Monday, November 30

I need a picture ... for my e-mails

Here's a random issue with the new job. They use headshots for the magazine's masthead, and on company e-mails. So, like, my work e-mails will have my contact information, AND MY FACE, at the bottom of them. I have an issue with this. I don't think everyone I connect with, via magazine or e-mail, needs to know what my face looks like. It's not their business. I always took some measure of security in the fact that I could talk to anyone and everyone, any day and every day, and they wouldn't know my face any more than I would know theirs. But this company's way of doing things is throwing that all in disarray. Sunglasses are a no go, too, unfortunately. So, I've kinda fallen in line with this special way of doing things, but then I came across another weird problem.
All my selfies, er ... headshots, have a kid attached to my face. Or a husband. Or sunglasses. But mostly, there's a kid there. Which is totally awesome when looking through my pictures tonight, but when searching for something work appropriate, it doesn't gel too much with the professional vibe.
I did, eventually, find something that works for me: a picture Brian took of me at the Grand Canyon last year. My posture is decent, and my eyes don't look like two gaping black holes (which is becoming an issue the older I get. Seriously considering plastic surgery, friends). The smile is okay, too. All in all, it will get the job done, so I can get my job done.
*sigh* ... face pictures on e-mails.
Who DOES that?

Saturday, November 28

Why is it so much better the days after?

I think the best testament to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner is the constant enticement of its leftovers. I had green jello for dinner tonight, and cherry pie for dessert. The kicker, I decided, was the stuffing I considered eating as my after-dessert dessert. I ignored that particular craving, but that it was a very real craving was enough to remind me that our dinner was awesome. Brian barbecued some fantastic steaks. Mom and I had our green jello. We made stuffing, which is a personal favorite of mine. Also, we had garlic bread, which actually turned out not too good at all, so I may have to make some more at some point soon so I can get it off my mind. There is cheese dip in the fridge that I am eager to reheat tomorrow. Also, a whole lot of chips. And I may have to peer pressure myself into eating some of the apple pie, too. Obviously, we thoroughly entertained ourselves by treating each other to their favorites and best likes for dinner. And it was the best.
Also, Thanksgiving continues to be one of my favorite holidays.
And I may have stuffing and green jello for breakfast.

Monday, November 23

Getting ready for a turkey weekend

I'm at a loss lately, you guys, in deciding what I should blog. I refuse to allow it to be all work all the time, because that's boring as hell. Except to tell you that I'm doing real editorial work now, and it's making me super happy.
As for Thanksgiving, it will be a last-minute but awesome deal this year, since our plans were changed on us just a day or two ago. We have, as a group, decided that steaks will be much yummier than turkey, which is totally us. Mom and I will enjoy some of our delicious green jello, and I'll make some mac and cheese, and slice some apples, for the kiddo. Also, stuffing, because I need stuffing for Thanksgiving. Brian's going to make fruit salad in the manner of his mom's recipe. And for the finale of dinner: garlic bread. We haven't even discussed dessert yet, but I foresee a quick trip to Family Inn for a couple pies. Also, beer and 50/50 drinks. All good things. And it should be an excellent Thanksgiving.
As for the rest of the weekend, I'm thinking adventure, movie, delicious lunches here and there. And hanging out with my mom. It started out kinda messed up, but I think we'll turn it into something pretty cool.

Saturday, November 21

A great Saturday night, of course

I expect that after I spend an entire month dealing with all the normal stuff I did while not working, while I am working, then I'll stop boring you with all these ridiculous, whiny posts. Tonight, I had to spend my late-night Saturday evening paying bills. No better way to entertain myself on a weekend evening than watching the checking account balance diminish incredibly within minutes.
My usual Saturday night consists of my reading PostSecret (after midnight on the East Coast, of course), watching some stuff on the DVR, and posting to the blog. Sometimes I get too tired to post on a Saturday, but more times than not, where I am every Saturday is where I am right at this very moment. Sitting on my bed, Cooper laying beside me, with my computer in my lap. Currently, last night's Grimm is playing off the DVR. I'm not quite in my pajamas yet, but it's only a matter of tick tocks before I get super comfortable for the night.
My coworkers asked me yesterday afternoon if we had any awesome, fun plans for the weekend. I'm all, "no." I consider my Saturday nights a success if I'm awake enough to post anything here. So tonight, goal met.

Friday, November 20

I do so enjoy Fridays, you guys

ITEM!: Tonight, I initiate a three-game limit on my computer for Sydney. I consented to download Wolf Quest this evening, and suddenly realize that there are three kiddo games in my dock. Three games is a good stopping point, I think. Especially with the small and getting smaller amount of open space on the old laptop.
ITEM!: With me working, Sydney and Brian are spending more time together. He's taking her to school three times a week, and is picking her up from school one day. I love that they're enjoying more time together. But then she called him Thursday afternoon, but didn't even text me. And then, she addressed her reflection journal entry to "Dad." Could she break my heart any more? I won't cry and be sad or depressed, because that would be silly. But, still. I'm glad to be spending the whole day with her, just the two of us.
ITEM!: I had a project to do at work today, and it was awesome. My covert move on taking over the web site content is well underway. I dealt with the event calendar for 2016 today, and made my move to be the contact person for the calendar entirely. My boss was receptive to that, so I've got that taken care of. Also, I'm already working on managing the news. That's going to take a little bit of time, though. It felt good to have a solid project for the day, that's for sure.
ITEM!: I haven't read any of my library books since I started the job, and I'm going through a withdrawal.

Thursday, November 19

How can you plan anything without a calendar?

So obviously, now that I'm working, more posts may or may not be about my job. Tonight's is one of the posts that is about the job. Sorry.
In my life as an editor, I've worked on a whole bunch of different editorial teams. Some more organized than others, and some smoother operating than others. But something they've all had in common is a basic understanding of an editorial calendar. The editorial calendar is a schedule of all the issues to be printed throughout the year, including the topics and themes, as well as what particular angles the sales reps need take for their customers. The calendar includes the dates of printing, and the scheduling for all editorial content that goes into any particular month's issue. The editorial calendar, as you suspect, is a very important tool in a magazine's life.
Now, picture a huge magazine, with all kinds of editorial and advertising, and imagine that magazine with no kind of editorial calendar. Seems odd, right? Seems almost crazy that such a thing exists. As I said to Tara tonight, "How does that even happen?" Granted, the magazine has managed fine for the last several, several years. It didn't even occur to me that they wouldn't have an editorial calendar.
So, when the publisher today said that she'd try to "maybe" and "hopefully" create a calendar for everyone for the year so we could all be on the same page, I about fell over. If there was a cartoon image of me at that moment, my cartoon head would have been either leaking or exploding, I can't decide which. No one else seemed at all concerned about this, either. Only the designer seemed happy with the potential of the editorial calendar, which makes me wonder for the other people in the room. Calendars are incredibly convenient and helpful.
But again, clearly they're doing more than one or two things right, since the magazine survives and thrives. Still, a calendar would make it all so much better.

Wednesday, November 18

I read the Internet at work today

As of last night, I'm realizing what a not-conscientious employee I've been all my life. That's super funny to me right now.

Tuesday, November 17

I need a bit more personal space

Things I used to be able to do at work that I can't at this particular work:
Make personal phone calls. I was able to call my mom every morning. I could make household and maintenance calls to keep life moving smoothly. As an example, I need to call the vet, and I haven't had a chance to make the call because I've been busy during the week. Well, not really busy, but unable to make phone calls during business hours.
Read the Internet. My web browser was my lifeline to the day's news. As it is right now, anyone can walk by my work space and see what I'm reading. I mean, really, if I want to read all about Charlie Sheen and his health status as of this morning, I should be able to do it. But it's also about being a better-informed person.
Post to the blog. Typically, I would do my morning stuff, i.e., check e-mail, return phone calls, check my RSS feeds, and then I would settle into my day by blogging about whatever attracted my attention the night before, the day before, or that mornings. It made for a more relaxing night, you know, when I blogged during the day. I could leave my home computer shut down all night, and spend all my time and mental energy on things that did not require mental energy.
Enjoy some personal space. My immediate supervisor and coworker sits right behind me. Like, right behind. If I move my chair too far back from my desk, I'll bump into her chair. We can all hear each other typing, for cripes sake. I have nowhere that I can go that is completely mine, even if there isn't a door or solid walls. I like it when I feel like I can sniff and/or blow my nose without everyone hearing me.
Who'd have ever thought I would miss my old-school, dull-grey cubicle walls?

Monday, November 16

Too pooped to pop tonight

Today was one of those days where people in Arizona say to themselves, "Why was I complaining so much about the heat only a month ago?" The windows in my house are all closed because it's too cold outside. At lunchtime today, I came home to find a house as chilled as a sepulcher. I wore a scarf to work this afternoon because I needed the extra warmth.
It's hard to appreciate the cooler weather when it's just straight-up cold. I'm going to wear a real sweater to the office tomorrow.
Honestly, you guys. I've got nothing for today.

Sunday, November 15

Going to work on a Monday

It's November 15, and I think maybe I should have gotten paid tomorrow? I don't know what the pay schedule is, or how it's managed. I'm going to find that out tomorrow. I also need to know the holiday schedule. I need to figure out what I may need to do with my kid over winter break and all that.
At any rate, I have to go to work tomorrow, and it's been nine years since I've said that and meant it in the most real way. I'm excited, I think. I've got my clothes out for the day, and am heading to bed relatively early to get enough sleep. It is supposed to be quite chilly tomorrow, so I'm prepared with warmer clothes, too.
Things that I'm slacking on due to the job: watching television on time, and reading. I haven't picked up a book since last week, and I'm going through serious withdrawals. I need to figure out a new reading schedule, because my quiet book time from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., and then however long I want it to last, is just not realistic anymore. As for television, I just need to not wait to watch any shows with Brian. His falling asleep on the sofa at 9 p.m. is putting a serious wrench in my stories. We've got a LOT of television built up on the DVR, and it's just going to get worse starting tomorrow night when more shows are on.
Also, I started my lower-estrogen birth control pills today. That should be an interesting experiment. I told Brian to keep an eye on me and let me know if anything goes too terribly crazy. I mean, I'll know if I start crying for no reason, but for some other stuff I may not realize, he will have to give me a heads up. And if it makes me gain weight, I will be PISSED. My not being at home all day is curbing my bad food consumption, and I'm not at all interested to have any weight I may lose because of not eating become weight I gain because of minimal estrogen. I don't really like experimenting with my emotional and menstrual health like a game of chess, but it's what we've got to do to decrease any cancer risks, apparently. So, that's fun!

Saturday, November 14

It's just so violent

We just got home from watching the Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm UFC fight at a friend's house. You know what? I hate watching people beat each other up. And it wasn't just because they were girls in the fights, because the first three bouts on the card tonight were dudes, and I shrank away from the violence of that, too. I don't like seeing the kicks and punches connect. It's way different than watching a movie or TV show, because in those, you know it's fake and CGI and makeup. In a real fight, these people really get hit. And they bleed. And they swell up and start turning purple. It's disturbing on every level.
When we first got the invitation I thought, no, I don't want to watch that. But then I was all, okay, we should be social. And Sydney had someone to play with, and Brian had someone to enjoy the fight with. But I sat on the sofa with my hands resting on my brow through the whole thing, just waiting for it to end. Those people hit hard!
But now, knowing the results and how monumental they are, I suppose I'm glad I watched the fight, to see history take place so far as upsets go. And I didn't have to pay the pay-per-view for it.

Thursday, November 12

Back to being an editor, and it's good

Check it out, you guys! I'm officially working!
I had a splendid first day at work, and honestly, I really think it'll work out just fine there. All the other editors were super nice, and their patience and generosity of time for my questions was fantastic. I still have a lot to learn, and I'm eager to dig in some more. I've already been an editor a bit, and I'm pleased to say that I actually did find some things that needed to be fixed. So, I guess I'm still okay at this kind of thing.
Also, the office is pretty chill, with everyone doing their own thing at lunch, as well as bolting out the door right at 5 p.m. I was told to not be at work too on time, because I'll probably end up waiting outside for several minutes. So, I'll plan on leaving home at 8 a.m., rather than being there right at 8 a.m. They also really like candy, and I've got plenty to spare.
They gave me books to read, issues to catch up on, and a few questionnaires to fill out in regards to the industry. I'm figuring out Google Chrome, which is interesting and frustrating at the same time, but I'm pleased to note that my knowledge of working with PCs is still viable. I have an e-mail address, though I don't know if I have a personal phone number. There is a Keurig machine in the kitchen, and reverse osmosis water, so all my vices are covered. And the bathroom is a nice one, which is important because I pee so much throughout the day.
All that's left is to move in the personal stuff: coasters, random desk necessities, hand lotion, mouse pad, etc. I have a lovely spot by the window with all kinds of natural light, which is great until this summer, when, no doubt, I'll broil from the afternoon sun.
You know what else I'm doing? I'm figuring out my clothes for the next day at night, which seems to be a legit time saver.

Wednesday, November 11

Who starts work tomorrow? Me. (Yikes)

I start the new job tomorrow, and I'm doing a really bad imitation of someone who isn't nervous. Which means that I am totally nervous. Sydney explained to me tonight that it's exactly like when she goes into a new school, and how it'll be just fine. I'll make new friends and do just fine. It was the exact same speech I gave her every time she started a new school and grade. And I realized that I'm certainly brave enough to do this, and do it well. (I'm still nervous.) It's just that I've been in the same job for the last nine years, and that job was different than the job I'd done for the previous several years, and that now I'm just going back to what I was doing in the first place. So, easy peasy.
What I realized though, as I was preparing the stuff I would take into the new office with me in the morning, is that now I need to learn a whole new office, and that they'll have to learn me. And I'm pretty neurotic, you know. I rub down my phone and computer keyboard every morning with rubbing alcohol to keep them clean from other people's germs. (That's a story courtesy of my martial arts job a hundred years ago.) And I drink a lot of water, which means I go to the bathroom a lot. And I like to have visual reminders of what I like and who I'm working for, which means bizarre accoutrement on my desk, and pictures of my peeps, too. And I'm neurotic. Did I say that already?
Can you believe that one of my biggest concerns tomorrow morning is what travel mug I'm going to put my tea in? How ridiculous is that? I've done my homework. I've got my notes and my notebook ready. I've figured out what I'm going to wear: black pants, blue button up, sweater, black Toms. I know what to make for my lunch (pb & j). I know where I'm going. ... You know what, you guys? I feel like I may be ready. All I need to do now is learn all about the industry, but that'll happen in my training.

Tuesday, November 10

Wow! That's a long time, right?

The ridiculatta of today is that it is November 10, the anniversary of Brian and I becoming "Brian and I" all those years ago. In fact, it was 24 years ago tonight that he made his first move and kissed me. I shared the significance of the day with him this morning, prefacing it by calling it a "cheesy thing, so don't laugh at me." And that was the end of it. We giggled and all that, of course, but beyond talking about it this morning, we forgot about it entirely. Well, Brian forgot about it entirely. I had thought maybe it would be nice if he brought home some take-out, or even just a yummy soda. But, no. Honestly, it's no big deal. He comes through well on the real anniversary, which is more important, certainly. And in every way, I could have done something for today, too, since it's not all about me. It's about "us," which is a state we've been in for 24 years today.

Monday, November 9

WHAT?!?! A JOB?!?! Yep.

Alright, alright, alright. I've been super busy this past week, and super tired because of it, and the blog has suffered. Because of all my social obligations and whatnot, I haven't had a chance to tell you yet that I GOT A JOB, and that I WALKED MY NIECE DOWN THE AISLE.
The job I got (finally, right?) is at the company who thought I was over qualified last year for a lower-rung editorial position. They posted a job listing for an associate editor position a few weeks ago, and the editor reached out to me to apply. I did, and she called me in for an interview. They took exactly as long as my fragile self esteem could take in making me wait, but called me last Wednesday morning to offer me the job. I am beyond excited! But also, totally terrified. I haven't been in an office in nine years. That's no small amount of time. I mean, what if I'm not good at what I used to be good at? I know they'll be gentle for a while, but I hope that I'm able to keep up and learn new stuff. I start on Thursday. I've already signed Sydney up for all the appropriate before- and after-school programs, so I've got no worries there (which was a HUGE worry, of course). The family is excited for me, too, and that's the best part.
There was a wedding! One of the self-imposed, weirdest things about my relationship with Katy, is that when talking about her, I rarely, comfortably, refer to her as my niece. I tend to call her "Brian's niece" more times than not. But this past weekend changed all that forever. Katy and I have always been super close. We love to spend time together, and enjoy hanging out whenever we can. I am happy to say that I was on point this past weekend with her wedding, being a supportive aunt whenever she needed me. And it was my privilege to be that person for her. And then, when circumstances dictated a change in the wedding processional, she asked me to stand in and be one of two people to walk her down the aisle to her groom. It was among the greatest moments in my life, and I'm so happy to have been a part of it. It changed something in me though, she made me feel less of an uncle's-awesome-wife kind of aunt, and more of a much-loved-aunt-by-choice. So when I was asked today about the wedding, I said "my niece" with so much confidence and love that it warmed my heart.

Monday, November 2

An early November ITEM! list

ITEM!: I had a lofty goal for today, which was to put away all the Halloween decorations, and put up all the Thanksgiving decorations. It all really needed to be done today, because tomorrow I've got randoms and cleaning to do because Mom will be here Wednesday, and we've all got a super busy weekend coming up. Happily, I was able to achieve that goal, and now can go about my week without being annoyed by the incorrect holiday decor throughout my house. Turkeys are out and about, my friends.
ITEM!: How's this for horrible: I think my asparagus fern at the front door is a hive and breeding ground for mosquitoes. Damn "skeeters" attacked me, with a vengeance, when I was out front changing out the Halloween outdoor stuff for the Thanksgiving stuff. It all started out okay, but once I got down to the installation of the lawn decor (which is a complex and involved process when the ground is instead hard rocks and packed earth), the little fuckers were swarming my ankles and arms. I freaked out, and hurried, and then ran inside. I hate those bugs. The plant is going in the trash tomorrow. I can't have a skeeter nest at my front door.
ITEM!: Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of our having to say goodbye to our sweet Daisy. Facebook saw fit to remind me of it this morning, and it was not pleasant for me. I really miss that doggy. I'd have her back, if I could, please.
ITEM!: There was an earthquake in Arizona last night. In fact, there were more than one. The second was a 4.1-magnitude quake, and it shook my house. I was laying in bed, which is the best place for experiencing an earthquake because you feel every single movement, when it happened. The first shake felt like Cooper was on the bed and scratching, but I knew he was downstairs. The second shake, which lasted longer, made the whole house groan and sway. Amazingly, Brian was somewhat awake, and he felt it. Did you know, with all his trips out to California, and however long he's stayed out there, he'd never felt an earthquake? And then, he feels one in Arizona! So funny. Well, he was giddy, as you can imagine. Sydney slept through it. Cooper was not amused. Oliver was all, "Whoever is moving me, stop it." I am super pleased with the fact that, even in an environment that would be the last logical place for an earthquake, my California-ness kicked in and I knew exactly what was happening, exactly that it wasn't going to be a big deal, and exactly my plan of action should the next one be worse. Some things just can't be forgotten, no matter how unlikely the application of that knowledge might be at any one time. Yay earthquake!

Sunday, November 1

It's November, friends

I can't believe that it's November already. I think I feel this way every November. It's the second to last month of the year, and since December just frickin' flies by, this feels like the last time I'll have a chance to breathe this year. And then, poof, it's 2016.
The up side is that I truly do love November. I blame Massachusetts for my absolute love of this month, because in November, it starts getting cold, the trees are all turned and the leaves are falling, and Thanksgiving is the holiday of pride. I have such a love for the autumnal-ness of November, that I get super annoyed and indignant at the month and holiday being so unceremoniously pushed aside for Christmas already. Like, come on Starbucks, is it really red cup time on the first day of November? Can't you at least wait until the week of Thanksgiving or right after? I mean, give a girl who loves November a break, would you? Santa Claus is arriving at Mom's local mall on Nov. 6. That's preposterous, really. Too soon.
So I post my November, autumnal avatar with pride tonight. She and I will be rocking the autumn goodness all month, thankyouverymuch.