Work stuff and holiday stuff

Zen said he thinks his interview went well yesterday. The place is hiring for two positions, so hopefully this will work out for him. I know he'll be great once he finds a place, it's just the waiting that makes it hard. They didn't tell him when they plan on making their decision, but hopefully it's soon. Edited to add He just called to tell me that they offered him the job!!! He goes in to do paperwork on Friday and officially starts working on the 12th!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!

Had a meeting this morning at work, and brought in a large cup that I had just filled with ice and water. Halfway through the meeting while talking, I gestured and knocked it over, spilling half the water and ice across the table (it has a snap-on lid, but it popped off). I moved the cup off to the side, and as I was cleaning it up (with help from a couple other people in the meeting), I knocked it over AGAIN on top of my phone and spilled the rest. Fortunately no electronics were injured, only my pride. I would say not a great start to the day, but actually my day started out with me sleeping through my alarm and waking up 20 minutes after I was supposed to be at work. Yeah, I think this is a 'should have just stayed in bed' day. :)

I've been meeting and discussing with our IT director at work and the current plan is that I am going to write up a recommendation for creating a Project Management Organization at work that I will head up. He said our mutual boss thinks it's a good idea too so this could be good. He also wants to start a Change Advisory Board that he wants me to head up, but wants me to get ITIL certified first. He gave me a book to read and study, but I'm in my last week and a half of classes so I'm going to wait until I'm done with that. It could mean a lot more interesting stuff for me to do at work next year.

I was talking with a colleague about Santa and belief in Santa. She said her son was starting to doubt last year, especially when something he asked Santa for that had a very particular shape came to the house in a box that made it clear what it was. She enlisted her sister to out of the blue tell him about how sometimes with certain items, Santa has to send it to your house in advance because it doesn't fit well in his sleigh, all to get him to keep believing. My mom told me the truth when I asked her about it. I'm sure I probably heard about it on the school bus or something, in first or second grade (at my school, the bus carried all kids from 1st through 8th grade). After she acknowledged it, I sat there for a minute and then said "so I guess that means no easter bunny or tooth fairy either." She enlisted me to keep it a secret from my younger siblings, and put me on duty to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn't come down when mom and dad were wrapping presents or assembling something or putting out the toys on Christmas Eve. They had me wrapping presents in another year or two. Today, Christmas is without question my least favorite holiday, not sure how much that stuff did or didn't contribute to that. When did you learn/figure out that Santa wasn't real? Do you love Christmas (or whatever winter holiday you might celebrate)?

a couple funny things

First a funny in a small world kind of way - I went to vote this morning, and the election judge who was looking up my name said she recognized my last name, that she thought her son used to have a friend at school with that last name. Turns out her son was friends with my brothers when they were in grade school (once I told her my brothers' names, it jogged her memory and she said 'that's right, the twins!'). What are the chances?

And a funny from taking my niece to the movies to see Trolls. The "bad guys" in the movie are called Bergens. When a bergen shows up close to the beginning of the movie and takes a bunch of trolls, the kid behind us yelled "I hate the bergen! I'm done with this movie, let's go!"

Happy Sunday

I can hardly believe it's already the 23rd.

After I get bills paid today, we'll probably watch some football and maybe put up the plastic on our windows. You really need to put it up when it's not too cold out, so probably best to get it done today, or at least get a couple of the windows done. It's been a relatively busy weekend but we still had some good relaxation time, so I'm happy.

My niece and I are doing a team costume for Halloween. She is going to be Ariel. I am going to be Ursula the Sea Witch. I haven't started on my costume yet. Yeah, I know. The thing is though, I want my costume to be fun, but I don't need it to be really *good*. If I was wearing it to a con, I'd want it to be great. But I don't want to upstage my niece in any way, so I mostly just want it to be functional. My plan is to make tentacles (I ordered fabric, it should be here tomorrow) and attach them to an elastic waistband. I... don't have a sewing machine though, and I am for sure not sewing 8 tentacles by hand. So I'm going to go to my mom's and work on it there. I also have a backup plan if needed. I'm also thinking about taking off this Friday to take her to the zoo - they have special "mold-a-rama" pieces for Halloween, a red skull and a silver Frankenstein's monster head, and I want the skull :D

My class is going better than I expected. It's taking me some time to get accustomed to the coding, but it's nowhere near as hard as I was afraid it was going to be from the way the syllabus was written (also, do no teachers actually expect people to read the book? This class and the previous class, even though they SAY we're supposed to do the reading, the teachers seem to assume that no one has read anything). The teacher is passionate about what he's teaching, which I think really helps. However, he told us if we submitted our homework a couple days early, he would review it early and let us make changes before it was officially due. Our homework was due on Wednesday and I submitted mine on Monday, but it was Monday evening (around 7) so I wasn't sure if he'd have time to review it before class. He didn't review it. In class on Wednesday he sheepishly told us that he doesn't get notified when we upload our homework, so if we wanted him to review it early, to please email him and tell him that we submitted it and wanted him to review it. Meanwhile, he still hasn't reviewed it, and I don't want to work TOO much on the next homework (due Nov 2) until I find out if I did the first one right.

I'll have to see if I can get some pics of our Halloween decor. Zen said that at night it's "intimidating but not scary". I'm a little worried that it's too dark, as in not enough light for people to see where they're going. So I'll have to see if there's something we can do about it.

My fantasy football teams had a terrible start this year, at week 4 one team was 0 - 4 and the other was 1 - 3. Things are improving though, I'm currently 2 - 4 and 3 - 3 and this week looks promising. Being in Illinois, a lot of people are very excited about the Cubs going to the world series. idgaf about baseball, my whole family is full of White Sox fans, and I don't think I personally know any Cubs fans, so other than potential traffic issues, this has no impact on my life.

a couple of food-related questions

When you are hosting a party, assuming that you are providing all or most of the food, do you tend to go overboard and have more food than you need, or do you try to get as close as you can to the exact amount of food you need?

I am my mother's daughter - she is always worried about us not having enough food for parties (~15 years later, she STILL brings up the first time my uncle hosted Christmas dinner at his house after his divorce when he insisted he had it all covered - and there was nowhere near enough food). When we host game night, we usually order pizza but we have a variety of snack foods. Everyone brings something, but some people bring more than others. I try to make sure that we have things like chips, nuts, cheese and fruit, etc. Others come with salsa and different salads, etc. When we're done, we clean up, exchange some of the stuff that people brought, and everyone heads out. Last night, one of the guests commented about how we always have more food than we need at our parties, but she always tries to limit things so there's no more than absolutely needed. I've noticed this at parties at her house, partially because I'm kind of a picky eater (for example, I can't stand spicy food), so I've left her parties ravenous before because there were no options that I liked (or I didn't want to try to make a meal of chips). I'm guessing probably something in the middle is better, but just wondering what everyone else does :)

The other question is about "layered" food. For example, layered cookies, string cheese, etc. I always peel my string cheese - I love eating it that way. I also eat things like cookies or candies in layers. How about you, do you take bites of the string cheese or peel it? Do you take apart cookies or candies or other foods that can be disassembled?

Zen is awesome

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my first date with Zen. Yesterday was a great example of why he's such an amazing partner. After my dr appointment, I took my niece to the zoo for a few hours, and came home tired, hungry and sneezy (I assume it was allergies, I feel fine today but yesterday I was sneezing all day long, even before we went to the zoo), and I wanted to spend some more time preparing for my class. I had a taste for pasta, and when I got home I asked if he'd had dinner yet, thinking maybe we could have a quick dinner at our fave Italian place. He had already eaten. He'd had a long day too, working in the morning and then finishing painting the garage and doing a bunch of yardwork. He asked if I'd like this pasta dish he'd made before that I loved. I said that would be great, but we didn't have the ingredients. He said it only took a few ingredients and it would just be a quick trip to the store. I got up to go with him, but he insisted that I stay home and spend the time reading and preparing for my class. He ran to the store, got the ingredients, and cooked a delicious dinner while I read/studied. If he hadn't offered it, I probably would have made a sandwich or something. He was tired after a long day too, but his first priority was making sure that I was taken care of. I am so happy and so lucky. :)

Introduction to new friends (and maybe to some older ones too)

I don't think I ever really wrote an introductory post, so here's some info about me :) I'll put it behind a cut because it will probably get a little long. Also I apologize if you commented on my post in the initial friending frenzy, but when I attempted to respond it wanted me to prove that I was human, but the captcha thing wouldn't come up. I don't know why.
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this happened yesterday but it's pretty typical for me

Some background: I go to water aerobics every tuesday and thursday at 8pm. I've been doing for probably 8 or 9 years and I don't skip very often. The gym is pretty close to my house and I typically go wearing my suit under a dress so all I have to do is strip out of the dress and take a quick shower before I get in to the pool, so I should leave around 7:45, no later than 7:50 if I want to be on time.

So this is how it went last night.

6:50pm - Me: OK, I have a little less than an hour. Must keep an eye on the time though.

7:05pm - Me: OK, about 40 minutes. Still doing fine.

7:25pm - Me: in the next 15 minutes or so I should get my suit on so I'm ready to go.

7:53pm - Zen: Honey? Did you know it's 7:53?
Me (hurriedly pulling on my swimsuit): Um, yes, yes, I totally knew that. I was just planning on getting there a little late so Nick can yell at me, cuz I love it when Nick yells at me!

You would think after all this time I could get it together. But nope.

he passed! he passed!

Zen took his exam this morning and he just texted me that he passed! Now he is *officially* a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. This means that after all of the schooling and internships and whatnot that he's been through, now he can *finally* work in his chosen field. I'm so excited and so proud of him. This has been a long time coming. Now just have to figure out how we're going to celebrate. Hooray!

Dinner and the TARDIS DOOR!!!

I had a really good conversation last night with my former boss about the potential at her workplace. She was very open and honest about her team, how things are going, personality issues that she's dealing with, and the fact that she wants me to *really* think about the commute because I'd have to go to that office at least 3 days/week. The company is large and there are several openings right now, but none of them are under her team at this time. She can apply to have one of them moved to her team but she doesn't know how long that will take (she's only been there for about a year). I really appreciated her honesty and openness about it (especially because some of the personality issues she's dealing with are not good), so I have lots to think about, but some time to think about it.

Also, when I returned home last night, Zen had finished up the back door! Pic below the cut! I love it so much. He has a little bit of cleanup to do around the door and he wants to paint the bit below it black, but I'm so happy with how it turned out.
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Weekend fun

I took off Thursday and Friday to enjoy a long weekend, and spent some time with my niece, who is still struggling with jealousy about her baby brother. We had a fun Thursday visiting with her friend (and her friend's mommy, who is my friend :)) and going to the waterpark. Trying to get all of our schedules in alignment to hang out is pretty tough, so I'm happy we were able to work it out. Afterwards I took her out for ice cream and took her home. When I tried to leave, she followed me out the door and started to cry. I took her to the library and the movies on Friday, and she cried when it was time to leave. I'm a total sucker, it kills me when she starts to cry like that. It's also a new thing, and I'm not sure why it's been happening. She's also way more scared of stuff in movies than she used to be. I took her to see Wall-E and she insisted halfway through that it was too scary and she wanted to leave.

Saturday we had a fun game night and scheduled our next two game nights, which is good since weekends are starting to fill up. Sunday I went to brunch with my mom and we saw the play Deathtrap, which we both really enjoyed. The actors were excellent and we had good seats. Neither my mom nor I had seen this show before, so we were both surprised by the many twists and turns (as were our fellow audience members, given all the gasps and murmurs). I'm really glad we were able to go, it was a lot of fun for both of us.

While I was gone on Sunday, Zen replaced our back door. It was in bad shape (dry rotted) for a long time, and then a week or so ago he locked himself out of the house with no phone or anything, so he broke into the house by cutting a hole into the door. We had it covered up with additional wood and tape, but my mom had brought over her old front door several years ago with the intention of replacing the back door with it. Zen said it took a couple hours but now it looks really nice, and it feels very solid. I was surprised he got it done so quickly, and pleased (I've always been paranoid about someone breaking into our house, so feeling like it was so easy to get in the back door was making me extremely uneasy). We got into a discussion about painting the door and to my delight, Zen offered to paint it like a Tardis! He's got a list of other things that he's working on, but I'm very excited about this!

Today when I came in to work, I discovered that someone had tidied up my desk a bit. I don't know who or why. It wasn't a huge mess, but they wrapped up the cords neatly and put all my binder clips in a container and all my pens in one cup, and hung up a little bag someone had gotten me. I might not have even noticed if it wasn't for the cords and the bag. I have a friend at work who might have done it but she's been totally swamped so I can't imagine she took 20 minutes out of her busy day to make my desk more tidy. Just not sure what to make of it. This happened once before and no one ever claimed responsibility.