:: Always the Freak ::

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"
:: welcome to Always the Freak CLICK HERE FOR THE NEW BLOG HOME: ATF v2.0 | | ?WHO IS JENN? |

Taste of San Diego, 9/2006
At the yummalicious Dussini in the Gaslamp.

[::..ABOUT ME..::]
Just Watched:
:: A Work In Progress::
:: Bacon & Ehs::
:: ectophensis ::(Taco Shop Psychic)
:: Geese-A-Plenty::
:: Grillboy.net ::
:: Insignificant Thoughts ::
:: Crazy Island ::
:: Leftbanker ::
:: Outhouse Rag::
:: Tyler ::
:: xxcentrik ::
:: Six Different Ways ::
:: Sam-I-Am ::
:: Freak Girl ::
:: Easily Amused::
:: Badmouth::
:: Picnic, Lightning::
:: In Passing ::
:: Home Brew Adventures ::
:: KAYMC ::
:: The Jencyclopaedia ::
:: Jenn Blogs ::
:: All Things Jen(nifer)::
:: Jen Bennett ::
:: Jenny Apple ::
:: Jen Speaks ::
:: Piehole ::
:: SnarkSpot ::
:: Very Big Blog ::
:: The Working Mom ::
:: Welcome to Jennville ::
:: What's Brewing ::
Listed on BlogShares
[::..Funny as Hell..::]
:: Stocker Mentality ::
:: Interesting Google Searches ::
:: PEEP Research ::
:: Cockeyed Science ::
:: Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About ::
:: Nude Carrot Man ::
:: Something Awful ::
:: NASCAR.com ::
:: Jimmie Johnson Fan Club ::
:: Lowe's Racing ::
:: Hendricks Motorsports ::
:: Jimmie Rules 2 ::
[::..Stuff I Like..::]
:: Pinball Promo Plastics::
:: Fellow Jeopardy Junkies, CLICK HERE! (This is Jennings)::
:: Found Magazine ::
:: My Wishlist ::
:: Jersey Girl Diary ::
:: Placebo Productions ::
:: Nick's NTN Site ::
:: News Askew ::
:: Honeyslide ::
:: Neil Gaiman ::
:: RoadsideAmerica ::
:: Everquest.com ::
:: Bored.com ::
:: WalMart Watch ::
:: My stupid personality test results ::
7 ~ The Innocent Man,
John Grisham
8 ~ The Lovely Bones,
Alice Seebold
6.5 ~ Rage,
Jonathan Kellerman
8 ~ Girls in Pants,
Ann Brashares
9 ~ Twelve Sharp,
Janet Evanovich
7 ~ The Icon,
Neil Olson
10 ~ Daughter of Fortune,
Isabel Allende
04/15/2005 7.5 ~ Envy,
Sandra Brown
7.5 ~ The Crush,
Sandra Brown
6.5 ~ The Conspiracy Club,
Jonathan Kellerman
4 ~ Double Homicide,
The Kellermans
5 ~ Courting Trouble,
L Scottoline
1 ~ Full House,
J Evanovich
10 ~ Small Town,
L Block
3 ~ Darkly Dreaming Dexter,
J Lindsay
5 ~ Cold Case,
S White
8 ~ Four to Score,
J Evanovich
9 ~ The Last Juror,
J Grisham
0 ~ The Taking,
D Koontz
7 ~ The Last Girls,
L Smith
7 ~ Brave New World,
A Huxley
4 ~ The Virgin Blue,
T Chevalier
7 ~ Therapy,
J Kellerman
3 ~ Good Faith,
J Smiley
8 ~ The Survivor's Club,
L Gardner
6.5 ~ The Second Summer of the Sisterhood,
A Brashares
7 ~ Portrait in Sepia,
I Allende
6.5 ~ Thr3E,
T Dekker
6.5 ~ Blue Highways,
W Least Heat Moon
8.5 ~ The Face,
D Koontz
6.5 ~ Eyre Affair,
J Fforde
8 ~ The Murder Book,
J Kellerman
7 ~ A Cold Heart,
J Kellerman
7 ~ Ambush at Fort Bragg,
T Wolfe
5 ~ The Beach House,
J Patterson
10 ~ The Bonfire of the Vanities,
T Wolfe
10 ~ To Kill A Mockingbird,
H Lee
6 ~ The Brethren
J Grisham
5 ~ Hemlock Bay,
C Coulter
8.5 ~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull,
R Bach
6 ~ The Old Curiosity Shop,
C Dickens
7.5 ~ The Sisterhood..
Traveling Pants,
A Brashares
1 ~ Isle of Dogs,
P Cornwell
9 ~ The All True Travels...Lidie Newton,
J Smiley
[::..Movie Grades..::]
5 ~ Crash
9 ~ Rent
7.5 ~ Little Miss Sunshine
10 ~ Talladega Nights
9 ~ Cars
0 ~ The Grudge
7 ~ The Incredibles
4 ~ Ray
8.5 ~ National Treasure
7.5 ~ Timeline
4 ~ Haunted Mansion
2 ~ The Hulk
7 ~ Kill Bill, Part One
7 ~ Terminator 3
6.5 ~ Bruce Almighty
6.5 ~ Amelie
8.5 ~ The Italian Job
6.5 ~ Matrix Reloaded
6.5 ~ Identity
6.5 ~ Anger Management
6.5 ~ Dreamcatcher
4 ~ The Banger Sisters
4 ~ Bringing Down the House
6 ~ Tears of the Sun
5 ~ Daredevil
7 ~ How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
8 ~ Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
2 ~ Mr. Deeds
5.5 ~ Lord of the Rings: TTT
7 ~ Star Trek: Nemesis
1 ~ The Transporter
6 ~ One Hour Photo
6 ~ Goldmember
8.5 ~ Signs
6.5 ~ Bloodwork
5.5 ~ Vanilla Sky
5.5 ~ Monster's Ball
7.5 ~ Interstate 60
7.5 ~ Escape From New York
4.5 ~ Elvira's Haunted Hills
4 ~ K19
6 ~ The Bourne Identity
5 ~ Halloween (8?)
7 ~ Men In Black 2
8 ~ Minority Report
6 ~ Scooby Doo
4 ~ Undercover Brother
7 ~ The Sum of All Fears
8 ~ Insomnia
7 ~ Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones
9 ~ Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone
4 ~ Snow Dogs
1 ~ Gosford Park
6 ~ Spiderman
6 ~ Jason X
3.5 ~ Murder by Numbers
7 ~ Panic Room
7 ~ Van Wilder
5 ~ Ice Age
4.5 ~ The Time Machine
2 ~ We Were Soldiers
7.5 ~ Blackhawk Down
7 ~ A Beautiful Mind
5 ~ Hart's War
4 ~ Collateral Damage
2 ~ Mothman Prophecies
7 ~ I Am Sam

:: Monday, January 31, 2005 ::

Biker Dudes

Well, yesterday on our way home from Sea World, Mr. San Diego and I decided that we need to pull the ol' bicycles down from their hanging position in our teeny garage and give 'em a little lovin'. It seems that it has been OVER A YEAR since we have ridden them and we can BOTH use the exercise. I dunno how far we'll get the first time, but we agreed we're going to go riding at least once a month to start and hopefully we'll find the time to get in even more riding. There are so many awesome places to go riding in our area that we need to take advantage of them! We'll see how good we are about following through, but we already made a date for NEXT week. We both have most of next week off for a little mini-vacation.

:: Jenn 9:09 AM [+]

:: Sunday, January 30, 2005 ::

I actually posted more pictures on the picture site. I may catch up one of these days.

:: Jenn 8:16 PM [+]

:: Thursday, January 27, 2005 ::
There is the possiblity that I'm wrong, but...

I really don't think eating a box of soft, sugary Lofthouse cookies is the key to health and weight loss. But, damn, they were GOOD!

:: Jenn 4:44 PM [+]

You might want to be sitting for this

It occurred to me this morning that in one year and six months it will be time for my 20 year High School Reunion. Yes, that IS what I wrote. TWENTY. 2 - 0! Holy Smoke! I have only a year and a half to lose a lot of weight and look fully hot! haha I can't believe I'm old enough for a twenty year reunion, but here it is - the facts are in, I'm old now.

:: Jenn 2:31 PM [+]

:: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 ::
Mental Note:

When writing novels, don't make the shoe-loving, sexy red-headed attorney say "mental note" to herself 8,742 times in the book. It's stupid and annoying. Mmkay?

Of course, I assumed that Lisa Scottoline's books were the whole Grishamesque or Turow-ish legal thriller genre, but after listening to Courting Trouble I discovered that they, okay THIS one is just chick lit in a "legal" setting. It's my first of her books and it wasn't bad, but I was expecting a book with more substance to it than your usual chick lit, which as you know, I do enjoy. Our heroine, the ditzy, but beautiful lawyer, Anne, is thought to be dead when someone is found murdered in her apartment so she and her all-women law firm co-workers bond while trying to find her "killer". It's pretty sappy and while the writing is pretty good in general, the characters lack depth and are portrayed as mostly simple-minded for a bunch of women who made it through law school. I did enjoy the numerous references to different I Love Lucy episodes, since Anne is a HUGE fan. That was interesting, but the whole "Mental Note" thing has GOT TO GO. Ditto the cat descriptions on every page that included her cat. And, we got the picture that she loves shoes with the first 42 references to her Manalos or her Pradas - chill already. Bleh. Overall, it was entertaing, though, so it gets a 5 - sort of a balance between good and annoying. I'll try another of Ms. Scottoline's books, but this time I'll go into it knowing what to expect AND I'll try one of her earlier novels which I've READ are better. We'll see.

Speaking of Chick Lit, with my immense enjoyment of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, I decided to give another of her novels a try. I picked up book #1 in her "Full" Series, Full House, and had a listen. HUGE MISTAKE. It was awful. I listened to the whole thing, but it was just a sappy love story and a bad one at that. It was made even worse in that it was narrated by Lorelei King, who should NEVER attempt to narrate comedies. I absolutely do not understand why she is the person who narrates Evanovich's books. She does a lot of voices very well, but her tone is much more suited to serious books than to comedies. Nothing seems funny when she narrates. It's frustrating! Anyway, I looked ahead on Amazon and read the reviews of the next book in the FULL SERIES and apparently it focuses on certain characters from the first, but 20 year later. Retarded. Yeah, this book gets a 1. Bleh.

:: Jenn 11:38 AM [+]

:: Monday, January 24, 2005 ::
I had a thought!

What if all I ever blogged aobut was SHOES!?!

I don't know why I'm having a shoe obsession right now, except for the anticipation of 12 new pairs at once, but I just had this thought that what if nothing exciting ever happened again and all I could think to blog about was shoes? That would be scary. I wonder if there is a shoe blog out there? I'll check Google.

The last book I read was called In Her Shoes, even! Holy Smokes! This is getting scarrrrrrrrry.

UPDATE: Yes, of course there are shoe blogs. Duh, what was I thinking. Just like every other "type" of blog, there are okay ones and retarded ones. I'm willing to bet there might even be some good ones. Okay... enough with the freaking shoes.

:: Jenn 3:14 PM [+]

Yeah yeah yeah...

I know that I totally am lame and suck and all that crap. See, I would have been just blogging my little heart out except that I actually have been WORKING MY BUTT OFF at work and you know how rarely I get to the ol' blog during the weekend!

Okay, I still have a butt... a big one and all. But, truly I've been working hard. This is what happens when your assistant up and quits to go to school! Bleh. I'm doing some delegating, though, finally. Whew.

Wellllll.... there was this short period of time on Friday where I WASN'T working all that hard, though. That was when I discovered zappos.com. And, then, I came up with a brilliant idea. All of my shoes (except my Doc Martens, of course) are nasty and old and I should just throw them all away and buy new ones. So I did! Well, the buying of the new ones. I haven't yet got around to throwing away the old ones yet. I meant to. Really. I even bought a shoe rack for my closet this weekend. It's still in the back of Mr. San Diego's truck. But, I'm GOING to! And my 12 new pairs of shoes should arrive tomorrow! YEA! Have you seen this zappos.com place? It's cool. If you're cheap like me, you just click on sale shoes, put in your size and "less than $39.99" and like hundreds of shoes fly across your screen just BEGGING to be purchased. BEGGING, I tell you! Guess how much I paid for 12 pairs of shoes. GUESS! $1200? NO WAY! DId you miss the I'm cheap part? $400? Nope! I got 12 pairs of shoes for the bargain price of $250! Tell me that isn't a score. Plus, they don't charge for shipping! Of course, online shopping is scary, they might all fit terribly and then I have to return them, but hey, what's a little inconvenience for TWELVE NEW PAIRS OF SHOES!!!!!!!!! Yea!

PS I'm keeping the cute little cream colored knitted flats I'm wearing right now AND my silver slides AND all of my flip flops AND the brand new pair of black flats with zebra stripes on the front. But the rest are GOING. I swear. Well, except my boots. I'm keeping both pairs of boots... but everythign else.. it's out of there. Really.

:: Jenn 10:30 AM [+]

:: Monday, January 17, 2005 ::
Thank you!

For everyone with well wishes for my brother and our family, thanks! He is actually doing MUCH better than we originally thought, thank goodness! He's already home and while he has to wear a brace to keep the bones in his back from moving while they heal, he can actually move around without too much pain and of course they give him dope if he starts hurting. I think this is going to be a nice long vacation where he gets to play an awful lot of Everquest! Just as long as everything heals okay, all will be well. The only concerns are if things dont heal right or "good enough" it could be the end of his army career which isn't really in his life plans. I guess we all know that life plans change from day to day, though, don't we? One disappointing thing for me is that there was a possibility that he would be moving back to California from North Carolina this year and with this situation it is unlikely that he would be able to take a new job this year... who wants a guy with a broken back!?!?!

I'll try to do some posting about our weekend holiday tomorrow... try being the operative word!

:: Jenn 8:22 PM [+]

:: Friday, January 14, 2005 ::
Stolen from Crazy Island Jen

CD I have in my car that I roll up the windows to listen to
Heh... my audio books, otherwise people give you funny looks

Book I read flat so no one could see the title
Penthouse Letters

Crappiest song ever sung at karaoke
By Me? I sing way too good... haha
By someone else? Footloose by a drunk guy... what a riot!

Bad movie I watch repeatedly
Valley Girl & Dirty Dancing

Article of clothing I love though I know it’s wrong
Spandex pants leftover from the 80s. I SWEAR I only wear them when we dress up for "80s" parties or the like.

What I order at the bar when no one is listening
Beer. Just beer. Sometimes a Vodka & Cranberry Juice, but mostly beer.

Fast food item I adore
Chicken Soft Tacos from Del Taco, and Mc Donald's 1/4 pounders when I want a burger!

A TV show that is a good example of the downfall of civilization that I love anyway
The OC! I know it's a soap and cheesy, but I laugh my ass off when I watch it (ok and sometimes tear up). I love it.

:: Jenn 11:05 PM [+]

:: Thursday, January 13, 2005 ::
Week from Hell

This week has sucked ass. Things have gone wrong on so many levels that I can't even begin to tell it all. The worst things (and those not of the USUAL variety): my mom's house flooded, my roof is leaking, I hurt my toe pretty badley when I kicked a box, I spent many, many hours driving in horrible road conditions, and last night my brother jumped from an airplane on a quarterly training exercise and is now in the hospital with broken vertebrae in his back and will be on his back for months of recovery. I'm pretty upset, but I talked to him and he seems in pretty good spirits considering. It just sucks so bad. But, he's alive and he's home in NC and not shot all to hell in some grubby hospital in Iraq, right?

:: Jenn 10:23 PM [+]

Answers to the Question

What woudl you do if you started receiving a check for $1000 every month. And this continued for years and never stopped!

Mom: Cash them! Spend them!

Nick: My answer: 1G/month... Here's what I'd do... Deposit the checks into CD's for one year, or until next tax day, waiting for the i1099. If the 1099 doesn't come then either you have one rich mofo for a benefactor, or some drug dealer. I'm now thinking Great Expectations... Then again some weirdo loves you, and after a couple of years gets pissed for you not being grateful, and whacks you... Tough call... If I did get the 1099 then I would know who was giving me the money and I would deal with it accordingly... After tax day without 1099, I would use some of the money to hire a private investigator to track down the benefactor to ensure that I was the real target of the benefit.

Mr. San Diego: I'd try to find out who was sending them by researching the account number through the bank. I'd cash it and spend it.

ME: SPend it.

The reason. So, in Money For Nothing, a book by Donald Westlake, Josh receives a check that listed the name ont he account as US Agent. It had a telephone number but no address. He tried calling the number and no answer. He cashed it. It cleared. After that, he received a check every month and deposited it every month. Every once in a while he would try the telephone number but no one ever answered.

After 7 years, one day a man with a foreign accent came up to him and told him he was "activated". Through a twisty, turny plot, we find out that a spy came up with a grand plan to create a retirement plan for himself by setting up fake "sleeper" spies (Americans that are willing to help out in espionage against America in the event they ever become activated or needed in a plan) who get $1000 a month for being "on call". The plan was to route the money to himself and save up for an early retirement, except he got moved from that job after an arrest and investigation into him. The new guy started sending the checks out to the "sleepers" who had no clue why they were getting the money. Three of Six cahsed the checks and the others never did.

The story ended up being pretty good, sort of funny and you never knew what would happen next. I just thoguht the whole idea of receiving money out of the blue was interesting and knowing the story colors how you might respond, but I think most people would cash the checks because, hey, FREE MONEY! Interesting thought, though.

I give the book at 7. Above average, but not fantastic.

:: Jenn 10:07 PM [+]

:: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 ::
Feel the Negativity?

My day is sucking ass so far. Leaky roof, irritated at husband, 2.5 hour drive to work, people not doing what they are supposed to do at work... just shit all around. Ya know? I'm hoping things get better and at least I don't have to replace all of my carpet like my mommy does!

:: Jenn 11:20 AM [+]

:: Monday, January 10, 2005 ::
Bowling For Soup

I gotta say that Bowling for Soup put on a hell of a show. They are definitely in the top concert performances that I have seen. The other two bands were Riddlin Kids and American Hi Fi and both of them were good. Let's see, Riddlin Kids had this fun little synchronized jumping thing and AMerican Hi Fi is actually pretty good, except the singer always says "... and it goes a little like this" just before they start playing another song. Funny/Annoying.

It made me start thinking of the best/worst of the shows that I've seen. It's a challenge because I have seen MANY bands perform! But here are the TOP performances and the WORST performances that I've seen and this has NOTHING to do with how much I like (or liked before the show) the band. This is specifically based on the actual performance when I saw them live.

BEST (in no particular order)

Boingo (always entertaining: funny, dramatic, and great music)
Queensryche (the first time I saw them they were amazing - it's like attending a musical, the second time was way lacking)
Bowling For Soup (they are just as funny in person as they are in their videos - great show)
Lords of Acid (quite a performance - very sexual, though)
U2 (very intense, great stage set up, great show)
Motley Crue (particularly the last time I saw them, front row/center & very drunk!)
Billy Joel & Elton John (just a very cool show with excellent music)
Kid Rock (A big surprise, didn't like the guy until I saw him live. Excellent performance, great music)
Toby Keith (you really get to see how funny Toby is and what a cool dude he is in his shows... he always puts on a great one)
Marilyn Manson (yup, I'm serious. When I saw him, I realized that - much like Madonna, he is there to put on a show for you and a show you will get!)
Madonna (see above!)
Andy Prieboy (It helps if you like his stuff, but an Andy show is AWESOME and it's usually VERY up close and personal and you get to hang with him when it's over... how cool is that?!?)
Violent Femmes (EVERYONE there is dancing. It's extemely cool)

WORST (in no particular order)

They Might Be Giants
(I know. You are probably cursing me, but they had NO performance whatsoever. Just stood there and sang. Was a HUGE disappointment)
Frank Black (funny enough, opened for TMBG. Sucked majorly and my boyfriend at the time FELL ASLEEP during his show!)
Queensryche (the second time I saw them, the show was boring and they didn't even play their most popular songs. HUGE letdown after the first time.
Crash Test Dummies (woulda been cool... except THREE SONGS. Only THREE FREAKING SONGS! Gr.)
The Cure (another huge disappointment. True the friend I was with got all moody which didn't help, but I was expecting cool and their onstage performance was BORING. There was NO stage show at all)
Garbage (you know, this show might have been all right except that they didn't sell booze where I saw them and it was about 400 degrees in there so that I had to mostly listen to the show from the lobby that was about 200 degrees cooler)
Guns N Roses (Everything they say about Axl is true. He's a dick and he ruined the show that I saw them in just by opening his mouth. Thank goodness they were followed by the Rolling Stones!)
Scorpions (you wait 35 years to see one of your favorite bands and they think that shingin bright lights in your eyes through the whole show so you can't even SEE them is a good thing. Dumbasses)

That about sums up the very best and the very worst. Have I mentioned I'm going to see Motley Crue again in March? I can't wait. I don't care if ANYONE thinks I'm a geek. I LOVE MOTLEY CRUE - THEY ARE MY FAVORITE, sick people that they are (were?). heh

:: Jenn 1:29 PM [+]

Grrr... Argh...

I hate that no one answered my Thousand dollar a month question from Friday. I think it is interesting. Blah. Forget it.

:: Jenn 1:27 PM [+]

:: Friday, January 07, 2005 ::
... and then...

So, I went to the interview and it went very well. I asked, or at least had answered, most of my questions. The biggest one being the answer I received to the possibility of a flexible schedule. The answer made sense and was that they couldn't make that type of decision, being the board of directors. They are in the process of hiring an executive director who would be the boss and ho would have the right to make those decisions.

After considering it overnight, I realized that without an E.D., the timing wasn't good and so I called and let them know that I wouldn't be able to accept the job if it was offered and explained a little bit about why. I also told him to keep me in mind if the other person didn't work out (they had it narrowed to two of us) and if the possiblity of negotiating the compensation and benefit package was available.

All in all, it was a good experience and really helped me to define what I will require in a position. Of course, it makes it all just that much harder to find something. I may just stay where I am forever, who knows! OR, I could just start my OWN Non-Profit Corporation! That might be an idea. I'm actually thinking about it half seriously.


How come my number of blogger posts says 1,111, and has said that for like a month!?! Another weird glitch, I guess. Hey Google guys! Get on the ball! Is that like calling Hey Kool-Aid?

Party Issue

Okay, look. Just because I am too lazy to continue with my old job of making Jello shots for parties, does NOT mean that I want someone else to try to take my place! It's kinda like when you dump someone and you don't want them anymore, but you don't want anyone else to have them either. Well, *I* am the Jello Shot Chick and no one else should bring them to our parties, but me, even if I don't want to do it anymore! SO there. Plus mine were better. Don't be surprised, I'm a chick. I'm allowed to be illogical and bitchy.

Addendum: found a quiz at All Things Jennifer... here was my result!
I'm a Jello Shot!, Quick, painless, and wriggly, I tend to get people messed up without delay! I'm an absolute essential for any party, just like toilets. discover your ALcoHoLiC personality!
SEE! *I* am the Jello Shot Chick!

A Funny Thing

I think it's sort of amusing (and part of me feels a little guilty) that at the LAST party I went to before New Years, I sort of made this joke about my friend, the host, how in order to catch him a woman maybe we oughta call Queer Eye for the Straight Guy since he was so way too bachelor-y. What I didn't realize was that he was about to start dating the chick that was sitting next to him when I said it. They probably forgot about it, but when I saw them together on New Years, I kinda giggled and then kinda felt guilty and then kinda giggled... you know.

Audio... Audio...

I've listened to some books. Mm. Iris Johansen's Firestorm. I read her stuff because it's easy to read and they are usually in a formula. Chick in special type of job, gets caught up in some big "to do" (murder or vother violent crime), bad guy who is really a good guy is part of it and they hook up at the end. Same story, different scenery and people. Anyway, this one was probably okay, except they had to throw in a bunch of psychic stuff and the narrator was annoying, so it made the story pretty cheesy. I can't really recommend it. I'm only giving it a 4.

This is related to an Audiobook, but I'm NOT going to review it until I ask this question. And, damn it... I want a response or two in my comments, because I think it is interesting. What would you do if you started receiving checks for $1000 every month from an unknown source - no return address, no one answers the telephone number. Would you cash them? Would you keep them? Would you throw them away? Would you write return to sender and send them back to the Post Office? The checks clear if you cash them and they keep coming for years and years. What would you do?

:: Jenn 11:04 AM [+]

Blog Awards

Alrighty. I'm not all into this award thing, but this Fat Eye for the Skinny Guy is damned funny & kinda cool. I think you should go read him and then vote for him for most humorous. This is in addition to voting for Mr. Geese-a-plenty for best overall blog because as you know, he is one of my favorite bloggers - but he is already kicking butt! Why didn't Leftbanker get any nominations? I guess I shoulda nominated people or something. Usually I just ignor the hoopla, though.

:: Jenn 8:30 AM [+]

:: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 ::

If you're searching for a deal on a hotel room or just for any hotel room, really, try lastminutetravel.com I just went there to look for rooms for next weekend, when Mr. San Diego and I are going to LA for the weekend and got a pretty amazing deal. They have lots of hotels, but some of them are like secret deals, where they don't tell you the name of the hotel until you purchase it because of the pricing structure/name of the hotel. BUT, if you are clever, you can google the description and figure out what hotel it is. I found a bunch of REALLY superb hotels on there for under $100 and finally booked a REALLY amazing hotel that would normally have run me $400 for the two nights and I got it or $200 for the two nights. So, keep it in mind!

:: Jenn 1:25 PM [+]

:: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 ::
Oh Yeah, and Happy New Year!

I would like to note that I have again kept my last ever New Year's Resolution from many many years ago and it feels GOOD! I vowed to never make another New Years Resolution and it's the first one I ever kept. WOOT!

I did my annual New Years Eve Party for year #11. YEA ME! While I would LOVE to do something different if I could ever get Mr. San Diego to go for it, I actually had a good time. More people showed up than I expected and it was an all around fun night. My guy even played American Pie for me as the second song after midnight. He brought the hard drive full of music so got to act as main DJ for the evening... one of his favorite roles. So for all of my whining and bitching about having to do the same damned thing once again, I had a nice new years and a wonderful weekend. Hope you did, too.

:: Jenn 10:30 AM [+]

More on the job stuff AND NICK

I'm gonna start with Nick. Dude, you rock. First, thanks for the thoughts and advice. Even drunk, I always value your opinion and thoughts... your one of the smartest (if not the smartest) guys I know! The only thing I hate about you is that I hardly ever get to see you.

Second, that was extremely cool of you to pick up the tab of my ex-assistant and her goodbye party on Friday. She called me to tell me how awesome you were and frankly, I agree. =)

On to the jobby stuff. After talking to a few people with different opinions, I've come to a conclusion. I am going to the second interview and if it seems to be going well and the additional board members seem to like me as much as the first two did, then I am going to bring out my list of questions. The go something like this:

1. Is there a job duty description (in writing) that encompasses the responsibilities of the position? I'd like to know EXACTLY all of the duties, rather than just "accounting, administration, and human resources"

2. We discussed Human Resources responsibilities, does this include handling payroll for all employees from each program or does each program have it’s own payroll process? How many employees would the position be responsible for acting as Human Resource Contact? My current place of employment has 150 employees and we have a person who is responsible for handling JUST the payroll, well and secretarial duties. So, I know that payroll can be a big job.

3. Does this position also perform receptionist duties for the {organization}'s main office or is there a secondary person (or persons) in the office in this role and to assist as needed in other clerical areas? In other words, would it be just me doing everything or do I have a damned file clerk to do the crap I don't want to do?

4. Is the person in this position responsible for filing taxes or is a tax person/company used for that? I could probably decipher how to file taxes for a nonprofit, but I am just curious on this one.

5. Who would the person in this position directly report to and who would be responsible for evaluating the person in this position’s work/performance? Who IS my daddy... I mean boss?

6. What are the funding sources for the organization? Are these sources secure? SURE, you've been around for 30 years, but are you really gonna stick around or will I lose my job if a funding source goes away???

7. What is the anticipated work schedule for the person in this position? Do I have to go back to Monday Through Friday 8-5???

8. Is there any possibility for a flexible work schedule, possibly a 9/80 or 4/10 type schedule either now or in the future? Do I have to go back to Monday Through Friday 8-5???

9. Is this position salaried or hourly? Salary, say salary.

10. The benefits sound great for the position, but I don’t need health benefits as I have them available to me through my husband’s employment. Would the organization be willing to negotiate benefits? For example, in lieu of providing health benefits, which usually cost well over $100 per month per employee, would the organization be willing to provide additional vacation days in an amount that would correspond to the cost of health benefits? Look, I travel. That's my passion, that's my hobby, that's what I love. I realize that an employer wants someone to be there, but I work so I can go on vacation. Two weeks just ain't gonna cut it!

The way I see it, if they really want me even after these questions and they are willing to negotiate some of these time factors, then this is the right place. If they don't, then this probably isn't the right position for me and I'll hold out for the right one. I've got to have the time to travel, I've got to have a schedule that allows me some time to see my mom - maybe not every week like now, but at least one or two times per month and since she works a lot of weekends, I've gotta have days off during the week for it. Tomorrow night is the "big day". I'm sure I'll be back to tell my story and maybe all of this is for nothing and I'm just one of a bunch of candidates. It just didn't feel that way. Stay tuned. Same Bat Channel...

:: Jenn 9:19 AM [+]

:: Monday, January 03, 2005 ::
MAJOR dilemma

Well, you know I've been job hunting. Thursday, I had an interview with a company that I figured was a dead end, but hey, interview experience is always valuable. Except the interview went really well and I got really excited while talking to them, thinking this could be a really great opportunity. Then, they called me back before I could even make it home to ask me to come back for a second interview with additional board members. This is a non-profit corporation in my area that is goverened by a board of directors. The position is an admin/office position with a really strong focus on all aspects of accounting. While talking we discussed the fact that over time as the organization grows (and they are creating an environment of growth right now) that there might be possibilities of moving up into management positions if either they or I came up with a Program that I would be a good fit for, so there MIGHT be growth opportunities, but there is no guarantee, of course (there never is).

I love the idea of being a part of something that is about to have a growth spurt. I've been through that at my current position and really made it work for me and I enjoyed it. I'm less enthusiastic about going back to accounting, which isn't really my favorite thing to do. I'm particularly concerned about being the sole person responsible for the complete accounting of an organization like this. I know I can do it, it will be a challenge, but anything I don't already know I can easily learn. But, accounting. It's been many years since I've done that and I'm so much better at running the top end of things then being in the middle of them.

So, anyway, I was pretty stoked that they were obviously as excted about me as I was about them - and I liked the board members I interviewed with. Afterall, as a person who does hiring, I don't usually call someone back that quickly unless I am very interested. But after the initial elation started wearing off, panic has set in. Seriously. Can I really give up my killer job with killer benefits and killer vacation/time off and killer flexibility and killer freedom to do what I want, when I want for a job that will be rigid, and where I have to be strictly accountable, and lose approximately 25 Fridays that I currently will have off per year, not to mention a trememndous drop in my vacation time (this to someone whose number one hobby is travel) to do a job that maybe I won't be as good at as I am at what I currently do, or that maybe I'll hate????? I'm freaking out. There is so much that I would lose and I'm not sure it what I will gain is worth what I would lose. But, I don't know. On the other hand, I'm certainly having a lot of trouble and stress dealing with my boss who I know longer respect or like and I'm a little bored at my job which will NEVER lead to a promotion without my going back to school and earning a Master's degree. Let's visit the Pros and Cons of taking a new job:

~POSSIBILITY of less stress in my life
~New boss (who I might or might not like)
~new work. Will provide a challenge and decrease boredom
~close to home. 15 minutes or less each way/no traffic stress
~save a couple thousand a year in gas money
~interesting organization with possiblity of advancement into mgmt
~will save 3 hours per day, that is normally on the road - I could do a lot with three extra hours per day: go to the gym, go to school, keep my house cleaner...
~NO more step advances at current position, only small cost of living raises
~Won't have to deal with the assholes here. OF course, there may be new assholes at new position.

~lose 6 weeks of vacation for 2 weeks of vacation (which I'm told will increase over time, but not certain where that will top off at)
~lose 9/80 schedule which allows me every other Friday off
~likely have less paid holidays
~won't be able to spend one night per week with my mom, which is EXTREMELY important to me. This would reduce the amount of time I see my mom to no more than once per month if our schedules permit.
~will have to lose my doctor of 9 years who I LOVE
~won't have time to listen to my audiobooks anymore
~have to come to my hairdresser on weekends instead of on nights I stay at my mom's
~see my friends even less than I already do
~accounting work every day. Will I get bored of that quickly? Or maybe I'll enjoy it? hard to say.
~possiblity that I might take a small pay cut at first
~lose flexibility in my schedule
~I'm good at what I currently do when I'm not pissed at my boss and the other jerks here.

I dunno... I don't think this is helping. There are a lot of pros and a lot of cons. I just don't know what to do and the one thing I keep thinking is that maybe getting a new job is still a good idea, but maybe this just isn't the one. I guess I can go to the interview on Wednesday and see what happens, but part of me feels bad wasting these people's time if I'm not going to take the position. Grrrr... I don't know what to do. I could try negotiating with them for a flexible schedule and maybe instead of the health benefits see if I could get more vacation and then just get on Mr. San Diego's Health Insurance. But, I think that it is probably unlikely they would do something like that... they'd have to like me an awful lot. Of course, I am likeable and all. hahaha

I'm so stressed... what should I do?

:: Jenn 8:24 AM [+]


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