Blog of a Million Dreams

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sally Lieber Should Be Spanked...

Anyone living in Sillycon Valley knows that it's the land of lawyers over here and tons and tons and tons of people are making zillions of dollars as lawyers in this area. Ms. Lieber is no exception.

But perhaps what people don't know is that California has a HUGE problem with it's prison overcrowding (70% above capacity is the last number I've heard thrown about) and Schwarzenegger is dealing with it by sending prisoners to other states. Not only that, California's foster system is absolutely horrible...with kids getting molested and abused in the system...compounding whatever they've gone through to get into the foster care system in the first place.

Okay, so who's responsible for cleaning up this mess? You guessed it, lawmakers like Sally Lieber. So, how does she and others like her get away with deflecting attention from their dismal efforts towards cleaning up and fixing California's crappy court, foster and prison system???

You Got It! It's absolutely brilliant...lawmakers like Ms. Lieber deflect attention by writing high profile laws directed towards a mostly law-abiding and therefore more easily enforced population; parents who, for the most part aren't in the system. It's called the "Spanking Bill" and Ms. Lieber wants to punish any parent who spanks a child...

Wow. You'd think, with all the controversy surrounding this bill, someone might point out to Ms. Lieber that, as a California lawmaker, she has some quasi-parental responsibilities to our foster care system and, since she is choosing to direct her efforts elsewhere, perhaps she needs to investigated for parental neglect.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Watching the Onion

Right now I'm watching some guy who works on the Onion talk on the Josh Kornblum show on pbs.
I love the Onion. It's a great website. Absolutely hilarious.
One of my favorite Onion articles was the one that described Clinton declaring some national holiday for an absolutely ordinary condition...National Normal Day or something.
Right now Josh Kornblum is showing some video that is a satire about Bush's life...all sappy and everything.
These guys that work on the Onion spend their days mastering Photoshop and writing cheezy articles. Ah, what a life.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sinatra Roast

Okay, I"ve gone on and on about how my tv is 13 inches, basically gets 2 good channels and is about 15 years old.

But catch me up early in the morning and you'll see me watching anything...

I do mean anything. This morning I turned on the tv, to find nothing on. Well, other than kiddie cartoons and even I am not reduced to that.

So, what do I do? Well, after watching the infomercial telling me how to make a million dollars in day trading, the ad for buying unbuildable land in ho-dunk nowhereville, I am now watching a Sinatra Roast. That's right, it's a Tim Conway ad for oldie comedy bits. Whew. If that doesn't give me motivation to clean house (it's something to do besides watching crap tv), I don't know what will.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Television and My Fabu-tantastic Social Life

I think I am the only person in this state that doesn't own a flat screen t.v. Even the guys in the city-subsidized housing have a huge flat screen. But my 13 " tv is just fine and I know that, somewhere in the world, there are people who don't even have that. What do I need a huge television for? Yet, even though I'm happy with it, lots of people are upset with me for not blowing money I don't have on a tv that I don't need. Example:

Heidi, my neighbor, and I on our daily walk.

Heidi: I have to save money. We've spent everything and now Richard [her husband] says we can't buy anything or go anywhere for awhile.

Me: We should still do things though. I can't spend money either, seeing as I don't have a job. What can we do to still have fun, but not spend money?

Heidi: We can go to the park.

Me: That's great Heidi. You have a 2 year old. The park is probably pretty fun for you. It's not really my thing.

Heidi: So, what should we do?

Me: I know, we could have movie night, with popcorn and snacks and invite all of our friends over. It'll be fun, it'll be cheap. Plus I belong to Netflix so we can have a different movie each time we meet.

Heidi: Well, that's great Cece, but we're having movie night at my house. Your tv sucks.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

3 Alarm Chili

Just made the 3 Alarm Chili (three alarm chili) recipe that was included in the 6 week body makeover kit. You know, the program I'm on to get in shape, lose the belly, and look like my sexy twenty something self.

See, the thing is, I've been trying so hard to stick to this special diet that, when I woke up this morning, I figured I needed a little reward. And, since time with Big G is a priority right now, when she really wanted a delicious mexican breakfast at the restaurant down the street--the cheap one--hey, I was completely justified. And of course, I had to get my chorizo breakfast with refried beans, rice, flour tortillas and special salsa.

So, I filled up on breakfast so completely, that, really, I didn't need lunch. Well, okay, a small piece of carrot cake. It was just a small piece so it didn't really count. And, plus, if I don't eat it, who will? And it is sooo good.

And then, in the afternoon, well, there are only 2 chocolate vanilla ice cream cone drumsticks left. So, I had to eat one. After all, I've been so good this week, with curtailing my eating and shopping habits. And it's only one ice cream. Plus I went on a walk earlier today so I totally walked it off.

And I needed to down a couple of beers to make the chili go down. It was kind of hot chili, and beer just goes with chili. Really, you can't eat chili without having a beer. What's the point?

So, I guess my point is that I'm still on my special 6 week body makeover. It just might take 7 weeks, that's all.

Ten Clues: What Makes a Manager Bad?

After leaving a hellish job, with a manager better suited for tiddly-winks than management, I've come up with a few clues that should signal that you are working under an incompetent manager. If that is the case, network, network, network and get the heck out! You'll rarely succeed if you are babysitting a bad manager...the best thing you can do is to cut and run...and keep these ten clues on hand to let you know if you got a case of the Bad Manager Blues;

1) Why were you hired? What's the real reason...after you've sorted through all the corporate bullshit, why did the higher ups agree to bring you on board? In my case, I'd had management experience in the past, and my manager didn't know how to manage others. After I'd identified a few problems my manager was having with her lack of communication skills and organization, I was told by our Department Head that my job was to help her become a better manager! Sorry, but if that's the case, change my title to Management Consultant and bump my salary up a few notches. Also, know this; If upper Management thinks that putting someone in a subordinate role to train an incompetent manager is good strategic thinking, then there are bigger things wrong with your company than you are aware of.

2) Watch your Manager in meetings. That's right, watch what your manager does and says in meetings, especially in situations that don't involve you. You get better perspective when you aren't directly involved. If your manager can lie or completely whitewash a situation in a meeting when asked for accountability, you can bet that she/he is doing the same thing when talking about interactions involving you. In other words, the truth is relative when it comes to this person and anyone working under them is not going to be depicted accurately.

3) Be very, very careful with what you tell your manager. One characteristic of a shitty manager is that they will attempt to befriend you and then use your words against you. For example, if you call in sick to attend a professional development meeting or stay home with a sick kid, your manager just may attempt to get you to disclose this information and then deny your paid time off. Be careful, your manager is not your friend.

4) Ask around. There's a very good chance that your manager has a track record of not being able to work well with others. Be careful though. If you really were brought on board to hold this manager's hand, upper management won't want you around if you express your true feelings and attempt to work under someone else. If anything, knowing the track record of this ogre, will help your peace of mind when you do leave.

5) Pay attention to your workload. Often a crappy manager won't know how to juggle tasks and projects. You may be used to getting sporadic and insane workloads dumped on you at the last minute. However, any deviation from the normal craziness (an immediate cessation of work given to you followed by an unreasonable amount of busywork) could indicate that your days are numbered. You should be job searching anyway, but this is a reason to bring your job search up a notch.

6) Your manager is losing clients and has no one to blame but her/himself. Trust me. Your manager will find someone to blame. And it just might be you. What, you say? You haven't worked on those projects that were lost? Doesn't matter...see clue #2. Many incompetent managers are masters of manipulation. How do you think they ended up where they are?

7) Human Resources is suddenly very distant. HR may be the first to welcome you to your company, tell you about benefits and show you your parking space. They will also be the ones who will shove you out the door. Their job is to protect the company with lawsuits. They don't care about fairness, equality or profit. They don't care that your manager is a twit that's losing company money and alienating corporate clients. No, all they will do, in the end, is protect said manager. HR is not your friend.

8) Assume everyone knows your business. A horrid manager will often have no qualms about complaining about your perceived shortcomings to all of their cronies. While this is unprofessional and an indication of the manager's shortcomings, be aware that a manager who lies in company meetings will have no qualms about lying to others about you.

9) What status does your manager have with the company? In my case, my manager was one of maybe 5 employees who had started the company. Her incompetence meant that she was stuck in lower management and probably won't last long should the company grow. Yet, she keeps hiring and firing and others tolerate her behavior because it's easier than confronting her. My manager knew everyone at the company and was the office bully. Her status as an early employee allowed her to do this. Do you really want to work at a company that tolerates this behavior?

10) How are you treated overall? There should be something that let's you know where you stand in the office. I still remember my manager inviting me to lunch. I could only watch with amazement at 12:30 as she hopped in her car with a bunch of her colleagues off to get herself lunch at a local restaurant, conveniently forgetting about her promise to buy me lunch. However, as rude as that was, it was also a kindness, as it let me know where I stood in the company and in her world. My job search ramped up immediately after that moment.

There are other indications that your manager is a waste of space. Does your manager help promote you, let you go to professional development meetings, help you with your career? Or is it all about her/him? Give and take is important in all relationships but often overlooked by those in a managerial role.

So those are my words to those of you trapped under a nightmare of a boss. Know that you aren't the only one, and one day you will look back on these days with a sigh of relief. You will escape and eventually move on to other jobs.

Jobs Coming My Way

Yay!!! The job market feels so much better right now as compared to last year.

I start my new job on Monday (unpaid until the 29th though)...and am trying to line up a part time gig to help with costs. The part time gig may allow for some travel (all expenses paid) at some point next year as well, which would be wonderful!

In the meantime, I'm trying to downsize and get rid of all of the "stuff" that I've accumulated these past ten years. Why do I have such a tough time getting rid of crap?

Well, I could just celebrate by watching another run of "Clean House". I love that show. My favorite part is when they go to the front door at the beginning of the show and the people open the door. Then, when they lead the crew through the door and into the mess, the people always look as though it's not a big deal.

"Yes, you are stepping on my stuffed animals and 3 foot pile of dirty underwear, but hey it's not a big deal. Everyone lives like this..." And that's what the parents say!!! The kids usually have the decency to be a little embarrassed.

I really, really, really hope I never let my living situation deteriorate to that level. So that's why I'm throwing stuff out.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Penis Enlargement Breakthrough

Dear Spammer,

You've emailed me tons of times and now I feel like we're friends. After all, who else sends me 5 emails a day with such concern for my physical health?

And, in light of our intimate friendship as demonstrated by the informal title in the subject line of your emails, I feel the need to inform you as to the misdirection of your commuinications.

You see, dear friend, I must let you know that I, in fact, cannot enlarge my penis no matter what magical prescriptions you send my way.

Because, and this must be a surprise to you for surely you'd never presume to guess otherwise, I DON'T HAVE A PENIS!!!!!

Oooh, you've dropped your've skipped a're frozen in disbelief. I know, this must come as quite a shock. But before you jump to any more conclusions (as evidenced by all of your daily email), I haven't lopped said penis off. No, I haven't smeared it in magic disappearing ink. And no, it's not that it's simply so small that I assume others can't see it.

You see, dear friend, I (drumroll please...) am a female. Oh? What does that mean you ask? That means, most intimate caring spammer, that I have a VAGINA not a PENIS and I don't appreciate your ongoing emails suggesting otherwise.

So please, please, keep your penis enlargement breakthroughs to yourself.


My New Me!

I'm now rebounding from the shitty job and have decided to start Provida's 6 week body makeover. I've done my measurements, decided on my body type and started my eating plan.

Apparently in 6 weeks I"m going to look gorgeous.

I sure hope so, 'cuz something will have to bring my spirits up as I'll be alot more concerned about money at that point.

In the meantime, I've decided to stick to the plan. I"m going to get rid of the belly fat, the hips and make peace with small boobs (the boobs are the first to go when I get in shape).

And who knows, in 6 months my life could be fantastic! Anything can happen....yeah and I"m going to play the lottery too 'cuz I could win Powerball while I'm at it!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Half Moon Bay Today

Went to HMB today.

It was beautiful. See, the best time to go is when it's freezing over here, on the other side of the mountain. But nobody but the natives know that.

Sadly, The Red Ginger is closing. It was a delicious restaurant with a wonderful dessert menu and a ton of different teas. We really liked the chocolate wonton bananas. Oh! and they made their own ice cream. It was so good.

Instead we went to The Brewery. It was not worth it. Overpriced and the service sucked.

So then we went to Main Street. Downtown HMB is suffering. Most of the stores had sales and the tourists were not there. We bought a ton of yarn and I"m knitting a scarf right now.

I don't know if the house values over there are going to hold. I think that people are rethinking living there because there aren't any jobs and it really is isolated. Plus no one goes over the hill when it's winter.

But we had a good time. It was a beautiful day.

I'm Soooo Happy For You....

Dear Cecilia,

Great to hear from you. Just wanted to let you know what's been going on with me.

I've been at my wonderful, six + figure job for almost a year now. I'm getting a promotion and hiring other people. Oh, but I can't hire you...your background isn't strong enough in the field I'm looking for. But I love my job, the people I work with and I have tons of vacation time lined up..which leads me to my other good news.

I was married last year, went on my honeymoon to Fiji and now will be traveling to tons of other exotic locations. Snowboarding, sunshine, spas and every vacation you can think of. Poopsy, my fabulous new husband, and I are going to be planning for a baby soon (I want to get pregnant by next year) so we want to get as many vacations in as we can.

Sold the house and made a huge profit on it. Now we are house shopping and have to decide where to live. Poopsy is doing so well at work that he is getting wooed by big companies all over the world. So, I may be living in Amsterdam, France, New York or San Francisco as soon as next year! My well known company has locations all over the world or may offer me a work-from-home stint--so I'm excited to find out where we will be living next.

So sorry to hear about your job loss. Ooh! Have to go, phone is ringing and it may be that big promotion coming through!

See you soon,

Charlie's Angels

I Love Love Love the fact that one of our local channels is now showing Charlie's Angels reruns.
Reminds me of my teenage years. So much fun.

Plus, reminds me of the fact that Sabrina was always my favorite Angel (the tall, smart one). She always made the decisions and you could tell she was rolling her eyes whenever she talked to one of the slower "Angels".

And the fashions were fun too.

So, while I'm working so hard on watching my tv show, I'm running two heaters, a vcr, dvd player, the t.v. and the computer at the same time. I blew a fuse. HA! Too much fun.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Pink Suit

In honor of my fantastic social life (and being that this is a 3-day weekend with most attractive singles hitting their game) and my even-more-fabulous work life, I decided to watch the Apprentice again. Because, really, what else do I have to do?
Anyway, once again, I'd like to go on record as saying that I'd rather *win* the losing prize (another week of campouts) over the *winning* prize.
What, you ask, was the winning prize? Well, shock of all shocks, Hugh Hefner is actually a friend of The D's and the winning prize was trying NOT to sit down and catch an STD at the Hefner castle with a whole bunch of hoochie playboy bunnies and wannabe-Trump-future-4th-wives...Ewww, not my idea of a grand prize.
But I get ahead of myself. For truly, the best of part of this show was watching The D pretend not to be a homophobe as one of his male "apprentices" trotted down a runway (Claudia Shiffer watch out...this guy could be your next Project Runway designer) in a pink bathing suit...a tight pink bathing suit.
Again, let me go on record as saying, the grand prize stunk. I mean, in the real world, The D and his crew would get hit with a sexual harrassment lawsuit for making the *winning team* spend their evening with a bunch of half naked, pubescent girls at the Hefner Hostel.
And this time, the D's daughter, Ivanakanka, looked pretty good. She had on the corporate version of board shorts, all in black, and she was working it for a NewYork gal in L.A.
Geez, I've gotta get a life. Even camping out on the lawn of an L.A. mansion would be better than spending my evenings watching this show.

Three Hour Pot Pie

So I decided to go ahead and make the potpie that is on the cover of Sunset magazine. Supposodly, the recipe says it takes 1 and 1/2 hours to make.
Let me go on record as saying it will take a minimum of 3 hours...the only way to finish is to down a large glass of wine as you cook. Everything, and I mean everything, is diced and sliced and minced and chopped.
The good news is, when you eventually finish, the pot pie is actually quite good. And there is a lot of it. So, you probably won't have to cook again for another 2-3 days, depending on who you invite over to eat it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Freezing Cold Friday

So, it's dropping well below freezing here and we may get snow. Now, that would be cool since I haven't seen snow here in years.

Our heating system either blows hot or doesn't exist. In fear of the impending coldness, I turned it on last night, only to wake up at some crazy hour to sweat pouring all over me because of the heat. So, I turned it off.

Now, I'm freezing again but don't want to pay for another sauna. What to do?

I have to go back in to a possible job to go over a contract and some other issues and I'm a little nervous. What if I don't get this job? If I don't, I'll be in deep **** and will have to start working at every little job like a crazy dervish. I don't want to thrash around in the job market again. I'd like to maintain a little focus, consolidate and reach out to a few well thought of ventures that don't detract or drain off my income.

In other words, writing, photography, business-ownership, clothes and accessory designing, etc.,. Along with a full time job that pays the rent. Oh! And I also want to pick up a few traning/instructional design positions on the side.

Well, my goals for this week are; 1) De-Clutter, 2) Lock in a job that covers rent and expenses and 3) Start a Business Plan for the above interests. And manage to keep my ass warm and not frozen solid to a chair.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Apprentice

Just watched "The Apprentice" on Monday because I only get 2 channels and refuse to pay for cable. Anyway, it was "The Apprentice" or "Cops" (on the other channel that I get) and this time "The Apprentice" won out.

So, what was so sad about this run of the show is that the losers get a better prize than the winning team.

How's this for a reward? Squeeze your body into some fancy dress or suit a couple sizes too small, perch on an uncomfortable chair uncomfortably close to your fellow competitors and try to make small talk with The Donald, his Hoochie Wife-of-the-Moment and his daughter...His daughter by the way, looks like she's 16 and acts like she's 62. No, that's not the losing prize...that's what the winners get! Oh and some smarmy, fat-filled meal at Spago with fancy-prancy sauces and small servings.

What do the losers get? A campout!!! Doesn't that sound fun? While the other team is grimacing and squirming in some stupid overpriced L.A. restaurant...the losing team gets to roast hotdogs and marshmellows next to their tents...Fun!!! I'd be trying to lose if that was what was happening!!!

How to be Supportive

Question: Your Loved One (or a relation with whom you are still on speaking terms with) has just unexpectedly lost their job. How do you provide support and optimism in the face of their loss?

a) Scream at them that they haven't renewed their Costco membership for you and they owe you $68. 10 extra points if you call them twice, yelling about the same issue.

b) Go on a drinking binge and call them. Get really angry and mad when they can't stay on the line with you for a few hours while you are trying to talk. 20 extra points if you are so inebriated that you can't pronounce words.

c) Tell your Unemployed relative that you expect them to purchase you a state-of-the-art $600 gaming system with $40 games (at least 3-4 games must be purchased in addition to the $600 gaming system). Tell your Unemployed Relation (U.R.) that they are cheap and horrible if they don't pony up the money right away. Revisit this issue at least 5 times a day until you get your system--even if the U.R. has to put the system on their credit card.

d) Immediately move out of the country so that you don't have to deal with the U.R.'s problems. Call them and yell at them if they don't have a job right away. Then tell the U.R. to start a consulting business because obviously the U.R. isn't cut out to hold a job. Finally, inform the U.R. that you won't be coming back for 6 months--but that you expect the U.R. to remain faithful and patient.

e) Refuse to return phone calls or emails from the U.R. Wait until the U.R. has a job to resume speaking terms. If you are forced to see or speak to the U.R., keep conversation to a minimum and leave as soon as possible.

Yes, being unemployed is so much fun...Maybe I'll be the one to throw in the towel and move to a desert island somewhere--that doesn't have cell coverage.

Back to Blogging

With the fun of *leaving* yet another job, I'm restarting my blog with a different name. I'll probably, once again, piss off half a dozen people but I don't one seems to give a damn when they piss ME off and, the irony is, the people most pissed off are the ones who care the least about my problems. SO screw it!!! Here' s to posting and vomiting out other people's issues on a public site.