Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Yearly Scrooge Moment

The holidays are upon us and its that time again for me to rail against these holiday drives/Christmas/Angel trees.

I am very opposed to these toy drives and now, you are saying, why are you being such a Scrooge?! First of all, let us be clear the Christmas holiday is in no way, in the religious sense, related to the giving of toys or getting of gifts. How is giving a child a toy helping in the Christian spirit? How about instead feeding a hungry person, providing clean drinking water, heck spending time with the child instead of throwing a toy at them? If a child is in a lower soci-economic status, what he/she needs is probably more basic needs: food, shelter, clothes. Toys are a luxury. I'd rather spend my money to improve the child's education so that they can have a better life. Where does it say that everyone needs a toy for Christmas? If you don't get a toy for Christmas, is the holiday not worth it? Is that not reason to celebrate?

You know I don't agree with my very strict Catholic friends on many things, but in this instance I concur with them, this whole materialistic focus, starting with Santa, seems to be taking away from the whole purpose of the holiday and who should be the real star (Jesus, peace be upon Him).

Perhaps I am being even meaner this year than previously because I too feel the economic crunch, and I've had to give up luxuries (manicures, coloring my hair, new shoes as examples). There are millions of children around the world who will never have a toy in their entire childhood, I would like to know, is that the case with those children participating in these toy drives? Do they have no toys? Or is the toy drive adding to their collection?

If I'm not seeing both sides of the pictures, please feel free to enlighten me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

baby thank you cards

Last week was my family's big baby shower - it was amazing!! I had a lovely time and absolutely did not want to leave and come back to stinky Arizona. The whole extended family came out as well as long time friends, so much love for my dear little one and she is not even here! This baby will be the first on my mother's family side and my parent's first grandchild, so you can imagine the excitement surrounding her arrival. She is blessed indeed!

The party itself was a madhouse but in a loving way, my only complaint would be that I didn't get enough time to spend with everyone who was there, but than even if the party had gone on all weekend, it would not have been enough time.

Upon arriving in Arizona, my husband and I joked that the baby isn't even here but her stuff is more than ours combined. I think its funny that this tiny little thing has SO much stuff! Her clothes alone for the first year could take up our whole closet, lol.

Now I have to get motivated and write all the baby thank you cards. It isn't that I don't want to do it, but its that I want to do it in an elegant and personal way, yet with over 50 thank you cards to write, can that be done?!

The whole weekend was lovely. I am so blessed to have such a great and loving family and I can't wait to introduce my baby into the tribe!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Miracles

I had to share this story, because its nice to have something good for a change, no?

As you know, my job is high stress only in that my manager is a super micro-manager and will pounce on me for even the smallest of mistakes. Honestly, I think part of this is because he is not kept busy enough. I wish there were more meetings to put him in, because I find the more occupied he is with others the less time he has to nitpick me.

The one day of the week I love at work is Friday, because he doesn't come in. This past Friday, all was going well when I went to retrieve a student file in my new file cabinet. Imagine my distress when I opened up the drawer and could NOT find the file. Oh My God, I was in a state of panic. The boss would rip me a new one if a student file, with confidential material in it, was lost. I tore that file cabinet upside down, going through every folder. How could this happen?! Since my boss's melt down last week, I had been on edge, trying to be extra careful about every little thing I did (of course I think this heighted vigilance could cause a person to make more mistakes because one is so filled with tension).

I did not want to tell the boss on Monday morning that I couldn't find a file. My Friday was slowly being ruined by this situation. I decided to take a deep breath and go to a higher power, my mum's advice. As children, my mother had told my sister and I about a prayer that we could read, four times, to ask for God's help to find a missing item. My sister swears by this prayer (anytime she loses something, that is the first thing she does, reads this prayer). At this point, only God could help me, because I had turned not only the file cabinet but my office inside and out and could not find that freaking file. I prayed the prayer and in the meantime I also continued to look, I asked other professors if perhaps I had mistakenly given them the file, nothing. The hours rolled by, my nervousness rising. At lunchtime I had to go to another professor's office to give him some paperwork for an upcoming meeting. Walking into his door, I glanced down at his desk and lo and behold what was sitting there….the missing student file!!! I had given it to this professor for review and had completely forgotten I had done this. Oh I was ecstatic!! All was well again, my mother had again been proven right, the power in this prayer, praise to God for saving my behind!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Big Wedding and Kitchen Gadgets!

Thank you to everyone for their wonderful work advice, my sister concurred and she was right, nothing motivates a person more to find a more meaningful job than being stuck in a location or in my case, a boss, that you do not enjoy! Also, I have had it with Arizona, so two big motivators are pushing me to really look for a job in the Washington DC area or at least in a part of the country that is a bit more civilized.


But enough of that depressing stuff – I am sure everyone heard the big news yesterday, Kate and Prince William's wedding!!!! I am over the moon! Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been saying since high school that whenever Prince William got married I would be there in England to observe (particularly as I couldn't make Charles and Diana's wedding, since I was 5 years-old at the time, ha ha). This does pose one big problem, the logistics of baby. I don't really want to bring her, I've heard its just one big party and she will be about four or six months (depending on the date they set). Would it make me a terrible mom if I left her for three or four days with her dad to go off and see the wedding?? Also, would I just hate the entire experience if I felt like I had left my little one? I would hate going to all that trouble to get to London for the wedding and not enjoy myself because I'm upset about leaving the baby….


There are so many elements of the wedding that I'm dying to find out about, such as the wedding dress, the bridesmaid's dresses, the breakfast, who will be invited, and of course, the gifts!! I imagine Kate and Prince William will get a wide assortment of gifts, from gilt framed boxes to kitchen gadgets. I hope they will be willing to show us general public some of the gifts. As I see it, I will never be a Royal so this will be my only opportunity to live vicariously through them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work Day from Hell

Well, I'm off to Virginia for the big family reunion/baby shower - will blog later on about my day today, which turned out to be perhaps the worst day in my working career. Its official, I have the boss from hell!!

In a nutshell, he's a micro-manager to the extreme and has begun to itemize every little thing I do the slightest bit wrong. The increased scrutiny has made me even more prone to mistakes, aye! Today he reamed me out big time for:
1. Failing to remind him immediately when he walked through the door of things he said I was to remind him off.
2. daring to touch a shared spreadsheet when he said "give me a list" which is not the same thing as a spreadsheet apparently and than not following his directions on project - though I did exactly as he asked. oh also I am not allowed to touch any spreadsheets without his consent.
3. Sending an internal email with a mistake in it and not realizing that I should have asked him first before proceeding. I am not allowed to email without his consent.
4. Not contacting another professor about a project, despite the fact that this project doesn't have a deadline.

Aye! It looks like I might get the ax, I say 50/50 shot that when I get into the office on Monday morning I get the big termination letter. On one hand I wouldn't care because I can't stand my manager but on the other hand, we could use the money for sure and I hate the idea that I would be fired, which has never happened to me before, like there is something wrong with me. What bothers me most is that he seems to be itemizing my every mistake and I am not allowed any learning curve. Any suggestions??

Friday, November 05, 2010

Test Run

I am at work right now – where they have installed the latest Microsoft Office Suite. Initially it was difficult to navigate but now I'm finding it easier. One of the things I discovered while exploring in Microsoft Word is this Blog option. Apparently, I can write my blog post here in Word (and at the office, yay!) and than publish it to my blog.

I am not sure if this will work, hence the test run. You know how it goes, technology has all these great features that are suppose to make our lives easier but half the time they don't even work or are so hopelessly complicated that you have to have a Ph.D in technology to understand them.

Before ending this test run, I have to put in a funny little anecdote that happened to me the other day. I'm not sure if I mentioned or not but I work at a University and one of the programs offered at the University is Culinary Arts, i.e. future chefs! The other day I was riding the elevator up to the fourth floor (I work on the first floor where there is no kitchen facilities) to microwave my frozen meal and I heard a voice peep up from behind, "you are not going to eat that?!" I turned, it was a professor in the Culinary Arts program. I smiled and ruefully said, "yes," it was all I had in a pinch. The professor tried to make his comment not seem so bad, but I wasn't offended – I found the whole exchange hilarious. Only in a University with future chefs could I get so chastised for a frozen dinner.