Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Flow charts and liquor and hymens (Oh my)

I know I am not supposed to tell you people much about The Place That Pays Me to Get Dressed in the Morning (I am stealing that phrase from either Stacy or Poppy; my apologies to both of you that I don't remember who wrote it). I fully understand that whole First Commandment / Cardinal Rule thing and all. But right now I am actually busy at that place for the first time in many, many months, and frankly, I don't remember how to handle that. I have been trying to figure out how I'm supposed to get all this work I have to do done in the time frame I have available to do it while still staying caught up on my emailing and blog-reading, and then I remembered: Oh yeah. I'm not supposed to email and blog-read when I have actual work to do. Whoops. That's how that goes. It's been so long, I actually sort of forgot.

Anyway, without giving out too many identifying details about the place that direct-deposits my paycheck, I will say that a big part of what I do is write materials that teach people how to use various software on their PC. While I do not actually mind this line of work, it is not often particularly creative or exciting, and it comes without a byline of any sort. As such, I try to amuse myself and stamp my signature by injecting personal tidbits where I can. Any screenshot requiring a date, for example, will feature my own birthday. Nearly all sample names in my documentation will be mixed-up versions of the people I know.

I am having trouble coming up with appropriate examples for my current project, however. I am attempting to write a class that will teach people how to create flow charts in a popular diagramming program, but I have no experience whatsoever from which to draw. I don't sit in meeting after meeting each day, talking about process improvements and TQM and Six Sigma and all of that. I've never actually created a flow chart, so I'm not exactly sure what one might include. In fact, to demonstrate my lack of credibility on this matter, let me show you what I came up with when I began to practice with the available tools...




Unfortunately, despite how much this particular diagram amuses me, I do try to maintain a modicum of professionalism in my work, and since I do not work for It's Just Lunch or Together Dating, I am pretty sure this example will not fly.

As long as I am writing things that the people who direct-deposit my paycheck would not appreciate, however, how about a somewhat delayed recap of that party I mentioned last week? Why would the people who pay me care what I do in my off-time, you might ask? Well, normally, I suspect, they wouldn't, but this past Saturday was our annual holiday party, and for the first time in nine-freaking-years, I actually neglected to go. I gave a perfectly reasonable and plausible excuse: "I have another party the same night," I said. What I did not tell them was that the party was at my own home, and that I scheduled it that night deliberately, as a means of avoiding the company party I did not want to attend. Call me crazy; call me not-a-team-player, but I decided it was actually better for my sanity and well-being to be among close friends and supportive kindred spirits that night than to dine ten feet from my ex-boyfriend and his new, near-teenaged girlfriend. Shocking, I know. "The Bigger Person," I am not.

Anyway, I had a lovely time at my own private gathering. As usual, we had way more food than was necessary, and I have been eating party snacks in lieu of proper meals pretty much consistently since Saturday afternoon. For lunch, I had the infamous Chris's dip, and tonight's dinner was cheese, crackers, hummus, and carrot sticks. (At least I incorporated vegetables this time, which is more than I can say for most meals not comprising party leftovers.) Also, I am mainlining seven-layer bars and will, apparently, continue to do so until they are gone. Or until my jeans no longer fit. Whichever might come first.

Aside from the food (and the liquor... we mustn't forget the liquor! Pomegranate martinis--Mmmm... Red wine--another Mmmm...), there were a few other highlights and memorable moments as well. We did not take The Magical Boy's suggestion and play Spin-the-Bottle, but we did have a fine White Elephant gift exchange, which resulted in one lucky lady taking home a copy of The Best Women's Erotica, a gift that I can only hope and assume will be put to good use. And speaking of The Magical Boy, he may actually be magical in some way, as he apparently needed to leave before 11:00 to avoid turning into a pumpkin at some late hour. He actually left before the world's cutest baby, and that was after an explosive Code Brown that required a two-man effort on cleanup duty. She's a trooper, that little Megan; I'll give her that for sure. In fact, the party didn't really start breaking up until someone turned the topic of conversation to born-again virgins and surgical hymen reconstruction. Because really, that's where all good parties (and some mediocre blog posts) end; is it not?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love that diagram! Are you sure you can't use it because I think it is perfect. Although perhaps you are a bit cynical with no line leading to permanent relationship...

The party sounds like it was great, for the food if nothing else. What did you end up with in the gift exchange?

stefanie said...

Hey! I have a line leading to "New Boyfriend" after an unspecified number of "go on date" cycles... I thought the assumption was "permanent relationship" after that! Oh, who am I kidding... Cynical? OK, a little. But can you blame me? You've read about plenty of my dates, after all.

And I ended up with a set of little glass oil lamps. Pretty, if I had a place to put them... If I find no such place, they will become a white elephant gift for next year, I presume. :-)

maliavale said...

AHHH! Visio! I hate that bastard program!!!11

Oh, God. I'm sorry. I spilled my yelling all over your comments.

Let's just say it had to do with an efficiency committee that was so ironically and hilariously inefficient. I shall say no more.

Anonymous said...

The burning question: did Simone bring Kringla and was it good, and what was it? :)

stefanie said...

Malia--It sounds like you might be better qualified to write this class than I. Hmm.... (Are you busy these days?) ;-)

Anniina--Nope, no Kringla this time, though she has claimed she will look into it for a future gathering.

nabbalicious said...

Mmmm...Chris's dip. It must be time to eat that again, because I was daydreaming about it yesterday!

Anonymous said...

No kringla??? I take back the nice things I said about your party food.

lizgwiz said...

I think that's a very good flowchart--it's very accessible! It's all about making it easy to understand, right? Hee.

Anonymous said...

Pomegranate martinis? What is this wonderful drink that you speak of? Must...get..recipe. Also? Thanks to your last sentence, I just googled "born again virgins," and I am simultaneously horrified and greatly amused.

Simone said...

So sorry about the kringla...I am in the process of getting the recipe from my aunt and will be making it for some future party. But the conversation made up for lack of kringla! (Still not sure of that spelling...)

stefanie said...

Nabb--You were daydreaming about dip? Awesome. :-)

R--My, but you're a fickle and hard-to-please girl. Did you not hear about the layer bars? The famous dip? I assure you, it was a fine spread, kringla or no.

Liz--Actually, I realized it's a bit one-sided, what with offering no opposing viewpoint ("Does HE like YOU?" etc.) But it still amuses me nonetheless. If only diagramming something out could just make it work that way...

Metalia--I would love to tell you I made some complicated and fancy drink with carefully organized and measured ingredients, but really I just picked up some pomegranate cocktail mix, added vodka, and shook it with ice. I've bought a version at the liquor store in a cute, squat bottle from a brand called "Stirrings" for about $8, but the "Cocktail Central" stuff I picked up at SuperTarget was just as tasty for half the price.

And I can't wait to see how many people now show up in my Sitemeter stats for that search term as well!!

Simone--No worries. Like I told -R- up there, I think we were covered just fine with the food. I'm still curious about this famous favorite treat, though, so I do hope you'll make it some other time when I'm around!

FUNKYBROWNCHICK said...

Ooooh, what a pretty Flow Chart!!! I love it. :)

You could even adapt it to add things like, "only *somewhat* enjoy the date, but think the guy is hot??" to account for the times that we make exceptions when we probably shouldn't. :)

At any rate ... First time here. LOVE your blog. Check out the details for my upcoming radio show, Dating Roadkill. Because, if you have a dating story to share, I think you'd make a great guest. Check is out. My blog is FUNKYBROWNCHICK.com & details about the radio show can be found here and here.

Anonymous said...

I too, love pomegranate martinis. You have a SUPERTarget? Wow. I'm envious, I had never even heard of one till now! But I'll see if our regular one has the mix. And on the radio show front, I think you should do it! :)

Jasclo said...

I love making meals from party leftovers! And I've made Chris' Dip, too. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to decide if there's anything I'd want less than a pre-owned copy of erotic literature. Then again, that's why I love Yankee Swap . . . er, White Elephant.

stefanie said...

Wow; thanks, Funkybrownchick. :-) I shall definitely check out your blog and look into this radio show of which you speak.

Anniina--Of course I have a SuperTarget! Several of them, actually. Living in the city where Target hosts its headquarters pretty much means I'm never more than seven miles from a Target at any given time. It's a strange sort of comfort, I suppose.

Jasclo--I know... There's a reason she referred to it as "crack" when she gave out the recipe, right?

Other Girl--Ew. You know, it didn't even occur to me to go down that route. Thanks for that. (It was not me who ended up with that gift, though, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

Can we all have Chris' Dip recipe, pretty please?

stefanie said...

Anniina--Of course! :-) Click the link on the words "Chris's Dip" (second-last paragraph above), and that'll take you to the page where she posted it a few months ago.

One note on the recipe... She mentions shredded cheese in the instructions but doesn't have it in the ingredient list, so if you want cheese on top (and why WOULDN'T you want cheese on top??), add that to your shopping list as well. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oooooh! Making this for New Years! Thanks!

Miss Peach said...

I'm in love with that flow chart.
In. Love. I need to find a way to print and post on the door.