Thursday, February 26, 2009

A question ...

When you sign emails to people that you don't know ... how do you sign them? Because clearly things like "see you around" or "later" or "love" just don't seem quite the write thing to use when you are emailing a professional contact.

I know that lots of people use "cheers" before they sign their emails, but I have always felt that you needed to be English and live somewhere in England for some of your life in order to be able to use that without sounding completely stupid.

Usually I just say "thanks", but 9 times out of 10 I am emailing a professional contact with a question. So saying thanks makes sense to me.

The other day, however, I was emailing a client back in response to a question she had and I felt like writing thanks just sounded weird. What was I thanking her for? Asking me a question? Pointing out a problem that we were already aware of and dealing with? It just didn't seem to fit. But since the only other sign off I could think of to use was cheers, I wrote thanks anyway.

So, I'm putting this out there in hopes that I might find a sign-off that doesn't make me sound like I wish I was from the UK or awkward because I'm thanking someone for nothing.

How do you sign emails to professional contacts that you don't know outside of work?

Spring is Coming!

The weather here has started to warm up steadily (finally) and I can't help but find myself hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe, this time we won't warm up for a few glorious days and then dive head first back into a deep freeze. The weather in the Midwest makes me a little batty sometimes, particularly in the winter. I really do not like to be cold (because I am cold 99% of the time without any help from mother nature) and the warm days make me so happy that when it does freeze over again, I feel part of my sanity slip away from me.

Don't worry though, all the sanity that I lose over the course of winter is restored as soon as the grass turns green again and I don't have to wear 3 layers to go outside anymore. But I have hope this time around because the weather is nice, but it still has a little chill. It's just not as chilly as it was. You know how weather gradually warms up everywhere else in the world, well that's what it's doing here.

Plus, the morning doves are going crazy at my apartment complex and I was once told that when the morning doves come back it usually means that Spring is only a few weeks away. You might think it sounds hokey and old-wives-tale-y but I figure it's a system that can't be any less reliable than watching to see if a ground hog sees his shadow or not. Right? Right.

I have lots of plans for this Spring, and for a number of reasons. One of which deserves it's own post (and is a very depressing subject for me, so I'm not going to think about it right now), but all the other reasons are small and can be summed up rather easily: I want to be a domestic goddess who can take care of all things house, home and garden.

One of my biggest Spring projects is to plant a garden in the space around our patio. The area is rocked, so the first step is to move all the stupid rocks out of the way. I don't think that moving them will be an issue so much as figuring out where the heck I am going to put the rocks, since they will no longer be all around our patio.

Other really crazy exciting Spring projects include: mastering the art of bread making, planting the above mentioned vegetable garden, planting grass (?), planting flowers (?), traveling all over the damn place (details coming soon. I know, you can hardly wait right?), marathons, 5ks, camping, and just generally spending time outside. And knitting. And sewing. And scrapbooking. And reading; lots and lots of reading.

Oh, and also joining some clubs that I have been wanting to join for a loooong time in a continuing effort to make friends who are in the same city as me (unlike my friends who are still in Lawrence, or living in Colorado, or moving to/already living in China).

Wow. I have a lot that I want to do this year. This is a very, very good thing.

Now, for a nice little GiST (7/365) to wrap this happy (and busy) post up.

#1. Haircuts

#2. Kielbasa sausage, green peppers, onions and rice.

#3. Aprons.

#4. Really sharp knives (for cooking people! I am not a crazy person)

#5. Cookies that I made myself (even if they are a little burnt on the bottoms. I still haven't gotten the hang of our oven yet)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Growing up is hard to do (recessions suck)

The news depresses me more than ever as of late ... some of you (like my mom) might remember way back when I developed a twitch that I blamed mostly on the state of the economy. I think there is still a chance that I might develop it yet again.

Growing up is hard. It sucks. You don't get to have spring break or summers off or the pleasure of skipping class. You have to go to work everyday in the same place and do pretty much the same thing everyday, which can get kind of boring (unless you count the occasional caffeine high as exciting). It's stressful trying to land your first job, getting benefits for the first time ... It's almost enough to make your head spin.

Trying to do all that in a recession? Yea ... it's about as much fun as it sounds.

Thankfully, I have a job (with benefits) and if I keep working really, really hard I will get to keep it. But reading the news makes me wonder sometimes if we aren't just zipping right along towards the end of the world. Honestly. (PS - if you didn't click on the end of the world link, you totally should. It will make you laugh).

But seriously. World banks are teetering on the edge of ruin. The stock market is slowly circling the bowl. The government is pumping million-bijillion-googolplex dollars into the economy hoping that it will jump start something but I haven't noticed a difference. Have you? It seems like the politicians are all running around scared, trying to figure something out all the while telling us, the people, to stay calm. Keep our money in the market. Keep spending.

Personally, I have not been touched by this monster of an economy. But my father's company has. They do a lot of business with California ... which is a state that is think about paying tax returns with IOU's this year.
"... state financial officials cannot say when tax refunds and other payments will begin flowing from Sacramento" from this article
My dad actually had to lay some people off in the California office, which is really sad. For the first time, when my mom tells me that "things are bad" I believe her. It's terrifying.

And on that note, I am now going to do a Grace in Small Things post to make this such a depressing post (also, I completely forgot where I was going with this post. Getting old really sucks). This is ... 6! 6 of 365.

#1. Getting in bed at 9 and reading until 11

#2. Boyfriend. Really, just him. He is pretty awesome.

#3. Knowing WHY my throat was sore when I woke up this morning. (I need to get those bed raisers from my mom ...)

#4. Knocking out the 2nd to last part of my right Prairie Boot (ravelry link) last night. Soon, I will have a set!

#5. Making up with friends after avoiding the issue for almost 3 months.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I get sick a lot ...

Thanks to a delightful sinus infection, I have spent the last two days at home in my bed with two fluffy dogs to snuggle me back to wellness.

Since high school I have been sick constantly. A cold, or walking pneumonia, or bronchitis. I am always coughing or sneezing or being generally run down and sickly. After so many years of being ill in one form or another, I have stopped going to the doctor because the colds usually resolve themselves and besides you can't take anything that will make your cold go away before your body takes care of it on its own. So I just deal with it. But after I didn't totally get over my last cold and getting hit with a sinus infection that made me miserable, I caved and went to the walk in clinic at my doctor's office.

He asked me the normal questions (when did you get sick, how long were you sick before this ...), told me that I did have a sinus infection and then ran down the usual reasons that people get sinus infections (deviated septum, polyps, smoking, etc.), all of which I have heard many many times before. But then he said something I have never heard before: acid reflux could be the explanation for the reason that I have been sick so often for so many years.

In high school I developed stomach problems. I would get really nauseous after every meal and I was treated for a stomach bacteria called H. Pylori that causes excess production of stomach acid, which triggers heart burn. I did a lot of research and found out that some people don't feel the burn of heart burn. Some people feel nauseous (like me!). While I don't feel sick regularly anymore, I do feel sick frequently. The doctor said that even one or two drops of stomach acid in my throat could cause my sinuses to stop draining properly and create an infection. He said that it could also explain why I was also getting bronchitis so often.

So now, in addition to my antibiotics, I am on a prescription antacid. The doctor also recommended that I raise the head of my bed about 6-inches so that I won't have to worry about reflux while I'm sleeping.

I am SO excited to have a reason behind my constant illness ... I am SO excited about the idea of being healthy for more than 3 weeks at a time. SO excited to not be the office joke anymore (yes, we joke about how I'm sick all the time at work. HIL-arious). SO EXCITED for a reason that makes sense. The long and short of it is ... I'm pretty excited. Even if it does mean that I might have to take an antacid everyday for the rest of my life. I would so much rather take a pill everyday than be sick all the time.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GiST 5 of 365

I only have 360 more GiST posts to go before I am done with it (or will I be? I could do it for infinity for all I know). Yay!

1. Waking up from a nightmare to get snuggled by Boyfriend who was still awake.

2. Tiny dogs who sneak into Boyfriend's bed at night because they want to sleep with me SO BAD.

3. Cold medicine.

4. Only two hours until I get to go home (you know, instead of the three hours it was an hour ago). I supposed I could also phrase this as: the fact that time keeps moving forward, even if it's at a snail's pace, so that I don't have to spend my life in the office.

5. Bing who really likes his obedience class and will (hopefully) do just fine tonight even though we have practiced exactly ZERO times over the last two weeks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I am SO bored.

Yup. Not a whole lot happening right now ...

Except this!!

GiST 4 of 365 (yup - I'm going for a year's worth)

#1. Being able to sit around all day in an office instead of doing any sort of manual labor

#2. Having the kind of co-workers who don't get mad when you start to nod off during training because you just ate your lunch (and ate too much of it)

#3. Having the sort of co-workers who will pause a second so that you can run and get a coke to perk up so that you can pay attention to the training

#4. Beauty salon's that have last minute appointments so that I can get all prettied up for tomorrow

#5. Boyfriend, who comes into my room almost every night now when he comes home because he knows that I like it

I hope that you all have a wonderful Valentine's day tomorrow with significant others or your BFFs.

Wherein SuperCareo Talks About Why She Loaths Politics

I hate politics.

Really, really hate them (it?).

I hate it so much that I came this close to not voting in the election last November (I know that a number of people hearts just stopped, sorry). My dislike of all things political was formed and nurtured by two of my intensely liberal friends (99% of the people I spend time with are liberals, including Boyfriend, while I tend to lean more towards the conservative side of things) who will from now on be known as Punk Kid and Newspaper Bitch (who I still happen to be very close to and I know that she will like that nickname).

Punk Kid was (still?) a big BIG Bush hater and was the organizer of many a school walkout to protest ... things. Things that Bush did? I don't even remember anymore. Anyway, Punk Kid spent most of her time on Yahoo reading news about what new disasters Bush was creating as a result of being elected as the leader of the free world.

Newspaper Bitch worked for the school newspaper, spent a lot of her time reading political type news stuffs and was also a debater. I think that she may have also been a helper for the school walkout of protesting Bush things.

Anyway, whenever we would start to talk about Bush and 9/11 (which happened when I was a junior) and the idea of going into Iraq to bust some terrorist heads together they would have their opinions (liberal = the right way) and then when I would voice mine (conservative = you are wrong) I would get crushed because I do not read newspapers or watch the news or even attempt to keep abreast of anything political so I had no way to back up my thoughts. Our political conversations have always ended that way.

The only way that Newspaper Bitch and I have remained friends is because we do not talk about politics. In fact, the last time we did talk about something that was even remotely political (big oil) she said something to me that made me so mad I didn't talk to her for like two weeks afterward (which is usually how long we go in between phone calls anyway, but that is irrelevant). Punk Kid and I are no longer on speaking terms, politics was not the only reason for the demise of our friendship (she may or may not have gone a tiny bit crazy).

Now that Obama is in office and is trying to fix out totally F-ed in the D (another story for another time friends) economy with this new bail-out, I am seriously considering just moving to an island with the dogs and a monkey for a butler. Boyfriend can come too because he doesn't ever try to talk to me about politics. In fact, I didn't even know that Boyfriend was liberal until I walked into his bedroom one day and there was an Obama poster on his wall.

It's not that I don't have any respect for the office, I do. I have a lot of respect for anyone who feels like they could run a whole country every day for four years. I mean seriously, intense. And it's not that I don't care about what happens to the country as a result of the policy decisions that are being made right at this very moment ... I like my job and the fact that it lets me live in an apartment with a roof over my head and food in the dog's bowls. And I don't want my children to be paying for this new stimulus plan for the rest of their lives (that haven't even started yet), but when people start talking to me about it, it makes me want to die. Literally. I get this feeling in my stomach like when I'm about to break up with a boyfriend or you're at the top of the really big drop of a roller coaster and you're strapped in thinking about how getting on in the first place was the worst decision you've ever made.

I'm writing this sort of a post because I just do not understand how so many people are 100% convinced that Obama is going to fix everything. And don't think that I'm nay-saying. If he can fix it, I would love that and I'm rooting for him. But I just don't get the fanatical fan base he has. Mothers who go on about how their kids are going to grow up during the Obama years. People crying. I understand that when he was sworn into office he made a HUGE step in the civil rights movement and all that jazz, it's awesome.

But if Kerry had been elected way back when ... would mothers be going on about how their children would grow up during the Kerry years? What if Al Gore had beat out Bush when he ran for reelection? Would you have cried when he was sworn in? I know some people who would have cried ... but not out of joy.

I understand that Obama is a person to be admired for being the first African American to hold a place in the White House, and that this is something that is important and should be recognized as such. But beyond that ... it's just politics again. The only thing that has changed is the face on the TV during the press conferences. He is still talking about the same stuff that Bush did ... and Clinton did ... and probably whoever was in charge before Bill was (Bush Sr?). I just don't see the dramatic change.

I really am pulling for you Mr. President. I really do hope that you can help fix our economy and take the country in a new direction. Preferably one with morals. One where people are all treated the same, given the same opportunities and such. You know, the typical Miss America speech ... "And world peace!"

Until then however, that monkey butler is looking pretty nice ... anyone want to come with me?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder How I Survive In Life

I have run out of contacts, and in order for me to see stuff in detail more than 3 feet from my face (you know, like cars and pedestrians and other super lame stuff that you should probably be looking at while you're driving to or from work) I had to wear my glasses to work today.

So I was grabbing all my stuff and getting ready to leave and I pulled my sun glasses out of my bag and tried to put them onto my face. Where my glasses were already sitting. Because I had put them on not even 5 minutes ago. And I was confused for a second when the sunglasses didn't slide effortlessly onto my face like they normally do. And that's when I remembered ... I'm wearing glasses already.


I am beginning to think that sleeping for two days is not such a bad idea at this point (even though there is a tiny part of me that feels like this is something that sleep will not fix). And as the icing on the cake, I left my phone at home - which is not a huge deal unless Brad Pitt finally decides to dump Angie and totally wants me to come along as he rides a motorcycle to the tip of South America and I miss that call. Not that I would ride a motorcycle (they scare me) or go that far away from a shower. Plus I have watched one too many "Captured Abroad" episodes to think that doing that is a good idea. But I would totally answer the phone if he called me. Totally.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

GiST #3 + Short Post = Trying to Stay Awake

Do you ever have days where it feels like you're in a fog? That your body just isn't working the right way even though you're on your third cup of coffee? I feel like that today. And the fact that it's raining outside today isn't helping things.

If I were still in school (sob) I would spend the day in my bed with my dogs having a snuggle fest/sleep-a-thon. But now that I'm a "grown up" and have to do super lame stuff like "go to work" and "earn a paycheck" so that I can "pay the rent and the utility bills" I don't get to stay home and have snuggle fests anymore unless I also happen to be feeling very ill at the time.

But seriously, today is going to be like yesterday where I try so hard to work hard. Sometimes I just can't concentrate and I just HAVE to spend 15 minutes doodling on my notepad or making myself another totally awesome spreadsheet to print out and write on (and highlight with the right colors).

GiST #3:

2. Being so close to finishing a knitting project that is so much cooler than my other knitting projects to this point.

3. Planning ahead to my next super cool and much more complicated knitting pattern and dreaming of the lovely yarn shop and spending tons of money on yarn (yes, I know that's technically three things ... lay off me. I'm on my third cup of coffee)

4. Boyfriend coming in my room at 3 am when he gets home to give me smooches because he misses me.

5. Good food and good friends and treadmills (just pretend it's one thing ... ok?)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

GiST #2

I know this is long overdue ... and I promise to start doing it more. Please don't hate me. But you wouldn't do that because that is against pretty much everything that GiST is about.

1. Fuzzy puppy blanket after being gone for 4 days

2. Traveling with Boyfriend (who gets very snugly on airplanes)

3. Having a way better time in Vegas than I did last time

4. Coming home from Vegas with less money than I went with, but still having some to come home with

5. Good friends who can talk me into staying awake until 6 am, getting up at 10:30 am and laughing until I can feel every muscle in my stomach.

and a BONUS:
6. KU winning my friends money (but not me because I wasn't smart enough to bet on the game. Oh well)

If you couldn't figure it out, I spent this past weekend in Vegas with some very wonderful friends and having a wonderful time staying up really late, drinking too much and hemorrhaging money. It's late however and I need to sleep because on a scale of 1 to 10, I was functioning at a level of .5 today and I think that I need to let my batteries recharge a little. Or a lot. It is quite possible that I will need to sleep for about 2 days straight before I feel like a normal person again.

I try to keep telling myself that I can sleep when I'm dead, but somehow it isn't making me feel any better/any more awake.

Probably I should go to bed before 11 pm when I have to get up at 6 for work.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I am the master of all that I see

If what I happens to see will let me master it.

I finally got my wireless internet connected again. It only took me 3+ days after I got it back from the lovely IT person who cleaned out my hard drive. I was trying to connect and the little wireless icon would tell me that it was acquiring my network address, but would sit there with that little yellow ball bouncing back and forth, taunting me with its promise of the ability to access the wireless web from anywhere within my spacious two bedroom one bath apartment, for hours before it would say that it was unable to connect (hello run on sentence!).

So tonight I reset everything and typed in my password and waited for another 30 minutes before it occurred to me that I had put in the wrong password. So I closed everything out, put in the right password and in less time than I could blink everything was connected and up and running.

Which means that the whole time I was trying to connect to the stupid [expletive] internet I was using the wrong password and instead of kicking me off and doing something like TELLING me that I had the wrong password it just let me sit there thinking that everything was ok and working. UGH.

But now everything is fine ... and I can start posting regularly again (because I did that SO often before). I have been blogging in my mind for the last week and I have lots of posts that are just clawing at the inside of my head to get out onto the web for the hungry eyes of people everywhere!

GiST #1 + CPU Update

CPU Update: Fixed but (you knew that was coming, right?) for some reason it refuses to acquire the IP address for the wireless. Le Sigh. It is the way of the Super Careo ... nothing ever works right the first time (or second time, or third time, and sometimes not even the fourth time). Thank goodness I spend all day on a computer with internet access or my Google reader would be in the 1,000+ area for posts and then I would probably cry.

In other news: I joined the Grace in Small Things network (well, I'm not an official member quite yet, I have to be approved first) and I will probably be doing that a whole lot. And by whole lot, I mean every week or so. If my computer gets it's act together and will let me onto the internet, then maybe I'll do it every other day. Or everyday. There really isn't much to do around the house when Boyfriend isn't there to entertain me/annoy. And so ... here is my first go at it!

Grace in Small Things (1 of ??):
1. A brand spankin' new salary and benefits! (yup - I finally got that raise!)
2. Two small furries who act like I've been missing for years when they come in from the patio after being out there for 5 minutes.
3. Two small furries who still snuggle me even when I forget to feed them dinner.
4. Boyfriend who can't sleep but will tell me to go back to sleep when he wakes me up.
5. The Joy of Cooking (seriously, if you don't have this cookbook and want to learn how to cook good food, then you need to get this on your bookshelf ASAP)