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one-day weekend coming up

by Michelle on June 28, 2008

After a “quiet week” that really wasn’t (due to many meetings and many phone calls–it occurs to me that I spent a significant amount of time this week helping people from at least three different departments, not even counting payroll), I get Saturday off and then have to work on Sunday. Working on Sunday isn’t all that unusual for me (it happens once every 8 weeks), but this time there will be a whole crew there helping out.

I think I’ve mentioned before that holidays aren’t really a payroll specialist’s friend…

  • they mess up payroll schedules: next Friday would be our regular payday, but it happens to be a holiday–so payday will be Thursday instead, necessitating that we move our Monday/Tuesday processing to Sunday/Monday
  • quite often we end up either working on the holiday or working on the weekend so we can have the holiday off
  • even though holidays cause us to have to work lots of extra hours, the existence of the holiday makes it unlikely that we actually get paid overtime for those extra hours (since we have to actually WORK more than forty hours–not counting the holiday time off–in order to get paid overtime)
  • holidays also add whole new layers of complexity to actually processing payroll accurately: we have to do extra audits to look for and fix problems; and also people often want to take time off to coincide with a holiday week, which causes a huge spike in data entry (for some specific reasons I could explain, but I don’t want to bore you completely to death)

My plan for this coming week is this:

Sunday: Work however long I’m needed, which will hopefully be from 7am until maybe 1pm
Monday: This will be my crazy long day this week, 6:45am until who knows (7pm if I’m lucky)
Tuesday: 6:45 to 3:15 (hey, I should be able to join the Downtown Knitters next week!)
Wednesday: 6:45 until…I’ll try to escape early, since I won’t get overtime for those extra hours I put in earlier in the week anyway; then I’ll probably run over to Twisted to check out their Anniversary Sale
Thursday: I’m OFF! Yay!!


The following week I’m on vacation. I cannot wait. Nik and I haven’t had an actual vacation since last October, when we went on our honeymoon. Depoe Bay, here we come!

Yeah, I’m getting a little excited and it’s still over a week away! 🙂

On the knitting front: the SECRET project is nearly complete! Just some finishing touches left (which have to wait until it’s dry). The flower hexagons for the scarf are blocked and waiting to be sewn together, if I could only figure out the best way to do it.

Anyone have any suggestions? I’ve tried a few things, but been a bit unhappy with each for various reasons. The problem, I think, is that they were blocked pretty aggressively to get that open flower look which caused the stitches along the outer edge to stretch. So when I sew through them, the stitches tend to pull the whole side tighter and at the same time the whole thing is kind of loose…

I tried to just slip stitch them together, thinking that would give them a little firmness but it looked kind of odd–and pulled in too much. It just occurred to me to maybe try the slip stitch again, but doing two slip stitches in each stitch. That might make it pull in less and also give them a better foundation. Hmm.

Guess that’s the first thing I’ll try in the morning. I think I’m just not accustomed to sewing crocheted pieces together, so I’m fumbling around a bit here. I’ll figure out a way to handle it soon, I’m sure.

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oh my

by Michelle on June 3, 2008

Expected to work 5-6 hours today. Wound up working 14.


Bed now. Knitting talk tomorrow.

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i made it!

by Michelle on May 24, 2008

The week was a bit grueling, but it’s finally Friday. Yay! And it’s a 3-day weekend! YAY!

And even better, I actually get ALL THREE days off!

[For those of you new to my blog…let’s just say that there are certain things that really suck about working in payroll. For instance: holidays. Most of the time, holidays force us to either work on the holiday, or work an extra day during the week to make up for having had the holiday off. People have to get paid on time, holiday or no! Memorial Day–this year anyway–does not interfere with our payroll schedule. Yay!]

I made it to Twisted three days in a row this week! The weather has been pretty yucky, so I’ve been taking the bus even though it’s only a little over a mile from my office. I get off the bus about a block and a half from the shop, crossing two small streets. You’d think that’d be a pretty safe way to go, wouldn’t you?

I almost got run over today.

The bus lets me off on a two lane, one-way street. I always cross the side street first, to give the bus a chance to get by and because I have to wait for the rest of the traffic to clear anyway before I can cross the one-way street. So, as usual, I waited for all the traffic to clear (there’s a traffic signal at the previous intersection) and then crossed the street. I made it halfway across when a woman driving a huge silver SUV turned left onto the one-way street from the other side. She stopped in time, with tires squealing as I jumped sideways away from her car.

I don’t think she was any closer to me than, oh, 6 feet, but it was scary!

Now I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend, with lots of time to rest. And lots of knitting, I hope.

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about me…

by Michelle on May 16, 2008

This week’s assignment is to write a brief biography. Considering that I don’t even have an “about me” section on this blog yet, this seems like an opportunity to me!

Before I get to that, though, I just have to say one thing. This is some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time. Go California! Let’s hope the rest of the country also starts to gain some sanity on this issue (including Oregon! I love you, but don’t agree with some of your people–like those who voted for Measure 36 four years ago while I was working on the campaign against it).

~~ * ~~

A Short Biography of Me

I’m California born-and-raised–and still miss it sometimes–but I’ve been in Oregon for almost 7 years now, and Portland for almost 5. I love Portland, but I have to admit that I would move to San Francisco in a heartbeat. If it were economically feasible.

I’ll be 42 this summer, which seems a little crazy to me. Where has the time gone? However, I have a new husband who helps keep me feeling young–because he’s 12 years younger than me. 😉 We’ve been married for seven months, and I look forward to many, many happy years together.

At Aquatic Park

That’s Nik and I on our honeymoon in San Francisco (the shot ought to be familiar to those of you who know me from Ravelry–it’s the same one I use there).

I used to be a high school math teacher, but gave that up because it was a thankless job that caused me way more stress than joy. Now I work in payroll at a large education company and I’m much, MUCH happier. I have ambitions toward bigger and better things (perhaps even something that will make those Stanford degrees of mine useful?), but for now I’m content with what I’m doing. I’m patient.

I think my patience and generally cheerful attitude have both served me well in recent years. Early last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a bilateral mastectomy in February and have had two surgeries since then (the most recent was just two months ago) for breast reconstruction. It may sound strange to say that I consider myself lucky, but I do. My cancer was a rare form that is slow-growing, and it was caught early–on my first-ever mammogram after I turned 40–so I did not have to suffer through radiation or chemotherapy. The surgeries have played enough havoc that I am thankful every day that I didn’t have the added stress of radiation or chemo.

Due to the surgeries and to having certain restrictions on my activities for so long, I’m feeling extremely out of shape and just tired these days. I hope this summer to get back into walking and hiking–which I’d been doing a lot of the summer before the cancer showed up–and start feeling more fit again. Losing the 15 pounds I’ve gained since the first surgery would be nice, too, but really I just want to feel energetic again.

Patience, right? 🙂

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the longest day

May 7, 2008

So…nothing went wrong at work tonight, exactly. Unfortunately, the whole process just keeps taking longer and longer. I didn’t leave work until 9:15 tonight! At this rate, in a couple of months I’ll be there until midnight… Ugh. Sleep now. Pictures of WIPs tomorrow.

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it’s tuesday

April 22, 2008

Can I just say that being greeted with this upon arrival at work on payroll processing day–the day when I’m more or less in charge–is not a good thing? (Shirley is the boss–my supervisor and our interim manager while we look for one to replace the much-loved manager who just left a week and a […]

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