Friday, February 20, 2009

The Crap Economy on our Doorstep

C got laid off yesterday. It wasn't 100% unexpected, but we thought we had a few more months and I think we were both kind of optimistic that it wouldn't happen at all. Not so much. Thankfully, we've made good decisions along the way and we'll be ok. So that's that.

If anyone knows of any materials/chemical engineering / six sigma positions, let me know. Location doesn't matter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Daycare Fundraiser

AYFKM? Do we not pay enough in tuition every month? Now they want us to sell cookie dough and popcorn, too?

I thought we wouldn't have to worry about this for at least another 5 years or so. Where do they get off asking us to sell this junk to our family and friends? Even if I didn't have an aversion to asking people to buy stuff from our 6 month old baby, the food is probably loaded with trans fats and HFCS.

::grumble, grumble, grumble::

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I feel compelled to comment on the news story that's sweeping sports nation 48 hours before pitchers and catchers report to spring training (!). I'm not a fan of Alex Rodriguez. I never have been, always thought he was overpaid and arrogant. I don't think he's overrated, he clearly has the talent to put up the numbers. Personality-wise, he's certainly no Jeter. I wasn't thrilled when he put on the pinstripes. Since he came to New York, he's done nothing but prove that he's big man in the clubhouse for the 162 games leading up to the playoffs, but meeker than a mouse when it counts.

That being said, I'm starting to feel sorry for the guy. It's complete BS that his name was leaked to begin with. When the player's union agreed to the steroid research it was under the condition that it was 100% anonymous testing - no names would ever be linked to the samples, no names would ever be released, and the data would be destroyed as soon as the results were in. As we know now, that never happened. While this seems like a trivial topic to get pissy about, the reality is that it undermines all research being done anywhere in the world. Good, quality research relies on upholding confidentiality agreements. Why would individuals respond honestly to questions when the real answers might get them into trouble? In the research world, a breach of contract like this would certainly lead to lawsuits. I hope A-Rod (or the union?) sues the shit out of everyone involved. He could certainly call on HIPAA guidelines as a basis for the lawsuit.

A friend of mine argued that they should release the names of the other 103 players who tested positive. I think this is the absolute wrong way to look at the situation. Releasing those names doesn't make the situation fair to anyone. Someone was clearly out to damage A-Rod's reputation. Yes, it's unfortunate that the information was leaked at all, but two wrongs don't make a right.

Baseball isn't the same anymore, and not just because of him. I'm sad that the game I'll be introducing the Minion to is tainted and ruined in so many ways, not just by the "steroid scandal" but by free agency and the wild card rule. Where are the franchise players? The loyalty to the home team? The asterisk-less record books?

While A-Rod's personal life is in the toilet, the name still sells tickets, and I'll still go see him play in the new Cathedral this summer. Hopefully they'll get things back on track by the time the Minion is old enough to understand.

cognitive dissonance

Have you ever seen yourself in a picture and wondered who let you out of the house looking like that? I went to a wedding in November. I wore a dress that I borrowed, since my proportions are all out of whack and I didn't really fit all the way into my own. I really didn't think I looked all that bad. I got a thank you card yesterday with some pictures of C and I in it that had been taken at the reception.

Oh. My. God.

Who let me out of the house looking like that? I'm not about to post the picture, but trust me that my mental image of what I looked like that evening was nothing remotely close to what the photographic evidence showed. I had a similar incident on Saturday, when we were grocery shopping. We were buying some grapefruits for breakfast. C held up one and commented that it was about the same size as a certain part of my anatomy is now, post baby. I laughed, and said no effing way. Held it up to compare, and sure enough, dead on. WTF?

I should start taking pictures of myself before I leave the house every day, because clearly my perception is flawed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Even Closer to Home

C's work buddy was laid off yesterday morning, along with a few others. No warning whatsoever.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sign of the Times

We don't generally watch commercials in our house, thanks to the magic of DVR, but I happened to leave them on the other night and I heard something that really caught my attention. Hyundai is running an offer where you can buy (lease?) a car and then if you lose your job within the next year you can return it. Return the car. To the dealer. Before your financial obligation is up.

While this sounds like a good idea, what does it say about the current state of our economy? The house across the street from us is now in foreclosure. Everywhere I look these days good, hard-working, decent people are being laid off. Friends and their spouses were forced to take long "vacations" during the holiday season so that their companies could save some money, some were even laid off the week before christmas.

One of the bad things about frequenting national message boards is that you get the chance to really see how bad things are for every day people in situations similar to your own. There's a girl on The Nest who was pregnant when I was, her son was actually born the same day as Baby C. Her and her husband have both lost their jobs in the last few months and have been unable to find new work. They've had to cash in 401(k) plans to make rent and are on the verge of moving in with her parents (!).

Closer to home, things don't look any better. There are regular posts about local companies laying off hundreds of people. Lots of "fingers crossed" and "thoughts and prayers" for these families, many of them with small children, most of them well-educated and experienced. Now they have to worry about feeding those children and getting them the health care they need without insurance benefits.

It can happen to anyone, and that's what makes it scary. These aren't random high-school fry-cookers at McD's. They're professionals, people like us. As much as C complains about how bad it is where he works, and as much as I have my moments when I wish I didn't have to work, it's times like these when I'm so incredibly thankful that the economic slowdown hasn't pounded down our door. We're very lucky to have the jobs we have.

Here's to hoping for a brighter tomorrow, and good news for some certain people who are in my thoughts today.


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