Corporate Peon: December 2005

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Stealing, Again

This time from Jamie; the idea, to post the first sentence from the first post in every month:

"Sorry to disappoint, friends, but nothing climatic - literally or, well, literally - came from hearing from my old friend."

Oh yes, the rekindling of my friendship with Racist Homophobic Slutty Man from my Past. It wasn't the happy reunion I had envisioned.

"My eyes are red and itchy."

I know, drugs do that to you.

"Tuesdays are frozen pizza night in the Peon's household."

Yep, a four-year weekly staple that's now DONE!



"It´s warm here!"

Yay for Costa Rica and warm sunny beaches!

"I've been angry with you for some time now."

Another letter to s/he-who-shall-remain-nameless, expressing my angst in my passive-aggressive manner.

"Left work early today; came home and snoozed in between episodes of 'Pimp My Ride.'"

Another lazy weekend, that started.

"I had decided I was going to Richmond, VA for a weekend to visit my best college gf."

Another good weekend, that started.

"I can't even express my frustration right now."

Fun in the workplace.

"1. I used to think that married men who cheat on their wives were all 45years old, married for decades and looking to get a piece of ass from their 18yr old secretary."

Fun - and then, not so fun - at a college reunion.

"A play."

Sisterly love. Or not.

"Hello all."

Greetings from abroad.

At the very least I can say it was a busy year, right?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Redux

Back at the folks today, after three stops at ice cream stores for peppermint ice cream.


My sister's bday is January 2nd; she wanted a chocolate-peppermint cake she saw in Cooking Light: two layers chocolate cake with a middle layer of peppermint ice cream. The cakes were baked last night; the ice cream, no where to be find.

Finally, Ben & Jerry's came through. It may be white ice cream, and it may have chocolate bits in it, but goddamn if it's not peppermint!

We had time for a brief visit before dinner; BIL & I made a quick beer run just under the wire. We came back to roast beef and - latkes!!!

It's a family tradition - we make them once a year when we're all together for Christmas. It started years ago, when dad's mom would visit for Hanukkah. We stopped for a while, for unknown reasons, and then when BIL got into the picture and told us he had never had any, we started again.

Mmmm mmmm good.

After dinner we did stockings; there were a few nice surprises, both given and received, and then we played Trivial Pursuit 90's edition and gorged on my baked goods that mom froze when I was here last week.

Tomorrow? Breakfast of my homemade pumpkin bread...actual presents...a birthday celebration that will mainly consist of cake...and perhaps bowling.

Friday, us kids (and two dogs) leave for the weekend in Madison.

Aye. I'm already tired. So far, though, sister and I are getting along great. We're teasing and poking but so far, not too far. Cross your fingers that this trend - much like the warm weather - continues.

A Peon's Year in Review

March: Got a good raise
April: Finished grad school; went to Costa Rica
May: Celebrated my 28th birthday in NoDak with my girls
July: Got a performance bonus
August: Visited my gf in Virginia
September: Attended my 10year high school reunion, back in NoDak with my girls; started my current position
November: Bought a new car; went to Turkey
December: Got an even better raise

Can't really beat this year in a lot of ways.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thievery in the Morning

Thanks, Joanne!

Did you have any New Year's Resolutions this year? Nope, it's hard to perfect perfection.
Who kissed you at midnight? An actual, live boy
Does it snow where you live? Yes it does
Do you like hot chocolate? Sometimes
Have you ever been to Times Square to watch the ball drop? No, and I don't have much desire to, either. It sounds like something that in theory would be fun but the reality would not be so much

Who was your Valentine in 2005? Nobody
What did your Valentine get you? An imaginary present
When you were little, did you buy Valentines for your whole class? Didn't everybody?

Are you Irish? Part, yes
Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day? Not usually
What did you do for St. Patty's Day? Probably sat on my ass

Do you like the rain? Only if I'm inside with nowhere to go
Did you play an April Fools joke on anyone? No, I'm always afraid of getting gotten back
Do you get tons of candy on Easter? Nope

What's your favorite kind of flower? Any kind someone gives me
Do you like the spring? Yes
Finish the phrase: April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? My birthday! Okay, not really, but growing up, we always had crocuses (croci?), daffodils, and even strawberries in time for my birthday.
What would you think of as a spring color? Yellow. Or purple, or pink, or green

What year did you graduate from school? High School - 1995; College - 1999
Did you go on any vacations last June? Nope, not in June

What did you do on the 4th of July? Sat on my ass. I may have been at my folks' though.
Did you go on any vacations during this month? Jesus, no, not in July. Any other month, but of course this doesn't ask then...

Did you do anything special to end off your summer? I visited my best girlfriend in Virginia.
What was your favorite summer memory of '05? I had a fantastic birthday in NoDak with the girls.
Do you go swimming a lot in the summer? Not as much as I should, considering there's a pool in my apt complex.
Do you go to the beach a lot? No

Did you attend school/college in 05? Yes, I finished grad school
Who is/was your favorite teacher? Oh god, I have no freakin idea
Do you like fall better than summer? Nope!

What was your favorite Halloween Costume ever? I was a chocolate chip cookie in a Girl Scout/Brownie parade when I was little. Otherwise, I'm not a huge fan of dressing up because I can never think of anything.
What's your favorite candy? Um...Cheetos? Yeah, not so much a candy liker.
What did you dress up like this year? A corporate peon

Whose house do you usually go to for Thanksgiving? Mommy and Daddy's
Do you like stuffing? No
What are you thankful for? A healthy family

Do you like Christmas? Eh. It could be so much easier but it will never be.
Have you ever been kissed under the mistle toe? No
What do you want this year for Christmas? A digital camera (which I'm getting) and 1carat total weight diamond stud earrings (which I'm not getting).
What's the best present you ever got for Christmas? At the time I thought it was stupid, but the rolly duffel bag dad got me years ago has gone EVERYwhere with me.
Do you like cold weather? Not so much, but it's not really a bother. You get used to it.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

So This Is Christmas

Got to the 'rents Friday, early. My car was packed to the gills - baked goods, dirty laundry, clean clothes, presents.

So far, it's been nice being here. Relaxing. Ran a couple errands with dad yesterday; then ran a couple errands with mom. Went to church with mom yesterday; that's something I do every year for her. I usually make a fuss, but the degree varies.

I always feel badly when I'm in church with her, knowing she's there every week of the year alone. Knowing she's looking at all the little babies and kids and wishing for grandchildren. Knowing that I can't help with either of those wishes.

Mom didn't do a tree this year, as we thought we'd be at my sister's. Well, those plans changed at the last minute, so there's still no tree. Decorations are up everywhere, though, and I'll help hang the stockings in a minute.

Yes, that's right. It's Christmas day and we haven't hung stockings yet. Without my sister and BIL here, it just doesn't seem like Christmas. We haven't opened or exchanged a single present, and we won't until they get here on Wednesday. Well, we'll probably do it Thursday morning, actually. It's not a very Christmassy Christmas without them.

We all had some of my homemade pumpkin bread for breakfast, though, and are sitting around reading various things with Christmas music playing in the background. Mom washed the dog yesterday, so he's clean and cuddly. I finally got some Turkey pictures developed, so I might do some vacation posts later today.

For now, though...hope everyone's enjoying their holiday. Be well.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Note to Self

Mini-marshmallows for breakfast do not fill you up.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Peanut butter fudge (two batches) are chilling in the fridge. A loaf of pumpkin bread is cooking, and once that's done, I have another ready to go (I only have one loaf pan).

All the done goodies are packed up and in the freezer. All the presents are wrapped and portable.

The laundry is done.

All I need to do now is throw some clothes together, get the random stocking stuffer presents together from various places in the house, and load up the car!

Where IS Everybody????????

Don't you know I'm trying to procrastinate here????


1. I totally hate when I forget to make the footnote I had asterisked before.

2. I'm hungry! I didn't eat lunch b/c I wasn't hungry. Then I saw New Girl and gave her her present and shot the shit for a bit. By the time I got back to my building, the cafeteria was closed, and I still wasn't hungry.

Now, tummy's growling! I could go upstairs and get some chips, but I'm hoping to leave soon and go home to find something yummy miraculously frozen and waiting to be devoured.


When my sister was little, she made a card for Santa. On the inside left page was a Christmas tree. On the right was her letter.

And under the tree, on the left, she congratulated herself on drawing and coloring such a be-yoo-ti-ful picture.

"(Insert full name), you did a good tree!"

That's a running joke now between her (she?), my BIL, and myself.

"Wow, Kate, nice car. You did a good tree!"

"I got a raise - I did a good tree!"

It's one of those things that mean nothing to anyone outside the family, but to us, it incapsulates so much.
A few nights ago, some random guy IM'd me online. We chatted for a bit - he's local - and he hasn't stopped IM'ng me since. The only problem is, he's DULL.

Each night, I ask how he is. Fine. I ask what he's been doing. Nothing.


Now, I do nothing quite a bit myself, but at least I dress it up a bit. "Well, I watched this really neat show on PBS about the mating habits of crickets. Did you know that crickets are the only animal to fuck upside down?"*

Instead, he says, 'nothing." Next, please!

* I totally made that up. I mean, it might be true, but I wouldn't bet money on it. Instead, give your money to me, and I'll buy shoes with it.
It's a definite slow day today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Boredom? What's That?

I was fairly bored at work today. Not a hell of a lot going on these days. Scratched a thing or two off my to-do list, surfed the web a bit. Went to lunch with E, where we exchanged gifts. A big yummy smelling candle for Kate, yay! Got some lotion from New Girl; she'll get the chocolate voodoo doll from me tomorrow.

Then, around 1:30, I found some shit hanging on the fan above my head. Who did it involve? BBB! He's not always the brightest light in the chandelier. The issue wasn't his fault, but the way he was handling it wasn't the best. Shrug. It will get fixed. It always does.

Tonight I'm taking a reprieve from my baking duties. I went a little overboard last year and haven't quite reached those depths - yet - this year. The freezer is full of baklava, some no-bake chocolate-pb-oat cookies, some layered chocolate-vanilla-peanut bars, butterscotch-marshmallow-chocolate bars, and chocolate caramel cookies. I'm not done yet, though. I'll make a loaf or two of pumpkin bread, because it's so easy and SO good, and I think that will be it for this week.

All the treats will be packed up and taken to the 'rents this week. Then next week, I'll do some MORE baking in preparation for the after-Christmas Christmas celebration with sister & BIL.

Ah, holidays. Love 'em or leave 'em, but you can't ignore them completely.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I don't do holiday cards. I stopped a few years back when it got to be a hassle. I got to thinking that everyone I love knows I love them - I make sure of that.

So what's a card going to do for you? And what do you do with the dozens you end up with each year? Me, I'd enjoy them for a bit, then...pitch 'em.

They got ridiculous for a while. One college friend sent one signed 'Love, Jenny & Steve.' I hadn't seen or talked to her in years, had never met her bf, and was seriously doubting he had feelings of any kind for me.

Then, too, I got to thinking - why am I sending cards to people I don't really care about? Because they sent me a card? Uh uh.

If I care about you - if you care about me - you should already know what's going on in my world. You should already know my trials and tribulations for the year; you shouldn't need a card to keep you updated. And if you need that recap of life as I know it to know how I'm doing, then maybe you need to rethink this friendship. Chances are, I have.

So tonight, I enjoyed an N'Sync serenade while I baked my heart out and un-panned some previously baked goods.

Life as I know it, indeed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The True Story...

My hours of TV watching this weekend included episode after episode of MTV's NEXT! I know I've gotten old when I watch shows like that and wonder, 'What would their parents think????'

of seven strangers...

After all that fluffy TV I needed some substance. Thank god "The Real World Austin" reunion show was on. That cast did not like each other. Danny & Melinda (Mel Pop-a-Squat, per a nickname) are now engaged. I'm doubting he spent one single penny on the flashy engagement ring, carriage ride, strawberries, roses, or champagne. Yeah, that's the real world alright.

picked to live in a house...

You'd think I was done with crap TV, but my tolerance for fluff will surprise you. I watched "The Real World Austin - The Sh!t They Should Have Shown" at least twice. Boobs, butts, and bimbos - standard fare.

to show what happens when people stop being polite...

And somewhere in between it all, I managed to wrap some presents, buy some more, get a pedicure, do some baking, get a haircut, talk to my sister 83204 times, and do five loads of laundry.

and start being real.

Crap TV - now in Motivation flavor!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Persistance Gets You Nowhere

Remember the shorty I met at the Femmes concert this summer? Remember how I felt nothing positive towards him at all? Remember how he emailed me after the concert and how I wasn't interested?

Remember how he called me - twice - weeks after the show? Remember how I emailed him once, a blase note saying I got his voicemails and not much further?

He emailed me again this week. I've given him NO encouragement whatsoever, and his latest note was very strange: "Remember me? How have you been? I hope you're well. I'm going to Egypt in January! Drop me a note and let me know what's new with you! I hope to hear from you soon. "

Um, no. What part of getting brushed off do you not understand?

"I'm sure you're just being friendly, but I find it weird that you continue to contact me when I've shown absolutely zero interest. I felt no connection with you at all when we met - not even for friends. I'd prefer not to hear from you again."

His response? (Yes, I said response - apparently I wasn't clear enough.) "Happy Holidays!"

There's a possible joke in there somewhere about my magnetic pull to the boring and clueless...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Reap What You Sow

There's a pattern happening that you must not think I've noticed. I'm tucked away on the back burner until things don't go your way. When that happens, I'm pulled out, brushed off, and used again. Used for what, I don't honestly know.

Am I sorry you're hurting? Sure, I'm human. I'd rather things worked out, whatever that means. Do I get a sick sense of pleasure from it? You bet your ass I do.

Karma may be a bitch, but I bet she's smiling.


Can I brag? I want to brag. Well, I don't want to brag, but I do want to share some good news. Trust me. Bragging is not something I do well or often.

But this is good news. But I'm worried that it will make some people feel badly. But should I be worried about that? I don't control their lives, only my own.

Shit. Well, let me just say that I have good news that I probably won't be sharing, but I'm happy right now - and shocked - and still perhaps a bit stunned.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Planning Ahead, Looking Behind

Today was my office holiday party. Well, actually, it was a holiday party - the only one of three that I was able to attend. I did receive my gift from one of the parties I missed: a pink shirt.

Yes, I typed that correctly. The girls got pink polo shirts with our division name and logo on them, and the boys got blue polo shirts with our division name and logo on them. I'm all set for next freakin Halloween.

Today's party was fun, though. I defied politics and sat with my two friends, E and S, and while there were other people at the table with us, we three giggled and traded mock insults and engaged in a confetti war that I won. S will be shaking silver snowflakes out of her top for days.

The food was great, too, as we were at a nice Italian place. Sausage, fettucini, veal - gotta love them dead baby cows. Heavenly dessert, free drinks, and an early end to the day. Not to mention, a nice sweatshirt-material blanket with our logo that I'm bundled under now. Can't beat that.

Tomorrow promises to be an interesting day. I am meeting with my old boss to discuss my work capacity. He knows I've had a lighter load than projected in this rotational position, and feels his area is going to get slammed with work shortly. Remember, I'm just on loan now from my old area; if my old boss 'needs' me back, I have to go.

I don't want to go. I like what I'm learning and doing now. I was tired and burned out on my old responsibilities. But the bottom line is, he's the boss, I'm his resource, and I don't have much say.

In addition to that, he and I will be discussing Stupid Rude Girl. Remember her? She's my old coworker who used to have daily cries in her cube and is almost thoroughly incompetent. S and E have been making noise lately to my old boss to get him to address his employee's performance, but he thinks they're just out for blood. I have three clear, recent examples of how she's been an idiot lately, so hopefully that will help him grasp the situation.

I'm also seeing BBB tomorrow for the first time in almost a month. His birthday is this week, so I'm treating him to lunch.

Other than that, it's business as usual.

Monday, December 12, 2005


In the fall of 1992, my family drove from the middle of NoDak to the middle of SE Wisconsin to drop my sister at college. We had only been in NoDak for a few months then: mom was depressed, I was depressed and lonely, my sister was anxious and nervous and worried, and dad...well, I assume he was stressed.

We ate some meal at the cafeteria of my sister's college. Mom asked me some potentially insightful question about whether I thought I'd like to go to college someplace like that, or what I thought I'd want to study in school, or something similar. I spat out an angry response - probably "How the hell should I know?" or something equally nonresponsive and bitter.

Immediately after, I felt guilty. She was trying; why did I always have to be such a bitch? In an attempt to atone for my rudeness, I asked dad what he was thinking.

"I was thinking that this family doesn't really communicate."

He was right. We didn't then and we don't now. More than once in Turkey, I threw out an opinion or comment or response to something dad said. Something that could have turned into a discussion, had I not been told I was wrong for saying what I said, or thinking it, or whatever.

I hold a lot inside as a result of having no one around to spill it to. I hold a lot inside because I don't know that other people need to know certain things. And because I'm not vain enough to think my opinions or thoughts always matter, and because I don't want to have to defend myself, and because I don't want to share something that gives someone power over me.

But now, I also hold things inside because it apparently doesn't matter.

The irony is that I was a Communication major in college, and it's always noted as one of my strengths. Guess I've got some people fooled.

Tastes of Turkey

Elma cayi (except when writing, the i is without a dot - there are two different "i"'s in Turkish) (say elma chiy) is apple tea. It tastes like warm apple cider, which I never drink here, but I may have to start.

Sahlep is a warm, milky drink made from the ground tubers of wild orchids. No shit! It's got cinnamon on top, usually, and is only served in winter. MMM.

Doner (I don't know how to do umluts (is that even spelled right?)) means 'spinning' or turning and is usually a meat sandwich. Good French bread, some lettuce/carrot mixture, and meat carved fresh off the spit, usually lamb or chicken. You know what I'm talking about, right? The big vertical hunk o' meat, spinning in front of a closed fire? Yum.

Gozleme, which is a cheese or potato like crepe, served hot. Nummy.

Manti is a mini-ravioli dish served with a cold yogurty sauce. Not my fave.

Iskender is a pita covered in meat cooked in a tomato-y sauce, topped with butter, and served with yogurt which is similar to sour cream. That was good, too.

Barack, which I'm probably not spelling right, which is like phylo dough cooked around cheese.

Raki, which is a licorice-flavored liquor. You cut it with water, usually, which turns it milky and detracts from the look of it, but it doesn't taste bad - just strong.

Simit, which is sold by street vendors, and is like a dry bread covered in sesame seeds.

Leblebbies, which again I'm probably misspelling, but I'm not getting up to look it up. Those are roasted chickpeas, which I actually liked.

Kufte, meatballs.

Baklava, which I trust you all know and love.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Not What You'd Expect

I'm back.

I'm also sick and have been for the past five days - headache, some chills, horrible hacking cough, sniffles.

I'm also tired - I've been up since 5:30 this morning Istanbul time, which is 8 hours ahead, so I think that means I've been up since about 10pm last night. For some reason, me - the champion sleeper - couldn't sleep a lick on the plane.

I'm also hungry - pizza's been ordered and is on its way.

I'm also clean - intercontinental grime has been washed away.

I'm also sad.

Traveling with my dad was really, really hard on me. He's getting old, folks, and I couldn't ignore that this trip, though I desperately wanted to. I've always been daddy's girl, and I found that I don't necessarily like some things about him. Worse, I felt he didn't like some things about me, either. I know. It's natural. I should be grateful it took us this long to figure it out.

Whoops, pizza just got here.

Then, I check in on some of you, and there's a lot of sadness out there, isn't there? I wish there weren't.

Sorry, must stop now.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hello from Goereme

Hello all. İ trust all our well and hopefully İ won' hit too many wrong keys on this Turkish keyboard! So far İ've been enjoying myself a lot. Dad is a bıt (read, VERY) hard for me to deal with, but that was to be expected. My brother-ın-law, however, is fantastic and a real help. We have seen quite a bit - yesterday we saw fairy chimneys and a secret city and went on a hike (that actually used rope to rappell down one pıece of ıt - no, they didn't tell us that beforehand!). The food is great and hopefully İ'll have great pictures to show you.

We are heading to Konya today via bus and spending just a few hours there. We'll get on an overnight train tonight and arrive back ın Istanbul tomorrow mornıng for our last day. I am debatıng buyıng a rug - they are GORGEOUS! - and have picked up a little bit of vocabulary from BİL. Ask me what camel, fly, city, friday, apple tea (yum!), and a dozen other useless words are, and İ'll know them!

E-Lo & baby were ın my dream last night - looking forward to catching up with all of you in a few days.


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