Monday, May 26, 2008

Zero to Sixteen in Twenty-Four Hours

While you were all sleeping...

I spawned another child. She weighs in at about 100 lbs, is approximately 5'4", and somehow miraculously just celebrated her sixteenth birthday.

Her first words were: "God, Rime of the Ancient Mariner Rocks"

Pink cigars and bottles of tequila are encouraged.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thirty-Eight Hours of Bliss

I have an entire day off Saturday.

That may not sound like much to most, but since I haven't had a single day off in over two months (literally) it is absolutely golden to me. Add in this evening and the hours before I have to be back at work Sunday, and you get a total of thirty-eight hours of non-committed time.


Of course, I have a lot of work to do, and probably will end up doing it during that time anyways, but that is something I am not going to think about right now.

So I started the new job this week. It was pretty surreal, considering I found myself back in a cubicle which I swore I would never do again. Even more strange was that I really quite liked it. There are about a million people who work there (very large Architectural Design firm) and enough work to keep me very busy for a long time to come. They are still somewhat defining my long-term role within the company, but for now I am filling the position of Project Administrator. In a nutshell, I push a lot of paper, balance a lot of numbers, edit a lot of documents, and will be attending a lot of meetings.

My only regret right now, especially since I seem to be working for such a forward-thinking company that bases their business on inspiration from the product (architectural design) and the people who work there (and their vision) I'm wishing I was in more of a creative role. I'm somewhat of an artist, somewhat of a writer, and very much a dreamer, and I'd love to be able to incorporate that into what I do day-to-day. My educational background is actually in marketing and advertising, but detail is my thing and that is what this job requires in spades.

Time will tell.

Anyways, I was taken out for lunch earlier this week by the boss from my (now-ending) contract position, and we went to this absolutely fabulous restaurant. Days later I am still dreaming of how good the food was.


Handmade Gnocchi with Black Truffles and Herbs, served with a side of Parmesan Foam

Entree: Roasted Salmon on top of a Whipped Potato base, with green beans, served with a Saffron & Pancetta Beurre Blanc

Good lord it was amazing. We had two bottles of sparkling water during, finished with lattes, and the total bill was $92 before tip.


So I wrote the above last night but apparently forgot to hit publish post, and it is now Saturday morning. Sadly I did wake up at 6am, which was kind of surprising since I was kept up way too late last night by a few highly entertaining people (no fault of my own, of course) but managed to laze around in bed for a few delicious hours before hitting Kat up on the IM.

Her and I made some coffee and played a few token tourneys, had a several-hour-long voice chat (joined eventually by OhCaptain and his hilarious girls) and now I'm off to actually get something done today. My list is long and full of things that are so very not fun, but unfortunately laundry happens and the kitchen doesn't clean itself.

How is it that I can be friends with some of the biggest self-professed geeks in the world, yet none of them have come up with ways to make my house self-cleaning? Sheesh - get on it, guys.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Don't Fall Off Your Chair

Two posts in two days? WTF is up with that, eh?

Me, to my friend today:

Hey guess what? I got another job

Her, to me:

Are you fucking insane?

Yes, that does bring the job count up to six now.

Now granted, one of them ends in two weeks as this new one begins, so really it is still only five. However, the latest one was a little unexpected. I was originally recommended to the new company (which is a major architectural design firm) by a current co-worker, as they needed someone to do contract administration a few days per week for a definitive amount of time. Since it worked well with everything else I had on the go, I agreed to do it and was hired yesterday sight-unseen at a very nice rate of pay.

Today I went in on my lunch hour to complete the required paperwork and meet with them for the first time, and before I left they had convinced me to join the firm as a full time employee. Actually, the exact words of the Project Manager were: "There is no way you are NOT going to work here full time." Nice little boost to the ego, if I do say so myself.

Since my skill set just happens to mesh perfectly with what they currently are in dire need of, we tossed around numbers and finally settled on a figure that admittedly is more than what I expected, and certainly pleases me to no end. The job itself isn't rocket science, but it does require someone with a diversified background that I just happen to have, and in fact, they are kind of creating the position around what I am able to do for them. Since I'm able to cover a bunch of areas, the job itself should stay pretty interesting for a long time to come.

I haven't really made a decision on what I am going to do about the other jobs yet, though obviously I am going to have to scale them all back a bit. Right now I work about 65-70 hours a week between the five jobs, almost always seven days a week. I haven't even begun to reach the point of burnout, but I know that will eventually happen.

The thing is, I can't stand having idle time these days. I have to throw myself into 101 things at any given moment or I go stir crazy. Funny really, since I am by nature the laziest person I know. I can't be bothered with doing "things for me" like shopping (HATE shopping), going to the spa (no interest whatsoever) or the like. My "down time" is when I am actually playing poker with all of you or chatting it up on the radio, but even then I am usually doing a few things on the side. I do have an unnatural obsession with Guitar Hero though, and when I have a few hours with nothing else going on, that is usually what I can be found doing.

Anyways, everything will eventually fall into place. I'm not starting the new schedule for a few weeks, so that leaves me with a little time to figure the rest of it out. In the meantime though, I am so excited I can barely sit still!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spawn and Speck

Mother's Day came a few days late for me this year, as several of my nine thousand jobs prevented me from being able to celebrate on Sunday. My daughter actually sent me a text message asking if we could arrange to go out for dinner one night this week, so I replied sure, are you paying? She said yeah, as long as I can borrow some money. Needless to say, I got stuck with the bill.

It was worth every penny though, as we went to my favorite restaurant. Her friend tagged along (it was supposed to be three of them all together, but her other friend bailed at the last minute) and as you can see, they dressed up for the occasion:
Yes, those are both Iron Maiden shirts. Would you expect anything less from a child I spawned?

Dinner itself was wonderful though. The restaurant we went to is actually owned by a friend of mine, though sadly I haven't seen him in over a decade. My daughter has met him on a few of her frequent visits there without me, but he always seems to be missing in action when I show up.

We decided to just share a bunch of food, and started the meal with some mixed greens drizzled with a house-made red wine vinaigrette. Following that we had the calamari, which they prepare by crisping to perfection before lightly tossing in a spicy lemon tomato sauce. Our third dish was the Fungi Fritti, which is battered oyster mushrooms topped with a gorgonzola cream sauce. Absolutely incredible.

Now, the thing that makes this restaurant so incredible is that they are one of the few Italian restaurants in the world (outside of Italy) that belong to the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, a Naples-based group that ensures all ingredients, preparation, and equipment passes their strict guidelines. To give you an indication of what I mean by strict, their massive wood burning oven contains stones straight from Mount Vesuvius - a requirement by the organization.

I don't know how much difference the actual stones make, but the pizza is incredible. Now you have to understand, we are talking about authentic Napoli pizza here - this isn't Dominos. If you like your pizza loaded with toppings and weighed down with two pounds of cheese, this isn't for you. The crust is soft, and just lightly charred (not burnt) on the botttom, resulting in an insanely delicious flavor. The sauce is nothing more than crushed San Marzano tomatoes. You will not find Hawaiian Pizza on their menu - the toppings are all authentic as well. My favorite is the Speck, which is tomato sauce, mozzarella, speck (smoked prosciutto), parmigiano, and basil:

Just trust me, it is amazing. Anyways, we wrapped up our dinner with an order of Tiramisu split three ways, which took all of about 92 seconds for us to demolish. One drink for me and Italian soda for the girls, and the total damage was $90 (including a 20% tip) for the three of us.

The food alone was worth every penny, but since my daughter and I get to spend very little actual quality time together these days due to both of our insane schedules, it was the company that made the evening priceless.