August 28, 2005

Let's dust off the ol' blog...

Holy crap, it's been a while, eh? Let's see since I've last posted, I've been to Disney World, quit my job, gotten a new job, had a birthday, and gone shopping for a new car. What a few fortnights.

As promised by my lovely wife, I'll fill you in on the new job. My title is Business Process Auditor. Fancy, no? No. I still don't know a nice concise way to describe what it is that I do, but since I have you rapt attention, I don't have to be brief, now do I? I basically write down everything that our company does in each of its vital processes, like shipping and the many, many financial process at headquarters to excruciating detail. I then take this information and draw up a flowchart (fancy diagram), walkthrough (where I witness the process and once again write down steps in the process to excruciating detail), evaluation (where I draw on my 3 and a half hours of accounting education to evaluate something I've just witness and written down to excruciating detail to make it better), and recommendations (where, I, as a 24-year-old kid with no prior accounting experience and somehow less knowledge tell people who've run finances, nay, the company, for years how to do their jobs better, ha ha). Why do I do this? Because they pay me to! That and new compliance legislation that passed to ensure publically owned companies don't turn into Enron. So, essentially, I'm making sure our company isn't crooked and won't be another Enron (which is the short version of the job description, but thanks for being kind enough to read the long one).

A positive thing about the job (aside from the pay, the benefits, and the fact that it's a career) is that it's an actual day job. This means, like my cell phone plan, my nights and weekends are free at last! This is the first job where I haven't had to work at night or (regularly) on Saturdays/Sundays, allowing me to go out and do fun things like go out and buy cars! Meagan and I, along with her folks, went out to look at cars this afternoon, and got to drive a Toyota Prius. We really like it, partly for the gas mileage, but also for the other futuristic features, including keyless entry. Now, this may seem normal now, but this is unique in that the entry is keyless because -- wait for it -- the car has no key. Yep, it's a keyless start as well. Ultra-cool, and the fact that it gets 60 miles per gallon in the city is nice as well. Wait on those, though, is 6 weeks, plus there's little negotiation room as it's in high demand, so we're still not sure if that's the car for us.

After we looked at some Subarus, we took Meagan's folks to Action Bowl, which features (along with a kick-ass name) duckpin bowling, which is really bowling for people who like bowling, but wish it were more frustating and took longer. It's actually great fun, and we all had a good time. Before we made it there, though, we found a kitty who was lost, which meant that he stayed in the car until we could take him home for "a few days until we can find his home and take him back." How long that my be remains to be seen. But it did make for big comedy later in the evening.

We decided to go to Champps (yep, two p's) for dinner, where we just happened to run into Indiana Fever star, Vanderbilt alum, and all-around cool person Jenni Bennifield! How did we react to this person we love, respect, and admire? What any other red-blooded American would do -- interupt her dinner and make her pay attention to us!! Before we got up the nerve to do this, though, we decided it would be a fun idea to give her the cat we found as a good luck gift for the play-offs. This was accepted as a great idea, as was giving her the rest of the cheesecake we hadn't eaten. Then we decided we would give her both the huge slice of cheesecake and the cat, or combine them into the single gift of one fat cat. We then went to meet her (without bearing gifts), and we were shocked -- not by how nice she was, or even the fact that her brother introduced himself (the Bennifields are a fantastic family -- her parents are at every game, travelling from Louisville to do so). No, what shocked us was that she recognized us! We actually talked about each other's lives as friends and not basketball star to grovelling fans. It was refreshing (and a little embarassing because, try as we may, we hadn't been able to make a game this season). She told us we should come to their home playoff game next week, and we said we would, bedecked in VU gear and bearing a Go Jenni! sign. the game is Thursday night, and we're quite looking forward to it.

It wasn't until we were leaving that I realized that we'd planned on coming back to Champps (yep, still two p's) Thursday night to watch the VU football season opener (7 pm CDT, ESPN-U). We'll be at Conseco to root Jenni and the Fever on, but I think we may hope the game goes WAY long so we can catch the last bit of it at Champps after the game (heck, we might even invite Jenni to watch with us! How cool would that be?). However, this presents a quandry -- there won't be a radio station in Indy picking up the football game, I doubt the Fieldhouse will carry ESPN-U, and my phone is unreliable in updating Vandy football games with any speed. Therefore, I'm asking anyone that can watch the game live for help. I'm offering a tall, frosty beverage for anyone who would give my cell phone a ring anytime the score changes in the Vandy-Wake Forest football game. It's supposed to be a high-scoring game, so this may entail a lot of phone calls, but Meagan and I would REALLY appreciate it. If interested, shoot me an email at michaelponeill2003(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll give you our phone numbers to give us the updates.

Man, that's a lot to write. What a day.