Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Going into the office Wednesday was a lot more emotional than I thought it would be, but today was kind of... well the word "efficient" comes to mind.
I arrived at a normal time 8:15, grabbed a latte and headed to my desk where I had a few tasks to accomplish. I did them, turned off my computer, carried it to the laptop collection room which took all of 2 minutes. I came back up, did a sweep of the floor to find the folks I wanted to say "bu-bye" to before leaving. Finding NO ONE around, I left a couple post-it note see ya's and left.
It was all over by 11am I walked out with just my purse and took the bus home. Jason and I had a quiet lunch and I came home and fell into a coma for about an hour. Napping is my way of dealing with strange emotional stuff.
I have rallied, paid bills, canceled my comcast account (no more firstname.lastname@example.org... you have to find me at my first name+last name @ gmail.com.) I faxed over the final paperwork to my super real estate agent and the condo is going to be having an open house Sunday.
Peter's Racoon Friends had better clear out for the open house if they have any hopes of getting a new family in the condo anytime soon. I appreciate all the nesting and furniture chewing they have done to keep the place homey, but new humans may not like it.
My agent seems confident that at the price we're listing at and the condition of the condo that it will sell. I think it is too much to hope that someone snaps it up right away, but gosh wouldn't that be fantastic? The only down side to that is that the next step in our plan would be to put Jason's place on the market and there's a lot to do in the "less is more" pre-house selling preparations. He is NOT a pack rat and our home is not cluttered, but we actually LIVE here and space is tight. The idea of starting to pack the things here for the storage unit makes me want to hurl a little bit. I'm sure we will have a few months before that is even needed and by the time the Renton condo sells I'll be up for packing boxes and making more trips to the storage unit.
Until then, let's keep our eyes on the prize...new job!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Jason and I have a date planned tomorrow to not celebrate the end of the end. Dinner and a movie (in a theater!!!) I'll have a cocktail or two, but I will not get shitty and wallow in what was - I have a whole new chapter starting Monday.
I'm sad about the end of the bank and jazzed beyond belief that I get to challenge myself with this new thing. I feel like I'm leaving for college again - only this time I have friends on campus already.
I went into the system to check my previous pay stub and saw that a paper check is on it's way to me in the mail right now. It was strange to see "final remittance" on anything from the bank. And... how nice to now that it isn't really final. There's the severance that is headed my way. WHEW for that.
Ok, gotta run. We're headed over to the condo to do a little upkeep before it hits the market.
Have a great night. Thank you for listening to my back and forth (I'm sad -- I'm happy -- I'm mad -- I'm happy) crap about this topic.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I've been having issues with pictures and the floating text, and think that I "may" have found a setting in Blogger that will change it. There's no way to know other than to post a blog and add a random picture to see what happens. So, I bring to you a picture of one of the spots on our impending honeymoon to see what happens.
I could have posted this picture which is Jason and I at new years (as if it wasn't obvious.) We do look really silly. At least we're in Cougar colors. (a total accident, by the way.)
I guess, what I want to be able to do is wrap the text around the photos so there aren't odd breaks on the page. I supposed if I really wanted to control the features available to to me that I would start my own blog application and not rely on someone elses tool. However, I really like the features found here, easy to use.
Anyway, can't stay and chat... Jason and I are off to have our engagement photos taken. We're all dolled up in coordinating, but NOT matching outfits.
I am confident that my former boss would not have called me if he didn't believe that I could do this job, but as I think about what it is they want accomplished I wonder if I have the technical skills to achieve each expectation. I also wonder if its too much job for one person to accomplish between now and December 31st.
Come Monday morning I will sit my behind down on the airplane to San Jose and start my new journey. My plan is to be methodical and document their expectations and then determine the steps necessary to meet them. The great thing about this is because I haven't worked at eBay (can I identify eBay as my 'client'... hope so) no one there thinks I'm the one to approach for answers on every crazy topic under the sun. I'm going to be able to focus on the task at hand and not worry about who is planning the Christmas Party or how to explain to my staff why even though they worked really hard that they are only getting a 3% raise.
The fact that I have a plan doesn't completely erase the fear that someone will notice right away that I'm not "THE GREATEST INFORMATION SECURITY GURU" on the face of the earth and send me packing. When I was asked what experience I had in the area of my new contract I was honest, so at least I didn't represent myself as the queen of call center security.
Anyway...this being unsettled is probably good. It will likely help me kick into high gear, whereas life at the bank has been decidedly on hold for a while.
Change is good. Change is good. Change is good.
Friday, March 20, 2009
People magazine has Natasha Richardson on the cover. "Her Tragic Accident". My reaction to the story is that they are invading the private space of a grieving family.
I know these "celebrities" give up their private space when they get into the movie business, but this is not Paris Hilton, or Britney Spears who parade their vagina's in public when the news cycle is slow, this is a family that has been private and out of the spot light.
I'm not quite sure what about this sad story that is hitting me harder that she was living a quiet life as a loved wife and mom, that she was only 45, or that I too had a freak skiing accident that could have resulted in the same outcome. Mostly, I think it was her age - 45.
My dumb accident just makes me able to put myself in her shoes that you feel fine (shaken) but embarrassed. Clearly, any significant head bonk should NOT be ignored. (I fell while skiing in college and significantly whacked my head against a tree and spent an evening in the ER getting x-rays and stitches while they asked me over and over again "do you know where you are, do you know who you are?" )
We may think we know these celebrities and that we have a right to be "involved" when real life goes down, but we don't. We don't have any obligation to these people other than to feel compassion and pray (if that's your thing.) We certainly don't have the right to the autopsy details, photos or pictures of the grieving husband or their kids. Come on, did ANY OF US even know they had two kids? It seems to me that the fact that Ms. Richardson was married to Liam Neesan was more of a trivial knowledge fact than a concern to the average person on Sunday. We don't have any obligation to them, and they don't have any obligation to us.
Mr. Neeson asked for privacy and I think even having to make the request is sad. I hate that she'll be on the cover of US weekly next week. I hate that Star magazine will find some sensational angle to prolong the story. Well, unless Britney brings her vagina out for a night on the town tonight. (OH MY GOD... Britney's vagina could actually do GOOD for the world!)
Oh I know, the end of my banking career. As the date draws near, I am surprisingly NOT in mourning. I'm ready to move on to the next thing.
Negotiations with the new firm are going well and I have booked my first flight to San Jose. I can't say that I'm super excited about being away from Jason for a week, but we will survive it. (Rico travels every week and thankfully, this isn't the same situation.)
To get ready for my new work-at-home-unless-I'M-in-San Jose gig, I purchased a real desk chair and it is great. How foolish am I with all the discretionary spending that I do that I never invested in a chair that was comfortable? Silly Silly me.
Next week looks to be pretty brief. I have a 9am phone call with the manager who doesn't know my name, a plan to save some documents and turn in my equipment.
Wednesday, I'll actually go into the office, but only to mail the blackberry to the right place and to see my doctor to have my stitches removed.
Calendar Days: 7
Work Days: 5
In office days: 2
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tonight, while washing dishes after a lovely dinner managed to whack the 9 inch sanduku knife against my left index finger. Thankfully there is a bone in the finger which stopped the intense forward trajectory of the knife from severing my entire finger.
We did a quick assessment and determined that indeed a trip to the ER was warranted. I used my excellent first aid skills acquired from my dad the retired Washington State Patrol Officer and wrapped a feminine maxi-pad around the cut and then applied pressure using a shitty rag (disposed of at the ER).
Jason calmly drove my dumb butt to the ER and nicely completed all the paperwork while I sat there and tried to make the staff in the "busy" ER of Issaquah laugh. (Jokes about having to compete with gunshot victims in Renton didn't go over very well...)
Now, I'm sporting 4 stitches on my left index finger (I'm left handed) and doctors orders not to get it wet for 24 hours (Yeah! No dishes!) Jason informs me that while I can't wash dishes I CAN dry them at put them away. I should go. Here are some photos for your enjoyment.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The $165 million was payable to executives by Sunday and was part of a larger total payout reportedly valued at $450 million. The company has benefited from more than $170 billion in a federal rescue.
AIG reported this month that it had lost $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history. The bulk of the payments at issue cover AIG Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the insurer.
I agree that it is reckless and irresponsible to pay bonuses when the company failed to make any money and has been basically on life support by the federal government (nee the American Taxpayer.) The trouble here is the compensation model in the financial industry. Annual bonuses are part of the compensation structure.
Typically an employee is paid a decent annual salary with a bonus target that is set based upon their seniority. (Sales bonuses are totally different - you sell you get a cut, you don't and you are paid accordingly.) These bonuses are paid to employees at almost every level, it isn't just the private bathroom type executives that expect to get a percentage of their salary each year as a 'bonus' the lowly Administrative Assistant has a bonus target as part of their comp. plan. Granted the Admin will have a much smaller target (5%) where I've seen targets up to 40%, and I'm SURE that there are higher bonuses paid at the super executive levels.
Year after year, if the company met certain targets, bonuses were paid at 100% of the target amount, and if an employee performed very well, bonuses could be paid at 120-130% of the target. (I call this HR math. You're eligible for $5,000 and some how you get paid $6,250.)
Employees believe that their annual salary is less than it would be if the bonuses weren't part of the picture. And, this is an industry issue, not an AIG issue. Until most of the financial services companies stop the "bonus" mentality only the companies that offer bonuses will retain their high talent.
I will say that the bonus thing was a nice perk and it was shocking to see that only the amount was adjusted due to our "situation". I confess that I didn't have the character to refuse the annual bonus this year. I felt somewhat entitled to something based on the horrific hit my stock portfolio took in light of the failure of the Goliath to survive their misadventures in lending. Does it make it right? No.
Should AIG pay bonuses out of federal monies? Absolutely not.
Are the people who will likely be hurt by the withholding of this payment directly responsible for the AIG fiasco? Probably not.
Will the entire industry change the way it compensates employees? It is doubtful.
Should the President intervene? That is a question for a much smarter blogger than me.
It is my guess that there are plenty of AIG employees who are only hanging out at AIG waiting for bonus payment day. Once the payments are made (or not) they will exercise their networks and move on. There was always an increased Exodus of talent after bonus day.
Um... can or SHOULD a movie that is only 15 years old be remade? What's next... "Passenger 57" with Chris Brown? "When a man loves a woman" with Amy Winehouse as the alcoholic suburban mom?
I'm just not sure that following in the footsteps of a coked out Whitney Houston is really the direction that Rihanna needs to go. She's already testing the ability of the average joe to understand and have empathy for her. If he hits you once, it will likely happen again.
If he beats the sh*t out of you... leave him. Especially if you have millions and a support system. Oh my.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It is probably a good thing. I opened a packet of "Glow" that was given to me after my last Gene Juarez hair cut and gooped it into my hair this morning in the shower. Sadly, it is NOT like conditioner where you goop it in, let it sit and then rinse it out. I rinsed and then tried to dry my hair - but this is a product that has to be washed out. I'm a bit "silky" (aka greasy) this afternoon. I'm probably ok to be seen in public, but for engagement photos I would have re-washed my hair.
OH MY LORD...I'm blogging about my greasy hair!?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I'm telling you the pre-stuff for the "big day" is as much fun for me as the anticipation.
Today my attendants, bridesmaids, matrons nay bitchez (oh my!) gathered at the dress shop for fittings and to order the heinous outfits I have picked for them. The blue sheen is especially lovely don't you think?
Actually, they each picked the dress style that they like, and I hope that they feel as comfortable as one possibly could in a frock designed to be worn at a wedding.
We picked dresses, tried on veils (that is a surreal activity) and then headed over to lunch. After a couple hours of talking, laughing, playing with the phones, and updating Facebook with disturbing snippets of conversation we walked over to the fancy nail salon where they cleaned up our feet.
I have to say that it brings me joy to have these four women in one social setting. They all mean so much to me, but haven't really had the opportunity to get to know each other. I am overwhelmed with gratitude about how generous they are being with their time and their enthusiasm. I'm lucky to have such beautiful friends.
We joked about the show Bridezillas and about the bride who made her attendants go to boot camp and weigh in before the wedding. I told my size 0 friend that if she gains weight that she's OUT of the wedding. She, in return gave me the finger.
It was a lovely day and I'm a happy camper!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The blog is fun, for me especially. I do enjoy putting my thoughts and opinions on ‘paper’ in a format that others can view if they care. I know my mom digs it so I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
LinkedIn is a business networking site and it is a great way to see what people are up to and to keep track of them as they move around.
FaceBook is purely social and has reconnected me with friends from long ago – mostly the high school crowd. In high school I was both involved with everyone and very insecure. I felt like I only had a couple close friends, but as it turns out I am really interested in who my classmates turned out to be. We were a small group (of 59) and it has been fun to catch up with so many of them.
One of my favorite features of FaceBook is the ‘status updates. My friend Dave is super funny. I can log on at anytime and get the ‘top stories’ and the notifications about who has posted photos or commented on photos from my friends.
The only downside is that your “friends” can post photos of you and you can’t do a damn thing about it. You might be able to jump back in time and decide NOT to dress as a Conehead for “TV” day during your senior year Spirit Week but it could be tricky.
FB also has some odd little “applications” that are intended to increase interaction between your friends. Frankly, if anyone “flings food” and I’m supposed to “fling it back” (by click the button that says ‘fling”) I’m not interested unless there is a purpose. I tend to ignore those.
Jason (OMG, he has a name!) is discussing inviting his mom to FaceBook and I was initially reluctant because from FaceBook she can pop over and find me here. Is the blog TOO um.. crass for his mom? Of course, my mom reads this and his mom is just as cool as my mom – so maybe I need to get over it.
The wedding website (www.terriandjason.ourweddingday.com) is a necessary tool to spread information about the big day. It isn’t funny and it will only be online for about a year. I don’t see myself as the bride who blogs on her wedding site about all the wonders of planning a wedding – that’s what I have YOU for.
Now… for Twitter. I’m new to this, as of yesterday and am not quite sure I’m quite using it right. I’m not connected to too many people so the jury is still out. I do know that once I start working for real again, I may have to drop my participation levels. What will you do if you don’t get real time notices that I’m bored?
For your trouble of getting to the end of this post, here's me as a conehead in 1986.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
CBS is running ads for their "Colonoscopy Sweepstakes, which includes a free night at the Lowes Hotel in New York for your pre-colonoscopy prep the night before.
WOW... CBS wants to check out your colon, and give you a nice place to poop before you go. When I saw the ad thought it was a joke.
For the record, I'm not making light of colon cancer, or the need to get tested. Get tested!!!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I do see the economic issues with having fewer folks scaling the Space Needle for a stunning view of the sound (or the fog) and with fewer folks stuck on the monorail, the Seattle Fire Department will not get as much practice in rescuing folks.
However, this drop in tourism has been mostly invisible to me, as there has been a dramatic increase in tourism in the MegaBank building. We do have some public spaces, including a rather large Starbucks that seems to be attracting more “non-badged” folks every day.
This morning, a wide eyed guy (with a tale-tale) backpack got behind me in line and proceeded to ask a lot of questions.
“Gee, I bet it has been dead here since the lay offs, is that true?”
“Gosh, it must be hard to come into work every day huh!??
I scanned him over to see if he had any indicators that he may be from the press, but he seemed to be just some schmoe who wandered in off the street to look at the walking dead. I still wanted to punch him a little, but only because he really just seemed interested in interacting with a “real MegaBank employee.” ICK
Other tourists have been from MoreMegaBank and they seem to come to this site under the pretence that they are part of the acquisition but really have no purpose. I feel like a monkey in the zoo in front of those people.
You know that for the most part I have tried to have a good attitude about this situation. I am however human and the sadness hits me every now and again. Life goes on, and I have had way more highs than lows... but today, I'm a bit blue.
Monday, March 09, 2009
In office days: 8
I was having some forward motion on my pending potential gig, and now we're stalled. Oh how I don't do "waiting" well. I'll reach out tomorrow, but now we're bothered by a 9 hour time difference. tick tock
Today I did a TERRIBLE thing. I watched daytime tv. The show "My Platinum Wedding" is enough to make anyone with a budget about anything feel terrible. I do not envy these crazy girls who are excited that their flowers came in under budget only $150,000 vs. the $200,000 they had planned. I do think their extravagance is disgusting and I walked away after only 30 minutes.
So, here's me the almost unemployed bride watching daytime tv and feeling superior.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
You open your eyes. A hazy mist lingers around you. Pushing open heavy oak doors, a familiar melody plays sweetly from an organ, beckoning you into the room. Bewildered, you take a hesitant step forward with one white satin shoe. Soaking in your surroundings, you survey the room. You peer into faces of loved ones, those you have known all your life. Your feet, transfixed with the rhythm of the music, make a steady pace down the aisle. Loved ones gaze in adoration at you, smiling tear-streaked faces mouth the words, "She's so beautiful," and "My how lovely her dress is."
"My dress?" You think. Glancing down, you see yourself clothed in flowing white, a delicate veil covers your face. The gown is topped off with a beautiful headpiece, the finishing touch to your wedding ensemble. Your wedding! Could this be? Hurriedly, your eyes skim the front, and you notice him. Your beaming fiancée, looking handsome in his tuxedo and staring at you with love and devotion. All doubts and jitters immediate fly out the stained-glass chapel window as you lock eyes with his. Tremors of happiness flow through your body, as you realize with calm assuredness that this is the man you will love to spend the rest of your life with.
A beautiful smile of happiness appears on your face. Suddenly your eyes fill with tears. Oh no! A horrific thought creeps into the back of your consciousness. Frantically, you scan the room, and yes! There it is! Choking back screams of terror, you discover your worst nightmare has come true. The florist forgot to take the lilacs out of the wedding bouquet! You are allergic to lilacs! Uncontrollable tears from the sensitive reaction begin to flow freely down your face. Absentmindedly, you wipe your face with a gloved hand, and realize you aren't wearing waterproof mascara. Streaks of black makeup stain your veil and glove. Distraught, you yank your makeup smeared hands away, only entangling them in yards of fabric from your veil. Suddenly your nose starts to twitch. No. Oh please no. Then it happens. Like an erupting volcano that cannot be stopped you let out a tremendous sneeze. The impact whiplashes your head backwards, causing your headpiece to slip, blanketing your face. The moments are frozen in time as everything takes on a slow motion speed. Now blinded by your veil, you frantically flap your arms in confusion, trying to set them free of the spider web veil that now has consumed your whole body in its net. Fluttering about, you blindly knock over the laughing ring bearer, sending him tumbling down the aisle, and the ring flies into the crowd of gawking spectators. A moment of silence hushes over the crowd, but then all chaos breaks loose. Guests are on hands and knees, transforming into a mass of yelling officials shouting and scrambling around like pigs to find the ring.
You let out a scream of terror . . . and find yourself upright in your bed with beads of perspiration rolling off your forehead. It was only a dream. Nightmare more like it. Taking in gulps of air, you let yourself settle down before you pick up the phone and double check with the florist.
There might not be lilac at your wedding, but a loose and awkward headpiece can be the cause of many wedding disasters. To prevent this nightmare from occurring at your wedding, follow these headpiece saving steps.
How do I keep my headpiece on? Follow these simple tricks of the trade and your wedding will be a piece of cake.
Apparently, all will be right with the world if I select a perfect fitting veil for 9/19.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I'm proceeding with the formation of my own company to enable this "maybe" work with a former manager. Clearly I'm feeling confident that our discussions will go somewhere and I have been learning all about licenses, B&O taxes and all the nifty little things you have to do as a business owner.
There are multiple agencies now involved in my life that didn't exist before last week. To be fair, they were in the world, but not in MY world, and my world revolves around… you guessed it - ME.
Having this activity to work on has been great. I'm learning something new, getting some new experience and there is a reason to make space in the home office. The space is coming at the expense of GASP the wedding magazines. I'm thinking that now that the invitations have been ordered, the menu set, the décor decided upon, favors planned, and attire worked out that I can release the backlog of Martha Stewart Wedding Magazines to the earth.
I had to stop and pause there for a moment. It is an odd shift in my universe where something that use to bring me joy no longer has the same pull. Do you remember as a kid getting the JC Penny Christmas catalogue? I would pour over it for hours selecting toys that I wanted. I imagined that I HAD to select one toy from every page and would cruise through page by page making the all important decision between the Barbie Dream House or the Malibu Barbie Convertible Car. These choices were harder when I would get to the boy toys… you know, trucks and war games, I would selflessly select toys I thought my brother would appreciate. Then, one year the catalog came and I couldn't find anything I 'needed' or 'wanted.' That magical kid thing was gone and I guess now that I’m getting to fulfill my wish of a wedding, the Wedding Wishbook no longer is required either.
One thing to clarify about the "fulfill my wish of a wedding" statement is that I dreamed of having a wedding, this is true. But now I'm planning my marriage to J - which is a completely different and a more wonderful thing. Oh, the wedding will be spectacular and fun - but I’m aware that the marriage is the thing. (I'm shallow and self-centered, but not THAT shallow and self-centered.) I think I did scare the florist last night with my requests for three small floral displays on each table vs. one big one…she got wide eyed and said she would have to check the figures. I’m not overly adamant about what "I WANT" but I do want to explore the options before a decision is made.
Speaking of the wedding, J and I met with the florist and the coordinator at the site of our union to review floor plans and the set up for the ceremony. I have to say seeing it, even in the bleak March pre-spring sprout gave me chills. I can envision the set up, our guests and booking up the "aisle" to meet J at the alter. Fun Fun Fun
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The work thing isn't 100% completed, and it isn't a full time job with a company, it is contracting for a VERY established organization who has a hiring freeze, but a lot of work and budget for contractors.
I've started the paperwork to form my own little company and will be starting my own business. So, you know what that means!? TAX FREE SHOPPING. No, it means I get to finally get an accountant.
Thankfully, I have lots of friends who have started their own ventures so I have good resources for my many many questions. I didn't think I would ever want to do something like this, but I'm really excited about the possibilities and the idea that I work for ME. If the client is happy, I'm happy.
Things are supposed to be more wrapped up by the end of the week and I'll share what I can, when I can.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
From my hometown newspaper:
|No Child Left Inside' brings LB 5th graders to North Head|
...uh, if they aren't performing are they pushed off the edge of the North Head Lighthouse bluff??
Monday, March 02, 2009
Tonight we strapped my new bike and J's refurbished bike to the back of the Camry and took the bikes for a ride. Wait... that sounds funny. We drove the bikes down our big hill, parked and then rode the bikes.
By the time we were situated it was 5:15 so we only rode for an hour, but since I haven't been on a real bicycle since about 1994 I thought it was amazing! There are lots of trails around here and I think we have found a fun alternate activity to the gym and the dreadmill.
J is now finally signed up on Facebook and is seeking out old friends. (To complete this trip down nostalgia lane, the Michael Jackson Thriller album is blasting through the house.)
Me, I'm logging off and going to shower and then read.
Wish me luck!
Calendar Days: 25
Work Days: 19
In office days: 9 or 10, maybe 8.... dedication is waning
The meeting went well. A couple more hurdles but the Chief dude and his #2 are on board with giving me a shot. I'll likely be doing a bit of travel (maybe some international... woo woo) and working on an area of security that is new to me, but still well within my comfort zone.
I'm excited and in the process of forming my own LLC, as I'll be contracting. Won't it be great to work again!!!!
Prebound Relationship - the post LTR relationship that you have while still on your way to your lowest point.
Fucket List -your personal list of things that there's no way in hell you want to experience before you die.