Friday, December 29, 2006

Ah, another year has come and gone

Yup, I must have been a good girl because Santa came to my house four days ago.

I however was not that good with my organization and planning for this holiday season.
I had the best intentions to get out homemade Christmas cards but that never happened.
I even bought a box of cards from Hallmark and they didn't even make it out in the mail.
The fact that I was fighting a cold and sore throat that zapped all of my energy may have been a contributing factor.

So, for the New Year my first resolution will be to finish what was to be this year's card for the 2007 Christmas season.

My second resolution is to get more organized!! (Something that I have been pursuing and making some headway).

Wow, that resolution alone will probably take me the whole year.
I hope to have birthday, get well, anniversary, sympathy... cards made in advance so that I just have to reach into a box and have a card to send to my family and friends. A card that will get to it's destination on time and not a few days late.

My last resolution is to spend more time on myself and have a social life and to get away from this workaholic / "A"student mentality that I have developed in the last few years. I am not getting any younger and I need to spend time enjoying life so that I have something good to look upon in my old age and not just that I was a "good worker".

So, family and friends I will need your help in getting my arse out of the house for interaction this new year. I know that it will be the best resolution for me to keep!

May all of you have a new year of good health, less stress, good times and happiness.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Grades have been posted.

The final grades have been posted at school and I achieved my goal of getting an A in this Finance class. In retrospect, despite all my "witchin" about this class and Stink Boy I am glad that I took this class this term.

Now onward to the next class which starts on 1/13/07 at the same time, different classroom but the same teacher. Hopefully he will make this accounting class as easy to understand as he did the finance class.


I am a dorkwad! I took three rolls of film with my camera that uses advantix film. (I can just hear some of you moaning about film and why haven't I gone digital). I have a digital camera. It is obsolete now and even when it was new and state of the art I never learned how to use it. So, my brother now has sole control and I use my regular camera. Maybe in the new year I will investigate the purchase of a new digital.

Back to the real reason for this post. So, me the dorkwad took three rolls of film while at the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier so that my sister Cindy would have more current photos of her grandkids since she hasn't seen them in over a year. I loved taking the pictures of Hannah and Zaine and of the beautiful surroundings. Like I said, three rolls worth. I even took them in for developing the next day. (A large accomplishment for me since I usually wait months to get pictures developed). I picked them up this morning and, here is the dorkwad part, I had the camera set inadvertently the whole time in the panoramic setting. What does this mean in the large scope of things?


Some of the pictures DON'T EVEN HAVE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW in them.

So, like I stated above, I AM A DORKWAD.

Don't get me wrong, I find great humor in this and intend to send the pictures of the strange children to my sister saying something like her grandkids sure did change since she has been in California.

The worst part about this is that I was going to make my first leap into doing a scrapbook with these pictures to give to the kids and my sister as a way to remember the day. I will just have to crop like crazy to achieve that goal.

Moral of the story: I will make sure for Christmas that the settings on my camera are correct when I shoot more pictures.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Five Things

Here are five things that you may or may not have known about me.

1. I sleep in a queen size bed but only use 1/2 of the bed, regardless if there is someone in the bed with me or not.

2. I always make my bed, each and every morning and have been known to do it when I am at a hotel on vacation.

3. I HATE having my picture taken and avoid it at all costs. I do, however, love to take pictures.

4. I am afraid of dying alone. I don't want someone to die with me, just that there be someone there when I die. (Sorry for the morbid thoughts).

5. I wish that I would have taken the time to have a child.

What's your elf name?

My elf name is "Minty Snowballer"

What's Your Elf Name?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


How do teachers do it? How do they stay healthy when exposed to young kids with germs all day? I really didn't know how bad my germaphobia was until the trip to Winter WonderFest. I tried very hard not to touch anything with my hands. What, you say, you didn't touch with your hands? Yep, I had a sweater on that had long sleeves, I covered my hands with the sweater when I had to touch a railing, an escalator hand rail, door handle... I washed my hands very well and did my best not to touch my face, nose, eyes... I even had all members in my car use anti-bacterial wipes whenever we got back into the car and I wiped down the gear shift, steering wheel, radio buttons, door handle... What did all of this supposed preventitive action get me?


Yep, I am coming down with a cold just in time for Christmas. Right now, I want to take a nap. What ever happened to nap time in the adult world? I LOVE a good afternoon nap anytime of the year, but when I am sick it is something that I crave just like a hot bowl of chicken soup.

So all of you teachers out there that manage to stay healthy when dealing with a room full of young children who don't always cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, I commend you for your stamina in being able to stay healthy.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Winter WonderFest

This past Saturday I went to Navy Pier with my sister-in-law Colleen, my great nephew Zaine and my great niece Hannah. Colleen, Zaine and Hannah took the train from Crystal Lake and disembarked at the Edison Park station where I picked them up in my car. From there we began our journey downtown to Navy Pier to the LaSalle Bank sponsored Winter WonderFest. The decorations were gorgeous and there were lights and trees galore. We had a coupon for $4.00 off the $14.00 entrance fee for each and every ticket that we purchased. Zaine was too tall for some of the activies and Hannah was just under the height limit. This will probably be the only year that we will go since next year they will both be too tall for the majority of the attractions. I took many rolls of film so that I can send pictures to my sister Cindy, as Zaine and Hannah are her grandchildren and I know that she would have liked to have taken them herself but the miles between here and Oceanside California are the hinderence. We ate lunch at Reba's restaurant at Navy Pier and stayed until just after 2:00pm when I convinced everyone that we should go see the Christmas tree at Daley Plaza and the windows at Macy's. Boy, was I a dorkwad!!! There were a gazillion people out and about and all that we truly saw was the giant tree at Daley Plaza. There were throngs of people at all of the Kris Kringle stands on Daley Plaza and not a parking garage in sight. So on we ventured to Macy's thinking that surely there would be a garage in that area. NOPE! We couldn't even see the windows because of the hordes of people on the sidewalk. So on to Michigan Avenue. We made our left hand turn onto Michigan Avenue at Millenium Park. It took us over 45 minutes to travel North on Michigan to Water Tower Place. There were shoppers everywhere. Traffic was crazy and driving stick shift in the stop and go traffic was quite nasty for me. We did make it up to Water Tower Place, parked in the underground parking lot, visited the 7 floors of shops and the kids got "souvenirs" from Accent Chicago. That store was blazing hot and I couldn't wait to get out of it. I don't like to shop if it is too hot in the store and I wanted out the minute that we entered but I promised the kids that they could have a "souvenir" and so I stood and sweated as they made their decisions. We departed Water Tower Place about 5:00pm and made our trek back to my hood and everyone stopped at my house for a few minutes to see Gidget the puppy before moving on to Wendy's for a quick dinner and then to the train for the final leg of Colleen, Zaine and Hannah's field trip. I was back home about 7:30pm and just vegged out the remainder of the evening because this girl is getting old and a day of kids and walking around just tuckered me out. I dropped off the film on Sunday morning when I went grocery shopping and it will be interesting to see how the pictures turned out.


Friday was the inaugural event that is known as Craftivus. Simone hosted the event in her home with a delicious dinner and hours of crafting and chatting. As the night came to a close a Yankee swap was done and I was the recipient of a very cool tin of chipboard heart shapes to be used on future cards and maybe a venture into a scrapbook page of two. I also received a very fine handmade accordian folded family scrapbook with it's own purse shaped box container. The only thing missing are the pictures of my family. This just might be the launch into scrapbooking that I need, finished pages with just the photos needed to complete. The toughest decision will now be to see what pictures are worthy of the great craftmanship that was used to make this great gift. In addition to lovely time had at Craftivus for the rest-of-us, was the very unexpected gift from Simone. Simone purchased a ribbon box from her friend Greta who lives down in Mississippi and had it shipped up to Chi-town. I already have some spools of ribbon on it. The hard job is determining what spool is box-worthy, and given the honor of being displayed. Many thanks to you Simone for creating and hosting this unique night. I have to admit that it was tons better than Festivus could have ever been.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I need a vacation

The weather here is actually quite nice for mid December and almost all of the snow is gone from less than two weeks ago. I however need a vacation. The stress of the now completed semester at school along with the holidays and work (co-workers) it's no wonder I have a daily dose of indegestion. I still haven't finished my Christmas cards which might turn into New Year's / winter cards. So, as I sit at lunch putting envelope liners into the 10 envelopes for which I have cards made I have to keep telling myself "go to your happy place, find your zen".

Hope everyone is not as stressed and enjoying the preparations for the holidays.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Proof Positive

My sister Cindy's most recent promotion is proof positive that she missed her calling early in life. Since Cindy got her job working for a vet out in sunny California she has fast-tracked her way up the company ladder. She started out as a receptionist and has moved from that position to training to be a vet tech, to the advanced training to be a vet nurse, to being asked by the owner to be tranferred to the location where he works, to the most recent promotion on Friday (12/8) to the head honcho at the location where she works. The company has three locations and Cindy will be making the schedule and overseeing the practice at her current location and will still be studying for the nurse exam in the near future. This clearly is what she should have been doing her whole life but got side-tracked do to funding for this type of career. I love and miss her very much but know that the move was in her best interests and clearly by the way her new career is going it was a great choice. SUPER DUPER CONGRATS to you Cindy!!!!

Patience is a virtue

I have no virtue today.
My patience has flown out the door today with the cold temperatures.
I know that the warmer temps and the possibility of rain are wrecking havoc with my mood today.
I have a headache and NO PATIENCE for stupid questions or comments.
I snapped, like a rabid turtle at one of my co-workers because she wasn't understanding what I was explaining to her about an invoice that we sent to her customer. Part of the problem is with the way the software treats partial or deposit billing. I have no control over the software and continued to express that fact to my co-worker and she JUST KEPT ASKING "Why does the invoice look this way?" ARGH!!!!!
On top of that I have been trading e-mails with Stink Boy over the project paper and the test.
I am going to take some asprin and eat a sandwich for lunch and HOPE that my mood takes an upswing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not a Good Investor

The investment game that we were playing online for my Finance class has ended. It's a good thing that I am not a finance major, or worse, an investment advisor.

I ended up 10th out of 18. Stink Boy was 9th!!! That killed me that he ended up ahead of me, but that's my problem to deal with. There were more than 18 in our class, but they decided not to play.

At the beginning of the term our Professor set up a game at a website called "Virtual Stock Exchange". We were all given $50,000.00 to invest as we wanted. Each time we traded (you could make as many transactions during that one trade, buying and selling) a charge of $29.95 was deducted from your money.

As you can see from my ranking I wasn't that great in the whole investment game, but I did end up with more than the original $50,000.00. There were a few who lost the original investment amount. It was a good chance to play the stock market and not lose any real money. I found that I didn't like investing in the companies that I had a personal feeling about. Say, Haliburton for example. That stock made money most of the time, I however do not agree with the fact that they get no bid contracts from our government and so I wouldn't invest. So with that said, it's a good thing that I don't invest in the market for real and that I don't advise those that do either. I guess to make the most money you need to keep your feelings in check.

I have this same Professor for my next course which is an accounting class. I hope that we cover something that would enable him to let the new class play this game. It was fun!

My Boys

I have been watching a new TV show called "My Boys" that is on cable about a woman reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times assigned to cover the Chicago Cubs. The cast consists of the main character, her best friend from college, her brother, three male friends and a new guy that has recently been coming to the weekly poker game. I like the scenes that have been shot around the city. If you get a chance check it out.

The Chipmunks

I just love singing along with the Christmas tune done by the Chipmunks "Christmas Don't Be Late" (not sure if that is the actual title). So as I was bee-bopping this morning with the Chipmunks on my way to work I wondered: What would "The Little Drummer Boy" sound like done by the Chipmunks. Maybe it has been done and there is a album, tape, CD out there that has this tune, just the mere thought of them doing the rum pum pum part put a smile on my face.

Think about some tunes you would like to have the Chipmunks do and I bet it will put a smile on your face too.

Rum Pum Pum...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Barbie vs. The Bratz

Having no children (of the two legged variety) of my own I take great pleasure in participating in the Chicago Sun-Times Secret Santa program. My sister Cindy and I started doing this about 4 years ago (this being the 4th year) and I love going out to buy toys. This year I have two first grade girls. The letter that I received from Cortney said that she would like a Barbie doll and the letter from Miranda said that she wanted a Bratz doll. Armed with this information I went to the local Big Lots store, because for this type of purchase I find that I can get the most bang for my buck.

Now I grew up with Barbie, so I am biased. I was shocked at the appearance of the Bratz dolls. They are all made up and dressed pretty sleazy. Now I know Barbie has some pretty skimpy outfits designed to show off her "perfect" curves, but her hair and make-up don't make her look like a hoochie momma.

The last thing that creeped me out about the Bratz girls were the way that the shoes are changed. Now Barbie's footwear can be a bit, I know this is not the correct word, messy. Because her shoes are small and do occasionally come off they are prone to getting lost, stepped on, eaten by the dog... But there is an alternative, let Barbie go barefoot. The Bratz on the other hand change their shoes by removing their feet at the ankle. Yup, the Bratz have removable feet. Sure, their shoes are always on, but what happens when someone loses a foot? Yikes, to have no feet in the event of loss, being eaten by a dog...HOLY CANNOLI!!!

So, even though I feel totally opposed to the gift of a Bratz doll for my Secret Santa girl, it was the ONLY thing in her letter and I don't want my repulsion of her choice be the reason that "Santa" doesn't bring her the doll she requested. Even the check out woman at the store was hesitant to put Barbie in with the Bratz girl for fear that Barbie would be corrupted.

So see, I'm not the only one with that opinion.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Bradford Exchange

For those of you that don't know, I work for a company with the name Bradford.
All year long we get calls for The Bradford Exchange, of which we are not.
This time of year is truly nasty in both the volume of the calls but in the crankiness of the caller.
Many southern elderly buy the items that The Bradford Exchange sells and often it is either lost in the mail, broken or the accounting department of The Bradford Exchange had not applied payment or has invoiced more than once for the items. The truly sneaky thing about The Bradford Exchange is that they have a post office box in the town in which my company have their corporate offices. The physical location of The Bradford Exchange is in a neighboring town. The Bradford Exchange does not provide a phone number for their customers to call, only a post office box in our town in which to remit payment. So, it is no wonder that when someone calls information and gives the name Bradford and our town that we get the calls. Some of these people are soooooo rude and nasty. They get even more so when we proceed to tell them that we are not The Bradford Exchange. This is one of the things that I will not miss when we move our offices out to Bensenville. Hopefully, The Exchange will not know where we have gone and will not set up a post office box in our town again.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pre-lit Chirstmas Trees

I am offering up much gratitude to the person who invented the pre-lit Christmas tree and to the manufacturers who have made it affordable to purchase.

Last year I made the pre-lit purchase and was very grateful yesterday when after just 2 hours of moving furniture, vacuuming and hauling the tree upstairs, it was assembled and lit. Now I just have to add the tree topper, ornaments, tree skirt and wrapped presents and it will be complete.

I am also offering up many thanks to the inventors of lock de-icer. Since I am still out on the street for parking and the locks on my car have been freezing the little spary of de-icer has become my friend. Rick put it in the lock yesterday afternoon when the sun was shining on my car and this morning when I went to unlock the driver's door it OPENED up just like it used to.
Thanks de-icer people.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Working from home

Super big hoorah to Pete our IT guy.
He now has me up and running to do work from home.
If everything had been working on Friday, I could have stayed home while the whole snow thing was going on and worked in my jammies.
However, it took 2 "go to meeting" sessions before he got it so that I can work and print from my home computer.
He even showed me how I can get into the pc on my desk at work.
That was wild but soooooo much slower than just working on the pc here at home.
Next thing will be to hook me up to some more software and on those truly icky days I may be doing my job in my bathrobe in the comfort of my own home.
Kudos to you Pete for being super smart and getting me going in just about 1-1/2 hours and all done remotely. Technology is amazing.
You rock Pete!!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

School Stuff

Well a VERY pleasant surprise this morning at school. The professor decided that he wasn't going to make us do the PowerPoint presentation of our projects. YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!!!

This is a two-fold wonderful thing.
1. I did not complete my portion of the PowerPoint presentation because I was too busy writing the paper portion of the project.
2. I REALLY don't like talking in front of the class (to think, many years ago I wanted to be a home ec teacher who would have to talk in front of the class, go figure).

The second part of the day and this is where my comments are a tad bit WITCHY.
So I as jump onto my broom, here goes:
Stink Boy had the nerve to criticize that I was late (I got to school at 7:50am, class starts at 8:00am). I would have been there sooner but the locks on my car were frozen and I had to ask my brother to help me get into the car. I had good intentions and went outside at 7:00am, it wasn't until 7:30am that we were able to get the driver's side door lock to open. Then Rick had to chisel away at the door jam so that the door would open.
Stink Boy couldn't believe that I didn't have a hole punch so that he could punch some additional papers that he wanted to put in the paper. (things that I had asked him for during the week when I was gathering the data for the paper) So he just used the little clip things on the report cover to cut through the paper. One page is sooooooo out of wack now that I hope we don't get points subtracted for messiness.
Stink Boy came to school with NO book, NO pen, NO calculator. Who does this? Grammer school children and even they probably don't forget the things that they need for the day. He's an adult, for pete's sake (who is pete and why do we foresake him?). Needless to say, the Boy requested paper, pen and a calculator from me.
Thank goodness that there is only one more class, the final exam. He is totally on his own now.

Friday, December 01, 2006



I have spent a good portion of my work day today finishing this darn paper and I am happy to say that I have just printed the last page.

The paper is laid out with our title page, a brief history about the industry in which the companies operate and history on the companies themselves. The objectives of the paper, our collective ratios and the industry ratios (I finally found them today). A graph of that data printed on the color copier here at work making it look all nice and pretty. The ratio analysis, then the conclusion and the bibliography for that section. That section of the project is 7 pages long.

The second part of the paper is the data provided by Stink Boy, 6 pages long. (McDonald's)

The last part is my part and it has 24 pages. (Wendy's)

So hopefully Stink Boy will turn in more pages tomorrow before class that I can include in his section.

Perhaps I have a bit of overkill in my section but I don't want my grade to suffer because I am paired with a slacker.

In all of this paper writing I sent an e-mail to John (yes that's Stink Boy's real name) and asked him about the Power Point presentation. He got his slides done which look very nice. I however told him that with the paper and all that I would not be able to get mine done. HE DIDN'T EVEN OFFER TO DO MY SLIDES. What a slacker!

I hope that if we offer up the paper that we can postpone our presentation and since the professor never really assigned a due date for either the paper or the presentation we have one of the two complete.

I feel much freer now and can't wait to chill out this evening. Hopefully tonight I will get a good night's sleep. LOL!

Winter Wonderland

As an adult: I MISS SNOW DAYS!!

In my family when there was a forecast for snow the excitement began.
Of course we were hoping for our school to close or our parents to decide that it wasn't worth sending us to school.
Since my father was in construction that meant that he was home too.
Living in a two flat with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins above us it just made for a merrier time.
Out would come the board games and we would play all day with short snow periods where we would get all wet from the snowball fights and shoveling.
Then back inside for another board game and hot chocolate. The real kind made with milk and Nestle powdered cocoa. The milk would be warmed in a silver metal sauce pan and then one person was in charge of the cocoa, one the marshmallows and one did the stirring.

Ah, those were the days!

Today was fun seeing my new puppy Gidget (a chihuahua) have her first experience with snow this morning at 4:00am. She was a trooper, but then I think that might have had something to do with the fact that I was out there in my nightshirt, slippers and coat shoveling the walkway for her. The real test comes later today when the deep heavy snow is on the ground.

Enjoy the snow, those that have gotten some. For you that are not in the chilly area, enjoy your Southern California (Cindy) weather and remember we will probably now have a white Christmas.

Remember be careful if you are driving and steer into the skid.