What am I Doing?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

This kid is 3.  I don't even think I could do that and I'm 30.


Where's Waldo?

Dear Diary,

Today is a bitter-sweet Friday.  Sweet: because it's Friday and Mrs. Mattrix and I are leaving the kids at home so we can go on a weekend getaway.  Bitter: because today is someone's last day at bankrupt [...BEEP...].  You don't know him very well Diary, his name is Waldo.  I would like to dedicate today's entry to Waldo by attempting to roast him.  It looks like fun on TV, so I thought I would give it a try here.

Waldo's Unauthorized Biography:
Matt "Waldo" Walder originated from the slums of Albuquerque, NM, where, at the age of 13, he used to wonder the streets in fear of his life.  Clutching his 1-string bass guitar -- he was too poor to have 4-strings -- Waldo could be seen sprinting through the streets trying to run away from hooligans that would like to "pluck" his guitar string.

At the ripe age of 18, Waldo said good bye to Albuquerque and headed West to sunny California, where he would wonder the streets of L.A. performing tricks for food.  Magic tricks, that is.  At the legal age of 21, Waldo, a 4-time recovering alcoholic, found himself half dead in a gutter and decided to clean up his life.

Moving in with a college friend, Waldo, at the age of 24, found himself working for an obscure subprime mortgage company called [...BEEP...].  Here Waldo would, once again, perform tricks for food.  The trick this time was to try to understand what "Special K" was saying to him.  "Special K" liked to chat with the "new guy."  When I was a "new guy" I had the same experience.

I digress.  Back to our story.

Today, at the age of 27, Waldo has lost most of his hair and lives in a luxury trailer park where he can now claim fame. Three strings richer, Waldo now has a 4-string bass guitar and is a member of the rock and roll cover band, "Mommy's Little Monsters."  Waldo will be leaving California and flying to Alaska.  Where he will be preaching the music of Social Distortion to all the snow-blown Eskimos that have never heard the sultry sounds of Social D.

I will always remember ye, Waldo.  Every time I read the "Where's Waldo?" book with my kids, I'll have a smile on my face, because in my heart, I know that I'll really be asking: Where's Waldo?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Today's "Tense Thursday"

Dear Diary,

Do you like the title?  More alliteration for you to bask in.

Today is tense, but I should lead you in by mentioning what happened yesterday afternoon.  The Geriatric Auditors, reviewing our loan files, got into a fight with each other.  The "head" of the group told another guy to slow down because "it's not a race."  The other guy's professional response was, "no, it is a race and I'm not going to slow down."

How nice to know that our auditors are racing instead of being thorough with their review of our business.  It's even nicer that [...BEEP...] has the privilege of paying for these auditors too.

Back to today.  I walk in and the same two guys are now fighting with a husband-wife team that joined them today.  I told my boss I'm leaving my door shut until they leave, which is great, because now I can crank up my music.

The other part of "tense Tuesday" is that I spoke with the parking attendant that I have been having "conflicts" with.  This is the same guy that yelled at me and gave me a citation for parking backwards.

It was not a long conversation, but it was definitely tense and wrought with anxiety.

ATTENDANT: Good morning, sir.

Ooohhh, can you feel the tension Diary?  Writing it out for this entry sends shivers down my spine.  Next time I might pop a cap gangsta style on him.  Lest you forget Diary, that's how I roll.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

KPMG Still Annoys Me

Dear Diary,

At bankrupt [...BEEP...] we used KPMG as our public accounting firm for auditing.  [...BEEP...] also uses KPMG for auditing.  I consider "KPMG" to be a four-letter word, because of five years of turmoil I went through at my old company dealing with them.  Since it is near quarter-end we've had auditors in-house reviewing loan files and, unfortunately, they are using the cubicles outside of my office to do their work.  Normally, this would be fine except that they all sit five feet from each other and they feel the need to shout at each other.

They are always having some sort of communication problem with each other.  I am glad that KPMG does not discriminate based on the age of its employees, but when there are five people (all over the age of 60) shouting and having communication problems maybe you shouldn't have them auditing a large, public company's books.

I'm going to go run an errand now.  I might be able to get a bunch of hearing aid batteries at Walgreen's if I hurry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bankruptcy Interview


Dear Diary,
Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment to speak with attorneys, whom were conducting interviews on behalf of the Examiner.  The Examiner was appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to investigate and document the events leading up, and into, [...BEEP's...] voluntary Chapter 11 filing.
They had a team of three people, and I had a team of one.  So we have a 3-v-1 thing going on and they are winning so far... in numbers.  The interview lasted for almost 7 hours (3pm to 10pm-ish), but the fun part was they catered a nice dinner for us.  Shish-kabob filet mignon with fire-roasted veggies.  It was a total yum fest.  Nothing unusual came up during the interview, but there were some, what I would call, awkward moments during our breaks.
The first awkward moment had to be when I first arrived and we were serving drinks.  The attorneys were seated quickly and I was still up trying to serve myself ice.
SIDE THOUGHT: Here's a tip Diary.  When you host people don't provided ice tongs that barely open up.  It makes it difficult for me and others to serve ourselves a drink.  Get a large spoon or something.
The tongs I had to use were barely wide enough to grab an ice cube.  For example, if the width of the ice cube was 0.5 inches they had ice tongs that were 0.501 inches wide.  Barely enough room for me to work with.  I felt like I was playing Operation because I had to be so accurate picking up the ice cubes.  When I finally managed to grab an ice cube the tongs were at maximum capacity and they were struggling to hold on to the ice cube.  While I was motioning to place the ice in the glass, the tongs could not handle it any more and the ice cube squirted up and out of the tongs and flew across the room a good three feet (at least).  I never did find out where the ice cube went.  It melted away into the carpet somewhere in the conference room never to be seen or heard from again.  Feeling embarrassed I drank warm soda instead of trying to get more ice.
The second awkward moment happened during our restroom breaks.  The interviewer followed me to the restroom both times and stood next to me at the urinals both times.  One of those times I thought he was "fake peeing" so that he could escort me and make sure I didn't wonder off around the building looking for stuff.
SIDE THOUGHT: Here's another tip Diary.  If you want me to pee quickly so we can get back to our meeting, then don't stand next to me and talk.  When I make water I need total silence.  It's takes a while for my little workers to open the flood gates and I need silence to be able to fully concentrate on the task at hand.
When it was all said and done, though, it was actually a pleasant (and interesting) experience for me.  The nerd in me liked all the legal mumble-jumble and I've since been reading the court documents filed.  I even found my name listed as a Creditor -- I have a claim to a whopping $0 dollars.  And thus marks the completion of my first encounter with "the legal system."  I'm sure this will not be my last either.  I'm expecting to be interviewed again in the future.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Manic Monday

Dear Diary,

Starting the iPod.

Artist: The Bangles
Album: Greatest Hits (1990)
Song: Manic Monday

Today is going to be a manic Monday indeed.  First up, I was asked to update a report for Monday morning's M.U.G. meeting.  Wow, check out that alliteration.  Next, I need to model an Option ARM mortgage loan so that I can track the cash flows and identify the point of unscheduled neg-am recast.  That last sentence made me sound grown up didn't it, Diary?  Then, no lunch because I'm leaving early today.

I'm leaving early because I'm meeting with a group of attorney's representing the bankruptcy court where bankrupt [...BEEP...] has filed for bankruptcy.  I'm meeting with them from 3pm - 9pm.  At first I did not want to do it because I get nothing out of it, but then they used the word "subpoena."  It was weird how information suddenly seemed to come back to mind instantly.  It's probably not related, but who knows? :o)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Fun

Dear Diary,

Happy 80's Friday to you.

Mr. & Mrs. Mattrix


My Boobies Hurt

Dear Diary,

Based on my entry yesterday, I'm assuming you gathered that there has been a lot of stress in the office this week.  I'm happy to report that yesterday was calmer (and less tearful) than the first half of the week.  However, I have a new problem.

Our health insurance provider sent out a newsletter yesterday and a particular line grabbed my attention. It read: "Start simple steps to a healthier life today, and in just six weeks, you could be on your way to a healthier, more balanced life."

I thought, sure, I could use a little less stress in my life.  So I clicked on the corresponding link and proceeded to fill out an online health survey.  Here's where the troubling part comes in.  For the most part, the results of my health survey are in line, but then I see this:

health risk

What?  I'm a moderate risk for breast cancer?  I want to know what question I answered on that survey that links me to breast cancer.  I must not have been paying attention to the questions because my boobies feel fine.

On the other hand, maybe I'll take this to my boss and ask if I can take the day off as a sick day.  Diary, do you know where I can get a breast cancer self exam sticker to put on the inside of my medicine cabinet?  I guess I'll have to start doing self exams after brushing my teeth.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cry Baby

Dear Diary,

Hilary Clinton must become the next President of the United States of America.  The reason: she is a girl.

The last three days have been horrendous at […BEEP…] because I have been preparing a report package for the Board of Directors.  Normally, this would not be such a big deal, but we were presenting a new report format and my boss was all nerves.  Out of eight people in my department, five of them are women, and one of them is our boss.

My boss gets frazzled easily.  Any time a deadline gets too close for her comfort she becomes irrational and essentially freaks out.  It is awesome to watch; assuming your not receiving it.

On Tuesday I was on the receiving end, but there was a twist.  She was in near tears while she was talking to me.  I was amazed at the amount of tears in her eyes, but they would not fall down her face.  It was really awkward for me.  I did not know what I should have done.  Laugh and point at her.  Cry with her.  Leave the room.  It was a [CREEPY] moment.

Yesterday, was even more tense than Tuesday; and this time a co-worker came into my office to give me a number for the report and she was actually crying.  Again, what do I do?  I said, "Thanks, don’t worry about it.  You’re doing your best."  She thanked me and walked out.

I feel like I need to be Dr. Phil and give them both affirmations about how well they are doing.  Working for a lady is much different than working for a man.  My old boss at bankrupt […BEEP…] never cried.  Instead I think he worked through his stress by dropping "F-Bombs."

Therefore, when things get stressful at work, I think I would rather work for a man than a woman.  Comparing the two, it is more fun to watch someone explode than to feel like I am watching a chick flick.

Back to Hilary: how awesome would it be to see Hilary as President crying to the Iranian government officials not to build nuclear weapons?  I can picture the Iranian officials nudging each other and whispering, "Another mood swing!"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Intra Entry: Shhhh...


Dear Diary,
We should try to be more quiet.  "QC Ted" is taking a nap on the floor... in his cubicle.  Poor little guy.  Looks like doing quality control work is tiring.

Weekend Update with Mattrix


Dear Diary,
Happy Monday! (bah humbug)  Wow, you're cranky today Diary.  What's wrong?  You're not still mad at me because I didn't take you on my bike ride are you?  What do you expect me to do with you?  That's so stupid.  What guy is going to show up to go mountain bike riding with his buddies with a diary in his hand?  Not me, that's who.  I can see the entry now on top of one of the hills.
Dear Diary: Wheeeee!!
Anyways, you should be glad I didn't take you.  I spun out and crashed on our last downhill run.  I probably would have crushed you because I landed on my back.  My friend, Slider, thought that I was doing a trick because he saw my back tire lock up and start to fish tail.  I don't remember what happened next, but I was informed that my bike turned 180 degrees and then I ended up in some sort of pretzel formation.  Slider was kind enough to not laugh, oh wait!  That's right, he was laughing hard as I lay on the ground strikingly similar to Pollyanna when she fell out of her window (in the 1960's Disney movie).  Fortunately, I didn't get hurt too bad.  My shins were shredded a bit from the bike pedals and my shoulder is sore, but at least nothing is broken.
That was Sunday.  On Saturday, we had our first soccer game (we're the Fireballs).  Mattrix Jr. scored the first goal for our team.  I was a proud Poppa.  Have a good day Diary.  Try to relax and cool off okay?  You've got such the temper lately.  Have a little sympathy for me, I have a boo-boo on my shoulder (sniff, sniff).

Friday, September 14, 2007

dd2go: Scam / Rip-off

Dear Diary (to go), There's no way this is possible. Moms should stay away from this guy. With a 18 month supply of homes for sale (in Orange County), they'll lose their shirts. And since they're moms I'm guessing they wouldn't want that to happen.

Hi Diary, no entry today....

Hi Diary, no entry today. I'm swamped with work. Too much to do, so have a good weekend. See you on Monday.
Click here to listen

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Parental Advisory

Dear Diary,

That was wrong!  I feel dirty and violated; and it's all because of an e-mail.

My bosses secretary shared at our last staff meeting that her husband did really well in a competition the other weekend.  Being the new guy, I had no idea what type of competition that might have been.  She said she had pictures and could send some to me and I said, "Sure.  That'd be great."

Her e-mail said:

Here are a couple pics from [so-and-so's] NPC contest.  He was amazing!!

I have no clue what "NPC" stands for, so I'm thinking these pictures are going to be a cool action shot of him... I don't know... diving, catching, driving... who knows.

... I open the attachment and then...


I'm blinded with a baby oil-slicked, muscle machine smiling and looking straight (and perhaps longingly) into my eyes!

Furiously, I scrambled to close the picture, but I couldn't.  For some reason my hands no longer knew how to operate a mouse.  Implementing "Plan B", I pick up my computer monitor and start turning it around.  Stuff is now flying everywhere because I'm knocking over practically everything on my desk.

A few seconds later I manage to close the picture.  My office is a disaster now, but it was 100% worth it.  I would rather explain the disaster on my desk ("I was dusting") than having to explain why I'm looking at an oiled muscle man doing a half-curtsy.

Needless to say, I now know what "NPC" stands for... "Nipples, Pecks and Cheeks."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Intra Entry: Perfect Storm

Dear Diary,

Was that the movie with George Clooney and his boat sank?

From Bloomberg: Washington Mutual Says Housing Market in "Near-Perfect Storm"

Washington Mutual, Inc. ... said today that conditions in the housing market are creating a "near-perfect storm"...

"The combination of rising delinquencies, higher foreclosures, more housing inventories, increasing interest rates on many mortgages and greatly reduced availability of mortgages due to limited liquidity is creating what we call a near-perfect storm for housing," [CEO Kerry Killinger] said.


Star Cubes

Dear Diary,

If somebody asks me one more time, "What are those things?"  I don't think that I should be held liable for any of the events that might transpire immediately after said question is asked.  I am going to freak out on somebody, Diary.  I am not joking when I say that, at a minimum, 15 people have asked me what those things are that I'm washing in the kitchen sink.

[Listening to Dear Diary]

Oh great!  Thanks Diary, now that's 16 people that have asked me.  You're lucky that I know you and like you.  Had you been a [...BEEP...] employee you'd be on the floor seeing ice cube stars.

And that's exactly what "those things" are Diary.  They're re-usable ice cubes shaped as stars.  I hate, abhor, detest and extremely dislike warm milk.  I can only drink milk when it has been out of the fridge for no more than 5 minutes.  That's probably why I don't drink milk at meals.  Warm milk makes me want to blow chunks.

That's why I started using re-usable ice cubes.  I was using real ice cubes and a zip lock bag, but that got irritating after a while because the ice would melt and sometimes dilute the milk if I didn't close the bag all the way.  My lovey girl, Mrs. Mattrix, came up with a good idea and went to Tar-zsh-ay (sometimes pronounced: "Target") and bought these re-usable ice cubes.

And now, every time I clean them in the kitchen I get someone asking me what those are.  One lady even said, "I like those, they're cute!"  How does a guy respond back to that?  "Thanks, originally I was going for 'keep the milk cold,' but I'm glad I also look cute carry 'mammary discharge from a mother cow's nipple.'"

Perhaps I'm over reacting?  Maybe they're simply trying to make small talk.  But in my defense that's gotta drive you nuts right?  I mean, 16 people asking you the same question.  Where's the love?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Rememberance

Dear Diary,

In rememberance of 9/11 there will be no entry today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Art by Mattrix

Dear Diary,

I was eating lunch at my favorite place late last week and something weird happened.  After eating lunch, I plugged into my iPod and started drawing in a sketch book.

I'm working on a logo for a Jeep club that my friends and I started.  It's been a while since I've drawn anything so I've begun drawing Jeeps as practice.  While looking down and drawing (still with the iPod playing) I noticed two legs standing close to my table.  I look up and this guy was trying to get my attention.

After pausing the music, he asked if I was a freelance artist.  I think I laughed and said no I'm a financial analyst.  He said, "That's okay, can I have a card because I'd like to hire you for some work."  I think I laughed again and said I only do this for fun, I'm not trained as an artist.  Again he said, "That's okay."

So I gave him my card and he walked out.  That has to be one of the weirdest things that has happened to me at lunch before.  It was flattering to think he liked my drawing, but I'm nervous he's going to call me.

Weird, isn't it Diary?  I took a picture with my camera phone to show you what I was drawing.

Pencil drawn Jeep

Friday, September 7, 2007

dd2go: Duh!

Dear Diary (to go), What is this person thinking? Do they really think that I'm going to misinterpret the word "Jeep" written above the license plate for "Hummer?" Ri-don-cu-lous.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Intra Entry: "Mini Me" Pimpin' his Ride

Dear Diary,

Check out actor Verne Troyer's new ride.  Homeboy should get some Spinners.

Verne Troyer's Ride

Me Needs Starbuck

Dear Diary,

"Floor Mom" sent an e-mail out to the floor yesterday saying:

Starbuck Dark Roast Extra Bold brewing...

I caught myself reading this a few times because I don't think I have every heard (or read) of such a long way for saying, "Coffee is brewing."

That was funny moment #1.  Funny moment #2 came when "QC Ted" clicked on "Reply to All."  Which, by the way, I am 100% in favor of.  I love it when people click reply to all.  It's a quick and easy way to determine someone's true intelligence in a public environment.

Back to our story... "QC Ted's" reply,
Thank you ["Floor Mom"] for taking care of us, caffeine-wise.

Post "reply to all" analysis:
  1. Is a response to the entire floor necessary?  Answer: no.

  2. If I'm wrong and a response is necessary, should you write more than "Thank you?"  Answer: no.

  3. If I'm wrong and a long-winded response is necessary, should you clarify what the response is for by adding "-wise" to it?  Answer: no.

  4. If I'm wrong and a long-winded response is necessary and you should add "-wise" to it, then are you "QC Ted."  Answer: yes.
Well then I'm sorry but I'm not wrong and this analysis is null and void because you're "QC Ted."  You could barely convert 24 months into years when I asked how long you have been working for [...BEEP...].

Null and void!  Good day to you sir.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

School's Back

Dear Diary,

Yesterday was the first day of school for Jonathan (5 yrs.; kindergarten) and Kayley (4 yrs.; pre-school).  In the spirit of the new school year and subsequent school events, I thought it would be funny to share something I read in [...BEEP's...] employee handbook.

School Visitation Time Off Policy:

[...BEEP...] offers [its] employees who are parents, grandparents or guardians time off from work to participate in his or her child's school or child care activities.

Blah, blah, blah... the policy goes on for a bit, and then the funny part shows up.

Policy Continues:
Should both parents be employed by [...BEEP...] and both request time off for the same activity and day, [...BEEP...] reserves the right to allow only one parent time off.  The parent who first gives notice of the planned absence has the priority. [emphasis added]

I wonder how many fights this policy has created for families in this situation?

Mom: Honey.  Jimmy's school play is tomorrow in the early afternoon.  I'm thinking about requesting time off to go since you went last time.
Dad: Sorry dear.  I got a copy of Jimmy's school calendar and requested time off for the rest of the school year.

Mom: [to herself] Looks like someone's getting cut off tonight.

Mom: Oh, okay.  Please be sure to take pictures then.
Dad: Will do sweetie.  Oh, and don't forgot it's date night tonight.
Mom: [smirking] Uh, huh.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Best of August 2007

Dear Diary,

Below is a list of my diary entry highlights for August 2007.

For a complete list of all of August's entries click here.