Thursday, November 21, 2002

Post-birthday report

Random stuff, not really a cohesive entry today. First things first.

Yesterday as I was driving home from lunch with my old boss, I saw the swan out in the pond near my house. He used to come hang out down closer to my house, but he seems to be very happy over closer to the big part of the pond. I wanted to get a picture of him. So I turned around, parked, got out and went to see if I could get him to come closer.

There were dozens of Canada geese in the pond, they were all trying very hard to be the swan.

He didn't want to come close, but I watched him for a long time. I watched all of them looking for food, sticking their long necks under the water, with their duck rumps straight up in the air. The swan is huge, so he was pretty impressive to watch in this process. And... they stay under a good long time. I was impressed.

The really funny part was that when I parked my car, two ducks came from the opposite side of the pond and followed me across the road like puppies. They were very unique. There were no other ducks in the pond that looked like them, and I've only ever seen ducks like them at the Topsfield Fair. The Canada geese and the mallards didn't like these two at all, and kept harassing them. Sigh. Intolerance in the duck world.

So here are two pictures from my Swan and Duck watching experience.

I'm in MF's class right now, working from home.

I wish I had broadband, because I get no visuals at home on CuSeeMe, just audio and text. It's better than nothing, and my only real purpose here is to zap the unsavory interlopers out of the room, so I don't really need to SEE anyone... just be here. I had to stay here because Jessie had a half school day and band practice after the half day... so I had to pick her up in the middle of class. It was either work here or go down there and try and arrange for another parent to get her. I didn't want to deal with the hassle. So I stayed home. It all worked out well. I abandoned the class for 10 minutes. People came in. The students asked them to leave. No one was given a hard time. Peace reigned and all was good in the world.

Birthday report -- well. It wasn't a Barenaked Ladies concert with a celestial event following, but... it was nice.

I kept Geoff home because of Grandparents' day festivities at his school, and we went up to see his best friend Pete in Maine. Hanging out with Marcia and the kids was very nice and relaxing. They have some snow, so the kids got to sled... it was icy and fast, and they really liked it. Geoff fell asleep in the car on the way home after crying for the first half hour that he wanted to move there and live near Pete and "my girlfriend Mary. I want to marry her and live in Maine forever..."

Dude, you're already married, twice!

Mary is sweet on him too... which makes it extra cute. They'd make a nice couple... in 20 years. Gah. I can't imagine that far into the future... so I'll drop that line of thought.

I got several emails (Thank you Amy, Carrie, Virginia, Tess... you so rock) and different online cards from people. I took a nice nap when we got home. Then Doug took all of us out for dinner at Stripers Grille in Salisbury, right on the Merrimack River across from Newburyport. If you're familiar with the area -- it's a great little place to eat, the food is awesome, and because it is on the other side of the river you get the view of pretty Newburyport... all lit up and New Englandy. It's a very nice place. When we got there, Geoff told the waitress it was my birthday and she gave me mad props.

There was a large table filled with partiers, celebrating an older woman's birthday there too. When they brought out her cake, Geoff protested. "Hey! They didn't say the right NAME! It's my MOM'S birthday," and he was mad. We laughed at how cute he was.

I went to the bathroom, and when I did the waitress came over with MY cake, unrequested by Doug -- it was her idea. And she was all "Uh, where'd she go??!!" because I spoiled the moment by needing to pee (vodka and cranberry juice drinks makes me gotta pee when I gotsta pee). So she got my name at least, making the singing part easier, and then they came back around to sing to me when I got back.

I put a napkin on my head. I was so embarrassed. Geoff was thrilled that I got sung to, and that we had cake. It was all very nice.

When we got home, I put the kids to bed, I got a call from my mom so I returned it and we chatted. I got a call from my sister, so we chatted. Doug fell asleep and then I remembered I had a meeting with cateringman in the morning and hadn't finished the menus! In fact, I was less than halfway done with the menus! And it was 11pm!!! Aw crap.

So I went into the study and finished the menus. I got to bed after 1am. I was shagged out tired yesterday. The meeting went well and they accused me of partying too hard for my birthday. I let them believe that. I didn't want them to know I'd stayed up on my birthday WORKING for them... they'd call me a nerd.

Yesterday I had lunch with my former boss, and a friend from the Marketing group who got laid off in June. We had a wonderful time, and it was so good to see him. I keep in good contact with my old boss, but some of my old pals I've been out of touch with since my layoff.

I went and bought myself a new winter coat (Kohls was having a 50% off sale. Wooo!) and got some stuff for Geoff -- he needed a new coat and sledding pants. I got the first of Jessica's Christmas presents but she went into my room and saw it on the bed. I got her a Simpson's Chess set. So there goes 20 bucks that was supposed to be part of Christmas for her.

My bedroom should be SO off limits!

Tonight we're going to look at a new truck. We've been thinking for a long while that we want a truck, but have the family to sit in it. So. We're looking at a Dodge Ram pickup, extended cab. Seats 6. Great payload area for the dogs and gear (we'll obviously get a cap so the dogs aren't just... floating around back there, waiting to jump out and get killed. Decent mileage (18city/20hwy).

We don't want a minivan. An SUV is out of the question because that won't keep the dogs in the way back. And there aren't any decent sized station wagons that seat more than 5 people. No one makes the way way back seat anymore. And the middle seat is virtually useless in the front if you manage to get a car with bench seating... so going with the truck is where it's at. With 0% financing right now, we can trade in the Saturn and have the same ballpark payments that we have with it if we buy now.

This of course puts a crimp in Doug's Big TV Fantasy(TM). He wants a bigassed mother 36" TV for the built-in, and even picked one out. It costs like 1400 bucks or something. I forget how much. It's expensive. We may have to live with the pimpy TV for a year longer. Unless I get a job in the next couple months. Which I'm so hoping for. Then, we pay off all our debt, buy the truck, buy the TV and finish fixing the stuff we need to fix! Money -- it's helpful.

I've sent out resumes to head hunters. I'm dying to hear back from that college I just applied to. Yesterday was the deadline for submissions. They probably have an internal candidate already hand-picked and the advertisement and I'm not going to even get an interview. I have an interview tomorrow with a company in Watertown, which is SO far away, but it's a writing position that I'm really hoping I can make part time or flex time, and work from home. They are a young software company and a friend of mine works there. He is working for next to no money while they sell the first round of their product. They need a few more clients before they can give everyone who's been there since the start some serious money for sticking with it. But, they need training documentation and tech support manuals. So... that's what I'd be doing.

I'm sort of nervous, feel very under qualified. I have to dig out my tech writing samples. I'll probably have to go with the engineers to installations to work with the training process and then have stuff written for training afterwards, so this could be more of a pain in the ass if it doesn't pay well to start. I'll let you know.

Plus, if they give me this job, at very little pay... what do I do when I get the call to interview for the other job? What if I get the job at the college that I really really want? What if I walk away from a company that ends up with a great IPO and I miss out on gajillions of dollars? Meh.

I don't want to think about it. I won't get either job at all. In the long run... all that matters is I get the dishes done today, and the laundry folded. After this class is over. And a nap. Yeah. A nap.

I'm old

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