Friday, March 31, 2006


I love the blog Crooks and Liars. The guys running that site do a great job poking at the religious right and the politicians associated with them.

There was a video showing Hardball where they were debating the war on religion. Reverand Al Sharpton got on and he really took Tony Perkins to task. You know, it's great to see a theist get the whole separation of church and state issue. Perkins talked about how the LA county had to get rid of a cross that was an emblem on there seal. Sharpton said that it was the right thing to do because if there was any other religious symbol, then he'd want it removed, too. Sharpton said that we want a Democracy and not a Theocracy, which is where the country is moving towards. Wow! I mean, wow! A theist sees what secular American has seen for quite some time and said it publically!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good News

Just heard that A got a job with a REALLY good consulting firm. They're very well established and have LOTS of municipal work. I've really happy for him and hope the move is a good one for him.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Great Fun!

We had the in-laws show up this weekend and had a good time. We essentially just bumped around between the house and the hotel. We also made the trek up to IKEA in Frisco. They're hooked. As J calls it, "welcome to the cult of IKEA." It's just so easy to leave with so much stuff!

We also took M to Six Flags for the first time and went ahead and bought season passes. We rode the ship swing first. M was so excited to ride on it while we were waiting in line. . . but when the lap bar was brought down and M was "stuck", she panicked. "I don't want to ride this!" "Let me out!" The kids running the ride were kind to wait to see if we were going to stay on or not. M calmed down enough and ended up riding it. She held on really hard and concentrated on looking straight ahead. Afterwards, she claimed that she was yelling because it was just fun. :)

We then rode on a number of rides: The bob sled roller coaster, the log ride, the run away mine roller coaster and a couple of typical kid rides. She had so much fun and it was great fun watching her enjoy riding the rides.

I only had one "fat" moment on the run away mine ride. The lap bar wouldn't close, so we had to move to a different car so it would close on us. It was embarrassing and I could have just gotten up and not ridden the ride, but I stuck in there and moved to the other car without panicking. In another life, it would have ruined my day, but I pushed through it and had a great time.

I'm trying to up my phyisical activity and have done so over the past couple of weeks. I've been stiff, but happy because I'm getting out.

I'm also participating in a Candy Swap. I sent out my package and should receive mine sometime early this week.

On the knitting front, I've been knitting a banner for a group I belong to, but I've run out of yarn and need to order more. So that is on hold. Then I am not happy with how my socks are turning out - the toe looks weird and the body of the sock is too large. I'm going to have to frog what I have done and start over. I'm also going to go up on my needle size. 0 is too small! Right now I'm knitting a hat in cotton for an on-line friend who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. It's a pretty straight forward hat. I just dislike knitting with cotton.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I miss him

I really miss having A show up here at the house. Just having him come in really helped out. He's super talented and I really appreciated having him stay on top of everything. His professionalism is top notch. I'm glad to get the occasional phone calls asking for references for A. I'm hoping he is enjoying some of the time off that he's getting.

What I really hate is that he's completely severed all contact from me. I know from a business standpoint I "did the right thing," but it still hurts. I am human, after all.

He's just too talented to be wasted in a dead end job. Unfortunately, he doesn't have his degree. But I'm the first to say that he is top notch and really knows his profession. I hate that the possibility exists that he won't be reimbursed at the right rate - he's that good, honestly.

On a personal note, I've received one job offer, but I turned it down. I'm still waiting on a local city job. Business has been fairly good in that I've been very busy, so I'm on the fence regarding jumping ship to go work for a competing consulting engineering firm. Let's face it, even at a part time basis, I can make more money working for myself than for a consultant.

But here's the deal. . . I'm getting burned out on drafting. I've been drafting since 1988 - 18 years with the same software.

Going to work for the consultants that I've been interviewing with has a lot of professional potential. I feel like I could easily fit into two of the three firms I've interviewed with. It's going to be a difficult decision. One group I'm really worried about is that they aren't really seeing the right person they need to break into the public works market. I feel that I am a "one trick pony" and couldn't really deliver the goods. The opportunity is really great - I could conceivable be making over $100,000 a year in one years time -of course that's *if* I can deliver. My contacts are in Tarrant County. The consulting firm I'm interviewing with is in Dallas. I really like these guys, but I just feel like I'm potentially setting myself and the firm up for failure. They also want 50+ hours a week. I have a four year old. I don't want to miss out on her childhood because of work.

The other group is located in Tarrant County, so my contacts would still be good. I get along VERY well with the Department head and feel that the office is on the ground floor of something that could grow fairly rapidly. I have a lot in common with the guy in charge and have an ease with talking to him that I really like. I just feel that the previous firm is more together regarding the business end of consulting. They have goals and an open accounting policy that I really like. I don't see myself being with the first firm on a long term basis. I'd basically take the knowledge and run because I don't wish to miss my child's childhood.

Finally, there is a city job that is currently being advertised. I'm a little under qualified for this job, but I'd love to get it because the city has a great pension plan (and they pay for health insurance at a reduced rate during retirement). The other thing that attracts me is the fact that I don't really like how the development community runs over the engineering department right now. There will need to be some updating to the current city ordinances - mainly to the drainage and development portion of the code.

The city just hired a new Engineering Director and extended the date on interviewing prospective candidates till the beginning of April - SUCK. So, I'm waiting till I know what's happening on the city front prior to entertaining other offers. I've never lived 3 miles from my job, with the exception of working out of the home.

I also interviewed with Brinker (the Chili's guys). A, BTW, if you're reading this, there are three positions open for Project Manager and I KNOW you are eminently qualified for these positions. I've applied, too, but I have a feeling that they're going to skip me and say that I'm overqualified.

Classic Movies

There are a couple of movies that I really love seeing and feel they're true classics.

Forrest Gump

I just love how this movie merges popular culture with a great story. It makes me so happy to watch.


I remember one time when I was talking to one of my clients, he said he went to see this movie with hi wife and thought it was one of the best movies of all time. I never thought about it, but I just love how the story follows four different story lines. It's written very well. I have to agree. This is one of my all time favorites. You know it's a favorite when you watch it over and over again when it's on cable and really have decided to watch it.

The Green Mile

Wow. This was really just so good. I remember crying a number of times while watching this movie. I just love how this married the supernatural with the natural world. The story regarding the long lived mouse was really great. It definitely appeals towards my love of comic books.

The Shawshank Redemption

I'm of the generation who learned how to read from Morgan "Easy Reader" Freeman. He was just wonderful in this story. I absolutely hated the head guard (I don't know his name, but he's been in so many movies and TV shows: Highlander (movie), Carnivale (cable show), Earth 2 (TV). (Google says his name is Clancy Brown)

The Big Lebowski

Just an all time great movie. I still find myself quoting this movie. I remember seeing this in the movie theaters and just not getting it. One of the reasons why I feel the Cohen brothers are truly the best movie makers of my lifetime is because their movies are really subtle - in other words, it takes some time for you to really get the genius of their movies. The great appreciation, for me at least, comes when I re-watch Cohen movies. That's when I actually get some of the humor I missed it the first time. Plus, their choice of music is really great. I love the soundtrack to "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" too.

I'm sure I'll name others later, but for now, these are some of my all time favorites.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Well, I've been on four job interviews and have liked each place in it's own way. I still don't know if I want to go work for a consultant or for an owner (or city). I'm really on the fence about it. You see, my family is very important to me and I do not wish to lose out on seeing my daughter grow up.

I've told each firm that I was not in a hurry to accept a position as I wanted to make sure that I was picking the right one for me. They seemed to feel the same way, to that's a good sign.

We'll see what happens. Still no offers - just successful interviews, IMHO.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

More Finished Objects

These are going to go to my husband's cousins family who just had baby boy #2.

Here's the back of the hat. Notice the seam (I am beginning to hate seams). I also bound off too tightly as I did a stupid thing and broke the yarn before I had bound off (d'oh) so I was running out of yarn. I just made it, but it was because I BO'd tightly.

I also made a "boy" robot.
And I'm getting better at the embroidery part. I embroidered the eyes and the mouth on this one since the toy is going to go to a small one.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Getting Real

Okay, I started getting boring on this blog as it isn't really doing what I initially wanted to do with it - and that was to bitch.

Well, as my dear husband reminded me, F-em if they can't take it. So here it goes.

My business has slowed down considerably. I think it's because I've been giving poor customer service to my clients. I just had a lot of trouble saying NO to some and stringing other along so I can eventually get to their work. But in my defense, I've actually worked to get rid of my horrible clients at the expense of the good ones. Unfortunately I had to lay off my one employee - who is just fantastic - in order to look at re-tooling my company or going off to get a job working for someone else. Our bill-ables were getting to where they were *just* covering payroll, but not enough to cover other overhead expenses and I started to see the cushion I've built up slowly decline. So, rather than let the cushion go to zero - or negative - I decided to try to make a bad situation good: I gave my tech 35% of his annual salary and am paying for another full month of health care for his entire family. (Note: I think I paid him quite handsomely, so 35% was not something insignificant. In truth, he has more money in his bank account right now than I do).

So I get this nice note in the mail from our local Work Force Commission stating that the tech has applied for unemployment benefits.

I was shocked and felt very betrayed.

Applying for Unemployment Benefits directly impacts me as my company has to pay a percentage of our earnings to the state for Unemployment. If anyone actually claims on the company, then the company is required to make up the difference at tax time - in other words, I'll be the one paying the Unemployment Benefit - not some nondescript state agency.

I honestly feel that this was a direct "Fuck you" to me personally. I understand it's a difficult thing to lose a job, but I really tried to do right by him and his family. It just makes me deep down sad that it ended this way and I now have feelings of resentment towards this person.

I'm sorry I let A go. I really am. But I feel this was the best decision to make considering our work load and our prospects. I've been interviewing with companies and all of them want to talk to him because I've sung praises about his ability of being a tech. I hope someday we can look back at this and laugh. Right now, I just feel awful.