Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stuck In The Middle With Me...

Honestly, I'll stop whining about changes soon, I promise. Just not quite yet. I'm almost at the point where I'm sick of listening to myself.

I'm back in Chicago for an extended weekend. Tomorrow, the movers will arrive between 8:00 am and 10:00 am to pack up all my stuff. Then on Tuesday, they'll show up again and load all my stuff. Then I fly out on Wednesday, pick up my keys on Thursday, and the movers will arrive with my stuff during the window of Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2. Then the next weekend, I'll fly back here, load up the rental SUV with anything and everything that the movers wouldn't take, turn in my keys to the landlord, make sure the electric and such is in his name again and drive back to North Carolina - with a stop at home for my birthday.

I've got to tell ya, my apartment is currently a pretty depressing place to be. The cats aren't there, and it's very strange being able to set things down and leave them. And, most everything I REALLY needed I took with me, so my apartment is fairly barren. It's very strange. Feels kinda like it does when I go back to my parents' house - I'm visiting a place I used to belong. Weird. Very weird.

But I'm going over to a friend's and we're going to sit on her porch and enjoy the beautiful weather (I think I brought it with me) and possibly enjoy adult beverages and maybe leer at her lawn boy, aka fiance. Then, if we can still walk, we're going to go make her wedding invitations. Those should turn out well. And remind me, when I have the bottle in front of me and can remember what it's called - 'cause the alcoholic beverage to be inhibed is really freaking yummy! It's Belgian, I think, and it's raspberry soda flavored. Very tasty.

And, if you're in the Chicago area - ever - and in need of alcohol, check out Binny's. OMG. It's the best store EVER. There's a bunch of them and they have, seriously, damn near every alcoholic beverage available. Love 'em! Yay, alcohol! (Their prices are really good too. I'm tellin' ya, these people rock!)

Alrighty, off to drink.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Assorted New Things...

I'm not homeless! Of course, I'm not moved either, but I'm getting closer. I've put a deposit down on the house I'll be renting. Two trips back to Chicago have been scheduled - one to meet the movers for pack and load days and a second, over Easter, when I fly in and drive back for the final move. I need to go in and start figuring out where stuff is going to go, and start measuring things. I was going to do that today, but I ended up having to work.

While I continue to think that more and more of their practices are totally ass-backwards, I am settling into the job. One of the guys I work with forwarded a presentation that I sent as an FYI to him to the big cheese in the global headquarters. *Squeak!!* I chewed him up one side and down the other 'cause that was my first stab at it. An hour later, the big cheese sent something back saying that it looked great and he's going to use it for the basis of a huge meeting in a couple of weeks. So I spent most of today adding data to my spreadsheet to take it from six months to over a year. I didn't go in for that - there has to be a quality engineer in the building if production is running, and I volunteered for today 'cause I'm about the only one left who isn't currently sick. So, next week, I'll make like I know what I'm doing with Minitab and get all statistical on its ass. Take that, data!

I talked to my mom today and learned that my dad has filed the papers to retire from the really big tire company. They offered him a buy-out and apparently, he took it. He doesn't know his last day yet - the company has 90 days to get back to him. And they've still got him working seven days, with a double on the last day. The place is going to fall apart without him. For some reason, this is really throwing me for a loop. I think it's the idea that Dad is old enough to retire. I'd rather not think about him getting old. *sigh* Older. And there's that whole hating-change thing. He's been there, what?, 45 years or so? They try to sell their house and I'll really freak out. I can't even think about that. Next topic!

My poor Sophia is just beginning to forgive me for the car trip down here. Another two weeks and she's moving again. The Peanut was totally fine less than ten minutes after exiting the carrier... not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Sophia? Still not settled completely down.

I broke the washer in the temp housing this weekend. Apparently it locks during the spin cycle. Something happened to it and it just stopped. So I gave it an hour or so and then went to poke at it. I had to pry up the lid - breaking the hold-the-lid-down-thingie that was probably important, and it was full of water. Swell. So I wrung out my clothes, tossed them into the dryer, turned it off and then waited to see if the water would drain out on its own. It did, but I still need a washer. *sigh* Not like I work for a company that makes 'em or anything...

So, in the next three weeks, I will have all of my belongings here from Chicago, will be out of temp housing and into the beautiful house that I'm renting, will have renewed my drivers license and plates (in Ohio, let's not get all crazy with the relocating just yet, thankyouverymuch), found a bank here that isn't totally stupid, gotten a library card, and figured out how far I have to drive to get to a decent shoe store. (Already found the book stores, and the needlework stores.) And and and... I'll be much calmer when it's all done. I don't like being unsettled. But, it's getting there!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hey, Check It Out, I'm Not Dead!

Oh, where to start? Well, I'm not dead. Cool. Moving on...

The trip... was hell. I couldn't fit my plants in the Jeep, so I'm going to have to either 1) depend on the kindness of strangers (ie the movers) to move my plantlets or 2) fly back to Chicago and do the drive again. Oh the rapture. At least I won't have to deal with two screaming cats.

First leg of the trip: home to Ohio wasn't too bad, except for the screaming cat part. Then I actually broke my personal vow to myself and stayed at my parents' house. Yes, in the acid green formerly-mine room. It was lovely. But, mom was being, well, mom and frankly I didn't trust her alone with my cats. Isn't that a sad state of affairs? She's got three indoor/outdoor cats with claws. I have two indoor declawed cats. I saw no value in further stressing my furballs with an introduction. And I did NOT want my cats getting outside. And I wasn't thrilled with the idea of my cats being exposed to whatever strange wormy little cooties that her cats have. Mom ignored all that and kept yammering on about how great it would be to see them all playing together. So I stayed, and rode herd on my mother.

Second leg of the trip: My brain has protected me by making that day a twelve hour long haze of stress induced fogginess. I was on the road by 8:30 am. The drugs worked on the Peanut briefly. That was the best three hours of the trip. It poured rain the whole way, unless I had my own personal raincloud following me. In the mountains, it was so foggy that you couldn't see a car length in front of you. I narrowly avoided a nasty pileup at a toll booth. I arrived in North Carolina at 9 pm in a pounding thunderstorm, heading into hour 14 of my day to find the keys to the temporary housing... not where they were supposed to be. A friend helped me hunt down a phone number for the HR guy at home and he arranged for me to stay in a hotel for the night. At least this time, unlike the interview, I was settled in early enough to find delivery pizza open.

So, I didn't start on Monday 'cause my boss was out of town so the HR guy said to just get settled into the temp housing and relax and then start on Tuesday. So I did.

I may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Their supplier situation is even more convulted than my last company. Eek! And there's confusion over who I actually report to - HR and all the paperwork says one person, someone in my office is saying that I report to him. We'll see how that works out.

I'm adjusting to the South. Sorta. I've gotta say, y'all have more pork products in your grocery stores than I previously knew existed. This is a rhetorical question 'cause I do NOT want to know what it really is, but pork crackings? Ugh. As I expected, the traffic is making me nuts. Too slow!!!! Get outta my way! And for god's sake, when the light turns green, don't think about moving for several seconds, GO! There's a little pedal on the right. You should play with it and see what happens when you depress it. Gah.

This morning was exciting. I was walking down the outside stairs of my temp housing when an older pickup came screaming into the lot and stopped directly behind my Jeep. The driver jumped outta the truck, pounded up the stairs and started beating on my neighbor's door. "Open up you )(#*)@#$*%)@(*)$! I know you're in there, you )#*)#(%*)#@(." Good heavens. Ever willing to rush in where angels fear to tread, I yelled up at him to please move his truck. He snarled over the edge for me to do it myself. Since his keys were still in it, I did. Apparently he wasn't expecting that, 'cause the look on his face was priceless. I think he wanted to yell at me, but he just sputtered. I moved his heap back enough to escape, hopped out, smiled at him sunnily, wished him a nice day, jumped in the Jeep and took off.

I've got scads more to babble about (I know this shocks you) but it's almost closing time at the library. The new company is very strict about the internet. They've got all outside email, all blogs, all music and video, and all auction sites blocked. There's a bunch more too. I've GOT to get moved in and hooked up at home. Not seeing everyone's blogs every day is KILLING me.