Friday, February 29, 2008

New job

Okay I actually had someone get after me for not posting for so long... it made me feel so pop-uh-lar... anyway I've been a little busy. One thing that I'm really enjoying about Geoff's new job is that he's home with me on weeknights; it is so nice!!

Had some big changes with my job. I'm not sure if I posted about it or not, but back in September we received an email from the HR manager saying they were looking to hire someone in the accounting department. I wanted to apply, but felt I should update my resume first, so I went home and did just that. The next morning when I went to the HR manager, I was informed that the position had been filled the previous afternoon, which would have been only a couple of hours after we'd recieved the email. I was a little mad and very bummed, but I just sent an email to the owner and the accounting manager saying if they were ever looking to hire in the accounting department again that I hoped they would consider me.

Well, about two weeks ago, my manager asked me for a list of my clients and when they run. I tried to figure out what the reason behind such a request would be, then a few hours later I was summoned to the head accountant's office (I guess he would be the controller) and the owner was in his office too. They told me the accounting department was going to get shaken up pretty soon and asked if I was still interested in a position. (Of course the answer was an enthusiastic yes). I was going to take a girl's place (the one who got the job last September) and that girl was going to take Camille's place, who is quitting to be a stay-at-home mom. I was totally cool with that because it sounded a lot like stuff I've done already and I was pretty confident that I could handle it.

Last week, Thursday I think, they called me into the controller's office again. They said that there'd been a change in plans, and that the girl had unexpectedly turned down the job. (They had wanted her to take Camille's place because she already has her degree and they figured it would just be the next step for her. I think she said the job isn't in line with her career path or something - to me that means she isn't planning on staying around for very long, but that's totally my own thoughts.) So, they offered Camille's job to me. Then they proceeded to explain that the job will take a lot of organization and being very on top of things, because missing deadlines on filing stuff will result in tens (sometimes hundreds) of thousands of dollars in penalties, and that it tends to get extremely busy at the end of each quarter, etc. and that I would essentially be the "wing man". They really wanted to be sure that I felt good about taking the job, because they don't want me to start and then change my mind about it and back out later. I was in shock a little bit because it's a bigger move than was expected. My stomach churns a little bit and I get nervous when thinking about it, but I would have to be crazy to turn it down. It's an amazing opportunity to get experience, and that's very important. As far as career path goes for me, all I know is that I want to do internal work, and not at all interested in being a CPA. (A CMA is more like it.) But I guess at this point ANY step would be a step in the right direction. It will be different than payroll because in payroll, everything is very systematic, we are told pretty much how and when and where to do almost everything, and this new one will have a little more autonomy. And I'll get my own office... no more cubes for Cali. Wow I'm still a little in shock I guess. I'm only going to be trained for about two months, starting Wed or Thurs, so it'll be really important to buckle down and focus hard. Well, this is what I've wanted, is it not? Wouldn't it be cool to take on the challenge and find that I can do a good job? I'm going to focus hard and kick it in the butt!

Interesting that I found out about this only a day after Geoff had got his new job. The Lord is pouring blessings upon us and I really don't know why. I am so grateful though.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

random birthday memories

A co-worker of mine is looking for birthday ideas for her daughter's 18th birthday coming up, and I thought back to my own 16th birthday. I was on my way somewhere and my mom told me to stop by my grandma's first. So I did. The kitchen door was locked, so I walked around the back to the patio door and opened it, and then about 15 of my friends yelled "Surprise!!!" It scared me for a second, but I was thrilled. My mom had planned it, had looked through my planner and called a friend she recognized, who then called all the other people. What a nice gesture of my mom to do a surprise party for me. It was such a thoughtful thing; I don't recognize her enough for all she did for me. After the party we all went to the football game at the high school. Fun times.

I also just remembered another birthday where Holly and Jennifer picked me up at 6 a.m. and took me to McDonald's for breakfast, before school. The plan was to take me in my pajamas, but my mom decided she better warn me and woke me up in time to get ready.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grow your own boyfriend

Well, Kenna wanted to see pics of the boyfriend, so here he is. He's been soaking for four days and we figure he's done growing.

He's a little freaky, I admit. He DOES have, like, an 18-pack stomach, but I've never seen arms that look like that and his legs are two different lengths, he never holds your hand or says nice things, and he NEVER offers to pay for anything. Some boyfriend he turned out to be.

This other guy, on the other hand, is a REAL man. (Geoff and Cali hanging out Friday night after a long day).


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do the Hustle

This is my new computer mouse. It blinks and flashes; it's a disco ball. In Cali's cube, every day is a partay.

PS - boyfriend continues to grow. He is now about the size of my cellphone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Today was the best day ever. Geoff didn't work and we went to F.Y.E. to browse and found Grow Your Own Boyfriend for 50 cents. We also had dinner at Red Robin (where they have the best chocolate milkshakes hands-down) and did a little clothes-shopping. We plopped Boyfriend in some water when we got home. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

New job!

My baby got himself a new job today. He's been thinking about this for a little while. This new job will accomplish two things: reduced hours which will allow him to focus more on school (but it also pays better so that is definately nice), AND it will give him some experience that pertains to his degree, so he won't eventually be stuck with a degree and no experience. Yay! It has to feel like finally heading in a definate direction, something he's worried about a little bit in the past. I think he's a little nervous since he's never done anything quite like it before, but he's smart and I know he'll be fine. They seem very willing to take it slow and train thoroughly and that helps a TON when starting a new job. I guess the girl that had the position before didn't really know what she was doing and was too afraid to ask questions, so she really messed everything up. So they've got someone coming in to clean up the mess, and then Geoff is going to take it from there... it will have something to do with the company's financial statements... I'm not clear on the complete job description but it's something to that effect. So, this is really great! Way to go baby! :) It'll beat binding phone books, for sure. :)

I've already failed once today at my not being defensive/taking things personally thing. Once I heard of Geoff's job I went to tell my two co-workers about it, and the one said, "so does that mean you can afford to go to that concert now?" and the other one asked what concert and I said Collective Soul, and she let out this disgusted sigh and said, in true brat form, "GAG! I HATE Collective Soul." (with two syllables in the word "gag") And of course I took it personally and said, with a smile, "Well, I hate YOU." Smooth, Cal. Strike one for you. Sometimes it feels so GOOD to be a brat to other people who are being brats. But that is exactly what I'm trying not to do. Tomorrow I try again.

Visited Grandma and Donald tonight. Grandma is feeling much better. Visited mom & dad too, they are good. I love my husband.

Grateful thought: I'm so grateful that the Lord has blessed us so much, with our school and with work... it's scary you just do what you do hoping things will work out, and it appears that they are. Can't ask for more than that. :)

Well I've got Sooooo much homework and it's already 9:00 so I best R-U-N-N-O-F-T, if ya catch me. Oh- and I *heart* Collective Soul.

Theory Day

This morning it was Theory Day for our Monday morning meeting. I really enjoy Theory Day, because it's always about psychological aspects of human behavior, which is really fascinating to me. Today's focus was "identifying and correcting corrosive and toxic behavior." The moment he said it, I thought back to a book I once read called, "How to Hug a Porcupine." However, our talk today wasn't about dealing with other people's toxic behavior, but rather our own. Because I find it so interesting AND applicable, I want to share some of the highlights from the discussion then say what I think about it.

Toxic behavior can be characterized by four main things: Insincerity, Self-centeredness, Dominance, and Control.

He spoke of a scientist named Dr. Gottman, who could predict with 98% accuracy whether a marriage was going to last 15 years, by observing a 30-minute conversation between spouses about an issue in their marriage. Some of the main predictors were:
1. The incidence of defensiveness
2. Stonewalling (shutting down and refusing to talk)
3. Criticism
4. Contempt
Contempt was perhaps the largest indicator, and included eye-rolling (even when done without anger), and essentially attempting to elevate yourself or bring someone else down.

Here are ways for dealing with corrosive behavior: (To me, this seemed to apply to dealing with others as well) (and we went over several, but the most useful ones I include here)
1. Recognize your toxic behavior, see the connection between your toxic behavior and the negative outcomes. If you can't recognize it in yourself then you can't possibly take action to correct it.
2. Don't criticize, complain, or condemn (those things never result in changed behavior).
3. Persist, change doesn't happen overnight.

This kind of opened my eyes a little bit, because I have been told recently, and by more than one person, that I get incredibly defensive. My fighting style seems to be to get defensive, then try to turn it around and say something to bring the other person down, which is TWO of the things on that list up there.

On a related note, I also read an interesting book this weekend called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, which stated at one point that getting offended at something someone else says or does is a classic sign of self-centeredness, because you are automatically assuming that the person was talking about you. Getting offended denotes an "it's all about ME" attitude.

-On a side note: This book also talks about how to not take things personally, be they good or bad. Everything everyone else does is because of THEM. It only reflects on their beliefs and their feelings about themselves, and therefore has nothing to do with you. Interesting stuff! Some things about this book were a little "out there", but his basic concepts were very insightful and I would recommend this book!

So anyway, I was able to see some of my faults today, and more importantly to see just how big of an effect they could have if left unchecked. I want my marriage to last and be happy and also improve other relationships. So now that I recognize them (and I'm sure there are many I still need to recognize) I can try to turn them around. I'm not perfect! But I can try!

Here's my grateful thought for the post: I'm grateful to have a husband who puts up with me!! I sure don't make it easy, but he still loves me and encourages me and forgives me. I really could not ask for a better man than him!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Which is more appropriate?

(slowly) Good evening ladies and gentlemen. (snuffs out cigar) Welcome back to Exploring the 20's with Walter the Cat. Pour yourself a sherry and get comfortable. Tonight's broadcast features...


Are you looking for something new? Are you ready to meet some sexy singles? Call 1-800-Love-Chat tonight. It's as easy as one-two-three, and you'll be chatting with sexy single felines like me. So come on lover-boy, pick up the phone and dial 1-800-Love-Chat now.

New gratefulness

Wow, I sounded really really angry in the last post. I guess I was... and I seem to make reference to shootings (in jest or in seriousness), killing, and death a lot in the last few weeks. Well, I think I might stop - MIGHT being keyword, and turn things around a little bit by naming something I'm grateful for at the end of every post from now on... for a little while... until I stop feeling like it. (See, I sound like Roseanne Bar, yikes!!) I'll start today. I'm grateful that Geoff and I get to stay three nights in a pretty nice hotel exactly one month from today. We are really looking forward to it, actually. We've never been ones to shun the Motel 6's, but I think our last stay in Park City really opened our eyes to the other possibilites out there. This hotel (called Oxford Suites) has an indoor pool and spa, free wireless internet access (bring the laptop), 24-hour coffee bar (why would we drink coffee at night anyway... because we can!! Okay or maybe just hot chocolate...), valet laundry service, breakfast buffet, and an exercise room! (I love working out with Geoff, it's fun and doesn't happen very often). My family stayed in one of the suites when they came up for our wedding reception and it was really nice. So, that is my grateful thing for the day. And of course we have other objectives too that weekend, this is just the one I choose to focus on for the moment.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I just read about the shooting at Northern Illinois University. I am saddened, disgusted, and angry. I just can't believe this has happened again. And to think this is the fourth one that's happened this week. (Also at a Jr. High, a High School, and a community college). It's like if some kid feels the need to act out in some way, it's all the rage to shoot some people at a school then kill yourself. If I were a perfect person, I would feel sorrow for the shooters and hope that one day they might find themselves and find forgiveness in heaven. But, it is so hard for me to feel that way when I think of the innocent people who were murdered, and the people that grieve for their deaths. Who the hell do these people think they are, I'd like to know? Could there possibly be a more selfish thing to do?

I am not anti-iraq-war, but it seems to me that in the past couple of years there is a need to turn some focus on fighting the different kind of terror going on in our schools (our SCHOOLS) and something needs to be done about it NOW. We have to be nuts to just do nothing, cross our fingers and hope it doesn't happen again, because it will. And it will happen here. And the people who take some kind of sick glory in the fact that they have gotten (or hope to get) attention by committing a "terrorist" act, then I hope only that they will burn in hell forever and ever. Killing themselves after murdering others will only hasten their intense, everlasting misery.

Just last semester, there was a scary incident in one of Geoff's classes. They were discussing the topic of love and committment that day (it was a health class), and there was a kid sitting next to Geoff that was acting really restless. He kept getting out of his seat and moving to the seat behind Geoff, then he'd get up and move back to the seat next to Geoff, back and forth. He kept slamming his books around, making scoffing noises at the teacher's lecture, and at one point said, "does anybody else have a problem with committment?!" Eventually he got out of his chair, took his book bag with him, and left the room. A few minutes later, the campus police came into the classroom and asked to speak privately with the teacher. When she came back into the room her face was pale, and she said she didn't feel like teaching the rest of class that day, and excused the students. As Geoff walked out of the classroom, he saw the kid sitting, handcuffed, against the wall, as the policemen were searching his bags. The kid never came back to class, and we hoped he'd been banned from campus (not that that would stop someone who wanted to do some damage). But a couple of months ago, Geoff saw that same kid back on campus, walking down the walkway, staring up at the sky. So, what's going to happen when him, or any other nut job, wants to come to school and shoot some people? There is nothing that would stop them.

I once heard someone say that ALL higher education would someday be done remotely, from your own home, because they thought it would eventually be too dangerous to hold class on a campus. That may seem a little extreme, but think about it. I took a student survey last week that asked if I had any problems if they were to conduct mental health tests on students that may be risks, and refused to accept them into school if they were found to be of significant risk. I have absolutely no problem with that. (Boy think of the special rights groups that would have a hay day with that one). But really, someone has to do SOMEthing. I'm not saying the schools are to blame for these tragedies, but they are the only ones who could do something to protect their students from those who have no thought for human life.

I love my family so much. I couldn't bear it if anything ever happened to them.

Money or crap?

My work is the awesomest. I was the first one here at 7:30 this morning and found a beautiful vase and flowers on my desk with a card that said To Cali From A Plus Benefits. And our department manager had left a small box of chocolates on everyone's desk as well. I just think it's pretty awesome that they even make an effort period, when it's just another work day for most employers.

It is only 12:30 p.m., but Geoff and I have already celebrated the morning by having our taxes done. The very happy news is that we broke even. In the past couple of years the self-employment tax has had us coughing up the dough, but now that we have sort of moved away from that we are happy to not be stuck with a bill. And I got to see my baby during daylight hours.... awwwwwww. (I love my baby!)

We seem to have a lack of celebration this last year - no Christmas presents, no valentines presents, no birthday presents (actually I think Collective Soul was my birthday present, but still)... and you know, I'm not the least bit bothered, surprisingly. I guess my sweet loving husband is present enough for me! (hee hee, I'm so corny but it's Valentines Day so you can cut me a break, right?) Plus it feels kind of good to not spend a bunch of money on a bunch of crap. Because what would you rather have if it were you, money or crap? I'd take the money. ;)

So if you watched the news last night (and you live in Utah), you would have seen the story about I-15 in Utah County... it was pretty much a parking lot, a weather-related mess. People were abandoning their cars on the highway, pulling off the exits to sleep in their cars, and the frontage roads were all blocked up or closed off completely. There were people camped out at the Maverik gas station off the Highland/Alpine exit. My co-worker got caught in the mess last night - she had been in her car for about two hours (and gone the distance of only about 10 miles), when the urge to go to the bathroom hit, hard. She was near the Lehi Main Street exit, so she exited hoping to find a gas station in which she could use the commode. She is not familiar with Lehi, and was unable to see the surroundings because of the blinding wind/snow combination, so she just got behind a truck and followed it. Eventually she passed a church, and pulled into the parking lot. According to her, "there comes a time in a person's life where you just have to make the choice between peeing in your pants or going in the parking lot." So... she wrapped a big coat around herself and went in the parking lot. When she told the story, another co-worker added that she, too, had done the same thing last night, because they closed down the road that she was on while she was on it. I wonder how many people had to resort to such tactics... because really people were stuck there for hours.

Then, we had a power outage here at work just a couple of hours ago. It only lasted about 30 minutes, but I don't think there won't be a person here that won't be happy when winter is over. BUT, not to get on complaining, it's been a really great day, really. Have a happy V-day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

She said she doesn't want you here when she gets back because you've been ruining everybody's lives and eating all our steak

This evening as I sat in class, agonizing over numbers and half wanting to shoot myself, I heard the driftings of a conversation (a real conversation) happening in a different part of the room:

"It's scratch and sniff, pepperoni pizza".... mumblings from someone else.... "No, I got it at Savers. It was a pretty good find."

I chuckled inwardly and silently thanked him for bringing me out of my math-induced stupor. There's nothing like Calculus to stimulate a convo about pepperoni scratch and sniff.

Kenna has her brain surgery tomorrow morning. Pray for Ken! (Actually it's not a risky prodecure as far as brain surgery goes, but still.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Death machine, death machine, a hole in the river of a raging self-esteem

My little sister is amazing. (The littlest one). We went down there last weekend to have dinner with the fam, and she played a song for us on the piano that she'd written herself. A REAL SONG. And it was very very good. I was so impressed. She's really gotten to be great at the piano. (And a host of other things too). I, well, I wrote a song in my sleep the other night. Really, when I woke up it was playing through my mind, and it rhymed, except it had something to do with a "death machine" and wasn't nearly as intricate as what my sister did. (more like preschool stages). Really she is so good.

I have a useless class. Sometimes I like to think I learn SOMEthing at school, you know? But this, well the only other class that I felt was as big of a waste of time as this one was the history of music, but at least that one was INTeresting. Srsly. I just looooooaaaaaaath every minute of it. (Physical Science). Please can we get on to something that's going to MATTER one day down the road? (For me, anyway).

Well it looks like we are going to Oregonia to visit some family next month. It will be the weekend before our anniversary, and over spring break, so it is perfect. Well got lots of homework so ciao.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Because it's so asinine I can't let it go...

"I don't know, maybe I was insulated by secularism and vaguely spiritual parents, but I can't even comprehend how people like that live. I mean really, if jiggly bits and music videos are that much of an offense to your delicate sensibilities...maybe you should just kill yourself now? I can't imagine life is much fun when you're too preoccupied with everyone else's percieved nudity.

/how do they change in the locker room?
//or do they hid in the bathroom stall, lest they see someone elses nubile flesh and lose control?
///wtf, these people are strange."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Politics for dummies

K, I am about to reveal just how much I know about politics, which, if I am actually learning something from this diagram, means is almost nothing. It's very basic. But I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one out there, and I do find it interesting, so I thought I'd share. Last week in Macroeconomics, we began talking about how politics are intertwined with the economy. We drew a very very rough diagram of how things traditionally work, shown below:

Let me explain some things we discussed. You can see the United States falls right in the moderate area, as we are neither anarchists nor communists. It may seem strange to pit pro-socialism and pro-business against each other as though they were opposites, but what that means is that the far right is basically in favor of letting the economy take care of itself; that the market should be allowed to equalize itself, whereas the far right is in favor of governmental control and involvement, usually for the protection of people.

An example of this would be minimum wage. If we were at the far right, you would be paid what you were worth, regardless of how much, or how little, it would be. If an employer paid too little, he would lose employees to someone who paid more, therefore causing him to have to raise the salaries he pays. The system would equal itself out. Moving toward the middle then, there is a belief that there should be a minimum standard of living, therefore a minimum wage, which is set by the government. And if we were at the far left, all of our earning ability would be completely controlled by the government.

We talked about many situations in which politics and the economy intertwined; that is but one. But you can sort of see how they are closely linked. Which seems a little scary when one of the presidential candidates admits he doesn't know much about the economy (McCain). But moving on...

Conservatives are generally thought of as being on the "right-wing", while liberals are generally thought of as being on the "left-wing." Conservatives are of the if-it's-not-broke-don't-fix-it policy, and liberals want change! This isn't set in stone however, as there are such things as liberal republicans and such. (It seems that a conservative democrat would be more rare, but like I said I know very little about this.) I think I would be more a liberal in my social views, but I am robably walking the fence as far as declaring republican or democrat. I need to research more.

Anyhoo, just some food for thought if you are also in the infant stages of learning about it. Maybe now someone should do "computers for dummies", because it was easier for me to sketch up a diagram and scan it in to the computer than it was to make one on the computer, convert it to a usable image, and crop it to the correct size. (Believe me, I tried. For way too long I tried.)

In other news, my co-worker's son got his mission call in the mail today. He and his mom brought the white envelope in, unopened. The reason we all cared about this was because we've heard all about his journey of going from the initial decision to go, the struggles of getting to where he is able to go (of which there are many and took a long time to clear up), and how much he really really wanted this. So naturally we were excited for him. So he pretty much had about 20 women flocking all over him (most middle-aged and married so nothing fishy) wanting him to open the envelope at our office. They called the rest of his family in so everyone could watch, then he ripped it open with excitment and read aloud, Argentina Bahia Blanco mission. Of course we clapped and cheered. He read the whole letter out loud, and when he got to the part that says "you have been found worthy to serve" (or something to that affect), he choked up. And of course several of the women were tearing up too. (We are women, we do that.) It was so exciting. I just love watching people open their mission calls, it's just so exciting and emotional. I don't know him well - I've just heard about him for the last year or so - but I wish him luck. He seems like he'll be really great.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

It's truly Nolan

Well, we decided that it might be a better idea (meaning: it's cheaper) to get a personal trainer that can come to the house. And it follows that we are going to turn the spare room into a little tiny gym - slash - computer room.

If you've seen our home, you know it's fairly small, and that the back room has buttloads of crap in it. So, I turned Friday night and yesterday into a tear-the-house-apart day, to make room for some equipment. Geoff helped me move about half the worthless stuff that was back here into the outside closet, and while we were at it I re-arranged and cleaned out the bedroom too. We are going to get an elliptical and some small hand-weights, and if the trainer says I need one, a bench. (hopefully I can find a cheap, relatively small one). So, it follows that since we're going to have all of this at home (we also have a treadmill that geoff uses), I don't really need a gym pass anymore. Our contract is up in one month, and my work is going to deduct the monthly fee out of my check if we decide to renew our contract, so poo poo to that, I'll just make my own gym.

BUT, while I was at all of this, something nutty happened. It was Friday night (Geoff was at work) and I was making my way down the hallway to the kitchen, when the Itunes in the back room stopped playing. Thinking it was just frozen, I walked back to the computer and looked at it. The pointer was on top of the play button, and it had been paused. Not frozen, but paused. So I just pushed play again, shrugged my shoulders and went about my business. A couple of hours later, I stopped again to take a bathroom break, and while I was in the bathroom, Itunes stopped playing again. My mind went back to the Snow College days, where I had a roommated that told us stories about the ghost that lived in her house in St. George. She said she had named their ghost Matt. One night she and her sisters were sleeping out on the living room floor, and she was the last one awake and the light was still on. Being too tired to get up and turn the light off, she said out loud, "Matt, could you get the light?" And the light turned off. Now, having lived in a haunted house and seen these types of things myself, I am not avert to believing in ghosts. So out of sheer curiosity, while in the bathroom, I said loud and clear, "Hey, I like that song, turn it back on!" I waited and nothing happened for about ten seconds, then the music turned back on. You may think I am full of it, but I assure this really happened. You can draw your own conclusions.

Of course, the haunted house that I lived in when younger was about 100 years old, and our condo is only about 8 years old, so there is a difference. But, if we have a ghost (and we joke about it once in awhile) I have named him Nolan.

Anyway, I also got GLASSES this weekend... an official bifocal nerd. I have never had glasses or contacts before, and so it pretty much feels like I just stepped off the tilt-a-whirl when wearing them. (However, after having them on for a day, and then taking them off, the feeling is worse, so I will keep them on). I have bumped into the walls a few times trying to get used to the difference in depth-perception, but Doc said that's normal and I'll get used to it. (Get used to the difference in depth-perception, not the bumping into walls). Geoff thinks I look like Lisa Loab because they're square-shaped.

Anyway, I am meeting my mom at some friend's for the superbowl party today. Dad isn't coming because he just had his wisdom teeth out... he never had to have them out when he was younger. I remember when I had mine out, he teased me saying I looked like I had a mouth full of rocks. So I think I might go down to the house and give him a hard time too, and I'll bring him a milkshake or something.