. When you are there, like an idiot, working hard at a late hour..... someone else was always these as an equal idiot working the same hours. It may be stupid...... but that shit is hard to find. And I will miss it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Random housewife-y thoughts....

I'm still not diggin' Costco. Went today to pick up essentials (like ketchup... the hubby is a ketchup fiend and we're dangerously low). In my quick run thru the store at lunch time, just didn't really see anything too exciting. And the damned ketchup bottles... it comes in a pack of three in the *stupidest* holder ever, totally off balance... as I was carrying all the shit in to the house, the damned holder gave out and two bottles plunked to the ground. GREAT.

The new Glad veggie steamer bags.... nice. I did some asparagus in one this week, very nicely steamed veggies. I even threw in some shallot and lemon zest, and it really picked up the flavors nicely. Kinda wish they'd had these things when we lived in our hot as hell apartment.....

Dealing with mirgraines the past two nights. Mild at least, but still a pain in the ass. It's better tonight now that I actually thought of putting my glasses on.

Cooking was unexciting tonight... steak sandwiches... and there might not be cooking for the rest of the week. The hubby's got his fantasy football draft thing tomorrow night, and there is talk at work about doing some kind of after-work bar thing. Not a going away party for all the people who are leaving... but just a last chance to hang out with and enjoy the company of people you hope to be running in to again in future workplaces.

Monday, August 27, 2007

God damn love 'cause it's breakin' my heart... and if I had one wish, I could see in the dark....

It's been an uneventful week in the Casa de Hausfrau.

Work has been downright depressing and also half-dead. A lot of people who don't need to be there just aren't coming in, my co-worker has been doing maybe four hours a day. I know there are projects that I need to move forward on, but nothing is really moving forward. It'd also be easier if we had an actual business direction.... there isn't much to do until we figure out which markets we're staying in, and which ones we may leave, which product are a priority... fun stuff like that.

Nothing interesting on the cooking front... just tryin' to get by. Tonight was just eggs, ham and hash browns for dinner. Easy and don't have to think much about it. But I do have to give mad props to the Crisp Potato Hash Browns. Love those.

I know I'm off the hook for cooking on Wednesday this week... the hubby is doing his fantasy football draft thing that evening. No idea what the heck I'm going to do for dinner. Maybe I'll pick up some Thai food.... that sounds good right now.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mundane moments of sadness.....

There are some moments in life where it strikes you how sad the world is.

Tonight, it was turning to the hubby and saying that on No Reservations next week, it was going to be Cincinnati. The hubby was excited, he's been there, loves the city, and loves the Skyline chili. And I said, excitedly, one of the Ramones was going to be one. Then wondered allowed.... "Shit.... which one is still alive? Oh yeah, Marky."

'Tis a sad world without Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny.


The Vegas Trip

With all the recent bad karma in my life, we decided to focus on the trip and just try to enjoy it as much as we could. We'd watch the spending on tacky Vegas gifts and food, which meant my much-anticipated trip to Enoteca San Marco was going to have to be pushed off. Damnit.

Thursday - August 16th

The flight there was uneventful (Ted outta O'Hare). We did spot a Buddhist monk at the airport, which was kinda neat (sadly for the hubby, no wire-fu fights broke out). Hubby got stopped at security for the neck pillow in his bag -- oddly, as mine passed thru without notice RIGHT before his bag. Flight was a little bumpy, which was expected with all the storms in the midwest.

Landed, and we finally found the Harrahs airport check in. Waited for a few minutes, and one of the clerks got us checked in. We asked for Strip view, she kinda made a face at first but then said there was a room that should be ready by the time we got to the Flamingo.

Stopped for the usual trip to the slot machines to have a first go. Hubby put his usual five or ten bucks in to the machine. And got nothing. Not one winning spin. Huh. That's never happened before.

Picked up some coffees, by then the bags were ready at the baggage claim, and we hopped a cab. At first I thought the cab driver was going to have to try really hard to get a tip outta us when he didn't even motion to put the bags in the trunk (hubby ended up doing it) but he ended up being charming and entertaining. On the cab radio right before we turned in to the Flamingo, we heard someone asking "Anyone know what the heck is going on at Harrahs? IT's a madhouse over there."

At the Flamingo, walked to the info desk to get room keys, and headed up to the room to drop the bags. Not a true strip view... 11th floor, kinda on the side corner looking at the Bellagio shops. When I did see that the front Strip views still had that damned Toni Braxton sign on front, I was glad we didn't spring for any extra bucks for a full-on strip view. While I searched thru my bag for sunscreen, I found the hubby's "missing" slot cards. Um, that I apparently packed in my luggae two weeks ago. My bad!!

Flipped on the TV for some noise, and landed on the local news. Found out what was happening at Harrahs... they had a report of someone with a gun in the parking garage and had apparently shut down the parking garage and it was a traffice nightmare around there. GREAT. Guess we weren't going to be headed in the direction of Harrahs anytime soon.

Hungry, we decided we'd head down to Planet Hollywood to see if the Pink's was open. Hubby was very impressed with the new facade. Went on about what will apparently end up being multi-color LED lights (he's in the sign biz). We found the race & sportsbook, but no idea where Pink's was supposed to be. And every time I tried to ask a floorperson, they'd just walk past me.

Walked the mall a little bit, was highly disappointed about the Bettie Page Clothing store... I'm a huge huge huge Bettie fan and was looking forward to the store. Um, yeah, they might try to keep more than small and medium sizes in stock. Sadly, none of the dresses I liked came in XL, and I also was not about to spend $27 for one of their tee shirts. That seems a little high, even for the Strip.

Ended up going over to Fatburger to get a bite to eat. Started out good, but about halfway thru my burger, I unwrapped it a bit and found a very definate mold spot on my bun (that I luckily had not eaten yet). Ew. I've worked fast food and I know it can happen, but still, ew. But after altering the staff, the problem was taken care of and my money was refunded for the better part of my & hubby's meal (as he continued to chow down) and they offered me another burger or a shake or anything I wanted, but my appetite was kinda gone. But I did walk away impressed at how they've handled it, it's happened to me at other places in the past and I've never had it handled so well.

Hit the auto collection at the IP for some browsing. Always neat.

Back to the Flamingo, about two minutes of chilling in the room before we were down to hit the casino. I quickly blew thru $100 video poker. Hubby blew thru more than that less quickly but still fast at his favorite three card table. Tails between our legs, we headed up to the room to relax for a few minutes.

We had some money in Lettuce Entertain You gift cards, so one place we wanted to go this trip was the new Stripburger at the Fashion Show Mall. The place was fairly empty, possibly because of its new-ness or just the fact we were eating kinda early. I got their "Signature" blue cheese burger with crispy onion strips and the hubby got a cheese and green chili burger, and and order of fries and fried pickles between us, with sodas. Burgers were good, the fried onions were just like Hackney's, a local joint. Bill was around $35, and we could have easily shared one side between us. Service was great and prompt. And it must be the "all outdoor" setup they have going... we were pleased to find out that you can actually smoke within the confines of the resteraunt, right at the same table you're eating at. Or at least no one yelled when we grabbed an ashtry and lit up.

Back home to the Flamingo, in hopes the gambling gods would smile upon us a little better. Not so. I blew thru another hundy at the VP machines and hubby again enjoyed a few $100 beers before he was done at the three card poker table. I introduced the hubby to my favorite find from our last trip.... the little outside patio with the bar selling draft Lite for two bucks a cup. We did get to see one of the new Hertz Shelby GT-H Mustang Convertable drive past.... very nice. If it hadn't have been 107 degree August weather for this trip, we probably would have rented one. We spent some time having a few and people watching before finally getting a $17 six-pack from the gift shop to head off to bed.

Friday - August 17th

Started off the day at the pool, which was pretty uneventful. Not too crowded, fun in the water was had. We still had some Lettuce Entertain You money to burn, so we headed over to Mon Ami Gabi for lunch. Promptly seated, menu explained a little. I was kinda bummed at their wines by the glass selection... some nice stuff, but nothing that interested me that wasn't easily accesible at any liquor store around here. I ended up with iced tea, the hubby had a soda. He ordered the seafood crepes and liked them dispite the peas in there (he's not a fan of peas), I had the soup (cold corn chowder) and the sandwich du jour which was a wonderful "halibut burger"... halibut breaded in cornmeal, fried, and piled on a brioche bun with some tarragon mayo and frites. I could have eaten a gallon of the tarragon mayo, so it's probably good I only got a little cup of it, lol. For desert we split the Profiteroles, realllly good. I didn't see the bill, but I know the remainder of the $100 gift certs we had took care of it nicely and left a big fat tip for the servers. Now, my hubby is NOT a French or even "fancy" kinda food sorta guy, but he enjoyed the meal and would go back.

Back to the room, then back down to the casino for some more gambling and quickly back up to the room again with empty pockets but at least a couple cocktails. They must have been doing some "visability" stuff after the Harrah's incidnet... there was security everywhere and some of them were introducing themselves to the players. Kinda odd, I was wondering what was happening with the security guards talking to everyone around me until a guard came and introducted herself to me and gave the speech, lol.

The weather forcast from the previous night (with a weatherman with the oddest damned on-TV stance.... he either looked like he was ready to sprint off set or was standing to show off his "package" under the suit pants). We figured with the predicted "20%" chance, we wouldn't get to see rain. But sure enough, as we sat in the room, the clouds started to darken a little and eventually raindrops fell. We booked it downstairs to stand outside for a few minutes, watching the rain. It almost seemed like a lot of it evaporated before it even hit the ground. Headed back upstairs to chill for a few, then we decided to head down to Fremont to have dinner at MSS.

Luckily the brewpub was empty, and we were seated right away. It's not gourmet, but it'd good pub food. Hubby had a burger and I had the Santa Fe Chicken, which was surprisingly juicey chicken under all the cheese. We each did the beer sampler, and enjoyed each one.

After that some wandering of Fremont, but we realized we arrived way too early and didn't really want to wait around for a few hours for the fun to start and all the lights to twinkle in the dark. We did walk down and look at the Fremont East stuff which looks pretty neat, and looks like the area is shaping up nicely.

Headed back to the Flamingo, and it was pretty neat that in the cab, we got to see and awesom rainbow that was basically over the city, from Fremont to Mandalay. Perhaps our luck was about to change.

Back at the hotel, still early and still knowing how our luck was going, we decided to go try to catch a fountain show at the Bellagio. Parked ourselves at the fence, and within a few minutes, the "Viva Las Vegas" show started. We've wanted to catch that one but always seem to miss it. I was excited. A Vegas rainbow?? The Viva Las Vegas fountain show?? Our luck had to change!!

Sadly, no. Back to some more $100 beers for the hubby, and at least some modest slot and VP wins for me, but nothing too exciting. I did discover that the slots back by the check in desk are WAY better than all the ones in the front of the casino, which are obviously designed to grab money from tired tourists who just park in a chair on the way from Harrahs to Bill's or something.

Back to the outside patio bar and people watching, then back up to the room. Sans the $17 6-pack this night.

Saturday - August 18th

Up at a reasonable time, and we got some room service. Then some quick clean up, and we decided to walk down to the Luxor to see how all the "changes" were going. Huge mistake. Never realized, but that end of the strip is still largely blocktop, which makes the ground above it around a zillion degrees. Funny sight... some guys and their obvious plant trying to get stupid tourists involved in a three card monty game on the sidewalk. Very annoying since the sidewalk space is limited around the City Center construction. But, as we plowed past them, about 50 feet down was a dude selling bottled water who proclaimed "Those guys should be banned from the Strip... its such a rip-off!" I might find it ironic from a guy making a tidy profit off of selling water to me out of a cooler... but the "on-strip" prices are more competitive than the casino!

Finally made it to Luxor, and it looks like, at least for now, they're just getting rid of the "over the top" egyptian touches. Still plenty of fake egypt to be seen, but it doesn't seem as forced. We also passed thru Mandalay, Excalibur and NYNY. Our direction got totally turned around in Exclaibur and it took us forever to find the bridge to NYNY (partly because of my husband's infamous bad sense of direction, but I won't go in to that right now ). We finally did make it back to the Flamingo, grabbed a couple of slices of pizza from the little carry-out counter at the Italian place. Back up to the room to relax a little more and put off the inevitable emptying of our wallets yet again.

When we finally did head back down to the casino, I quickly turned $20 in to $40 at the penny slots by the check in counters, and then plopped myself in front of a VP machine for about two seconds before the hubby came over, already totally wiped out again. He just could not win. He'd pull a flush, dealer would get a straight, and so on. Again, out to the patio bar, which was rockin' with some great 80's hair-metal tunes. We were happy campers until the shift change and the new bartender with some really crappy techno pop junk (I like some techno, but this stuff was about to put me to sleep). Another $17 six pack from the gift shop, and up to relax, get mostly packed and just chill. We did discover that the phone was not working very well, which made it doubtful that our wake-up call would come thru, so we slep with the curtains open to get that wonderful "Vegas alarm clock" when the sun started to rise.

Sunday - August 19

Yep. Wake-up call never came.

Luckily the alarm went off, and the sunrise had already woken up a few minutes before 6am. We got ready, packed the last odds and ends. Again, turned on the TV to catch the local news, with the top story being about 3 guys who got shot during a fight outside Margaritaville at about 3am. GREAT. I turned to the hubby and said... "I just wanna go home!"

But even that was not so easy. Got to the airport to find our flight was delayed. Security lines were unusually long. Hubby got pulled AGAIN for his neck pillow, again after mine made it thru without question. At least this time the head security dude explained that it was new people working security (in Vegas on a Sunday morning? That screams "bad idea") and although he knew exactly what the neck thing was, he stepped thru the procedures with the newbies.

Finally got to the gate, more delays with the flight. The plane hadn't come in yet. Plane finally arrives, but we are told more delays due to some bad weather in Chicago. A quick call to the brother in law comfirms it is raining cats and dogs. GREAT. So, for our 8:50am flight, we finally take off two hours late for a bumpy flight all the way back, to land two hours later than we had planned. On our way to catch the El train out of the airport we encountered broken escaltors, elevators and some mis-labeled ticket machines that resulted in missing a train and having to wait another 15 minutes to get out of the damned airport.

Needles to say.... glad to be home. I don't think the trip tarnishes my image of Vegas and its many charms. The big frustraition wasn't just loosing, it was loosing FAST. We still walked away with a couple hundred bucks in winning, it's just that there was a LOT of downtime when the gambling budget had been reached way too quickly. It's wasn't the best trip, but there were some fun moments and it was at least an escape from the crushing reality I've been dealing with the past couple weeks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The whole new shitty even more sucky turn....

I am a woman sentenced to six weeks.

Six more weeks before my position is terminated. I can't decide if it's good or if it's bad that it's 4 weeks more than basically the rest of the engineering department. Including the other person with the same job title AND my manager. Oh yeah. It's gonna suck.

Currently working on some job leads.... if I can get out before the 6 weeks, let severence pay be damned, I'd just like to have my future settled.

Have some job applications out, currently talking to some people and using some connections to see what else is out there.

But right now... in like 14 hours... I'll be in Vegas, and that is the focus. Yeah, I think the lunch at Enoteca San Marco I was hoping to do is off the agenda now since we're really going to try to keep expenses for the trip down, but ah well. We do have Lettuce Entertain You gift cards to use up so might be hitting Stripburger, possibly Mon Ami Gabi, to use up some of the free money.

Looking forward to it, really. With the 6 weeks and the severence pay, I'm getting a paycheck at least until the end of October. And while the market ain't great, I *know* I can find something by then. If the company isn't begging me to stay on at that point (which is also a possibility).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Off for a few days

(if anyone is even out there??)

The not-so-great developments at work are set to take a whole new shitty even more sucky turn tomorrow.

We leave for Vegas on Thursday morning.

Over the weekend I made a BLT dip for each of the parties I was attending, and both were a big hit (but boy, I like Farmland bacon more than Oscar Mayer bacon lately). Also made a Clam Dip that left me highly unimpressed and I don't think went over as well as the BLT dip at the one party I brought it to.

No cooking tonight.... totally not in the mood. Jimmy Johns to the rescue.

Did go outside and pick some lovely red tomatoes off my plants. Four. They're purty-ful. And I forgot to water my plants, so I really hope it rains tonight.

So.... I'll post a report on the Vegas trip when we return. Hopefully with more energy and hope.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Simpsons........

Finally went and saw the movie tonight.

Coming from someone who has an entire basement full of still in packaging Simpsons figures and playsets.... it was good.

WAY better than recent seasons of the Simpsons. Jokes are good thru it all, non-stop and just a LOT of things you've always wanted to see them make an attempt at. Very entertaining, and I can't wait for the DVD.

Sooo... this weekend is the Chicaco comic convention. I usually partake for a day, but not doing so this year because we've got two b-day parties this weekend, and we're headed to Vegas next week, just didn't want to take the time since I figured it'd be hectic at work. Ha-ha (Nelson style!) on me.

But... the hubby went (and is going again tomorrow - I will never go on a Saturday 'cause that is when all the costumed freaks come out, and I really don't need to see gaggles of Salior Moon costumes, Stormtroopers, and four hundred pound chicks in chainmail bikinis. Every woman should be proud of her body and wear stuff that she feels comfortable in - but dude. Some consideration for other people. Please. There is a reason I only wear short-shorts and tube tops in the privacy of my own home). And... the hubby got me a fantastic gift. A shirt with my favorite Ralph Wiggum quote of all time and the corresponding picture.... "I dressed myself!" Awesome.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Is it Vegas yet???

Another Ugh.

I can't even recall what the heck I made for dinner on Monday.

Yesterday was a fairly busy day at work, and we'd gotten a heavy enough rain the night before that caused some water to leak in to our (thankfully unfinished) basement. But, that meant getting home from work and cleaning up that mess. And I needed to run to Menards. And it was a zillion degrees out. Yeah. We had Jimmy Johns for dinner.

Tonight was a downer of a day at work. Our "weekly status meeting" basicly turned in to a speculation session about how the expected next round of layoffs will go. My boss suspects she's on the chopping block, and they might keep one writer. Frankly, I don't see how the company can work without my boss. No one has their pulse on the company like she does. Or knows when our vendors are outright lying to us like she does.

The day was already a downer, and rain started to come thru. Out having a smoke with a co-worker, some joking led to me saying "If your 'sunny attitude' was really ruling the weather, there'd be a tornado blowing thru right now." Cue the tornado sirens. Seriously.

Ok. I have lived in the midwest my whole life, but I am not good during a tornado warning situation. Really, really, not good. And especially bad in a single story building where there is NO emergency plan and the whole damn building is nothing but knee-to-ceiling windows. It took every bit of courage I had to not hide in the bathroom or under my desk for the half hour the warning was active and we were right in the predicted path. I was a wreck by the time we got the all clear.

Figured I'd be coming home to at least some wind damage (quite a few microburts in our town in the past few years.... we're a typical suburban town, but the towns to the west of us are more rural) and more water in the basement. Thankfully, not too much water in the basement. And no wind damage to anything, not even any of my plants.

Dinner was sauteed shrimp and cherry tomatoes (from the garden) with some shrimp butter I had left over, tossed with pasta. Simple but good. And no fuckin' clue what I'm making for dinner tomorrow. I'll think about it after noon, when I can be somewhat certain that no layoffs are happening on that day.

Still have a zillion things to do before we leave for Vegas. And no time to get them done. Despite facing possible layoffs, I've currently got eight - count 'em, eight! - projects that are pretty damned active. Stuff being translated, stuff to process from the translations group, stuff that still has to be edited and changed.... and I am a complete idiot who is still working hard, knowing that I'd feel horrible if I had to hand all this shit off to the other writing in shitty shape. Yes, I am an idiot. I have a funny feeling I may even be staying late a couple days since I hae the wonderful task of creating some docs by going from an HTML to Frame Maker situation for 3 pesky languages (I'll spare the gritty details, but it ain't fun. Far more complicated than a copy/paste. It's like a copy/paste, then another copy/paste and then having to format the text all over again). Damn you, work ethic!!!

Where was I going?? Oh yeah. A list for my own personal use. Feel free to skip it.

Scrub kitchen.
Make dips and pita chips for a party on Sunday.
Shop for presents and cards for the birthday parties that are Saturday AND Sunday.
Do laundry.
Straighten up rest of house.
Pray to a higher power that I don't get laid off.
Pray to a higher power that the market improves.
Pray to a higher power that one of the few companies I've sent a resume to in the past couple days shows interest in me and calls me back.
Finish Vegas packing.
Try to keep container plants from drowning in all this rain.
Clean out fridge.
Move around basement again so if we get more water, our stuff will be safe.
Hope I didn't miss anything super cool at the Comic Con on Saturday (hubby is going, I usually go but I just don't have it in me this year).
And a zillion other things.

I just hope, hope hope hope, if there are layoffs, it won't be until after Vegas. I want to have fun, not be worried about dropping a cent on any gambling.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Shameless plug

A friend's hubby is the "bad guy" in it. And I find it pretty damned hilarious!!!


It's been... well, it's been a week.

Slept waaaaay to late today, but it was nice. But it also means I won't get a fraction of the things done today that I wanted to. Damnit.

Some changes at work.... new CEO and the unrelated departure of a VP that kinda signals that our company is not really doing any new product development, which puts some jobs, including mine, in question. It'll either be the majority of the R&D department that goes, or some major management shake-up. Still don't know. But in any case, time to hit the job boards and start looking. We're a group of two writers, and I can see a big arguement that at least one, if not both of us need to be kept on. Even before the last new CEO last year and those layoffs, we had a plan of 4 writers just to handle a couple new products and maintaining/updating a LOT of old docs that needed some work. And right now we're at a point where there is a lot that needs to be updated with instructions for Vista or sales will be impacted. I fear we might get cut down to one writer. And I fear more that it might not be me. :(

With all that it's been a highly unpleasant humid and hot week in Chicago. This week's cooking involved Frozen Peanut Butter Pie (very easy and pretty good), Southwestern Turkey-Cheddar Burgers (so good the hubby even had one, and he's SO not a turkey burger kinda guy), crockpot pulled pork, and then corned beef hash (corned beef and taters cooked in the crockpot) and eggs. Good cooking week for me... everything was tasty. No idea what is up for next week yet. Might wait until tomorrow to plan that.

Was also highly frustraited at TV this week... particularly BBC America. I'm a huge fan of Footballer's Wives, and I knew the series ended a bit unexpectedly...but damn, it was sad to see it go without any resolution to anything. Not as bad as Hex, but damnit... I wanna see Tanya rule the world!!!! Sigh

I think today is going to be some general cleaning around the house... won't have a chance to do it next weekend 'cause we've got three birthday parties to go to. And the following Thursday we're off to Vegas.

And of course, because we're going to be heading to Vegas soon, I'm just starting to get red tomatoes. Quite a few grape tomatoes, and just picked my first red real tomato yesterday. Reminds me... have to see if the mother in law will come over and water the plants while we're gone.