Sunday, April 29, 2007

New place!

As of May 26ish I will no longer be a resident of Jefferson County. Oh no!

I found a place I can afford up at 104th & Colorado. 850 sq ft, one bedroom...and I can afford it, based on the new information I got from the boss on Thursday. The move will be Memorial Day Weekend, most likely Saturday unless I can talk them into getting me the keys a day earlier. (Tim's moving Friday, so we could get this place cleared out in a day and split the Uhaul which would be handy.)

Also Friday, May 11 is the most overbooked day on the planet. My parents both called me today (within 5 min of each other I might add) asking if I would be able to go over to Erin's parents' house that evening for dinner so the families can meet. Sure! Why not? As soon as I get off the phone Steph reminds me that is also the 1-year anniversary of the divorce, so there is definitely a celebration in order for that happy occasion. Then Kath tells me there's going to be an evening out that night for some friends who are finishing finals at CU. Then I realize that the Colorado Young Dems' Celebrity Poker Tournament is the same evening and I was thinking I would go. Guess not!

Bed time. On tap for evening-times this week: Meet the Parents, Singin', Drinks, NBC Thursday (extended Office this week!), then it's the weekend again! Life is full of goodness. And chocolate. I hope. Because chocolate is good.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Roommates, both furry and imaginary

Neither of those descriptions is aimed at my brother, for those of you paying attention.

So I'm peeing (as all good stories must begin), when Ozzy jumps out from behind the shower curtain. At least that was the goal. See, it's a cloth curtain and his claws spend a lot of time stuck in the fabric when he makes it into the bathroom. So instead of a clean leap at my leg, he brings the curtain with him and plops halfway into the toilet. He frees himself and is amazingly completely dry. How he pulled that off I don't know, but the shower curtain was soaked in dirty toilet water. Thanks Ozzy.

In the realm of hypothetical roommates...well, I think I need one. More apartment searching today, and there's just not much I can really afford on my own. Some really great places are affordable if I were splitting the rent. Wendy's looking at moving Denver-ward, but she's moving in w/ David which would be a complicated situation, and she works in the Springs so they're looking in South Denver. Since I'm moving and all I would really like to A) go North (since I'm spending a lot of time up at 104th & I-25 these days, and hopefully into the future as well) and B) get out of Jeffco. Nothing wrong with it, but in all the time I've lived in Denver I've been in mid-Jeffco (Arvada & Lakewood) and I'd just like to go somewhere with fewer memories built in for awhile. So...if anybody reading this knows anyone looking to move who might be cool living Northish or at least close to I-25, can put up with a cat...send 'em my way, eh?

In music news, I completely missed the release of the NIN CD (Year Zero) last Tuesday somehow. Of course I remedied that situation as soon as I realized it and it's good, predictably. I also picked up "The Black Parade" (by My Chemical Romance) and it's just damn good. I've had it on almost constantly since Saturday, beating out Year Zero for the moment. I remember when I 1st heard "Welcome to the Black Parade" and thought wow...those guys are ripping off the Pumpkins like crazy! I was kind of pissed, but then in interviews they admitted that the Pumpkins had been a big influence and they were big fans. SP even had them listed in their top Myspace friends for awhile, so I got OK with it. There's a big difference between somewhat sounding like another band out of respect and admiration vs. lack of creativity and ripping-off of style (*cough*Our Lady Peace*cough*). The Black Parade is kind of like if Pink Floyd had grown up on SP and Green Day and decided to write The Wall about death rather than a fucked up life. At least that's my opinion at this point. We'll see what kind of staying power it has in my collection over time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The squeaky wheel gets asked to please provide grease

All last week one of my most time-consuming projects was going through database updates. As of Monday it was up and running again and I got to go play with the new system. Wow they messed things up. A basic example: Height and Weight values that didn't contain a decimal place of ".0" were flagged as non-conformant data. This means every value has to be re-opened, verified w/ the source documents, re-entered, re-saved, and re-checked for accuracy by the monitor. I have no problem with entering a decimal place generally, but retroactively deciding this is necessary for 56 patients who have been in our office up to 9 visits each tends to add a bit to the workload. There were 12-15 data points affected by the changes made (*56, *up to 9 occurences for each data point), plus an untold number of Con Med and Adverse Event entries. My personal favorite involved the Physical Exam page...the "Dentition" (do they have teeth?) values were changed from Normal vs. Abnormal to Unremarkable vs. Clinically Significant. Everything that had been entered previously, Normal or Abnormal, was therefore lost and must be re-entered.

Being the meticulous person I am, I typed up a couple emails to the site director detailing how much was being asked of us and how long these changes would take me (between 10-90 min/patient, depending on different things). These weren't whiny diatribes about "waaaaa, don't wanna!!!," these were informative details of what was going on. See, we get paid by sponsors based on how much of our time their study takes, so me spending an extra hour+ getting each of the 56 data sets up to where the new system requires makes a difference in our contract and therefore site revenue. Apparently these emails were forwarded, discussed at length internally and w/ the sponsor, and today I received instruction to stop scrambling to make the fixes.

Turns out they're going to take back a lot of the questions their system asked, see what they can fix on that end, negotiate an addendum to the contract, and then do some sort of phased rollout of datapoint queries/updates. This is great news...but then they decided that since I provided such careful feedback the Denver site will basically be a beta-test site throughout this process. I guess that's flattering :-P The more positive bit is that my site director was happy with me and people further up the food chain know who I am now apparently. Now I have to work up the courage to ask for more money!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

so full of goo!

Wow, what a weekend.

One thing I'm learning rapidly...when you date someone with kids, you're quite literally dating the whole family unit. It's not just me and Steph, it's how I get along w/ the kids (and dog) as well. This adds many levels of difficulty to the whole situation, but I'm really strangely comfortable with the whole thing. (One thing I'm not comfortable with...I don't want to use the kids' names here. Call me paranoid, but Steph and I are adults, so that's ok, but their names are unique enough that I don't want to be identifying them recognizably. Hmmmm)

So last weekend I painted toenails. This weekend I helped out with the "hard parts" of an online game, and was granted "best friend" status for the assistance. Saturday Steph wanted to go running so I took the kids to the little playground in the complex. We ran around and played for an such as "Monster Chase" and Ninja Turtles. Reminded me somewhat of taking Nate and Nick to the park long ago when I was helping to babysit. Except that this time it's the mom I'm interested in spending more time with and not the babysitter... It's a positive thing though that I have a 5 year old boy to take w/ me to TMNT tomorrow, right? Not that I needed the cover...I was going anyway...but this way Steph has a little more quiet in her evening tomorrow, eh?

This is all being seen through the "eyes of ruby" associated with new relationships of course. A big part of me wants this to work out but the realist in me is always there cautioning against falling too hard too fast. There's no reason to do that to myself just because there are small children involved. I have to think quite seriously about the adult relationship that is growing and developing while I am getting to know the kids. So far all of the concerns in that arena are quickly assuaged by the inexplicable comfort and peacefulness I feel with the whole situation. I am quite optimistic that it will stay this way.

"Oh baby know what you're like?/You're like my favorite underwear/It just feels right, you know it"- Liz Phair

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The top 4 selling soundtracks of all time (in no particular order):
The Bodyguard
Saturday Night Fever
Purple Rain
Forrest Gump

Dammit. We got The Bodyguard and Forrest Gump, but on an all-or-nothing question we still lost the 3 points wagered. Which was still good enough to move up from 4th to 3rd place -> $15 house cash. Wahoo. ('s Fish Tacos)

Possible trip to Florida in 3 weeks could replace the possible trip to Mexico in June. We'll see what happens there. I did discover that the other free AirTran flight I dug through Wendy's dumpsters for has expired. Oh well. I disliked the Atlanta airport greatly, and that flight was a figment of a relationship long gone. Considering the other free flight was used on a trip which included my girlfriend making out with another guy, maybe I didn't really need to take a trip remotely related to that one, eh?

Also- Glenlivet is good.

Monday, April 9, 2007

money money money muuunay muuuuuunay

Money sucks.
New thought? Earth-shattering revelation that will change the course of America forever? No. I'm not the one to make such profound pronouncements.

My 1st disappointment is that the tattoo that has now been designed and considered at length will cost between $180-240. This is extra money that I don't exactly know that I can part would have to come out of savings, but since the trip to Mexico may be off then maybe that would be ok? Throw in the fact that the same afternoon I got a price quote a check for $178 unexpected dollars showed up in my mailbox...and maybe I just need to do this thing. Thoughts? (Tell me this is an OK expense people!)

The other frustration is w/ apartment stuff. The best I've found so far is $650 for a 1 bed 1 bath place at 763 sq. ft. I can find cheaper places, yes, but none of them I've found so far would accomodate my prodigious amount of stuff, and I would like to keep as many of my things as possible. Yes, they are just things and not necessary for continued existence, but the coffee table, dining room table, bed, bedside table, washer, and desk also represent the transformation from SA to PSA. This has been a process I would like to remember, both emotionally and through the things around me. Silly, maybe. I don't care.

Which brings me to the last point...I need to make more money. Since starting this job I have taken on additional responsibilities, always been willing to help out and learn new things, and my pay has not increased since that 1st day when I thought I was going to be a receptionist. I was told a few weeks in that there would be a "significant" raise when it came time for PAs, but that isn't here yet. I deserve more money for everything I do at that place. I love my job but I would like to be compensated accordingly. That's not so strange, right?

I have used too many commas in this post.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Deep Thoughts from Jenna Fischer

"I don't mind if it is dark out when I wake up. But it sure blows when I drive by Starbucks and it's too early to get coffee."

Crazy-ass 2 weeks

So my brother goes and gets engaged and that's awesome. Then I find myself in a relationship where I actually have someone I would call my girlfriend, and that kicks ass. Then today my sister texts me the following: "I'm engaged!" I had to call back of course and yes folks, two of my siblings are now getting married! What a world, what a world...

The part that cracks me up is that throughout our siblinghood I have been the one dating, in steady relationships, and generally assumed to be Most Likely To Get Married. So my brother is on engagement #2 (this one infinitely more promising than the last thankfully...), and my sister is preparing to enter marriage #2. Where am I? Well, I spent five and a half years with the same girl only to have my heart stomped on. It wasn't at all my idea that we were not married, which came as a shock to her father when I mentioned this when they were moving her out. He hadn't had any idea why his daughter dumped me.

You know what though? It's so much better that Sarah figured her shit out before we got married. Breaking up was painful but at least there weren't legal issues involved. In reality it's pretty much like I *have* been married...I know people who have met, married, and divorced in less time than I spent with Sarah. But that extra step of marriage makes a lot of difference.

I can't remember the last time I was this content with things in general. Sure I could be making more money, could be headed to grad school...but things are good. It feels like being on I-70 in western road ahead, miles of possibilities and promises in sight, and you just keep driving in the general direction of Forward with the idea that surely something will happen eventually :-P

"Cut the head in half using a band saw and scoop the brains out. Blast the brain out with water or air. Suck the brain out through a hole in the head."

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sweet baby Jesus!

No, the sweet baby Jesus isn't as tasty as the full-grown chocolate adult Jesus, but it's a good expression anyway.

It feels like it should be at least Wednesday, but no...we've just finished a Monday! What the hell. Events conspired at work so the 2 people on vacation were joined in their absence by one person stuck in Mexico, one person flying to Cape Cod over the weekend for emergency family events, and one calling in sick. This in an office of 16 or so people. That's a third of our workforce out in one friggin' day, so those of us there got to make up for it and do the prep work for el Dia de los Monitors happening tomorrow. To make things even more wearifying, I went in 30 min early thinking I had a dentist appt tomorrow so I'd make up some time in advance. (Due to now having better Dental coverage, this appointment won't be happening. Go team healthcare!) So I did a 10.5 hour day w/ no breaks and most of the generally smiley people absent. Yuck.

Tomorrow is a new day. It will be a much better one, eh? Now time to make my desk at home more like my desk at's way too trashed at the moment.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fool's is fun!

And Google cracks me up.
The subtle one was the new "Gmail Paper," a service that will snail-mail your emails too you...
Everyone loves Gmail. But not everyone loves email, or the digital era. What ever happened to stamps, filing cabinets, and the mailman? Well, you asked for it, and it’s here. We’re bringing it back.

The better one is the new flush a weighted fiber optic cable down the toilet and get free internet. This you must browse and experience on your own.

Enough of the Google ad. They're funny people and I love them and the things they create. Also funny are the xkcd folks who announced their upcoming syndication today. Riiiight.

I was very disappointed to learn the April Fool's was a Sunday this year. I had many good ideas for workplace amusement and they're not going to happen. Poo. I don't know that I'll ever top the rollout package for FedEx Kinko's Mobile Proctology though. (That was back when Kinko's still had a sense of humor and a guy could get away with forging a letter from the CEO.)

In other news, I went running again today. Stephanie does such things so I'm going to give it a shot. I really must learn to pace myself though. I did a 9 min 20 sec mile which isn't bad for a beginner, but I thought I was going to throw up after I stopped running. I can body can take it and I'm not nearly as out of shape as I thought, I just have to get the pacing and breathing right. Not quite to that point yet.