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The Ramblings of A Random Person
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Bill and I didn't do much for NYE. We played Wii Resort, ate like we were college kids (Beer, taquitos and pizza rolls), and went to bed at 11. What a tame married couple. But I didn't really want to go out anyways, so it was quite nice.

With the new year comes some changes. Bill is officially unemployed and very happy about it. And I'm happy for him. He's excited about learning IT and learning to live without massive daily amounts of stress. In an effort to save money I've started taking public transit and shuttles to work. I'm kind of too close to work for it to be convenient, though. BUT, I earn $4 a day. And my train ticket is paid for. And Bill takes me to and from the station so I don't have to pay for parking. In the end its worth it.

I had a week off between our AZ visit and Monday. It was SO nice. So relaxing. I did only what I wanted. I even exercised. Everyday. Work has gotten in the way of continuing, but maybe I'll work something out. I should.
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A lot has been going on recently. Work has been super busy. I feel like I'm finally settling into things. I'm still trying to learn on the fly, but at least things are more predictable. I like it there. People are great. Company treats its employees very well. The work is exciting. I plan on being here for a while. And that's a good thing, because having 1 steady income is really important.

But where is that 2nd income going? Well, Bill's getting ready to walk away from it. His job is terrible. Its to the point where he's physically sick at the thought of having to go in to the office everyday. We've come to the conclusion that life is too short to be miserable. Our income will take an obvious hit, but by tightening the budget we can make it work. I want him to be happy. We're planning on him being unemployed for at least a couple months. He's going to get an MCSA, focus on his schoolwork, and in the end he's going to be in a better place. I'm nervous, but excited for him.

mood: optimistic optimistic

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I think I get more headaches than the average person.  Its really kind of frustrating.  And painful.  I thought I knew what was causing them.  Well, there can be multiple causes: stress, eye strain, dehydration, monthly hormones.  Last night I felt one coming on around 7pm.  We had just been outside playing tennis in the "heat" (80 and beautiful just doesn't qualify as heat to me after living in AZ for 24 years), so I assumed I needed to cool off and drink tons of water.  I drank glass after glass.  It got worse, so I took some Tylenol.  Started to improve, went to bed, and then woke up with excruciating head pain around 6am.  Tried to go back to sleep for the next 3.5 hours until finally I couldn't take it anymore and got up.  Was still totally hydrated from the night before.  Took more Tylenol and only NOW is it going away again.  Not gone, but going away.  I don't know what my problem is.  I don't think its normal to have more than one bad one a month.  Actually, I shouldn't take more than 14 hours to shake one off.  I don't think they're migranes... those usually have other symptoms, but they're damn close.  Maybe I just need better head meds.  Who knows.

mood: blah blah

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First, work:

I really like my job.  I've been there for two months and the time has flown by.  I like the pace of things there.  People are usually in a hurry, under some kind of time crunch.  Its environments like that that make me perform at my best.  And whats great is people trust me to do my work, give them a result and back it up.  There's no standing over my shoulder.  Its assumed that I know how to do a number of things (some I do, some I don't) and there's no follow up.  Its a very empowering environment.  I've gained a lot of confidence while working here.  I had a fair portion to begin with, but to have my views/work/suggestions received well and appreciated by such a high caliber group of people really makes me feel good.  I'm not curing cancer (I'm helping!) but I'm contributing in a way that leaves me satisfied at the end of the day.  Another great thing - my manager gives me credit for my work and makes SURE people know that I contributed.  That's something I REALLY appreciate.  And they pay me a lot.  I think I'll stay here for a while.

Second, marriage:

I'm loving it.  I love Bill.  We have such a great relationship.  We're best friends and truly love being together.  We can talk to each other about anything, as evidenced by our "wine-fueled discussion about death and God" on Saturday night (as Bill just happened to label it just now).  I'd say we spent about 2 hours discussing what a "soul" is and what makes us human.  Thankfully we're about 98% on the same page so it didn't turn into something awkward.  We also do stuff together.  I love that we bought bikes.  It gives us an excuse to leave our computers and do something.  Yesterday we rode our bikes to San Mateo and wandered around the Italian Street Fair.  There wasn't too much "italian" about it.  It was some people selling pizza and pasta in between a classic car show and people selling cheap crap.  Whatever.  We had fun.  I look forward to the stuff we do together, no matter what we have planned.  

Third, life in California:

Can't complain.  Especially when I'm wearing a sweater to work and all my friends and family in AZ are being cooked alive in the desert.  Its awesome here.  The neighborhoods, the scenery, the weather, the different activities... this place has it all.  No wonder it costs a fortune to live here - everyone wants a piece of it.  We haven't made too many friends beyond our work friends, so that kind of sucks.  Bill's work friends are usually broke.  Mine I've only just met and I don't know how to move things away from work to happy hour and so on.  We're working on it though.  Maybe someday soon we'll have a nice social circle.  We really miss people back home.  At least we like spending time with each other, otherwise I don't know what we'd do.

mood: content content

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Bill and I met up with our friend Sean this evening to see Spamalot in the city.  Very funny show.  Unfortunately John O'Hurley didn't perform tonight as King Arthur.  But it was great, nonetheless.  They kept a lot of classic scenes and lines from the movie, but changed it up a bit, too.  They even did a little impromptu Michael Jackson tribute.  And then joked that he "touched a lot of people."  Too soon?  Eh, we laughed.  

So today happened to be the Pride Parade down Market, and the theatre was located right on the parade route.  The parade was done by the time we got there, but the people were still there.  And, FYI, ALL the freaks come out on Pride Weekend.  Like, for example, the 70 year old man walking down the sidewalk wearing nothing but a hat and a fanny pack.  The fanny pack did not cover anything.  ANYTHING.  I can deal with crazy costumes and dancing up and down the sidewalks, but 70-year-old penis flopping in the breeze is NOT an image I want seared into my memory.  

mood: grossed out

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Bill and I got bikes today from Sports Authority.  Bill has been wanting one for a couple weeks now.  I have been thinking about getting one since moving out here.  Mine was kind of an impulse buy.  I saw Bill getting one and decided I want one too so we can ride around together.  Sports Authority was having a sale.  We couldn't say no.  And we just happen to live in an area with quiet streets and a bike trail right along the bay.  So now we have a new hobby! 

Our apartment hasn't improved much since moving in last weekend.  Need to buy some more furniture before we can completely unpack.  But its hard to picture furniture fitting in when there are boxes everywhere!  Its a vicious cycle. 

We did so many things today.  Or at least I did.  We walked a couple blocks to the bagel shop for breakfast this morning.  Stopped at OSH on our way home to get a wrench so that I could put on the Brita filter.  Then headed right back out and looked at a few furniture stores, unfortunately didn't find something that was both affordable AND well made.  Stopped for lunch.  Then Bill stayed home while I went to Goodwill to drop off a bunch of stuff, then went to Target and bought a microwave, DVD stand and over the door towel rack, went to Safeway for groceries, came home and put together our Target goodies, then headed right back out and hit Sports Authority, ate dinner at home then went for a bike ride.  I'm going to sleep good tonight!

mood: accomplished accomplished

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Today was my third day of work at Genentech.  And this place is truly awesome.  EVERYONE I talk to, however briefly, is super friendly and welcoming.  As I explained it to Bill, its like a giant cool-kids club.  Everyone there knows how hard it is to get a job there, so people automatically assume you're smart and friendly (I'll take that as a compliment).  According to the 1st day facilitator, they get about 38,000 resumes a month.  A MONTH.  And I was picked out of that pile.  And then they met me and decided they liked me better than the others. 

Prior to this afternoon things were moving a little slow.  I'm supposed to have a ton of training to do online and elsewhere, but it hasn't been set up for me yet.  And I have plenty of time to do this training... if only I could!  But I've been keeping busy getting settled, doing a bit of shadowing in the lab and exploring the VAST intranet.  Yesterday I shadowed a couple people and had some very simple tasks explained to me.  Basically one of the main functions I'll be doing for the first few weeks is making very simple solutions.  "Formulations" for in vivo studies.  Some researcher submits a request for a formulation and we typically have a week to turn it around for them.   And from what I've seen, these formulations take about an hour to make, tops.  Very simple.  And to TEST how simple they are, my manager actually asked me to prepare some for her today because she was too busy.  So she got me going and totally left me alone to do it (she had a meeting).  She also asked me to prep some more vehicle because those formulations used it all.  So I made a larger, slightly more complicated solution for everyone else to use.  And again, she wasn't really there to supervise.  She pretty much just trusted me to do it and do it right.  I REALLY like that.  She came back, asked if I had any problems and then moved on to her next task.

One of the things they told us about in orientation was that you kind of have to prove your competency to some extent as you go along.  You're not going to join any teams and get big assignments for at least a couple months... they need to see that you can handle things before they really pile it on.  I think today was my first real test.  Sure it was easy.  BUT I think that was due to the confidence I've gained as a chemist overall.  I can make any kind of solution you want.  And I think its better for me that you DON'T stand over my shoulder and pile on the pressure.  Just let me do my thing and I can handle it.  I showed that today and it feels pretty good.

Tomorrow our group has an "off-site."  Apparently I picked a good week to join.  Our group (~20 people?) is leaving campus around 9:30 to go to the Embarcadero, board a boat and have a lunch cruise on the bay.  

As the subject line says..... I'm happy. :)

mood: optimistic optimistic

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This week and last week I've been going through the steps to change my last name. Its weird. Its almost like my maiden name is "the old me." Someone else. I had always planned on taking my husband's name when I got married. It just seemed natural. I never considered NOT doing it. But to actually start signing another name, introducing myself with my new name... is kind of weird. Not to mention the new job, new apartment and new married life. This is a big transition. And the only part that has given me pause is the name part. I'm changing my identity. Its a weird feeling.

mood: okay okay

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So a lot has happened over the past week.  First of all, I was offered the job at Genentech!  HUGE raise coming with it, not to mention a more exciting job and incredible perks.  People at my current job are sad to see me go, but they wish they were going with me.  My first day of the new job is the first.  One more week!

Second, Bill and I found an apartment this weekend.  We get the keys on the 6th, big move will most likely be the 13th.  Its not huge, but the bedroom is just big enough (I think) and it has a stacked washer & dryer.  Big plus there.  That kind of made up for the smaller layout.  But since we don't have a couch, we should be able to fit in just fine.  The bedroom will be the only tricky spot.  Its in a really nice area - one where we'll be able to walk around in the evenings and not worry about getting shot.  Its across the street from a small boat launch area and now that Bill is addicted to kayaking, we can go any time we want (provided we buy some kayaks and stuff, which will be expensive).  But where will we keep these kayaks, you might ask?  Well in our one car garage of course!  The apartment comes with a completely private garage which will easily fit Bill's car and a lot of other bulky items that I KNOW won't fit in the apartment.  I should mention that the only reason we can afford this apartment is because of my new salary AND the awesome rent deals they have right now to boost occupancy.  

mood: content content

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I got it.

mood: enthralled enthralled

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Got an email from a former co-worker. Genentech's hiring manager called him for a reference and he gave me a "glowing recommendation."  I knew he would, but it still feels great.  I knew they were doing the background check and that the HR had asked for some references.... I'm just excited to know that they're acting on everything!!!

Today is my dad and Bill's birthday.  Tried calling my dad a few times but no answer.  I got up early with Bill this morning to cook him breakfast before work.  I pretended to be asleep until he got in the shower, then jumped out of bed and threw some bacon in the pan.  I made him bacon and eggs and some coffee.  He was very happy.  Then I gave him his birthday present, a book on programming in ASP.net 3.5.  Its what he wanted, not something I'd necessarily pick out for him on my own, haha.  So now I'm doing laundry and baking some turtle Ghiradelli brownies for later tonight (Bill doesn't know I'm making these).  And hopefully my mom's gift for him arrives today before I go to work so that he can seem them today.  He's having a damn fine birthday so far, haha.

mood: productive productive

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mood: amused amused

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The HR rep called this morning to tell me that they are moving forward with me and that they will be executing a background check.  Assuming everything comes back OK, he will start the process of drafting an offer for me.  He's telling me the offer part "unofficially," but its still good news!  I'm not afraid of a background check.  The hiring manager got back to me again this morning and asked for my references.  WOOT!  I am unbelievably excited right now.  I think I'll start drafting my letter of resignation this weekend.  Just for fun. :D

mood: ecstatic ecstatic

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Got an email today from the hiring manager at Genentech.  She finally got back to me after nearly 2 weeks.  Well, its been 4 weeks since the interview, nearly 2 since I emailed her to follow up.  First she apologized for taking so long.  Then she said they haven't made a decision yet, but they hope to before the end of the month.  So I guess that's only 3 more weeks of suspense?!  But the best part was that she assured me of this:

"I can tell you one thing though: we still consider you as one of the top candidates."

Sweet.  Of course, I'd like to be THE top candidate and the ONLY one, but that's good news.  As time goes by without hearing from anyone I start to get nervous.  Time going by makes me think they're pursuing someone else.  I feel better having a better idea of their time line.  I just have to hang in there a little bit longer. 

I really hope this works out.

mood: relieved relieved

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Just found out today that we are now working 6 days a week at work.  Fuck that.  I hardly see Bill as it is, and now they want me to give up one of the 2 days I actually have with him.  We weren't even given a reason.  I already emailed my boss back asking for an explanation.  I did it nicely and professionally, of course.  My Saturdays are now gone.  And because I work second shift, my already shitty social life is going to be non-existent.  Friday night, gone.  Saturday night, gone.  Sunday night?!  No one goes out on Sunday, there's work in the morning.  Grr...

mood: pissed off pissed off

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