Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finance is finished!

Finance 5000 is over! Wahoooo! We took the second half of the final last night and finished the class. Just waiting on the last homework assignment to be graded, and the take-home portion of the final to be graded (neither of which we have to do, thankfully), and we're officially finished. Two and a half weeks off and then, oh yippee, we begin Advanced Financial Management.

The only good thing about Advanced Financial Management is that it requires the same textbook as Financial Management, which saves us about $150 each in new textbook costs. While I'm not looking forward to continuing my foray into the world of capital budgeting and lumpy assets, my wallet is enjoying the brief reprieve.

Last night, after completing the final, I said, "Three down..." and M finished it grimly, "Ten more to go." Well, when you put it like that...

I'll wait to post our grades until we have those final few in, but I think I just may have squeaked past M for the higher A this term. Finally. It only took three classes. It's hard work, living and going to school with a supersmart nerd. Of course, now that I've written this, I'm sure our prof will do something like decide that M's postings on the discussion boards were so brilliant that they are worthy of double credit and he'll cream me one again. Maybe I'll at least get extra credit for proper spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Only .5 of the Final left!

M and I just spent the last 4.5+ hours working on the take-home portion of our final. It's done and submitted, for better or worse. Now, all we have left is the 4-hour timed on-line exam, which is T/F and multiple-guess. I'm desperately hoping it doesn't take all of the four hours, because I'm really ready to be done. As is M.

Because we're finishing up early, we'll have nearly 3 weeks of class-free bliss. That means no reading, no homework, no discussion forum, no quizzes, no mid-term, no final. It means that we can come home from work and have a beer with dinner if we want. It means we can plan a Date Night (which I have, already, thankyouverymuch...we're going to dinner and a movie). It means we might make it to bed before midnight. It means our dining room table will be free of textbooks, laptops, calculators, scrap paper, highlighters, mechanical pencils, mousepads, paperclips and laptop chargers.

In a nutshell, it means a temporary return to how life was before we started taking classes. Methinks we must have had way too much spare time back then. We watched too much television or something. I do miss my marathon DVD nights with the casts of The West Wing (the best show ever) and Sex and the City (the second best show ever), though. I'm attempting to make up for it by dragging M to see SATC The Movie during our break (see Dinner and a Movie Date Night referenced above. He's thrilled at the prospect, as you can imagine).

I'm so looking forward to this time between classes that I think if the on-line portion of the final was available already, I'd bang it out just to be done. Well, I could wait six more minutes for it (it goes live at 12:01 a.m.), but dang it, I'm ready for bed. The last half of the final will have to wait until tomorrow night. Prolly no post tomorrow, as lunch will be spent cramming for the test and then as soon as Zozer goes down for the night we'll quick-review and then log in and bang it out. Wish us luck!

Who you callin' lumpy?

From Financial Managment: Theory & Practice, 12th edition:

"In many industries, technological considerations dictate
that if a firm is to be competitive, it must add fixed assets
in large, discrete units; such assets are often
referred to as lumpy assets."

This made me chuckle, becaues I have an entirely different definition of "lumpy assets," as pertains to certain parts of my body that I rather wish weren't quite so, well, lumpy.

I do, however, like the idea of calling them "assets." Sounds a bit more positive that way.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I be real smart in my graditate clas

Okay, so you all know I'm taking courses in pursuit of my MBA. And you know that I'm a grammar beyotch and get all bent out of shape when I find errors in publications and such. I'm the girl who edited her roommate's grocery lists, remember?

But I think that, in a graduate class, a certain level of, shall we say, basic spelling and grammar knowledge is to be expected. One would presume, after all, that to reach a graduate class, one had to have actually earned an undergraduate degree, which supposedly would involve mastering the basics of one's native language.

One, however, would be horribly, miserably wrong.

Let me explain.

Fifteen percent of our grade this term (Finance 5000) is based on participation in the on-line discussion forum. Every week ol' Nigel throws something out there and we're supposed to respond, and then respond to other students' responses. He's made it pretty easy, asking us to comment on current business events and the like. It's a dream assignment for a master bullshitter like myself. The discussion forum is also a great way to get to know your classmates, whom you will never meet. Trust me, in many cases this is not a bad thing. It usually doesn't take long for us to peg the suck-up, the too-smart-for-his-own-good guy, and the does-this-guy-ever-work-or-does-he-just-wait-for-Nigel-to-post-so-he-can-respond guy. For this term, those last two happen to be the same guy.

Anyway, I realize that the very nature of an on-line discussion forum is much more relaxed and conversational than, say, a formally submitted paper or thesis or whathaveyou. I realize that you can use slang and jargon (to a certain extent), and it's probably okay to be colloquial. I like to think that I bring my own certain brand of irreverance to an otherwise boring and mundane topic like finance.

So, mixed in with all this slang and jargon and colloquialism and shit, I do expect basic spelling and grammar to be a given.

This was posted on our on-line forum this evening, and after M and I laughed about it, I decided to share it with all of you:

I agree its stratic, no ammount of markiting will switch
a bud drinker to stella or any other of their european brands.

Now, the actual context of the post is irrelevant (we're discussing Inbev's acquisition of A-B and whether it was strategic or opportunistic, and whether it was downright stupid given that A-B's market share, and in fact beer sales as a whole, has been declining).

My favorite, I think, is markiting. Oh. My. God. This is an MBA course. Marketing is an integral component of earning an MBA, because, oh, I don't know, it's maybe an integral part of business. I also like how he eschews the use of capital letters in proper names. Not since ee cummings have I seen such a blatant disgregard for capitalization. (Not capitalism, which is actually also an integral part of business. But I digress.)

I want to post, "Dude, this isn't your buddy with whom you're texting about how many pony kegs you'll need for tonight's bash."

But, sigh, I don't post that. Just like I don't post "Suck-up" in response to the one girl in our class who refuses to call Nigel "Nigel" like the rest of us, but instead always says, "Professor." Whatever, Gilligan.

Good news, though, we cranked through the last homework assignment tonight and have a plan in place to blow through the final before Tiff and Doug's wedding festivities kick off Wednesday night! We're overachievers, we are. And we can spell good, too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The difference between M and me

Taking a break from studying tonight, I perused the local paper's web site. Which is where I learned the news that former Cardinal centerfielder (current Cub...blech) Jim Edmonds got married at the Clayton courthouse yesterday. No big fanfare...the groom wore jeans and the bride wore what is probably a baseball-size diamond. She probably wore clothes, too, I'm guessing, but the reporter felt the need only to report that her ring is rather large.

This, of course, is news for those of who have had girly crushes on Jimmy from his first days as a Redbird. And vindication for all the times I've argued with men (Garrin) who insist that Edmonds is gay. Dude, he's not gay. You're just intimidated by a guy who is an awesome baseball player, makes a boatload of money, dresses nattily (although not on his wedding day, apparently), and is a major hottie.

Anyway, so, this being news, I relayed it to M.

His reaction? "Isn't he with the Cubs? Why isn't he playing?"

Which is so not what is important about this story. What is important is that Jimmy is now married, which means he's officially off the market, which is sorta depressing for us females. I mean, yeah, I'm married too, which means I've been off the market myself for quite some time, but still. Jimmy Sans Wife is much more attractive than Jimmy With Wife. It's part of the allure. The whole "I'm not tied down" thing combined with the perma-scruff gave him a bad-boy image that is appealing, to say the least.

I was going to try to explain this to M, when he continued on, "Seriously. Are they not playing? Shouldn't he be with the team?" I could tell his mind was cranking on it. Working through the dynamics of major league scheduling and who starts what game and what it might take to get a day off from the team to travel to a different city (the city of the enemy now, no less) to do something as mundane as getting hitched.

So, I sighed, didn't bother to explain and instead logged on here. Where I know that many of my dear readers will sympathize with me. And one will probably email me that producing a child and getting married (yes, Jimmy did it in that order...part of that bad boy persona I guess) is still not proof enough that he's not gay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


It's been a crazy couple of weeks. And crazy by my standards is darn near clinically insane by anyone else's.

Lessee. Oh, well, for one, we got the disturbing news that the tranny is going out on the ZoeMobile. It seems to have developed a slow leak, so our hope is that we can gimp it through the remaining two years of grad school before it finally conks out. We're looking at preschools for Zozer, too, right now, so it seems that tuition (A) + tuition (M) + tuition (Z) most definitely does NOT = New Car. And I didn't even need to complete my finance course to figure that one out.

It feels like eons ago that M and I were scrounging around under the floormats of our cars to find enough change to eat at Taco Bell. That was the first round of college. My hope then was that my car would last through school so I could get a decent job and buy something new. Funny how even though things change, some things stay the same.

So, due to this unforseen slight blip in the expectations of what my car can safely do, we caught a ride up to Cinci on Friday with Mom and Dad Z. (Thank you for allowing last-minute passengers!) The trip was for Dave and Meghan's wedding (congratulations!), and we managed to cram as much possible into the trip, as our family is wont to do. We went swimming, ate at Skyline Chili, spent a day at Kings Island, and celebrated nuptials. We toured the newlywed's home, and had brunch at the bride's parents' house. We even did the traditional Z family dinner (party of 352! do you have a round table, by any chance?!).

The wedding was the whole reason we went up there, of course, and so we celebrated that in style. And by "in style" I mean "inebriated," closing down first the reception and then the bar where the after-party was held. M and I were pleased that we could revert once again back to our college days (the news that my car is now a "beater" that we have to gimp through school helped put us in the right frame of mind, I think).

Few things we learned this weekend: Clare must have food after drinking, Paul will pee literally anywhere, an ice sculpture can be re-carved in what seems like minutes flat, Meghan wins the prize for the most-detail-oriented-yet-perfectly-relaxed-bride that I've ever seen, Dave regularly sings "Sweet Caroline" at karaoke, Alison and the baybays are the most awesome sober drivers in the world, Dad Z. could really use a GPS device, Margaret is the best person to ride roller coasters with (or near), Shelly is the best person to road trip with (she brings food and beverages), and M has redeemed himself by riding Top Gun and not hurling. Although I think the jokes about the original episode will continue for years to come.

We returned yesterday and now it's back to the grind, which isn't so bad, really. We spent the majority of tonight doing homework (fun), after playing with Zozer and eating dinner. While vacation is definitely fun, I think it feels really good to get back into our normal routine, too.

Which won't last long, since next week is not only finals week (during which our asshat instructor also assigned homework) but also the much-anticipated wedding of Tiffany and Doug. Got my dancin' shoes last week and picked up my b'maid dress tonight on the way home from work...I'm already set to party again!

After, of course, I complete my homework, quiz, and two-part final.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hi ho the dairy-o

Our Parents as Teachers lady told us at her last visit that we shouldn't be telling Zoe she's either a good girl or a bad girl, as apparently "bad girl" can become stuck in her psyche and cause irreparable damage requiring expensive counseling and therapy later in life. Since we're going to need her to pay for our nursing home, we figure we should do what we can to help her save money, so we've been working really hard to explain to her how to be "good" in alternative ways.

So far, the best that we've come up with is "behave" and "misbehave." She's a smart kid, and has latched onto the meaning pretty quickly. This weekend we've had to have several conversations where we talk about behaving and misbehaving, and that Zoe has a choice to do one or the other. We've also had to talk about the consequences of behaving (dessert, going to the park, etc.) and the consequences of misbehaving (no cookie at Sam's, for instance, which was today's meted punishment).

Her misbehavior today stemmed from the shopping excursion just prior to Sam's: Target. She loves Target, although if pressed she'll admit she prefers the blue shopping carts at Sam's to the red ones at Target. Anyway, today, she sweetly asked on the way in if she could walk instead of ride in the cart. We agreed.

Oh. My. God. Do you know how impossible it is to shop when your child is not restrained in the cart, and is free to wander (or in her case, dance, run and jump) at will? Yeah, it's sheer madness to try. I alternated my frustration between Zoe, who got in seemingly every other shopper's way while she danced through the aisles, and M, who, for the bajillionth time, had to whip out the BlackBerry to determine whether the 17 oz bottle of dishwasher detergent was more or less cost effective than the 30 oz bottle. We're talking fractions of cents difference here, but that's my boy.

As we were trying to finish up, we moved from one department to another. Zoe took one look at the extra wide main aisle, which was at the time blessedly free of other shoppers, and decided it looked like the perfect runway for a preschooler. She took off, pigtails bouncing, and at first we laughed as she looked absolutely adorable. M started after her, and Zozer glanced back over her shoulder to see him heading her direction. Her speed increased. His speed increased. When she saw that, she made a 90-degree turn, without slowing down mind you, and disappeared into the sub-aisles filled with racks of clothing.

It's the first time I've ever seen M break into a dead sprint in the middle of a retail store.

I was far behind, of course, manhandling the shopping cart laden with our wares (including three 17 oz bottles of dishwasher detergent, M having determined we could save 9/100 of a cent with each). I watched M zigzag through the racks, then saw him dive and heard Zoe squeal. Up they both came out of the sea of clothing, and that's when she lost it. Major melt-down. She so did not want to be held by Daddy, and I'll be damned if everyone in the store didn't know it within 30 seconds.

M growled at me, "Finish shopping," and then took Zoe into a less-occupied aisle. I alternately heard her wails and his calm voice, "Zoe, quit crying. You misbehaved, so that's why Daddy has to hold you." Presently she quieted down, and we checked out and left without further mishap.

After Target, we went to Sam's, where we explained to Zoe before entering that she wasn't going to get her cookie because she misbehaved at Target. We talked again about cause and effect, and how she has a choice in her behavior. I really thought we had it all worked out, until right after our conversation she asked 50 times in a row, "Can I have a cookie?"

Later, as we walked the aisle of Sam's (Zoe strapped safely and securely in the cart as we, if nothing else, learn quickly from our mistakes), Zoe began to sing. She sings all sorts of songs, including Rain Rain Go Away, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Farmer in the Dell. It's not unusual for her to sing, so for a bit I wasn't quite tuned into what she was saying.

Then I realized what was coming out:

"Hi ho the dairy-o, I misbehaved!" Then she'd laugh with delight.

Little smartass.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Our esthetics trainer is training today (hence her title of esthetics trainer), so I was put on her schedule for "something." I went in not knowing what on earth she was going to do to me.

Normally I'm her test client for the Redness Therapy Facial, because of my slight rosacea. It's a great facial for my skin, but because it's supposed to diminish redness and all, it's all done with cool/cold products, very little massage, and no steam. You know, all the really great parts of a facial.

She told me she found someone else to take the Redness Therapy spot, though, so I was in for a surprise.

I got me the Youthbuilder Facial, which is this:
Suitable for anyone concerned with minimizing and protecting against the visible signs of aging; excellent for mature, dry, dehydrated skin. Immerse yourself in this luxurious four-layer treatment that includes European seaweed and a mineral-rich thermal mask that warms and tones, leaving the skin visibly smoother and younger looking. A painless way to turn back the hands of time and improve the radiance, appearance and texture of the skin.

Ooooooo. If you think reading it sounds great, you should try getting one. Fan-freakin-tastic.

(Not that I have mature, dry, dehydrated skin. That's in there for our older -read: richer - clients who really do need to worry about turning back the hands of time, not really for young 35-year-old whippersnappers such as myself who have beautiful skin, dahling, except for the slight case of rosacea.)

The mask was wonderful, and I admit I fell asleep during it. At one point I think I snored. But no one else was in there, so I think I'm okay. How anyone is expected to go back to work and be productive after that is beyond me. I've sorta been doinking around with little tasks, finishing up this and that, trying to maintain my facial buzz.

So here I sit, without a stitch of make-up on, slogging away. I hate putting make-up on after a facial. You've just gotten your skin all nice and clean and fresh, and then you slather foundation on it? No, thank you.

On officemate (a particularly bitchy one, apparently) told me a bit ago that I should really go and put on make-up. I told her something that I can't repeat here, being as this is a family-friendly blog and all.

So my tip of the day is this: get a facial. Good stuff, Maynard.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Grumpy McGrumperson

After all the excitement of last week, this week practically feels like a downer. I go to work. I play with Zozer. I study. I eat. I sleep. Bo-ring.

It's not helping that I'm grumpy today. Not sure why. Just feel like being a curmudgeonly grouch. I've taken to snarling at people as they walk through the door. This usually gets them to leave, but there are a few clueless ones (the most annoying ones, natch) who just keep on comin'. Grrrrrrr.

This is one of those days when I really wish I had a Star Trek phaser. I'd set it to stun, mind you, because I'm not about inflicting any permanent damage. I am, after all, a benignly benevolent phaser firer. I'd just leave it out on my desk and use it when the twits walk through the door, and before you know it there would be a pile right there in the hall, and then the other twits would see the pile and know that I'm not in a mood to be trifled with and wouldn't dare enter to begin with. It would save us all a lot of time and aggravation.

I made an on-line appointment today to take the ZoeMobile in. It needs an oil change before our upcoming road trip to Ohio. So I'm filling out the checklist on the dealer's site, and it's like, "Oh, yeah, the tires do need to be rotated: check. And the brakes have been squealing for awhile: check. And there's been God-awful noises coming from the rear of the car any time I go over a bump, which means shocks or struts or whatever the hell it is back there: check."

By the time I got done checking all the boxes and filling in the "additional information" box, I felt like the next step was pushing a button marked, "Submit your beater car information now."

I don't particularly want a car payment right now (or ever, really), and I really do love my little car, but man do I hate shelling out money on a car that's almost 10 years old. Even though I know it's routine maintenance and it'll run forever (which is depressing, as you get sick of looking at it well before it ever croaks on its own), I still don't like pouring cash into something that is old.

So maybe that's why I'm grouchy. Or maybe it's the thought that next Wednesday I'll be without the car while it's being repaired, which as we all know sends me right over the edge.

No one ever said I was rational.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The week in review

Oh my gosh, what a week.

In a nutshell:
  1. Launched the new spa software at 2 of our 3 locations. Outcome: success (i.e. no major hiccups, and as my boss put it, "This went really well. People are still speaking to each other!")
  2. Got a nail in my tire the first day of conversion, having just picked up my software trainer. He changed it for me, only to discover my spare was virtually flat. The automatic pressure gauge at the service station nearby confirmed it: 14 PSI when I'm supposed to have 60. Oops. It's been a long time since I've gotten air anywhere, and was surprised by having to shell out 75 cents for it, and then that there was an automatic pressure gauge built in (which made it worth the 75 cents, as I tore the ZoeMobile apart and still couldn't find my tire gauge). Anyway, both tires are now fixed/inflated, so I'm good.
  3. Launched new web site. Outcome: success. (i.e. it didn't crash, everything old still works and everything new actually works, and clients have been raving about it)
  4. Launched new client rewards program. Outcome: success. (again with the client raves)
  5. Launched on-line booking for the first time ever. Outcome: over 10 appointments booked so far, and we're not even a week into it yet. Clients must call to register first, so I figure over 10 in 7 days is a decent start.
  6. Took the on-line portion of my mid-term. Aced it. Even though I finished it at 2:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July. Happy freakin' Independence Day.
  7. Came to the conclusion that my instructor, Nigel, has got to be British, as he assigned reading, homework and a two-part mid-term over the week of Fourth of July. Doesn't matter, Nige. We cleaned your clocks way back in the day. Go America! (Now get the hell out of Northern Ireland, please.)
  8. Completed and submitted the take-home portion of my mid-term. Still awaiting outcome.
  9. Saw a large contingent of out-of-towner relatives. Drank beer. Drank more beer. Laughed. Played whiffle ball (only striking out once, thank you very much). Swam. Terrorized my child by putting her in a pool. Again.
  10. Cleaned out a large portion of my storage room.
  11. Celebrated the pending nuptials of Dave and Meghan (see you in two weeks, darlings!).
  12. Saw another pair of trucksticles, but these were even more special in that I saw them at night, and they lit up. No kidding. Can you believe it? I only believe it because I saw 'em with my own two eyes. And made M confirm what I was seeing.
  13. Started reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Because apparently I don't have enough to do.
  14. Spent a day relaxing at Grammy and Papa's. Except for the few scary moments right after Zoe fell into the deep end and M and I about killed each other trying to get to her for the rescue. He won. Dude, did you have to jump on my head to get there? No damage done, and Zo spent the rest of the day bragging that she went swimming. By herself. Under the water. "That wasn't so bad!"
  15. Got into a fight with M over the loudness of my typing. That just happened tonight. I think he's a bit sensitive because I'm creaming him this term. He missed one on the mid-term, after all.
  16. I got promoted at work. I'm now Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. That makes me happy.

I go back to the doc tomorrow, about my wrist. The wrist cyst is gone, but the pain continues, so we'll see what he says. I was supposed to go back in the middle of conversion but put it off til tomorrow, so I took it upon myself to say, "Self, that there bump is gone, so you don't have to wear the stupid flipping wrist immobilizer-from-hell over this here holiday weekend." Probably not the smartest decision, but I did it anyway.

This week ought to be better with the posting. I hope.