Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: work

Oh Hello! Come in. Sorry about the dust and cobwebs. I’ll tidy up. But have some pasta salad.

I haven’t been around. I didn’t have much to say for a while. Now it seems I have a whole bunch of things, and hope I remember all of it so I can get it down here.

Let’s see… Last Thursday, I participated in the UW Day of Caring by helping to beautify the local YMCA. Weeding, mulching, etc. It was a long day, with a lot of work, but I’m glad I did it. While I was weeding, one of the residents came over to “help” me. Recently, the city closed a YWCA, so there are women living there too. So, this resident that came over to help me – I never did get her name – was very nice. I’m pretty sure she was a little bit crazy, but she seemed nice enough. She was telling me about her huge house 2 towns over, and the house on the beach in another state. Yes, she lives at the shelter and goes to another shelter for her food. She has a 15-year-old daughter with whom she doesn’t get along.

Then she started telling me about her husband, and how he beat her. She worked 2 jobs while he went to school, so now he’s educated and she’s not. And for some reason, she seems to think she can’t go to school now.

While she’s telling me all this, part of me was screaming in my head – I JUST WANT TO WEED!! I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THIS INFO!! But I tried to be sympathetic and most of all, just listen. I think that’s what she wanted most of all. I know that much of what she said was probably not true. And that’s okay. She wanted someone to listen to her.

She must have thought I was nice, too, because she went inside and brought out Minnesota. What? Yeah, Minnesota is a kitten. Probably 6 months old. Double paws. White with 2 different color eyes. OH EM GEE. What a sweet little boy. She was very proud of her little boy.

So, I’ll admit that my initial reason for volunteering for DoC was to get the day off from work, and also to add to my list of volunteerism. That is now part of my annual review – how much I help in the community.

But after that day? I have a new perspective. It is very easy to see a homeless person and marginalize them; avert your eyes; walk by without “seeing” them. But they all have a story. They all have a past. They all came from somewhere. What’s that saying? There but for the grace?

I’m not saying that I’m going to go sign up to work with the homeless or volunteer at the shelter. But it’s nice to get a new perspective and to see things from outside my comfort zone once in a while. I appreciate what I have so much more.


Oh, hello! Come in, have some coffee. The muffins are almost done.

Before I start, I would like to welcome 2 new readers: Hawk Eye and Foible Gal. I know they are new, because they commented. There may have been others, but without comments, I would have no idea. Foible Gal also has a blog that you can find here. So, a big Mag and Moo welcome to you both.

Now. On with the whining:

I found out that someone here at the Gas ‘n Sip got engaged over the weekend. He and I work in the same area, and Soon-to-be Mrs also works here, but in a different area. They’ve had some ups and downs in the relationship recently, but it seems that has all been worked out and now… onward to wedded bliss. (And yes, he went to Jared. *heh*) I wish the absolute best to both of them. They deserve every happiness.

A day later, I also found out that another friend of mine is now in a serious relationship with “an incredible guy”. She has also been through some ups and downs with previous relationships and has been treated very badly in some of them. She also recently lost a loved one, so it’s time she got some good ju-ju going in her life. Turns out, Mr. Incredible Guy helped her through her recent loss, and they talk all the time, despite not living especially close to each other. She sounds so happy! I don’t know him very well, but if he really treats her the way she describes? Then I am thrilled for them too. I like to see happy couples.

Things like this is why Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. (That’s a whole other post…)

So, what am I whining about this time?? Good things are happening, and yet I whine. (It’s a gift. Seriously.)

I posed a question to my friend Debra the other day: Is it possible to truly be happy for other peoples’ joy while being a little bit jealous? Can a person hold 2 opposing thoughts in their brain and have them both be true? Or am I just incredibly self-absorbed and need to make it all about me again?

I Googled that question (the 2 opposing thoughts one, not the “Am I self-absorbed” one) and found: intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” by Fitzgerald, along with almost 7 million other options for answers. 

I would like to believe that while, yes, I possess a certain level of self-absorption, I am not SO far gone that I need to make it all about me. I know that, yes, I really am happy for both of these couples and I really do want them to succeed in remaining as happy as they are right now. But also, yes, I am a little jealous and would like to feel some of that new love giddiness and long-term commitment security in my own life.

So, what do you think? Tell me if you have ever thought 2 things that were opposing, at the same time. What were they? Did you question your sanity? (That probably just happens to me… never mind.) I’m curious how others handle this phenomenon.


Oh, hello! Come in. Have some mac and cheese. It’s good comfort food.

There is a woman at work who intimidates me greatly. Or is it greatly intimidates me? See! I’m doubting my grammar now!!!

This woman, Sheba, is tall and thin while I am neither. She is really REALLY smart. But I think I am, too. She’s extraordinary at her job, but she has been here for more than 10 years. There are days when I think I am good at my job, but others when I think “How have I fooled people for so long and when am I going to be found out for the fraud that I am?”

Today is one of the latter days. Probably because I spent the morning in a meeting with Sheba and, predictably, came out of said meeting feeling like I should probably hang up my heels and go work at a real Gas ‘n Sip. It wasn’t pretty. I wanted to cry.

I spend a lot of time wallowing in self-doubt. I have no idea when this phenomenon started or what the cause of it is but I do know that going through life feeling like the dumbest woman on the planet is not working for me. (I think a strong contender for that title would be the woman who is trying to eat her way into being the fattest woman ever. I’m told you can actually go online and watch her eat. Um. Gross.) (But I digress.)

The reality is that I know that I am *not* stupid. I don’t know if I’m MENSA smart, but I do okay. I know that I am capable of many things. I also know that I am smarter than a lot of people I work with. Or maybe it’s better to say that I’m better at some things than they are and vice versa. So when self-doubt comes knocking, why can’t I just tell it that I’m not interested in hearing what it has to say today and wish it well? Why do I allow myself to get knocked down? Why is it SO easy to believe the bad stuff and SO difficult to believe the best?

Of course, true to form, I will now spend several days hours over-analyzing things to find out what is going on, only to not come up with anything or to get distracted and put it off until the next time. I would be willing to bet that most people feel like this at some point or another. But I wonder if I am different and feel this way more frequently than others. Is there any way to know?

I think I would like to be one of those women you see out who look like they have it all together – they look polished, they walk proudly and with a purpose, they have the “perfect” partner/job/car/home/life. But, in the same breath, I wonder if “she” really exists anywhere? No one has a perfect anything. I know that. And maybe “she” just has a huge wall or facade up that is masking her personal heartbreak. But, having the confidence to project that “I’m awesome, always” attitude, however briefly, would be kinda fun. I think.

Or maybe it would just be exhausting, and I should nap instead.


Oh, hello! Come on in and have a glass of wine. (Or whine. After today’s post, whine makes more sense.)

Me at the end of my day

I just finished another day at the Gas ‘n Sip. Another unfulfilling, suck day. I know, I know. How many times am I going to complain about it before I do something??

The point is, I *am* trying to do something about it. I have had my resume redone by a “Certified Resume Writer”. (Did you even know there was such a thing? I didn’t.) I have applied for no less than 5 jobs within the Gas ‘n Sip in the past 3 months. Nothing. I have applied for at least 5 outside of the Gas ‘n Sip. Nothing. I have even indicated that I will relocate. I don’t necessarily want to do that, because my parents are getting older and I would hate to miss something. But doing something is better than doing nothing.

*****

Recently, I made a reservation to go to Toronto for 3 days of meetings. I did this *after* confirmation that the meetings were set and to go ahead. The first day of meetings was scheduled for Monday at 9am. Therefore, I had to go up on Sunday. Pain in my… kneecap, but okay. I’ll do it. That Sunday is also the last hockey game of the season. F***!! But again, okay. It sucks, but I’ll do it. I called Herb, and told him that I wouldn’t be able to go to the game and he should give my ticket away. So, flight booked. Hotel booked. (You know where this is going, right?)

I get in today to an email telling me that “Oh, the meeting has to be changed.” M#(*^% F(#*^%@&$!!!!! YOU TOLD ME TO BOOK THE TRIP. YOU CAUSED ME TO CHANGE LONG TERM PERSONAL PLANS. AND NOW YOU TELL ME “Tee Hee! Just kidding. Come 2 weeks later.” Well, guess what. I THINK YOU SUCK! YOUR TIME IS *NOT* MORE VALUABLE/IMPORTANT/WORTHY THAN MINE.

I decided to *not* call them today to confirm a new date. I thought it might be less than constructive, given the steam coming out of my ears, and the fact that the top of my head had blown off.

*****

Also today, I went online to try to take another loan from my 401(k). I took one at the end of the year 2009, in a time of need. I’ve reached that time again. Well, turns out I can only have 1 loan at a time, and if I want a loan, I have to pay off the first one. Well, hmm… IF I HAD THE MONEY TO PAY OFF THE 1ST LOAN, I WOULDN’T NEED A LOAN, NOW WOULD I??? So I called them and asked if I could just increase the amount of my current loan? No. *sigh* Great. Well, no groceries for Kitten until next payday. And just ignore those overdrafts.

*****

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on other blogs about people getting frustrated with branding and statistics. It makes me sad that so many people are affected by that. There is a small part of me that would love to have a corporation sponsor my blog – see the above rant about needing money – but given all the angst that these other well-respected bloggers have to deal with, it might be a case of “be careful what you wish for.” I hope these bloggers don’t stop posting. I love their posts and their words and their ideas.  Personally, I am so tickled when I get *any* readers, that I know I won’t have to worry about any of that for a long time (if ever).

*****

One of the posts I referred to above mentioned contests on Twitter that no one seems to win. I’ve noticed that too, and it pisses me off. I have participated in a couple of contests, but I think I’m done. It’s all a scam. People suck.

*****

Okay… I’m done whining and complaining. I’m sorry about all the yelling up above. I’ll be better soon.Nothing a good night’s sleep won’t help. But if you know anyone who wants to sponsor my blog and pay me pots and pots of money so that I can stop selling my books for extra cash, have them email me at seamusandmaggie(at)yahoo(dot)com. (*heh*)


Oh, hello! Come on in and have a cocktail. And pretzels.

I was so proud of myself this week. I installed a new light fixture in my bedroom. All by myself! And I didn’t get electrocuted. Much. There was a little shock that felt like when you put your tongue on a battery. It scared me enough to go down and turn off the socket before I continued. But, YAY me! I did it. It’s not perfect. But the light works.

*****

Thursday,  I had to go to New Jersey for a meeting. So, yeah, the Gas ‘n Sip spent more than $750 for a flight to send me to NJ for a meeting that took an hour and a half. That amount doesn’t take into account that I needed to hire a car, and buy lunch and dinner. Ridiculous. I absolutely could have called in for this meeting.

So I got up at 4:30 and flew down on a 7:15 flight. I got there at about 9. Then had to wait around until 2:30 for the meeting. I tried to sign in to get some work done, but the connectivity in the building was, um, lacking. So I gave up and just waited. Then, the only available flight was at 8:50, so I didn’t get home until about 10:30. Needless to say – Friday? I was a walking zombie. I must have left my productivity in the seat pocket in front of me on the plane.

*****

Today, it was 55 degrees out. It felt so much like spring outside. It was so wonderful to feel that. And I was able to open a window and air out some of the winter mustiness. That was great too. I went out for a walk at the high school track even, just to air out the winter mustiness in my lungs too. So great to think that spring is almost here.

*****

So, that was my week in a nutshell. I’m sleepy now though, so I’m going to get a good book and snuggle into clean sheets.

Do something good for you this week, okay?


Oh, hello! Come in and have some yogurt.

I’ve had a couple of days off. I love not working. I would love to get paid for not working.

*****

So, recently, I hired someone to fix my resume. I have known for a long time that my resume sucks. I have never known how to write a good one. There really should be a class in high school or college that teaches people how to write resumes.

Turns out, the man I hired is a “Certified Resume Writer”. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’ve had to go back through my past employment and describe in detail where I worked and what I did there. For the past 15 years. OMG. I don’t even remember the names of some of the companies. I did the best I could. I hope he can help. Then I will be able to get a job that will allow me to shine.

*****

I recently decided to get serious about changing my life. I’ve mentioned that before here. In light of that, I have started another blog to document my weight loss. I think that by documenting it, I will be held better accountable. Don’t bother looking for it. I’m not linking to it here, and I’ll never mention it again here.

*****

My nephew is a basketball player. He is a sophomore in HS. And he plays for the varsity team. He is the only one. Well, there is another sophomore on the team, but he doesn’t play. My nephew plays quite a bit. Of course, I am extremely biased, but he is really good. He needs to bulk up a little bit but next year? He’ll be really dominant. He wants to play for Duke. I hope he does.

*****

As much as I love the twins, sometimes they drive me crazy!! I have been trying to write, but they keep walking all over me trying to nap. Most of the time I love it, but sometimes? OY!


Oh, hello! How are you? Come in and have a muffin.

I really suck when it comes to blogging lately. I really meant to do better in the new year, but pfft. No matter what, I’m definitely more prolific than Lesley. But she makes up for it with funny stories and awesome Photoshop work. So, she wins.

*****

One of the blogs I follow is Perez Hilton. (Don’t judge me.) Most of the time it’s stupid, but it seems that he is trying to do good by posting a link to a good cause every day. One that caught my eye was Bosom Buddies. It is a bra recycling program, currently in the Arizona area, but how cool is it that these women can get something so basic. Granted, most days, I curse the creator of bras and wish I had the bewbs of a 12-year-old boy so that I would never have to wear one. But then you see a woman wandering around, the girls swinging free, down near her naughty bits, and think: OH DEAR COD! PUT A BRA ON!! But what if she doesn’t have one? This will help.

*****

We are doing a Biggest Loser type thing at work. It’s building wide and it benefits the American Heart Association. People who want to take part pay $10 and it runs from Feb 1 to May 7.  There is no prize except for a thinner you. I have written here before about my weight and how I currently reside in a larger body. I thought I would give it a go. And if I end up losing only 10 pounds? I’ll be 10 pounds lighter. And that’s a good thing.

*****

I had to go to Toronto for work last week. Yup. The Gas ‘n Sip is going big time. I like Toronto. I think it’s a very pretty city. Granted, I would like to be able to go and spend some time there, and see it for more than 36 hours from inside an office building, but still. I traveled up with Mrs Nun. She’s very nice, but where I tend to like solitude and quiet, she is very outgoing and a bit of a loud talker. It made for some uncomfortable silences. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and cranky and wanted nothing more than to not talk to anyone for days.  Okay, that’s not new for me, but it was intensified after this trip.

*****

What else? Um, I think I’m going to like my new boss. The Leg Jiggler is still around, but he is SO MUCH more tolerable now that I don’t actually work for him. And my new boss has already given me more praise in 3 weeks than TLJ did in 3 years. Yes, that has a lot to do with my opinion of her, but who doesn’t like to hear “We are happy you are on this team and want you to stay” now and then.

*****

I guess that’s it for now. Check out Bosom Buddies. What a nice thing to do.


Oh, hello! Help yourself to coffee.

Last May, I shredded my credit cards. I still have balances, but I now have no plastic. Well, other than my debit card. Yay for me, but OMG, do you have any idea how difficult it is to live these days with no credit card?

Why did I do that? It really had become not a choice, but a necessity. For the past several years before I took this drastic step, I had come to rely on my plastic in a really irresponsible way. In fact, I was living well beyond my means and had felt myself sinking and sinking. It got scary. So, now, almost a year later, I am sucking it up, buying only what I can pay for out of my checking account, and paying down my debt.

Looking back, I think I have been a “spender” for as long as I can remember. I am definitely not a saver. I wish I was, but I like pretty things and shopping used to make me feel better. I’m sure I could come up with some deep psychological explanation about my childhood, and blaming my parents, and the mailman, but guess what? It’s my fault. I can’t blame anyone but myself for being in the situation I now find myself. I wanted to have the nice stuff and all the clothes and blah blah blah. I’m sure it made me feel better to have people comment on the nice bag or blouse or shoes.

So finally, in May 2009, after I hit a fabulous sale at Cole-Haan for my birthday – I got a $400 purse for $59! (I love coupons!) – I went home, plugged in my shredder, and bzzzzzzzzzzzz, my cards were gone. I was sad and scared and excited and freaked all at the same time. What do I do now??  Again, I needed to suck it up and grow up.

So that is what I have done. I called the credit card companies, told them to close my accounts, negotiated a lower rate, and have picked away at the balances. A few have been paid off already. (YAY!) A few will take longer. Either way, my goal is to be debt free by this time next year.

How am I doing that? I am selling my stuff. On eBay. On Amazon. To anyone who wants to buy it. No, I’m not getting nearly what I paid for it, but selling stuff is doing a few things for me. It is bringing in some money, while at the same time, thinning out all the “stuff” I have in my house. As much as I would like to think otherwise, I was a really materialistic person before. ( I say before, because now, I can’t buy anything! hee hee). Some of the stuff I have let go has made me sad to part with. Some of it had really good memories or a story attached to it. Other stuff? Seeya! Good riddance. What the heck was I thinking.

Would I change something if I had to do it again? Would I do it again? Of course, hindsight what it is, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into this situation to begin with. But, yes, I’m glad I shredded my cards. I find myself thinking about each purchase now – is this something I *need* or want? Is it something I absolutely love? Will it improve my life? Will it be something I will have/use/love 3- or 6- or 12-months from now? This sort of screening process has really cut down on impulse shopping. I can actually go into Target now without coming out with bags full of stuff that I “had to have”. I get what I need, and move on. It’s nice.

What would I change? I would actually keep one card, for emergencies. Or travel. Recently, my job responsibilities have changed and I need to travel and that involved booking plane tickets and hotel rooms. One would think that the Gas ‘n Sip would give corporate cards for those who need to travel, but that’s not the case. We have to use our own, then get reimbursed. And, while it may not be an issue for some, I don’t typically keep $1,000+ in my checking account on the off-chance that I might need to go somewhere. It has made for a couple of awkward phone calls. So I wish I had kept 1 card for that type of thing. But otherwise? It’s nice to not dread checking the mail. Or to leave a store and think “Well, okay, how am I going to pay for that when the bill comes??”

Growing up is hard! Oh, and by the way. The purse I bought myself at Cole-Haan last year? I still have it, still use it, still love it. It’s been the only one I have used, mostly, for almost a year. So that was a great $59 I spent! \o/


Oh, hello! Come over here and get yourself some Christmas cookies. I haven’t been around for so long and now you all look a little peckish.

So, where have I been? I’m glad you asked.

After a heart-hurting post about Madame X, I needed a break. I couldn’t face writing some blather that meant nothing to me or to anyone else. I had had such high hopes to complete NaBloPoMo AND NaNoWriMo, but ended up not finishing either. I did cheer others on to success, albeit from my sofa, while in the fetal position.

I learned that I missed you all. (*heh* I say “you all” like there are millions of you who actually read this dreck). I thought about writing something, but just couldn’t do it. K2Kid none-too-subtly asked me if I had given up blogging altogether. (*waves* at K2Kid while also giving *stinkeye* and thanking her for the kick in the rear.)

So here I am. What’s new?  Let’s see:

1. I am no longer under the Leg Jiggler’s domain. He has been reallocated to a different group, as have I. Hoorah!! He is still here, in the next cell, but the dynamic has changed. I now report to someone up in Canadia. Yep, that’s right, everyone’s favorite Gas ‘n Sip keeps getting bigger!  Now you can call us the Gas ‘n Sip, Eh?

2. Out of the blue, my friends at MegandAli.com gifted me a hat to say thank you for “reviewing” them. I was so surprised, even though I secretly know that Mr. Meg (aka Frank) wants me to do some free advertising for them. But that’s okay. I really do like their stuff, and if my wearing a hat helps them to be successful, I’m happy to do that. The hat itself? A basic baseball cap, soft, with their familiar peace sign on the front. I wore it on one of my trips to Canadia, in fact. It was comfy and didn’t end up causing my head to itch like so many other hats can. Mr. Meg told me they have to update the site, but check out the hats if you get a chance.

3. I am not sure I have ever mentioned this before, but I hate, *hate*, the holidays. Hate. I wish I didn’t, but I honestly don’t remember a truly happy one. People get SO stressed, and SO ugly, and SO cranky at this time of year. There is pressure to have a *perfect* tree/house/outfit/family/dog/iguana, and it becomes just another chore. Plus, the fact that the stores start with the Christmas-related crap as early as July or August. Really? I would love nothing more than to make it just another day, with a pleasant family meal, where we get together and have fun with a game or something. No pressure. No “jeez, did I get everyone the “right” gift?” No “have I sent out the cards?” ENOUGH! Enough of the commercialism. I mean, really. Hey, stores: if you can “mark stuff down” by some percentage for “holiday sales”, chances are IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE TO BEGIN WITH!!! (I have to stop my rant here. My sinus pressure is killing me, and this rant and thinking about the holidays is giving me a headache. I’ll revisit the topic when I feel better. Maybe.)

4. I had myself another Madame X breakdown last night. I’m not sure where that came from because, as far as I know, nothing has changed about her condition. But, there I was anyway, in a pile on my bed, sobbing, nearly suffocating, and thinking about how much my life will be “less” without her there. Today, I am exhausted with very pretty, puffy, tired eyes trying to look at it from the perspective of how much better my life has been because she has been in it, and what a joy it has been to have her there, and with complete comfort that she will be looking out for me once the inevitable happens. Someone please keep reminding me of that.

5. The Biggest Loser. Yeah, I didn’t do my recap of the last 2 shows. A few reasons for that: 1. my meltdown; 2. no one read them; 3. I didn’t feel like it. A new season starts January 5, and I’ll be watching it. Without my computer.

I guess that’s it for now. I feel like I am starting this blog thing over from scratch. Baby steps. But I will try to not leave again for so long. I really did miss you.


Oh, hello! Chicken and veggie tacos tonight. Soft shells. So good. Eat up.

Something was brought to my attention today. I just told you about the fabulous t-shirts you can get over at megandali.com and that site was created by Mr. Meg, aka my coworker, Frank. Turns out, if you tell someone that you are going to hype his wife’s business on your blog, they check it out to make sure you don’t say something bad. Whoopsie!

Well, despite the fact that in that post, I told Frank to NOT read anything else, Mr. Nosey-parker did. (Giving Frank the *stinkeye*). It was there he found out that I referred to him as Frank, the napkin dispenser filler. (Jeez. It’s his job. What am I supposed to do? Lie?) RUDE.

Then Frank pointed out that I didn’t introduce the whole team of freaks with whom I work at the Gas ‘n Stuff.  I thought I wouldn’t because I don’t know that I want to bring work to here. But, in case I ever do want to discuss my day, I think it might be a good idea.  So, without further ado, I give you my team: (think “Clerks” ( “I wasn’t even supposed to be on today!”) mixed with “Office Space” (“Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a MO-ment”):

The Leg Jiggler – You’ve heard about him a lot. Nice guy, but he drives me batsh*t crazy. I have no doubt that he knows he drives me crazy. I very likely drive him crazy too. And not in a good way.

Frank – the napkin dispenser filler. He likes to pick on me and crush my spirit. Then, he says, he builds me back up. I’m still waiting for that part, but…. moving on.

Velma – you’ve heard about her. She is the one who convinced me to try composting. Always happy. Always doing *something* outside of work.

Aubrey and Wesley – you’ve met them too. They are co-chief gas pumpers. Wesley and his wife just had the most adorable baby. Those who know me, know I don’t say that lightly. I’m not a fan of babies, as a rule. But this little munchkin is precious. Aubrey is awesome and one of those people who you *know* you would have hung out with in high school.

The Friar – I have lately been working with her more than others. She is a TALKER. Seriously, sista can talk a cat off a tuna wagon. But she makes me laugh. Plus, she has a great dog.

Italia – this man is so unbelievably brilliant at his job that it’s scary. I am completely intimidated by him, and I’m fairly certain he thinks I am a moron. I’ve decided the problem is that he is SO smart, and knows his job SO well, that he cannot “dumb” it down enough for normal people to understand. He can’t think like a normal person.

Carla – she is lovely. Spanish and sweet and funny.

Mingo – I’m convinced that there is more to this woman. There is no doubt in my mind that, outside of work, there is a whole “Bizarro Mingo” who will rock it out. But at work? Still waters.

Lovely Little Lady – I LOVE this woman. She is the sweetest, quietest, loveliest lady I know. She is gorgeous, and has gorgeous children and lives in a gorgeous house. Yeah. I pretty much want to be her.

Whew, there are more. But I’ll stop now. That’s enough. I’m tired. And I want another taco.

Happy, Frank? *stinkeye*