PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: work (page 2 of 5)

Accolades

When you’re a baby, a toddler (if you have good parents) much of your progress and milestones are rewarded with gushing praise. Clapping, their smiling faces beam at you as you drunkenly lurch from one foot to the next, taking those first few steps. Praise is showered as you  grasp a pencil in your hand, that what is so unfamiliar, and you carefully sweep the lead across the dotted line above and below, printing your name, the alphabet, your first sentences. The roller coaster of notes soar in their voices, hitting high and dramatic, as you read your first book, play a sport, learn something new.  On and on it goes, as you proceed into the world, learning, failing, trying again, with your own personal coaches who teach you, praise you, tell you that they’re proud of you.

And then it all sort of fades away. We grow up, and our success becomes measured in other ways. Are you married yet? How good is your job? Are you the favorite in your office? Do you receive a raise? Some places establish goals and financial rewards follow. Performance reviews are scheduled – the dreaded sit down, where nothing should be a surprise and yet so often is – they become opportunities to couch constructive criticism while highlighting the positive. Nobody usually applauds.

We learn to give it to ourselves, the positive self-talk, the pep talks, the inner cheerleader, the one who combats the inner demons, who so readily cling to any shred of negativity, as though that will become the true motivation for change. But when it is given, freely, and unasked for, when you’re 41, it is akin to finding the golden ticket resting atop a Willy Wonka chocolate bar.

When I got my job offer, my husband stood up, walked over to me, put his hands on my shoulders and looked straight into my eyes and said, “I’m proud of you.”

A week later, a really good friend of mine said the same thing on the phone. I feel like I’ve left those two wonderful pieces of praise on the table, looking at them from across the room, marveling at how they made me feel, somewhat afraid to even pick them up and tarnish them with my own fingerprints. I’ve had more time to think about them, and perhaps it’s all churned to the surface because someone congratulated me on my job and immediately followed that up by telling me I was lucky.

I’ll confess, I bristled a bit.

Is it luck? Does my accomplishment, do my three months of unemployment, so small compared to others, become diminished by luck? Is something deemed ‘lucky’ diminishing the work that accompanied the result? I prefer to think of it as good fortune, I suppose. I recognize what it’s like out there, I was just out there. I know people are losing their homes, and in far worse circumstances than we ever were. And I guess I do think some of those situations are very unlucky. Every situation is different. Every person has a different set of skills,circumstances, background and aptitude. And for the most part, in my business anyway, it comes down to who you know. And I networked myself like a hard core motherfuckin’ salesperson, as if my life depended on it, because in a lot of ways, it did. And it paid off. But in the background of all that networking, I was sending out resumes right and left, searching for jobs, having black dark days, imagining moving, leaving my home, friends, possibly working and living somewhere else while James stayed here, just to make ends meet. I know of some fellow ad brethren who are sitting at home and playing WoW all day. Giving up. Waiting for the job fairy or the bank to knock on the door.  I can count on one hand the number of days where I felt “ok”and didn’t feel like the earth was crushing down on my shoulders and that, somehow, in all of this, I had failed.

Last summer, in Bryant Park, a woman told me I had beautiful eyes. I felt like shit at the time, I was hot and sweaty, my boss had galloped off ahead of me, and like a million other moments in my life, I felt on the outside looking in. It brings tears to my eyes now, because it was such a kind thing to say. To a stranger. In one of the biggest cities in the world. Another friend of mine, upon meeting up at a coffee house told me how pretty I looked. I felt startled. Nice, but startled. I joke about preening and I’ll kiss the backs of my hands, like I’m a diva, but my diva days have been few and far between this year. I’ll be glad to close the chapter and ring in 2010, with a new job, and far more wisdom than I expected I’d gather this year. The bruises will fade, but the memories will take more time.

I lived my formative years with two huge cheerleaders (who also knew how to handily employ the stick, lest you think it was a cakewalk of rose petals and confetti), and then I went out into the world, unsure of how to give that to myself. Sometimes I still don’t know how. What I do know is that when praise is given – by someone you love, respect or are passing on the street, it feels good. Everyone should do it more often, because genuine appreciation and acknowledgment is soul-nourishing.

And luck has nothing to do with that.

Giant Skinner Box

So, my strongest memories of Psych 101 was the day we got of frickin’ lab rats, and our escaped. I had the most ineffectual lab partner, so it was up to me to catch the damned thing, and nary a pair of gloves was to be found. I did name him in honor of my math professor, who gave me some of the best advice and counsel all through school. (Notably, “Five hundred years from now, Jennifer, none of this is going to matter.”)

Anyway, when you put a rat in a Skinner box, your lever is hooked up to a computer and you have to read the data and adjust the settings and basically, everyone ends up proving his theory, which is that behavior that is rewarded is repeated, and behavior that is rewarded RANDOMLY has the highest degree of repetition.  If you push the lever and always get a pellet? You only push the lever when you need a pellet. (Interestingly, this also applies if the reward is distributed on a regular interval – three times gets you nothing, but four is the magic number? You know to push that sucker four times when you need a pellet. And then you wander off to watch Law & Order re-runs until you need another pellet, rinse & repeat.)  If you push the lever and never get a pellet? You learn pretty damned quickly to regard the lever as a very boring shelf in your Skinner box.

But.

If you never KNOW when you’re going to get a pellet, that without any lever-hitting pattern, one appears randomly, then you, little rattie, will punch that lever ’til your paw pads are raw, or you turn into a crispy-fried over-tanned smoker hammering “Play 3 Credits” on a slot machine. (Vegas may be artificial, but they ain’t stupid. Or poor.)

And today, I saw and felt the parallels, that job searching is like being inside a giant Skinner box. I have watched myself rise and fall emotionally, feeling elation, hope, depression, excitement, despair, enthusiasm, pessimism, optimism, fatality and confidence, and today, when the little “plook” noise alerted me to a new email, and I saw it was for another interview, I felt my heart soar once again with enthusiasm and excitement. Because no matter how many ways I circle (or circumvent) the various HR departments, or network myself, or talk to people, or put myself out there, or send in resumes, there is no guaranteed pattern of response or consequences. Of course I keep doing it, not  for the soaring arc of hope the random positive brings, but because I want to work, be useful, get off unemployment, be around people, talk about ideas, work with clients, DO STUFF.

Not just punch a lever.

Fired Up

It’s a challenge, when you’re unemployed and actually relied on your income for your life essentials, to wake up every day and explode with joy and optimism. The news doesn’t help – hitting you with mixed messages – GDP UP! Retailers are worried about holiday sales! The recession is over! Unemployment in Missouri remains flat! Meanwhile you network and apply for jobs and try to figure out how to crack through the HR Linebacker who arbitrarily (or not) determines whether (or not) you get to interview.

And then you meet people who give you The Look, when they hear you’re out of work. I think the only thing that keeps me from punching The Look off their faces is that I do understand it comes from a place of sympathy, but fu-uck. It rolls pity, despair and pessimism into a tortilla pinwheel of bitterness, and makes you want to cover all the mirrors in the house and wait for shivah to be over. (no, I’m not Jewish, but I could be.) Really? You, who are employed, are going to look at me like I’m Eight Belles and waiting for my overdose of barbiturates and think that’s gonna help? OK, obviously you do, so this is my Public Service Announcement to all of you: IT DOESN’T.

Ask me what I did, what I want to do now. Do you know anyone in your circle who needs those skills? That’s the best response. Give me your email. Send my resume on to them. (And for those who have done this for me, Bless You. You are heroes and on my Jen Got A New Job Party List. Yes. I’m optimistic enough that I have, already, considered the party I will have to celebrate once I’m re-gainfully employed.)

JWo caught the movie “Fired!” one day and told me I needed to see it. So I set the DVR, and once it was recorded? I let it sit. Because I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it – there’s a certain camaraderie out there among us all, and there are a lot of us, just from advertising alone. I’ve even made some new cool friends and reconnected with old ones because of the shared boat. But sometimes it can also feel a bit like salt in the wound, when someone gets to leave the boat, you wonder how/when/why/where your stop will come, and do I really want to watch famous comedians and people bitch about how they lost their jobs and have since gone on to fabulous Hollywood lifestyles? I’m not even trying to have a Hollywood lifestyle. My blog is as famous as it gets, and unlike some, I don’t pull down half a million or more doing it. So, I let it sit. And then, one afternoon, I watched it, and immediately wished I’d seen it sooner.  It really is good. And the biggest surprise, was that I found myself moved to angry, agreeing tears with none other than Ben freakin’ Stein, someone I consider to be waaaaaay over there (gestures Stage Right) from me on the political scale. So moved, in fact, that I transcribed what he said, because I couldn’t find it anywhere already, and by god, it’s passionate and I couldn’t agree with him more:
“The real problem is an ethical problem. It comes about when the workers are laid off, their pensions are terminated, their health insurance is terminated, and then the management reorganizes the company in bankruptcy  and walks away with hundreds of millions of dollars while the ordinary rank and file has been laid off, fired, their hopes and ambitions and aspirations destroyed and that is happening all over America and its sickening.”

“There’s something extremely unappealing, about saying we’re trying to stay competitive, therefore, you’re fired but I get a hundred million dollars.”

“It is disgusting, it makes me want to vomit that we have people in Iraq and Afghanistan laying down their lives for a just, lawful, compassionate America, and here at home the looters are running wild. That just makes me sick, and I think there should be a stop to it … it disappoints me very much that Mr. Bush, whom I like very much, is not taking major steps to reform the bankruptcy process so that people cannot put a company into bankruptcy, destroy the lives of the employees and then walk off with hundreds of million of dollars in stock, that is a very very bad situation.”

— Ben Stein, in Fired!

So, off I go, to check in at the unemployment office, where I will go through a ridiculous government-created mouse maze to prove that I am a real human being who is unemployed, because writing out my name with a two-inch pencil and turning it in to one person, who then sends me to another line to put my SSN into a keypad, and I’m directed to a bank of computers, where I’ll punch in my PIN, on the same website I can access from home, and wait 60 seconds for the computer to process my information, all of this will allow me to keep receiving my unemployment checks, which will tide us over until my boat stop arrives.

This time, though, I’m taking some hand sanitizer with me. And that, my friends, shows us that in every situation, no matter how mundane, demoralizing, or trivial, there are lessons to be learned.

Lovin’ Every Minute of It, Nah-Nah, Nah-Nah…

So, there are jobs out there, it’s just a long process to hurtle yourself through the door. I had an interview this week, and am glad I had some inside scoop on the job, because it was one of the fastest interviews ev-ah.  Apparently that’s how they roll. Mkay! I shall write my thank-you note and we’ll see what happens. I’m also continuing to network like a mo-fo, so much so, I am a little challenged to even keep up with it all. Fortunately, I also have a friend who’s gone out on his own, and he has SO MANY connections. He was following up with a contact I’d emailed and never heard back from, despite phone messages, and he was able to get some more info (guy’s out of town, totally slammed, and is going to call me next week.)

Add to all of this three small-ish freelance gigs!

It’s not easy, waiting and wondering and not knowing. I mean, I know. I realize that nobody gets up, goes to work and knows for sure what’s going to happen. A meteor could hurtle from the sky and squash you like a bug, that would be un-anticipated. Not on your mental agenda. But being unemployed means you really don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. A phone call?An email? Some communication that will unfold into a meeting? An interview? Where? Will they like me? Will they like me more than the 20 other people they talk to? Will they like me the most? So many unknowns, a gal could go crazy trying to run them all through her head. Yet even with all this uncertainty, I’m … happy.

What I am happy about is when my one freelance opportunity came to be, the person hiring me was describing his process of how he came to arrive at me, he said, ” I think she has experience in this particular industry, I know she’s smart, I..” I didn’t hear much after that.  Thanks. For recognizing I’m smart. For smartness not being a threat. I told a sage agency owner I met with that first week of being unemployed, all I want to do is work someplace where I don’t threaten people. Because I’m smart. He got it, having been in the same boat himself at previous jobs or interviews. Finished my sentence for me, actually, because I didn’t want to sound arrogant about it, but he got it. Was already there.  Knew that it’s not about having a crazy vocabulary or being able to spell really well, it’s about everyone having confidence in what they do, what they bring to the table, to not be fearful if someone has a great idea. A couple of the jobs I’m going for are big deals. They carry a lot of responsibility, and should require a lot of brainpower. Some aspects of the job, I’m not going to know. So I have a choice. I can be fearful, that I don’t already know how to do every single thing, or I can be excited, because I’m capable of learning, and I know that even while I’m learning, I’ll make a difference.

The other thing that I’m loving is how supportive everyone in my life is. From my husband to friends, the great MommaLinda to former co-workers, to new friends who are skimming alongside me, in their same unemployment-issued skiff, the positive energy is just tremendous. So thanks to everyone for this, because it truly makes a difference. And not that I’m counting my chickens before they hatch, but I had a mental flash yesterday of just how big the celebratory party is gonna end up being.

Always Ready To Bring The Crazy

Re-entry back to the work world, especially after such a fantastic vacation, is tough. Celebrated my birthday on Monday by going into work….and then each subsequent day brought with it more challenges and projects. Which is great, though I am saying it right now, I will be so happy once we’re completely transitioned to our new billing software and everything is symmetrical!

Our CFO’s birthday was today, and the way treats work, the person who just had their birthday brings in treats for the next person. So I got a Dairy Queen cake. Which was greeted with EXTREME enthusiasm from so many of my co-workers, it kind of surprised me, there were that many superfans among us. Because dude. A DQ cake rocks my world, and I would sing it Michael-Jackson style to prove it.

So we had big pieces for everyone, and then later we had a conference call. I think it was partly a sugar high, but partly me just cutting loose and being wonky for laughs. We were in our creative director’s office, waiting for a conference call to start. I started looking around, and espied two pairs of ski goggles hanging from his coat tree. (We used to have an account that made these things.) I noticed one of them had rose-colored lenses. What wouldn’t be more perfect than rose-colored glasses, for a 4:20 conference call? NOTHING! My co-workers were laughing and my pal Tommy snapped a shot for posterity.

BringingTheCrazy

Not quite all-the-way grown-up yet. May not ever actually get there, either.

What A Week…

Well, that was a doozy of a week. As each day passed, it got more and more brutal, it seemed! We’re doing a software conversion, and there are elements within the software that defy logic. So as I was connecting said software to my department’s software, there were bumps. And granted, I expected a learning curve, and some frustrations – nothing like this is ever smooth – but one particular piece of it just blew my mind, it defied logic so badly. Actually, I finally  had to call the help line, because I was tired of creating work-arounds to make up for the elements not matching (I realize this makes little sense unless you use both of these pieces of software) and the help lady, who is somewhere in the South, drawled, “Oh yes, we tell folks NEVER to delete lines in that before sending it over.” Huh? That’s the whole point of being able to revise things and preserve the data integrity between systems? Classic. Anyway, I had some long days and maddening moments, but the bulk of it’s done, and now the cleanup part will begin next week.

We did get a fun night in Thursday, tailgating and watching the company kickball team win their game – followed by the final Love Tusk show at the Riot Room. I felt old, though – when their set ended, there was no way we could stay out for any of the other bands. (yawn!) And now it’s Saturday night, I’ve done pretty much nothing with my day, and oh yes, the cops have been by for their regular pilgrimage to Crazy Cat Lady’s home. Who knows what drama is goin’ on over there.  Tomorrow, brace thyselves – it’s Mt. Laundry time. Livin’ the Vida Loca here, as we move past another anniversary, clamber over the army training wall (I mean, software conversion) and when it gets really bad, I just look at the calendar and tell myself….”Cancun. Cancun…..”

Hello, I Must Be Going!

Well, I am heading out tomorrow to St. Louis, to attend The Loopy Ewe’s Spring Fling. Knitters (and spinners!) will be flying in from all over to attend, including three amazing teachers – Wendy, Cookie & Anne – and then the dyemaster herself, Claudia, of Wollmeise.   I’m also excited to finally meet Sheri herself!

But the excitement doesn’t stop – there are going to be sooo many people there to meet, greet, hang out with, knit with, laugh with, all of it. I’ve made so many ‘internet friends’ between Ravelry and Plurk, I know it’s going to be a bit of an overload to match everyone’s little avatar and personality up with their real-life selves. Plus you have the thin sheen of anxiety that goes along with travel and big groups – did I pack everything? How’m I going to carry all this stuff? What if everyone hates me and I spend the weekend in my car, weeping? You know. The basics.  There is also the chance I’ll be breaking bad news to my husband, because George Clooney is shooting a movie in St. Louis, and a group is already planning a sushi dinner on Friday night…at the location where Mr. Clooney has been spotted every Friday.  I’m just saying. George probably has had his fill of tall, willowy model-types, and he might just be looking for a rotund, short, brassy sort of  knitter to round out his experiences in life.

(Probably not.)

(But when my co-workers asked if I’d knit him socks, the answer was an unequivocal, bellowed, “HELLZ YEAH!”)

Meanwhile, work crazes on, and it’s whack-a-mole times.  Partly because of the vacation time I’m taking (all whopping 2.5 days of it, whoa nelly!) and partly because the demands are there – this business has a crazy broken roller-coaster-ness to it, where things are slow and plodding and then suddenly you’re hurtling along at 100 mph and hoping your cart doesn’t go off the rails when you crest the top.

I’ll also be going to Trader Joe’s while I’m in STL – I can only hope that they ask for our zip codes when we checkout, as I know the Kansas City contingency plans to hit their store close to our hotel pretty hard before we drive home on Sunday. Listen up, TJ! Kansas City wants/needs a store (more than one would be awesome!) and we want it NOOOOW! (I’m bringing a cooler. And shopping for co-workers –  Three Buck Chuck, of course.  Perfect for the aforementioned roller coaster!)

James will be selling more tomato and pepper plants this weekend – a couple varieties have sold out already, but he’s got loads of great plants left. Cherokee Purple seems to be the hot tomato this year (yes, Virginia, there is a cutting-edge even in the gardening world!) and he has oodles of those.  It will keep him busy & off the streets while I’m gone, I know that much. EMAIL  him at jworley1@ HOTMAIL [dot] com if you have questions or want to place an order! Yes, you have to type out his  email, but it’s faster than leaving a comment – my computer access will be very limited.

So I’m off – I’ll be Plurking from my Blackberry, certainly, and then I’ll report back next week with pictures & stories! See you then!

Bustle, bustle!

Yep, it’s bizzy ’round here. Big client meeting yesterday. Off to NYC tomorrow, back home on Thursday, then keep dog-paddling because there’s a big meeting/presentation next week to boot. woo-hoo! In the midst of all that, got to keep getting the ‘regular’ work done, and then handle the curve balls on top of it all. Because boy howdy, there was a curve ball, and I seriously wanted to remove heads from bodies with a croquet mallet. Yes, I was channeling my inner Red Queen, and all I can say is, good thing I read the emails at  home so I had time to explode and then calm the hell down by the time I could actually address it. GAH! Life is hard enough, when things are going well, it’s in everyone’s interests to make! things! work!

OMG Tripper is going to start marketing his weapons-grade gas to the government. That’ll help pay the dog food bills ’round here. He is seriously, seriously toxic with his farts. I keep a bottle of Febreze ‘Air Effects’ right by my chair, and it’s almost comical – he gets royally offended when I counter-attack with one puff of “Linens-n-Sky”. Sometimes he even gets up and moves. It’s the only weapon I have, and I have to use it!

Speaking of crazy dog stories – last Saturday night I met up with some of the LSG folks on Ravelry, which was great fun – and when James got home from his banquet duties (MWA banquet in Oregon, MO), I headed for bed & left him to take care of the dogs for the night. Good thing. Polly apparently dashed in the door, and he only caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eye, and knew she had something in her mouth. Uh, yeah. “Something” turned out to be an enormous full-grown rabbit that was in dire straits. At least I have a husband who can calmly handle these things, humanely. I’d just shriek and run into doors.  Just a regular Mutual of Omaha around here, I tell ya…..

Speaking of wild kingdoms, the seed-planting is well underway, as the gardener of the house starts getting excited for planting and gardens and spring. Since he’d gotten me a Christmas present when we’d agreed not to exchange gifts, I decided Valentine’s Day would be my turn to surprise-treat. I took the rest of the money I’d left in my PayPal account from my Loopy Ewe DPN holders, and with just a smidge extra, I bought him a set of Texas Tomato Cages. After all, tomatoes are the “Love Apple”….and he grows them so extraordinarily well, with all kinds of fantastic varieties, knowing how much I love love love fresh tomatoes. Apparently these things are THE support system for growing tomatoes, so we’re just going to start investing in them and add to the pile as we go.

Let’s see… working furiously on some more knits, including a couple of fun projects for classes I’ll be teaching, and really, just trying to not let too much slip through the cracks.  It feels kind of crazy that tomorrow is already Ash Wednesday, that next week is -yikes- March! and pretty soon we’ll see Spring really settling in, bursting through the ground and in the trees, welcoming us to a new season and another chapter. Despite being agitated about dunderheads, and feeling like I’m burning the candle at both ends, I’m really excited about what’s on the horizon this year – both with work and my life outside of work. (For instance? The Wo and I are going to take a vacation! YES! Where? Dunno! But it’s going to happen, and that’s all there is to it. The pool will be there for later in the summer, yes, but staycation be damned!)  And yes, eventually I’ll be able to throw all the nice facts up about the zombie, proving once and for all, the dead truly can live comfortably in California.

My Brain Is on Simmer….

I’m grateful I took the opportunity last Friday and this Monday to organize and clean up my desk, because the past couple of days have brought a LOT of new things to think about, to work on, to accomplish and do.

I was talking to a former sales guy who said he’d had a great career in sales, he’d been successful and was extremely good at his job. He also said the past 15 years had been the same year, over and over again, until he hit 15 and decided he just couldn’t live that same year again. That really hit me, because sometimes you do feel that way, like, wow, is this it? Have I reached capacity (fill in the blank – in this job, in this industry, at this place, with these people – whatever)? But really, with the luxury of hindsight, I can see that the past 4 years have not been the same – personal life aside! Which for someone like me, with my inquisitive, creative & easily-bored personality, that’s a good thing. Some people love their work routine, and I’m more the homebody who loves her home routine. At work, pelt away. Chaos and puzzles and problem solving await around the corner? I can’t get there fast enough. Sure, I may bitch about it and even get snappy from the stress, but that kind of percolation is so invigorating.

Right now, I’ve got a couple huge project pots on the stove, and my brain is mulling and simmering as I contemplate what they can and will become, along with what I need to learn and do for that to happen. (Yes! Learn! Without learning, it all just becomes atrophy.) The excitement and fear are also there – when you haven’t done something 10,000 times, there’s a lot more room to trip and fall. But the exhilaration to be had is 10,000 times greater, too.  I apologized to my husband last night for being such a zombie – I just needed to zone out between some Facebook Mafia Wars and the movie (couldn’t even knit!), and let my brain absorb everything at its own pace.

Dogs? They don’t worry about these things, unless it means something might fall off the stove and then, man, they’re ALL. OVER. IT. I had fixed James’ lunch the other morning, and the peanut butter jar was empty (as far as we’re concerned – the spatula had gotten what it was gonna git.) I thought I’d see what the dogs thought of an empty p.b. jar:

Polly. Delicately Enjoying PB

This would be Polly. Polly does almost everything delicately, despite her high-strung-ness. She will quiver with energy at the mere notion you’ll pet her, but she is always full of grace and swiftness.

Mmmm, Delightful, Ma'am, Thank you ever so much.

Now. We can’t really say the same thing about Tripper.

ZOMG POLAR BEARS THIS IS *(&&%^ING AWESOME!!!

He’s got such a long nose, and he has no problem crossing his eyes if the object he’s focusing on is right at the end of said schnozzle.

I CAN'T SEE IT BUT I CAN TASTE IT

GREATEST! MORNING! EVER!

He was making me laugh so hard, I think it worked out in his favor.

SRSLY, I DON'T CARE IF I'M CROSS-EYED FOREVER.
Now, don’t worry. Suzy got her turn as well. She actually exhibited the most brains in her approach – she took the jar right out of my hands – while I kept laughing – and went in to curl up on her pillow with it. (I took it away from her, because this is the same dog who ate a clean Rubbermaid container!)

Dog’s life, indeed. I’ll be back tomorrow with knitting updates, promise!

Energized, yet Drained. Cheerful, yet Rageaholic.

Yes.  I am covering a wide swath of ground these days. And through it all, I am bizzy bizzy bizzy! I always love being busy, but sometimes it pushes the edges and boundaries of normalcy, and I find that’s when things like …oh… “politeness”, or … “consistency” start to fall by the wayside. Work’s been really busy & I have had some great conversations with my bosses about goals for the year & I already hit a couple balls outta the park, so I feel like th year’s off to a very good start. I’m behind on sending out presents and holiday greetings but hell. Isn’t it better to get a thoughtful note from me when I get around to it, than nothing at all? Or just my signature in a timely manner? That’s my approach & I’m stickin’ to it, dammit.

I joke about the rage-a-holic part, somewhat – I’m still PISSED at Time Warner Cable, because even using my connections, I got a VERY disappointing solution yesterday. Instead of our bill going up 60%? She could knock off a little and make that increase just 40%. FORTY percent. People, this is not gas, or milk, or any other commodity that is finite in its production. Yes, the internet has bandwidth, I understand. But TWC is still going to have to buy MTV and HBO whether or not I’m in their customer base, and there is absolutely NO reason I should stick around for a rate hike so substantial when there are other options. Options that involve hassle on my part, but what’s the best salve for hassle? Nostril-flaring joy that the fuckers over :there: aren’t getting your money any more. I’m not quite at that point yet, because I emailed my contact again with less-florid language describing the above, and it’s now gone on to a different department, presumably one higher on the food chain.  I shall keep you updated, because if I’ve picked up on one thing in this life, is that folks out there have some shared rage against The Man, who sometimes comes in the form of The Cable Company.

I spent a good chunk of my weekend making more DPN Holders for The Loopy Ewe, and my local yarn stores, so I’m chipping away at my cost to go to the LE Spring Fling at the end of April! Woohoo for cottage industry!

I’m off to a blogger meet-up tonight – should be fun & interesting,  since I didn’t get a chance to meet everyone at the last one.  I’ll be the one with my knitting, but I promise, I am oh-so-far from dowdy, shy & retiring.

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