Friday, May 30, 2014

And Done!

In what I'm sure was not at all a subconscious message, I forgot to set my alarm last night. I woke up thinking the alarm must be about to go off any minute, but after lying there for a few minutes, I looked at the clock and, oh, I see, I got an extra hour of sleep. Nice! And there was no need to rush in, as I didn't have a report to work on anyway, so it was the easiest kind of oversleeping.

I approached the last week of this job curious about something: what, if anything, would they do to send me off? In one way, I didn't care, given how I feel about the job and the company (more on that below) and some of the people, but on the other hand, in the past they have at least ordered pizza for the departing, and to be honest it would have hurt my feelings, albeit slightly and briefly, if I didn't rate that much. While I waited to find out, there was some consolation in the thought that this was the last time I'd have to wait for that kind of last-minute planning. At least, I hope the new job won't have that problem! I'm sure it will have its problems, but I'm ready for some different ones.

At any rate, late Wednesday afternoon the boss sent out an e-mail that lunch would be ordered on Thursday, which was really the last possible day given the sparse attendance typical in the office on Fridays (last week, my boss and I were the only ones who came in; this week, there ended up being five total). There was some further suspense in terms of what it would be (since the message did not specify pizza) and if it, too, would be ordered at the last minute. The answer was pizza (which is fine) and "not quite the last minute," as the boss came out looking for menus at 10:30 Thursday morning (I had put the menus I'd accumulated out on the empty desk next to me last week, in a symbolic "not my job any more" move). So, no, as a couple of people asked, I did not have to order my own celebratory lunch.

The pizza was good (and I had leftovers for lunch again today, why not), but it did turn out not to be the last last-minute waiting I'd do. The day that I gave my notice, two weeks ago, I talked on the phone to the woman in HR in NY, who said that she would set up a time for an exit interview closer to my end date. Ten days ago, my official end date was set, the boss notified her, and she responded, so she knew. And yet, guess what she didn't do? Yeah, big surprise. I had even e-mailed her last week, with a follow-up this week, and never heard back. Typical. She finally called me, today, at 12:20, to address the question, but you know, kind of last-minute. She scheduled a call for us at 1, when it turned out that she had a whole exit interview form to go through, which took half an hour; I'm so glad I brought my knitting in with me, to get through the excitement of rating things by "excellent, good, fair, or poor" and so on.

How will I not miss working for this company? Let me count the ways.
  • The many general "quirks" of the company, about which I feel I should remain vague here, but lo, they are myriad, and clearly "procrastination" and "unprofessional" are among the words that could be used. (Also, "templates," if you really want to see me boil over, is an excellent trigger.)
  •  The physical problems of the office, with its temperature issues and its turning lights on in empty rooms and its water dispenser that takes 30 seconds to fill a cup.
  • The specific quirks of my boss, who I NEVER HAVE TO SEE AGAIN, NEVER NEVER NEVER, ALLELUIA, do you hear the angels singing or is that just me.
When it was time to take my things out to the car, I was a little giddy. Woo! Done! Last time!

When you leave a job, you leave behind a legacy of sorts, whether just of memories of you, or of notes used to train new employees, or any number of things. One of the legacies I'm leaving behind is from my plant, Seymour, who left cuttings with half a dozen people. I told them I expect to see a jungle by this time next year.
Seymour awaits his new home. As do I. It would be nice to get some time off in between, but this way, I won't have time to get worked up about it. And that's probably a good thing.

Off to do laundry and eat ice cream. Not together. Happy Friday! Happy, happy, happy.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reporting on a New Toy

I have a story to tell, and it is in part a story of how something quite old (within the context of my life, that is) is helping me handle the frustrations of something quite new.

The old thing is this: a Sandra Boynton pillowcase, from the 1980s, which I recently got on eBay.

I have noticed recently that when I get frustrated with some snafu or problem, I find myself raging, "Nothing is ever simple! Why can't something be simple for once?" My hope is that this pillowcase will remind me to laugh at myself when this urge strikes. I saw the pillowcase recently, coincidentally, just two days after having vented that exact line, and here is how I got to that point.

When I got this new job, I decided that this was the moment, the turning point for me, Ms. late-late-late technology adopter, when I was ready to pay the price to have a tablet that doesn't rely on wifi. I've had the iPad for over a year now, and have grown accustomed to a level of access I didn't have before, to the point where (finally) it would frustrate me when I was out, out of wifi range or not carrying the iPad, and couldn't look up my calendar, or something on a map, or check for a nearby store, or email that I was running late, or some such thing. And, here's the key, frustrate me to the point that I'm willing to pay.

The first step was to buy a tablet. I knew that I wanted a smaller one than the iPad, which is a bit heavy/cumbersome for carrying around, and my choice was vastly simplified by the fact that a tech-savvy friend had told me last year that she preferred the Nexus 7 to the iPad. I checked in with her to see if she still felt that way, and she did, so I bit the bullet and bought one.

It arrived last week, and I started to figure out how it works exactly, since it does of course differ from what I'm used to*. It has wifi as well, so I played around with it a bit at home, getting frustrated at times, but overall sure that yes, having this was what I wanted. And last Friday, I took it to the Verizon store to get them to make it work. To take my money, essentially, and wave the magic wand, poof!
*I'm sure this will come up again and again

Let me add that on Friday, I made five stops after work, and something went wrong at every single one (for a start, I'd only planned four stops). Not always big things, but it was one of the most annoying errand runs ever (there's a reason I didn't blog on Friday night, since I couldn't turn my mood around, or summon much beyond "Nothing is ever simple!"). And the guys at Verizon really pissed me off.

I was thinking about it afterward, and what they reminded me of is car salespeople, pushy and smarmy and untrustworthy and just so annoying. I handed over the N7, and the response was, "What is this?" Well, I don't know, maybe the inch-high letters on the back that say "nexus" would be a clue? "Well, we sell a Nexus 7, but it doesn't look like THAT." It took them a while to find the slot for the sim card, then it took them four tries to log into their own system (which, I get that tech problems happen everywhere, but it was kind of ironic), and finally they announced that no, they couldn't take $30 a month from me, this thing doesn't work with their system. But they could get me a free tablet...! I said no thank you and walked out. Perhaps instead of car salesmen, they were more like drug pushers lurking in an alley.

Here is what I'd like to know: why can't the specs for these things be written in English? Instead of lines of codes and acronyms, why can't the description say, "This will work with X Carrier but not Y Carrier"? Would that be so difficult? I just wanted to carry the internet in my handbag, but of course it isn't simple.

I want to the AT&T store last night, though, and the experience was the exact opposite. Night and day! The salesman was friendly and helpful, not pushy, suggested I start with the lowest amount of data (aka the cheapest plan) but that I could always trade up, or down, depending on what I wanted ... it was exactly what I wanted, how I wanted it. He asked about my cell phone plan, and let me know what I could get from them, and what it would cost, how it's a little more for this, but then lower for that ... not at all pushy, just informative. Amazing! He even showed me the new phones I could choose between, which he tactfully called "texting phones" and not "dumb phones" as I call mine. I may very well switch my phone, but I walked out with a tablet that could connect, which was what I wanted, for less than I thought it would cost, and not even tied in to a contract ... amazing.

By the way, now that I finally have one, I'm sure that any day now, the world will switch to the next big thing. Maybe implantable devices, direct to the brain. Maybe Google Glass will just be everywhere. All I know is, if I'm climbing on it, the voyage is almost done. Consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And Two Days Left

Last night was a quietly successful evening. I stopped at the post office and the grocery store on the way home; put the recycling out as I brought the groceries in; got together things I needed for tonight; blogged; petted the demanding kitty; and got back on the bike, after the weekend of I-don't-think-so broke up my previous streak of six days in a row. And then I went to bed early. Yay, me. Tonight was an errand, a quick dinner, the chiropractor, and then my alternate knitting group, which I haven't made it to in months, what with one thing and another. Carlos isn't thrilled with my absence, but you can't please everyone. Time to turn the hockey game on and see how LA is doing.

Although I haven't been weeping into my pillow over the Bruins' premature playoff exit, I will admit to being pleased at how the Rangers are beating Montreal (not last night, but overall). They're not making it look totally easy, which would be embarrassing, but they're getting it done (assuming last night's Montreal win was an exception, which I am assuming). And LA is beating Chicago too, so far, which given last year's results also pleases me. I am winning the consolation playoffs.

The Bruins, meanwhile, released their video thanks to the fans, which was mostly enjoyable to watch (if slightly bittersweet).

Nice to see all the former Bruins who dropped the puck through the season pop up again!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Post-Migraine; Possible Cat

I'd almost expect to be more angry about losing the long weekend to the migraine, but what I really feel is resigned: eh, that sucked, whatever. When my boss asked if I had a nice weekend, I just said "fine" and asked about hers, because I didn't want to get into it. In similar conversations in the past, I've said I had a migraine and she's asked "why" I had one, as if there is any "why" about it. Today I didn't feel like beating a dead horse. It's not like any one thing I did or didn't do caused it; they just happen. I mean, if you spend a long time in the sun without sunblock, you get a sunburn: it's cause and effect. Migraines aren't like that. One thing I am doing, though, is going back to weekly chiropractor visits, instead of every other week, which may help. Or not. No way to know for sure. We move on.

I did manage to visit my friend on Saturday afternoon as planned, and meet her cat; I don't think I've even written about it yet, with the weeks of all-consuming job search etcetera and then the migraine, but she contacted me a little while back to propose that her lonely cat might be a good companion for my lonely cat. Hmmm!

Belmont is 15 (they got her when she was young, so unlike Carlos, who could be anything from about five up, hers is a near-certain age), grey and white, and a people-lover. They had to put down their other cat earlier this year for health reasons; I asked if the two cats had been close and my friend said, "I wouldn't have said so!" They weren't Pan-and-Harold-like snuggle buddies, apparently. But she's acting lonely now, much as Carlos has since Miri left*, and given that my friend has two kids, a three-year-old and a three-month-old, getting another cat right now is understandably not in their plans. They aren't trying to get rid of Belmont, but hoping to find her a place where she could be happier, with more attention and laps, and they will take her back if she and Carlos don't get along. Sounds like the perfect test, doesn't it? They're going to take her to the vet to get her up to date on shots, and then we'll try it. Cat dating, as one of my coworkers called it, and we discussed having Carlos fill out a form of what he's looking for.
*About which I honestly still feel relieved

The other thing I did on Saturday, or perhaps I should say tried to do, was go to another friend's house for a family-style dinner for a six-year-old's birthday. It was great to see everyone, despite how I was feeling, but I only stayed an hour, leaving when my stomach informed me that not only was I not going to be eating any time soon*, but that being in a room with other people eating was also not the best idea. Ugh. I got home at 7:01 and was in bed at 7:02, not what I had planned for the evening.
*I weigh myself semi-regularly, and my weight stays pretty stubbornly stable, so being down 2.5 pounds on Monday is pretty clearly related to the Weekend of Head and Stomach.

That could be said of the whole weekend, couldn't it? Largely Not As Planned. Not to mention that apparently, my three days of being mostly home and mostly in bed or on the couch gave Carlos delusions of what life was like, and when I got home tonight, he bitched mightily about his terrible state of neglect.

Poor thing.
Doesn't he look neglected?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Better, but woooo

Today has been a headache hangover day. If I felt like this out of the blue, I wouldn't be happy: I'm kind of woozy, lightheaded, no energy. But! My head didn't hurt! My stomach barely burbled! After Saturday and Sunday, this is vast improvement. It sucks to have essentially lost the weekend, but there we are. At least it seems to be blowing out now, and I look forward to the last four days of the old job, which is pretty damned exciting. Also, I was able to get to stitch and bitch tonight, and show them my two-in-one sock, and catch up generally. It was good.

I'm wiped out, though. Probably better get to bed soon. I hope your weekend was better than mine!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Big Achievements

I think I wrote about the time a few months ago when one of my coworkers got sick, and as he was getting ready to leave, he said, "It's so weird, my head hurts." And I just stared at him, because I've been getting migraines for about thirty years now, and I can't even imagine what it would be like to find head pain "weird". 

I was thinking about this today, the second day of this migraine, when my big accomplishments have been:

1. Eating something. I didn't eat much yesterday, as this has been a headache with strong stomach involvement. But after testing things out with crackers this morning, I actually made scrambled eggs, with a potato and a little bacon. I had to go right back to bed to sleep it off, but it's an achievement.
2. Cutting my fingernails. I had trouble getting my contacts out last night, which is the true sign that they have to be cut. (Carlos did not approve. Longer nails scritch better.)
3. Getting photos off my camera, and emailing them around. Seriously. It's an accomplishment.

Not much, right? But, literally, all I could do. I am slumped on the couch now, hoping I won't have to go back to bed. My body does not seem to recognize how much rest I've gotten (of the last 22.5 hours, I've been in bed for about 16 of them), probably because it isn't that restful with this head, and I'm basically limp. But if I don't fall asleep, lying there gets very boring. Maybe I can find something stupid on TV. And hope for better tomorrow.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Maybe. Just Maybe

I have a headache, so I'm only just functioning today, but I have enough brain power to suspect that maybe, possibly, perhaps, I could stop buying sock yarn for a while.
And in particular, blues and greens.
Of which I have more than all other colors combined.
Although, on the flip side, I look at this and think that I won't be running out any time soon. And that's not a bad feeling.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

...Not Stressed?

It's been kind of weird this week to have my elevated stress levels drop into the normal range. Knowing that my time at the current job is finite makes it easier to shake off annoyances there, and I haven't started really fussing about starting the new job yet (that will probably pick up next week), other than to consider my work wardrobe with a fresh eye. But instead of trying to fit in applications and interviews, and so on, and angsting about not hearing at this stage or that, as well as with the removal of Bruins stress, it's been ... peaceful.

Hockey-specific-ly, I'm kind of watching the remaining games, but in a half-assed way. Certainly, not staying up late for them, but also not bothered by that. I had the Chicago-LA game on last night, and when Chicago scored to make it 2-0 in the second period, I turned it off (mostly because I hate those frigging horns, not just Chicago's, but everyone's). When I read this morning that LA came back to win 6-2, I was surprised, and impressed, but not a bit upset that I missed it. I mean, it would have been fun to watch, but I was tired, and the valued the sleep I got far more. Tonight is NY-Montreal, and I'll have that on, but again, likely won't make it to the end. I'm okay with that. (Although, go Rangers.)

Carlos has requested a place in the photo of the day, and who am I to argue?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And How Was the Knitting, You Ask?

Last night's knitting was pretty peaceful, on the couch with my sidekick purring beside me. Pictures to come, but in words:
  • I picked up the rest of the gusset stitches on the purse sock, so it is ready to be good on-the-go knitting again.
  • I did up the toe of the bike sock, so that pair is officially done. So many hours on the bike!
  • I cast on the 2-in-1 socks again, carefully, and while I admit the yarn may not work out as perfectly in the color-change arena as one with more colors would, it felt like the best option at the time and I'm going to see how it goes. The ribbing is extra fiddly, but I'm so happy that it's working! What a neat trick.
  • Finally, I got on the bike and cast on the next bike sock. Just keep swimming!
And in fact, I believe I will. I leave you with your random photo for today:
You know, I love dessert, but that last one? I pass.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Little Bit of Other

I officially start the new job on June 2, so that's set. It would have been nice to have a little time in between, but honestly, I'm not complaining. The number of times at work recently that I have been able to take a deep breath and think, "Short-term problem" at some irritant ... it's worth it. Seven more work days.

Meanwhile, there are actually other things going on in my life. I know, I can hardly believe it either! I don't mean that anything (else) big and life-changing is happening, just that there are other things I would have blogged about recently had The Whole Job Thing not entirely taken over. (I have a list, actually.)

For instance, I'm off to do some knitting: last night I got the second bike sock done to the kitchenering, so I'm going to finish that (yay!) and start the next bike sock. Also, the current purse sock needs half its gusset stitches picked up, and then I'm going to try casting on the two-in-one socks again. I tried last night and goofed something up, but not in an "I'm never doing this!" way, just in a "go to the bathroom before you start next time, moron, so you don't put it down in the middle of something and then pick it up backwards" way. Wish me luck with take two!

In reading news, I just read the most recent of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, and quite enjoyed it. If you think the idea of a police novel with magic sounds good (CSI + Harry Potter, one of the covers calls it), I recommend that you pick up Midnight Riot (Rivers of London, if you're in the UK), in which our hero is just your average copper in London until the night he interviews a witness who turns out to be a ghost, and learns how much more there is to the world. Very entertaining.

And finally, here is your random photo of the day.
I was sure they'd correct it before I could get a photo ... but it's been up for about two months, so ... not so much.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It Ends In May, It Starts In June

The current job is letting me work out two weeks, which takes us to the end of May, so I will start at the new job in June. New job! Yay!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Yarn, and Yarn, and Yarn!

The weekend winds down, and as is so often the case, my energy levels are giving out before the tasks are done. It's not like it matters if I don't get to the vacuuming, and once the dishwasher finishes its run, I don't have to empty it tonight, but the laundry has a few more loads to go. I've been to Walgreens, Target, and Costco, got my hair cut, met Mary Ellen for coffee and knitting ... the usual mix of fun and must-get-done. Weekends. I was happy to realize that, after my little Friday off for the Knitting Lab gave me a three-day weekend, next weekend is Memorial Day, which gives me a three-day weekend! Assuming I don't go in to work tomorrow and get kicked out; we'll see how that goes. I'm quite curious.

Now, at the end of my write-up yesterday about going to the Knit Lab, I promised yarn pictures, so here we go! I'm going to put them in Ravelry at the same time (otherwise who knows when I'll get to that, and I like to be able to search the stash virtually), and kill two birds with one stone. Yarn, ho!

Well, and I am a bit of a yarn ho, honestly. In addition to the yarn, I picked up a few buttons:
And I did show you the cashmere yesterday. Moving on, almost all I bought was fingering weight, but I got another skein of lace weight. This one was from the Verdant Gryphon, called Mithri, in a rather stunning green.
Well, it stunned me, anyway! And I got a skein of Bugga from the same vendor, in a quiet tonal grey.
Actually, I see that they call it sport weight; eh. Whatever, I expect it will be socks.

There was another green skein, this one Caper Sock from String Theory (one of them, anyway, there are two dyers using the name that I know of).
And another grey, darker this time, from the Knitting Boutique, in Potomac.

Next up is a skein from Wonderland Yarns, Cheshire Cat, which is (guess what?) blue.
I saw this line at Coveted Yarn, though none of the colors they had at the time grabbed me enough that I bought. This one was, however, blue, and also "knot perfect"; you know I can't resist a sale!
I was tempted by a great many of the offerings from Dirty Water DyeWorks*, but the line I chose in the end was Lillian, and not because it was my grandmother's name (although it was). I just loved this rosy color.
*The name is a Boston thing.
From Swans Island, in the Pure Blends fingering, a nice squishy skein of oatmeal.
A quiet skein of lovely sort of aqua tonal, Kismet Soul.
Another tonal skein, cream to rose pink, from A Hundred Ravens in Tyche.
And finally (I know!), the brightest of the bunch, from the aptly named Decadent Fibers (whose booth I was in three times before I made up my mind), a skein of blue/purple Savory Socks.
I did say that I got a little carried away, right? But I don't regret a single one of them. Celebrating the job! Now, time for me to finish the laundry and get to bed. We'll see what happens tomorrow; anyone want to guess?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Interweave Knitting Lab: I Liked It!

There are ways to tell when you are in the right places. Some are more overt.

Others slightly more subtle.
I say, slightly.
It amuses me greatly to think of someone who just happened to be staying at the Radisson in Manchester, NH this week, facing these things. What the...? For me, of course, they were more welcoming.

There was also a serendipitous bag sighting, for New Hampshire, whose motto is Live Free or Die:
Nice, right?

Anyway! Let's get chronological. My class (2-in-1 socks, the War and Peace method, with Kate Atherley) was Friday afternoon, but I wanted to visit the marketplace in the morning, so I took off from home after rush hour and arrived at the hotel, no problems, just before 10. Parked, registered, used the ladies, and into the market. It was neither tiny nor enormous, about two dozen vendors, and while it was a little warm in there, they had made sure the lighting was really good, which is so important in a case like this.

And from the first booth I went in, I wanted almost everything I saw! My only plan going in was to look for new things, things I couldn't get everywhere. MadelineTosh? Lovely, but available elsewhere; like that. However, there were lots and lots of new-to-me things, and oh, was it overwhelming. In a really good way, of course!
I managed to go around looking, just looking for a bit before I found the first thing I couldn't put down. There was a booth with cashmere, mmm, yes, cashmere and, if that were not enough, they also had qiviut, nope, I'm not going there! But they had small skeins of the cashmere and samples of various little scarves that you could make with one skein. So soft, so light, so warm! Just utterly lovely. And there was one skein left of this perfect sky blue.
I just had to. They throw in a pattern with the purchase, so I picked the one I liked best, and looked onward. By 11:15, I had bought a few more skeins of various sock-weight yarns, and was feeling still a bit overwhelmed, overly warm, and hungry, so I decided an early lunch was called for. I ate in the tavern that is in the hotel, the one with the signs I photo'd (above), had a good sandwich, cooled down and chilled out both. At one point I looked up, and is it just me, or does this look like they decorated with yarn?
I mean, what else could it be?

After lunch, I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. There's a small park area in front of the hotel, with benches, and a few statues.

I'm not sure I understand why the dogs have to have their ribs showing.
I looked at this woman and thought, she seems anxious.
Then I read the plaque, and saw that it was intentionally so.
So okay then.

I was also amused to see, in the plaza, this tree disagreeing with the bricks, and winning. See the root line?
Back inside, I got a candy bar from the gift shop, not having had room for proper dessert, and noticed a good cat shirt on sale there, which I managed not to buy.
Then back into the market, shopping around more, until it was getting to be time to get ready for the class. The teacher and a few other students were in the classroom when I got there, and I found a seat and started worrying about the needles I brought.

She has you bring "medium" weight yarn and bigger needles, in order to make sample size socks and get a good way through them in the three-hour class. The night before, when I was getting my things together, I could not find five DPNs in US size 7, so I brought a circular instead, but I was worrying that I was supposed to use the method I was most comfortable with and that's DPNs. Shortly before the class started, though, I had a light-bulb moment: marketplace. One of the booths sold needles. Duh! I hustled out and bought a set of the needles I wanted (from the slowest salesperson in the room, I swear, and fumble-fingered to boot), and was back in time to start properly. Whew!

This sock method, knitting two at time one inside the other, has fascinated me since I first heard of it, and I was sure I would never be able to do it, but when I heard of the class, I thought I really should try it. And if you share my interest, and have the opportunity, I do recommend the class! Also, she says to bring two contrasting colors of yarn, and I can't second that strongly enough. You need to be able to tell them apart very, very easily, it really helps. I'd grabbed leftover skeins of pink and white, and they did nicely.
(Incidentally, you can tell the lighting wasn't great in the classroom, right? It wasn't awful, but not ideal.)

Once we got going, we were advised to check frequently for problems (aka, the "one stinking stitch" that the Yarn Harlot once wrote about [she was sure that if she tried this method, she would go to separate them and find the two socks fused together]). You could see what was going on already!
Somehow, I messed up the little heel flap the first time, lost track of where I was, but it was easy when I did it right (ha), and got to that point before the end of the class. I worked on it some more last night.
See? Simple!

Seriously, though? I think I'm going to try it for real, just to see if I can. As she said, it isn't like this is the best or easiest way to make socks. But, you know, once, to see if I can? It's a hell of a knitter's party trick.

It's getting late. I'd better leave the rest of the yarn to be revealed tomorrow. I need some sleep!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Aaaaaand, Check!

For the day after the Bruins were eliminated (in yet another game in which they played like crap, what's up with that, honestly?), I'm in a pretty good mood.

Of course, that would be related to getting the offer letter this morning, and giving notice at my job. Ahhhhhh.

To answer the first question, no, my boss was not surprised. In fact, she said that she was looking around herself but hadn't found anything yet; I wonder how things would have gone if she had found something before I did, and left? (I imagine that on the one hand, my work day would have been more tolerable, but on the other, they probably would have wanted me to take over as editorial manager, at least temporarily, and no thank you, I do not manage people. Just myself.) We talked about some of the issues we've both experienced with the company; she said that it was just between us, and she wouldn't pass on what I said to her manager, but I kept it fairly general, to frustration that they have not fixed, and do not seem interested in fixing, issues that have been ongoing since I started, two years ago. She turned the conversation onto herself more than once, what she is looking for and not finding, which was an interesting way to handle things, but anyway.

Since her boss was not in the office today, but in NY for board meetings, my boss sent an email to her and to the HR woman in the New York office, to give them the news. I talked to the HR woman this afternoon, at her request, to tell her that no, there's nothing they can do to change my mind, and the Cliffs Notes version of Why.

I don't know what will happen next, whether they will make me work through the month or walk me out the door on Monday or something in between, but today, it doesn't matter. I feel lighter. It's Thursday, but since I'm off work tomorrow for the Knitting Lab, it's the weekend. Ahhhhhh. Excuse me while I go bask in this glow.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nothing Further Yet

Today's nerves felt different* from what I've been dealing with over the last few weeks. Less uncertainty about will-they-won't-they, since that seemed, though not guaranteed, fairly sure. A bit of excitement mixed in (I might really be getting away from this company, and boss!). Some nerves specific to giving notice and how that will go, and to starting a new job.
*Though still draining, oh, yes, very much so

The prospective job has been so much on my mind recently (you're shocked, I know), pushing other concerns aside, that I've been afraid I'll slip up at work and mention it in conversation. This morning when someone asked if I was nervous about tonight, I had an instant of almost-panic before I realized he meant the Bruins game. Oh! Yes! Game 7! I am, actually! I don't think my hesitation was even noticeable, but it says a lot that the game wasn't at the top of my mind.

For that matter, the class I'm taking at the Knitting Lab in New Hampshire is on Friday, yes, that's the day after tomorrow, and when did I last mention it here? Well, there was the day I wrote about registering for it, and the next day with a little more... but that was in January. I'm excited about it, honest I am! But, just no time. Between the job thing, headaches, and all the other Stuff of Life, I haven't even prepared for it. What's the address? How long will it take to get there, what time is the class, when does the market open, where do I park, where will I get lunch? I need answers to at least some of these before I leave.And tonight, with the hockey game, I kind of doubt it. I'm not usually so last-minute, but there we are.

I have my Bruins shirt on, and I'm about ready. As ready as I get, anyway! Oh, Bruins, go, Bruins!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Waiting Rewarded

I was thinking about the nature of waiting this morning, which should not surprise you. When one is job searching, there are two kinds of waiting: the vague, hopeful but not expectant wait after you apply, knowing you may never hear anything, and the specific waiting that is built on an actual foundation: you've heard something, you've been given some vague expectation of a timeline. Both are hard, of course, and doubtless I would say whichever kind I am in at any given moment is worse, but oh man, I've been in the second kind for two weeks now, checking my e-mail and phone again and again for some word, anything, and it has worn me down. My mind is not my friend, coming up with a multitude of reasons why this won't work out, second-guessing questions I asked or didn't ask, and I'm just tired of it. Coupled with the results of last night's Bruins game (let us not speak of that)(to quote local blog Stanley Cup of Chowder, "Here's a recap of Game 6, though you could go outside and look at an overflowing garbage can and it'd be a similar experience to reliving that debacle"), I was just feeling worn out with it all today. And with the cool, grey, cloudy weather that replaced yesterday's delightful sunny and hot, it wasn't the best day.

Things looked up at last (AT LAST!) at lunchtime, when I got an email from the recruiter asking when I could talk so that they could give me a verbal offer. At last! We talked, she made the offer, which is lower than I'd like but well above my basement, the I can't afford it level. She said that I could take time to consider it, which since my heart was pounding like a drum seemed like a better idea than yelling, "Are you kidding me? Yes!"

The when-can-you-start finally came up, which is significant since my employee agreement states I will give one month's notice instead of the more common two weeks.  The recruiter sounded a little surprised by this, and said that she would let the hiring manager know, in case it was an issue for her. Which, I implored the fates, let them be willing to wait, if the company won't let me out earlier (it's at their discretion). Technically, since Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, I guess I could just walk out in spite of the agreement, but I don't want to be that kind of person, even to this job.

Anyway, my please-please-please litany to the universe had a different tone this afternoon, and was interspersed with specific messages to the manager that I'm worth waiting for (because I am, damn it). And I guess she agreed, because although I don't have the offer letter yet (it has to come through corporate in California, hopefully tomorrow), the recruiter let me know that "While she would prefer to have you on board in two weeks, she understands."

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to try to take care of the bare necessities before I fall insensate into bed. Whew!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Not Really, No. Not Yet

No-progress progress: more messing about with references (can't reach that manager reference? here, try this one), no actual progress made. I am going nuts with this waiting. I am about as crabby as you might imagine, yes. Maybe a smidge more.

The head of the office emailed us all on Thursday to let us know that a bigwig would be in the office today, and that we'd be getting lunch out of it. So, naturally, at 11:30 she's popping out of the conference room asking me to order the pizza, and naturally, when it arrived they were still in the conference room, so we all got to sit there, smelling the pizza, because it's impolitic to start without them. Even if it means cold* pizza for lunch an hour or more after you usually eat.
*It wasn't actually cold. Just, room temperature. Yum.

I will admit, at an hour and a half, to fantasizing about opening the conference room door and announcing, "You people are RUDE." Fortunately for me, just a few minutes later, the 2IC*, who was not in the conference room at the time, decided that it was silly for us to all be waiting, and told us to start. And, miraculously, just a few minutes later they came out of the conference room! Imagine that.
*Second in command. Pronounced "twick". I take this from Anne McCaffrey's Rowan series.

All that messing about meant I didn't eat lunch outside, on a day when it was sunny and in the 80s, which oh-by-the-way is about 30 degrees more than it will be tomorrow. When I would be able to eat lunch outside. Naturally.

The Bruins game tonight is not a literal must-win for them, not in the sense that they're out if they lose, but oh, I want them to win. Finish Montreal, move on, enough of this. Play the way they can play and they'll win ... but will they? I'm off to put dinner together, and watch. Go Bruins!

Sunday, May 11, 2014


For a weekend of waiting, it's actually been a good weekend. The weather's been glorious, the Bruins won yesterday, I've gotten some errands and tasks done without being 100% nose to the grindstone ... it's pretty good. On the other hand, right now my head is twinge-ing again, which is hard to stand after a bloody week of headaches, plus I just balanced my checkbook, which as it so often does left me wondering when the grownup will be arriving to take things over. (Not that there's any problem, just that the task makes me wonder who on earth authorized me as competent to take care of such things.) Sigh.

In happier, knitting news, I am happy to report that the purse sock is making progress (pictures some time), and the current bike sock is into the toe decreases. This means two good things: that I will shortly have a new pair of socks (followed by another, soonish), and that it's time to start thinking about which yarn to use for the next pair for the bike. Shopping the stash! Given that the bike is a good place for knitting dark yarns, with its consistently good light (unlike the purse sock, for instance, which comes out in variable conditions), I'm leaning toward a skein of Fleece Artist Somoko (merino, kid, nylon, and silk) in a lovely chocolate brown, which has been hanging out waiting its turn for, oh, far too long. All right, it was Rhinebeck in 2010 (listing the stash in Ravelry removes some of the fuzziness of memory). Time and enough.

I may go wind it now. I may go kill Carlos, who is whining for my attention. I may just turn on the hockey game and see if the Rangers or Pittsburgh pulls off a win. Who knows. It's all about waiting for word from the job. Please let it be tomorrow!

Let me leave you with a question for the tea drinkers. Is this as gross to you as it is to me?
Chocolate I love, obviously. But with banana and tea? Really?

Friday, May 09, 2014

Nothing. Well, the Bruins Won. There's That.

If it hadn't been for the Bruins game last night, I would have been in bed much earlier than I was. The headache was less, but still present, and the energy-sapping nature of the disease was in full force. As the evening went on, and the game went on, and no one scored, I slid lower and lower on the couch, willing myself to stay awake, willing the Bruins to score.

Finally, at the last TV time-out in the third period, I went to bed, turning on the radio to listen. No one scored, so the game went to overtime. I nearly fell asleep during the intermission, but was very much awake when, just over a minute in, the Bruins scored. Yay! I leaped up to watch the replay on TV, then dropped back into bed as exhausted as if I'd been playing myself.

Incidentally, Matt Fraser had been called up from the minor leagues the day before, and by tucking that loose puck in the net when he did, he became the first player to score in the AHL and NHL playoffs in the same year. Not bad for his first NHL playoff game, eh? What a dream for the kid.

I felt better today, not 100% but close enough to bring minor euphoria. The head pain went up and down a little, but never got truly bad. My neck and shoulders feel like they're filled with cement, and I'm still ridiculously tired, but whatever, the head's not so bad.

Unfortunately, though, the euphoria was tempered by not getting any word about the job. I really, really hoped I wouldn't be spending another weekend in limbo. Shit, man. Welcome to self-pity-land, but shit. I just want to KNOW already.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

No News

Head still hurts. It was worse overnight, not good today.

Also, cramps. Not a good day to be me.

Though I did have Dr. Carlos helping.

In job-op news, I gave them a former manager reference this afternoon. Maybe something good tomorrow? We can but hope.

We can also hope the Bruins manage a win tonight. No score late in the second. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

More progress!

I heard from a reference this morning that she was contacted (and that the caller "sounded positive" about me), so that's great. I also heard from the recruiter again, asking if I could provide a reference that was a manager or supervisor; I hadn't even realized that my references are all people I worked WITH, not FOR. Whoops! Funny how incredibly obvious that seems, in retrospect. Anyway, I reached out to a former manager, and while waiting to hear back from her, did forward a written reference that she had provided me when I was leaving that job, which is suitably lyrical about the wonders that are me.

References are a funny thing, though, aren't they? I guess the giving of them would weed out an applicant who wasn't smart enough to select people who would speak well of them, but what else do they do?

Anyway. I missed the start of the Bruins game for one of the few reasons that would trump playoff hockey for me: meeting a friend's baby. He's so sweet! Of course I can't throw pictures of him up here, but surely the hair is worthy on its own. See?
Isn't that awesome? He is rocking it; his mother says it's natural, but they do encourage it. Wouldn't you?

Monday, May 05, 2014

A small but important step

I got a call today* from the recruiter at the company, letting me know that I'd passed the background check (which, duh, but also a little bit of whew), and that they're going to check references next (though, that they have done so is unconfirmed by any of my references as of yet). It isn't actually that much closer to resolution, but at least it's something. I mean, I know this is moving quickly overall; a month ago, I hadn't heard of this company, and now I'm waiting for the offer! It's just, waiting is so hard. This kind of waiting IS better than the waiting-and-not-knowing kind, but that doesn't make it pleasant.
*I had a bit of a headache today, so I was rubbing my head and silently imploring the universe, as I've been doing a lot lately, to please, please let something happen, please, progress today, please ... when I looked at my phone (which had the ringer off) and realized that ... there's a call coming in? Oh.

Also, funny story: when I met with the founder last week, she told me that the recruiter I'd initially spoken to was no longer with them, having found a permanent position elsewhere, but they had a new contract recruiter who I would be hearing from. Well, it turns out that she's the same person I spoke with for a phone interview last Thanksgiving, at a different company obviously, for the position that ended up being filled by an internal candidate. Isn't it a small world? She was very pleasant then, and I vastly appreciated being told so quickly what was going on (plus, let's face it, that's about the best reason to get rejected, it's so completely understandable and in no way personal), so those seem like good things. It all falls into place (knock wood).

Deep thoughts from work today: Anyone can make mistakes, and after all if they didn't, I wouldn't have a job. Also, anyone can make a stupid mistake, and it does not mean they are a stupid person. However, once a person has been seen to make a stupid mistake, it's easier to believe they will make more. They start to lose the benefit of the doubt when, for instance, they speak of a market that is crowed, instead of crowded.

I realized over the weekend that the recent anniversary of my dad's death passed without my noting it. It's not that I don't think of him, I think of him just about every day, but, five years on, the day he died, the memories of that day, seem to have loosened their hold. I mean, I can remember it clearly, and probably always will, but in a less constant and involuntary way. I think that's also a small but important step.

I can't believe it's been five years, though. That's way too long for a girl to be without her daddy.

Aaaaanyway, let's not end on that note. How about a gratuitous Carlos photo? After years of admiring them elsewhere, I finally caught the elusive "slurp" photo.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Of Tension and Control

The word tension has a knitting connotation, related to how tightly or loosely a knitter knits, which can have very direct effects on the end result, in either a good or a bad way. In order to get the desired end results, a knitter may have to use smaller or larger needles than a pattern or a yarn calls for; tension can also change with experience, so that a knitter who picks up a project that had been put aside from early days and carries on may find that the line between past and present is far too obvious.

I bring this up because it crossed my mind during yesterday's Bruins game when, late in the tense and exciting third period, I decided that I had better try on the sock I was working on, to make sure that the non-knitting-related tension I was feeling was not translating into a sock that I wouldn't be able to get on my foot. Good news:
That non-knitting tension came about because the Bruins, after scoring the first goal of the game, allowed Montreal the next three. It wasn't their best game, but then halfway through the third period, they apparently decided they'd messed around enough. They scored, and again, and again, and topped it off with an empty-netter to win 5-3. Whew!

I watched the game at Mary Ellen's, and the resident furballs welcomed me. Finn, in particular, made himself right at home.
And apparently both I and my things smelled intriguing, as Molly thought that a deep investigation of my bag was called for, and perfectly normal.

Finn, by the way, reacts much as Carlos does to being picked up by his mama: feeble protests that are drowned out by the purring.
Save me! (purr, purr)

The piggies, meanwhile, were the subject of many blurry photos. For little guys, they move a lot! But I got a few good ones.
The cats were only around when we were quieter, so we saw little of them for the end of the game, but it was nice to hang out with them anyway. Jasper and Oliver were less disturbed by our vehement rooting.

After the game was over, and our pulses settled, we went on with our previous plans for the afternoon, which involved a trip to Coveted Yarn to use the coupon I got during the yarn crawl, and dinner from Woodman's. Yum to both! I managed to get just one skein, tempted as I was by the 500 grams of laceweight (for $95). None of the colors were quite compelling enough for me to spend that much, with no plan in mind, even with 20% off. Pretty, though.

What I got was a skein of Knit One, Crochet Too, Crock-O-Dye, in the charmingly named colorway 977. I call it shades of granite.
Wool, nylon, and a little silk, mmm. I have lots of colorful yarn; this will make nice quiet socks, for a change.

While I had the camera out today, I took pictures of a box my mother brought me when she visited. It held tea in its past life; now, it is a nice way for me to see all the pretty stitch markers I have.
I have some lovelies, don't I? And they had been tucked here and there among the knitting supplies, not set off as they deserve. This is better.

As for the "control" mentioned in the title, I am trying to focus on what is in my control, and not obsess about what is not. Or, at least, not obsess so much! I can't make the company get their offer ready. But I can do the dishes.

And as I mentioned to someone, at least I'm not as sorry as usual to have the weekend ending. Maybe I'll hear something tomorrow! But, again: out of my control. Those dishes, on the other hand, are not. Off to get soapy! Though let me leave you with a Carlos picture, so he doesn't get jealous. Here he is yesterday, holding his paw. Being cute. As he does.
He was approximately 4% awake when this picture was taken.