Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: work

Oh, hello! Have some chicken stew. Homemade.

So, I wanted to tell you all about a very cool little enterprise. I happen to work at the Gas ‘n Stuff with Meg’s husband, so I have been hearing about this little company for a few years.

Meg and Ali

These t-shirts are, in a word, GORGEOUS!  The cotton is soft, and the appliques are made from fabulous fabric.  The best part is that every t-shirt is unique. You and your friend might both order the brown long-sleeve with the blue peace sign. But, while the blue might be of similar fabrics, they won’t be in the same order or strips of the same size.

See what I’m talking about?:

This photo belongs to

I first saw the shirts a few years back a one of the summer festivals. The company was smaller then, but the level of quality was very high. These are not t-shirts that are just slapped together – even the stitching is beautiful.

The bad parts? In my opinion, the sizing is too small. Those of us who are built for comfort, not speed, can’t wear the shirts. Yes, I know there are several women “of size” who would wear a shirt that’s too small, but these are too nice to stuff oneself into. Based on that, I also think the price is a little high. I do think that if the sizes fit me, I would pay that. (Yes, I’ve already told the husband these things. He knows I’m “not thin” and also? Cheap.)

The good parts? Quality. Fabrics. NO SHIPPING CHARGE. Unique pieces. Also, no tax outside of Maine. Cool, right?

Future offerings, from what I’m told, will include hats (I can’t wait!!) and some of the fabrics themselves.  I can’t wait until the hats are offered. I’m definitely getting one of those.If I sewed? I would order some fabric too.

So, take a browse around the site, and see what you think. If nothing else, you will see pictures of my friend’s very pretty friends.

The holiday’s are coming. You could even think about buying some for your own very pretty friends.Just sayin’…

* I was not paid to write any of this. I think in the radio world, you could say “This was NOT a paid endorsement.” I told my friend that as soon as the site was up, I would tell all of you about his wife’s business. (Really, how could I get paid? Are they going to give me a t-shirt that would fit my cat?) I just thought that since I’ve seen the shirts, and know the quality, you might like them too.

**Now, if you are Meg’s husband, and you are checking in to see what I wrote? You can stop now. Nothing else I have ever posted on this site has any interest to you. Mmmmmkay??


Oh, hello. Come in and have a glass of port. It’s delightful.

I’m on vacation. Again. I know, right? It seems like I was just on vacation.

Now that the Gas ‘n Stuff is doing PTO, I get the equivalent of 7 weeks off. If we went back to regular vacation time, I would have 4 weeks vacation, 5 sick days, and 10 paid holidays. Same thing. But now I don’t have to take the day off for the random paid holidays like Columbus Day, or Flag Day, or Arbor Day. (Okay, so I didn’t ever really get those last 2 off, but you get my point.) I mean, I understand why we have a Veterans Day, or a Presidents Day or a MLK Day. But short of having any real celebrations, those are just a day to sleep in and do nothing. I would rather do that when I choose, not when someone tells me to.

I didn’t know if I would like this whole PTO thing, but I’ll be honest. It’s pretty good. When I choose to go into work on the “holiday”, usually no one else is there, so it’s kind of like a day off anyway! Win/win.

So what did I do today? I slept in, and snuggled with the twins. Then I read some of my book. Then I napped. (Reading is hard, yo!) Then I took the screen out of my front door and put in the storm glass. It’s officially winter when I do that. (Well, that and the fact that it’s friggin’ dark at 4:30.) Tomorrow, I’ll probably do more of the same.Well, that, and I need to go vote. Big question on the ballot this year is whether or not to repeal gay marriage in the state. Fingers crossed for that one. (And no, I’m not going to tell you which way I’m voting. Again. I’m pretty sure I made that clear before.)

Anyhoo. There really is no point to this post. Other than I get to tell you that I am on vacation. And to avoid humiliating myself further with NaNoWriMo and the fact that I wrote NOTHING towards that today. (Another chance for me to make myself feel like a failure. Good times.)

More wine?


PS: I just stood up and my foot is asleep. I hate that. Now it’s going to be up all night!

Oh, hello! Just tea today. I hope you don’t mind.

I started today with a plan for a post about how I don’t think I know how to have fun anymore, and to be all introspective and stuff. But, the joke was on me.

I woke up with a headache, but didn’t think too much about it, because I wake up EVERY day with a headache. So, you know. Whatever. I’ll get ready and go to work. When I get there, the leg jiggler is there “rocking” out to some random 80s tune on his iPod speakers. Kill me. The headache is getting worse, and that shit isn’t helping.

Once he knows I’m there, he decides to chat. A lot. About nothing. He’s already had 2 Mountain Dews by that time, and so he was on a caffeine buzz. Super. The head is pounding now. Full fledged migraine pulling into the station.

He finally goes away long enough so I can do something before our one-on-one meeting. You see, we have to have a meeting to further discuss what’s going on at the Gas ‘n Stuff. Because, even though we just merged with another company, they now want to feck up our department and move everyone to new jobs and new managers. (The good news: I soon won’t be reporting to the leg jiggler. The bad news: the new manager? unknown. And the job has not been posted yet.) So we’re meeting, and he’s being his usual self – you know the type of manager who asks you if you have questions, but when you do ask, they start in (again) talking all about themselves? Yeah. That’s him. So eventually, he gets around to criticizing my character again. (Not a constructive criticism, either. More of a “Yeah, I don’t care if you are 42 and this is how you’ve been for that long. Could you change everything about yourself? Because it doesn’t match what I think you should be. It has nothing to do with how you do your job – that’s fine. It’s just your personality. Thanks. That would help me out a lot.”) Cue the ugly cry. Super.

That finally ends, I go to my next meeting – on the phone, thankfully. Then I leave to take a migraine pill and nap because I can’t take it any more. I’m home, napping. Thing one is on my tum, thing two is right up against me. All napping. Lovely. The phone rings. It’s a head hunter. (YAY!) He wants my help to find SOMEONE ELSE FOR A POSITION FOR WHICH HE KNOWS I’M NOT QUALIFIED. AYFKM? You don’t have a job for me??? Of course you don’t. That might salvage the day.

So here I sit. The head is a little better. I still have to report to the leg jiggler until they hire someone new – very likely months away. I forgot to take my contacts out for my nap. And a head hunter DOESN’T want to hire me.

I think it’s official. I became Thursday’s bitch. I think I’ll go back to bed.

Oh, hello! Come in, sit down, have a sandwich.

How is it possible to go through life with a complete disregard of the people around you? Is it arrogance? Is it ignorance? Is it upbringing?

Here’s an example: my cell at the Gas ‘n Stuff is right outside a conference room. Daily, usually several times daily, the people who are using the room congregate outside the closed door as they await their turn, and carry on full volume conversations with people who are standing right beside them. Mine is not the only cell in this area, so I am not the only one affected by this. There is a sign up to remind conference room attendants that people are working and to have a little respect, but to no avail.

And if they get a call on their cell during the meeting? They come out and take the call in the hallway. We all know that people tend to speak louder while on a mobile. There are signs for that too. They stand right in front of the sign that asks them to take their calls elsewhere, and pay no mind.

The other example I’m thinking of is in the grocery store. The way I was raised, if you are walking in front of someone who is looking at something on the shelf, you say “Excuse me.” That’s just common courtesy. You are walking in front of them, so you excuse yourself. Easy.

I just cannot, and have never been able to, fathom how people can be so rude. I’m certainly old enough now that it should not surprise, nor bother, me. And yet the supreme arrogance and self-importance of people who completely disregard others baffles me. It also makes me sad that this is “normal” in our society.

Oh, hello! Have a Tootsie-Pop.

It’s Columbus Day. (I know, big whoop!) But it normally is a day where all the *important* businesses shut down and celebrate some city in Ohio. Whatev.  Since we here at the Gas ‘n Stuff switched to PTO this year, we no longer get all the holidays off. If we choose not to work, we have to take a PTO day. (If you aren’t familiar with PTO, it is where the company claims they are doing you a favor and gives you a lump of days to use for vacation, illness, bereavement, etc.) So, let’s see. A vacation day for some city in Ohio? Not so much. Not surprisingly, I’m one of the very few people at work today, and that suits me… just fine.

There is one other lady here in my department too. Velma is one that you would not normally think of as exciting, but sister has had a life!! She is always doing cool things and is certainly not letting life pass her by in any way. (Hang on. My point is coming.)

So Velma walked by and I started complaining about the rumor that we’re getting snow, and how I haven’t cleared the leaves off the lawn, and all my trees have not dropped all their leaves, and blah blah blah. I need to shut up, but that’s just how I roll. (Here comes the point.) Velma has convinced me to….. compost.

I know.

If you know me at all? You know, too. Kitten doesn’t like to do yard work.

But Velma was telling me all the benefits to it and how great it is for the environment and how easy it is and on and on. (Velma is a talker!) And I’m all “Yeah, but it will smell.” and “Yeah, but it will bring bugs.” (I know.) And she’s all *blink blink* and I could see the effort she was putting in to NOT roll her eyes at me. But the more she talked, the more it made sense.

So when I get home today, I’m going to take the 6 bags of Hosta leaves that I’ve cut back, and move them to the “Compost Corner” (I just now came up with that name) in the back yard. Then, when I tackle the leaves from the 3 ginormous maples in the yard (if the things ever decide to shed… *RUDE*), I’ll add to the pile.  Velma tells me this is “Brown Compost”. (I”m getting greener by the minute.) Food compost is known as “Green Compost”. IDK why.

I’m a little leery about doing the green composting. Because I’m pretty sure that *will* smell. Velma told me otherwise, but I’m pretty sure Velma is a little crazy. (Ok, she’s not.) (Yes, she is.) (Not really.)*nods*

So, now, you’re all “What’s the big deal you sissy? People have been composting forever. Big deal.” And I’m all “Don’t judge me!” The big deal is, as I mentioned above, that Kitten doesn’t like to do yard work. I almost bought a condo for the simple fact that I wouldn’t have to do yard work, but that’s a whole other story.

However, as I get older, I am more willing to recognize curb-appeal and pride of ownership, and I do want my teeny little doll house to look pretty. And I am more willing to make aesthetic changes to make it pretty. Well, you know, as long as it doesn’t take more than an hour once a week.  *heh*

How could this go wrong, you ask? I know me. It is highly likely that come next spring, I will go out to Compost Corner, and think “ICK! WTF was I thinking? And now I have this huge pile of ICK!” and I won’t have anyway to get rid of it. And I’ll have a huge pile of festering muck and… *shudder*… I can’t go on. But you know what I’m saying.

So, here is me, trying to do my part. I’m going to need encouragement from anyone who already composts. And sympathetic ears from anyone who will be kind enough to listen to my whine about my festering muck. And I will thank both groups in advance.

Oh, hello! Come in and have some cantaloupe. It’s really lovely.

 My intention was to write this (or similar) blog post Saturday night. However, life got in the way, so now it will be a “look back”, if you will.

As you may know, I was Slurpee Manager at the Gas ‘n Sip. For the past 2 years, an integration has been in the planning and execution so that we could merge with Pump ‘n Stuff to become one big giant gas conglomerate. The integration involved looking at every part of each company, determining who had better chip selections, who had prettier gas pumps, and who had more kick ass employees.

It became official this past weekend. The Gas ‘n Sip is no more. Pump ‘n Stuff is no more. We are now, collectively, known as Gas ‘n Stuff. We took on some of their stuff, they took on some of our stuff, and now we are all one. I’m still the Slurpee Manager.

So what’s the big deal? Part of this past weekend, all of the Slurpee staff, including the Leg Giggler and the two Co-Chief Pumpers was here, making sure that the Gas ‘n Stuff website was up and running correctly. (What? You would be amazed at the amount of Funyuns and Twizzlers we sell online. Don’t judge!)  We were here from about 10pm Saturday night until about 8:30 Sunday morning. It. Was. MISERABLE.

There was a lot of sitting, a lot of “check in” conference calls, pizza, muffins, soda. I spent a bunch of time walking to stay away, since I don’t do caffeine anymore. By 8:30, I was so tired; I honestly thought I was going to vomit. I don’t know how people stay up for 24+ hours at a time. It scares me that medical interns do it. I was hardly able to form a coherent sentence, let alone have the wherewithal to do something important. Like, diagnose a problem or deal with a medical trauma.

So, what have I learned from this? What wisdom did I glean from this experience? I learned that the Slurpee staff is better people than I am that they can stay awake for extended periods of time and not become raging bitches. (Yeah, I became a raging bitch. I’m not proud of it. But there it is.) I learned that the Slurpee staff is a group of extremely talented, extremely intelligent Intertube people who should be very proud of their abilities. I learned that while I, too, am very talented and intelligent, it is a different kind of intelligence that doesn’t really fit with this group. I spent a lot of time feeling completely out of my element; more like I was creating MORE work than completing any. I learned that I need to get serious about finding another home – hopefully within the Gas ‘n Stuff family, but outside of it, if necessary. And I learned that while becoming Gas ‘n Stuff is exciting and may present new opportunities, I will miss the simplicity of the Gas ‘n Sip. I will miss the relative smallness of it. The fewer chip choices. The plainer pumps. After 5 years, it seems like it will be Business As Usual, but it’s still a fairly significant change. And I think I am sad about it.

But, onward now. Look to the future. The change has happened and won’t un-happen. Get on board, or go elsewhere. I have new Slurpee cups to unpack.

Oh, hello! Come in for some scones and tea.

 So, clearly, I am 12 years old.

 I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that the Gas ‘n Sip is being merged with the Pump ‘n Stuff, becoming the Gas ‘n Stuff. Well, of course that means new signs.  Today, electric man is here to hook up the power to the sign, and of course the wiring is in the ceiling RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY SLURPEE STATION.

 That wouldn’t be so bad – I mean whatever, it has to be done and today is an easy day so far. But when I look up and all I see is ASS CRACK. BIG UGLY HAIRY ASS CRACK. Then? I have an issue. (Let’s be honest – if the ass in front of me belonged to… say…. Christopher Meloni, Nathan Fillion, Simon Baker, Michael Weatherly, Vincent D’Onofrio…. I wouldn’t have thought twice about drooling. But this one? Think red-neck meets beer gut. It wasn’t good…)

 And why am I 12? Because of course, when this hideous apparition appears in front of me? I giggle. And try to take a picture that I can Tweet. And ask for hazard pay.

 I’m so immature.

Oh, hello! Come on in and have a glass of port with me.


Back Story: One of the very few perks of working at the Gas ‘n Sip is that sometimes we get tickets. To sporting events. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that we had tickets to the Boston Red Sox for last evening.  Now, I am, admittedly, not the biggest fan of baseball. It’s fairly boring.  But, since I NEVER get offered a ticket, I thought it would be fun.  There were 4 tickets. I got 1 and the other 3 went to Frank, the napkin dispenser filler, and Aubrey and Wesley, the co-chief gas Pumpers.  Yep, me and the 3 boys get to hit the road for some baseball.

I rode down with Frank. He drives one of those froofy cars, FAST! I didn’t know that froofies went 80+ and got so close to the cars in front of them. 😮  What an exciting ride down. The Pumpers took Wesley’s car.

After that exciting ride, Frank and I stopped for 2 of these:

mmmm, beer

We finally go into the stadium, and these are our seats:

pavillion seats, first base line

Aubrey and Wesley were already there. Our seats? Rocked. We had servers. We didn’t need to schlep to the vendors. They came to us. I tried to take a picture of the menu, but it didn’t come out clearly. I could have gotten a lobster roll. Yum, right? $18.20. No. That is not a typo. Hotdog? $6.10. Energy drink? $8.10. French fries? $6.10.  Um, no thank you. I’m good.

Here are some pictures of Fenway:

The Outfield

The Green Monster

The maintenance guys making the infield pretty again for the players

And here is a picture of the shmev in front of us with a truly tragic hat:

No, this isn’t one of the Pumpers. But it is truly tragic.

So, why am I freaking out? Well, the Pumpers found my blog. Wesley said, “That’s what you get for putting stuff out on the Interwebs”. Yeah, there is a HUGE difference between virtual strangers reading my deep dark secrets, and boys I see EVERY FRIGGIN DAY reading it. They don’t need to see when I write a post about me being lonely. They don’t need to hear me bitch about the Leg Jiggler – they KNOW the Leg Jiggler!!!

I’ve made a deal with them. They promise secrecy in exchange for free Blue Raspberry Slurpees. I countered that if the Slurpee machine really does go away, I would keep them in orange cheese-flavored food product if I move to the Nacho Bar or the Wiener Wheel.  Deal.

So, you phuckers. I know you are reading this, and you know who you are. If I get back to the Gas ‘n Sip on Monday, and there is any indication of my having a blog and/or working at the G’nS, I will grab you both by the short hairs and make you scream like 12-year-old girls. MMMMKAY? (But if you made me a new, slammin’ Gas ‘n Sip name tag, I’d like to see it, please. 🙂 ) (Oh, and my girl Lesley, over at Um…What? would like one too, please.)


Oh, hello! We’re having dinner this evening – barbecue pulled pork, brown rice, steamed Brussel sprouts. Dig in!

Recently, I wrote a post about being lonely, which if I may say so was a big hit. That wasn’t why I wrote it, but I’m thankful for the praise I’ve received.

That said, my post tonight is NOT about me being lonely, but it is about me being restless. Restless in my life. Restless in my job. I feel like I would love to shake things up and move away and change jobs. But of course, if that were to happen, I would freak out and cry and not want to go. Because, as the saying goes, wherever you go, there you are. Moving away and changing jobs won’t cure my restlessness. And can I tell you why? Can I?

BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M RESTLESS!! If I knew that, I could fix it. Maybe I look around and see others making changes or maybe it’s because things at the Gas ‘n Sip are changing, and I’m either jealous or anxious or scared. (Things at the Gas ‘n Sip ARE changing. I believe they are getting rid of the Slurpee Station, so I may end up at the Nacho Bar or on the Wiener Wheel. I think I would really like the Wiener Wheel – I would totally bogart some of that melty orange cheese from the nachos for the wieners. Sales will skyrocket!! More about that at another time.)

What I think I need to do is to spend a little time trying to figure out what is bothering me. What is it that is making me fidgety? Why am I unsatisfied? What am I unsatisfied with? Oh, these huge existential philosophical conundrums with which I am dealing. Sometimes it’s hard to to be me. Wait, conundrums? Conundra? Hmmm. I think I need to go check that.

Oh, hello! We’re starting with sapphire and tonic this evening.  Can I get you one?

I? Am officially on vacation!!!!!!!!!!!! For 2 weeks!!!!! The Gas ‘n Sip can suck it for the next two weeks. Then when I get back, we will be about a month away from merging with Pump ‘n Stuff and will become The Burger Mart. I found out yesterday that once that happens, I may or may not still be the slurpee manager. JMJ. Will things ever be settled??

I don’t know yet what I’m going to be doing, but there will be a HUGE amount of reading and relaxing. In fact, I think I will start now. So for the next 2 weeks? SUCK IT, GAS ‘N SIP! SUCK IT HARD!!