Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wish I Had Something to Say

I wish I had something to write about but I don't. I have stuff I could get out but I'm holding true to my pledge to limit the work related entries. Since my whole day was work and will continue to be again very shortly, there's not much I can say.

I do hope everyone is having a good day. I was doing pretty good until I hit my wall and realized I don't get to pound it out on the treadmill because I have to finish up some work and get some sleep so I can safely drive back home tomorrow night. Work-Life Balance overridden by business needs. Grrrr, what's this girl to do?

I express gratitude for another successful day, a healthy day. What do I consider my biggest blessing right this moment? I would have to say that it is that I am feeling tired. I am hoping this means I will be able to sleep tonight.

Simple things are often the most enjoyed. Here's to hoping a restful night of sleep comes my way tonight.

Adventures From the Road

I know I left some stuff out and for the most part the times are estimates. However, if you've ever wondered what a typical day in my life may look like, here's a snapshot:

12:20 AM: Hang up / end phone conversation with Sunshine

12:21 AM – 12:30 AM: Rechecks packing list against suitcase and briefcase contents ensuring nothing has been left behind. I was distracted as Sunshine and I were finally having the conversation and getting down to the nitty gritty of whether we would pursue more than a friendship if circumstances were different. Survey says…Yes.

12:31 – 12:45 AM: Toss and turn. Damn insomnia.

12:46 AM – 2:15 AM: Watch previously recorded episode of Bones and MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Gauntlet II

2:16 AM – 5:30 AM: Fitful sleep

5:31 AM – 5:42 AM: Count 4 separate police car sirens and think, “Wow, it must be something pretty bad.”

5:43 AM – 6:30 AM: Finish getting ready, love on the babies, drag suitcase, briefcase, purse, and small cd case down 26 stairs (dang rental without satellite radio)

6:31 AM: Hit the road

6:33 AM: Come upon previous police cars to a house right down the street from my place. Front yard is crawling with law enforcement and the yard is sectioned off with crime scene tape.

6:34 AM – 6:42 AM: Crawl by said house and make mental note to read news websites later this week and/or call police station to find out what the heck happened and is area still safe to live in

6:43 AM: Contemplate stopping at local Starbucks or wait until I am further down the road

6:45 AM: Decide to wait until I am further on my way for Starbucks fix

6:46 AM – 6:52 AM: Smooth sailing on I-5

6:53 AM: Traffic comes to a crawl; thinks to self, “Great, I am already running 20 minutes behind. Boss man is going to love this.”

6:59 AM: Sees metal debris in lane. Says small prayer of thanks for seeing metal debris in lane and being able to sneak into left lane to avoid hitting debris.

7:03 AM: Calls 911 to report metal debris

7:04 AM: Settles in for 2 hour and 45 minute drive down South

7:05 AM – 7:59 AM: Makes multiple phone calls

8:01 AM: Stops at mid point Starbucks to get caffeine fix. Thinks to self, “Each Starbucks has a vibe all it’s own. This one’s vibe is small town older gentlemen meet for breakfast and talk about town politics. Everyone knows everyone’s business. Everyone knows each other. What a shame this is not happening in more coffee houses across the country. We’re always in such a hurry to get the fix and go (Guilty).” I would have loved to be able to take a break and just listen and observe this town’s energy but no such luck today.

8:04 AM: Gets back in car and notices 4 missed calls

8:07 AM: Checks voicemail and proceeds to return calls and change outgoing extended absence greeting in the hopes people will understand I may not be able to return their call ASAP

8:08 AM: Settles back in for rest of the ride

8:50 AM: Calls boss man to let him know I am about 30 minutes behind and will see him soon

9:26 AM: Arrives at office only to find out boss man needs about 20 minutes before we can get back on the road

9:29 AM: Makes mad dash to bathroom

9:31 AM: Is stopped on the way to restroom to answer multiple questions that really could have waited until I had done my business

9:35 AM: Finishes doing business and heads to new manager’s office to welcome him to the team and do a quick action plan of his training schedule

9:55 AM: Heads back to boss man’s office to see if we’re ready to go only to find out he’s waiting for me in parking lot and calling my cell, which is happily residing in the rental

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM: More road warrior action; arrive at second location. Thinks to self, “I’ve seen three mountains (Mount Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood), two bodies of water (Puget Sound, Columbia River), two state capitol buildings (WA and OR), and been in two states in less than 6 hours and the day hasn’t even begun.” Takes a few deep breaths to center self and gives a special thought to how fortunate I am to experience the things I do. Seriously, it’s pretty cool to experience this all in a day's work. No matter how many times I do experience this, I still find it pretty cool.

11:20 AM: Receives phone call that lunch meeting needs to be pushed back to 12:30 versus 12:00. Commences to re-arranging conference call scheduled for 1:00 to 1:30 as result. Multiple phone calls required to make this a reality.

11:30 AM: Realizes 12:30 is a way off and since I didn’t eat breakfast, the hunger must be fed. Ravages granola bar and chugs bottle of water.

11:31 AM – 11:45 AM: Fights technology and concedes to the fact that sitting on the floor with my stuff is a lot easier than trying to figure out how to make someone else’s open office wireless stuff work on my laptop

11:46 AM – 12:22 PM: Makes and takes many phone calls while fighting off weird looks as to why I am sitting on the floor when there is a perfectly good desk available

12:30 PM: Lunch “date” arrives

12:31 PM – 1:20 PM: Business taken care of and bellies full of fajitas. Missed 13 phone calls in less than a hour all so I could meet and eat.

1:30 PM: Determine, after many other calls, two vital players for the conference call were left off of the original invite, let alone the reschedule to 1:30. Decision is made to reschedule for Monday.

1:35 PM – 1:45 PM: Escapes to bathroom to brush teeth and touch up makeup. Misses another 4 phone calls.

1:46 PM – 2:30 PM: Returns phone calls from all of the missed phone calls. Wonders, “Can the day really begin now?”

2:31 PM – 3:45 PM: Begins auditing and answering questions, taking even more phone calls

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM: Continues to audit, execute observational processes, takes and makes yet more phone calls

5:15 PM – 6:30 PM: Boss man returns. We recap and proceed to discuss preliminary results as well as action plan the next few weeks of travel and meetings. Meet with other manager in between action planning to resolve issues and conducts coming to Jesus call with another manager.

6:35 PM: Decide it’s time for dinner

6:50 PM: Arrive at dinner

6:55 PM: Do the rude move of making phone call at dinner to brother to coordinate travel arrangements to Dallas

7:00 PM – 7:45 PM: Dinner. Recap day with boss man. Determine plan of action for remainder of time in this location.

7:56PM: Check into hotel.

8:00 PM: Get to room. Rip clothes off to change into workout clothes.

8:04 PM: Call Sunshine to see how his day went and asked him to call me in hotel at 9:30 as cell phone is about to die and this girl’s got a date with the treadmill waiting. Find hair, that doesn’t belong to me, in cradle of phone. Contemplate requesting new room. Decide to tough it out.

8:06 PM – 8:14 PM: Dinner, or maybe lunch, works it way out of system

8:18 PM – 9:00 PM: Treadmill and I get it on; endorphins kick in and the sweat flows freely.

9:05 PM – 9:18 PM: Shower

9:20 PM – 9:30 PM: Moisturize, take vitamins, chug water

9:32 PM: Busts out computer to get some work done

9:45 PM – 12:30 AM: Sunshine calls. We talk while I work. Experience pangs of guilt as I have talked to Sunshine more in the last 24 hours than some of my girls I owe calls to.

12:3O AM: Decide to shut down for the day and record the day for posterity sake. Wonders, "Am I losing it? I have to be up in less than five hours to get ready and arrive at breakfast meeting."

So, with all this being said, anyone want to hang with me for a day?

Monday, March 27, 2006

I Am Such a Dork

I tried, with no success, to get rid of the Madonna headset for my cell phone. I really dislike the in your ear bud things (it's taken me forever to embrace the buds I have for my mp3 player). So I thought, hey, I'll do the over the ear one. That should be ok right? Well, no, it's not alright. I can't figure out how to get it to fit over either one of my ears comfortably let alone have someone be able to hear me when I talk. I have no patience for this today since I have to get ready for another three day tour. I'll play with it later over the weekend and if this dork can't make it work, I'll keep the current Madonna headset rocking and rolling.


The furbabies usually wait until I have left the building to act out. I guess packing the suitcase yesterday threw 'em off a day. I came home to a hairball by Princess, a Hansel and Gretel turd trail by Jasmine, and then Jasmine proceeded to hack up a hairball of her own. Lovely. Like it wasn't enough that Princess hacked a hairball up on my head this weekend. If this is what I get today, what will be waiting for me when I return later this week? Or maybe, just maybe, they got it all out of their system today. A girl can hope can't she?


Small blessing of the day and the shout out for the day goes to Steven at Avis. Repeat customer = free upgrade because he felt like it. We'll be driving in style on this trip. Or I should say tour. Boss man coined that term and it's stuck. Dang military influence. It's catchy. It works. We rock it. But if he starts calling them a deployment or a work up, we might just need to have a talk.

Happy 6th birthday LT! I think it is fabulous you are already giving back to others at such a young age. I love that in lieu of gifts, you are asking people to bring you a teddy bear so you can donate them to the Dallas police department. How cool is that?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bliss and Hiss

Today was all about me. I honestly believe you have to do this from time to time. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, how can we be there for others? The next 5 to 6 weeks are shaping up to be extremely hectic so I wanted to get in the right frame of mind before it all hits. Kind of like the calm before the storm.

I started off by sleeping in. Well, if you count sleeping until 10:00 AM when I didn’t get to bed until 5:30 AM sleeping in. Damn insomnia. At least I got the some cleaning done!

First up? A visit to get cracked. I didn’t used to believe in chiropractic care until I suffered from a pinched nerve and nothing but getting adjusted treated it. Since then, I’ve been a believer and my body lets me know when I need to go in for an adjustment.

I affectionately refer to an adjustment as getting cracked. Dr. Yee doesn’t necessarily agree with this choice of words but he’s a trooper and rolls with it. Getting the adjustment was a little bit of hiss and definitely some bliss. I was rather tense so the release of the adjustment felt great. Getting the adjustment not so great.

The other hiss part of the visit? Having your doctor scold you for letting it get this tight before coming in and then asking, “Will you be coming in next weekend and the weekend after and the weekend after?” You know when you are on the road how your body reacts.” Yes, Dr. Yee. I will be in next week and the week following and the week following that and the week following that.

Next up, after running some errands, was the much anticipated, long overdue slice of heaven called a massage. I admit it. I am a massage junkie or as some like to joke, massage whore. I try to schedule a massage, at the very least, every few months. In between massages, if I am really hurting, I’ll bargain with some of my co-workers; rub my shoulders and neck and I’ll take care of x, y, or z for you. Nothing sexual is involved with x, y, or z but I’ll P.I.M.P. my services to get a knot rubbed out.

My massage therapist is an angel. She’ll stay late or work through her lunch break if I make a last minute call. She says she knows I am hurting if I make such a call so she wants to help me. God bless you Marisol. You’ve come through like a champ for this girl on many an occasion.

Today’s pre-planned massage was blissful but I knew the hiss would soon follow. It wasn’t a deep tissue massage by definition but let’s just say it was knot and tension central all up and down my shoulders and back. She worked most all of the bad boys out. What happens once the knots are released? Soreness like a mug. I hurt. I’m sure I will feel better tomorrow but right now, good god. Second hiss for this part of bliss? Marisol scolded me too.

After the massage? Facial. I knew Veronika was going to let me have it with guns blazing. My skin has been neglected in the last month or so. I haven’t been drinking enough water and I’ve let the stress get to me. I was super dry. Desert dry. I had congestion aka clogged pores, blackheads, etc. I deserved the scolding and gut check. Bliss? Facial and rehydration. Hiss? The well deserved tongue lashing for not taking care of my skin.

Last on the list was a pedicure. No scolding here, just pure bliss.

So, what’s the lesson learned for the day? Take care of you first. Our bodies silently speak to us. When we don’t take heed, it has no choice but to scream out in pain, whether it is physically, mentally or emotionally. First it’s a whisper. Listen to the whisper. React to the whisper. Take care of you before the scream.

Shout outs and mad love to Dr. Yee, Marisol, and Veronika. I’m blessed and very thankful to have these wonderful people in my life. Yes, they are doing their jobs and I am paying for their services, but they care enough to hiss at me in the course of my bliss. I hear you and appreciate you for helping to keep me centered.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Day in the Life

It's not even summer and the gas prices have already risen to $2.55 for regular unleaded here. I dread what's going to happen in the coming months if this is what we're dealing with already. I'm pretty certain the rise in price is not due to increased road travel due to spring break vacations.


First let me start by saying I'm all for helping out my fellow man or woman in need. Call me a hypocrite if you desire when I say giving a homeless person or beggar money is not my idea of helping out my fellow man or woman in need. I had no idea until I moved over here that this city had so many homeless. Seattle, check. Portland, check. My city, umm no check until I started living here.

I stroll into Qdoba to pick up a salad for dinner. Even though I have everything here to make one, I was feeling tired and lazy so I thought I'd let someone else do the cooking tonight. Enter homeless man. He's right in front of the door on crutches. I couldn’t avoid this man if I tried. I get ready for the question…do you have any money you can spare? I tell him I have no cash, which was true, but he doesn't believe me. He looks at me and says, “You smell nice and look rich. You have money bitch.”

My first thought was, did he just rhyme? Then, I immediately thought WTF is that all about? So I say to him, "You want dinner? Come in with me and I'll buy you dinner." He politely declines and hobbles off. Punkass.

Salad in hand, homeless man gone, I head over to the gas station. Enter beggar man. Beggar man approaches me from behind. Are you freaking serious? You want to get smacked around buddy? Didn't his momma teach him to never approach a woman from behind? He gives me some story about his wife losing their debit card and needing gas money to get to Centralia. I offer to buy them a tank of gas and he says, "No, that's ok." Yea, that's what I thought. You want cash, not a tank of gas. Oh, and by the way, where's your wife and didn't she ever tell you to not approach a woman from behind too? Freak.


I got great news today via my sister that my brother turned in his dissertation. Not only was it accepted on his first draft, they want to publish it too! I am so happy for him and beyond proud. Finishing his dissertation has been no easy feat, especially considering all of the challenges he's encountered along the way, personally and professionally. For it to be done and for it be the success that it is calls for a huge happy dance.

He graduates in May so it looks like I am off to the big D for that weekend. I can honestly say I am looking forward to this trip "home". I haven't "met" my nephew yet and it's been almost two years since I have seen my brother, my sil, and my other two nieces. They didn't want to ask anyone to come in for just the weekend. I was like how could we not celebrate this day, this accomplishment? You don't even have to ask. I'll be there. And I'll be sure to stay at the same hotel you are or right nearby so we'll have extra time to catch up and for me to play with the kiddos.

I'll probably piss my sister off by staying in a hotel. I love my sister, love my bil, love my two nieces but I'd rather stay in a hotel. Why would I rather stay at a hotel than stay in a home like I crave when I am on the road? My sister and I have an odd relationship. I’d love to say we are close but we’re not. I probably won’t spend a dime on a room as I’ll have points to cash in. So, there you have it. My choice is to stay in a hotel. Here's to hoping she deals with it and there's no drama.

One of my closest girlfriends called tonight needing work related advice. We met through work years ago and just hit it off from the get go. I love when that happens. You know, when you meet someone and it's like you've known them for years? Very cool.

No matter how many miles may separate us, we're there for one another -- sounding board, soul sisters, support -- we get each other. I never knew until tonight she considered me a mentor and aspired to follow in my footsteps. Ironically, or as fate would have it, she pretty much has. With each promotion I had, she backfilled me. We're no longer working in the same office/city but we're still with the same company. Even though I am here and she is there, our careers continue to take the same direction.

I only write about this because our conversation got me thinking. How many people do I have in my life that I haven't taken the chance to tell them how I feel about them, how much I care for them, what they mean to me? How many missed opportunities have I let pass? We never really know how much time we have left or how much choosing to say these words can make a difference to someone. I'm going to challenge myself to do better about doing so.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Big Texas Hair

Who would have thought sporting the big Texas hair yesterday would have resulted in the reactions it did?

I fell asleep with my hair wet the other night and when I woke up the next morning, the natural wave was out of control like nobody's business. It was too much work to do anything other than break the hot rollers out of the depths of the closest.

Yep, I said hot rollers. My hair stylist said if I wanted to recreate the fabulous hair she did the last time I got it cut, hot rollers would do the trick. I looked at her like she was crazy but she assured me it'd be ok.

You have to know that in high school hot rolling my hair and shallacking it with hairspray so it'd look just right throughout the day was the in thing to do. It was the style and I sported it like a rockstar. I don't mean to brag but I was the envy of many. I had, and guess I still do, have the right type of hair for hot rollers.

So, whenever I hear hot rollers, my high school hair is the first thought that comes to mind. Long story short, I was too lazy yesterday to do anything and figured what the heck, it's worth a try. If I have to I can pull it back in a ponytail. I busted those puppies out of the closest, got to rolling, and decided to sport the curls.

I hit the office and some people thought I was a visitor because it was that dramatic of a change. I must have had at least 15 compliments on the Texas big hair. The compliments were nice, especially considering what I was wrestling with personally, but it made me wonder, if you like the curls that much, has my straight, wavy, ponytail, chignon, etc. looks been that bad? If so, why didn't anyone tell me? I mean it was unreal how many comments there were. It's just hair with curls people.

Sorry if I disappointed anyone with the regular, straight hair today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mentally Challenging

Man, what a whirlwind the last 24 hours has been mentally. Before I begin, I'd like to take a moment to express appreciation for the internet. Can you imagine what life would be like without it? I know we spent years without it but I honestly couldn't imagine my life today without this glorious thing called the internet.

So, why have the last 24 hours been mentally challenging beside the fact that I am PMS'ing? Which, by the way, I had a big ole piece of meat and chocolate cake at my business dinner tonight. I even splurged and had some garlic mashed taters. I was good, really I was. I only ate about 3 ounces of cow, a few spoonfuls of taters, and shared the massive chocolate cake with a co-worker (Jeremey, you came through for a girl!). You'd swear by looking at the cake when we were done that we didn't really touch it. Why are restaurant servings so big these days anyway?

Ok, I digress. Mentally it's been a rough 24 hours because I've been dealing with the news of finding out my ex is getting married in June. (Yes, read that right...he's getting married in June.) I knew the day would come at some point. I didn't think I'd find out about it let alone really care about it considering I was the one who asked for the divorce in the first place. But, it rubbed me the wrong way. I woke up this morning knowing why it pissed me off so that's a blessing in itself.

I'm glad I played detective last night on the internet and found what I did as it's allowing me to process the remnants of what I needed to process, take action on getting rid of the last of his stuff still in my possession, to make sure he's aware I will be able to find him if needed, and the money he owes (as outlined in the divorce decree) I will not let go of without a fight if need be.

Let's break this down shall we?

Divorced not yet a year and he'll be remarried. Best of luck to you and your lovely bride. Really, I mean it. I do. From the conversation I had with him last April and talking with him this morning, she's the love of his life and finally, he seems to be taking some actions toward being a responsible adult regarding financial matters.

Why was I mad? Because it feels like he's made movement in his life and I'm pretty much where I was when I asked for the divorce. I know I am the one who is responsible for the choices that have led my life to be where it is right now and since he left. Deep down I know these choices have been the right ones for me but seeing this news still pissed me off.

It's been a tough year a half for me. I'm allowing myself the time to heal and get stuff in order. I'm allowing myself selfish time and trying to be healthy in the decisions I make. In the last year and a half, I've experienced Mom being diagnosed with cancer and passing within two weeks of the diagnosis. This unequivocally rocked me to the core. There's not a day that goes by that I don't miss her. Then, I get divorced, get a new boss, get a new right hand coworker, get another new boss, get another new right hand coworker (promotions really are a beautiful thing), and pick up the slack from these coworkers getting promoted. Doesn't sound like a lot but it really is enough to have made the last year and a half challenging for me.

All that being said, I have made movement but when you compare it to him getting married, it doesn't seem like it. I know, I know. Stop comparing myself to him or anyone else for that matter. I heard you this morning inner voice. I get it. I just needed some time to process the news and get pissed for a little bit.

After consulting my attorney this morning, I called him regarding where to send his overseas souvenirs. I didn't feel right throwing away or donating these things he left behind when he moved out. He may get back to these locations someday but the memories he has attached to these items he wouldn't be able to replace. This weekend I will finally be rid of the rest of his stuff. I was going to send it to his mom and step dad once we hit the one year mark anyway so this way, I'm ahead of the game right?

The other part of the conversation, which lasted all of three minutes after almost a year of having no contact, centered around the creditors calling for him and him starting to pay the money he owes me. Stay tuned as I'm giving him until after the wedding before the legal system gets involved in this situation. I wished him congratulations and asked if his bride-to-be knows that he owes me money as I didn't want this to turn into a huge ordeal down the line. He assures me that yes, she knows. If she doesn't she'll know soon enough. I simply don't want drama regarding this situation and pray it will be resolved without the courts or having to deal too much with them in the future.

So, there you go folks. This what I have been dealing with in the last 24 hours on the personal front. Work wise, thankfully, it's been quiet. I do have a punkass I'm going to have to talk to before the week is up but today was not the day for it. I would have gone off of the man in a not so good way. Lucky for me I had the foresight to know this.

Special shout outs and much love to the following for their ideas and support in the last 24 hours:

Hasse: If it hadn't been for you, I never would have found the information. Thank you. It was no coincidence we went to lunch yesterday and we had the conversation we did. I truly believe God orchestrated this whole situation and you helped put the pieces together. I love you man.

TS aka Beaotch
: Thank you for your support while I surfed the internet and caught up with you after these many months without contact. I love that even though what seems like a lifetime went by since we last talked, we're able to pick up where we left off. You're truly a best friend and even more than that, a sister by choice. I love you.

J-Lo: Your mad technological skills continue to amaze me. Who knew we could do what we did this afternoon? Are we even by my sharing my Ice, Ice Baby mp3 file? :)

Tra: Thank you for the ghetto gang support. Let's hope we don't have to take the Hilltop, pissed off women route a'right?

Sunshine: Thank you for knowing, just by the sound of my voice, something wasn't quite right in my world and knowing it had something to do with him. I love you.

God : For all you do...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

PMS Sucks Ass

I'm cranky, I'm bloated, I am craving beef and chocolate, I have no patience, my lower back is starting to hurt. I have PMS and it sucks ass.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Simple Math

If this is the state of our youth and what is in store for our future, god help us all.

I trekked on over to JoAnn's this evening. Can't let a 40% coupon go to waste now can we? I saunter up to the cash register to pay for my measly little purchase. The total comes to $6.08. I didn't see the lone last penny in with my other change so I hand the PYT (pretty young thing) $6.10. She's handing me back the $.02. I say, "Oh, I do have $.08." and proceed to hand her the $.08. PYT looks at me with a blank stare. I say, "Keep the $.02 and give me back the dime." Poor thing didn't get it. So, I try to explain to her that if she gives me back the dime and I give her the $.08 her register will balance at the end of the night. I say, in a very nice way, "$.10 minus $.08 = $.02 so if I give you $.08 and you give me the $.10 back, we're at $0.00. I owed $6.08. It's simple math." PYT still didn't get it and says, "I am an artist."

Um, ok. I know I am a financial analyst by day and a crafter by night and weekend but I didn't think this was too much for an artist to comprehend.

Lord help us all.

8 Seconds

You can take the girl out of Texas but you can't take the Texas out of the girl was my motto Sunday. I had a bunch of people who have never seen in me in a pair of jeans and boots before make tons of comments on how comfortable I looked in the get up as they called it. Um, it's not a get up folks. It's a former way of life for this girl. I know you're used to seeing me dressed up like a city slicker and all but there was a time this girl lived in jeans and boots and spent every spare moment on the back of a horse.

We had awesome seats for the PBR event at the Tacoma Dome this weekend thanks to our business partnership with a certain sponsor. Such great seats I actually got slobbered and clobbered by one of the bulls. Nothing quite like being slimed with bull spit to really experience the event.

Best part of the event? The meet and greet before the event. I'm not a celebrity stalker or anything and most people wouldn't even know who I am talking about when I say I got to meet J.W. Hart, Adriano Moraes, and Mike Lee up close and personal. It was so cool to meet these cowboys and their families.

I love that Adriano, even after being a two time world champion, remains down to earth. God bless a man who says everything is in order when his priorities are God first, his wife and kids second, and bull riding third. J.W. is a true cowboy and this is his 13th straight season of competition. Can the Ironman get a break and win one? Mike Lee, young little thing that he is, and a Texan to boot, is kicking some serious butt in the rankings this year. I believe he's ranked 2nd behind Adriano.

Oh, and how can I forget that I saw Little Yellow Jacket up close and personal too? This is one beast of a bull. There's nothing little or yellow about this animal. He's been a world champion bull three years in a row and he certainly deserves the title.

All in all, we had a great time and this is a day for the scapbook.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Too Serious for My Own Good?

I woke up this morning, after my wake up call from a friend 350 miles away (how'd he know I was still sleeping at 10:00 and needed to get up anyway?), wondering if I am too serious for my own good sometimes.

See, I hit Blockbuster yesterday to catch up on flicks. I used to go to the movies all the time but after I started traveling so much and hooked myself up with a sweet home entertainment system (well, I actually have the ex to thank for pushing my bank account in that direction) going to the movies wasn't as important. I'd rather hang out in the comfort of my home and watch a movie than go to the movie and give away a small fortune. This isn't to say I don't enjoy the experience of going to the theater because let's be honest here. Nothing beats it.

Anyway about once every three months or so I dedicate a night to a marathon movie session. On the spur of the moment yesterday I decided last night would be one of those nights. God was smiling down on me as I had the choice of just about any movie I wanted. Usually I wait until the middle of the afternoon or a Saturday to pick out selections and by this time and am forced to go with what might be on the shelves or just returned. Not yesterday. I was there before 11:00 AM and there simply were so many to choose from, too many when you're as behind on movies as I am.

So, after careful deliberation what did I choose? Walk the Line, North Country, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Just Like Heaven. I didn't realize until I was finishing up Good Night, and Good Luck that 75% of my selections were heavy hitting, fact based selections.

Then, after I watched three of the movies and tried to fall asleep, I decided to read a few chapters. So, what books are in rotation right now? My Friend Leonard, Predator, and From Good to Great. Nothing fluff here either.

Ok, after a few chapters didn't lull me to sleep I thought maybe I'd watch something I DVR'ed earlier in the week. (Just what I need after three movies...more TV huh?) So what's on the DVR? Bones, Criminal Minds, Conviction, In Justice, CSI.

So, I am left wondering this morning, where is the fun and fluff? It's there I know and I do certainly have many times with the fun and fluff but if these are my choices, am I too serious for my own good?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

From Me to You

Couple of weeks ago I'm hanging out in Spokane for work. Spokane's pace of life is slower and not as pretentious as the big city life of Seattle, Portland, Dallas, etc. One of the things I really enjoy about that side of the mountain (as we Western Washington dwellers often refer to Eastern Washington) is just that. People being who they are without necessarily keeping up with the latest fashion and being more than ok with that.

So, boss man and I head to the grocery store for medicine and lunch on the dreaded day I dropped like a rock with the flu. Behind the deli counter is a woman seriously sporting a mullet. I'm not talking about a mini mullet folks. I'm talking full on mullet rocking woman. If I hadn't been feeling so crappy I would have taken a picture and then proceeded to figure out how to post it for all to see.

As we're waiting for the sandwich to be made, I'm thinking to myself do hairstylists still cut people's hair in mullets? Does this woman have people in her life that care enough to tell her the mullet is dead? Does she have such people in her life but is hanging on the hair style because of it being a time in her life that was really good and doesn't want to let go? Is that really a mullet or is the fever making me delirious? And my other thought was please dear lord say it isn't the mullet making a come back?

Today, I'm driving to work and there is a man in front of me sporting the full on early 80's heavy metal curly top haircut. Then, later when I ran out to get lunch, there was a lady sporting the rooster bangs with a perm ordering her to go order too.

So, I'm left wondering with three sightings of bad 80's hair in less than a month, is bad 80's hair back in style? Say it isn't so.

I knew it was bound to happen eventually. Another night out with a few guys from work at our local sports bar and pub near the office and the waitress who usually waits on us breaks down tonight and asks if I am the only woman who works in the office with all these men. When I'm in town and we hit this place to let off a little bit of steam, to decompress from the day, grab a bite to eat and partake in a a drink or two, I'm usually sitting at a table with anywhere from 3-7 guys.

I sometimes wonder what people think of this. I really don't care what others think but I admit when I see a table full of men and one lone woman I ponder the dynamics of their relationship so I figure others are doing the same when they see me and my guys.

So, for anyone who might see us at the Time Out, I'm not a slut, I do have female friends, and yes, these are my boys. There's nothing funny going on. I simply happen to work in a male dominated field; about 97% men to be exact. It's not uncommon for me to be in a conference room full of men and be the only woman. It's not uncommon for me to go days without seeing a female in an office, out in the market, or anywhere else I happen to be for work. I'm good with this and it's simply become my way of life.

Am I the only one who becomes annoyed with people stating the obvious? I'm thinking I was probably sensitive to this today because I was swamped.

I am happy and touched by you being happy to see me since I have been gone and we didn't get a chance to really talk when I was in the office last week. I'd like to catch up too but when you come over to my space and see me furiously typing and pretty much have my head buried behind my monitor without really taking a complete moment to acknowledge your presence I'd like to think you'd get the hint I was busy. But noooo, you hang out for a minute or two and then ask, "You're really busy huh?"

Uh, duh...there's your sign. So, after I explain yes, I am really busy but can do lunch tomorrow or an early breakfast Monday, that's my subtle way of asking you to please leave unless you have an issue or need advice on something that can't wait.

Love kitty is experiencing another herpes outbreak. Yes, my cat has herpes. How'd she get it? Who knows. I was told it is very common in shelter cats, cats that spent time living on the streets, and for kittens to contract the virus. She's been all three.

She's been a carrier for an amount of time I don't know and has been suffering outbreaks since late December. We got it under control in January. I feel so bad for my baby when her eye gets all gooky and puffy.

The vets warned me once she had the bad outbreak, which was the only outbreak I've experienced with her since I adopted her, that she would be more susceptible to having frequent outbreaks under times of stress. We were doing good until this morning. Now, we're back on the eye drops 3-5 times a day. More kitty cat crack for her and more guilt and stress for me. Will she continue to have outbreaks when I go out of town? Thankfully, nothing but day trips and a few days at home next week. I'm such a bad mom.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Happiness today is
being home
coming home to fur babies craving love and attention
having a chance to catch up and laugh with friends over dinner and a drink

Doesn't take much to make this girl happy after 3 long days away...Hope you are happy in your world too...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Too Funny!

Julia's new show, The New Adventures of Old Christine, is a hoot!

So are these thoughts about being a PacNW person. I've added my thoughts in bold too...

You know the state flower (Mildew).
Does moss count as a flower?

You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
So true!

Use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.
I had never heard this until I moved here and now I can't imagine not knowing what it means.

You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
Tea too.

You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
Ain't that the truth!

You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal.
Such good citizens we are.

You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not
a real mountain.

You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's.
Sad to say this is true.

You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye Salmon.
You mean you don't?

You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima, and Willamette.

You consider swimming an indoor sport.

You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food.
Bring it on baby!

In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark-while only working eight-hour days.
So very true.

You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and "Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."
Living the life.

You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.
I've even been there!

You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through
the cloud cover.

You notice, "The mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
This phrase cracks me up. Cracks me up even more when we actually say it.

You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
It's a state of mind people.

You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.
Never wear socks but when it hits 55 or higher, the flips flops are rocking.

You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time.

You measure distance in hours.
Did this even today!

You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day.
Been there.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk Season (Fall).

Adventures from the Road

So, I am left to wonder, does everyone who spends a lot of time in the car, driving from place to place, city to city, state to state have conversations in their head like I do? I figure out soooo much when I am on the road. I'm convinced the open road and mundane act of driving long stretches of road by myself allows me to have the quiet time most others crave. Even when I have the tunes rocking, the cell phone is ringing, etc. I find myself having those conversations and thoughts I need to have to work my stuff out. I'm letting my inner voice have the time it needs. Thank god for road trips.

I once read an article about business travelers and according the article, I am nowhere near the stereotypical road warrior. I'm not a white male in my mid to late 40's and I definitely am away from home more than 6 days a month. Heck, there are some weeks I have to wake up and look at the phone for an area code to determine what state I am. City? Ha, thank god for those information binders you can find in most hotel rooms. Don't even get me started on time zones.

Don't get me wrong. I have no real complaints here. I love what I do and that is more than most people can say. I just feel sometimes I live my life out of a suitcase and that I spend more time in hotel rooms than I do in my own place. I know this won't be my life forever. I can't deny that I have days where I dislike the travel though. Bottom line for I sit, in another city, in another hotel room (although it's the room I always request and get in this hotel), with a suitcase on the floor and a bag of salad in the fridge. For those who think business travel is glamorous and adventurous, allow me to say, it most certainly is not.

Ok, off of my soapbox...I'm off to eat some salad from a bag with a plastic fork and a green tea from the vending machine.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Never Again

Never again will I ask someone else to figure out a tip for me. When I ask you to figure out the tip for a haircut and partial foil, that is what I want the tip figured out on. Do not, do you hear me, do not figure out the tip on the haircut, partial foil, shampoo, conditioner, and tax. How nice of you to inflate your tip. As if 20% wasn't enough already. Hmmph. Trust me on this. Lesson learned. And to make up for the extra this time, you'll be getting 15% next appt.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Drop Like A Rock

These words will forever be associated with me getting the flu and my boss stating the obvious that yes, when I get I sick...I get sick and do drop like a rock.

Living on the prayer that it was just allergies last week was more like me living in denial. I finally feel like I have become one of the living again. It's been a very long time since I was sick like that. It was bad. I don't wish this year's flu on anyone.

The worst part of it all? Couple of things. I'm in the middle of doing a presentation Friday afternoon. I'd been dropping like a rock all day. All I wanted to do was go in a corner and sleep until my flight early Friday evening. Well, that didn't happen and here I was being a dedicated trooper just hanging on until that 5:30 flight time. Time to do my presentation. I start talking, I start to cough, and the next thing you know, I'm hurling. In front of a bunch of grown men. I ran down those stairs so fast and luckily made it to the bathroom in time to avoid more disaster but not soon enough to avoid major embarrassment.

I ended up staying an extra night in Spokane and proceeded to be one of those people who spread my crud all around the plane Saturday night. I called my doctor Sunday only to find out I had to let this run it's course. Cancelled my trip to Portland until this week and stayed in bed all day Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Hit the office Thursday and yesterday only to have people tell me I should be home in bed. Yea, if you could have seen me last week you'd know this is a major improvement. Back off before I breathe on you and share the love.

The absolute worst part of being sick and single? Noone to get you fluids or make your soup. God bless my furbabies. They always stick by my side whenever I am sick, have dental work, am feeling blah. They just knew when I had the chills and couldn't get warm. Both of them would climb up on me and stay there until their little bodies created a furnance to get me warm. If I got up to go to the bathroom, they both went with me and stayed with me until we crawled back into bed. I kept thinking, "If I pass out will they call 911 too?" Dang fever was making me delirious. Now, only if I could teach them how to opearte the water cooler and warm up soup.

So, long story short, I'm feeling almost normal today. My mini day of beauty last Saturday obviously didn't happen and I haven't rescheduled. At least I have a cut and color this afternoon. That will have to do for now. As for now, I've got bills to pay and about 2-3 hours of work I need to do before this week's trip. Will I ever catch up? I swear I am about two weeks behind now it seems.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rants and Raves

Just wanted to take a moment to rant and rave. Some thoughts, observations, etc. from the last few days, not in any particular order:

Rant: Hanging out in an overpriced hotel room due to a basketball tournament. It is insane they can jack up the nightly stay by 40% simply because of the extra business.

Rave: The same hotel has a stress manager on site. His name is Kip. He is the sweetest golden retriever evah! Love that when you walk into this hotel the fire is blazing, relaxing music is playing, and there is Kip either wide awake to greet you or sleeping but willing to wake up so you can play with him, love on him, experience him. Oh, and they put out fruit and cookies every night too.

Rant: Said basketball tournament guests are running up and down the halls at all hours of the night. Some of us have to be up at the butt crack of dawn dontcha' know?

Rave: Hotel offers hi speed wireless internet everywhere in the hotel.

Rant: Sick people in airplanes and at the office. I don't want your crud! Leave it at home people. (Sidebar: I think I may be succumbing to the crud. Throat is scratchy, I'm losing my voice, and eyes are itchy. Living a prayer it's only allergies)

Rave: Preferred seating due to my mileage plan status. I used to be a very social person on planes. Now I get to my seat, yank out the laptop or files, crank the tunes up or read an ebook. I'm raving to my fellow frequent business travelers who get it, who know without saying a word other than the customary greeting that I like you, I respect you...I just don't want to talk to you.

Rant: Flight attendants with attitude

Rave: Technology

Rant: Being so behind on so many things

Rave: Taking time for a mini day of beauty Saturday...just for me simply because

Rant: Last minute issues that take me away from where I want to be

Rave: Having such a fantastic group of people to work with and for that make being away from where I want to be fun and worthwhile

Rant: People freaking out in security lines simply because they are running a little bit behind and security needs to wand you because you didn't take your belt off, empty your pockets, take off your shoes, remove your coat, etc.

Rave: Hotel vending machines with a huge selection of drinks. Bring on the SoBe, bring on the juice, bring on the Starbucks bottled drinks, bring on the cokes/soda

Rant: Unwanted advances

Rave: Females not afraid to pay you a compliment