Friday, May 29, 2009

Couple Things

First off, I forgot to give my two cents about American Idol. Last Tuesday night I was a re-dialing fool. For who? Kris Allen. Holy shit, could I not deal with that Adam Lambert dude. All that screaming. No thank you. I don't care if he is from San Diego, he belongs in an 80's Hair Band. It's not cool. And the media just keeps talking about how it was some kind of upset. No it wasn't. I must have voted like 100 times. So did my co-worker - she can't stand him either. In fact, I know of noone who though Adam Lambert was the hot shit that the judges made him out to be.

Alright, now that I have vomited that onto the blog, onto the job situations. The Husband has heard nothing from that one company he had an interview with. They made him take a pee test but haven't called any of his references. I told him to ping them Monday - better to look eager than nonchalant, in my opinion. As for me, well, I might as well have pooped a golden egg. Well, not entirely as we are not home free until The Husband gets some decent employment, but I got a verbal offer yesterday afternoon from the company I was interviewing with. Stepped out to work this morning and the offer letter was already sitting on my welcome mat - as the husband said "They don't f*ck around". I asked for what I made in my last job which is alot of money, in my opinion. They offered me 7% more than that. I was practically a giggling fool on the phone with my soon-to-be manager. At least he knows I am very happy with the package. On top of it, they are granting me a sizeable number of shares that vest over 4 years. Not options. Shares. I did the mental calculation after I got off the phone and nearly shit another brick. AND benefits start on day 1. So we either pay one more month of Cobra, or not pay the month of June (we have a 30 day grace period to make the payment) and then my benefits start up the middle of the month. So we would have 2 weeks of lapsed coverage which I think is not egregious. There is some deal with continuous coverage, I can't remember that the time frame is, but I think it's like 60 days or something. More than 2 weeks. It's $313, so it's like 1/3rd of the downstairs tile floor. It's significant.

However, by no means are we free and clear. It's sad to think that my salary, which is a sizeable, barely covers our bills. But the 3K per month mortgage is a monster. With both of us working, it's easy-peasy (in fact, we were approved for 700K, but went with a 530K house, so we were quite responsible about it), but on one salary, not so much. I can keep beating myself up about the timing of this house purchase, but I can't change it. It is what it is. Our house now, had we rented and saved our equity from the previous sale and then purchased it, well, the mortgage would be like maybe 2K. It's a very significant difference. But I am done beating myself up about it. I don't have a crystal ball. I am just lucky we're not stuck in the other house (worth 275K now and in '04 we paid 470K) commuting 70 miles each way.

Anyway, oh, and I am so not rooting for the Lakers. Go Cleveland - we need a miracle.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yata Yata, and The More Yata Yata

I am trying to motivate myself to sand the damn stools and get on with the antiquing (lovely stuff from Lowes, called Antiquing Glaze) but I seem to just keep sitting here eating Parmesan and Garlic Pita Chips and drinking Nero d'Avola. I am telling you, working out in the evening is a much better appetite suppressant than TV and blogging. I need to get on doing that more often. Anyway.

Sooooo. The company I blogged about last post has checked my references (which they, apparently, they only do when they are going to present an offer), and I have one last hoop to jump through which is lunch with the Senior Manager of the group (who is on vacation so it won't happen until Tuesday of next week). Generally, I am a genial person, though I can't seem to stop thinking up of ways I could totally screw it up like showing up in flip flops, or pasties, using the f-bomb in conversation, or, I don't know, ordering shots of Tequila and getting wasted. Which obviously I'd never do any of these things, but my mind is stupid like that. Nevermind the stress of a one-on-one lunch with a manager who is, essentially, deciding whether I get an offer or not. Baaahh! I have never jumped through this many hoops to get a job except maybe when I was interviewing with the Big 5 (Andersen, Ernst & Young, PWC, etc) when I was in college. And that was generally accepted to have to go through a long, drawn-out courting process.

The Husband had an interview yesterday (finally!), except the commute is like 50 miles and the money is 20K less that he used to make. Yeah. It's like a 30% pay cut. But I suppose it's better than nothing - I'm kind of hoping he gets it because construction is in the shitter and I think it would take another miracle of sorts for him to get even another interview. So, who knows, yes, our income will go down like 20% or so but at least we'll be 100% employed. Trying not to think about the insane mileage that would be put on the new car. Trying. Not really working.

Onto house b*llsh*t. Can you tell I've been drinking some vino rosso? I've finished two stools, and, really, I think they look pretty snazzy. Here's a juxtaposition of the stool before and after.

Anywho, that's all I got for you folks, for now. At least my laptop is home to stay (my contract job FINALLY got me a laptop).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bring on the Funk

So, I am in a funk and I think it is entirely related to our work situation. The funk really began in earnest when everyone in the office went to a benefits meeting except me (since I'm a contractor). It just helped reinforce the situation in my head. And I looked at one of my coworkers paperwork for the health insurance options and I would be paying the same, possibly more, than what we're paying now with the COBRA subsidy. That didn't leave me with a warm-fuzzy. Nevermind that at this stage in the company's growth, there's no 401K either. As the sole earner, I feel like even full-time employment instead of contractor with my current job doesn't get me any closer to feeling more "secure."

No progress on The Husband's job search. He did finally get a hold of an actual EDD representative instead of a message-taker this morning and it sounds like he'll be receiving updated paperwork in 5 days. Man, I hope so. I had my 3 hours of interviews yesterday (30 minutes each, tandem no less, 3 sessions with two people each, 1 session with three people, and 2 session with just one person). I think it went well for the most part, perhaps half of one could have gone better, but I think maybe that's just the way he asked questions. I am still exhausted from all the talking (which, I am sorry to say, is the reason I didn't go to the school board meeting. I was FRIED by 5pm. I didn't have the energy to step onto my soapbox. I'll have to look up the outcome of whether or not June 1st will be Carrie Prejean Day [shudder] in my school district. Just writing that is ridiculous).

Anyway, so I think there's a good chance I could get it but then again, there's the issue of salary and this time around, I did not low-ball myself because I can't. I can't take less than what I'm making now. The people are all nice, though it's nothing like the start-up environment I am in now (two days this week I wore flip-flops. 75% of the office wears flip flops and shorts to work). The programming part of it doesn't sound as interesting, though the industry is cool. Benefits are great. So now I'm at this point where I'm starting to really want the job and I hate being in that mode. It's like being a girl that likes a non-committal, only-interested-in-sex boy too much. You know? And then if I get it, I am still faced with leaving this job where I've grown kind of attached to my co-workers. They've become my friends. I feel like I would be letting them down.

Don't get me wrong, it could all be worse. This is not me bitchwhining like "Oh Woe is Me, the Sky is Falling!" Really, we haven't had to touch savings yet (which is more than a lot of unemployed people/families can say), but we are hardly spending any money other than food and gas (honestly, our American Express card balance has never this low - maybe in 2003 before we were married and before I bought my first house). So I'm thankful for that, but I miss the time when I didn't have to painstakingly think about every single purchase I made. I can't even buy soap without wondering if maybe I should seek out the cheapest soap at like Wal-mart because maybe I could save 30 cents.

Anyway, on a totally unrelated note to the previous lamentation, don't ever buy high gloss paint for furniture. That purchase turned out to be a total waste, but since I bought the paint back in January I guess it hurts just a little bit less. I started painting my counter stools this week and decided to do a coat of turquoise under the red so I could sand the edges to have the weathered/aged look with the turquoise peeking out under the red. What a nightmare with that gloss paint. Nevermind that it would have needed like 5 coats, I don't see how you can get a smooth finish without a sprayer. It shows ever little brush bristle mark. And if there is just a little bit too much paint applied it drips down and dries like that. Flippin' mess, I tell you. After two coats I threw in the towel. Sanded it down, reprimed and decided to use more Home Depot gift card money on a quart of Glidden semi-gloss "Cranberry Zing" to go over the semi-gloss "Country Cottage". Hopefully I will finish two of them this weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Enough with this Miss California Crap

Folks, it's no secret I am a bleeding-heart liberal. However, I am okay with Carrie Prejean saying what she believed when she answered the same-sex marriage question at the Miss USA pageant. It's cool, it's what she believes in. I think it's great that she said what she believed. It's her right.

Now, what I am SO NOT cool with is my school district attempting to proclaim June 1st as Carrie Prejean Day because she graduated from a high school in the school district. Seriously. The reality is, she had some questionable judgment with her posing topless at 17. I don't see her as a role model and I certainly don't want my school district trying to push their views on same-sex marriage. If and when I have children (and if we don't move), they'll attend schools in this district and I don't want any type of religion-based opinion pushed on them by the school district. It's not the local government/school district's place to inject political opinions on students/children. It's the parents' job, duty, and right to educate or NOT educate their children on issues like this. Perhaps I want my children to be OK with same-sex marriage. Perhaps I don't. Perhaps I won't even talk about it as an issue with them and let them decide on their own later in life. Either way - it's not the school's right to push this stuff.

[Big giant] BOOOoooo! If I don't chicken-out and have the time, I'm going to the public school board meeting on the 14th to express my distaste.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Yes, We Have No Bananas

Sooooo. Husband has gotten zero bites, no responses, zippo. EDD in California is a holy mess. Tomorrow is one month since his lay off and we still have no unemployment money coming in. He has been calling them, but they don't always answer the phone (no option for hold, they just tell you to call back because too many people are calling), and then when you finally talk to someone, you get "disconnected." That was what happened this morning while I was getting ready to head out to work. Hopefully he was able to get through to them at some point today. The reality is, it looks like we're going to need that unemployment money to cover our bills. I have a little spreadsheet deal where I plan out each paycheck and each bill according to date. It's like a running tally. May is ok because it's a 3 paycheck month. June starts getting hairy. By July, we are short which would mean dipping into savings. If unemployment comes through, then we're covered. I can leave our rainy day savings - which probably should be called torrential down-pour savings - alone. I know it's there for these times, but I would prefer not to touch it, considering it could always get worse (like, neither of us working, or some major medical problem. Or both). I can't imagine those people that really, REALLY need that unemployment money to survive. I would be beyond livid at this point with this BS from the unemployment department. I'm already peeved. I'm sure they are probably overwhelmed, but the reality is, employers have been paying the state taxes/premiums for unemployment insurance. Now that it's time for people to collect on that insurance, they are balking. It seems like no one prepared for shitty times, goverment included. There's a lot of talk about consumers not saving and just spending, but it doesn't look like the government was saving either. Now it's impossible for them to save. Giant FEH.

I have a final round interview on Thursday afternoon with the company I mentioned last week. The programmer "exercise" wasn't all that difficult, so I body-slammed it. I didn't get the record time, but I wasn't too far off. Apparently someone did it in 50 minutes (why I even asked, I don't know - I actually asked if it was common for candidates to miss some of the questions because I was curious, and he then offered that information). I finished around 65 minutes or so. But I got everything right. He mentioned some didn't make it past the first part (which is ridiculously easy) so it made me wonder how long have they been looking for someone. And if the one guy did it in 50 minutes, why didn't they just hire him? Maybe he was asking for too much moola. Who knows. But anyway, so we'll see how that goes. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a waste of my time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Baby Got SCP

You know you're a dork when you do cheer for yourself after successfully SCP'ing your scanned images from the Mac to your linux laptop. I am a dork. WI and Tooj do a dance to normal things like Baby Got Back. I do a dance when I do a Secure File Copy. Yeah.

Anyway, this is a combo post. I took some pictures of the kitchen and then found I was tagged my WI (and Girly Stuff, I am behind on your 8 things, so many 8 things - why do they make those memes so long?).

First things first, the prom picture. I found it - but it was taken at my childhood house. I did not cough up the money for one at the prom. Not to mention my class had 700 people so our prom was a little ridiculous in size which is why we only had a Senior Prom and no Junior Prom. So. Here it is. Back in 1996 when I weighed about 98 pounds. That dress fit me all the way through college then age caught up with me. Or rather, I caught up with 20 pounds of food.

Here is the latest state of the kitchen. All that really remains to do is hang extra wall decor and maybe put some cute, accent-y things around.

We finished the molding under the counter and cabinets. Also, hung the magnetic knife rack.

Hung the little IKEA spice rack and hooks on the rail, so I have all my square pot holders hanging up (in alternating colors - because I'm OCD like that).

And the sink area: hung an IKEA little dish drainer above the dishwasher, installed the molding by the windows, caulked and sealed everything, and installed new blinds.

Really, all that's left that is cheap is completing painting in the living/dining room and part of the family room and finishing the last coat of stucco outside. Oh and a small gutter repair. Oh yeah, and paint the stools red. So I guess I have some enough loose ends to tie while we wait for The Husband to find another job.

And on my job front (by the way, if you are also a Facebook friend with me (there are several of you out there), please don't write on my wall or anything about it, just because I'm also FB friends with current work people. Damn these social networking sites!), I did fairly well on my phone interview and I'm going back next week for more technical grilling. Man, do I hate that stuff -- too much stress! This time, though, I think I'll try to prepare a little better than last time.

Oh, and I have finally patched every last hole from the plumbing disaster - woo hoo! Finished the texturing this morning and next up is to finish painting the living room/dining room.