Sunday, January 31, 2010


After sending an email inquiry to my apartment location agent, I finally received my rebate for using their service. Part of me wonders if they don't intentionally wait until you request the money to send it to you, banking on the fact that their clients will have forgotten by the end of the 13 week period they require to send you your check.

Ahem. They took 24 weeks to get my check to me.

The check was stamped with Void After 60 Days, but that didn't matter much, because I cashed that baby ASAP.

And then spent part of it. On tax software. And a fire-proof lock-box in which to keep my renter's insurance policy and inventory. I also plan to photograph my apartment so I'll have visual proof of the inventory. Granted, I say I'm going to do it every year, but this year I actually took a step towards my goal by buying the lovely beige behemoth.

I ended up buying the smallest one, seeing as it was the only one I could lift by myself...

After purchasing my fire-box and my tax software, I returned home, where I downloaded the software and filed my tax return.

I had to pay the guv'mint some mo munney.

Alas, I owed them something on the order of $200. So, there went my apartment rebate check, and my dream of spending that rebate check on something fun. Like clothes, or... clothes.

Did I mention I'd wanted to use the rebate to buy some clothes?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday!

Well, it's not mine, so congratulations if it's yours. Actually, there are two awesome birthdays, today. Oldsmobile turned 458, give or take a few, and one of my friends/family members had a baby! When I told Olds that my friend had a 10 lbs. 5 oz. baby, on his birthday, his reply was, "That's a wonderful birthday gift." He seemed pleased that someone I love was born on his birthday.

As a consequence of Olds turning 543, today, we celebrated. All day long. Mrs. Robinson decorated his office with balloons and yellow streamers - he was positively delighted - and we took him "somewhere scuzzy" for his birthday, as per his request. When we told him last week we wanted to take him to lunch for his birthday, his request was "somewhere scuzzy." We jokingly told him to bring lots of $1 bills, at which point he remarked that I would need a blind-fold, since my eyes shouldn't be subjected to such horrors.

Where was "somewhere scuzzy?" Adair's Saloon, as mentioned in my May 17, 2009, post (yeah, I had to check to see which one it was. I'm not that OCD). We ordered 2 pitchers of Shiner Bock and hamburgers all around (there were 6 drinking, plus one elderly non-drinking driver - not Olds, thank goodness, but his chauffeur, who is still pretty darned old). Radio, Pacman, and Scooter seemed to think it was amusing to have me drink more than anyone else at the table because I was just doing interior elevations. Thanks, guys.

We returned to the office and ate canasta cake, courtesy of Mrs. Robinson. I think she makes her buttercream icing with Crisco instead of butter, though. It was still delicious, and we all entered a carb/alcohol coma following the meal + drinks + cake. Oy.

I actually accomplished quite a bit of work following the lunch/binge, seeing as we have marketing mailers to send out. The firm for which I work has never sent out marketing materials, before, but we are, next week. As a result, I have 100 mailers to seal after I finish writing this entry. Hooray, work! I don't mind, actually, since I can get through 50 in about 10 minutes. It's just sticking a little sticky tab over the closure. I did 150 at work, today, while I waited for drawings to print.

I'm just good like that.

Then this evening, we had a cocktail party at one of Oldsmobile's friend's homes. So we all left work at 4:45 - a full 3 hours after we finished lunch/drinking - and went and had wine and "horse dervers" at her amazing home.

Her dining room is orange lacquered. The whole thing. I covet her dining room. And, yes, I told her as much.

I met a couple of lovely people at the cocktail party, managed to make them laugh (score!) and then had dinner with Radio, because everyone else had dogs/kids to get home to. Actually, Radio has a wife and son, too, but his wife and son had already eaten, so we grabbed some food. And, because we're in the architectural profession, another beer.

Yay, architecture.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Night Fun

dyspepsia: noun, Etymology: Latin, from Greek, from dys- + pepsis digestion, from peptein, pessein to cook, digest; 1) indigestion; 2) ill humor: disgruntlement.

Why am I starting my unusual Friday posting with the definition of dyspepsia, including both its common usages? Because, at present, I am suffering both iterations of its definition. I am both in an ill humor and suffering from indigestion.

Indigestion: I ate the lobster bisque from the first floor restaurant, for lunch today. Despite the ingratiating smile and handshake of the dapper Andy-Garcia-esque owner, his heartfelt handshake, and the warmed bread and butter he included with the soup, it failed to sit well in my stomach. For that reason, I am not at Happy Hour, as befits a young woman of my social position, but am in bed, cursing the crustaceans in the roiling seas of my stomach.

Ill humor: I realized today that the apartment locator service has never sent me my $200 check for using its services. Harrumph. We'll see about that. I just sent out an email to my agent, requesting that she let me know what is going on, seeing as I have yet to receive my reward. If I'm not either paid within 30 days, or they cannot otherwise prove to me that I have received the check and cashed it (which they will have to do with a cancelled check, because I'm not going to accept their word), then the state Attorney General will be hearing of this matter.

I'm not in any great hurt for money - despite the beautiful coat that arrived with the UPS delivery today (it was on sale) - but it would be nice to contribute that little bit of cash to my brand-spanking new Roth IRA.

Earlier in the week, I sold some of my stock, fearing - from what I'd been reading in The Economist and Motley Fool - that the EU would refuse to allow it to merge with another company because of some bogus interpretations of anti-trust law.

Turns out, the EU has approved the merger - today! - but only after I sold my stock. The proceeds from the sale - I made a rather tidy little profit, all things considered - were dumped into my R-IRA, today and put to some good use (I hope). I'm a bit frustrated with myself that I didn't do this as soon as I was laid off, but I was too busy going into an emotional shut-down and curling up into a metaphorical - andoccasionally literal - fetal position.

In another note, I think I need to cut back on the use of dashes as parenthetical indicators. They - as with parentheses - can become addictive if one over-indulges.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

X + Y = 0

I got to work early this morning (yay, meeting! That I didn't have to go to...) and consequently was able to leave slightly earlier than usual.

"Big deal!" You callously cry!

Well, to me, it was. My early morning meant I could go home, exercise, eat, and then head to the weekly trivia contest in Addison (which I have failed to attend for several weeks, now).

At least, that was the plan. Except something intervened. Something about which, I haven't told anyone. Here comes the confession:

I get Charley Horse. Real bad.

I know, I know, it's shocking, terrifying, even! Well, maybe not for you, dear reader, but it's annoying as heck the way it sneaks up on me and prevents me from completing my exercise regimen. And I have no idea what causes the pain. Is it lack of potassium, as one website claims? Poorly constructed shoes? An overall failure to supply myself with the necessary vitamins and minerals, not just potassium?

If I still wore heels to work every day, I could buy the "bad shoes" bit, but as it is, I wear nice comfortable flats or work boots to work, so traumatic injury by skyscraper heel isn't really up there on the list of culprits.

Anyone have any ideas why, oh why, my foot seizes up in an agony of pain whenever I point my toes and flex my calves simultaneously?


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Exorcise Those Financial Demons and Exercise Your Tush!

I failed to exercise today, but that's because I was busy looking at options for my retirement fund. I just recently did the math and decided that, since I can't deposit money pre-tax into my pathetic excuse for an IRA, I'd cash it out and put the money into a Roth IRA. It seemed to make more sense than paying taxes on the money twice: once before depositing and then again when I withdraw it once I'm old and feeble. Okay, scratch the feeble bit, because I'm essentially there, already.

I spent Saturday spending money on necessary evils (car maintenance, mostly), but still squeezed in some exercise (I walked to get my forms notarized!). I haven't finished researching the stocks and ETFs into which I will invest my brand-spanking new R-IRA, yet, but I'm sure, with the way my current IRA administrator operates, I'll have plenty of time to work on that.

So no exercise today, but I did buy lots of healthy yummy food to eat - steamed, most likely - over the next week. I will not give up my daily Dr. Pepper, because that's what keeps me sane in the mornings, but there will be no more drinking of alcoholic beverages on the days when I have my Dr. Pepper, which means no Dr. P for me on Fridays. I am determined that I will fit into those black jeans again within a month. Maybe two months.

In other news, I finished reading "Wolf Hall," a fascinating novelization of Thomas Cromwell's rise to power during the reign of Henry VIII. Okay, now everyone launch into the Herman's Hermits song. I'll wait until you're finished singing, bad British accent and all.

The book is written with rich detail and vivid descriptions of the life of the nobility and the would-be-nobility. I had always operated under the misunderstanding that Cromwell was high-born, but such is not the case, now that I go back and wiki the man (just to double-check, although the author seemed to hit the details pretty squarely on their heads. At least, according to the Henry VIII biography I read).

I have a sneaking suspicion that the author used more than just Wikipedia in her writings.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A World of Hurt

I've taken up pilates. Yes, pilates (and note to the spellcheck, that is TOTALLY a word).

It all came about when I realized I could no longer comfortably fit into a couple of pairs of jeans I own, then reviewed the past four months' eating habits - and let's be honest, drinking habits - and realized that I was going to have to exercise and eat better or buy some new clothes.

I don't have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe, so guess which option wins?

I dug out an 8-year-old pilates DVD that I had never even prised from its packaging, but had moved a bazillion times, and went to it Sunday afternoon before going to meet some friends for Japanese food.

I thought to myself, "It's only a 30 minute work-out. And I'll do the Level One exercises - with modification - so I won't strain myself. How hard can it be?"

I think we all know where this is going.

I am rediscovering muscle groups I'd forgotten I possessed. I'm also kind of proud to say that I can name them.

I found:


These had all been missing for a while. I also found my hamstrings and my calf-muscles - oh dear God, did I find my hamstrings! - and now I'm reveling in the soreness that comes from a second day of exercise. It was infinitely more painful, Monday evening, seeing as my poor widdle muskles were already sore, but it will be totally worth it when I can get back into those jeans...

The black ones...

With the slits up the ankles.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

In 30 Minutes

I hope to be in bed. I've spent the better part of the week getting entirely too little sleep, being absent-minded at work, and not accomplishing anything productive when at home. It's all a bit overwhelming for this girl.

The office has been somewhat in turmoil, this week, due to some missing artifacts that are highly valuable. What are they, you ask? I can't tell you, except that one of them is a key that gives access to the other, and the other is worth a ton of money, so the two combined are pretty darned important.

Aside from the key-loss stress, there's the stress of being under a deadline that has already passed, and which is not my fault for being missed. As usual, it is the fault of the client who made demands that were simply unreasonable, then set up roadblocks to those demands being met. Frustrating at best, but enough to make a girl cry, at worst.

I have not cried. Well, not about the assignment in arrears, but I did kind of lose it today when I found out one of my friends is newly unemployed. The guys in the office, poor souls, attempted to comfort me by discussing it, leading me to laughingly cryingly say ",Don't talk about it, and I'll stop crying! Jeez, you'd never know y'all are married!" They all laughed in response to this, and remarked that men as a whole have no idea what to do when women cry, regardless of their marital status.

On a completely different note, I purchased an album by Yo La Tengo, and just read the full title:

I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your A*s.

I think I'm going to love this band even more than I previously thought...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Supreme Courtship" by Christopher Buckley

I finished Supreme Courtship a couple of weeks ago, actually. I was wandering around Borders prior to Christmas - not coincidentally, I was there on official Christmas business - and decided that I wanted to buy a book for myself in addition to the Johnny Cash CD I bought my mom. The young woman in the literature department had enjoyed reading Lamb - a rather irreverent book that fills in the reader on what, exactly, Jesus spent the years between the ages of 12 and 30 doing - and so I asked her what other books she could recommend. She pointed me to Christopher Buckley.

I have to confess that I was pretty disappointed in Supreme Courtship. Yes, there were moments of hilarity and the satirical view of American politics was quite incisive, but...

It stereotyped Texans. A lot.

The main character happened to hail from the same city where I was raised, and he made the people of that grand and boring city sound like a bunch of backwoods bumpkins. The only Texans I've ever heard speak the way his Texas characters spoke were characters in books that were written by people who have never been to Texas.

Once you get past the ignorant stereotyping of Texans, however, it was pretty amusing. A light read but with, as stated before, a bit of biting wit (say that 5 times fast).

So if you can get past the fact that it was written by a goddamned ignorant Yankee, it's a pretty good read. I'd check it out from the library, though.