work

Ice Cream at Work (Pictures)

One of the perks of working where I am is that there is a cooler stocked with ice cream. When I stopped by yesterday, it was pretty well cleaned out. But I stopped by today after lunch and HOLY ICE CREAM!!

Ice Cream Cooler Ice Cream Cooler

Did I mention that this ice cream is free?

But you know, even if that cooler wasn’t there, I really like it there. :) I’ve worked two days and immediately felt at home. The projects I worked on–I really enjoyed them. I am eager to be really up to speed so that I can take on more work.

Today, when I got home, Adam had a cup of tea waiting for me. :)

Yay.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Working Girl

Tomorrow, I start freelance proofreading for Ogilvy, an ad agency. It was just one of those things–walking in for the interview, I felt like I belonged there. The commute is easy, the place is neat, they supply ICE CREAM, there are game tables and updated software and computers, and I can wear jeans and listen to headphones while I work.

But best of all, I get to do what I love!

I have never been so excited about starting a new position before.

YAY!!!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Finally, A Weekend! (Pictures, Long)

This will be my first full weekend in over a month. I’m so glad I like the work and the people I work with, because otherwise, working six days a week would be awful. As it is, I feel weird not going in tomorrow. If I hadn’t already turned in my time sheet for the week, I probably would reconsider and pop in for a few hours! I care that much about the work and I like the job that much. But I am tired and was encouraged by team members to take a break because I really shouldn’t work six days a week for ten weeks in a row. Plus, I got sick twice the past couple of weeks, and even though the colds were fairly minor, last Saturday, I was miserable! I came home, took medicine, fell into bed and stayed there until Sunday evening! Still, I remember last year this time, I was starting that horrific three-month sore throat. I am SO GLAD I’m not dealing with that this year!

I started to get melancholy this week, because my assignment is slated to end on November 26th. I’ve never been SAD about leaving a job before, but with this one, I really will grieve! I love the work, the culture, the commute, everything, even the six day weeks and sometimes ten hour work days. Today, some people dressed up for the holiday, and people were passing out candy, and the company bought pizza and salad and beverages for all of us to enjoy for lunch.

I leave work at the end of the day with a spring in my step, because I just spent all day working my butt off and loving every minute of it. And the thought of going back to combing the job boards, sending out a billion resumes to get maybe one or two bites, then going on interviews and doing hours of interview homework frankly depresses me. It seriously makes me want to cry.

I believe that if you put the energy out there, then something can happen with it. So this is what I’m going to put out there. I want to work full time at Schawk. I want to be a permanent employee. Everyday I go in and hope that they see something in me that makes them say “You know, this girl is good. Her attitude is awesome, and we can really tell that she cares about and likes the work. We’re going to offer her a position here because we know she’ll bring value to our team and our company.”

We’ll see what happens. I know the economy, and the reality though, and I’m going to try not to cry too much that day. In the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy the time I do have there for sure. It’s the best job I’ve ever had in my life. And I mean that 100%.

Today is Halloween, and I didn’t dress up. I did wear a tee-shirt to commemorate the occasion, though.

Me on Halloween

I got a lot of compliments on my headband. :)

Adam did dress up, though. Here he is with Hector before their crazy night of Weird Chicago tours.

Halloween 2008

Helena has been a very good girl and hasn’t peed on the bed in a long time. I’m proud of her. She’s gotten used to me being gone, and I give her a little extra attention in the mornings before I leave for work which she seems to like. Some of my best evenings are when she and Crookshanks curl up beside me while I play on Flickr or something.

Honestly, though, I’m only missing one thing from my life and that’s Aidan’s hugs and kisses. It’s so hard not hearing his little voice every day and having him clinging to me and touching my cheek. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and wonder how he’s doing. The other day I was talking to him, and he said “Mommy, I was looking at the picture of you and me and Daddy and I started cwying.” I asked him why, and he said because he missed me. That’s a big void, and even though I don’t regret moving to Chicago and being with Adam, I miss my son terribly and I want need to see him soon.

Other than that, I’m really happy. And I’ve been happy for a long time now. I like working. I like coming home to Adam at the end of the day. Some nights he makes the most delicious dinners. Wednesday night, I told him I wanted something light, and he made tomato basil soup with chicken. It was perfect and amazing. Tonight, he made beef and noodles. The beef had been simmering all day in the Crock-Pot. And one day last week, he made the most delicious homemade beef stew. I have to watch so I won’t gain a ton of weight–my pants are all fitting snugly! It’s time for me to really put the Wii Fit to use.

Yes, that was a major splurge I made a couple of weeks ago! I went to Best Buy in search of a new external hard drive because my original one is almost full. Well, I found a 1T hard drive for a good price, and ventured over to the video game section. I was shaking me head at the Wii Fit towel. I mean, really? $8 for a towel because it says Wii Fit on it? And I was thinking “well, that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Wii Fit….” then I walked out of that aisle and over to a center pallet that was stacked with Wiis and Wii Fits! I debated for about 30 seconds on getting it, then decided to go for it, and I am so glad. Working out with that thing is SO fun. I love the step aerobics and the yoga. Before I know it, I’ve clocked 35 minutes of exercise and for something like me who does NOT care for exercise, that is a big deal. Wii Fit = PURE WIN.

I’m trying to think of what else I’ve been up to besides working, resting, reading, and playing Wii Fit, and I can’t come up with a whole lot. I did finally get to read the latest Leven Thumps novel. I devoured the thing in a day and a half and was very sad when it was over. I have to wait probably at least a year for the next one!

Another writer friend of mine finally got a book contract, and I’m very happy for her. Out of that little group, I’m the only one who still hasn’t been published, and right now, I’m OK with that. I’m not even sure I want to pursue a writing career so much anymore. I’m getting so much joy out of the agency proofreading work, I wonder if I shouldn’t focus on that career path? We’ll see where my heart takes me. I still have the soul of a writer, and I’m always thinking of characters and making up people and scenarios in my head, so maybe it’ll come back one day. At this point, I’m at peace with where I am now, career-wise. Who knows what will happen?

A few days ago. Rosa asked me to post 7 things about myself that most people don’t know. This is going to be a challenge, as I am pretty open on my blog. But let’s see.

1. I have a terrible singing voice. I mean, it’s awful. But that doesn’t stop me from singing along with the stereo when I am home alone.

2. About twelve years ago, the house I lived in for most of my growing years was foreclosed on. I didn’t get a lot of stuff out of it, and some of that stuff includes rare 12-in. album singles with remixes of songs like Killing Me Softly by Al B. Sure and Lucky Charm by The Boys. I really, really wish I had a way to get digital copies of those songs–but the 12-in. singles were rare enough when I bought them. I’m sure it’s impossible to get them now.

3. Even though I do not like winter or the cold, I love cold-weather accessories. I have tons of scarves and hats and gloves and mittens. I like to change them up depending on my mood, and I just love the new cute ones that come out every year. Monday, when I was at Aeropostale to get a few sweaters for the upcoming winter, I started considering a new winter coat. Adam, with an exasperated look, told me that I have QUITE enough coats, thank you very much. OK, he didn’t say all that, but he did point out that I have four winter coats and I probably really don’t need a new one. But we’ll see how my coats hold up against Chicago winters. I might need to take a trip to Eddie Bauer soon. Macy’s has beautiful wool pea coats, but I really don’t want to spend $500 on a coat that may or may not keep me warm when the single digit temperatures hit.

4. I wish I had a best girlfriend. But then I wonder if I really want the time and commitment that comes with having a best girlfriend. Jen and I are pretty close–we’ve known each other since the early 1990s–but I don’t have that *best friend* who is local and who I see all the time, who I can yap on the phone with for hours and then turn around and email/IM her as soon as I hang up. It’s been so long that I’m not even sure I KNOW how to have a best friend anymore, not like I did when I was in grade school. I remember Charla and I used to get on the phone and yak yak yak for hours (13 of them once). Now, it just seems strange to call someone other than my mommy just to talk, even though when someone does catch me at a good time, it’s always great to hear from that person, and I enjoy catching up and chatting. I think every girl needs a best friend, but I guess I’m scared and not so sure how to go about it.

5. I’m generally not a phone person. I will email you long, long letters, I’ll write you letters, I’ll text you, but I’m not huge on the phone. Again, I like when people call me, but it’s hard for me to take the initiative to make the call to anyone unless I really feel driven to action. I even had a hard time calling Adam, the man I was dating, then engaged to, because I always worried about bugging him. But if someone calls me, I’m terrible about letting him or her off the phone, and we can talk for hours and hours easily. Ask anyone about my marathon phone calls with my mom. Last time it was five hours.

6. I enjoy good, long, late night conversations. I love talking to friends about anything and everything in the middle of the night, when the inhibitions are down just a bit, and we’re comfortable sharing everything.

7. I really really want to take Aidan to Disney World within the next year. Just a mommy-son trip. I know it’s probably crazy and ambitious to do a single-parent trip of that magnitude, but we both LOVE Disney World and I think the time together would be amazing. I just wish something would happen to make that a possibility very soon, before he outgrows Disney World… and hanging out with his parents. For the record, I also want to take a huge trip to Disney World with Adam, Aidan, Chris, Matt, my mom, and Adam’s mom.

Because traveling for Thanksgiving will be a logistical nightmare for me this year, Adam and I are staying in town and having Thanksgiving here. We’re going to make a turkey and stuffing, and I’ll make a bit of dressing (hopefully not as dry as I made it for Christmas–eep). I’m also making my famous macaroni & cheese and we’re having gobs and gobs and gobs of mashed potatoes. Probably some corn and/or green beans too. And a Jell-O cake for dessert! Local friends who have no other plans are DEFINITELY welcome to join us. Just RSVP to me or Adam and let us know so we can have enough food to go around.

Tomorrow is November, which means I need to start thinking about Christmas. Once Halloween is over, I feel OK thinking about it, making plans, etc. So far, I plan to fly to Columbus on Christmas to surprise my little Aidan. How much fun will that be? :) That’s all I have so far. Has anyone else started thinking about the December holidays?

I think I got everything out that’s been building up in me the past few days and/or weeks. If you read all this, thank you. ♥ I leave you with a picture of my street in Chicago. I took it as I was walking home from work one evening.

Down the Block

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Can’t Sleep

I can’t sleep because I’m lying in bed thinking about work. When I drift off to sleep, I dream about work. In just a few hours, I will be heading into Day Seven of straight working. My mini-spree at Target tonight (which incidentally, consisted mostly of snacks and a Hannah Montana–yeah, I’m rocking the Hannah Montana, yo!–water bottle to use at work) made me feel guilty because some of the stuff wasn’t bought at Sears, whose ads I’m proofing all day.

I quite possibly might be losing my mind.

(Of course, it might be the Sudafed–Target Brand, of course–that’s keeping me awake.)

But seriously, I know it’s because I’m working a LOT, but also because I care a lot about my work. I am always dreaming of ways to improve my methods, what I’m working on, and I have once again made a mental note of something that should probably be added to the style guide. I like having something to be passionate about again, but I like sleep, too. So I’m gonna play around a bit on here, then try to get some more before I have to be up at 9am.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Right Then, It’s On

I’m surprised my brain is even functioning enough to write this post. But here Iam.

I am currently in the middle of a seven-day work week. I went in on Sunday, and I’ve been at work every day and will work Saturday as well. Yesterday, I was so exhausted and sick-feeling that I went home a couple of hours early, and those extra few hours of sleep REALLY helped. I figured that if I didn’t rest yesterday, I’d be crap for the rest of the week. This morning I felt back to normal and worked a regular day with no problem. Tomorrow is Friday for most people, but honestly, I don’t really know which day is which these days anymore.

The upside of all this working are the following things:

It’s nice not to have to worry AT ALL about money for the next several weeks. And all the frugal living I’ve had to do the past two years has really helped me not lose control of my spending. My biggest splurges this month? Some clothes for Aidan and my Disney Photopass CD, both of which I snagged at substantial discounts. I still take my lunches to work (except for the occasional McDonald’s treat), still reread books at home or get them from the library.

The people I work with are generally pretty great. The permanent employees are used to this fourth quarter madness and most of them take it in stride. They buy us lunch when we work on the weekends. The guys have a great sense of humor. I mean, anytime someone says “moot” and five or six people all start going “moooooot” like cows–that’s just my kind of place. Not only that, but they don’t look at me weird because I love Disney so much. In fact, I know of at least two other people there who are fans, and someone brings his/her lunch in a Disney World bag every day.

The culture of the place is one of the best I’ve ever worked at. Not only is there the Tuesday and Thursday popcorn, but I can listen to my music, and I’m pretty much to the point where I can get through entire days without having something pointed out to me that I missed or just didn’t know yet. I can wear jeans every day, and my “boss” has an Obama paper doll on her office window, and his clothes get changed often.

Did I mention that I know ahead of time what the sales are? Yes, that’s pure WIN. Not that I shop a lot, of course, but it’s nice to know. I am getting ideas of Christmas gifts for people.

The downside is:

No weekends, or very short weekends. I’ve pretty much accepted that I’m going to be working 6-day weeks until Thanksgiving. TGIF means nothing to me now.

I keep DREAMING about work and those ads. Other people say it’s normal, so I don’t feel like much of a freak, but still. I often have to force my mind to go other directions at night.

I haven’t had time to read a new book in weeks. So I just re-read old books. Now I’m going through the Casteel series by VC Andrews. I might skip the last two, though, and go to the Dollanganger series.

My room is a hot mess. I WANT to clean but I just don’t FEEL like it. I figure life will return to normal soon enough, so I’m not too worried about it. Except when I’m trying to find stuff. Or when stuff constantly gets knocked over.

Our Internet connection has been iffy again. Adam finally broke down and ordered a NEW service which will be active Monday night. I’m looking forward to stable Internet again.

Why are people so resistant to change on the ‘net? Flickr has a new homepage and people are in an uproar about that. The new Facebook–oh Lord. People lost their minds. I happen to like the new pages, and I’m getting used to the new iGoogle in the meantime. Good times.

The other night, I went on an online shopping spree. But the only thing that I actually paid for that night was Aidan’s clothes. I got him $100 worth of clothes from The Children’s Place for $26. The Photopass CD had been pre-paid. I also FINALLY dipped into the $45 worth of Amazon gift certificates I’ve had for months to preorder a couple of CDs, a DVD, and a book.

HOLY CRAP. The water heater guy left his sweatshirt here by mistake and Helena just peed on it. WTF. She pees on our bed every chance she gets and she tries to sneak in our bedroom just so she can pee on the bed. Lucy at least had a reason to keep peeing everywhere–she was sick. But Helena is just being a bitch and I’m getting annoyed by it. Ironically, she’d been taken back to PAWS in the past because of the same problem. But when we first brought her home, she used the litter boxes with NO problem at all. I don’t understand the problem. And I don’t understand why our vet charges effing $300 to look at a urine sample. Besides, she’s perfectly healthy, doing her billion windsprints all morning, and she poops in the litter boxes and pees in them when the bedroom door is closed or random sweatshirts are not on the floor. And she eats like nobody’s business. I don’t understand the peeing, though. It’s obviously behavioral, but I don’t know anything beyond that.

Anyway, I guess that’s all for now. I need to take a bath and then get ready for the bed that is not made, incidentally, because Adam was washing the sheets and comforter AGAIN because you-know-who peed on it. Again. Sigh.

Til next time.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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