Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I feel like talking about my workplace today - not the work, but the environment I work at, the atmosphere, the people.
I work at the office. I like my job: what I do is important to the company, my responsibilities are fairly straightforward and, according to my boss, I do my job well. So, I am not trying to turn this into a job bitchfest.
What I want to talk about is people around me - my fellow co-workers, who - each one of them - affect me in a different way.
First, there is an Accounting Lady. Out of all "regular" office staff she is the only one who has a private office - she says it's because her files contain personal employee information, but I suspect it's to separate her from the rest of us during the time she is extra... moody. Her mood gets affected by everything, including weather and room temperature. When she gets upset, she storms through the place like a hurricane, slamming doors and file drawers, and if one tries to approach her at this moment, she raises her index finger up in the air and says, " Not now, I am busy." After that moment, she will ignore you until... pretty much, forever or until she decides to accept you into her good graces, whichever comes first.
Then, there's the Order Entry Lady. She is quiet and friendly , but she knows when to ask a question, and when not to ask anything. Even though on the surface she may be referred to as "nothing special," I suspect she has a gift for social interaction, communication and even psychology... Or perhaps just workplace tact. She has never argued with or complained about anyone of her co-workers - not that I have seen. Perhaps, that explains how she has stayed at the job for over 15 years.
Finally, there is the Service Lady. The moment she walked into the office, I thought she was going to get along great with the Accounting Lady. It's like someone cloned the Original, slightly changed facial features and adjusted her "personality chip" and voila! Model Number Two!
She had similar complexion (I always wondered why people of the same weight class get along better with each other than with friends of different sizes - is it something in the air? spirit of comradeship, perhaps?). She seemed less moody, but more loud. Just like the Original, she had that friendly meaningless smile on her face - just for customers - and, just like her, she used that inflection in her voice when she said, "No calls; to my voicemail; I am busy." Only instead of raising the finger, she stared at you with the blank expression, until you were forced to admit defeat and walk away. To complete the picture, I must say that the Service Lady liked to chew. She always chewed on something - cookies, candy, gum... When she was standing next to me with paperwork, it took me every effort not to grimace: the wet popping sounds, the open mouth, the blank stare and her stoutness reminded me of a large lazy cow that was enjoying her snack among the cow pies...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pre-Valentine's Day Thinking

As I was thinking about where to go for Valentine's Day dinner with my husband, I decided to look online for ideas. Right there on MSN there was an article about "where to take your man for Valentine." I read it, and... wow, what a load of claptrap! As open-minded as I try to be, I don't believe a trip to the Strip Club would set for a prelude to a romantic evening. But, perhaps it's just me.
Then, there was the "Naked Lunch".... Hehehe.... I wish my husband and I could take that long of a lunch in the afternoon... Come on, writers, who did you write this for? High School Students? Most people have to work for living, and I know their schedule has 1 hour lunch - maximum... So - nice idea, but no thanks. This will have to wait till retirement - hopefully, my husband will still be willing to look at me naked then...
Then, there's the casino... Great idea in general, if only the holiday did not fall on Thursday - again, most people have to work the next day!
Anyway, after looking at all these ... "special" ideas, I think we will be going to a restaurant after all. Yes, plain old-fashined dinner and maybe a movie - if time permits. I think my husband will be happy to go to some specialty place, not your regular Olive Garden or Denny's. He likes Japanese food, and, in fact, he made me fond of it too. So, we'll most likely end up in a Sashimi Bar or at the small Japanese place - it should be quiet tomorrow, in spite of all the holiday mess...
And - for those who are reading this post - don't get your ideas from online articles; I am starting to think it's the worst place to go for... anything, really.
Have a Happy Valentine's Day. It's a day to remember why you are together.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Family celebrations

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday, she turned five years old. In celebration of this significant event, we decided to go to Solvang. Solvang is a touristy place that started as a Danish village. We were planning to leave the house by about noon, then spend three or so hours there, and then come back into town for the pizza party. However, we got held up, because we were helping one of our good friends, and we ended up leaving just after one o'clock....
We stopped at the coffee shop, and then walked around town. This place is bright and colorful, it's designed to look like an Old Town, with all kinds of bakeries, restaurants, craft, linen, and toy shops. My daughter picked out her present - a Pink Panther doll, - while I stood drooling over Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz collection. Some day, when I retire and have a lot of money (dream on), I will have a doll collection like that... May be... or not. In fact, I wondered what it would be like to live in the town like Solvang - full time?
First of all, this town is pretty expensive: a cup of coffee - just a regular joe - is 2 to 3 dollars. So, obviously, one would have to have plenty of money to enjoy the perks of the place. But then - what are the perks?
Sure, there are some nice restaurants on the strip, they all look like pictures from Andersen's storybook. Not all of them taste authentic, however, - their Liverwurst may have been purchased from the local Safeway/Vons store... We don't know for sure. Then, there are all of 50 stores - maximum - on the strip - and half of them are gift shops. I personally would get tired of looking at fancy "gift" things with no particular purpose if I had to do it every day. And finally, I think I would get tired of the concept of the land "where every day is a holiday." Too bright. Too shiny. Too shallow.
It was a holiday trip for my daughter, though, and she enjoyed it; that was all that mattered. In the long run, however, I was happy to get home - to the land of "every day is a work day, and sometimes you get a break."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Random thoughts with introduction

Hi! I guess if you are looking at this, I should introduce myself. My name is Katya, I am 29 years old, and I am a mother of five... But you already know that from my profile.
Right now I am working on a stitching project - a set from Mother Goose series - THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON, CAT AND THE FIDDLE and so on. These will be ready in... oh, probably in 3 weeks, maybe faster if my kids start driving me crazy on a more regular basis. Then I will just have to escape to my room, lock the door and stitch, stitch, stitch - so that I don't pop the gasket. Stitching really calms me down, I guess it's theraputic in a way. It helps me think and prevents me from panicking.
Another thing that makes me think is reading, but, unlike stitching, it actually makes me panick. When I was a child, if I was afraid or unsure of something, all I had to do was to open one of my favorite books, and I would drown in the characters's experiences and problems. Now that I have my own problems, dealing with real life, when I open a book, all I can do is compare my own expreriences with the characters'. So it kind of made an opposite effect - I now start thinking of the problems in the book, which reminds me of my own problems, which in turn makes me angry: "Why in the world do I worry about a non-existing character? I've got my own things to worry about!"
Yet, reading is still fun. I think I will read a book by Truman Capote "In Cold Blood," I really am intrigued with it.
These were my random thoughts. And now it's time for dinner.