Archive for February, 2005

Feb 25 2005

This is weird.

Published by under Introspection,Work

It’s 10:30, and I’m sitting at my bare freaking desk, working on the laptop which I have scoured of any personal files, looking at an empty Inbox.

This is weird.

Last time I left this company, it was under my own steam.  I was leaving a job which had become intolerable because of many factors.  I was kind of nervous, but not too bad.  I was mostly excited.  Little did I know that because of that decision, The Man and I would be living in poverty for a year.  The plan we had to liquidate my stock options went out the window when our stock price crashed a few weeks after leaving my job.  That left us with a substantial amount of debt.  After a couple of years of hard work, we are almost debt-free, other than our house payment.  I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so jittery now.  I know, because I’ve been assured, that there is not a chance of us falling back into the money hole we were in years ago.  We have no car payments, and very little credit card debt.  All of our bills are current, and all of our past bills are paid and gone.  It will be okay, financially.

I’ve been working this job for about seven years now.  There are people here who have gotten on my last nerve, and people who I’ve come to respect and be friends with.  I’ve really grown up with this company, and this is where I met my husband.  It is hard to leave, but this time, I don’t have a choice.  I’m being forced out because of a policy.  Even though I know that it’s time to leave, because I really am not happy with this job anymore, it’s still stressful to leave one part of my life behind, knowing that the door has closed and I can never go back.

As if today wasn’t weird enough, what with me leaving my job, I’ve decided to get my hair cut off.  It really has to be done.  As I was growing my hair out, I did several stupid things which resulted in my hair being so damaged it’s not really salvageable at its current length.  It’s broken and the ends are split not only at the bottom, but halfway up the length.  It makes me sad, because I do love having long hair, but I also love having HEALTHY hair, and right now, it is not that.  I really think it’s too long, anyway.  It gets in my way sometimes, and if I don’t braid it back when I go to bed, I can’t fall asleep because it is all over the place.  The only ways I can really put it up now is in a ponytail or a bun, and the bun takes roughly 8000 bobby pins to secure.  This is what I keep telling myself, but the dorky part of me is going “MY HAIR!  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO MY HAIR?!”  All I can say is that if it turns out badly, I’m probably going to end up crying and crying and crying.  That should really make The Man happy.

My hair appointment is in 45 minutes.  I’ll be leaving this company forever in roughly a half-hour.

This is weird.

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Feb 24 2005

Here we go.

Published by under Introspection,Work

Well.  Tomorrow is my very last day at this company.  I’m starting to feel that twisty feeling in my stomach that means I’m on the edge of another life-affecting event.  I’m not really sad or upset at the fact that I’m leaving; this has been a long time coming.  I had some chances to stay on, and I didn’t take any of them simply because I know how tired I am of this industry.  I’ve hung on for six years, but honestly, I’m not meant for corporate life, and I’m really not meant for the telco industry.  I hate how everything is always an emergency, and I despise how quickly things move – so quickly that you often have no time to prepare adequately.

But I’m still a little sad at leaving, because over the past few years I have met and worked with and become friends with some great people, and I know that once I leave here, chances are good that I’ll never talk to most of them again.  It’s almost like leaving high school in a way – you say you’re going to keep in touch, but everyone knows it’s a sham.  The difference is that know we’re adults, and we know the truth: no one is keeping in touch here, and once I leave, I’m gone.  That’s what is making me so happy and so sad at the same time.

The other problem is that I have no idea what I want to do when I leave here.  There is a big part of me that has the belief that if I’m not working then I’m worthless.  I don’t know where I got this from, but it’s really annoying.  I don’t really have any ambition at all.  Most of my friends know what they want to be doing, and they’re working in their fields or going to school, or whatever.  I don’t really have anything that I want to do.  That more than anything is what’s making me feel like a dork right now.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

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Feb 22 2005

Stupid people, including me.

Published by under Media,Rants,Stupidity,Work

You know what I hate? I hate reading a journal that I really enjoy, and then all of a sudden the author says something that hurts my feelings, such as “People who go to Renaissance Fairs are stupid!” or “I’m ashamed to say I like Fleetwood Mac!” Even though I’m sure that in the course of expressing my own opinions I may sometimes do the same thing. I’m sure that there has been at least one person who’s come here only to read that I think that something they like is dumb, and therefore they too are dumb. I try not to do that. I might not like something (like Nascar), I may not understand why you enjoy it, but if you do like it, that doesn’t mean I think YOU’RE an idiot. Everyone enjoys different things. People who don’t like anything that is dorky I treat with a lot of suspicion. Those people are usually far too concerned with what Other People Think Of Them. If you tell me that there is nothing about you or your likes that someone else could consider you a big geek for doing, then you a probably a plastic person.

The biggest people who get on my nerves are The Music Snobs. If you are a music snob, you need to get a big ladder and climb up over yourself. I cannot stand it when someone makes fun of me for listening to pop, or classic rock, or anything else that isn’t uber-cool and wonderful. Music can carry beautiful and heavy meanings, but sometimes it is just supposed to be fun. Pop music is notoriously fun, and easy to sing along to, so I’m really, really sorry if I just gave you a heart attack by admitting that I like a lot of Britney Spears’ older songs, but seriously. Get over yourself. I do not choose to listen to deep, meaningful music every minute of the day, or even the crazy punk music that everyone seems to think I should be listening to. Here’s something for you to gasp over: I haven’t heard of 12 out of the 20 bands currently occupying the Billboard Top 20 Modern Rock chart. SHAME SHAME SHAME! And the only reason that I’ve heard of Queens of the Stone Age is because Rock Star has a concert t-shirt he wears to work. Never heard a lick of their music.

OK, that’s probably enough of that.

So, how stupid am I? I’M TOTALLY STUPID. Even though I wore my stupid contacts to work and got a blinding headache last week, today I decided to give them one more chance, to see if maybe the planets had aligned correctly or something. I should have remembered that astrology has nothing to do with optometry because I have another big ass headache and it’s only noon. I can’t wait until I am on The Man’s insurance and I can go to the eye doctor and demand new contacts – ones that don’t make me hurt. I’m also due for some new frames for my glasses, won’t that be fun?

For those of you keeping track, I have a total of FOUR DAYS LEFT of gainful employment before I am terminated. Then I’ll have to go to the unemployment office and sign up for some money. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with myself after I don’t have a job anymore. I really don’t want to fall back into the pattern I got into after the first time I left this company, which was basically: 1. Don’t shower 2. Sit on the couch 3. Repeat indefinitely.

Maybe I’ll panhandle or something. That could be. . . not fun.

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Feb 16 2005

More mosaic mumbling.

Published by under Friends,Photos

You know that recurring line in “Chasing Amy” where Banky is trying to justify his artistic contribution to the comic, and everyone just ends up going, “Oh, so you trace?”  That’s about how I feel when it comes to mosaics.  I can’t draw.  I do a lot of lines with my tiles, but if I want to do a picture, I have to get it off the internet (after making sure it’s public domain, of course).  So, I’m not arrogant enough to call myself an artist, especially since I just started doing this, and up until about three days ago, didn’t know the proper way to nip a tile.

But I do have a lot of fun making mosaics.  So much so that I am always looking at things, wondering if they’d look better covered in tiles and grout.  The other day, I was out of projects, so I wandered around the house until I came across a poor, innocent little candle tray – the kind that looks like a glass coaster and that you put a pillar candle on.  It did not escape my tiling frenzy.  Observe:

You will note that now it is less of a candle tray and more of a coaster.  Sometimes when you mosaic something, you change its purpose.  I hope the cats stay alert, because you just never know how cute they might be with a little permanent mosaic collar on their necks.

Sometimes, I’m not really sure how something is going to look, but that doesn’t stop me from forging ahead blindly.  I don’t do very much planning, except to make sure that I have enough tile to cover something, and to make sure that I’ve spaced things out properly.  I don’t sit around and map out the whole color scheme beforehand.  That’s way too organized for me.  So, when I set out to make Mackers a present of a mosaic thinger, I didn’t know if it would be pretty, or a disaster.  The jury is still out on this one, and it will be out until I order the grout to finish it.  I’ve taken a small, unassuming wooden box and tiled it within an inch of its life.  As Chris says, it has much more heft now.  It will fly across the room nicely, if ever hurled in a rage.  I warned Mackers that it might be on this side of gaudy, and she pshawed me (seriously.  I’d never heard anyone “pshaw” before), telling me that the GAUDIER THE BETTER.  Well, I present the unfinished box here, so you all can tell me how far over the line of good taste I’ve crossed.

That is, in fact, supposed to be a leaf on the top, but you will probably agree that I need to spend a little more time on tile shaping.  The photo doesn’t really do it justice, but there are EIGHT colors in all on this thing.  EIGHT.  On a box that is probably only five inches square on the surface.

I’m so upset with the craft stores in this area, too.  They do not stock a lot of mosaic stuff, so I have to order it off the internet (that is a link to my supplier, not a link to the whole internet, psycho).  For someone like me, who is instant gratification girl, waiting for my stuff to arrive is torture.  This is how candle trays become coasters, because I don’t have anything else to vent my tiling frenzy upon.

My next project is to make a dragon panel for The Man, but I think I’ll need better nipping tools to do that with.  I want it to be cool.

Gotta go now and harass my husband, but I want to leave you with something amusing.  The meaning of the phrase “spend a penny” is to go to the toilet.  The origins are thus: In England public toilets used to have coin (penny) operated locks. Hence the graffiti ‘Here I sit broken hearted, Paid a penny and only farted’. (origins courtesy of The Phrase Finder)

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Feb 16 2005

Going to the theatre.

Published by under Friends,The Man

It seems like every time I go to a show or concert, it’s a complete accident. I don’t usually hear about things on the radio or through commercials and then plan to go to the show. Normally, I’m just sitting at my computer, and am struck by a sudden thought like “Hey, I wonder if so-and-so is going to be playing anywhere nearby soon.” Then I’ll jaunt off to Ticketmaster and check venues. If I find something, I’ll generally buy tickets within the half-hour. The exception to this is, of course, Fleetwood Mac, since I bought a fan club membership specifically so I could pre-order concert tickets.

The reason I bring this up is because I just had another accidental find. Last night, as I was putzing around with my mosaics, I was listening to the Les Miserables soundtrack. This is my favorite show that I’ve never seen. The Miller Boys got me listening to the music lo, these many moons ago, but I’ve never actually gone to see it performed. Sure enough, today the music is still stuck in my head, so I decided to see if the touring production would be in my area any time soon. And they’ll be in Grand Rapids in May. So, I bought tickets. Score! Now I’ll all excited. It’s a little disappointing because I’ve gotten spoiled with my show/concert seating lately. I’ve usually been able to get seats in the orchestra at least, but this time, The Man and I are banished to the mezzanine. It makes me sad, but this is what you have to deal with when you order on the spur of the moment.

I haven’t really seen that many different shows/concerts. A lot of the people I know are regular concert hounds, and they see lots and lots of shows. I don’t particularly LIKE sitting in a theatre, although I do like seeing things live. So, unless I am really, really interested in what is going on, I’ll buy the CD or watch the movie version and let it go at that. Here’s the things I’ve actually gone to see live, as near as I can recollect. I’m sure my concert and theatre going buddies will correct me if I’ve left something out:


  • Paula Abdul (Color Me Badd opened): Uh. . . I was 12. Special Op B asked me to come along with her. I liked Paula quite a bit when I was a kid, but it’s kind of shameful to admit I was there now.
  • Brooks and Dunn: At the Ionia Free Fair. I was about 18. I liked country. I still like Brooks and Dunn, although [boi] despises country music, so I don’t listen to it all that often anymore.
  • Indigo Girls: At Eastern Michigan University with the Middle Miller Boy. I love the Indigo Girls. I know a lot of people like to sneer at them, but if you listen toheir songs, they have beautiful lyrics and melody.
  • Dave Matthews Band: At the Palace of Auburn Hills with the Middle Miller Boy. We got to hang out in a private box, courtesy of his company. I love being at a catered concert. Yum.
  • Fleetwood Mac: At Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids with [boi]. Great show, terrible venue. We had decent seats, but I hate Van Andel. It’s just not good, for some reason.
  • Fleetwood Mac: At DTE Energy Theater with [boi]. Great show AND great venue. The best concert I’ve ever been to, hands down.


The Phantom of the Opera (4 Times)
At the Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit. Tickets were a gift from my mom and stepdad in an attempt to get me excited about something during my lousy freshman year in high school. My stepdad was very put out, because he didn’t realize that most of the plot would be people singing. We had nosebleed-section seats, but I didn’t care. I loved the whole thing.

At the Pantages Theatre in Toronto, Canada (2 times). The first time was part of a trip with my show choir. The other time was with the Youngest Miller Boy and The Prodigal.

At some theatre in Manhatten. With The Man, when he was stranded in Jersey for months on end.

RENT (3 Times)
At Pantages Theatre in Toronto, Canada. With the Youngest Miller Boy, on our return trip to Toronto.

At DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids. Again with the Youngest Miller Boy. We cannot get enough RENT.

At some theatre in New York. With The Man, again while he was on his Jersey sojourn.

Beauty and the Beast
At some theatre in New York. Again with The Man, still stuck in Jersey.

At DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids, with my mother. My mom had season tickets, and her theatre buddy was not interested in a rock opera. So I got to go instead, and it was pretty damn cool.

As you can tell, when I decide I like something, I will see it OVER AND OVER again. We (me, The Man, The Youngest Miller Boy) just went the other night to see the movie version of Phantom, and we were all pleasantly surprised. That little girl they got to play Christine has quite a set of pipes on her. And all the sets and costumes were very nice. It was a beautifully shot movie.

I wish that I didn’t have to drive hours to see something I really like. We have a venue here in town, but it is generally booked up with things like hockey games, monster truck rallys (it’s Thunder, Thunder, THUNDER NATIONALS!!!), and contemporary Christian music (yes, that’s all happening this month in my town! We are the culture center!) But having to go to Grand Rapids gives us a great excuse to drop in on my parents, and going to Detroit gives us a great excuse to. . . drive to Detroit. It’s not all bad.

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