Monthly Archives: February 2004

Another quiet Sunday morning – low-stress, which is nice. Because of soreness from my fractured rib, I’m finding moving around in the mornings to be exceptionally difficult – nothing like starting off the day with a handful of ibuprofen. I hope my liver can take it! Between that and Vicodin in the evenings, I’m staying mostly mobile, but the soreness never really goes away and gets annoying. takaza has noticed that it makes me irritable during the day – I’m sorry about that sweetie! As time passes and it lessens, I hope it will have less impact on my life.

So, what’s going on? Despite of the ferocious snow storm of Thursday night/Friday morning (hah! The streets were dry by 3 PM Friday), brophey and rasslor drove up from Atlanta Friday afternoon to join us for the weekend. Friday night was a tasty dinner with them and the usual suspects at Lubrano’s, followed by tasty gelato at Silvia d’Italia’s. We always have to visit there when Rasslor’s in town, because Sylvia really likes him. We went to bed early that night.

Saturday was a slow start – no big surprise. Once we got everyone motivated, we met Thomas, Sherry, and Rich for lunch at Bass Lake Draft House, then proceeded over to Carolina Wine Company. Thomas and Sherry and Rich took their leave of us then, and we drove over to A Southern Season in Chapel Hill to look at all the lovely tasty goodies there. Much chocolate was purchased, as well as a few other goodies. We headed home then, hung out and watched a couple of episodes of Super Millionaire, as well as last week’s Queer Eye, then ordered pizza. Rasslor and I enjoyed a very tasty bottle of wine, as well 🙂 Between the TV and just generally enjoying the company, somehow it got late and we wound up asleep by 11:30.

So, plans for today include a possible lunch at Crazy Fire, and the requisite return trip to Silvia’s, then Rasslor and Brophey will head back home. We’ll probably have a quiet night ourselves – I can see a hot bath and a nice book in my future.

For the week ahead: Need to get our finances in order and finish paying the first-of-the-month bills, apply to more jobs, and get ready for a drive up to Philadelphia next weekend. Whee!

Husky fall down, go boom.

So today started out pretty well. I had heard good things about Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area and wanted to check it out and enjoy some of the mild weather we’ve been having. The park doesn’t really have much in the way of trails – about two miles or so – but it’s an extremely pleasant walk featuring Occoneechee Mountain, the highest point in Orange County at all of 867 feet.

So the first quarter-mile of the trail was fine. Then I came to a spot where the trail went up a small embankment. I put my foot at the top of the embankment…and slipped. WHAM! I landed right on the bottom of my rib cage on my left side. Ouch. Damn, that hurt. I was able to get up, dust myself off, and slowly pick up the pace again, though my left side was now quite tender. I wound up hiking the entire loop trail as well as the spur up to summit without too much problems, besides the lingering soreness.

When I got home I was able to sit comfortably in the living room, though I noticed that coughing while in a sitting position was rather painful. When takaza got home, he asked me to lay down on the sofa so he could check to see if of my ribs didn’t feel right. As I was laying down I got a stabbing pain in my side, at which point Dan decided I was going to see a doctor now.

So, an hour and a half at Rex Urgent Care in Cary gave us the good news: I have fractured my tenth rib on the left side, though I did no damage to the chest wall, fortunately. Well, doesn’t that just suck.

On the bright side, it doesn’t really hurt to breathe, or take deep breaths, or even yawn. Coughing is a bit painful, though, and lying down is rather exciting. I think I’ll be able to get comfortable lying on my right side, but lying on my back is out of the question. As long as I don’t have to sleep sitting up, that’s fine by me. Unfortunately, treatment for a rib fracture is pretty much to just leave it be and let it heal on its own, which is going to take a few months. In the meantime, I’ve got a nice little bottle of Vicodin with my name on it and I’m not afraid to use it.

Every little bit

I posted yesterday about the idea of sending flowers to a random gay or lesbian couple waiting in line to get married in San Francisco. The only drawback to that is that after delivery fees, taxes, and everything else is taken into account, you’re looking at in investment of $50 or more. Not everyone has that kind of disposable income, though, so here’s a really nice idea: Darren Barefoot is organizing Flowers for Al and Don (get it?), which pools funds donated via PayPal, five or ten bucks at a time. As of 10:55 AM PST, he has raised almost $2,500 – very cool!

So, I had an interview today.

I wish I could say that I know for sure I’ve got the job (or even that I don’t have the job – it’s nice to know either way). About all I can say for sure is that I went in and put my best foot forward. I had answers for everything that I as asked, I admitted the few areas where I might come up short, and overall seemed to come across well. They are interviewing five people for the position and I was number two. The person whose job I will be taking wasn’t in because he was working there over the weekend and was there until 4 AM this morning (oh, that’s auspicious!). If I make the initial cut, they’ll probably bring me back to talk with him one-on-one before they make any decisions. They should know who they’re going to go with in 2-4 weeks. The down side is that they won’t actually be hiring until April or May, but if we know that there is definitely a job waiting for me, we can figure out a way to work things out. I’ll let everyone know as soon as I know something.

Between worrying about the interview and the weather (original forecast: 4-6 inches of snow. Real snowfall: <2 inches), I didn't sleep very well last night. So after getting home and puttering around a bit, I took a nap and wound up sleeping for a good two and a half hours before takaza woke me up. While the sleep was needed, my timesense is totally scrambled and I have no idea if it’s bedtime or dinner time or what. I just hope I start to feel tired when bedtime rolls around.

Oh, one final note: I was poking through some old pictures and I came across some pictures that we never posted to our picture gallery from our visit to the North Carolina State Fair in 2002 in the company of mirkowuff. So Mirko, here’s one of the pictures we have of you, nicely done up as a LiveJournal icon 🙂

And many happy returns

Well, I thought that my birthday was going to pass quietly, but I should have known takaza wouldn’t allow that to happen. At around 6:30, wildmouse and me_not_you came in, surprising me. They brought chicken strips and fries, which is always yummy, but I was informed that wasn’t for me, but for everyone else. Not long after, Thomas and Sherry arrived with a large platter in hand – it was Dan’s other birthday present for me, a large and stunningly-presented tray of sushi from Wasabi (a place I’ve mentioned wanting to go, but hadn’t had the chance to visit yet). The platter included sashimi, several different types of maki and nigiri, and a tempura-fried spider roll, all of which were just delicious. Dessert was a tasty pound cake that Donald had come home early from work to make (thanks, Mister Cabbage!). After dinner a game of Lunch Money was played, and we were treated to the surreal images of Catholic school girls stomping, headbutting, and generally beating the crap out of each other for their lunch money. Somehow I’m not surprised that Sherry won 🙂

And so I don’t seem an ungrateful git, to all the folks who replied to my last posting:
To ramalion, posicat, shockwave77598, and genebreshears – Thanks, guys!
To sabotlours – Oddly enough, I don’t think I have any beer in the fridge, though I seem to have fifteen gallons of it fermenting in the kitchen! 🙂
To perro – It’s a fine line between bitchy and sassy, but I’ll take sassy!
And to quasiskunk, hartree, datahawk, and linnaeus – Yeah, now I can be all bad in my hot leather jacket, ’cause we all know what a badass I can be. I guess the assless chaps are my next purchase, just to complete the outfit?

So we have a busy few days coming up. Tonight we’re joining Thomas and Sherry for an evening at Charlie Goodnight’s to see Maryellen Hooper, an extremely funny comedienne. (And hey, browsing around her website, I see she’s even cooler because of the great charities she supports). Then tomorrow night we’re joining folks for an early Valentine’s Day dinner (because actually going out to eat on Valentine’s Day is insane!) at Rio Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse known in our circle as “The Palace O’ Meat”. Mmm, meat. Remind me not to eat anything at all on Friday…

Now, off to start the day!

Woohoo!

I have an interview with Closure Medical on Monday, February 16th, at 8 AM. This is the company in Raleigh that I mentioned. Oh, and I didn’t mention it earlier, but one of their products is pretty recognizable: Band-Aid Liquid Bandage. It would be so cool to get in with this company, and I’m really looking forward to the interview!

Why should I care?

Just to preface, I’m not picking on anyone – this is a post I’ve been meaning to make for quite some time.

I’ve heard a couple of times, “Why should I care if I can’t marry my same-sex partner?” Well, in 1996, following the passage of the inanely-titled Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Rep. Henry Hyde requested that the General Accounting Office prepare a report to determine the federal laws that are affected by the legislation – that is, those which are triggered by “marriage” or relating to a “spouse”. The result is a collection of 1,049 federal laws classified to the United States Code in which marital status is a factor in thirteen categories.

Here is a summary of the report. It’s a lot of material, but even if you just skim it you start to get a feeling for what’s at stake. Plus, you’ll have a little ammunition the next time someone asks you why they should care about same-sex marriage. For my part, I don’t care if it’s called marriage, civil unions, or purple tomatoes. I do care that whatever arrangement is arrived at is equal and identical to the benefits conferred by heterosexual marriage. It’s going to be a hard road to get there, but I believe that this is an achievable goal, one that we will see in my lifetime.

And the monk cursed him, “May you live in interesting times.”

It’s been an interesting week for me, emotionally. As I mentioned, my unemployment has run out (though there’s a slim chance it could be re-started. I won’t hold my breath, though). This put me into a flurry of applications and recruiter contacts, and I now have two possibilities out there.

The first one is back in Morris, IL, site of my last job in Illinois. It’s at a facility that used to be owned by my former employer but has since been sold. It’s not a bad opportunity, though I’m not thrilled that the possibility exists that it could be temp-to-perm. That would mean no relocation assistance and no benefits, probably. Even if they liked me and wanted to hire me, we couldn’t do it if takaza didn’t get a transfer to his company’s HQ in Buffalo Grove. Currently there’s no positions available that suit his background (the one that did closed out before he could apply), so there’s a whole lot of if’s in that scenario. It’s pretty early to say on this one since I haven’t talked to anyone but the recruiter, so we’ll see if the company is interested.

Then there’s a possibility which just opened up right here in Raleigh. This one fell right in my lap, but there’s a lot of amusing connections. First off, I interviewed at Closure six years ago. I didn’t get the job then, but that was because they had another applicant who had twelve years of experience in cyanoacrylates and was local. Tough to fight that. The other nice thing about this is that I have a friend who works at the company who has said she’ll be happy to speak well of me – ladyinthetower. In a small-ish company like that, connections can help a lot. Closure is growing well and their stock performance has been particularly impressive – always good when the company offers stock options to all its employees. Plus, the money is damn good. So, while remaining in Raleigh is what we would call a sub-optimal solution, there are enough other benefits (like, oh, I don’t know, HAVING A JOB!) that make it worth it. I spoke with the VP of HR there yesterday, and he said someone would call me in the next day or so to set a date and time for me to come in and interview.

Other than the job hunt, I’ve been keeping busy with work on the Midwest FurFest website. Hey, have you seen the new site design? It’s pretty spiffy. Also, did you know that you can now pre-order the 2003 DVD (with the entire FVS plus highlights from around the convention) online? You may now be impressed.

And on today’s agenda for excitement? Drop off my suit at the cleaners, and stop by Sam’s Club for the usual supplies (paper towels, TP, and dish detergent). I’d also like to get in some hiking, since the next few days are supposed to be rainy – maybe a stop by the American Tobacco Trail, since it’s all of two miles from here. Well, off to be useful!

Oh my god, it’s so true…

Disinformation gets the goods on the Society for Creative Anachronism. Never have I seen the SCA summed up so succinctly in a few short paragraphs, capturing all that I learned to dislike after seven years in the Society.

The preeminence of fighting is maintained, however, by the ‘kingdom’ system, since leadership of each group is assumed by a ‘king’ and ‘queen’ who are selected by means of semi-annual tournaments. All awards and prestige in the organization flow from this ‘king’ and ‘queen’, which results in internal group politics that put those of many academic departments to shame.

Then there’s the bad news…

Well, I put it off for a week in hopes that it would magically re-appear like last time, but after a phone call to the NC Employment Services Commission, it’s official: I will receive no extension. My unemployment benefits have been exhausted.

This isn’t that much of a surprise – we were expecting this at one point or another. It’s one less thing keeping us tied to North Carolina, though. Of course, I will continue to apply for jobs across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes areas, but in the meantime, Takaza is going to look into transferring to his company’s Buffalo Grove, IL headquarters. If that comes through before I can get anything going job-wise then we’ll be making the move up there, on our own nickel. I’ll continue to look for work in the Chicago area, investigating possibilities including short-term contracts or areas outside of chemical engineering.

It’s all rather disappointing, but you gotta keep moving because there’s only one way to get off this merry-go-round of life and I’m sure as heck not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. I have Dan, and we have each other. With that, we can face anything that comes our way, I’m confident of that. I’m grateful that I’m blessed with such a loving and understanding husband who’s been willing to support me through all this mess. I only hope that I’ll be able to reward his patience in a suitable manner (like getting a nice job where we can afford for him to take some time off as well). We shall see…

Weekend Review

Had a pretty laid-back weekend, though lots of social goings-on.

On Saturday, Takaza and I joined Thomas, wildmouseJanelle, and me_not_youDonald for lunch at Bass Lake Draft House in our old stomping grounds of Holly Springs, then went over for the brewery tour at Carolina Brewing Company, which Thomas and Donald had never been to. Now, I know several of our friends have done this tour with us, so you’ll appreciate this – when we turned down the street, all we saw was a line of cars a good quarter-mile on either side of the brewery. I would estimate there were at least three hundred people there – this on a tour that in the past has had maybe 30-40 people. It would appear that the combined fact of the Super Bowl the following day, plus they had a stout available for pretty much that only, plus people have figured out that there’s this tour where you go in and get free beer, as much as you want, well…ka-blooie! We stuck around for part of the tour then bugged out when it became apparent that there was no way to hear what the guide was saying. Donald and Thomas bought a case of porter and a case of stout, and our mission was accomplished.

After that, it was off to Durham for a trip by Fowler’s Gourmet Market, where they were doing a syrah wine tasting. There were some real clunkers in there (the carbonated shiraz was just wrong!), but Thomas and I both picked up a bottle of an excellent Aussie shiraz that was a good deal at $8.99/bottle. We browsed over the other offerings that the store had, and Janelle marveled at the $4.99/lb cream cheese (“Is it that much better? Is it any different? Is it worth it?”) though in the end we left without answering those burning questions. The overall impression we got from the store was that it was extremely yuppified and expensive (“It’s like Whole Foods Market without the facial piercings”). This also allowed us to hear Janelle’s stunning rendition of Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” on the drive home. We retired to Donald and Janelle’s, where Takaza and Sherry joined us. Munchkin and XBox games were played, pizza was ordered, and we all lounged on the Couch of Doom before heading home…

Sunday, Dan and I cleaned up the place and I did some grocery shopping, then the usual suspects joined us for a fun Super Bowl party. Being that we are in North Carolina, Thomas was a big Panthers fan, though honestly I couldn’t care less (I’ll still take some of Tom Brady’s paycheck, though!). We made up some burritos, Thomas brought some hot wings, and five or six different kinds of beers were sampled. Despite the late night, we had a great time. Next time, though – about half as much ground beef for the burritos and about a third of the cheese that we grated. Ouch.