Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Fabulous Birthday Week, Thus Far

First, I'll say that updates every 8 days is pretty sad, so my apologies.

This week has been a blast. It started last Thursday at 1:45pm, when I left work to go pick up my new "old man" chair: a leather recliner. It's so comfortable and dreamy soft. I'm looking forward to spending hours reading in it, hopefully with Alastair in my lap.

Then dinner at Mom's Siam with Jamie Shewan that night. Alastair sat in the window in his clip-on chair and flirted with everyone.

Friday was fab: got to spend my first work-free workday at home since early February!

Saturday, Sunday: more of the same. Lounging with Amanda and Boy. I love my family. We had lunch with my mom and grandmother on Saturday. That was a hoot. Mom gave us a watermelon; we're a little scared (neither of us has ever dealt with carving a watermelon before).

Monday was a great birthday. We got up leisurely (Alastair let me sleep until after 8am), Amanda made me the tastiest waffles ever, and we drank lots of coffee. I opened my cards and presents and had a wonderful day with my family.

Dad and Randy took us to Maggiano's for dinner that night, and while Alastair was much noisier than usual, he was a little angel, charming all the people at the tables around us.

We left the restaurant just as a crazy storm was starting, and even though we pulled up to 3 feet away from the back door, Alastair and I were soaked by the time we got inside. Poor little guy.

Last night I got my friends together and went go-karting at G-Force. Fun, fun, fun. I'd been once before, so I had a slight advantage, but it was great to get Mr. K, the Cronins, and Mr. Harper out for a night of speed. We had so much fun, we did it twice. There was this one fat chick in the 2nd race who was ignoring the blue flag (the one that means "get over, slow-poke: faster traffic is behind you") and actually blocking me. She tried to cut me off twice after the hair-pin, and both times I had to bump her out of my path. Who got the blame? Me, of course. When we looked at lap times later, she was never even within 2 seconds of me, but thought we were having some serious NASCAR showdown.

Today I've felt a bit under the weather, but I'm hoping to be back in prime shape for Saturday, when hundreds (if not thousands) of MINI Coopers will descend on King's Dominion. MINI Takes The States is coming through with the JCW GP MINI Cooper S, and it's sure to be quite the spectacle. Alastair will be spending the day with his grandmother.

Not much else going on; I'm leveraging some bizarre contractual policies to get a week and a half of vacation while only using one vacation day. We're not allowed to earn overtime this month (August) because the contract has run out of hours. My company pays us a bonus for the overtime we've accrued in a month. If I get overtime, but then take a personal day, I lose 8 hours of accrued overtime for the month. So, we try not to take personal days in the same months when we earn overtime. Vacation days don't count against our overtime, so any days off are generally taken as vacation.

I came into August with 3 personal days left, and worked 12 hours of overtime last week by Wednesday. Since I can't keep it, I left early Thursday and didn't come back Friday. We get our birthday as a paid day off, and there were only 3 days left to August. 3 days of personal time got written off.

But this weekend is a 3-day weekend. Who would want to come back for one day before a 3-day weekend? So I took 8 of my remaining vacation hours and wound up with a very nice 10.5 day vacation. Tidy, no?

Bizarre company and contractual policies, but sometimes they work out for us.

Off to bed, now, where I'll read some Aubrey/Maturin for a while before drifting off to dreams of Amanda and Alastair (although I've had some crazy crack-whore dreams about monsters and cheetahs this week).

Dang: now it's Friday. So much for keeping the interval down to 8 days...

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