Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Pajama Game

After Corey's surgery, his moms felt it was a good idea to leave him in pajamas for the week. Since he had to stay indoors and not rough house, being in pajamas kept him more calm.

We've prided ourselves that four parents have really never had a disagreement on how we raise this little boy. Things seem to always work themselves out.

We do, however, find that we get confused by some things along the way.

A few months ago, we were getting Corey ready for bed. Off come the clothes, on go the pajamas. He started putting his pj's on over his underwear. "Dude, take off your underwear and then put on your pants," I said.

"But I wear underwear to bed at mama's house," he explained.

Really? Huh, another parenting difference. This is where I think we mess with the kid more than anything. Routines are one thing, but who ever thought we should coordinate to be similar on this?

When his moms came to pick him up, we told them the underwear story.

"He always wears underwear to bed under his pajamas," one of them said. "Isn't what everyone does?"

"I dunno, I always just put my pj's on without underwear," I responded. "But now I sleep in the nude."

Awkward pause.

"Okay, I didn't realize it was sharing time" one of them said.

(And yet for some reason, I just kept talking.)

"Well, I used to wear underwear to bed, but a few years ago, I just got too hot under the sheets. Larry said I've gone through the change."

In case you're wondering, yes, that is a complete discussion stopper.

So audience participation part, what do you sleep in?

(This would be ideal if Blogger had a survey option, so instead just leave your answer in the comment section.)

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Random Thanksgiving Nothings

It's Thanksgiving break and I'm as giddy as a 3rd grader. School's out for a whole week and I'm grinning ear to ear. In a weird way, that just means I need to devote more time to work for this week. Plus we have two more group projects due in three weeks.

It's hard to believe this semester is almost over. 25% of my classes will be done Dec. 14. It's fun to look back at that post when I said I was ready to quit. I'm glad you all didn't let me.

We had a busy week here. Corey had surgery on Monday which was called a Tympanomastoidectomy. His left ear has a Cholesteatoma, which is skin that finds its way into the middle ear and damages the bones. Corey's right ear also had fluid in the middle ear so he got a tube for that. He came through with flying colors and spent the last three days resting at home.

Larry & I gave ourselves an early Christmas present. We finally treated ourselves to an HD flat screen. You have no idea how cool it is to play Guitar Hero on this. (Well some of you do.)

I'm off to go watch the Macy's parade and eat my Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls, which has become our Turkey day tradition. Then my son and his moms will join us for dinner. AND it's supposed to be in the mid 60's. What better way to spend Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy this long weekend and thank YOU for being a part of my life.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Live Blogging

Today I have back-to-back classes of HR....or as the professor likes to call it: Strategic Human Capital Management. Our accounting professor is out of town so the HR prof is doing a double and we'll do two classes of accounting in Dec. This is the most boring class I've ever sat through. Now I have 8 hours to get through.

7:55 Arrived for breakfast at Duques Hall. The executive program takes place on the 6th floor. We have disgusting quiche and hash browns. None of us like the breakfasts with this program.

8:35 No professor yet.

8:57 The professor finally shows up. We begin with the FourSquare Model of Competitiveness.

9:12 Discussions of Scientific Management, Frederick Winslow Taylor and Frank & Lillian Gilbreth. My friend Stephanie and & I are IMing. We feel like this class should cover more things like the globalization of the workforce, compensation structures or outsourcing.

9:17 I check my email at work. No emails :(

9:33 Assembly lines, William Durant, Michael Moore's "Roger & Me", learning where the name "General Motors" comes from...this is really more of a history lesson than any other type of class. Did I mention that I'm not really into history?

9:43 Steph wants to leave. I remind her that we won't be getting the 'free' parking stamp until the afternoon session.

9:50 Henry Ford was arrogant, that's why all his cars were painted black. (Seriously, this is in my notes. I don't know if I'll be using this or not.) Whoops, it turns out the prof was kidding; it's the fastest drying color of paint. (Again, not so useful.)

10:01 I had to pee. We haven't had our morning break yet, but I couldn't hold it anymore.

10:04 "Your brand of car follows your economic development." Cadillac, Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Chevy.

10:09 A classmate talks about women drivers. Everyone perks up and participate. The teacher transitions this into Freud and the fact that Barbie (the doll) was first discovered as a doll in an European sex shop. Ummm, yeah.

10:15-10:35 We break. They serve coffee, bran muffins and fruit. God, all I need to get regular while sitting in class.

10:54 I've been emailing back and forth with my employee at work. Not sure I missed anything in the class.

11:17 We're talking about a case that deals with a stock broker firm. The teacher is trying to make a point and arguing with the guy in our class who is a full time private investor. The prof keeps telling the stock guy that he's wrong. Hysterical.

11:33 We discuss the Microsoft case study that we were supposed to read this week. I haven't read it, but it's easy to follow along and participate. OMG, am I validating the fact I can make it through this class without reading anything? I hope so.

11:57 Still on Microsoft. Lunch is in 30 mins.

12:10 Left to go pee again. (You are getting way too much insight into my bladder management.)

12:30 Lunch break.

1:30 I'm back. We had chicken, couscous and veggies. Not bad, but the apple dessert kicked total ass. It was like a turnover with cream cheese. Delicious. Then we all walked over to Starbucks. That's pretty much a class ritual and a nice way to keep warm in this frigid classroom.

1:40 We start working on a staffing forecasting math problem. He really only wants us to understand the problem, but come on dude, you can't hit us with this stuff so quickly after lunch.

2:19 Still doing math problems. My coffee is gone. I wonder how long until I have to go to the can.

2:35 I'm bored again. I read your blogs. You know, you all are hysterical. Nearly burst out laughing when I read Sarah today.

2:49 We've spent 15 minutes discussing an Ad from Dow with regards to recruitment and reputation. We go down more tangents in this class.

3:05-3:27 Afternoon break. I downed a whole can of diet coke to help keep me awake. We'll see if that does the trick.

3:45 The soda didn't work. We're now talking about creating a new SAT scoring system and I'm not certain how we got here. Asked Steph...she has no idea either.

4:12 We're now into validity and reliability. This has something to do with testing in the work place...not that any of us really know where he's going with it. I sit in the back of the class and can see everyone else's computer screens. So many people are surfing or IMing. There doesn't seem to be too many people engaged.

4:26 He is referring to EEOC stuff and just referred to sexual orientation as someone's "gayness." This is a guy with a Ph.D.

4:49 The prof is worn out. He said we're done. Thank God.

Hope your Friday was just as much fun. I'm outta here.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Total Crock

Sadly, I'm still combing through some of the products that my friend Charlie sent me to review. I'm on a hiatus until school ends, but I'm trying to finish my end of the deal.

Being from the Midwest, I grew up with crock pots (or slow cookers as some people call them). My mom cooked a lot of things in crock pots and they became a staple for most Midwestern winter meals.

I decided to try out the Slow Cooker Liners by Reynolds. These are used to line the crock pot so that you don't have to wash them after you cook the meal.

First, let me tell you that as an avid recycler and believer in reducing the carbon footprint, I think the world is creating too many things it doesn't need. Using plastic that takes 1000 years to decompose in order to save yourself two minutes of washing dishes isn't something I can readily endorse.

However, this is about trying a product and I felt like I needed to give it a fair chance. So Larry made pepper steak yesterday for my return. As luck would have it, the liners don't really work.

First, there is no easy way to wrap these things around the pot. There is no elastic to hold it in place and Larry had to put all the ingredients in carefully so the plastic wouldn't fall in. Then he had to use the lid to keep the liner in place.

But best of all, after 8 hours of cooking, this what the pot looked like. I still had to wash the pot because the plastic discolored on the side of the pot.

So save your money and save the environment. These really don't do much of anything for you.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bunker Hill

My last trip of the year is over. While I usually love traveling (not the flying part, mind you), it loses all it's pleasure when you're dragging along a Financial Accounting book.

The good part about this trip was no flying. I had to venture out on a four hour drive to West Virginia for a meeting at the Greenbrier Resort. Overall, it's beautiful, but I think I was spoiled at the Homestead back in August.

First and foremost, my room kicked major ass. The suffering in Chicago was paid back in full several times with the room I got here. This thing was bigger than my first apartment

But what made this place nasty was two things: the staff and the colors. Overall, the staff was not so friendly and helpful. It seems rather contradictory at such a resort, but it was like pulling teeth to get assistance. (Becky at the front desk, you were the exception.)

The bell staff turned away as we pulled our car up to the front entrance. My co-workers and I had to unload our own luggage and bring it to our rooms after carrying it down a flight of stairs to the registration desk. One of the bell staff even asked me if I was going to leave my car in the front drive of the resort.

"Don't you valet the car?" I asked.
"Only for $29 per night."

After a long pause, I said, "Well, do you have any other suggestions of what I should do with it?"
He shrugged, "You could park it in the parking lot."

And yes, I had to inquire where that was as well.

I got lost finding my room, finding the general session rooms, and trying to locate our booth case which had mysteriously disappeared when I returned from parking my car.

It was weird; the Greenbrier had staff in all the wrong places. We had six people serving us at dinner (including a poor woman whose sole job was distributing the bread). Yet, move out into the corridors and you're fending for yourself.

The ironic part was that the moment I dragged my suitcase behind me to leave, everyone wanted to help me. Hello folks, tips can come in the beginning too!

The other thing was the color choices in this resort. It was like Walt Disney vomited in every room. Hot pinks, lime greens, baby blues and daffodil yellows...the whole thing felt like my grandmother's basement. Honestly, more than half of the furniture in this place was covered in plastic.

My favorite part of the resort was a documentary that played on the hotel channels. It talked about the fallout bunker built at the Greenbrier in the 1950's to house members of Congress in case of a nuclear attack. The planning that took place and the resources created were unbelievable. The resort had tours of the bunkers which I was unable to attend, but the entrance to our exhibit hall was part of the bunker.

This is the entrance complete with the safe door on the side.

Not to fear, the wall paper has been changed. It's now vomit yellow.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Real Women Have Curves

But it seems grad students have even bigger ones.

I got a freaking B+ in Stats...seriously...I don't get it.

What's even funnier is that people keep telling me, "See, you must have understood more than you think." For the record, that line doesn't even make sense.

I don't get the grading system at all (not that grad school is really about grades). I received a 8.33 out of 10 for participation. HUH? Maybe if I had raised my hand once more that could have gone up to a 8.42. Damn me for being so stupid.

The saving grace--and you know how much it pains me to say this--was the group projects. Our math nerd did most of them since the rest of us didn't understand them. We aced everyone of them and they were worth 25% of the grade.

Oh well. Most important is that the hardest class is over. Only 6 more classes this semester and we break for three weeks. I can hardly wait.