Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween is tomorrow. Did you know that?

I seemed to have spaced that fact. I've seen it on the calendar. I know that tomorrow is October 31st, but for some reason, when the anchor on the local morning news mentioned something about Halloween being tomorrow, I about fell over. It was a huge shock. Holy crap. Halloween is TOMORROW.

Fortunately, D-Town bought candy over the weekend, so we're set on that front, but my sister and her family always come over to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood and I'm not prepared for that. I like to have real food for everyone to eat, since the festivities start so early that most folks haven't had time for dinner, myself included.

One good thing about this whole Halloween thing sneaking up on me is that we haven't had candy in the house for three weeks prior to the event like we normally do. Because of that, something miraculous has occurred. I haven't had ONE piece of Halloween candy. That's unheard of. I seriously think the Pope and the Miracle Verification Squad (or whatever they're called) can declare this a bonafide miracle. For a typical Halloween, Dwight and I tend to buy candy in two rounds – the first one for us, the second for the trick-or-treaters. Hey, you gotta make sure the candy is safe for the kiddos, right?

Happy and Safe Trick-or-Treating!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mr. Paulson's Wild Ride

So my quarterly 401(k) statement arrived yesterday. I was just speaking with someone about how I should just burn my next statement and not even bother to open it. 

Well, I didn't and I kind of wish I had. The quarter ended September 30, so it doesn't even reflect the last week and a half of daily losses. Even though I know I'm not retiring for another 20+ years, it still really sucks to see a -24.73% rate of return YTD and worry about how much further it will drop before we hit bottom.

I guess all that's left to do is hang on and try not to vomit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One Step Closer

Photo from

Thanks to this lovely George Foreman grill, I'm now one step closer to living at work.

One of our clients holds regular givaways, for which we do a number of mailings. About a month ago, they were giving away George Foreman grills and a coworker expressed a profound sense of shock that I did not own one. It is rather shocking. I'm pretty sure everyone I know has one, and given the amount of gadgets Dwight and I do own, you'd think this would be one of them. I mean, we own the Margarator, for heaven's sakes, which is (arguably) less useful than the GF grill.

My stunned and appalled coworker offered to give me one of hers since she was on this givaway list and was already flush with grills (apparently she has many, or at least more than one). A few weeks later, she brought in the grill and I was very surprised to discover that she gave me a brand new one. Shoot, I was expecting—and grateful to get—a hand-me-down used one and here it was, brandy new, like Christmas in September.

I took it home but put it in the closet and forgot about it because, well, I put it in the closet and "out of sight, out of mind" came into play, but also because I haven't had much opportunity to use it, seeing as I've been working a lot. Oh man, was I wrong.

DUR—I can use it AT work—genius! And so today, I grilled my first turkey burger for lunch. And shed an imaginary tear for one more nail in my "work-is-home" coffin. I already have the following at work: mini fridge, microwave, toaster oven, espresso machine, coffee bean grinder, electric kettle, and French press. Now I can add "George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine" to the list.

This isn't the worst, though. The worst was making my Thanksgiving side dish in the (very versatile) toaster oven. I brought the dish and ingredients to make corn casserole and baked it in the oven while Dwight and I worked all day, Thanksgiving 2006. We took our fresh-from-the-toaster-oven dish to my parent's house, had some good eats, then came back to wrap up a 14-hour shift. That was a fun day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Homemade Christmas

I know it's only October, but my family has already decided how we're handling presents this year. It came about when Dwight proposed that he and I forego exchanging gifts and call the hot tub our gift to ourselves. I jumped on that, seeing as I have a terrible time finding good gifts for him while he manages to get me great stuff. It's a lot of pressure. Which I now don't have to endure. Hoorah! 

Then we brought up the extended family exchange. Since money is tight for...well, everyone now (no kidding!), we thought it would be a great idea to have a "homemade only" Christmas. Not only would it save money, it would be more meaningful. When you have to make something as opposed to picking some random pre-packaged gift off the shelf, more thought goes into the process. Exchanging imperfect but heart-felt gifts seemed like the ideal way to celebrate Christmas, so we brought it up to the rest of the family. 

Everyone loved it. While some are a little unsure what they'll do, all are willing and some of us are downright excited about it. My mom told me that my nieces are just thrilled. We decided to exchange names and include the kids, too. I know at their age, I would have felt so special being included in a name exchange with the adults. 

So the names have been exchanged and it's time to brainstorm. We wanted to give everyone plenty of time to plan and let the creative juices flow. I've thought of a few things and am keeping a list going. I think this is going to be a whole lot of fun!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


In some ways, I feel like I'm losing my mind. I can see how people with dementia don't realize that something is amiss. I can't tell you how many times I've done something that I thought was right, thought I read the instructions correctly, looked it over, and had the client email back with a "You forgot this" or "The change is in the wrong place" or similar missive letting me know I suck. OK, they don't actually SAY that I suck but they're thinking it. I seem to keep screwing up over and over on the same things

I know it's because I'm trying to do too many things at one time, but I do wonder about what my memory will be like when I'm in my golden years seeing as it's pretty much in the crapper now. Poor Dwight. He'd better get used to saying, "I told you that 5 times already. Sheesh, woman." Or something along those lines. 

How many times do the experts have to say that multitasking isn't efficient and we are just deluding ourselves into thinking it works. Yeah, well. I'm trying to write this while doing about 4 other things and...where was I going with this?

Anyway. I've cried heartily twice, welled up at least a couple of times, and silently sobbed while preparing water for tea. Which I just realized is still in the microwave and that was like, an hour ago. Sigh. My boss says "There's no crying in printing" but he is sooo wrong.

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