Monday, December 29, 2014

Work in Progress... until you get to read it, of course.

Our Christmas to ourselves was a new 5 cubic-foot chest freezer. I ordered it on Friday with expectations of delivery sometime between then and today. I'd gotten two voicemail messages on Friday while I was at work, one saying that our "item" was not in stock, and we'd be "pushed" until Wednesday. The second message was automated, telling us to expect delivery of our "order" on Saturday morning. That would have been fine, but neither of us was going to be home to receive it in the two-hour window we were given.  So first thing Saturday morning, I called back the number attached to the automated message, spoke with a real person who could not help me reschedule, and then was transferred to the delivery department of Lowe's (the first message). The person I spoke with there never mentioned my "chest freezer" but indicated, "oh, yeah, we got 'em, and it's coming out today in that timeframe". Um, no, we have to reschedule. Since today was the first day either of us I would be home all day, that was my first choice (we could have gotten it yesterday, but may not have been home in the "window"). Great, no problem. No window given at that point, just "Monday". Yay.

Was very dressed up and went to work, a little nervous about my new haircut (since I'd hidden it under a Santa hat on Friday). On my way in, got insurance company phone calls regarding the accident that had happened in the parking lot. Arranged the repair shop stuff, and intended to take the car in today once I knew what my "order delivery" window would be. Got home from work Saturday and informed Stephen of all the goings-on. Slept in a little yesterday and then headed out to do a little bookkeeping for a lady whose books I used to regularly keep. ;)

He'd already made the sauce in the crock
pot DAYS ago; he built and baked the
lasagna according to my instructions,
but I did NONE of the work! :D
Two servings removed; two remain

Last night, Stephen made his very first lasagna ever, and I got a new automated message telling me that my order would be delivered today between 9 and 11. Excellent.

At 7:55 this morning, I was awakened by my phone. A young hispanic voice was telling me that my Lowe's delivery was ten- to twenty-minutes away, and was there anything special I needed to tell him? Only that we live on the second floor, with no elevator. He said, "okay, that's fine. We'll be there in twenty minutes."  So I got up, put pants on, turned the coffee on, and came out to start moving the little shelving unit that has been living where we were planning to put the freezer. Before I knew it, Stephen was calling out from the bed, "it's here!" and I opened the front door before the dudes had a chance to knock.

beautiful little freezer

Freezer unpacked and set up and signed for and dudes out the door by 8:08! So now (9:03) I'm just waiting to hear back from the repair shop so I can take the car in. So much for sleeping in; on the bright side, I've definitely been productive enough to warrant a nap!

Getting ready to post this now (it's just shy of 2 p.m.)...
"R&I" means "remove & install"
PINK thunderbolts! Woot!
 got the car dropped off; the rental picked up - they were planning to put me in a "full size" vehicle, since I didn't have to pay for it, but c'mon, kids! This is LA! Gimme the smallest car you got on the lot!

The last "selfie" of my car this year, from inside the rental.
(Nissan Versa, which is actually the second smallest they had, and classified as "mid-size". Oh, well.) - and then off to Costco to get freezer-fillin's.
A "Cold Hatch" (for any Top Gear fans)

Home now, have had the last glass of champagne until New Year's Eve, and didn't manage even a drop of eggnog this season! What?
A "full" freezer is a happy freezer.
UPDATE: Oh, Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pies, how I have missed you!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mommy.

I made another webcam video. It saved itself in my Google+ Picasa Web Album, and then I had to "download" it into my hard drive so I could "upload" it here. I don't think it worked. Still.
 See? Nothin'. :/

I don't understand why it's so difficult to "vlog" here. Blogger gives me multiple options for choosing a video to post, including "from your webcam". It looks like the thing is recording. As soon as I hit "stop" and then "select" it goes away (to the Picasa Web Album, apparently), never to be posted.

HELP, please!

This was me, this morning, recording my "Happy Birthday, Mommy" video. All we get is the STILL!

Just tried again, in a "new" post, and saw that it will allow me to shoot FIFTEEN minutes of video! That means that it's not the size of the file that's the problem here... Shot less than a minute, and rather than "select" to post, I hit "play"... and got THIS message:
Network down.

"Sorry, but we are unable to connect to Google servers. The servers may be down for maintenance, or the connection may be blocked by a firewall. Please try again later." (I tried again multiple times. I'm connected to my internets but can't save my video anywhere?)


Friday, December 26, 2014

Foto Friday (yes, I know it's been awhile!)

Brody, the lap-pup

Brody, the studio puppy, hangin' with the dance staff

on my lap, once again, trying to take a selfie

Thanks, Victor, for gettin' us both in the pic!
Brody is much sweeter and cuter than he appears in these pics, I must say. Here, he just looks a little sad. :(

Me, today, ready for the "Ugly Sweater" party at the studio (wearing my newly-brightened and short hair, as well as my new blingy jewel-bobs and eyeliner). The "ugliest" sweater I own is a vintage Izod, from COLLEGE. I ain't spendin' new money on an "ugly" sweater that I'll wear once a year for a silly party.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas! (part two)

Stephen bought the cats some new catnip toys (since they nearly destroyed the previous):

bracelets from Deb
Mimosa from LyVette
earrings from Kimberly
eyeliner from Stephen
And then we opened the few gifts we had (yes, I know that yesterday, I said that the economy is improving, but that doesn't mean that our economy had improved in time to buy gifts)... mostly from the students at the dance studio!
remove all the fun stuff and PREP!

... and I took care of a thing I'd been planning to do:

we start in sections, and since I'm right-handed...

be sure to look in the mirror, so you can see that both
sides and back are nearly done

I'm saving up for my own "Build a Brindle Dog"

Now to "brighten, and it'll be complete!

And now that THAT's done, I can finish off my LyVette-gifted mimosas and move on to the Debbie-gifted sparkling and the Hattie-gifted handmade snackage!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas! (part one, maybe?)

We decided to wait until today to do our "fill the stockings" shopping, as has been our personal, family "tradition". Normally, we head over to the 99-cent store and fill a basket with cheap crap (mostly candies, frankly), and then come home and fill the stockings with those purchases.

THIS YEAR, though, we knew that we were ready to own a chest freezer again, so we walked over to Lowe's to see if we couldn't get one on order for delivery later this week (or early next week). The economy appears to be improving, since there were three others "in line" before us, and when we got around to being helped, it looked like ordering it online is going to be a better option, so we left and did our "stocking-stuffer" shopping at Best Buy instead.  Picked up a couple of Blu-Rays for Stephen's stocking, since my stocking's actually already nearly full from the little tidbit gifts I've received from some of the students at the dance studio.  Stood in line for ONLY 16 minutes at Best Buy before we were completely checked out, and there were plenty of people in line with us. It would definitely  appear that the economy is improving!

Got home and decided to hit Trader Joe's before they close at 6 (every retail whatnot is open until 6 today), and discovered plenty of other folks out there doing the same.  In our travels today, it occurred to me that I haven't even checked our accounts to see HOW MUCH Stephen's employer deposited directly into our account. If I'm not the least bit concerned about how much money is in our account, then Clearly. The. Economy. Must. Be. Improving.

Home from all our shopping to discover the first of our (my) SAG screeners in the mail. SCORE!
Screener #1 has arrived!
Happy Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

VIDEO blog(s)! ... maybe... if they ever ACTUALLY load!

Video #1 = my boss' little Shih Tsu puppy AT WORK. He's a cute little fella, who likes to sit in my lap and lick/chew my fingers. He only starts fussing at me if I won't let him lick my face (or if I really need my hands for writing/computing and won't let him lick/chew my fingers). The man who dances away with him at the end has made it his mission to ALWAYS be holding the dog(s) of any of us who happen to have dogs in his presence. He certainly was ALWAYS holding all present dogs at the company Christmas party!

Video #2 = my arrival home this evening, AND it's too big of a file, at 131MB! I came home, grabbed the last box of Triscuits, the Salmon & caper dip I'd bought for the Student/Teacher Bonus Day the day before, a few(-ish) caperberries, and sat down to consume them and go online. Smokey hollered at me for a good long time, and so I was shooting him hollering at me, and headbutting me, and generally forcing me to "settle down and pet me, already"! I got it on camera, but I don't know how to compress it. I would LOVE to be able to use the webcam in this computer for "vlogging" but it just doesn't save those video files anywhere. I've looked. The whole process seems to work, and then... nothin'.

Video #3 = "the aftermath".

Comments? Insights? Input of any kind? Please?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Have I a story to tell today? Let's find out.

Back in April, I accepted an "assignment" and told the story of my last (at that time) "Great Job" (and how it neglected to be a "career" but had done me a few solids.

As of this moment, if you've been following along at home, you know that THAT "Great Job" helped get us home (back to Los Angeles, or Burbank, to be precise)... and eventually to my current "Great Job".

I don't know if you've read it hear, or if only my closest peeps have an inkling, but I. Love. My. Job. No, I do not currently work in the film industry. I'm not an actor or singer or dancer or Production Assistant or Script Supervisor or Costumer or Set Teacher or Any-of-the-on-set-roles-I-may-ever-have-been-or-could-be-in-the-future. At least, not for pay, in this moment. I am all of those things, as they have embedded themselves into my "being" but as of today, I'm a receptionist/admin at an Arthur Murray dance studio.

I. Love. My. Job. When it's Saturday, and I get to take a dancing meal break and attend the practice party in lieu of eating, I get to dance with any and every level of student. I get to interact with the brand-Newbies, as well as being taught moves that are new-to-me (or possibly just "forgotten") by the veterans. I'm off the clock, so no one's expecting me to teach them anything (not that anyone's expecting me to teach them anything!) - but the network of moral support is immense. Dance students want to improve their skills, and they want everyone else to improve as well, because Dance. Is. Fun.

Tomorrow, we're having a "Student-Teacher Bonus Day" where the students who have signed up will pay CASH for their lessons, and I'll divvy that cash up amongst the teachers and the bookkeeper and myself, so that we get paid a Holiday Bonus. We're none of us "on the clock" so I suspect it'll be a real party atmosphere. By the time I get off for Christmas Eve and Christmas, I will have "worked" eight consecutive days at the studio. But did I mention? I. Love. My. Job.

No, I don't guess this has been much of a story, has it? Oh, well. It's definitely a Blog Post, which I suppose is Good. Enough. Gotta get to bed soon so I can be at the studio earlier than normal tomorrow. G'nite!

Stephen loves decorating for Christmas. I love letting him! ;)
Yes, those are TARDIS lights up in the ceiling garland!

Friday Night "Sparkle" Party at Arthur Murray!

 Can someone PLEASE figure out how to make my web (video)cam work, so I can include a little "talking" to you on nights like these, instead of limiting myself to one "now" photo? Let me know in the comments, 'k?
This is one TIRED puppy... but I wanted you to see the effort I put into "glamming" it up. Obvi (I guess), I wore lipstick. But the nails and the eye makeup and the jewelry is Just. Too. Much.
I DID get to dance a hustle to "Last Dance" (which was not, by the way, the "last" dance, even tho we all thought it was.)

Friday, December 19, 2014

LAST Weekend's Parties (and me in my 2014 "uniform")

Me & the Hubster at the Arthur Murray Staff Party
(GORGEOUS house; beautiful hosts and party)

"Hipster" Mike and me at the Hubster's Writing Partner's
(apparently) Annual Cookie Party - Good Times!

The Always-Elegant Lee Meriwether and me at the
Annual Theatre West Holiday Party. She'd just gotten over
some REALLY bad crud and made it out to the party -
She Musta Known She'd Get to See ME!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Welcome, Moldova!

I had to ask Google "Where is Moldova?" because my little map that turns countries green didn't show you to me soon enough for you to be a really DARK green, but I now know where you are (and that your country is shaped similarly to Italy, only slightly smaller and landlocked).

Welcome! Please come back and read me often, and bring friends! Don't bring cookies. I'm cookie-d out. ;)

Oh, Kay. That's just WEIRD.

One of THESE searches brought someone to my blog:

I know that I have never heard of this particular product. I know that I don't know what its primary usage is. I know that I may have, once or twice in the last year, mentioned one or more of the "other", non-medical words that are also included in these searches (like "cough" or "depression" or "confusion" or "depression"), MAYBE.

But THAT search brought someone to my blog?

Oh, Kay. That's just WEIRD. What weird searches have brought someone to YOUR page?

Have a great Monday, my friends. We will be attending our third Holiday Party in as many days. Unless I'm told that the dress code is more "formal", I shall wear the same outfit I've worn to the first two (I've decided it will be my new personal tradition. Each year of Holiday Parties will designate a "uniform" that I will wear, Good Lord willin' and the crick don't rise... or so long as it fits the "dress code" of every party). Wish me luck!

yes, pictures to follow.

What have been the themes of the parties you've attended so far this year? What have you worn, and were you appropriately attired for the room(s)? Have you HOSTED any parties, and if so, did you prefer hosting to simply attending, or vice-versa?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blessings and Curses? Pros and Cons? Ups and Downs? Yeah.

Trashy "Ho" and
Ms. Money-Makah
Today (well, tonight, but I had to be ready by earlier today) at the dance studio, we had a themed dance party. We've been in a block of "Politically Incorrect" so the theme tonight was "Pimps and Ho's"... TOTAL fun to dress up, make-up, "trash" it up, AND to be seen in public looking that way, AND to see the students getting into the spirit, too (especially the older ladies you'd never suspect of owning fishnet stockings or bustiers!). (Blessing)

Hey, just park that tailgate anywhere.
My front quarter-panel's a good spot!
Before I got there, though (like, within FIVE MINUTES of when I would have walked in the door), my little Honda Civic, sitting at zero mph in the parking lot, patiently waiting for the space to be vacated by the enormous Ford pick-em-up truck, was subsequently backed into and run over by said truck. (Curses!)

Nothin' goin' on in here - just shut
that lid back, and walk away.
You MIGHT have to slam it.
The man and his wife who hit me realized without any guidance from me that they (he) were/was entirely at fault, and handed over every last bit of information I would need to file an insurance claim to take care of what looks like "cosmetic damage". (Pro)

I walked into work "late" and didn't get to do anything about filing the claim until my lunch break, when all of the folks who work in the "real world" have already gone home on a Friday. (Con)

Got complimented big time on my "look" (which was "Ho, Ho, Ho, Mo-Fo") and I did get to dance a little, even in my impossible-to-dance-in pleather, thigh-high, stiletto-heeled boots... and I worked unassisted through most of the day, taking care of things that I know how to handle. (UP!)

By the time I was able to leave work/the party, my camera battery had died, my cell phone battery had died, and I had to drive around the entire mall to get to the one working exit (which just happened to have been the exit closest to where I was parked). I had no way to call on my claim if there were anything mechanically wrong with my car. I had no way to let Stephen know I was on my way home. I needed to get gas, but our cheap gas station locks their pumps after a certain (unknown) hour. And if I had to speak to a real person to deal with any of these issues, I looked like a tired, cheap hooker. (Downer!)

Ho, Ho, Ho, Mo-Fo! Yes, those fishnets are neon green,
Yes, I'm wearing such ENORMOUS false eyelashes that my glasses lived halfway down my nose ALL DAY.

So what have we learned, kids? Ya take the good with the bad, and ya live your freakin' life. What else ya gonna do?

Yes, I realize that it's already tomorrow already. So Sue Me. I'm one tired, cheap-hooker-lookin' gal. See y'all tomorrow (or later).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I'm taking a poll

1. Do you, as a reader, have enough interest in my blog still to want me to keep posting?

That's it. That's the whole poll. I know that my posts slowed as I transitioned from my restaurant job to my dance studio job, and I indicated that I might not keep up with this past my one-year anniversary, but you, as my readers, seem to have taken that (in the last week) to mean that I'm giving up and not worth the time it takes you to comment.

And I've been trying to "draw you back in" with questions at the end, so you can comment, but even my "biggest fan", my sister, InnerHippie, seems to have disappeared! Whaddup widdat? Paging Cheryl. Your sister is missing (you).

Are you bored?
Are you ready for me to end this experiment? Have I strayed too far from... whatever it was that drew you in in the first place?

What can I do here to win back your favor? I'm open to your suggestions. You'll have to actually comment for me to "hear " your suggestions. Jus' sayin'...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Why, yes, I DID work at the restaurant today...

and what I discovered was:

it ain't worth it.

I spent more than an hour in shitty traffic to go 26 miles. I spent the first two-to-three hours of my six-hour shift twiddling my thumbs, for the most part. The next two hours of my day, I worked my ASS off, "floasting" (or host/floating), seating folks, bringing them their beverages, and then going back to my station to do it some more. In my final hour, I did my "sidework", which consisted of refilling and wiping down all 30 bottles of Cholula hot sauce, refilling all of the jelly/jam packets and sugar/sugar substitute packets for those same thirty tables (or counter stations), and continuing to floast while doing that.

When I walked out the door, I had gained just enough cash money in tip-outs from the 3 servers to buy more groceries for the week at the Trader Joe's next door (and by "groceries for the week" I mostly mean fruit and frozen peas for my meal breaks at work, as well as frozen corn and chicken thighs for the crockpot meals Stephen's been experimenting with for his own meals at home). By the time I got home, I was able to calculate the wages and tips divided by the hours worked and drive times, and found

I worked hard today to make less than minimum wage in an industry I don't love.

Just in case this post is unclear, the main lesson I learned today was: only cover a cashiering shift from this point forward. I am finished as a floast. 

This may mean that I'm finished with the restaurant industry in general. It's okay. A handful of folks got to read my Thank You card, and then it was taken down and filed away somewhere (possibly the circular file). I'll remain on payroll indefinitely, but they'll never put me back on the schedule while I'm working at the dance studio (I looked, and my name is not even there, even with no shifts!). And I'm not going to quit. So we're at an impasse. 

Not a terrible place to be!

Questions for you: have you ever found yourself in this sort of glorious Catch-22? What were the specifics, and did you rejoice in them, or find yourself worrying anyway? What was the eventual outcome?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Last night was great!

... as a follow-up to yesterday's post (which didn't actually post until after midnight, today, so these'll have the same date on 'em, oh well), and because Stephen asked.

Worked late, taking care of those little things that I hadn't quite gotten to on Friday, and which I thought I'd get scolded by the boss for having put off... no scolding. Obviously, she realizes that I need to be trained before just being "left to my own devices", and since things needed to be completed before today, when the studio is closed, it was up to the two of us to complete those things.  Once we were wrapped up, she said, "Wow. 1st week and I've already got you working overtime." :)

As I was leaving, I asked about my "in" time, and she let me know to be there half-an-hour before we open, rather than fifteen minutes, which means she'll be letting me check the voicemails and do all that other "opening" crap that I'm sure she knows I already know how to do. It's good.

So I got in late last night, and blogged about the previous day/night, without making it clear how I felt about the day I'd just completed. (Good, btw, since you ask). But you know, I was tired. I went to bed right after blogging, and I did NOT get up until ... ELEVEN ... o'clock ... This. Morning. Just. Heaven. Cocoa joined me at some point but did not bug me to rub her belly, and I slept through the night. Just. Heaven.

mmm, caperberries
Stephen was at work... I picked him up at one, because we also needed cat food, and we buy the really big bags that would be too much for him to carry home on a 1.7 mile walk. So we also went out to Big Lots to see what they're offering in the way of Christmas trees... and ended up buying some junk we don't really need, but we also rediscovered our "secret stash" of CAPERBERRIES. Big Lots has the occasional hoard of them, and we think we could be the only folks who ever buy them from them, but we'll have the tendency to wipe them out (only four jars this trip). If you've never had caperberries, you Do. Not. Know. What. You. Are. Missing. If you end up wiping out the secret stash from my local Big Lots, I will have to hunt you down. Not kidding. :)

We also picked up a replacement bulb for my burned-out headlamp, and Stephen almost got into fisticuffs with an old curmudgeon who accused him of jumping the line. We were in the line and the old dude was not, but whatevs. Old people have lived long enough to have the "right of way", whether they're nice about it or rude. I won't apologize for them, but I also don't want to be arrested for having to beat them up in the parking lot for being rude! You can tell me if I'm wrong in my thinking. Once we got home and had eaten lunch, Stephen installed the new bulb without any help from me. I think maybe he was just hungry while we were in line and the old dude flipped his "hangry" switch. That's the story I'm tellin' and I ain't changin' nothin' - I jus' needed you to know, Ya Honor.

So Stephen gets to go back to work tonight for a store meeting, and I get to cover a shift at the restaurant tomorrow! Woo Hoo! Aren't we the lucky ones?

Last night was rough

I'd gotten home from the second day at the new gig where I was feeling torn between "really proud of myself" and "really hating myself" for the exceeding expectations/not even coming close "employee review" I've been giving myself.

Here's the thing about that: Everybody knows that this is my First. Real. Week. at the new job, and unless they tell me what they want me to be doing all day, I'm only going to really work on the items that I actually know how to do.  In the meantime, I am already an Admin Extraordinaire, who happens to like dressing up without doing any overt makeup- or jewelry-wearing. My hair's in a really awkward "growing out" phase where I can either wear it down, or spray the hell out of it in the hopes that it'll last the day in a clip. I work in a dance studio, hello. If I wear it in a clip, it Ain't. Staying. There.

So on Thursday, a day I'd worn a nice sweater and pants, only to discover that that was the day the bosses wanted to do the staff holiday photos (i.e. wear Red or Green), I also discovered that on Fridays and Saturdays, I'm expected to "glam it up" (dresses, hair and makeup over-the-top, lots of shiny jewelry)... so I stressed about finding a suitable "costume" for Friday's theme party ("Geeks and Dweebs") as well as making the rest of me "fit" the requirements. Didn't sleep too well Thursday night.

Come Friday, I start the day early so I can 1. buy more makeup (after getting a free makeover in the mall - thank God for holiday hours!) and 2. buy a TARDIS dress (that I think I'll end up returning - for reasons) and 3. make it to work on time, appropriately attired, but for the dance shoes that I left behind in favor of a standard nice heel.

None of the staff present on Friday had a clue about Doctor Who. The extent of their geekiness went to Star Wars, which I'm really not that "into". Quite a few of the students, however, made sufficient comments to redeem my faith in the dweebs of the world.

By the party at the end of the day, I'd made some real progress doing things I knew how to do, and self-teaching through some new tasks (like posting a blog post on behalf of the big boss in Wordpress, which is not as easy as Blogger). Yay. Success. Exceeding the learning curve, etc. However, I'd run out of things that I could do steadily, throughout the party, so I kept finding myself dancing (near the front desk). I felt a little chastised, though, after the party, when I hadn't made any progress on the last major task I'd been given, because, to be fair to me, I'd not been given any real direction or expectations to meet, and I'd been left to my own devices. If you ever wonder what "leaving ME to my own devices" means, I'll tell you. I default to singing and dancing.

So we completed a few things together, and I went home. As I was walking in the door, I was mentally beating myself up for not being the PERFECT admin at the end of one week, but also, because I'd danced and worked all day in a standard high heel, my feet started cramping. Just a little, just one foot or the other. Then I went to bed, and it got worse. Then I'd actually fall asleep, and a new cramp would come on. At some point, my only recourse was to stand on the cramping foot, next to the bed, which led me to the bathroom, where I got nauseous and dizzy while emptying my bladder and trying to make the cramping stop. I ended up getting up pretty early this morning, and lay in a hot tub for about an hour, to see if I could catnap my way through the morning. <side note - what the hell am I still doing up?>

Left early so I wouldn't have to feel rushed to get to work. Shopped at a huge Trader Joe's near work that still doesn't manage to carry any tonic water. Returned some cosmetics to Macy's. Bought a new eyeliner cartridge for my refillable eyeliner pen. Tried on shapewear and found something I could be happy with, in my short, snug, lace dress... that didn't match the color theme of today's party, because, once again, they all forget to tell me what the code on the calendar meant... had a pretty decent day of work, and when my meal break rolled around, it was time for tonight's dance party. I wore dance shoes all day. I danced my butt off. It was great. Then I scarfed my soup and went back to work, and there was never a task I didn't know how to do. I demonstrated a little "Extraordinaire" by reformatting the pages for holiday card mailing labels so that they'd all fit in one file, formatted for the appropriate labels, rather than having to "guess" about things like columns and margins. I changed all of the "(city) ,CA" errors to "(city), CA" which was such an easy thing, how does ANY admin let that shit slip through? Got walked/jogged/trotted/run through the weekly reports process, and my boss apologized for "1st week, and I'm makin' ya work overtime"... but she was still there, too.  And when I finally left just past ten, (an hour late), she decided that I should start my "half-hour before opening" shift, rather than sticking to my "15-minutes before" guideline of this week.

So my employee performance review: I'm doing okay. I got nothing to worry about. Ask me in a week! Doesn't mean I'm not currently ready to sleep. Ah, sleep. I sure hope the foot cramps don't try to take up residence for a second day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

STILL employed at the restaurant,

which is not a bad thing. Had a somewhat confused text convo with the manager this morning, trying to get my "last" paycheck to me. It was too early to deal with, and I think he was ultimately only concerned with me getting my "most recent" paycheck, which I did, in person, yesterday. Spoke with the hiring manager and cleared it all up: I'm not on the schedule for any shifts because I'm not available BOTH Saturday and Sunday; I didn't quit, and she didn't fire or "let me go"; if anyone needs a Sunday or Monday "covered" they can still call me, and if I'm available to work, I can work. I'll end up getting my "last" paycheck when it comes out in two weeks, and no one's likely to ask me to pick up a shift, since I have none to swap, and I'll slowly but surely get deleted from the system. No worries.

In the meantime, my schedule at the dance studio allows me to do things like get gas and go to the bank or shop in the mornings, and not have to rush off to accomplish those errands while enroute to work.

And so far, they love me at the dance studio. I can't believe that I've already made "executive" decisions about how to run my desk, and the folks that those decisions affect are cool with those decisions.

So YAY. #100happydays, #dance, #LA, #dowhatyoulove, and #lovewhatyoudo.
here's what I look like today, watching Stephen pet Cocoa (so she won't claw at me & tear my outfit)

Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I think I MIGHT be "winding down"

Here it is, December 2nd, and this month is likely going to race by me, and I don't know that I have much to say anymore. Hopefully, that's only how I happen to be feeling today, and tomorrow, I'll come back to post a thousand deep thoughts, finding a whole new readership and purpose to blogging.

At any rate. It's raining. Southern California NEEDS the rain, but it just looks and feels too much like North Carolina, so I took 750 mg of Vitamin D to boost my spirits, and I've completed my portion of the stupid "choose your healthcare provider" forms, and I've written my "Thank You" card to the staff at the restaurant, and now I just need to get ready to head out in the weather to pick up my restaurant paycheck (possibly my last? since I'm not on the schedule - will they have combined my pay periods?) and then jump into administration at the dance studio.

I know that being at the new job will brighten my spirits. It's just that, right now, in the gloom of the kitchen, I've got no motivation for anything (including the things I've actually already accomplished).

So if my definition of "success" is "accomplishing something", then how does today fit? How's your day/week/December looking?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Whassup, France? UPDATED

In the last twenty-four hours, you've visited my page more than Any. Other. Country. In fact, in the last twenty-four hours, you've probably exceeded page visits in the same amount of time for any one country other than the U.S., and I probably only get this many "hits" from the U.S. in twenty-four hours when I post something "important" (A Difficult Topic or A Sadiversary, for example).

So what's the sitch? I don't think I know anyone who resides in France, and the only Francophile I know personally is my brother, who lives in Kentucky, USA. I appreciate that you're reading me so much, but you can also comment, if there's ever anything you wish to say. Which kinda begs the question (okay, questionS) for everyone out there (not just the Fine French Folk reading me of late):

How many blogs do you read, are they mostly similar or vastly different, and how often do you find yourself interacting with the writer?

UPDATE: since posting this earlier this morning, I've gotten EVEN MORE hits from France, so I wanted to look back at the last month, and give you, my readers, a glimpse into what makes me giggle, so here's the stats for the past thirty days:

Thursday, November 27, 2014


It's been nearly a year since I started blogging, and A LOT has happened in the last year.
THANK YOU for keeping tabs with me.

Today, I do not have to go to work. I gave up my restaurant shift to a coworker early this week. She's grateful for the shift, and I'm grateful to be able to putter around here.

I didn't really sleep in - no, scratch that - I didn't sleep in at all, as I had planned. I was up at 7, trying to catch up on some blogs that I follow while everything was quiet. When Stephen got up, I had a bowl of cereal and one cuppa joe, and then I went back to bed, so that he could write in the quiet as well.

Didn't sleep right away, but I DID sleep. Heard him turn on the television; rubbed Cocoa's belly; got up to shower. Did a little more onlining, found a recipe for "Thanksgiving Dinner Ubiquitous Green Bean Casserole" that I could alter from its already-not-including-mushroom-soup alteration, and gave it a try.  Made a small batch, to test, to see what I'd need to tweak, before making the larger, servable batch for the "Late Afternoon/Early Evening Thanksgiving Dinner and Jello Shots" party we'll be attending 6-ish.  Stephen watched as much of his Cowboys game as he could stand (they're wearing their dark uniforms, even though they're the home team, and that clearly makes a difference in how they play, duh).

Have taste-tested the first batch and know what additional tweaks I need to make to "my" recipe. The biggest problem is that I did not measure anything the first time around. When did my cooking become so adventurous?

Start with a little of the first two
& add the broth as needed
Fire it up, and whisk away!
Add a coupla heapin' Tbsps
Once it's thick (maybe not THIS thick),
create a layer in the bottom of your pan
Tha's right - add BACON
Green beans, duh! (I use frozen)
Covered, in a 350 oven
For TEN minutes!

Mmm, cheesy goodness on top
UNcovered @ 350
For TWENTY minutes!

Top w/fried onion, cover, carry to the party
Watch the hosts cook some more;
put UGBC in Their 350 oven fr

Load Your Plate!
 I am grateful that we were invited to participate in a meal today. I'm grateful that I only had to prepare this ONE dish. I'm grateful that the party guests, few in number as we were, enjoyed the dish I prepared. I'm grateful for leftovers. Don't think I'll be transporting any food with me to the new job tomorrow, as it'll be a "short" day, so there may be no need for a dinner break. Haven't yet investigated the kitchen space there, but it looks (at first glance) to be a nice one. I'm grateful to have a new job with a nice kitchen space where I can bring in my own food, rather than hitting the food court on a daily basis (yes, my new job's in a mall).

Bring home leftovers, of COURSE!

Whether you "celebrate" Thanksgiving or not, what are you grateful for this season?