June 29, 2006

Mama, I'm Coming Home?

So I'll be in Norfolk for the four-day weekend, a bittersweet occasion indeed. While I'm from Wildwood, NJ; my mom moved to Hampton Roads while I was still in college. So once college was through, I was kind of left in limbo. I couldn't go "home" because "home" wasn't in New Jersey anymore. Having no kind of income to speak of to pay for a spiffy Ghent studio for myself, I was relegated to Chesapeake for a 14-month sentence before I was able to escape back the land of fast-talkers & edible sangwiches.

But alas, the tables have turned, and now my mom is packing it in and moving back to the Garden State. Which gives me slight pause, because my Virginia headquarters is closing its' doors. Sure, my brother still lives in the 'Peake, but it's not the same. He has a family of his own now and an uncomfortable couch.

But the more I think about it, the Norfolk I miss isn't there anymore. There's no Hench to drive around late at night, questioning the credentials of the more modest homes on Studley Avenue; and I'm not nearly trendy enough for all of these places that have cropped up with their tapas & crappily concocted Mojitos.

I swear I didn't mean for this entry to be cranky. I'm actually excited about my trip, and I will be back many, many times. I just may have to sleep on a couch in the Webb.

June 26, 2006

I watched “Super Size Me” with Morgan Spurlock this weekend. I know, I know, I’m late and right now everyone has moved on to the Al-Gore documentary and some are still recovering from Fahrenheitt 9-11 (neither of which I have seen yet). I will see those, but most likely or obviously when they are in a constant re-run state on one of my 900 cable channels. The important thing here is that I did see it and I was paying attention and I must say I’m a bit ashamed of myself.

I will not get into weight, I think everyone struggles with it in their own way. I will say that increased stress, lack of time to exercise as much and the culture of gluttony in my work place have contributed to my faultering health sensibilities. It’s hard to turn down free food or social gatherings with co-workers when you are bombarded by them 20 times a week. It’s also hard when they are all enablers, and with a few cleverly chosen words someone has convinced me again to abandon my Michelinas Lean Gourmet and head to “Dog-N-Burger”.

I made a vow to exercise 10 years ago seeing as how the term “diet” in my mind sits somewhere near suicide, holocast, and disembowelment. While I have kept my excercise vow, I’ve had to slow it down to keep from ruining my joints for when I hit my 50’s or so. Light years away right...not so much. College now WAS 4 years ago. Where the heck did that time go?

Shock documentaries don’t really do much for me. But humor got my attention, when Morgan asks "What part of the chicken is a mcnugget anyway?" I want to know. I mean it looks like a foot, but I’ve never ate chicken feet. When I found out what the mcnugget actually is..I question my loyalty to them. Technically I could make a mcnugget, if I had a blender and a cookie mold.

It’s a another blog, maybe rotten tomatoes or something that would recap the movie, I’m not in the business of recapping. I’d just rather tell you about it in the flesh. I’ll just say that I watched it. I’m gonna try and give up Soda for a week and McD’s for a month. I’m gonna be cranky and headachy for while, but until the Mountain Dew inhibitor is created this is gonna have to work.

June 20, 2006

I have no work to to do. Noworktodo. No-work-to-do. I haven't done a document since I got here 4 1/2 hours ago. But still, we sit in our bullpen, waiting for something to come in, some small scrap of paper we can pour over and discover errors in-situ. Why, oh why, can't we just go home? I want to go lay out and invite melanoma into my life. I want to go home and watch tv...anything but sit in this artificial light at my old ass desk, with nothing to do but play Text Twist until my eyes burn.

June 8, 2006

So, I work for a nonprofit. I'm not sure how that works because we do make money from subscriptions to our magazines, but we are considered a nonprofit. Since we are "tax experts" I'm sure our board members and executives know how to utilize tax credits and all that good stuff to the fullest.

None of our higher-ups drive fancy cars or, I assume, live in mansions. Our "culture" is laid-back and casual, we get to wear what we want and our managers are pretty flexible, most of the time.

The downside is that most of us work in a centuries-old building, with at least 30 decades of dusty old volumes of past issues and supporting documents. (Last week, I got to pour through some issues from the year I was born!) Some very nice men come and take out the trash every night, but they only vacumn every 11 months or so. We have spiders and ants, nasty looking centipedes, and due to the volumes and volumes of old issues, silverfish.

Also, the offices are kind of a bullpen where 6 or more people are crowded into a room with open-air desks, no cubicles, no privacy. I guess it works well because we all kind of holler questions to each other about commas and hyphens and all that fun stuff. And it keeps us social, I suppose. But it does get a little awkward when you need to make a phone call about medical issues or something.

But all of that is soon to change. We are moving in November to a new fancy building, one that is still being built. We have to share the building with another company, but there will be a Starbuck's on the first floor and somewhere to eat, too. And hideously over priced condos that none of the employees can afford are being built next door.

Hey, does "over priced" need a hyphen?

Sorry, I was yelling at my co-workers.

Um, does "co-worker" have a hyphen?

Sorry again.

We will also be getting new workstations, which is good because some of us have old teachers desks with very low knee space and mine has "Pickle mora is a loser" and "Amy is a dork" carved into the drawer. We were invited to walk down to one of our buildings (all 200 of us are currently housed in 3 buildings in two cities, hence the need for a new and fancy and large building) to see these new workstations. They are huge! They are so big, they curve, in an L-shape! They have low walls so we can still holler and nice drawers and a thingy that your phone rests on in mid-air so you have more desk space. There is a drawer over head with frosted plastic in the front, very fancy. I'm thinking they are going to shove two proofers into one workstation....we don't deserve all that room. Rumor has it, though, that we get our own. I'm overwhelemed. I feel like a peace corps volunteer come home from Africa, shell-shocked in a Target.

Guys, "shell-shocked" has a hyphen, right?

We are also getting new chairs. These chairs have a name, and the name is Zody. These babies are the "first chair endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)!" We were emailed a link for the "instructional video" which I will include here, for your viewing pleasure: http://www.haworth.com/Brix?pageID=169&catpage=168&category=110. But I sat in it, and it is fairly uncomfortable. I was not impressed. I'm going to see if I can take my chair with me, because it is very comfortable and I just got it in September.

We have been reassured that our "culture" will remain the same, that we certainly won't have to tortue ourselves with the question of "what exactly is business casual again?" or cram our feet into pointy heels or ugly flats. Our company must love us to spend all this money on a new building, new chairs for 200 people and new workstations for the 178 of us that don't get offices!

Of course, none of us are fooled by the offering of a new building and desks and chairs and our old "culture" in lieu of actual monetary raises.

But we are a nonprofit....we have no money for raises!