Friday, December 19, 2014

Finding words

My frustration level over the last 2 hours has skyrocketed, and I don't want to rant on Facebook.

This morning, I knew I wanted to do a little shopping. Just got paid, and we haven't been able to do any holiday shopping up until now. Jumped online to see if I could knock out any sites before the stores opened. The kitten was kind enough to wake my ass at 630 this morning. If I need help getting up with the chickens once we have them, I swear all I'll need to do is get another kitten. Little furry alarm clock, that one...

The tool I work with is web-based, but was down, so I made sure it wasn't just me - emailed my supervisors - and was told that IT was on it. So I figured I'd take the morning and get the shopping done. Hubs was awake and came with, and we meandered here and there all over East AVL, getting most of our holiday shopping taken care of, as well as doing a decent grocery shop for the first time in 3 weeks. Didn't get home til 3ish, and by the time I got back online, it was 4PM....where I was greeted with the inability to get into the tool still.

Further investigation revealed they had JUST come up with a remedy, which involved downloading a fresh app to my smartphone (wha?) in order to acquire a security code that I would then tell IT, so they could catalog it with my name before I can move forward to trying to get into the highly secure program that might lead me to the tool (although they mention a prerequisite of being in a program that I haven't accessed in 2 years, because independent contractors get tossed out of such things)....and you get the idea.


And by the time I've figured out how to get the information they need, it's freakin' 4:45PM on the Friday before Christmas and every conceivable Monster-drinking IT geek burned hell out of there at approximately 4:44PM.

I exchanged a couple emails with my manager-to-be, and she's aware of my predicament, but her hands are tied. IT may or may not be working the problem this weekend; as far as I know, only Tech Support runs 24 hours there still. I'm not privy to nearly the scuttlebutt, being up in NC, but I don't think this is an accident, this latest outage, more like an upgrade that went horribly wrong.

Why is this so lousy? Several reasons...the main one being that the timing just blows donkey butt. Thank the gods I wasn't behind by much; I try to knock out 100 sites a week and I was in the 70s when this went down, and we're on the first week of the pay period, so normally, I'd say oh well and make up the difference the next week. 

But this means I can't work until Monday.....on Christmas-damn-week. We're traveling Thursday to visit family and staying over....in a house that is so chaotic, so full of negative energy, that I won't even bring my laptop probably...it would be pointless to attempt to focus. Besides, we'll be celebrating the holiday as much as possible, making a nice dinner, playing with our 8-year-old niece, and trying our best not to rock a very shaky boat. Les's side of the family, unfortunately, has become painfully fractured since his dad passed.

It's all doable, but man, it's going to be hard. I was hoping to knock out holiday baking Tuesday or Wednesday. I normally do it earlier, but our freezer is packed to the gills lately and there isn't any room for half a dozen pound cakes or whatever. My mom and Lil Sis are visiting one day next weekend for gift exchanging, and I know Saturday would be better for them. But if I'm unable to plow through a significant chunk of sites Monday through Wednesday.....

I am fit to be tied, and there's no remedy except patience. 



Monday, December 15, 2014

Thoughts



This blog's practically defunct, because I figure if I'm investing the $18 a year to have a Wordpress account, then that blog should get the majority of my mental drivel. But that said, I rely on this one for when I need to talk about nothing. I guess I should call it the Seinfeld blog.

*****

I've been crazy busy. Work has been paying extra, but only if we do more than 100 sites a week, and it's a royal bitch just getting to that number, because they're outsourcing again, and godbless'em, I'm sure the company's saving money, but it's at the expense of the editors' sanity. Some of the copywriting is so abysmal, I want to write the CEO an anonymous letter questioning his intelligence at allowing people for whom English is obviously a second language to be writing English websites. Alas, we send sites back for more work, we send feedback, and we suffer in silence instead.

So they pulled that on Thanksgiving week (right when the mother-in-law was visiting) and then again this past week, and I'm so drained I spend my days off not doing a whole lot beyond playing on the Kindle and staring into space. Actually, haven't had a day off in a solid week, because I get twitchy when there are ecommerce sites in the queue just sitting (because they're easy, if not easy money anymore), so when the extra money period had passed yesterday, I knocked the ecomms out just to get a jump on the week. Felt a little like that ep of M*A*S*H when Hawkeye couldn't stop operating, but I'm also pushing past family stress regarding the holiday and enjoying very little holiday spirit right now, so I  put my focus where it does the most good.

*****

Random: I understand the point of the traffic sign "Bridge Ices Before Road". Makes lots of sense to have those up here. I get that it probably has to do with different materials having different temperatures (my dad's voice is in my head saying something about the static coefficient of friction too); and most bridges are concrete, whereas blacktop is warmer and doesn't freeze as fast. My question is: if they've blacktopped over the bridge, what's the point of the sign?
This went thru my head while flying down highway this morning to procure cut-rate Krispy Kremes. Go Panthers!

*****

I started knitting Les socks for Yule. I don't see them getting off the needles by then.

*****

Eye insurance is a joke. I pay into a plan every month for the privilege of a $10 copay on appointments and a royal fleecing everywhere else. Anyone who thinks that contact lenses are elective must have perfect vision. What's sad is it's a good plan probably, by industry standards. They pay $40 off wholesale on frames, 100% on lenses, OR up to like, $115 on contacts annually.

Either/or is frustrating enough when you consider that it makes good sense to have a decent pair of glasses around for when you have eye problems, your contacts run out or crap out, or some other issue. My eye allergies this year alone have demonstrated the need for a good pair of specs. Alas, it's that either/or that usually keeps me from getting new glasses, but my prescription has changed enough in recent years (I just LOVE being over 40!), where it was time for a new pair.

So I told them to run the insurance on the glasses, and I'll save up for the contacts in January and just buy 'em online. Here's where the insurance falls through. Lenses = a very old-fashioned idea of what lenses entails. They cover single vision, bifocal, or trifocal (with lines). No Progressives. No High Index.

I live in contacts, and I have a decently strong prescription; so I say screw that and get the Progressive, High Index lenses, because I want the most optimal visibility possible. I normally HATE wearing glasses, and I'd love to be able to change that viewpoint with a nice decent pair. Insurance thinks I should look like the girl on the bus at the end of Ferris Bueller.

So in addition to paying $300+ for glasses, then I get to turn around and pay $200+ for contacts, because they consider them ELECTIVE???

The only bright spots in this story are a) I should be able to pay off the glasses by my next paycheck, in spite of Christmas (crosses fingers). and b) the trial contacts he ordered helped me see that my left eye has improved significantly. My focus issues are clearing up, and I'm not as frustrated with my astigmatism.

*****

I went shopping last night at the local Ingles. They have those smaller carts with upper and lower baskets, and I slipped my phone into the little tray in front as I shopped. Finished shopping, left phone in cart, drove home. Thankfully, we live in BFE with civilization, so it wasn't too huge a hardship to race back up there when I got home and discovered I was without my communication device. Cart was gone, so I checked Customer Service, but nothing had been turned in. A stock boy went outside to check all the small carts in the parking lot (serious KUDOS to Ingles for their southern hospitality training! I wanted to hug the kid afterward.). I went walking up and down the aisles, praying that some old fart was shopping and hadn't even realized that the phone was there.

I found the phone all the way in Dairy, in a young fart's cart, as it turned out, and my assumption was correct - she hadn't even noticed it was there.

It's a password-protected iPhone 4S, so it's barely worth stealing, but I couldn't help wondering a couple of things.....how zoned out people get when they shop. How that definitely worked in my favor this time. And how in spite of it being an older model iPhone and password-protected, if I'd forgotten it in a city market, the chances of my finding it would have decreased significantly.

*****

That last story would be unremarkable, were it not for the fact that I went shopping last week, bought pasta and sauce, got back in car to drive to another errand, and realized I really should've bought ground beef too, for meat sauce, so after errand, went to the OTHER Ingles near us to purchase meat. I can't decide if my flakiness is reaching epic levels or what.....but I'm definitely getting off the junk food again after the holidays.

*****

How do you regulate weight on two indoor cats of significantly disparate ages? Our cats are 11 years old and almost 8 months. We've discovered there's really no point in them having two separate and different food types (we've been buying Mature for the big girl and Kitten for the little guy), because the kitten hoovers everything. in. sight. He's already developed a pooch! This cat is no stranger to activity yet; he does play and fly around the house, but our apartment layout could be better and they just don't get the exercise they should for the amount of food they take in. After the holidays, we'll probably integrate a weight control formula slowly and see if that helps.

K, i'm done for now. If you stuck around through all that, I'm impressed.

*****

I lied, one more thing.....

Asheville Citizen-Times is reporting our Chipotle opens on either Friday December 19th or Saturday December 20th. I'm torn between...

a) not wanting to go near the place for at least a week while they work out the kinks and disasters that occur in the first week of a restaurant's opening,
or...
b) showing up on their doorstep first thing on opening day, so I can be the first person served, thus cementing my crazy obsessed fan status.

I'm only half kidding with option B.




Monday, November 24, 2014

Sap, Grass, Leaves, Snow

I'm buried in Thanksgiving prep and the impending visiting of family, but this post of Ben Hewitt's rang so true to me this morning, that I had to repost it somewhere. 

I still pray for the days when the wheel of my year turns according to that subject line. I will make it happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Morning.....

Yea, I fell behind yesterday....it's bein' a hard week.


My attempt at a standing work station. Didn't have the angles quite right, made my wrist hurt. Also, legs didn't mind it much, but lower back was a whiny bitch.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Morning :: Noon :: Night


:: Morning ::
 
 
:: Noon ::
 
 
:: Night ::
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Morning :: Noon :: Night



:: Morning ::

 
:: Noon ::

 
:: Night ::

Morning :: Noon?

I've seen a bunch of bloggers in the past, do a photo series of just simple shots from their mornings, noons, and nights. I thought about trying it yesterday, just for a week, in an attempt to be more present of my surroundings.

I've decided that people who do this live in larger houses, because the kitchen was a mess and the lighting sucked for taking any pics last night. Maybe tonight will be better. I hope to do this for a week, at least.


:: Morning ::
 
 

:: Noon ::
 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Autumn Winding Down

Yea, it's been a while, sorry about that.

I've been blogging a bit over at Dark Meadow. Just updated my Tumblr blog a pinch, just for fun...haven't been over there in a while, was a nice visit. Also been thinking of starting up Melanie's Gym again. Because naturally, I've turned over yet another new leaf where my health is concerned and need the outlet for verbal spewage.

Thought the wooly worm lied, but turns out his predictions don't start til official winter (solstice), so he's not to blame for the hilarious white stuff we just got.




Halloween night, NOAA said we'd get about a quarter-inch. They didn't factor in the wind, I guess, because it looked more like 6 inches or so in some spots. Woke up to a winter wonderland...seriously, remember when Ralphie looks out the window Christmas morning in A Christmas Story? It was that white. Took 2 days to melt, and they're saying we may get more on Friday. The trees are standing around half-leafed, half-colored, looking confused.

September and October kind of flew. I'm hoping November settles in and stretches out a bit, so I can prepare for the holidays without wanting to blow my brains out.

We don't want to travel for Christmas this year. Whether or not we're able to get away with that without crushing guilt from one side of the family remains to be seen.

My side, thankfully, is hosting friends and doesn't mind that we want to stay put. They also have a better grasp of our financial straits. Hubs' side knows we're strapped, but it takes a backseat to their emotional needs, which are rather vast.

The new contract for work kicked my ass the first 2 weeks, and I'm not looking forward to the paycheck this Thursday because it's going to be less than I need it to be. Only comfort is the fact that I'll get an extra paycheck of sorts by the way the periods fall this month, so I may be almost able to catch up. But it's the other reason I'm not looking forward to the holidays yet...any gift giving is mainly going to occur from our hands and hearts, and that doesn't go over as well with Hubs' side of the family. In better years, Christmas was a time of serious giving and gluttony, and weaning away from that usually means some depression on their end at how life has changed. Coming up on 3 years without the patriarch, and that side is still at loose ends.

The weather changes have me itching to read, and finally to put my hands in yarn again. I haven't knitted in months, but all it takes is one walk around the local track with freezing ears to remind me my life would be better if I had a headband and/or a cap with a hole in the back for my ponytail, for hiking/exercising in winter. I'm getting back on a smart work schedule this week, and as I find my groove, it should free up my evenings a pinch.

As for reading, I'm still nipping away at Cold Antler Farm, have progressed to Dragonfly in Amber in the Outlander series, and am studying Ayurveda with the help of Deepak Chopra.