Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wearing the big Girl Pants...

Yesterday I had to do what I consider to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my professional/working life. Jason and I had to lay off four employees, one of which had worked for us for more than five years, another for more than 3 years. It was terrible. It is extremely difficult to walk up to someone that you really like and tell them something that will change their life and basically wipe away their ability to provide for themselves and their family. I have to say that when Jason started this business nine years ago, I don't think that we ever really planned for that or saw that coming.

This economic situation does not seem to be getting better and I'm afraid that what happened yesterday may have to be done again in the next few months... I hope that isn't so, but at this point we really need to be pragmatic and conservative based on what seems to be the new normal.

I am sad. I am disappointed and I actually thought that I would be relieved after delivering the message to them yesterday, but what happened was the exact opposite. I feel worse and can't sleep.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cut Backs

It seems like everyone is cutting back these days. Here's what I've axed from the home budget to try to keep everything bumping along as smoothly as possible. I know you probably don't care, but I wanted to put it together to see it in black and white.

- No more pedicures.
- No more YMCA membership.
- No more shopping excursions to places to browse for no apparent reason.
- Less lunches out during the week -- more brown bags.
- No more professional hair color (Michelle and I are going to do it ourselves (yikes!)) and much less frequent hair cuts.
- No clothes shopping -- (that's until I lose those 10 pounds and then all bets are off.)
- Less "date nights" and evenings out without the kids.
- No magazine subscription renewals except for the chosen few -- We really can't live without Esquire and Real Simple.

This isn't really much and I'm happy for that, but if things continue to slide then we're going to have to start cutting more deeply. Here's hoping this economic stimulus package really does affect us all in a positive way. I'm not sure I'm sold on it, but do we really have any choice?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why do we care?

We had a good weekend... mostly spent at home -- went to the PAL fundraiser Saturday night, but other than that nothing special going on. What I am finding amazing (about myself, I guess) is how much I like cruising the Facebook profiles of friends, acquaintances, high school classmates, etc.

It really does feel like snooping in someone's medicine cabinet. (Don't tell me you haven't done that; you're a liar. You know you've done it, and I know you've done it, so there.). And what compels us to "throw down" and share some of our intimate thoughts with the world? (See 25 Random Things About Me). Is it that we all are a little bit vunerable and sometimes we need to connect with others by demonstrating our vunerability? I don't really know the answer, but I have to say that there is something compelling and strangely satisfying learning about other people's fears and feelings. Maybe we all have an inner need to know what makes other people tick, or we just want to feel that someone else feels our pain or shares our viewpoint.

Well, whatever it is, I have to say, that I have found Facebook to be an eye-opening experience (experiment?) and I will continue to "see" who is out there... on-line, looking me up.... and you.... and you.... and you....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Post Vegas Post

My lips are dry, my wallet is empty and it looks like someone punched me in both eyes. Yup, I'm back from Vegas. Jason and I spent the past four days with a group of 12 rowdy people gambling, drinking, eating and generally acting like complete idiots in Vegas, much like what the rest of the general population does when dropped in the middle of the desert surrounded by 197,144 slot machines, endless roulette wheels, card tables and short Mexican guys flicking and handing out "trading cards" of naked girls. (Boy, some pre-teen boy could trade A LOT of Pokemon cards for just one of those babies!!!! HA, HA, HA!)

So as I was saying, we did what everyone does: gamble, drink, cuss, repeat. I did a little bit of shopping (I should have done a lot of shopping and NO gambling that way I would have come home much happier, but that is not how this story goes).

In addition, we got to see Jerry Seinfeld on stage at Caesar's Saturday night and watch the SuperBowl on Sunday from 2,000 miles away instead of 50; I went to an oxygen bar for the first time and had some jell-0 shots with the girls, had lots frozen daquiris (and subsequent brain freeze), drank my weight in Vodka/cranberry, and loaded up on Pepsi. (What the hell, I was on vacation.)

What is it about Vegas that makes one lose complete grasp of the value of the dollar? In Las Vegas a $20 bill seems like a $1 bill and a $100 bill seems like a $20. It is so easy to lose complete understanding of what you are spending because you are constantly thinking that you are going to win it all back!!!!! (Note to self: YEAH, RIGHT!)

Jason was a tiny bit sick at the start of the trip, but he came back with a vengance, gulping down 10+ shots at Margaritville late Sunday night and then running 20 miles on Monday morning. I swear, he is the only person I know that can do that. He also bought me a new shirt with 4 f-bombs on it! I just love it, but I have the feeling I really can't wear it a lot in Sarasota... certainly not as much as I could in Vegas. And I don't think I want to have to have Jake try to spell and pronounce that word. Not that he hasn't heard it before! HA!

There were a lot of hilarious moments on the trip -- but some of my favorites were see the "walks of shame" early in the morning. You know what I'm talking about: the girls coming out of the dance clubs at 6 a.m. with puke-stained dresses, one-shoe missing and their butts hanging out the back of the shortest-dress-you-have-ever-seen. Nice.
Bye-bye Vegas. Bye-bye money.