Um… stuff.

As I was desirous to read different and more up-to-date blogs (except for Beth’s, which is always current), I was glad to discover that my friend Jason started a Xanga. Unfortunately, I couldn’t comment or give him "eProps" unless I was signed up. So, I did. (It just points back here, anyway.) Then, I read Beth’s entry for today, which was basically aimed at me, being the only non-LiveJournal member of her usual audience. So, I signed up there, too. (Again, it just points back here.) I figure, maybe it’ll be a sort of link to my real site, and I’ll get more traffic from my LJ and Xanga-owning friends.

It occurred to me at work today that my sloth will be my undoing. Mainly because I’ve been showing up 10 to 15 minutes late for work, and taking a 45-minute lunch to compensate. Pretty soon, my boss is going to notice while he’s doing payroll, and I’m going to hear about it. I need to get to sleep earlier and get up earlier. And actually get up, not hit the snooze then turn it off so I won’t bug Aaron then wake up when I should be going to the car then leave when I should have already been there. Thankfully, work is only a 10-minute drive, even when I catch all the red lights. (If all the planets align, I can make it in seven.)

I also see what people mean when they talk about the last hour of the workday being wasted. I didn’t understand before, when my volume of work determined when I would get to leave. But now, when it doesn’t really matter how much I get done before five, I totally shirk the last half-hour or more.

Rama’s last day of Lockbox is Friday, but since I’m going to be off in Dayton at Amy’s grandpa’s funeral, I won’t be at work to wish her well. So, I’m going to make her a candle to give her as a good-luck-happy-holidays present, and give it to her tomorrow. I’d better get to it.

Doesn’t anybody update anymore?

Hey, guys? Um… I don’t know if this blog phenomenon may have
peaked or something, but Beth
is the only one besides me still aggressively updating her blog. I either
need to find more friends with blogs, or beat you all about the head until
you update. Hell, Colvey’s page doesn’t even come up anymore. Maybe I need
to go spelunking for more blogs to check…

My new fragrance oils are wonderful. Hershey’s Chocolate, Drakkar,
and โ€” oops, I can’t tell you that one. Mom might be reading. I’ll tell
you later. Wonderful fragrances all. I now have quite the fragrance arsenal.

After work today, I went out to finish Christmas shopping for
Aaron. Got a couple things, one of which he’s sure to recognize under the
ttree if he gives it a little thought. Ah, well. He should have known he was
getting it, anyway. I feel like we’re a little more even now, present-wise.
๐Ÿ™‚ Also headed to Goodwill, hoping that the other two of the diamond-pattern
glass mugs I bought this weekend would still be there. Alas, they were not,
but I got some other glassware instead.

And holy cow, do I have an inventory of glassware now. I’ve got
a total of… *opening cupboard and counting* …19 containers, each holding
from four to six ounces. Four sundae cups (I have big plans for those), four
smoky-colored squarish goblets (intended for amaretto-and-coke), two diamond-pattern
glass cups, two glass jars with lids, one brown lidded jar, and miscellaneous
small votive holders, including a ceramic watering can (obviously being saved
for a floral scent, when I get one).

I’d been having a hankering for hot chocolate, so I found a recipe
on the Atkins Diet Bulletin Board last week. Aaron bought me some unsweetened
powdered cocoa with the groceries on Sunday, and I just made myself some
hot chocolate this evening. This here hot chocolate makes Swiss Miss taste
like a sugar cube sprinkled with cocoa. Never before I started Atkins had
I truly appreciated the less sweet side of chocolate โ€” I hesitate to
say "bitter," since that has such negative connotations, but I
think "darker" is the more apt description. I mean, I liked Hershey’s
Dark Miniatures and all, but I didn’t realize how insanely sweet your standard
chocolate bar really is. I think I now prefer tasting all the spectrum of
flavors, rather than just sweetness. Who knew? [Note: a while later,
the hot chocolate made me a little queasy. Don’t know why. Maybe I’m just
getting sick.]

Hmm, what else was I going to say…?

Oh, yeah. Kris, if you’re reading my blog (as you sometimes do),
your Jack White comments are ticking me off. (Yes, Aaron shared them with
me.) You don’t know the full story, and neither do I. Neither does the
media
. All I’ve got to say for now is, if you were really pissed
at someone, would you have a.) the balls to punch him in the face, and/or
b.) the physical strength to bloody his nose and drag him to the ground?
Not me. Although I disapprove of his lack of restraint, I’m impressed with
his… what’s the word I’m looking for? Strength? Sense of purpose? Presence?
Drive? I’m not quite finding it, but I hope you know what I mean. In summary,
I may not agree with what he did, but damn, he did it well.

And, on a lighter note… I’ve been surfing around, looking for
new blogs to hit, old people to catch up with… and found that the typical
high school jock I went to high school with, Scott Marcum, is a now police
officer in my hometown. (Check
him out
โ€” he’s the one on the right. Do you see the football player
in him?)

OK, I gotta go to bed now.

My Candle Addiction

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while, but I keep forgetting:

Ladiesโ€”have you ever been walking behind someone, maybe someone at work, and finally taken a good look at their ass? And then you say to yourself, ‘My God… I hope my ass doesn’t look like that!’

I made another pair of candles tonight (patchouli this timeโ€”not exactly Aaron’s favorite), and used up the last of my first bag of soy wax. I have another bag arriving tomorrow, along with my new scents and wick clips. Anyway, this time, I preheated my containers and let my wax cool down more
before pouring. I still get impatient, though. I know I shouldn’t, but I
do. I can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like, and it’s
so hard to go slowly and do the process right instead of rushing through
to get it done. Freakin’ sit there for fifteen minutes stirring to cool the
wax with one hand and holding a hot blow-dryer to my empty containers with
the other. And I still jumped the gun and may have poured too soon. We’ll
see in a bit.

Both Kris and Mark, when they found out about my candlemaking,
asked me first off, "So, when are you going to start selling them?"
Should this be a clue, or is it just an assumption on their part? If I do
decide to sell my candles, I’ll probably sell them all online by word of
mouth. That’s assuming everybody likes the Christmas candles I make. Yeah,
I’m going for a cheap and simple Christmas: wedding pics and candles.

๐Ÿ™‚

I was standing by the printer at work and overheard one guy (the
token "do-you-think-he’s-gay" guy) talking about chocolates with
raspberry creme filling, and chocolate-raspberry coffee. In one moment I
wanted to turn to him and jokingly say, "I hate you," but as I
was walking back to my desk, it occured to me that Chocolate Raspberry would
be a great candle scent. I was also inspired by Kris’ coffee this weekendโ€”I
believe it was Sugar Cookie Caramel Cappuccino or something equally sweet
and scrumptious-smelling.

Aaron made a great analogy this weekend. He said that, with being
on the Atkins diet, watching the Food Network is like being single and watching
porn. Oooh-ing and aaah-ing over fudge truffles and the like, all very much
out-of-reach, but appreciated for what they are nonetheless.

I think I’ve decided that making candles is kind of like that,
too. If I can’t stimulate my taste sense with yummy goodness (although there
are plenty of good things I can still eat), I may as well stimulate my sense
of smell. It’s close enough. Plus, it’s artsy-craftsy, and makes me feel
productive and talented.

Oh, and speaking of talent, Kris brought his trumpet over for
me to practice on. I have zero chops left, man. I got nothin’. Of course,
iit never helps when you’re trying to play softly because you live in a duplex.
I may have to bite the bullet, overcome my embarrassment, and go practice
in the practice wings of the music building on-campus. Those rooms aren’t
totally soundproof, and people can easily hear you in the hallway, which
is one reason why I never used to like to practice for my requisite two hours
per day.

Anyway, I’m going to start out doing sirens on the mouthpiece
and thoroughly annoying my upstairs neighbor. Once I can successfully maintain
sirens and long tones on the mouthpiece alone, I’ll pull out the Bluecoats
brass book and do some warmups from that. Once I can get back up to the advanced
exercises that I could do in ’97, then I’ll feel confident again. The trouble,
though, is that I was never good at doing solely exercises. But I can’t start
on the actual tune we’ll be playing at the LakeShoremen, because I don’t
want to confuse my chops by playing it in entirely the wrong key. (Trumpet
= Bb, Mellophone = F) Even if I learn the right fingerings, it’ll feel different
when I go to play it on a mello.

And incidentally, I’ve decided that once April rolls around and
it’s time to renew dianaschnuth.com, I’m switching over to HostRocket. I
know enough people who’ve had their sites hosted through them that I’m pretty
confident in their services. After putting up with eCom’s bullshit for a
couple of years, I’ve had enough. Even if their service would improve if
I went to one of the higher-priced plans, I wouldn’t stay with them because
of their low-grade customer service. Plus with HostRocket, for $9.95 a month
(two years prepaid), I get a full gig of storage space plus backend capabilities
and unlimited email addies and unlimited subdomains (like details.dianaschnuth.com
or candles.dianaschnuth.com).

So, I think I’m going to go check and see how my candles are
setting up, and maybe try photographing some of my other candles for posterity.
My fingers smell like patchouli. I smell like a hippie… minus the B.O.

Weekend Shenanigans

What a fascinating weekend I’ve had. Really.

On Saturday, Aaron and I hung out with Kris, then went up to Detroit with Mark to watch a band called Blanche perform at the Magic Stick. The openers were a band called the Waxwings, who weren’t bad, and a solo act (with backup singer/harmonica player) named Brendan Bensen. Also pretty good. I enjoyed his set a lot.

Now, I hadn’t been going to talk about this on my blog, but since the cat’s already out of the bag, I see no harm in repeating what I saw at the show. Mark is a giant fan of the White Stripes, and we’re always geeked when we see Jack and Meg at a Detroit show. They like to support the local scene, especially since a lot of the bands who are growing in popularity are longtime friends of Jack. For instance, members of Blanche were also bandmembers with Jack in Goober and the Peas in the 90’s. Anyway, we were watching Brendan do his gig, and quite enjoying the show. And who should walk up in the crowd next to Mark but Jack White himself! We were pretty excited, and surprized that he’s so much bigger in person than he looks on TV appearances. He looks like a waify dude, but he’s really a decently large fellow, though not quite as tall as Aaron, I don’t think. Anyway, he stayed for a song or so, then left the crowd. We all shrugged and kept watching.

Then, a couple songs later, he came back and beelined for one particular guy in the crowd, who we found out later was Jason from the Von Bondies. As Mark put it when he was explaining the incident on the way home after the show, there’s bad blood between them. Fortunately or unfortunately, I saw most of the incident, though I couldn’t hear it due to my earplugs and our extra-close proximity to the speaker stacks. Jack shouted something into Jason’s ear, they had a brief exchange of words while a young woman (also from the Von Bondies) was poking Jack in the back, trying to calm him down โ€” then Jack White of the White Stripes slugged Jason of the Von Bondies right in the nose. Only show where I’ve witnessed a fistfight firsthand, and it was like freakin’ Celebrity Deathmatch. Jack ended up on top of Jason on the floor, punching his lights out, and it took several people (including one burly bouncer) to break it up. Jason needed help off the floor, and two of his bandmates (I believe) helped him backstage.

So, yeah. Brendan Bensen cut his set short right there and then, and we decided to make ourselves scarce and move to the other side of the crowd. This so that a.) we wouldn’t be shoved into the blood spatters on the floor and b.) so we wouldn’t be questioned about what we saw. Especially since Mark and I saw most of it. Of course, once we got to the other side of the venue, there were a couple weirdos there, too, when Blanche went on โ€” one guy had a giant cardboard cutout of Patrick Swayze’s head strapped to his face, and he had a friend in a satiny gray vest who thought that was absolutely great. Everybody else thought they were both drunken idiots. Strangest show I’ve been to in a long, long time.

That didn’t exactly quench my jones for a concert, either.

Then, today, Aaron and I were cleaning the apartment when Amy called. Anyone who knows Amy or ever met her Grandpa โ€” he died yesterday. They knew he wasn’t in the best health for some time now, but that sort of thing is never expected. You know. I talked with Amy on the phone for probably about half an hour, and asked her to let me know when the service is. If I can’t go, I want to at least send flowers or something. If anyone wants details, I can let you know as soon as I do. Shoot me an e-mail. Grandpa was a great guy with a bizarre sense of humor, and it’s really sad to see him go. It’s also sad that the memorial is going to be more of a soap-opera/three-ring circus with the various family members who hate each other and such. Poor Amy.

So, yeah. Bizarreness all around this weekend. Mark’s hero tarnished, Amy’s Grandpa gone, and our house actually clean. Probably blasphemous to put those three occurrences together in the same sentence, but hey. It’s me.

What Happened This Week

Well, I haven’t posted a real, substantive entry all week, and I’m quite backlogged with ideas. So, here I go.

Just today I got my pictures from Signature Color. Yeah, the ones from Halloween? Over a month later, I finally got the prints. I swear, when I ever get a digital camera, Signature Color is so out of my life.

I had a fucked-up dream a couple nights ago. I was on-campus at a grad school, looking for Dan Clouse (I marched drumcorps with him in the mid-90’s, and we’ve kept in touch ever since). I wasn’t attending classes there, but the campus had a dorm/hotel where I had a temporary room. Anyway, I finally managed to locate where Dan was living โ€” he had a small, tentlike abode on a hill behind the dorm. Once I found him, he didn’t really want to hang out much, despite the fact that our old corps-mate, Jessie Fleming, was joining me directly so we could all hang out together. He seemed to be kind of in hermit-mode.

So, Jessie arrived, and for whatever reason, we went to the Ben Franklin craft store. Except it wasn’t just crafts, but included thrifty junk-store stuff like used space heaters. And who should I find in the space heaters but Amy! You know, my college roomie? I didn’t even know she was at the school, so I was understandably surprized. I ran up to talk to her, with Jessie in tow, and Amy told me where in the dorm she lived (top floor, far corner). So, I’m catching up with Amy, who’s itching to take her space heater up to her dorm room, and meanwhile Jessie is bent on going clubbing, and her nagging is really harshing my Amy mellow. I finally asked her where she wanted to go, and she named some place that I knew was in Toledo, not even in BG (where we apparently were in my dream at this point). So, Jessie bailed, kind of pissing me off, and I woke up.

Why can’t I have normal dreams like Aaron, where he got a promotional cat from Lenny Kravitz, or where REM was playing in his kitchen and his cats were requesting songs?

Oh, I suppose I should give an update on my new job, eh? First, though, let me tell you how fubar Lockbox is now. Now, before I left, this was the hierarchy:

  1. Loni
  2. Me
  3. Rama (temp used-to-be-processor but didn’t like the hours)
  4. Angie (temp & processor)
  5. Dawn (temp)
  6. Brett (newest temp, at about two months)

In the short span since I left Lockbox โ€” mainly in the past week โ€” several changes have been made to the old hierarchy. First, I posted out. In my stead, Angie got hired in and Dawn got moved up into Angie’s temp-processor spot. They didn’t get a new temp for a few days. Then, at the beginning of this week, Rama gave her two weeks’ notice. Dawn also complained to the bosses about the change in her hours, since she’d been promised she could keep her 8-to-5 and it was changed to 9-to-6. Dawn was subsequently "cancelled," which is what you call it when you fire a temp. Two new temps were brought in after that. So, despite the fact that
Brett has never even watched the processors run work, he was moved up to processor today, and the three brand-new temps were left to prep all the work after Rama left for her doctor’s appointment at noon. Oh, boy. So, the new hierarchy, in another week, will be:

  1. Loni
  2. Angie
  3. Brett (temp & new processor)
  4. One-and-a-half week temp
  5. Few-days temp #1
  6. Few-days temp #2

Remember now, Loni is actively attempting to post out, and has a good chance of getting out soon. She may not even be required to give two weeks before she transfers. Poor, poor Angie. ๐Ÿ™‚

On to my job. It’s a little tedious now, but we don’t even have several of the reports we’ll eventually be going through. Right now, the job could easily be done by one person, but once everything pans out, it sounds like it really will be a job for two. Yeah, it’s still a relatively tedious data entry job, but at least it’s less stressful. I know I come in at 8am every day, I get to take two guilt-free breaks and a full hour lunch, and I leave at 5:00. The end. Rinse and repeat. This compared to working in Lockbox, where I would come in at 8:30am on Monday and leave God-knows-when, probably around 9:00pm or after; in on Tuesday at 9:30am and out probably around 3:30pm; and in around 9:30am and out between 4:00pm and 6:30pm for the rest of the week, all with half-hour lunches (if any at all) and no breaks (except for potty breaks). I like my new gig a lot better on that front.

Though… I should still be looking for something in my field, anyway. Those other two or three leads didn’t end up panning out โ€” I never heard from HCR Manorcare or World-whatever-it-was.

3oz rootbeer candle in mini-mug - poured 12/10/03I’m insanely into soy candles now. I just bought another bag of soy wax, three more fragrances, and one dye. โ€”Hey, I was down to two small candles’ worth of wax, and while I was ordering that, I mean, what’s ten more bucks? Right? ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I found a fragrance oil that’ll be perfect for a candle for Mom (just in case she reads my website before Christmas, I won’t put which one it is), and I bought some Drakkar-type (ah, reminding me of the days when I sold PartyLite Candles with Mel) and some Hershey’s Chocolate scent.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do with all these candles. Burn some, obviously. Give some away for Christmas presents. After that… I really didn’t intend to sell them, but I guess if my friends know people who’d like some… *shrug* That’s how Aaron’s mom got into doing crazy crafty shit, but after hearing all about craft shows and the lingering scent of essential oils, I don’t think I’m too keen on making it a big business or anything. Although I did always say I want to work out of my home after I have kids… I don’t know, though. If I ended up trying this online, I’d have some crazy insane inventorying to do, since I love to thrift unique and unusual candle containers for now.

Curious about my current candle inventory? Outside of wicks, wax and dyes, I have:

Candles:
+ one 4oz Eggnog
+ two 4oz Amaretto
   (in sundae cups)
+ two 3oz Rootbeer
   (in mini-mugs, above)
Fragrance Oils:
+ Eggnog (3.5 fl.oz.)
+ Amaretto (.5 fl.oz.)
+ Rootbeer
+ Hazelnut (1 fl.oz.)
+ Patchouli (1 fl.oz.)
+ Very Vanilla (1 fl.oz.)
+ Cola (1 fl.oz.)

After this next shipment, I’m going to lay off of the new fragrances and just try out the ones I have. So far, the eggnog is ‘ehh’ (I didn’t put enough fragrance in the candles), the amaretto is actually pretty good, and the rootbeer is weird. Smells good cold, but the hot scent throw smells… well, not like rootbeer. It’s just weird. Anyway, I still have to master the finer aspects of soy candlemaking, which should be obvious from the discolored rootbeer candle. I think it’s mainly a pouring-temperature issue. I get too anxious to make the candles, and I don’t wait for the wax to cool enough before pouring, so it doesn’t stick to the container right. I think.

Oh, no… now I’m going to have to make a web page just for my candles… ๐Ÿ™‚

The State of Popular Music

It doesn’t just suck here. It sucks in the UK, too.

While reading yet another surfed-upon blog by a total stranger,
I learned that a cover of Barry Manilow’s 70’s hit Mandy has been chosen
as the UK’s Song
of the Year
by a local
radio station
in Kent. (For you Ohioans, that’s Kent in the UK, not Kent
as in Kent State. Just making sure.) Just out of sheer perversity, I fired
up WinMX and downloaded the tune, by a band called Westlife… and OMFG,
it sounds like some random pop singer(s) doing karaoke to Manilow. I posted
to the blog where I found the linkage, and informed her that popular music
in the UK must be as bad as here in the States, if a cover of Barry Manilow
can make Song of the Year.

In other news, I’ve been feeling like a neglectful Secret Santa
these past couple of weeks. All I got my person was the big gift she’s getting
on Wednesday, which cost nearly the full alloted $15 limit: a mixer. She
probably thinks I’ve forgotten her, especially since I’ve gotten gifts from
my Secret Santa every day since the thing’s been going on. So…
I went to Ben Franklin and spent some more on my person โ€” another twenty
bucks more, actually. I got her a bunch of piddly crap, and the pixie/fairy
doll I bought her was the most expensive for $9.99. I also got her butterfly
stickers, a butterfly suncatcher, a Slinky with butterflies printed on it
(she likes butterflies… could you tell?), and some candy canes. She also
collects fairies and dolphins, but I couldn’t locate any good dolphins. Anyway,
I bought a nice fuzzy stocking to stuff it all in, and I’m going to give
it to her tomorrow.

As soon as I find out where her desk is…

Yum.

My place smells so good right now.

First, I lit one of the amaretto candles when I got home from work โ€” actually, it’s the candle with eggnog-scent leftovers in it, and Iadded the amaretto that wouldn’t fit in the sundae cups, plus a new wick. So, walking a few feet from it, you can smell amaretto… which, surprizingly, smells pretty good as candles go. Much better than I’d expected. Then, I started baking my low-carb-brownies-from-scratch again, in preparation for tomorrow’s monthly Birthday Treat Day at work. (I love my new department.) So, after you walk through the amaretto smell, toward the kitchen, you’re instantly barraged with the smell of chocolate. I’m loving it.

It’s a little early to make a prediction, since they’re still warm out of the oven, but I think the brownies are passable this time. I’m going to leave a couple home for Aaron, and take the rest to work. If everybody thinks they suck, well, that’s their prerogative, and I’ll get to take them back home after the day’s done. But I don’t think they suck. No more so than some people’s "regular" brownies do.

Oh, and did I mention that I made hazelnut eggnog this weekend? It’s surprizingly simple… as long as you don’t overcook it. Then the eggs start to cook, and it gets a little lumpy. Yes, I speak from experience. Over the past few days, it’s been sitting in a saucepan in the bottom of the fridge โ€” "getting happy," as Emeril would put it. Tonight, I took it for a spin in the blender to smooth it out and whip it up, and am now drinking my last glass of eggnog with a dash of nutmeg. (Aaron’s glass is in the fridge with plastic wrap over it.)

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had a moment of weakness today at work. All I brought for lunch was two string cheeses, and I didn’twant to go to Jimmy John’s again… so I succumbed to the snack machine and bought a pack of Soft Batch cookies. Again, as with my last cheat a couple months back, I wasn’t terribly satisfied, despite thinking long and hard about my choice. The chocolate tasted too sweet, and I got a brief but powerful blood sugar spike at my desk afterward. Not shaky, but lightheaded. I knew exactly what it was as soon as I felt it. Let that be a lesson to me… again. It’s just not worth it. Heaven forbid I ever decide to "treat" myself to Olive Garden.

Anyway, they’ve got me actually doing my real job at work now. At least, when there’s enough work to split between two people. I ended up actually reading the online instructions for the web forms I use, surfing the Sky intranet, e-mailing HR about my incorrect W4, anything I could do to stretch out my time at the end of the day. Especially being new to the position, once I figure out how to do something, I can’t force myself to do it s-l-o-w-l-y just to "milk the clock," because I feel the need to prove that I can do what they’ve given me with no problems.

So, today’s schedule was:

  • 8:00am – 8:30am: Turn on computer. Bullshit.
  • 8:30am – 10:00am: Highlight reports. Ask Judy what she does with them.
  • 10:00am – 10:30am: Training session in Tom’s office. Learn how to do my job.
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm: Correct missing birthdates in client information database.
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Look through reports, filtering out non-personal accounts.
    (A company or non-profit organization can’t have a birthdate, silly.)
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Research Cash Letters for Angie in Deposit Support.
  • 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Look through reports again. Seem busy when boss comes by.
  • 3:30pm – 3:45pm: Break.
  • 3:45pm – 4:15pm: Staple reports for Angie in Deposit Support.
  • 4:15pm – 5:00pm: Read job instructions.
    Surf intranet. Look at payroll info.

And that was my day. Woo-hoo… exciting.

But, you know what? I’m OK with that. Especially since the Post Office has been fucking over Lockbox all this week, not getting them all their mail in the 9:30 mail run, so they don’t get their full work to start until 1:00pm. They stayed until 9:30pm on Monday, I’m not sure when on Tuesday, and 6:30pm last night. Loni comes in to my area every now and then, since I’m on her way to the other end of the building, where the restrooms, break room, kitchen, and all that are. She had an interview yesterday (incidentally, for one of the positions I’m helping cover for, the one where I hunt down Cash Letters), and she said it went well. I’m crossing my fingers for her and hoping for the best. She’s been with the company for something like seven years, with Lockbox for five (since its inception), and it’s about time she moved on from Lockbox.

Angie (the one in Lockbox) was hired in from temp to permanent, effective Monday. (This past Monday, I think.) I’m kind of glad for her, but then again, I kind of feel bad that she’s going to be stuck there with shitty hours. Just like I was when I was hired in, actually. I talked with her in the hallway the other day, and she said in no uncertain terms that she plans to stay in Lockbox only for the required six months, then post out of the department to another position. Seems to be all the rage lately… Mary did that earlier this year. (Remember Mary? The middle-aged woman who fell asleep and ran her car into a ditch after a particularly long night in Lockbox?) I’ve been trying to find an appropriate job to post into for the past six or seven months, ever since I was eligible to post out. Now Loni’s looking to post out, and has been for several months herself.

Remember those Ethnic Studies and Sociology classes we had to take in college? Remember the section about immigration? Push factors vs. pull factors? I think that almost every other department loses people to new jobs via pull factorsโ€”the other job has a draw to it, something that makes you want it. For Lockbox, though, people leave due to push factors โ€” kind of an "anywhere but here" mentality. Yeah.

And in closing… as I write this entry, the BGSU/Miami game is 35-17 Miami in the 3rd. Sigh.

Candlemaking Attempt #2

I received my shipment from Bitter
Creek
today. Woo-hoo! Here’s an inventory:

  • "Shades of Brown" liquid dye, 2 oz bottle
  •  Hazelnut Fragrance Oil (FO), 1 oz sampler
  •  Rootbeer FO, 1 oz sampler
  •  Patchouli FO, 1 oz sampler
  •  Very Vanilla FO, 1 oz sampler
  •  Cola FO, 1 oz sampler
  •  Amaretto FO, 1 oz sampler

Add that to my Eggnog FO and French Vanilla color block from Brighter
Scents
, and I’ve got quite the beginning of a candle cornucopia.
(Please note that I chose scents that could easily be tinted with a
combination of the brown and the french vanilla.) I also ordered wick
stickies (to anchor wicks to their containers), more wicks, and cranberry
liquid dye from Brighter Scents, mainly because Bitter Creek didn’t
carry the stickies, and I had to round out my order to $10 to charge
it. (Darn those small businesses! Just like Hatter…)

So, tonight I tried a second run of candle fun, and it seems to have worked
out a little better this time. I guesstimated how much each of my containers
could hold (this time, I used the mini sundae cups), and I doled out
wax chips by weight instead of volume this time. The large glass measuring
cup was quite helpful for melting and pouring wax, and the small measuring
glass made much less guesswork of measuring FO amounts.

This time, I opted to use the Amaretto scent, and to add but a single
drop of brown to the vanilla dye. I need to remember that the wax will
cool lighter than the initial color when still meltedโ€”it started
out the color of a really strong Amaretto Sour, and ended up the color
of a really weak one. Ah, well. I wish I had a digital camera… I’d
show you.

After having the whole apartment smell like Amaretto, I’m not sure this
is a scent of candle I would normally burn… but we’ll see. I still
have to use my remaining half-ounce of Amaretto to mix with the Cola
to make an Amaretto-and-Coke candle. ๐Ÿ™‚

I suppose you want to know more about how I’m liking my new job…?

This week so far, I’ve learned to do several things that I never even
knew existed before. First, there’s reports on suspected check kiting.
Check kiting, according to Dr. Damn at totse.com,
is "using the lag time between check cashing and clearing to generate
illegal revenue." Like, when you have two accounts at two different
banks, and write a check from one to deposit into the other, knowing
full well that you don’t have the money in the first account to cover
the check, but also knowing that it’ll take the bank two days to clear
it, and in that time you can write a check from your other
bank to deposit into the first bank to cover it. Follow?

I’ve also learned about Cash Letters. These are how the Federal Reserve
Bank keeps track of where a check has been โ€” the paper trail, as
it were. If a check gets encoded for the wrong amount โ€” say, you
wrote your check for $10.00 but your account gets debited $100.00 instead โ€” sometimes
the bank needs to make a copy of the cash letter to send to the Fed
to say, "Hey! You debited us a hundred bucks here! See?
We want our ninety bucks back!"

So, what have I been doing with these things? Well, I highlight particular
suspects on the report for check kiting, for one. I look at the previous
day’s report, and highlight those account numbers on the current day’s
report, to make Judy’s job easier when she looks them up in the computer
all day. I also go out into the garage and delve into long boxes to
fetch Cash Reports to copy. They’re printed on that old-school greenbar
computer paper (you know, like in the basement of Hayes Hall on-campus?).
To figure out what reports to find and where to find them, I have to
look online in a couple different databases and jump through some hoops.
Overall, it’s relatively simple work, but necessary. My doing it frees
up the other workers to do the things I don’t have access to do… like…
well, come to think of it, I’m not sure what they do all day,
but I’m sure it’s important.

As for my job… it seems that my job for now is to fill in for
two other departments being short a person. I’m OK with that. I’m enjoying
learning more about how the bank works, and the more I learn, the more
marketable I become. Or something like that.

I also found out that the girl who had my position before me, who got
a better job offer elsewhere and quit, left after three weeks in the
position. So, I’m not going to feel bad if I happen to secure another
job in the near future, since I’d be about on a par with her, time-wise.
Of course, I haven’t heard from the companies I had phone interviews
with, so I’m not holding my breath. Although maybe I should check Sunday’s
paper for more jobs, anyway.

Typical New Job Day

I’d love to say that today was the best day ever, and that my
new job sounds like a joy… but, in fact, it sounds like I’m kind of everybody’s
flunky and general floater for now. I’m doing stuff that I don’t really know
how to do, like filling out peperwork to have the Federal Reserve Bank compensate
us for mis-encoded checks; and I’m doing stuff anyone could do, like highlighting
the account numbers on one report that were already highlighted on yesterday’s
report.

However, I did get out of work at 5:00 today, which was nice,
despite having to clock in bright and early at 8am.

My right eye has been insanely dry and bloodshot all day, and
I’m hoping it gets better overnight. I don’t do the eyedrop thing, even if
we had any. It’s not overly painful, just distracting.

Called my credit card company and changed the name on my card,
finally. I’ll get a new one shipped to me next week. Slowly but surely, I’m
getting things changed from my maiden name to my married name.

I wouldn’t have even done that yet, but the Bitter
Creek Candle Company
said that my credit card was having trouble clearing,
so I figured that had to be it โ€” I put the wrong name. Then I checked
my balance online, and I was also a touch low. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I also paid some more
on my credit card, to help fuel my soy candle obsession (and pay for Christmas
presents).

Oh, and I scanned in the photos of Loni’s family I took on Friday.
Just in case you were wondering what kind of insanity I had to endure. FYI,
Loni is sitting on the far right, holding the boy in the gray vest.

later…
I dislike being so tired when I come home from work.
It makes me look forward to going to bed โ€” but then the next thing I
know, I’ll be going to work again, and I hate feeling like work is all I
live for. Hopefully after a week or so of this early stuff, my body will
be used to it, and I won’t be this tired after work.

I’m also remembering what it was like to dread going
in to work every day. Not that I dread this job yet, not after one day, but
I can’t say I have a positive attitude about the unknown. Especially knowing
that I’m going to mess something up eventually, that it’s inevitable, and
wondering what day I’m going to come into work and be faced with fixing some
mistake I’ve made… which is usually twice as time-consuming.

Maybe while I’m getting used to getting up early
and having a new job, I’ll intensify my external job search. It sounds like
I’m general Deposit Support help right now, and they don’t even know if I’ll
really be doing the job I was hired in for, and they’ve already lost one
person in this position to another offer, so what can it hurt? *shrug*

Feeling Domesticated

Well, I’m certainly feeling artsy-craftsy. Yesterday, I thrifted some candle containers: two small sundae cups, two miniature mason jar drinking glasses (aka salt & pepper shakers), and a dark brown airtight container of some sort, maybe a sugar jar. Plus, I got a glass measuring cup with a spout for melting and pouring wax. Last night I ordered some sticky glue tabs (for anchoring wicks down while pouring wax), more wicks, half a dozen fragrance samples, and two more colors of dye. Today, I bought two more potential candle containers at Goodwill.

hey, beth! i grew this african violet from that one leaf you gave me!I also repotted a bunch of my plants today โ€” I broke apart the remnants of the "dish garden" I got at Memaw’s funeral, since most of it was dead from lack of light and water. (Hey, I couldn’t find a good place to put it where it would get plenty of light and where I’d remember to water it.) So, I salvaged two plants from that. While I was at it, I potted the Christmas cactus that’s been living in a vase full of water for the past two years. Then I thought I was done, and started to rearrange pots and saucers on my one well-lighted shelf o’ plants… and discovered that my spider plant had roots growing out of its watering hole in the bottom of the pot. So, back outside to repot the spider in my only remaining sizable pot, which is a good full foot in diameter. It should have plenty of room to stretch out now.

So, I’m feeling quite wifely and domesticated today, despite the fact that I still have junk sitting on the floor of our computer room, waiting to be cleaned.