Thursday, April 23, 2009
Today was "Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day." Apparently, I was the only mom who hadn't really planned, so I threw something together at the last minute. I was hesitant; I mean, I was working at a large team, with the office managing partner, and the client can be a little challenging, at times.
Son #1 was a trooper. Put on his dress pants. Black socks and dress shoes. Showered, deodorant . . . ready to walk out the door when I was. Sat in on a 7:30 am conference call. Listened to me take an 8:00 am conference call. And then the real test.
He came to the office and was as respectful as I've ever seen. Sat next to me. Asked for his assignment. Did some filing and organizing. Self-checked his work. Wrote up his report about the day. Ate lunch with us and was conversant without being stupid. During the day, he was mature and pleasant and completely professional. No silliness. No show-off. No frustration.
I read his observations. "The audit team was very nice because every member who was in trouble, another came over to help them out. My mom, the entire time, has been helping her teammates."
Sometimes, its nice to see your teams and your work through the eyes of a very observant and articulate young man. I'm glad, at least, even though I'm coming to the end of this era, that he got to see me and my teams in a real environment at our best.
I couldn't have been more proud to have called him my son than today.
My kid totally rocks.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here is how things went down.
I have been working like a dog. Like a double dog. Surprising for a woman not far from being out of work. Work is busy, life is busy, kids are busy, au pair transition is busy.
Husband has had time off. Multiple days off. Not sure why. His trip to Florida was only three days, two of them over the weekend. Somehow that necessitated an additional 7 days off.
I get a text yesterday.
"Call me. :)"
Then another text.
Then a voice mail.
"Call me (sound of smiling)."
I returned the call, even though I didn't have time. To many smiley faces.
"What's up?" I say.
"Be very afraid," he says.
"What are you buying?" I say, going for the obvious trouble he could be in.
"A Ferrari," he says.
"Not unless it costs less than X," I say. Picking an "X" that was far below what I thought you could find a Ferrari for, but was far enough above zero that a car might actually cost that much. Not necessarily a car the Dr. would buy, but a car, nonetheless. Thinking "no way in hell . . . "
I could hear him smirking. Almost as if he knew what I would say and that I would choose that price point.
It's in inspection now. If it passes, I guess it's his. Unless I play the bitch card. Or unless he screws up really bad somehow.
Until then, it's like living with a little girl who just found out she's getting a pink unicorn.
Next time, I choose a price point closer to the Choos.
Until then, I am going to comfort myself in one thing.
I HAVE SOOOOOOO MUCH HAND RIGHT NOW . . . .
Sunday, April 19, 2009
It had been a long day (weekend, week, month . . . you name it). I was a little tired, but had gamely agreed to meet up with some work pals. I only had one glass of wine, partly because I had to drive myself home, but partly because I was feeling a little under the weather, so I wasn't drunk.
I jumped in the Lexus to go home. Put my foot on the pedal and pushed the start button. Nothing.
I check my purse. Yes, I have the key fob that my push-button start needs to recognize in order for the car to start.
I depress the pedal again, and push the start button. Nothing. Now I'm starting to worry. I'm tired. Ready to go home. I have AAA, but I don't want to call for a dead battery. My mind is racing.
"Please, M." I bargain with my car. "I'm going to try one more time. Please start for me."
Depress pedal. Push start. Nothing. Except this message on the dash.
"You must depress the BRAKE pedal before pushing start."
I guess it doesn't work so well with the gas pedal. I sheepishly moved my foot over, and she purred back at me.
Hey, I've only got 20,000 miles on it . . . I could still be learning . . . maybe . . . technology is hard.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This weekend, the Dr. is in Florida doing family duty. He's attending a benefit show in memory of his father, that Nana Judy has painstakingly orchestrated for months. His Dad was well-loved and remembered, and we sent the Dr. off as a representative for the family. He will make his Dad proud.
But today, his travels were a rare source of amusement for me.
Actual series of texts, from various points in the trip:
- (Leg 1) I'm in seat C. Crying baby in B.
- (Leg 1) Have [noise-canceling] headphones. Have MP3. No cord.
- (Leg 2) No babies. Just babes. Chatty babes. LOUD chatty babes. I'd rather have the crying kind.
- (Leg 2) Crying baby just got on. Old woman next to me has gas. Just broke my sunglasses.
Makes staying home with two boys and two Brazilians seem like a piece of cake.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
- The horror when I discovered I was trying to get ready in the hotel for an interview and forgot my hairbrush at home
- The double horror when I found out a crappy one in the hotel gift shop cost $5.00
- Having 8 pillows with which to sleep. Pillows are the best bed partners, really. You can squish them and mold them and lay all over them, and then when you don't want them touching you so you can sleep, you just push them out of the bed onto the floor
- Still laughing about my friend's nephew who's life lesson is "toys don't poop. Only things that talk poop."
- The fact that my son wanted me to sing him a song over the cell phone last night before he went to sleep
- Picturing all 4' 8 1/2" of my sister-in-law going all "enraged ferret" on someone (still giggling)
- The adrenaline rush of the post-interview, when you've spent 5 hours selling yourself
- The adrenaline rush of walking through an airport in a skirt suit and heels and finding out, at 40, that some heads still turn
- My AWESOME red power shoes . . . you gotta see my feet and legs in these things
- My new au pair arriving (even though I'm not there to meet her)
- The downer from your adrenaline rush when you discover your plan keeps getting delayed another hour (on hour 3, now)
- The rush from a lot of sugar after eating a whole pack of Skittles and a whole pack of Mentos
- Friends who have good wishes for you and call right after your interview
- Husbands who hold the fort down at home
That's all for now folks. Carry on.
PS - Did I tell you how awesome my red shoes look?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Job-hunting is time consuming. Tiring. Occasionally, frustrating and discouraging. Perfect description, but doesn't pay you what you're worth; pay is great, but you don't have the "industry profile"; description and pay is right, but its in BFE Arkansas. Good location, but the position is just way below my level of experience.
On the positive side, I've had numerous individuals who were really impressed with my resume and experience. I've got several feelers out there. And I have seen good jobs that sound interesting, have the right compensation package, and would really give me that next great opportunity.
Tomorrow evening, one of those is flying me down to California, putting me up in a hotel, and giving me the opportunity to interview with four of their executives in the second stage of the interview process on Thursday.
At the very least, it's interview practice. Maybe, it will be something more.
Wish me luck. Or skill.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Today was the Dr.'s birthday. We celebrated with lunch at the sushi buffet, and then we headed to the beach to enjoy the perfect weather and first real day of spring that Seattle decided to bless us with.
I think the pictures of the family say it all . . .
Friday, April 3, 2009
Yes, I know it's 3am, but I have to tell you this story while it's still fresh on my mind.
Folks, I love a good fight, but not when I'm in the middle of it. There have been some legendary battles at the local poker room. It usually involves a drunk on tilt. Nearly always a man. I've seen a lot of pushing and shoving. There was a famous incident where a guy dropped his pants and mooned the dealer. Another guy deliberately poured his drink into the automatic card mixer. These antics usually attract security to the table pretty quickly. Well tonight there were no less than 15 security guards surrounding my 3/5 NL table. This was clearly an event! Funny thing is, except for the security guards, there wasn't a man within 20 feet.
Here's how it went down. We start this story a few hands into the evening. There is a raise to $20, and 5 callers, including Seat 7, who's in the big blind. The flop comes A-x-x, two spades. The small blind in the 6 seat is kind of a regular. She's played conservatively up 'til now, spending a lot of time nursing the stack of chips her husband bought for her with a few hundred dollar bills he peeled off a large stack before he headed to the $20/$40 table for his regular game, like he does every Friday night. She's rubbing the "#1 Grandma" keychain as she stares at her dwindling pile of chips. She bets out $50.
The 7 seat has her fingers tented on the table. She keeps them there at all time. Never plays with her chips. The nails are carefully manicured, like the toes peeking out of the peep toe stilettos, which are a striking feminine contrast to the subdued black tank top and jeans she wears with a black hoodie, her face completely void of makeup. "Raise," she says, deliberately, then carefully reaches for a stack of reds. Carefully sets $125 across the line.
Fold, fold, fold . . . around to the 5 seat, clicking her freshly-polished tips with the aces painted on them against her stacks of reds. She's been talking all night, criticizing the play of others, attributing her own success on random 2-outers to "pot odds" and other lame excuses for her run on the table. She studies the cards, clicks her nails, snaps her gum. "All-in," she says, waving her inch-long tips at the table as she leans back in her seat. Hitches up her low-rise jeans, pulls her Juicy hoodie down over her muffin top. Stares at the nails on her left hand.
Seat 6 fingers the "#1", then mucks her cards. Seat 7 looks at her pocket kings, looks at the table, looks at Seat 5s stack of reds that's twice as big what Seat 7 has behind, and says, "If I fold, will you show me?" Seat 5 raises one painted-on eyebrow, pouts her Merlot-colored lips, then agrees. Seat 7 looks at the ace one last time, and tables her pocket kings. Seat 5 turns over pocket queens, and laughs that Fran Drescher nasal laugh. "Dems bitches, bitches."
"Nice hand," Seat 7 says, in a measured tone that doesn't necessarily imply "nice" at all. Seat 7 may be on tilt, but doesn't show it.
There are a few hands in the interim and then Seat 5 gets involved in the biggest pot of the night with Seat 1 and Seat 4. Seat 4 has gone all in over a small raise and several calls. She's a regular. You can measure time passing by the width of the gray between her scalp and the bottle blond at the tips. She's a rock. Was probably pretty 10 years ago, but now the black eye liner is smudged onto the wrinkles under her eyes, making her look perpetually tired. Today was payday. She rubs the worn Binion's chip she uses as a marker and keeps her eyes on the table, not looking at her chips in the center. Seat 5 leans forward, using the table to push up her ample cleavage, sighs, and says "Call."
Seat 1, a lithe little Asian woman who's been chatting amiably with those around her, narrows her eyes and goes all in over top of Seat 4. Her face is impassive as she rolls her neck, the silky black sheath of hair falling down her back. Seat 5 is now facing two all-ins with $1,500 in the pot. She ponders a long time, tapping her tips on the table, the gum still snapping, before Seat 4 calls the clock. Seat 5 asks the dealer, "How much time do I have?" The dealer replies that she has 30 seconds. "Let me know when I have 2 seconds left," Seat 5 pulls out a mirror and tube of lip gloss, and applies a fresh coat. Checks her cards. Checks her Blackberry. Checks her cards. Dealer calls two seconds. Seat 5 waits one more second before folding, using the nail tips to nudge her cards into the pile.
Seat 7, who is not involved in the hand (but may still be on tilt from two hands ago), is chiding Seat 5 for being a drama queen who watches too much TV. "What was that all about? You knew you were going to fold. Unless you forgot how to read the numbers on your cards. Should have spent more time in math class and less time behind the bleachers."
After the hand is over, Seat 5 says to another player, "I was just trying to piss of the Professor over there," and points to Seat 7. Seat 7 replies, "Me? This isn't about me. You weren't just wasting my time. You were wasting everyone's time." Seat 5 looks at Seat 7 and says, "Shut up, bitch."
What happened next was unbelievable. Seat 7 says "What did you call me?" Seat 5 sneers and smiles a fake smile with her exaggerated purple lips. "Nothing. Bitch." The last word was under her breath, but audible to the entire table. Seat 7 stands up, knocking her chair over, and walks behind Seat 5. "What did you call me?" It was a whisper, but it was quite menacing. Seat 5 has got 40 pounds on Seat 7, but she won't look Seat 7 in the eye. "Do you see this crazy bitch?"she says to Seat 6, who keeps rubbing her key chain and looks away. Seat 5 looks at Seat 4, who chooses this moment to grab a pack of cigarettes and step away from the table. Seat 7 leans in closer behind Seat 5. "Repeat what you said to my face."
Seat 5 stays in her seat, and says under her breath "f---in' crazy dyke bitch", and that's when the dealer calls for the supervisor. The next 5 minutes were a bit of a jumble. Seat 5 was desperately trying to convince the dealer and floor guy that Seat 7 was out of control and threatening and needed to be kicked out immediately. Interestingly, Seat 7 never said another word. The floor kept asking the dealer to tell what really happened, but Seat 5 wouldn't let him get a word in edgewise. She talked louder and faster, gesticulating with her fake nails, dropping her "g's" left and right. It got so bad that the dealer got up and yelled at the supervisor, "Don't ever do this to me again! Take control!" By this time, the entire security team showed up. The floor called in another dealer and said, "All right. No one is getting kicked out, but you all need to calm down and just play poker."
At this point Seat 7 finally spoke up and calmly said, "I would like to have a table change." The floor supervisor asked which game she'd like to be seated in. "Any game without stupid, fat, luckboxes who don't know how to keep their mouths shut and play poker."
Seat 5 started to stand in protest. "Are you calling me stupid and fat?"
Seat 7 glanced down at Seat 5's muffin top squeezed into stretch jeans a size to small, and smiled a wry smile.
"No. I'm calling you lucky."
Now, here is your test.
Which shoes should you wear to a catfight?
So, MHG, do I get the backrub?
So MHG, you're on. I'll rewrite the Doc's saga with all women players.
PS: A quick preview will include a quote stolen from CK . . .
"Dems bitches, bitches."
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Most of the dreams have been very ambiguous . . . today they were TOO vivid. And as the day has gone on, more details continue to emerge at the oddest times. Details such as:
- I went to work in my blue shortie pajamas
- One of my partners (that I really respect) was extremely disappointed that I wore my pajamas (I think he thought that I was giving up)
- I responded to the disappointment by taking them off and working naked
- My office managing partner wanted to speak to me in her office (I thought to chastise me about working naked)
- I put on an overcoat before I went to see her, like some flasher
- She didn't want to talk to me about the nakedness at all
- I spent a good portion of my dream sitting on the lap of our area partner (this kind of grossed me out)
At the oddest times, today, those images continue to haunt me.
I need to find a new job quick. Not just before the money runs out. But before the dreams get worse.