Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I love Hockey

I love Hockey.  I think it's one of the best sports.  I started really watching hockey while my brother was in middle school.  He started to play then, and I went to most of his games.  In college, my friends and I used to go to almost every single home game and sit as close to the bench as possible.  

When I graduated college and started working, some of my friends and I started going to the Providence Bruins games.  This is when my love of Hockey really started.  We were some of those crazy fans who went to every single Friday night game.  We bought flex ticket packages and knew exactly which seats we wanted to sit in (the best seats are on the corner, because then you can see the entire ice and all the fights).  I remember one particular game, I had a really bad week, and when my friends came to pick me up for the game, I was in the kitchen mixing up grain alcohol and lemonade (disgusting!) in a nalgene bottle.  I proceeded to get a straw from one of the snack stands and drink it out of my bag in the stands.  Needless to say, I did a full dance of the YMCA and got up and danced when they played Cotton Eyed Joe.  Fun times.

Over the years, I haven't gone to as many P-Bruins games, but I do try to go to at least 1 a season, as well as 1 Boston Bruins game per season.  Last night was my first Boston game this season.  At work, a few of the companies here have season tickets, and the plant manager had a set of 4 tickets for last nights game.  I went with a friend from work, and we met 2 other guys from our department there.  So much fun.  The only thing is I didn't get home until after midnight, but after a 3-0 shutout, I really didn't mind all that much:

Recap of the game:  The first period - nothing happened.  Scoreless.  The refs broke up all the (potentially) good fights.  Second period - Two goals within 3 minutes of each other.  Awesome.  Third period - Another goal to make a 3-0 lead...And the B's kept it!  At the beginning of the 2nd period, Shawn Thorton got hurt....Couldn't see what really happened at the game because it happened in the corner (we were sitting on the straightaway at the blue line and couldn't see into a corner).  I guess he was going for the puck and he and another player both tripped and he took a skate to the forehead.  He got taken off the ice, got 40 stitches and never returned to the game.  Mark Recchi scored his 1,532nd career point against the Chicago Blackhawks (AWESOME!).  Tim Thomas sat in goal, and did a fantastic job.  Now if he would only shave off that 1970's mustache....

I wish I could go to more games.  I'll have to suck up to the powers at work to get more tickets!  :o)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last week, in 632 words

So as some people might know, last week (March 17th), I interviewed for a new job within my company.  I was told that I would hear (either way) by Friday, March 25th.   Needless to say, last week was the longest week of my life.  I was in training for a new ERP/MRP system Monday 1-5, Tuesday-Thursday 8-5.  Let's just say that I called my voicemail and checked my email at every break possible.  On Wednesday, I found out that someone who had applied for the Level 1 position had been offerred the position.  That could only possibly mean that I would hear about the Level 2 position soon, right?  No.  I still went the rest of the day Wednesday with no news, and had no new calls or emails about the job when I got in on Thursday.  So I went to training still hoping that I would hear something soon.  I was happy to find out that training was ending at 11 on Thursday....Yay!  I could sit at my desk and stalk my email and phone in peace.  I did my normal running around throughout the rest of the day and in the afternoon, I came back to my computer....I had an email!  THE JOB HAD BEEN CANCELLED!!!

Yup, Cancelled.  So some background information:  The system we have for jobs and careers is VERY intelligent (there is some sarcasm there...).  Whenever you, as the job owner, make any changes to the job, anyone who has previously applied to the job gets a notification.  Well, because they cancelled the job in the system, everyone who applied for the job, and got interviewed for the job, including myself, got an email notification about it.  I was stunned.  I was given no prior notification that this might happen, no warning.  I immediately called Human Resources....I figured that at the very least, they could tell me what was going on.  I called the person in HR who I knew was in charge of this job (since I had met with her during the interview).  I left her a message (very polite), telling her that I had gotten this email and I would like to know if she had any information about it.  After about 15 minutes of not hearing anything, I decided that it time to go home.  I was about half-way home, and decided that I wanted to check my voicemail....I just had a "feeling" that she might have called me back....I should have bought a lottery ticket that night, because I was right!  She said that they had "remapped" the job to a level 1, and for me to call her back tomorrow (Friday) so she could explain.  I called her again on Friday, but have yet to get a reply.

I know that I am just an employee.  I am not the most important person in the building.  But where's the respect?  If you know that you're going to change the level of the job, and you've already given out interviews, don't you think it would be a nice idea to at least notify the people that you interviewed before the email notification goes out?  I talked to my boss about it.  I've already decided that even if they offer the job to me as a level 1, there's no way I'm going to take it....It would be career suicide to take a position that low, considering where I am today.  On Thursday, I was fuming, but I'm not mad anymore.  I understand that there must be a reason as to why they're changing the job from a level 2 to a level 1.  I just don't understand why I didn't warrent enough respect to be notified personally.  I just want a phone call.  Here's to hoping that I'll find out tomorrow!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Zeppole and Sfogliatelle

So I wrote last week about how March 19 is St. Joseph's Day.  Well, this year, I had it in my head that I needed to make my own, rather than going to the bakery and buying them!  Somewhat of a large task, but I'd like to think that I delivered....

My Nonni has always made the kind of zeppole without the cream.  I have the recipe for that at home, but in true fashion, I needed to try the kind with the cream (for which I do not possess a recipe).  So I googled a recipe, and I found one that looked pretty standard.  It was a recipe for "choux pastry" which is a pastry typically used for cream puffs, as well as a cream filling.  Well, lesson number 1:  Always ask someone if they have a recipe rather than using a random online recipe.  Why, you ask?  WELL:  The recipe for the choux pastry was ridiculous.  Not only did it list ingredients, and then neglect to tell  you what to do them in the directions, it was a lot of work!  So much work, in fact, that I have a blister on the thumb from the wooden spoon!!  There was a LOT of mixing involved.  And after all the work of getting the pastry done, they didn't rise AT ALL!  I had one batch where they looked like they rose beautifully, but as soon as I took them out of the oven, they completely deflated!  Since the first batch was OK, I used those pastries.  The cream was very easy, but required refrigeration before it could be used.  So Saturday morning, I stuffed the zeppole, and then went on my rounds making deliveries.  They still tasted pretty good....

On Saturday, while I was making the deliveries, I talked to a friend of the family, who suggested that I use the recipe for Choux Pastry that is in the Joy of Cooking.  So naturally, I went home and made another batch....SO MUCH BETTER!!!  I was quite proud of myself.

So after making the second batch of Zeppole, I then decided that I wanted to make Sfogliatelle (sfol-j'ah-TEL-e).  Aside from their extremely complicated name, they're extremely difficult to make, too!  I thought they would be easy....But boy was I wrong.  I looked online and managed to find a recipe that I thought looked "easy" ...... Well, the recipe itself was easy, but the whole making them look right and stuffing them...not so easy.  So if you don't know anything about sfogliatelle, they actually look like quahogs....You have to roll out the dough so that it's so incredibly thin that you can practically see through it.  Then, you brush it with butter, roll it up, and then after it chilled (the step I left out), you slice it, stretch it out, stuff it, and manage to get it to look like a delicious flaky pastry with a delicious ricotta-mix center.  YUM.  Here's a picture of what they're supposed to look like: 

I can't tell the difference....Can you???  ;-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The King's Speech

There's a guy I work with who has this way of getting movies from the Internet even if they're not out on DVD/BD yet....I don't know how he does it (I've asked him to tell me where he got the movies, but he was disinclined to acquiesce to my request).  Anyway, I'll occasionally ask him to find a movie for me.  I decided that since I love Colin Firth and that "The King's Speech" had won so many categories at the Oscars, that I would like to see it.  However, I would rather see it from the comfort of my own couch rather than at the movie theater.

So yesterday I had a pretty harrowing day at work.  I interviewed for a new job (same building/parent company) and while the interview was supposed to be from 2-5, it ended up being broken up throughout the day (11-11:45, 2-4:30) and it just made for a long day....Either way, I got home and was in a pretty crabby mood, so with the intention of making me feel better, my husband put on the movie (which has been sitting on the kitchen table since last week) and served me a shot-glass worth of vanilla ice cream (because that's all that was left).  Either way, my night got a lot better.

I assumed going into the movie that I was going to like it.  I like the cast quite a bit:  I love Colin Firth (no other explanation needed), I think Helena Bonham Carter is an amazing actress and has an amazing range and I also thing that Geoffry Rush is pretty awesome.  In any case, as I was watching the movie, I felt that it was an amazing story.  It was amazing seeing a grown man studder and stammer through public speaking, also amazing to see his brother make fun of him when he couldn't get a sentence out while he was upset.  I also got to see the love between a King and Queen, which I found interesting because I always ran off the assumption that for the most part, royalty was forced into arranged marriages (and learned that this is not entirely true).  I also learned about history and a very fun manner.  After the movie was over, I googled King George VI.  I was very interested to read that the biography and the movie was very much the same.  It wasn't one of those movies that really stretched out the truth.

I'm thinking that I may go home this afternoon and pop the movie in and watch it again (I think it's going to become one of those movies that I can re-watch a number of times.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's the Pearl

Wednesday night....Nothing to do but think about my hectic day tomorrow (and the 5 meetings at 10:00am that I'm supposed to be in).  My husband and I met my mother-in-law for dinner tonight.  She treated us to dinner at Chardonnay's which is right over the RI border in Seekonk, MA.  It was pretty good.  If I wasn't trying to lose weight, I would have gotten Sangria and nachos, but alas, I had salad and chicken.

In any case, we're now home, lounging on the most comfortable reclining couch ever made.  There's not much on TV, so I suggested to watch a movie.  Tonight's movie of choice:  "Pirates of the Caribbean:  Curse of the Black Pearl."  I never saw this movie in the theater.  I find this fact somewhat absurd, seeing as I consider myself a Johnny Depp fan.  I remember my sister suggesting that I rent it, as she had seen it in the theater and really liked it.  Well, since then, I've probably watched it a couple dozen times.  This was actually one of the first Blu Rays that we bought, as it was listed on the CNET's top 40 list.  It has been a very good purchase. 

If I had a chance to be in a pirate movie, I think I would be....Just for the fact that I could dress up as a pirate...Johnny Depp or not...Although, he is probably one of the coolest actors ever.  I don't think that Pirates of the Caribbean would have been this popular and successful without him....Or Edward Sisscorhands, or Alice in Wonderland, or What's Eating Gilbert Grape.  Obviously, there are a ridiculous number of movies that he's been in, but either way, he's one of a kind...


I don't hate doing laundry.  I find it to be a mindless task that takes up too much time.  When I was young, I used to help my mom do the laundry by matching socks, folding underwear, and folding face cloths.  Once in a while, she would have me help her fold the sheets.  She taught me this method of folding the sheets:  She would fold the fitted sheet into a perfect square and stack it with the flat sheet.  Then she would fold the pillow cases in half the long way and wrap them around the stack of sheets to make a neat little set (this way, you would never lose the pillow cases).  I taught my friend Amy this method in college; As far as I know, she still folds her sheets this way.
I've lived in my own place for almost four years now (my, how the time flies).  I love my condo, but if I could, I would change one thing:  I would get laundry into my own unit.  I'm honestly not even sure if I would be allowed to put it in my unit (I would have to check the condo documents).  In any case, because the laundry is in the basement, and I live on the 3rd floor, I find that I wait overly long spans of time to do laundry.  It's a good thing I have a ridiculous amount of clothes.

Early this afternoon, my husband sent me a BBM (Our usual mode of communication during the work day).  He asked if I had laundry that needed to be done.  He had previously noted that I had started to create a little "sock graveyard" next to the bed, so he collected up the socks.  He figured that he would just add those to his own laundry that he was planning on washing today.  But when he messaged me, I told him that the clothes in my closet as well as the massive pile of clothes on the little table next to the dresser also all needed to be washed.  Well, the husband ended up doing 3 loads of laundry for me today (and none of his own).  I should also note that when he washed my clothes, he also followed all of the washing directions on the tags.  Props for that:  I usually just separate into dark and light, and wash...

I don't hate doing laundry.  I just hate the stair-master workout that I get every time I need to do some laundry...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Sports.  The bane of my existance.  I really don't like anything to do with Fantasy Sports.  I tried to play Fantasy Football one season and I actually did pretty well.  I drafted my own team, and I put together a team that was so good, people accused me of having my husband (then fiance) draft it for me.  In reality, I not only drafted my own team, but also quasi-drafted his team (he had to work at the draft time, so his team was put together through a combination of auto-draft and Camille).  In any case, after about 4-5 weeks, the novelty of Fantasy Football wore off, and I stopped taking care of my team.  I bragged about the fact that I was doing so well, but really, the husband was the one who took care of the team for the last 11 weeks of the season.  I also participated in a pick-league one year at work.  They couldn't get over how well I did (little did they know that once again, I was having the husband do all my work for me).

Since I have known him, my husband has always played Fantasy Football.  The first year we dated, he actually was on 3 different Fantasy Football teams.  It was the first football season that I saw what a real football fan did on Sundays (growing up, I thought my dad was a football fan....But I guess just watching the Patriots games means that you're just a Patriots fan).  Every Sunday, the entire morning was spent researching statistics, finding out what the match-ups would be, and finally setting the lineup (note:  When you're playing on 3 fantasy teams, it takes even longer to go through this process).  Then, once the lineups are set, 1:00 rolls around and the first set of games is on TV.  We flip-flop between the two different games that are on at 1:00 on standard cable TV.  Same for 4:00, same for 8:00.  That very first Sunday was the day from hell.  10 hours of football, 6 different games on the TV plus following all the other teams on the computer.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  After that first year, the husband didn't play on more than 1 fantasy team.  It certainly alleviated some of the ridiculousness that was Sunday during football season.  1 Fantasy Football team I can do.

I always considered myself lucky that it was only Fantasy Football.  For the most part, there was only 1 day a week that I had to deal with the fantasy stuff, with the various daily checkups just for regular ESPN reading.  I had heard stories from friends about husbands who played Fantasy Baseball and how it basically took up the whole of baseball season because there were so many games throughout the week.  I thanked my lucky stars there was no Fantasy Baseball.

This year, the husband didn't play Fantasy Football.  It was the first time in a long time..It actually felt weird.  However, he is playing Fantasy Basketball this year.  There is a constant rollover of players: who is sick, who is injured.  Which other Fantasy Basketball player is stealing players and stealing ideas. 

They always say that the grass is greener on the other side.  I've found through other life experiences that this is never true.  You may think that the grass is greener, but as soon as you cross the property line, you usually realize that the grass was perfect the way it was.  I always wished Fantasy Football would go away.  Now, I have to say that I would be perfectly happy with Fantasy Football staying right where it is, as long as I never have to see Fantasy Basketball ever again.  The hours that are lost at the computer trying to find new players for this weeks games etc etc etc will never ever come back.

As we get into March Madness, say a little prayer.


So I know that everyone knows that March 17th is St. Patrick's Day...The day of green and shamrocks, and beer (and many people going out, including scantily clad girls).  However, not may people know that March 19th is St. Joseph's Day.  This is the Day honoring the holy Father, Joseph.  It is also the day of zeppole....If you've never heard of one before, I wouldn't be surprised if you've eaten one before!  It is the most delicious pastry, that is often compared to donuts.

Growing up, my Nonni (grandmother) used to make these little puffs of deliciousness for me.  She made them without cream, and I remember one time she took a freshly friend batch that I had made to my Uncle Joe, who happened to be in the hospital at the time.  All I remember is him waving half eaten Zeppole at his room-mate, yelling that he was eating a "real zeppole."   Each year, I try to make at least one batch.  Either way, she always made them without cream (A zeppole with cream was always a 'cream puff' in my house).

I follow a bakery on Facebook, called The Bakery Boutique, and they have actually been making Zeppole Cupcakes!  Well, they were on the Rhode Show today and they actually shared their recipe!  Here they are making the Zeppole that you will find in most bakeries, which are filled and topped with a delicious combination of custard and whipped cream.

Movies Movies Movies

I absolutely love movies.  My favorite two movies as a Child were The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.  It was hard for me to incorporate other movies into that "favorites" category....I used to love The Three Musketeers (you know, when Charlie Sheen was normal).  I have the widest variety of movies at home.  They include all sorts of things, from Clueless, to Pride and Prejudice.  From Austin Powers to Twilight.  From Iron Man to The Godfather Trilogy.  I have all of my DVDs stored at home in alphabetical order.  It makes me happy.

My husband and I bought a new TV on Black Friday, and it came with a Blu Ray Player....So we've been shopping sales and trying to build a collection of Blu Rays.

Our first attempts at buying Blu Rays was at Best Buy.  Not a bad store, but always expensive. A BD for $40 is somewhat of a turnoff, especially if you can find it at Target for $30....

Our next attempt at buying Blu Rays was at Ultimate Electronics.  I'm not sure if you know anything about this store, but they're in the process of going out of business.  Currently, if you happen to find a store near you, they probably have stuff on sale anywhere from 20-70% off.  However, if you look carefully enough, you'll see that everything is marked UP, and then on sale so that it's at the regular market price.  The average consumer may not know this.  My husband and I are huge on research and Consumer Reports, so it makes it easier for us.......In any case, while everything is marked up to be marked down, the BDs were actually priced regular, and then on sale.  Pretty decent buys.  So on the two different trips that we made to the store, we got a number of different movies.  Monsters, INC., American Psycho, Clerks, Amadeus (a fan favorite), The Alien Anthology, and many many more.  I think we bought about 15 BDs all together.  And probably spent only about $200 total.  Which I think is pretty good...One of the movies that we got was Robin Hood.  We happen to see this movie on HBO one night.  I actually put it on because I thought that it was Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves.  I had totally forgotten that this new version of Robin Hood was finally out and so we ended up watching it.  Originally, I didn't think it was going to be too good....I heard a lot of mixed reviews about it right after it came out in theater.  But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  I even watched it On Demand the next night!  So while we were at Ultimate Electronics, I decided that since they had it (And since it was the Director's Edition) I should buy it.  Well I think I watched it twice over the weekend (Yes, I liked it that much).  I find that if I really like a movie, I have no problem re-watching it a million times (My husband gets very aggravated because if I see a movie on TV that I like, I will watch it, even through the commercials, and I often own it....Sometimes I just can't help it!).  So I suggest that if you haven't seen it, that you do see it.

My next movies that I'd like to buy are How to Train Your Dragon and Monsters vs Aliens.  HOWEVER, I'm waiting for them to come out in 3D....I don't know when that will be, but I'm waiting with bated breath!


There are a lot of thoughts going through my head.  I walk through the hall at work, and I see so many different things.  Does the manager who thinks she's awesome, who walks around with her extra large Dunkin' Donuts Coffee know that the back of her pant legs are tucked up into her boots (accidentally)?  Do people really think that just because they lost a lot of weight that people will look at them differently, even if they don't change anything about their attitude, character or personality?

I try my hardest to be the best person I can be.  I try to do my best at work (even though I'm working on the worst project in the world and have to report in to the world's biggest Micro Managers).  I try to look presentable every day (I do need to go shopping).  I try to have a good attitude and contribute positiveness to everything.  It's hard to stay positive when you're surrounded by negatives, but I just keep smiling, and try to keep all my thoughts to a minimum (sometimes they make me mad, and it's not good to always be mad a work).  


So I walk through the halls at work.  I have so many things going through my head, but I try to stay positive all the time.  What do people think of me?  Do they think poorly of me because I don't wear makeup to work?  Or because I wear clothes that aren't in today's vogue magazine?  Or because I wear the same heelless shoes every day?  I'm me, and that's not going to change.  I guess the manager with the back of her pant legs tucked into her shoes and the other one who thinks she looks great will never change.  

My first blog

It's hard to know where to begin.  So many people have blogs, and the ultimate goal is to be different.  Everyone wants to try something new.  Hopefully I'll be able to do that.

My information:

My name is Camille.  I grew up and still live in RI (home of the Quahog).   I try my hardest to be the best person I can be.  I like to bake and cook, and wish I could bake every day instead of being an Engineer who is underutilized work, working on a project that has nothing to do with what I'm capable of.

What is a Quahog, you ask?   According to wikipedia, it's a hard-shell clam.  They're extremely common throughout New England, and if you go to the beach at the right time, it's quite possible that you may dig a few up!  They're delicious when shucked and made into clam chowder, clam cakes, or STUFFIES!!!!...They're native to the area (and if you watch Family Guy, you've probably heard of them before!)

I know I'll never be the next Perez Hilton....But blogging seems like it could be fun.  We'll try it.  See how it goes.  I plan on talking about anything and everything.  

Enjoy :)