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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you have a fun evening with friends and/or family, and a wonderful year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Moss Landing Beach/Breakup Blog, 4 months/Layoff Blog, 2 months

It was a nice day today, and I needed to get away from my brother, so I went to the beach.  (I'm a mean sister, I know, but I did give him the option of joining me and he wasn't interested.)  I went to Moss Landing Beach.  Why there?  Well, I've never been and there was an article in the AAA magazine about it, which I read when I was in the bathtub last night.  I also thought I might want to hit the outlet mall on the way back.  It's a really nice beach - several miles of wide, sandy beach to walk on, and it's shaded from the wind.  I walked and walked and looked for sand dollars and rocks for the rock tumbler.   As I walked the sand dollars became less and less damaged, but it wasn't until I hit a river draining into the ocean that I found whole ones.  I gathered up six of them and turned around.  I also gathered a lot of rocks, since I need a new batch. There were lots of little round, colorless jellyfish on the beach as well.  It was about 4 by the time I got back, and I developed a blister, so I skipped going to Elkhorn Slough, but I may go there some other time.  There are a lot of birds there and you can rent a kayak.
It's been 4 months since T broke up with me.  I still have my ups and downs, of course, but the last week was a lot better.  Early and mid december were hard, since I was fragile anyway from the job stuff and I was getting hit with both holiday shit and anniversary reminders.  Remind me not to start new relationships during the holidays;-)
I'm stressing a little bit about my mammogram. OK, a lot, but I'm trying not to think about it. When I went to the OB/GYN last week for my IUD followup appointment, I mentioned that I was being laid off.  My doctor is very proactive and sent me in for routine bloodwork and a mammogram, even though I wasn't scheduled for one for another year.  The technician took a lot of pictures of my left breast, and even called another technician in to look at the pictures.  NOT a very reassuring experience...I'll report more once I get the results back.  I'm hoping that it's either deodorant residue or my thick layer of muscle and fat around my ribs that made it hard to get a good shot.
It's also been two months since we first heard that we might be laid off.  In some ways it's easier now that I know for sure, but at the same time it still sucks.  There's not much I can do between now and new year's, other than surf the job ads and apply for ones that sound good.  As part of our layoff package, we get a month's worth of services from a company that helps us with our resumes, job hunting strategies, etc.  I made an appointment to start the process the first week of January.  Who knows, maybe it will be useful, or maybe I will meet some hot unemployed guys there.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snuggie Thief

I'm going to burn in hell for this, I just know it.  Today about 15 fancy red gift boxes were deposited in the front lobby.  They were all addressed to business development people who are no longer with the company, and were sealed up so that you couldn't see what was inside.  After an hour or so, about half of the boxes had disappeared.  I knew my coworkers were thinking the same thing as me - free mystery box!  What are they going to do - fire us?  I pilfered one and took it home with me.
I opened it up when I got home.  There was a card that said "We hope you enjoy a warm, relaxing 'snug' moment to yourself during the holidays"  I started to get suspicious.  Inside the box was a bottle of port, a box of really nice chocolates, and yes, a Snuggie(tm).   Yes, it's official, I am a Snuggie thief.  So are some of my coworkers.
Being a practical person, I immediately began to think what I could do with it.  Use it as a cat blanket?  Put it back in the box and give it to my brother as a gag gift?  Give it to one of my parents as a semi-serious gift?  The possibilities are endless.  Got any other suggestions for my sexy  black Snuggie with a red corporate logo embroidered on the front?  Let me know!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Layoff Blog, middle of the night pissed off version

It's the middle of the night.  I drank too much at 'happy' hour, then woke up in an angry state of mind at 4 AM.
I'm pissed about the layoff. I know I'll never know the full answer as to what went wrong, but I'm sure that mistakes were made and that pisses me off.  F%$&ing greedy incompetant CEO...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SWF seeks Mr Right Now

Soon to be unemployed SWF, 41, with a fondness for LOLcats, fart jokes, and baths, seeks Mr. Right Now for fun times and distraction during a sure-to-be annoying nationwide job search.  Must be kind, honest and not too clingy.  Sugar daddies and married guys need not apply. 


The deal fell through.  We found out this morning.  I have a job until January 31. 
I know there's more to the story than that, but so far no details have emerged.  I knew something was up when I got to work this morning.  My boss and another guy were talking for a long time in the parking lot.  Then he was talking to someone else out in the parking lot.  The parking lot is the location of choice for private conversations.  At first I thought that my boss had found a new job, then I thought that the deal had fell through.  It turned out I was right on both scores.  Anyway, then my boss asked if G had talked to me yet.  I told him no, but that told me all I needed to know.
Then G came in and told me what happened.  I'm still kind of in shock.  If the past is any indicator, it'll get submerged and then resurface as moping about T, or at least hit me when I've got my guard down.
I need to start listening to my intuition more.  I couldn't sleep the last few nights.  I blamed it on alcohol one night and caffeine the next night, but it was still sort of odd.  I wondered about it since the same thing happened before we originally found out about the reorg two months ago.
My boss ended up getting the job at the startup where I interviewed.  He accepted it before we found out about the deal falling though. Small world.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday LOLcat

journal article

For the last few months (ok, for the last nine months) I've been ever so slowly writing a paper. It's on some chemistry I worked on in 2003-4. I started it around the time I had knee surgery, exactly nine months ago tomorrow.  I was too drugged after surgery to do much on it, and since then I've been working on it in an on again, mostly off-again fashion.  After T broke up with me, I made some more headway on it.  When the reorg was first announced, the last thing I wanted to do was spend my spare time doing something for my company.  My boss' boss kept pestering me to finish it, so eventually I figured that (a) that was a good sign about us getting bought (b) if I stayed it would help keep me in his good graces (c) I might need it for my resume and (d) I no longer felt guilty about working on it during business hours.  So I wrote and I wrote and I procrastinated and then I wrote some more.  I spent way too many weekend hours working on it, but the truth is that it partially kept me from moping about T so it did serve a purpose.
It's done. It's a big behemoth of a paper, even though I left out a lot of stuff and just referenced our patents. It's comparable in length to two chapters of my thesis.   I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  My coworkers are supposed to review it by Friday and then it gets sent out to the legal department and also to the legal department of the company that paid for the work.  At that point I expect nothing to happen for a while, but at least it's out of my hair. 
Meanwhile, we're winding down with our current program.  We have our last phone conference tomorrow, so everyone's just got odds and ends to tidy up.  The weekly update meeting about the status of the negotiations is also tomorrow afternoon.
I still haven't started Christmas shopping, although I have started baking. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reorg Blog,7 weeks/Old Biddy Wish List

The negotiations are still going on for the sale of my group.  So far it seems to be going well. The level of detail has progressed to the almost trivial level, i.e. which printers are part of the deal, do we get food service, putting stickers on all the lab equipment that is part of the deal, etc.  This is a good sign. I'm trying to be positive and calm and yet not get my hopes up too much.  If they're going to this much detail, I hope they remembered to include the espresso machine is part of the deal! I may have to go and put a sticker on it in case it isn't....Caffeine is the true catalyst for the catalysis group.
They told us that if the deal isn't signed by next week, they will automatically extend everyone's layoff date by one month.  That's a relief, even though I had an unofficial two month extension anyway.
The startup where I interviewed made an offer to one of my coworkers.  I don't know who, although I do have my suspicions. I did manage to inferentially confirm that it was one of my coworkers.  I didn't like their business plan, so I'm not too disappointed.
I'm not actively looking for jobs at the moment.  It was just too much stress to throw myself 100% into it.  I'm still very vulnerable. I had dinner with Judy last night. She thought that I should look for jobs more aggressively, but I just can't until I know what's going on.  There's not much hiring going on right before the holidays, anyway.  Likewise, I'm holding off on putting my profile up onto I'm just circling the wagons trying to get through the next month or two.
It is weird trying to get all the health stuff squared away in case I have to switch insurance providers.  I got the OB/GYN exam and birth control issues out of the way, but decided to get my eye exam out of the way too.  Unfortunately, they found some trouble spots on my retinae, so I've got another appointment to get that looked at more.  I may have to get them sealed up with a laser.
So anyway, on a lighter note, here are a few things I'm going to buy do if I stay employed.
1.  Figure out what to do with the rest of the living room project, including window treatments, redoing the fireplace, and paint.  This may also include a new TV in time for the 2010 World Cup.
2.   I'm still tempted to get a kitten.
3.  I had originally planned to get laser hair removal of my old biddy chin hairs and also get rid of some redness/spider veins on my cheeks as a birthday present to myself.  My midlife plastic surgery, such as it is, will once again be a possibility.
4.  I want jewelry.   I'm on a big jewelry kick. In place of plastic surgery,  I bought myself a nice watch as my birthday present to myself.  I plan to buy a nice necklace or some cool rings or earrings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baaa Haaaa Haaaa!

Crazy cat lady

When I am an old biddy, in perhaps a day or month or two, perhaps longer,  I want to be a crazy cat lady.  I'm resisting the urge to get another cat, but the main reason is that I told myself I'd get a pair of kittens when one of my cats dies, rather than get one now. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Butt Cold Birthday Biddy/Get the door, it’s Domino’s

Note to an unnamed chemical company: It would help your recruiting immensely if you put your out of state candidates up in a hotel in downtown Boulder rather than a Best Western in the middle of nowhere. Then again, every single chemist I met was originally from Colorado, so I’m sure they didn’t even think of that.
It’s my 41st birthday. I am sitting in a motel room in Longmont, Colorado, after having finished my interview. It is about 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and about -8 with wind chill. It is snowing and the roads are icy/snowy. My original plan was to drive 15 miles over to Boulder for a really nice dinner and walk around, but it’s too damn cold. I’ve been trying to warm up and motivate myself to get out the door for the last hour, but in the end I just decided to be truly nice to myself and do what I wanted to do at this moment in time, not what I wanted to do in some other, warmer moment. And what I really wanted in this moment was to just order a pizza and then go sit in the hot tub and not think about the fact that some weather forecasters are predicting blizzard like conditions for tonight/tomorrow. I’m waiting for my pizza now. Nonetheless, if I were in Boulder now and didn’t have to drive too much I would get off my lazy ass and go look around.
My interview went fine. I’ll write more in a future post. It’s been a mildly ill-fated trip, though, mainly due to the weather. My flight got in late. I had printed out every damn set of directions except the ones from the airport to the hotel. The hotel is on one of the main highways and normally the rental car agents give you a map and point you in the right direction. Not the Denver Avis, though. They give you a map at the exit and you’re on your way. It’s probably their way of getting people to rent the GPS unit. It was pissing down snow when I got in my car and the route to the freeway wasn’t clearly marked. I got lost and went on a skid-filled sojourn through the neighboring areas. Did I mention that my car is a Chevy Cobalt and that I have no experience driving in snow?!?
I finally got on the highway and had gone about 20 miles when I realized that I was going in the wrong direction. I turned around and encountered massive amounts of traffic. It was 5:45 by the time I got to the exit for my motel. I located it but didn’t check in. Instead, I called my host to let him know I’d be late for dinner, which was 25 more miles north. Then I got back on the highway and drove for another hour. All told, I drove for 3 ½ hours yesterday. Fortunately, I didn’t have to drive to my interview sites today, as was originally planned.
Most of the interview was conducted at the main plant, which consists of a lot of trailers that are used as offices and larger non-insulated buildings where the labs, pilot plant, and scale up facilities are located. There was a lot of walking between the buildings. I really should’ve worn some heavy socks under my knee high dominatrix boots. So part of my problem is that I’ve been getting chilled and then warming up and then getting chilled again all day.
There was a brief respite from the snow today, but it was starting up again when I got back to my hotel. It’s supposed to get heavy after midnight. Hopefully I will be able to get to the airport without trouble. If the roads are ok in the morning I may go over to Boulder before heading to the airport.
The good news about all the weather-related issues is that it distracted me from getting nervous for the interview. I know I talked a bit fast at my talk, because I was combining a 45 minute talk and a 20 minute talk. It went ok and was nice to be able to tell the two stories at the same time. Thanks to the paper that I was working on, all the data was very fresh in my mind so I could quote all sorts of obscure data when prompted, even though it took place 5-6 years ago.
It's time for me to go hit the hot tub now. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday LOLcat

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday LOLcat