30 April 2008

Letter 30

Dear Blog,

Tonight is my last required Letter via NaBloPoMo for the month of April. May's theme is "voices" which should be interesting since I have several running through my head at any given moment throughout the day. But tonight I thought I should write you a letter instead.

Blog, you serve me well. You allow me an outlet. My friends are all miles away and I don't do well with phone calls. But typing? Yes, typing I can do. And typing I did do (which typing that throws one of the voices in my head into a British accent mimicking Gwyneth Paltrow's character Helen from Sliding Doors when John Hannah's character James asks her, "Do you work there?" and she says, "I did do, but I've just be fired, okay?" - I would continue and am doing so in my head but I'll keep that to myself).

Anyway... this is my 50th post for the month. How insane is that? This is only a 30-day month? I hope all that I have written makes sense. Sometimes I think I ramble a little too much. The whole point of this medium was to see how I could do with writing and formulating my thoughts.

I don't think I'm doing well at this. Most of the time I just ramble and end up on tangents that make no sense. Of course part of the reason is that I don't write everything on my blog that is going on in my left because there are things I just don't want to share with everyone nor do people want or need to know some of the things in my life (privacy can be a good thing!).

So anyway, I just wanted to thank you dear blog for putting up with me. You keep me honest and stable. You help me connect with friends around the world (Hi Eric and Karen!). And you keep me sane. Thank you.

29 April 2008

Yes we can

Maybe it's that perspective coming out again (see here if you haven't yet). Or maybe it was the email I received earlier tonight about what to expect if Obama becomes President.

The email had pictures of the White House looking like a mosque (with the Arabian-like tops), had a cowboy riding a camel, changed Burger King to Falafel King (and actually - a falafel sounds really good right now) and others. I wrote back to the sender kindly letting them know my opinion about Obama and sent them the link to his website so they could read up on who he is.

But it got me thinking about the Yes, We Can video. I haven't watched that in awhile. I think for about 2 weeks straight back in February I watched it several times a day. So I checked out the website tonight and it still chokes me up. Plus there's a new video - actually two.

So here you go if you're interested. I still don't know how to embed a video so here's the link.

Letter 29

The letter P is for perspective.

When it rains, it pours. That seems to be so true today. I'm not sure if my stars are out of whack or what but these last few days have been just a cluster of mess ups that are almost comical when you put them all together.

  • First, there's the snow that came down IN APRIL and is slated to return later this week (hopefully it'll just stay as rain).
  • Then there's the tooth which still hurts and I've already talked about. And I discovered with that that my insurance through work is crap for dental stuff, which is really ironic since my organization is gung-ho on good dental hygiene. Yet we have crap for insurance unless you want to pay extra for a supplemental (which I do). This is my one complaint about my workplace - poor straight-up dental insurance. Oh well.
  • Then this morning I woke up to hear my toilet running. I tried to catch it but it was too late...the tank was basically empty and it wouldn't flush. I don't understand this one because the flapper is fine, the chain is fine, but it won't fill up. Weird.
  • Starbucks was super busy this morning - apparently everyone needed some caffeine today - and I was running late so no chai for me. :( Granted this isn't a crisis or horrible thing - in fact it saves me money though I got a gift card from a friend last month so I wouldn't have had to pay anything. But still...I could have really used a chai.
  • My tire which seems to lose air every month is losing air again and dinged at me while I was driving in to work today - which is ironic because I was going to stop at MINI yesterday before I left the cities to have them look at it but because of my tooth I came straight home instead. Tooth...tire...tooth...tire....hopefully I made the right decision.

I'm just waiting for the next thing to drop. Things come in 3's right? I've had 5 so there should be another one coming. Maybe my NED will end or maybe I'll break my leg or something. Who knows. I guess I'll just have to wait and see - and laugh at all the rest of the crap going on.

It is truly comical how everything seems to be going wrong at once. It's like rip in the atmospheric layer of life and evil is seeping through. Weird.

The funny thing about all of this is that it really is about perspective. I'm annoyed these things are happening but really these are SO minor compared to other things in the world. I have friends and relatives of friends who are fighting the "War on Terror". I have multiple (yes multiple) friends with cancer fighting to survive. There are people struggling all over with their lives, sickness, and regular life. My problems are so pathetic when you hear about all the rest.

It makes a person think. I'm really blessed in my life and I appreciate everything that I've been given. I mean, a toothache is nothing when there are people who can't get dentistry help or are lying on the chemo table waiting for the next round. And the fact my toilet was broken this morning is of no consequence when I have a super who can fix things for me - and did. It's working great now.

And there's more. Tonight I got to relish in two huge blessings in my life. I got to hang out with Sarah and Eric at BW3s which was great. They always cheer me up and I can't wait to hang out with them again.

So God's blessings to all of you. You're in my prayers and I hope for the best for each of you.

28 April 2008

Letter 28

Dear dentist (and doctor, for that matter),

I really hate going to see you. I know you do good work and it's important for me to have healthy teeth (Lord knows, my career organization is horribly anal about dental exams each year). But I really hate going to see you.

It's always, "Moe, you need to floss more." I hate flossing. I know I need to do it but I hate it. But today you gave me hope. Today the visit wasn't too bad (with a few moments of annoyance). Today you told me not to floss - at least on that side of my mouth. YAY! I wanted to laugh that it wouldn't be a problem but by the time you told me that I was so numb I could barely move my head.

The big bonus about having teeth work done - like cavities filled or crowns - basically anything with Novocaine - is that I have the option to use the gas. See, I really like getting the gas. I don't like the mark it leaves on my face afterward or the fact that it leads to large needles poking into my jaw and the numbness that lasts for hours following. But I really like the feeling.

I never smoked pot nor did any other recreational drugs so I've never had that feeling of getting high. But the gas really gives me the nice feeling of drifting away. I think it was truly the first time in months where I've been able to lie completely still, zone in on the music (the John Tesh show! - I'm surprised I didn't throw up..) and just be still.

That was an amazing feeling - I wasn't napping but I wasn't really awake either. I just was totally zoned out. That was, of course, until the fabulous dentist tools came out and then the taste of metallic whatever decides to find its way on to my tongue and down my throat, which finally left my mouth about an hour ago after my second bowl of ice cream.

That's my other beef - I hate coming to see you because I'm always afraid of eating afterward and today I desperately needed to eat. So I had pasta (mushy) and ice cream (mushy) and now I'm ready for bed. I hope I can eat crunchy things tomorrow. I guess I'll just eat on the other side of my mouth which I'm pretty adept at since I've been doing it since September.

Anyway, I do thank you, dear dentist, for the work you do on my mouth, my only request is for the gas even during basic cleaning sessions. I think I'd enjoy them more and not want to hurt you too much every time you tell me to floss more.


I'm back!

Thank goodness I'm home. I was really annoyed with internet service last night. I tried at 3 different "hot zone" before I finally had one that works somewhat. That's why yesterday was so short.

So I had a great weekend. Sunday I went to church where they were honoring women for the day. One of the former choir members had commissioned a piece for the choir to sing. It was actually really nice. The other bonus was they had only one service so the church was packed. That is always great.

After church a friend and I went to the Wilde Roast for coffee and to catch up. Then back to my room to watch a little of the Indians/Yankees game and then some ultimate fun: I got to have coffee with JB! :) Yay! It's always fun to catch up with her and she's been so busy lately it's amazing she's still upright. You're awesome girl!

Then, sigh, the Guthrie. I hinted at this yesterday but here's the real thing. The Guthrie is playing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and this is nothing like you've ever seen. It's not done in the purist form of Shakespeare, which made the lady next to me a little hesitant and apprehensive about the show. I, for one, I always love when the Guthrie uses a different genre and concept to portray Shakespeare. For some reason when they do it, it works. Last night was no exception.

Puck's costume was great. He described it as what would have transpired if Michael Jackson and David Bowie had conceived a child and then named it Dennis Rodman. That should help your imagery. All the characters were amazing, of course costuming is a gift of the Guthrie.

I don't even know where to begin. All the actors were incredible - the songs were amazing and unexpected - the Cirque de Soleil look was perfect. And like I said last night, the guy who played Oberon was hot...is hot.

Anyway...I don't want to talk too much about it just in case you can see it, and if you live nearby I'd highly recommend seeing it. What an amazing show!

The only downside was right toward the end of the show when my gum suddenly had a rock in it - which turned out to be part of my tooth. Shit. So I'm typing right now because I can't talk. I went to the dentist as soon as I came home and I now have a temporary crown, with the permanent to join my molars next week. Joy.

The bad thing is that I haven't eaten since the bagel and banana this morning so I'm starving but I can't move my mouth. And when the cute guy at the grocery store today tried to smile and say hi to me, I couldn't move. Dammit. I was this / / close to writing him a note saying, "I can't talk or smile right now because I can't feel my jaw, but if you'd like to talk sometime in the near future please call me at:... " but I don't have the guts to do that. And that's a whole other blog topic.

So I'm anxiously and yet nervously waiting for the Novocaine to wear off so I can eat again. I hate this part - the wearing off of the numbness. It sucks.

Oooo the tingling is beginning...gotta go!

27 April 2008

Letter 27

The Letter G

For GUTHRIE! Holy crap. Anyone in the Twin Cities reading this: You really should (read: must) go see A Midsummer Night's Dream. This was an awesome show and the guy who plays Oberon is super cute. :)

More on that later. My internet connection is bad tonight.

26 April 2008

Letter 26

Today's letters are T and C.

I don't know why I think I need to fix myself on my own. I can't do it. I've been feeling blue lately, which is to be expected with all that's going on in my life, but one of the big things I realized earlier this week is that I haven't been back to The Cities since early March, and that was a super quick trip just for the Guthrie and coffee.

So, Thank Goodness, I have tickets for this weekend to see A Midsummer Night's Dream. More on that in a second...

I debated and debated this week of when I should come up. The show is at 7 Sunday night so really I could easily come up to the cities on Sunday AM after church, see a couple friends, hit the show, stay night and then head back Monday AM. But because it's been so long since I've been up here I decided to come up today instead. Of course, still this morning I was debating on coming up today, but I did and I'm really glad I did.

Debbie, Lisa and I headed out to eat at Chevy's tonight. I'm not a big Mexican fan but it was okay. I ate too much though so now I feel bloated and blah. Oh well. But chatting with the girls and then walking through the Mall of Death for an hour was great.

And tomorrow I get to see JB for coffee/chai and, of course, the Guthrie! I'm really excited about the show. We did this one in college and I played The A Fairy. That was my character "A Fairy". All the rest of the fairies had names, but I had the big speech. I got to start the 2nd act with Puck on stage. It was great. I do love this show, the magicalness of it all. I can't wait to see how the Guthrie handles it.

I'm excited for another Shakespeare show again. I saw King Lear last fall with Ian McKellan (on the link: scroll down to Naked Wizards) which was awesome. I love Shakespeare when it's done well. I was chatting with my friend Garry from college yesterday and he said he slept through our rendition of Midsummer back then and isn't really into the theatre side of things like his brother is (His brother Tom played the ass - Nick Bottom - in ours). So Garry and I made a deal...he'd go to another Shakespeare play (I get to pick) but I have to go camping (sleeping bag and tent) for a weekend. He's totally getting the better end of the deal.

Anyway...back to TC - I'm so glad I'm back here. Sometimes I just need a refresher. I need to get back to where I feel the most normal and that's totally this city. I'm really thankful I still have friends here and options to be here. It's a very good thing.

25 April 2008

Letter 25

Dear Mother Nature,

Do you need an upgrade for your blackberry? Maybe a new iPhone with a built in calendar? Or maybe you're a paper person and prefer to have a handwritten calendar?

IT'S APRIL 25!!! It should NOT be snowing.

Thanks for your time.

24 April 2008

Laughter is the best medicine they say

One of the reasons I totally love my job is that 9 times out of 10 I will be laughing my butt off at some point throughout the day. There are just these idiotic moments that will just catch us off guard or strike me funny and I burst out laughing.

Today it happened right at the end of the day. KC and I have been nagged, I mean, asked by one of our section leaders to update two additional duty letters. We have these to assign people to different committees and let me tell you, these are a pain in the ass.

Well, first I had to find the two letters - one was named something completely wrong (which I fixed) and the other was named correctly but was in dire need of updating. It hadn't been updated since 2005 and there have been a lot of changes since then.

So KC and I talked through most of the changes on the phone until we got to the part that states what regulation we're following that states we need these people on the committee. It looked like an odd reg to me, so I told KC I'd do some research and look it up.

Our huge organization has an online database of all the varying regs for different areas so I took a quick look-see to see what I could find.

Well, this cracked me up: the reg listed on our appointment letters was a supplement from 1998. That was the first bad thing. The next bad was that the main reg has a most recent issue from 2005. And the final awesome bad thing was that there was no supplement matching the one we had listed anywhere in our database.

I busted out laughing. Really, this isn't that funny of a matter, but taking into account the section leader who has been repeatedly asking about these duty letters and the fact that even on the last update no one caught that the reg was out of date or verified that, this became extremely funny.

I called KC and told her the situation and said I'd do a little more research, but I really am not optimistic. I need to get a copy of the main reg now and see if there's even a need for this group, because if not...I'm rescinding everything and deleting it from my files! WOOHOO!

What kills me about this is that it's such a "high priority" to get this updated and then it may not even be needed. So KC and I are sweating bullets trying to find out security status and who needs to be on the group and what not, and we don't even know why the group is in place or if it even needs to continue.

So since this happened at the end of the day, I spent the next 20 minutes in all out laughter. I even drove to Walgreens to pick up some prescriptions (because drugs are good) and one of the guys in the next truck stared at me like I was insane because I couldn't stop laughing.

As KC said, "this job is so much more than a secretary." No shit. That's why I hate that term.

So here's to all of you, hoping that each of you finds something hysterical to enjoy each day at work...even if it makes no sense to anyone else.

Letter 24

Dear Horoscope,

Dammit why do you have to be right?!

If you have been on a spending binge -- fiscal or energetic -- today you may finally realize that everything is stretched too thin. You might have rationalized your behavior because of your positive outlook on the future. Even if your career opportunities have grown, you are still tempted to inflate the potential. Stay on the safe side; if you commit too much, you may be sorry later on.

23 April 2008

All great things must come to an end

American Idol is starting to piss me off. You have these pretty awesome nobodies singing their hearts out to take a chance at becoming great.

In the beginning this was a good show, whittling out the ones who couldn't sing, who couldn't perform. But lately it seems it's become a popularity contest, not about skill.

Tonight is case in point. Two people are in the bottom two of the group who truly should not be. While for sure one, but my opinion is two, others were safe, I think primarily because they have a fan base of young girls who just don't quite understand what it takes to be a constant performer and entertainer.

And Carly is leaving us. UGH. I'm annoyed. She is so talented. The only thing I can say is that she still has an amazing career ahead of her and it won't stop here. sheesh. People! Vote better!

Letter 23

Dear Boss1,

People often ask me why I love my job so much. Truly you are a huge reason why I love my job. You are fabulous to work with, you make things so much easier just by making it enjoyable. We can laugh and joke with each other and yet still get the work accomplished. And the work we do is so important.

Today was Administrative Professionals Day (aka Secretary's Day to those who still work in that vernacular). I had totally spaced about this day. It's not a big deal to me, mostly because you show your appreciation for my work all the time.

So today when you walked in and said, "I remembered this year!" I looked up in confusion and there you stood with three tulips and a balloon that said, "To a great assistant. Thank you!" I was in shock, seriously. After I stammered and said, "Thank you" like a million times, you said, "I have one more thing for you too."

What more could you give me? I thought. Well in you walked with a letter authorizing me 10 hours off. I couldn't believe it. Of course this was for my LMPC work but still, I couldn't believe it. Tulips, balloon and time off? Wow.

And people still question why I love my job. And it's not just because of this stuff. This is a bonus. I get to work with you and your colleagues who are all so amazing. Everyone has such a great sense of humor and we get to play it up. Like when you wrote to the-man-I-admire to ask him for some bullet statements about himself for a form you had to fill out and he ended his bullet points with "VERY HANDSOME". I mean, that cracks me up!

It's like JonG says, "If you can't have fun at your job, you're in the wrong place." It's so true. You have to enjoy what you do. It makes the day go easier, it makes life worthwhile, it makes everything better. And of course we're going to have bad days. But those are so few and far between.

Anyway, thank you for today and for the gifts. It's an honor to work for and with you. I thank my lucky stars every day that you chose to hire me 16 months ago. Thank you.

P.S. Dear readers - when is Bosses Day?

22 April 2008


So last week I started a spreadsheet with some of the standard eats in my eating plan. This week I decided to kick it up a notch and start tracking my calories, fat, etc.

Of course I've really only been looking at it today, but it's been interesting what and how I eat. Any "diet" plan will tell you to track what you eat. I'm doing it more because I really don't think I eat that poorly, but I don't know that I eat enough to make a difference.

You have to exercise enough to burn calories, right? But you also have to have something there to burn (because your body is going to hang on to some of that just to sustain you). Looking at my spreadsheet today I got to wondering if I'm reverting back to my college days.

In college, I met with my friend Derek about an exercise program. I was working a lot at Arby's and could eat there for fairly cheap. I was exercising almost daily, mostly for stress relief than anything. Anyway, my days went like this usually: Got up; ate cereal for breakfast; went to class or work - if class then I came home and ate a salad or sandwich, if work I ate a sandwich at work which was usually a whole wheat bun, a little turkey, lettuce, tomato, no mayo; if class, i usually studied in the afternoon or slept because I'd work that night, if work, I was working; if I worked at night I would have the whole wheat sandwich for supper - and generally I was working so this was a standard. After work I would come home and go running. I know - running at 11 pm? But this was a fairly safe town and by then I needed to run off my stress. These were my days.

Well, when Derek and I met we made some initial quick changes: switch to diet pop - that was crucial and I've never gone back to straight (with the exception of my sometimes suicide mixes or the Baja Blast at Taco Bell), and switch up my workout - I started working out in the AMs as well by going to the gym and lifting weights. But the biggest change was to eat more. He had me put more protein in my diet - eat more eggs, add chicken to things. I was really leaning towards almost a vegetarian diet before he and I talked. It was really eye opening.

Then in seminary first I tried the 6-week Body Makeover and that worked for awhile. Then I worked out with Jay. With his plan I was eating tuna for breakfast, hardly any carbs - in fact I had carb free days where I forewarned some of my co-workers that it was a carb-free day and they usually steered clear of me because my attitude went to shit. Of course with him I was also working out 2 hours a day after work and lost 15 pounds in a month - which was great until he left for Denmark and I gained it all back.

Finally, I took on the South Beach plan primarily because it worked so well for E&K and the three of us are very similar in body types. And I've loved this plan. I have a hard time going back to it now, because I'm at such a different place in my life. At that point when I first got into it, I was totally focused on losing weight. That was my goal. And I succeeded. And I felt great. But then I started bringing back in carbs - baking pies and such because I love to bake - and I started to lose it (my mind, not the weight...that started coming back). Plus it was winter and the nesting gene got back in my head and I subconsciously needed to stack on weight to keep warm (plus I lived in a basement so I was always cold).

After a few months, I had gained some back but by then I was also running more. I needed to run for my sanity. I needed to run for my now full-time job/then part-time job. I wanted to be more than just light, I wanted to be strong.

But to do that, I needed carbs. And I can say, I've learned from South Beach which carbs to eat and it helps. I generally eat what's on the Phase 2 "foods to enjoy" list, but my weight has come back and I need to lose it - not only for my health, but also because for me to finish TC next fall in a better position than I was last fall, I need to be lighter. Strong, but lighter.

So I'm going to track my eats. I think this will keep me from eating just to eat (maybe I'll even add in the "why I'm eating" to the sheet - maybe). Tonight I had scrambled eggs - which I have always (well, since SB) eaten them as 3 egg whites, 1 full egg, cheese and then veggies. Well I'm out of veggies since I used them all in my chicken/WWpasta for my lunches, I left out the olives I usually put in because I don't need those extra 20 calories and I left out the cheese because I just wasn't into it. But then I looked at my intake for the day and I could have had both.

I think this chart will help. I know that every morning for work I'm going to have a chai (thanks for the affirmation, Cinda!), I'm going to have half a bagel (I should add some PB to that and maybe I'll try that tomorrow) and I'm going to eat my WWpasta/chicken meal for lunch (because like my dad I'm going to use it as fuel and not worry about the taste - just like Daddy who had bologna and cheese sandwiches every day). So knowing that, I can plan the rest of my day and meals around it. So at night I can maybe eat something else, or my snacks can be added during the day.

I'm excited to try this. Who knows if I can make it work, but I'm hoping.

Letter 22

Dear smile,

These were things that brought you out today:

1) Julie Jo telling me that since she changed the paper for me in the printer I needed to empty her recycling bin (a bin 3 1/2 feet high, 1 foot wide and completely full). HA! I don't even empty my recycling bin...why would I empty hers? Plus the place to empty them is right outside her door.

2) Seeing on my CBT course this line: "You type the titles of your master documents and subdocuments, pressing ENTER to insert a carriage return between each row." Ah, carriage return. Do kids these days even understand what that really means? (And before you scoff at me, yes, I learned on a manual typewriter, carriage returns and all).

3) More pictures of Nika...how cute! ;)

4) Discussing who is authorizing and who is certifying for each document. Seriously, this is a cluster.

5) Having the picture of "Ron Anderson" from my CBT pop up on my screen. I don't know why but it just struck me funny. Which then of course triggered a question from Boss1, "What's all the levity in the next room?"

6) Have you ever had that urge where you just wanted to kiss someone? I get this every now and then. Once I did during music theory where I just really wanted to kiss Tim S sitting next to me, which for some reason grossed out Tre. I never acted on it but it was a weird moment of need. I had that a couple times this morning where I just wanted to kiss someone. Maybe it's because Freddy Krueger was in my dream last night instead of John.

7) Speaking of, that dream was weird. I was at a movie in my home town which is odd enough because we don't have a theatre. I left the theatre (a grand place for the tiny town) and was driving down a road, I kept moving over to the left lane so I could turn. I went through three different intersections before I came to the last one where I had to turn left or right. I turned left and at that point I was suddenly walking/running. I was on the road that comes out just behind the town bar but when I got to that intersection I was suddenly by the Elevator (which is two blocks to the right or where I should have ended). Anyway, I was running by the Elevator, ended up at the next corner and stopped (did I mention it's nighttime) so I could get the rocks out of my shoes. Mary Hess was there, and we were chatting about some class thing when Freddy Krueger shows up and asks if I'm scared or if I need a ride home (I can't remember which). I was momentarily shocked, brought up my arms to my chest to block anything he was going to try, and then said I was fine, turned back to Mary to continue talking and he left. Only then did I get completely freaked out, my heart started pounding and we headed up the main street hill by the Post Office. Then I woke up.

8) I hate Focus Training. And schedules. And scheduling people for Focus Training.

9) Even hours later when I'm still working on CBTs (I have a lot of them) when I see the name "Ron Anderson" I still chuckle, thinking back on his picture. Why? I don't know.

10) PIE! And the secret rendezvous that went with it. :) hahahaha

11) Alton Brown was right! The little birdy makes all the difference in the pie - no more goop! I'm so happy.

12) Running outside. Man, it was beautiful today, though windy at one point, but the way back felt really good.

13) Today is Mark S's b-day. I always remember this and still have the email he sent me that said, "I can see you!" We had a mutual stalking relationship.

21 April 2008

Letter 21

The letter for the day is P.

P is for PIE! My apartment smells yummy right now. I thought it was getting near that whole pie season again and I need to brush up on my pie baking skills. So the other day I picked up some apples and it just came out of the oven.

I'm using a black bird this time. I was searching for one a month or so ago, did find one on eBay and won the bid. So I have it sitting in my pie right now, based on recommendations by Alton Brown. I want to try it right now but I'm going to let it cool for awhile...probably over night and then I'll bring it to work tomorrow (only because I promised SB a piece of pie the next time I made one).

Otherwise today was pretty uneventful. I did wake up from an amazing dream with John Cusack. I didn't really want to wake up or get up after that, but oh well. John, if you read this... I'm really not stalking you. I don't do that. But oh that dream! I can only hope to relive that one again tonight.

And congratulations to Mike and Pat, who two years ago today graduated from AMS. Why I remember that, I don't know, but remember this date impressed a man I admire a few weeks back, so maybe it's okay my nickname once was Calendar Girl.

20 April 2008

Plans gone astray

I had grandiose plans for today. I completed a few of them - hearing Sarah preach, watching the Indians game (well, at least 9 innings worth - I'm probably the reason why they lost since I felt asleep in the 10th).

But the rest of my plans - going through papers, shredding, taking down recycling, cleaning in general...well those didn't happen. Probably because I usually do all that on Monday and it's not Monday yet. So my list for tomorrow has just gotten much longer. Oh well.

Sooooo....my blog posts have been pretty boring lately. Sorry about that. I do have some exciting news:

I'm doing TC again.

Yep, I decided that on Friday and sent in my registration. Since I dropped out of Brookings, I thought I should at least set a feasible goal and then Brookings can be attempted next year when I have a decent place to train during the winter.

I've been checking out some different work out plans. I went on Runner's World and I had to chuckle a little, though I did so with much wonderment. Their schedule they gave me, to train hard, for 16 weeks, they only have me running - actual running - twice a week. The rest of the week is cross-training or rest.

REST! Apparently they don't know me at all, because giving me an opportunity to rest and only run 2 out of 7 days of the week will not work. I need to run something like 5 out of 7 days instead. Not that I need to over run, but if I start resting (because I don't do cross-training well) I won't ever stop.

I know I do need to do some cross-training, but I can't give up running just to do that. So I'll have to find a better plan somewhere else. I have some other options out there, I just need to pull them out.

So that's my news. For better or worse.

Letter 20

I have the Smurfs theme song in my head right now. It's driving me mad...MAD I say!

So let's see, who should I write a letter to today? I could still publish Letter 19 from yesterday, but I won't. I think I'm just going to send that one directly. So who can I write....no one it seems.

19 April 2008

Letter 19a

I wrote Letter 19 earlier but I can't bring myself to publish it. Actually I did, but then I took it off because it's probably not good to publish. So those three of you who maybe read it, nevermind. It was just me wishing for things that will never happen. Story of my life.

I finished one of my blankets - a baby blanket for my mom's boss. Now I need to start the blanket I'm really excited to make: the one for my Goddaughter. I'm so excited for this one. I'm taking a little break from my PIF projects, though I have yarn for those too.

My day has been weird. It's beautiful here - picture perfect weather. And I had to drag my sorry ass out to go for a run this afternoon. I had run some errands this morning but I just wasn't feeling up to running today. But I made myself go out because if I didn't I'd feel guilty and pathetic for the rest of the weekend. I probably still will because I didn't run enough or well enough. My heart just wasn't in it. I'm not sure why. You'd think the sun would help. Maybe just too many things on my mind.

I'm watching Juno...right now she's asking if people can stay together forever and be happy. Her dad tells her to find someone who can love you for exactly who you are. I wonder if I'll ever find that person. I thought I did once, but despite my best efforts I screwed that one up. And since I haven't felt very confident about my abilities in relationships. I seem to mess them up quite well. Whatever, I guess.

This made me glad

This kid has better rhythm and pitch than a lot of adults I know.


18 April 2008

Letter 18

Today's letters are I and T (and even IT).

Let's start at the very beginning...it's a very good place to start. When you read you begin with?
When you learn you begin with:

Okay, enough of that but in my world this is true. For almost anything anymore, it seems there is a CBT attached to it. You have to take the CBT first; if you don't pass the CBT you won't get your upgrade; the CBT is short (this means it will only take you 3 hours instead of 5).

Well, for my job I had to take an upgrade level test a few months ago. I passed and thought I'd be done, my level would be granted. Well, at our last weekend work day, my training manager sent me an email and said I have to have my training record updated first. So I checked with my supervisor and she asked if I had completed all these CBTs that I had on my list to do. Shit. Nope...in fact, I hadn't even started.

So yesterday, I was unmotivated and decided I better get started. I finished one yesterday afternoon, most of another last night (finishing it this morning) and then started the third. Well, I quickly learned I won't accomplish these at work during the day. I was interrupted more times than I ever have been before - or maybe it just annoyed me more since I was trying to get these done. So I worked through lunch and just tried to keep going.

I just finished number 3 now (this is only 3 modules of 5 for ONE test...I have 3 or 4 others for this one segment, and then three more segments all broken down into tests with more modules).
Oh, did I mention these are all computer (IT) tests? And they are all fairly basic but I have to click through the modules or if I were to fail a test I'll get more dings because I didn't actually go through the training? Yeah, this sucks.

My other I & T tonight is that the Indians are at the Twins this weekend. I really wanted to go up and see the game tomorrow afternoon but with gas prices and that I'll be going up soon for a Guthrie show, I just couldn't justify it. I'm sad though...I really love my team. But, on the other hand, I do get to see them on TV since this is supposedly Twins Territory and they televise the games on FSN.

Well, back to both ITs for now. It's only the 2nd inning and I have a lot more training to do (Woohoo! two of my boys just scored! and Casey broke his bat!)

P.S. By the way, I'm not IT in any way-shape-or form, so stop trying to tag me.

17 April 2008

Letter 17

Today's post is brought to you by the letter O.

O = nothing.
O = zero.
O = nada, zilch, nyet.

I've got nothing. Today was...well, not good. The morning drug on - I swear it took three hours for the clock to move 90 minutes. I was not motivated, I didn't work out, and I just moved papers around on my desk for awhile before finally deciding to complete some of my computer based training (CBTs) that I need to accomplish. I have a huge list of that stuff and it all sucks so I've been avoiding it. But my goal now is to whip through a huge chunk of it over the next few days. It's not hard, it just sucks.

And then there's the email factor. I read one today that I shouldn't have and I'm regretting it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and I could have stayed blissfully ignorant if I hadn't read this one. But alas, I did and now I'm not. So now I have to figure out what to do about it.

For now...back to my CBTs. And for you, dear reader, you get O. My apologies.

16 April 2008

For those concerned...I'm sleeping & running again

But not at the same time.

I did sleep all through the night last night. It was great! I woke up at 5:20 with my alarm, curled up for another 20 and still had time to make it to Starbucks and to work on time.

Of course the rest of the day was a blur, as most Wednesdays are. Meetings, meetings, meetings all morning long and then spending the rest of the morning typing up minutes of said meetings.

I did get to go to the gym today, which was great. I went yesterday, too (the start of my return to marathons). Our PT test is coming up soon so yesterday I tried to see how fast I could do the run portion. I finished in 15:14, which isn't bad for the distance, and would give me a decent score, but it is really fast for me. That's a 10:07 minute mile and I'm usually at an 11:30 or 12 so this one hurt a little. Today I tried it again, just to see if it was a fluke.

Well...it must have been. I did the math and figured to go faster I'd need to run at 6.1 to finish under 15 (last year I finished in 14:30 and that hurt, I'd like to do better this year - primarily finishing with out hurting or needing to walk a mile just to get my breath back because I ran so hard just to finish with a decent time). So I started. I made it about 3/4 a mile and then started to fade. Part of this could have been that it was noonish and I hadn't had any protein yet for the day (bad!) nor eaten anything since 9 (snack) and 7 (breakfast). Yesterday I ran around 3 and had had lunch at 12:30 so I was feeling pretty good then.

Anyway, when I started to fade I decided to reevaluate what I was doing. I do want to get faster, but just running faster isn't going to do it. So I did a few fartleks (of sorts) to start strengthening my legs. Not only is this a fun word to say, they can be fun to do. Of course I did this kind of odd but it worked, I think: I would walk for a bit and then run at about 7.2 for 30 seconds or so, then jog for a little bit, then run at 7.2 again. I did this 4 times I think until it just got hot in the shed and I started to get dizzy - lack of sugar and protein! Note to self: Must Accelerade tomorrow!

Anyway, my legs are sore today but it's a good sore. I feel like I'm accomplishing something ... finally! Of course I still look and feel fat, but that will go away too, I'm sure (I hope!). And the fact that I'm now counting my calories will help. I'm actually wondering if I'm not eating enough...but maybe I am. I don't know. That's confusing too.

It's that time though...I need to find a focus. I need to find something else to do with my life besides watching AI or knitting. Spring is here (the wind proved that today) and summer is coming. Our new gym is almost finished and when I start running there on a regular basis I want to be ripped.

The most important thing: sign up for the TC Marathon opens Friday.


Letter 16

Dear Goddaughter,

YAY! You're here! I'm so excited that you made it and have all your digits intake, and apparently some super cute cheeks.

I vow to be there for you whenever you need me. Of course, due to our current proximately that may not always be in person, but my phone will always be on for you. I promise to walk with you through the milestones in your life. I promise to help you through all your struggles and rejoice with you in your triumphs (however big or small).

I promise to love you as only a Godmother can. I can't wait to see you.


15 April 2008


Does anyone else remember Monchichi's?

Oh, wait, sorry...That's David on AI. But don't they look alike?

Okay, the boy can sing...I probably shouldn't pick on him too much...but I can't help it! They both are so cute!

Letter 15

Dear Bed,

What an interesting sleep pattern I have...

The last few weeks have set this precedent that I'm not really liking. Tuesday through Friday, my work week, I wake up at 3:33, then lay in bed snoozing until 4:30 when I wake up wide awake. But my weekends I can sleep until 6:30 without notice...no waking in the middle of the night, no tossing or turning. It's very odd.

And yesterday I made a point to get everything done before I went to bed. The only thing I didn't do was pack my gym bag, but that takes all of 30 seconds to do anyway and I don't usually pack it until the morning because I like to see how I feel for what I want to wear to work out. But I even ironed my uniform at 5:30pm last night, which is very unusual since I'm usually doing that either a) in the morning frantically before leaving, or b) at 9 pm during whatever show I'm watching at that point.

So why I still woke up at 3:33 is beyond me. And I could have gotten up then, but then I would have gotten a little sleep around 4:30 (I've tried this before) and then snoozed then and overslept, so I thought I'd just lay in bed instead.

It's interesting because I just read a blog post not so long ago about better health and the big one was to set a specific time to wake up...every day (weekends too). The writer had picked 4 am and he said even if he went to bed at midnight he still woke at 4 am feeling refreshed. Odd, but he picked that time. I didn't pick 3:33. I'd prefer 4:30. I'd be fine with 4:30, but not 3:33. ugh.

Can we work on this? I don't want to be late for work, but I don't want to lie in bed every morning for 90 minutes because it's still 0-dark-30.

14 April 2008

How does your brain work?

I should have written this when I was thinking about it this afternoon. Tre and I had a nice chat going which got me thinking about how different people's brains work. But then she inspired me to get my ass off the couch and finish the work I had started, as well as starting and finishing a couple other things I've been putting off, and what I wanted to talk about disappeared into the void. But I'll try to recap it here.

We were talking about our days. She was at work but I have the day off since we have a compressed schedule. She had asked what I had been doing, so being the anal retentive person I am I recapped what I had accomplished: 5 loads of laundry, grocery shopping, and a couple other things I can't remember now. She said that I sounded busy. Not as busy as I should be, I said. I have a horribly messy kitchen but I'm avoiding it, as well as all the clothes I want to pack up to take to Goodwill (still...I've been talking about this for months) and other stuff, but that I was avoiding them nicely.

She said something about not being able to do that, something about being anxious about getting things done. I said that I don't worry about it. If I get it done I get it done, if not, well no big deal because I'll never get everything done. And then I rambled on a little more (imagine that!).

She asked what inspiration writer/speaker I've been listening to. I said, no one. I just make my brain think that way, because I can't let myself get stressed about the little things like that, despite the fact that my mentor at work is all about the little things. Of course, I live alone and have no friends so it's not like I'm entertaining. Really, the only person I have to deal with is myself and if I can't live with myself even in my messy periods (like Picasso's Blue period) then I have bigger issues that I need to work through than just getting my kitchen cleaned. She said something about that she would rather have organization than chaos in her life so that's why when her house feels chaotic then she is...or something like that.

I don't like chaos either. I'm all about NLPs (neat little piles – my college boyfriend still curses me for teaching him this technique, but that's a whole other story). And it's not like my home is really a disaster area. There are a few places, corners mostly and my closet in my bedroom, where there are boxes of things I need to go through, but my main living area is...well, okay. It's not pristine like I feel it should be, but why does it have to be pristine? Who says it has to?

Why does my brain work that way and hers doesn't? Why do I just not care about a pristine house or even a more clean house than I have right now? Maybe there's something truly wrong with me that I'm okay with having a messy kitchen throughout the week (I clean once a week, if that), that I'm okay if I don't vacuum or make my bed. But then again, my apartment is the size of her living room and dining room in her house...so she has more mass area that she has to deal with. She also has a dog and works two jobs, so that adds to her as well.

She had said when I was moving in that she thought I was a minimalist because I had a very small truck for all my stuff and she had to have a big truck when she moved. I don't consider myself a minimalist in any way shape or form...I have a lot of crap that I don't use. I have 100s of DVDs and VHS movies. (Actually, I watch all of those – yes, I have no life.) I have books galore, so much that most of the boxes in my storage are books. And if those aren't filled with books they are either filled with one of two things: paper, or clothes that I keep meaning to take to Goodwill. I keep so much stuff. I'm a hoarder, as I've mentioned earlier.

I'll admit that I do feel better when my house is super clean. There's something about that accomplishment and the freshness of it all. But I don't stay up nights lamenting that I didn't get that kitchen sink cleaned or the laundry put away. Not that Tre does this either, but we do have a different way of thinking about this stuff. I don't know. Maybe it's just one of those mysteries of the world. Like she said, she does entertain (she has friends) so maybe she just has a different mindset.

Sometimes I wish I had a different mindset.

Letter 14

Letters: G, BA, SAJ, C-O-N-T-E-S-T

Here's one for all you mug or Gumball fans. Bethany Actually, with the inspiration and help of Secret Agent Josephine, is holding a contest for a Gumball mug. Check it out here!

13 April 2008

Stolen in the name of Jesus - with a few edits to make it more me

My Resignation as an Adult

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of a 5 year old again.
  • I want to go to Burger King and think that it is a four star restaurant.
  • I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples in a pond with rocks.
  • I want to think M&M's are better than money because you can eat them.
  • I want to lie under a big oak tree and watch the ants march up its trunk.
  • I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.
  • I want to go fishing and care more about catching the minnows along the shore than the big bass in the lake.
  • I want to think the world is fair.
  • I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all I knew about were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes. When I didn't know what I know now. When all I knew was to be happy because I was blissfully unaware of all the things that should make me worried.
  • I want to think that a quarter is worth more than a dollar bill because it is prettier and weighs more.
  • I want to think that everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.
  • I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things in life again.
  • I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, dreams, the imagination, the Tooth Fairy, a kiss that makes a boo-boo go away, making angels in the snow, and that my dad and God are the strongest people in the world.

So......here's my checkbook and my car keys, my credit cards and the bills, my 401K statements, my stocks and bonds, my collections, my insurance premiums, my job, my house and the payments, my e-mail address, cell phone, computer, and watch. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this with me further, you'll have to catch me cause........
tag! You're it!

From: http://www.etni.org.il/farside/resignation.htm

Letter 13

Dear NaBloPoMo,
I have no letter today. My brain is a muddled mess of thoughts.

I made it to church this morning, but once again missed the confession & forgiveness part. I don't think I've had that in months really. Not that I feel like I deserve it. Well, I need to confess, that's for sure... I'm an awful person, really, and it seems like forgiveness is probably not on the docket for me.

Well, okay, the faith in me tells me that I do deserve to be forgiven, and that I am forgiven - that's why Jesus came for us and all - but I think my subconscious is doing something else. I was up early enough to make it to church, despite my brain's desperate attempt to convince myself that it was after 8 am and I'd have to go to the 6 pm service instead when in fact it was 6:30 am and I had plenty of time to get to church on time, yet I didn't.

Emmy's party was today. It was a good time. My nephew made me laugh a lot, my niece was adorable, the other niece and nephew were there too, and Doreen. Ah, Doreen - she is a riot. Now if Marlys had been there I would have laughed my ass off.

And I'm working on two different blankets right now - one for my mom's boss and one just to finish since it's been sitting in my knitting basket for awhile. I have yarn for two other blankets that I want to complete - one for my future Godchild yet to be born and one for either another PIF or for mom's thing she has coming up.

And now I'm just sitting, watching Must Love Dogs and About A Boy, and wondering what's up for my life. Hmmm. Well, I guess laundry and knitting and prepping for the week. Not tonight though, I'll start that tomorrow.

I suck. I have nothing to say.

12 April 2008

Letter 12

Dear Eric,
Just because I'm a geek I'm going to write a letter to you here, too. That RSS feed thing rocks. I'm so excited you can still read my blog. I think you're my most devoted reader, except for maybe that stalker up north that I know. (Hi, Stalker!)

Anyway, thank you for your email tonight. Everyone's life is crazy and we deal with some really idiotic people sometimes. They just don't understand what's really important and make issues out of every little thing.

I try really hard not to be that kind of person. I have my moments where I go nuts, not literally but close, and I just vent and vent. Or if I can't vent to my venting post, I'll dwell on things for days on end (like Otter) until I realize that in the grand scheme of things, this is just a blip on the surface.

I'm still amazed that we connected through this medium. Some day we really should meet. You may be horribly disappointed in who I am in real life, but it would be great to talk in person sometime. :)

But until then, I still think you are an amazing man and you are doing awesome things. You are the future of our organization. You are someone who can make it better - please don't give up us. We need you.

I'm thinking of you daily and you're in my prayers. Keep your head down and stay safe.

11 April 2008

Letter 11

Dear Emmy,
Today you turn 8. I remember when you were born. I was teaching at the middle school and mom called in between classes. She said Lisa had had you that morning, I think, and so that night we drove down to meet you for the first time.

Your mom's room was filled with people. They brought you in and you cried and cried. Granny was holding you and you wouldn't, couldn't, stop crying. So she handed you to me and I took you in my arms for the first time, sat down in the rocking chair in the room, and you immediately calmed down. We had an instant connection.

Since then I have watched you grow up whenever I could. Sadly, 2 months after you were born I moved to the cities, so I worked hard to see you whenever I returned. I wanted to keep our connection going.

The year you turned 3, your mom and I and granny began holding girls days. Well, it actually started with your mom, granny and I going out to lunch for your mom's birthday. You wanted to come along but Lisa said, "Honey, not this time. It's just us girls." You cried and said, "But I'm a girl!" So a few weeks later we all met at Applebees. You had pigtails and looked ever so cute. I wish I had a scanner so I could put the picture here, but I don't. We had a great time and thus girls days were born. Soon joey joined us and now we have a whole crew meeting with Ava too.

A couple years ago I couldn't figure out what to give you for your birthday. So I decided I would give you a day with me. I figured life is too short to just give you presents all the time that you would grow up beyond, but a day with me you would remember for a long time (and I'd take pictures so you'd remember forever). I arranged for us to go to the base and go out on the flight line to see the jets take off. We went out to Last Chance with the SOF and they were really loud as they went by. You looked so cute in your little ear defenders. :) Again, I wish I had a scanner - or at least the discs with your pictures (I didn't have my digital cameras yet).

After we watched the jets take off, we went to the zoo and walked all over looking at the animals and enjoying the sun. We ate lunch at McDonald's, went to Target to spend your birthday money, went to Cold Stone for dessert, and then played mini golf. You really liked to move the ball around there..."improving your lie" it's called (in so many ways). At the end of the day we played at a park and then met your mom for supper. I made you and I a photo album with captions (on neon labels, no less) so we both could remember the day. It was such a fun time.

You returned the favor after Christmas last year. I had gotten you an Easy Bake oven. You had wanted to be a chef for Halloween but your mom had said no. I'm the evil, I mean GOOD, aunt and I bought you the whole kit and kaboodle for Christmas (after we teased you and told you that you were getting an 'electric notepad' - which turned out to be scratch paper leftover from Granny from the 1960's). Over Christmas break you and mom tried out the Easy Bake oven, made treats and took pictures. When I moved in to my apartment, you and Lisa came over and we had a mini-girls day, and you presented me with the photo album of you using your oven. I loved it.

This year I was just going to get you another Emmy/Moe day for your birthday but I think I'll do that anyway and still get you a present. I don't need a holiday to give you time with me. We should be doing that anyway.

I love you, little girl. You are a doll. I hope you have a very happy birthday.
Love, Aunt moe


Okay, so that last post was a bit off as well. I will try to find something funny, but for now, here are some recaps from yesterday and today.

First, Happy Birthday Emmy! My niece turns 8 today. She's such a doll. Her party will be later so maybe I'll have some cute pictures then.

Last night, despite the crap and crappy weather (we had a blizzard yesterday), the girls at work decided (after much deliberation) that we were going to play Bunco anyway. Julie and I really, really wanted to play. See...maybe I should elaborate here.

We play every month during the school year. We play for money...which I'm not usually a gambler but this is too fun not to. We put in $5 each night. $2 goes for the night's winner; $3 goes into the pot for the end of the season winner(s). The pot supposedly is up to $135, but I want to recount the money...I think that's off. Anyway, so to determine the winners, both night and for the season, we keep track of points.

Well for the last 5 months, Jill and I have been neck and neck. Before last night the place order was Jill, me, Jen, Julie, Jessica and so on. Well, Jill and Jen were going out of town so they wanted to reschedule Bunco completely. Julie and I both protested because they didn't reschedule the night Julie had to miss before her wedding. So we decided to hold it. The jokes kept flying all day Wednesday that we were going to smash their scores and they kept saying we wouldn't have enough people and we'd have to cancel.

So yesterday with the bad weather, Julie and I kept debating. At one point we did cancel and then decided, screw it, we'd still have it. Well, we played and had fun. And despite me being distracted by Otter and getting pissed and having a very bad game (I was DAL in points last night), I still moved into first place.

So now the places are Me, Julie, Jill, Jessica, Jen. Woohoo! We had called Jen last night and said we were going to cancel Bunco for weather. Well then we decided to have it anyway so we sent her a picture with us all standing together with our score cards and Snake Eyes hat. She couldn't believe it.

Today was pretty uneventful. One section was interviewing for a new position, so there were lots of dressed up, stressed out people walking around. I finished my notes from the 2-day meeting earlier this week and put in a few choice comments like "Break time - group watched MJ's Thriller video to add levity to the situation". I sent it to Deaner for approval. He fixed very little, and actually left that in. I was pleased. At least my notes were only 12 pages and not 20 or 54 as my predecessor had.

There was also one moment of pie. SB and I have a standing joke when he calls. I have caller ID so when he calls I just answer, "Scott?" It freaked him out for a long time but now we have fun with it. Well today we got on the subject of pie - I think he sent me something and said, "Thanks for doing a great job." I replied, "Thanks for making my job easy as pie, and I know pie is easy because I make them all time." So we got on this pie topic and I think I promised him a complete pie or at least a piece which he promised to eat in front of me so I could see how well he appreciates it.

You know...if I didn't know the topic of that paragraph really was pie - like crust, flour, sugar, butter, etc. - that would really be a questionable paragraph...was she talking about sex? or pie?

And I got word back from Brookings and they can't refund my entry fee, but I can write them next year and get a free entry as long as I include the email the director sent. I really appreciated that. Hopefully I can keep on track next year since the new gym will be complete and I'll be going every day.

Okay...well, that's about it. How boring was that? :)

Morning Musings

I'm still reeling from yesterday's great evening at the club. I'm trying to let it go, but I hate letting people get away with treating others that way just because they were drunk. But I know if I confront him or tell him how crappy he made me feel it would end up to be a worse situation than if I just forget it and let it go. It's amazing the way people think out here. First, they're like gigantic tombs of information. They remember all the crap and little things, though they are selective when they sort through it to find it. Shit seems to rise to the top you know, and that's the first thing they'll remember about any situation: all the shit. Second, if you try to fix something or correct a problem - you, as the correctee, are not "helping" the situation, suddenly you're meddling. It's crazy.

Anyway...I'm trying to find funny things to think about today. So here's one from yesterday, though this happens a lot. Someone walks into my office...I'm clearly busy with paperwork - my desk and my keyboard are covered (I'm typing underneath the pile - I have skills, man)...and they say, "Did you get my email about the section needing supplies?"

First, I sigh inwardly because this section is the bane of my existence. Now I know what the comm help desk felt like when we used to have problems every drill with our computers. This section is the most disorganized I know and they are constantly in my office all weekend long. This is the same one who couldn't print letters. Second, I say, "I haven't even had a chance to read your email yet. I was gone all day Tuesday and I'm still trying to sort through the emails I have, so yes, but no to answer your question."

Then he sits down in my chair and says, "Do you have a couple seconds to talk about this?" uh, no...do you not see the pile of work I'm trying to get through? "Uh..." is all I actually can formulate in my mind before he launches into his spiel...which mildly irks me because he can go through everything but I'm still not going to be able to get to it today. Finally we leave it with me telling him to email me the website so I can double check the order the section turned in to me and then I'll work with the guy who has to do the ordering and we'll go from there.

It's now 9:24 that I'm typing this. That conversation was 24 hours ago...I still haven't gotten the website. But you know...you have to order this stuff right away because it takes a couple months to get it all.

Okay...so that was more of a funny-grrr moment. I'm laughing on the inside...really I am.

Update: I finally got the email from him with the website this afternoon. Whoops...this is SO not happening today.

10 April 2008

Letter 10

Dear Otter,

Thank you for making my day end shitty. I hope your goal tonight was to piss off a woman and upset her to the point where she's not sure if she should throw things, punch you in the face or just cry. Because, congratulations, you succeeded.

All I wanted to do was play a little Bunco with the girls. I just wanted to relax, have some fun, boost my score and enjoy the evening, but no...you and your f-ing, arrogant, drunk ass had to start harassing me. And then you didn't even have the balls to do it to my face but by going through Mary, God bless her.

My reasons for not attending next week's conference are none of your business. I probably shouldn't have stated bits of what they were there, because you had the audacity to go over to the other guys there and tell them that I didn't think their jobs were important - a blatant lie. Thank you for putting words in my mouth which you may not even recall tomorrow but most of them weren't as drunk as you, having worked all day while you and others had been drinking since noon. My only hope is that they take your words with a huge chunk of salt since you were drunk. I can only hope. But my hope is waning right now since even while I stood there packing the Bunco crap up, people were whispering and looking at me.

What pisses me off a lot is that people were making excuses for you. Apparently drunkenness is a green light for acting like an asshole, picking on people and making them feel like shit. Another thing that pisses me off is that now I'm contemplating going to the damn conference, spending money I just don't have, just to prove you wrong. And I hate that because I hate giving in to you because of that.

I shouldn't have to feel like I have to justify how I feel about my job. I support all of you and what you and your co-workers do. I stand up for you when people think you're slacking off. I write damn articles to prove to the world that you didn't just sit on the beach the entire time you were in Hawaii. I try my damnedest to sing your praises and the one time I don't go to a conference for whatever reasons and take a day and a half off from work to do so, I'm immediately considered as shit and not a team player. What the hell do you know about my job? There are times, and don't deny it, that you have down time. I rarely if EVER have down time where I can sit and play cards in the afternoon. If I decide to take a day off, I spend three catching up. Admin work doesn't end.

Whatever. I just have to say: You were a complete asshole tonight and I don't know if I can ever look at you the same way again. Despite the fact that a man I admire thinks that you "get it", you really, really disappointed me tonight.

09 April 2008

Letter 9

Dear Brookings Marathon,

Ah, BM. Wait - that's a bowel movement and while this is the shits let's call it something else...

Ah, Brookings. How I have longed to run you. Last October, on my marathon high, I signed up to run you.

I dreamt about how this would go down. I'd stay with my brother, I'd be better prepared since I now understood how a marathon works, and I would kick some serious PR butt.

I planned out the route. I thought about running the streets of Brookings. I imagined running by the Campanile. I thought about how it would be to run down Medary and by my brother's house, finishing up in a park and being awarded with a medal and t-shirt...rejoicing as I came to the finish realizing that, YES, I can finish a marathon in a decent time for a newbie.

And then winter hit.

Oh, freakin' winter in this winter state. My training fell to the way side...I struggled to find the time and energy and motivation to get to the gym. When I did get there I hated every minute...running in a shed, about as cold as it was outside but with a little more annoyance with the Outdoor channel.

Quickly, and sadly, my running fell apart. I kept hope that I could still make it...always hoping I'd make it to the gym this week and would get back in a groove. It still hasn't happened.

I woke this morning realizing that 30 days is not enough to prepare for a marathon, no matter how in shape I could be. So I sent an email to the director and asked to withdraw my entry. I doubt I'll get a refund, but at least he knows that my place is open for someone else who can run it.

But for me to run, I need a goal. This was how I made it last year, even though I didn't make it as well as I had hoped. I had a goal. I think I had too much time to prepare so I got bored, but I do need to make a plan.

I'm sorry, Brookings. Hopefully next year I can run you. Hopefully with the new gym being built at work I'll be able to stay motivated through the damn winter months. I do vow, however, to not sign up for any run so quickly after finishing any run. That runner's high for me lasts way too long and impairs my judgment.

08 April 2008


I'm not sure I like this letter theme. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it. I'll have to work on that a bit.

For now, I just need to ramble. Feel free to stop reading if you'd like. It'll be a lot of self-deprecation and just some idiotic statements, I'm sure. Who knows? I haven't written it yet...the words are still flowing out my brain and down to my fingertips.

Day two of our meeting ended early, which was very good. At the end Boss1 shook my hand, thanking my for all my hard work and then said he'd see me later. It was nice to be thanked, even though I know he appreciates my work.

Our drive back was very pleasant. KC and I bonded a little more. She and her hubby just moved back here so she's kind of in the same boat I am...all their friends are back at their previous home, kind of like a lot of mine are back in the cities or spread out across the world.

Anyway, today was a beautiful day - no wind, perfect weather. It was an absolutely perfect spring day. Did I go running? Hell, no. I fell asleep on my couch when I got home. Granted I did have a bit of a late night and early start this morning - going to bed after 11 and woke up to the hotel staff stomping down the hallway delivering papers and bills at around 4 - then tossed and turned until I finally got up.

But there must be something seriously wrong with my psyche that I have a gorgeous day in front of me, hours off from work, and what do I do? I sleep on my couch. Tomorrow I'll want to run and I have to be at work and it'll be a little windier than today, and knowing me that will trigger a great opportunity for excuses and I won't get a run in tomorrow either.

What the hell is wrong with me? K once suggested I go to a counselor or therapist to work out some of my issues after the DLE experience and I never did. Maybe I just need to go to get my head in a right place.

Some good tonight - I did make up my chicken/pasta meal so I have lunch and supper set up for the rest of the week. That's good because otherwise I would probably be eating out or just eating chips and popcorn. The chicken I had tonight was quite yummy. I need to eat more protein.

See, I'm rambling. If anyone is still reading here, I'd be shocked. I have so many trains of thought going through my head right now and I want to write them all at once but I'm losing focus. Hmm. Maybe I just need more sleep, and a return to normalcy. Tomorrow I get to go back to work. That's a good thing since I know my task list is huge. I have great plans to finish a lot of things this week. Let's hope I can.

Okay...I'm going to stop rambling now. Maybe I'll figure out something better for tomorrow. I'm sure I will since tomorrow night is Adult Ed and if it's anything like BigO predicted last week, I'm sure it's in for a bumpy ride.

If you made it this far, I truly commend you.

Letter 8 - BL

Dear writers of primetime TV,
Thank you for coming to terms with whomever it was regarding your strike. You are deserving of your award and I am very thankful that the world come back to some sort of order.

One of my favorites is back tonight - Boston Legal. Thank goodness, my Tuesday night humor has returned. I have been so sad and alone without it. :)

Thank you for returning.

P.S. CSI last Thursday was nice to have back, too. :)

07 April 2008

Letter 7

Today's show was brought to you by the letter F and the numbers 7 and 15.

Dear whomever,
Today was a pretty good day. I got up around 7, having been
nestled in my Jonathan Adler sheets and alternative down comforter, and headed to a two-day meeting. KC and I rode together and I have to say I'm really, really glad she was hired for the job I almost applied for back in November. First, she is going to be a kickass addition there and second, it's like my double is now present.

KC and I have so much in common, it's great. We laugh at the same things, we have the same thoughts and ideas. It's just wonderful. Maybe I've finally found a friend at work - other than the ones I have that I don't get to see often enough, if ever.

Anyway the day went on and I went running after the meetings. It was an absolutely beautiful evening and I am way out of shape. It was very disheartening to see my flabby, cellulite-cheesed out body after running. I have gotten fat. It's not good at all.

KC and I went out to supper and then hit the hotel bar, hanging out with Dino and everyone else who showed up. Boss1 is here too and before I went running I bumped into him in the lobby. He was heading out to the rocks to fish. I cautioned him to not fall in and especially not fall in and bump his head. So what does he do? He falls in...but thankfully didn't bump his head.

We ended up betting on the Kansas/Memphis game tonight and KC almost won. It was kind of sad that she didn't since we were going to split the pot. Oh well...this is why I don't gamble.

But today has been 15 months exactly working for Boss1. I'm still loving it and I think I'm going to have many more months to come of happiness...at least with that.

Not much else to say, other than I hate that this state doesn't ban smoking in restaurants and bars because I smell like an ashtray (aka filth) right now and this is why I don't go out drinking, well, basically ever.

And with that, goodnight.

06 April 2008

Letter 6

Dear friends with other crazy jobs/lives,
There are truly days when I don't remember what went on. Do you have these days? It's so confusing. Today seems like a blur of activity. I know I did a lot of work, I know I accomplished some things and not others, but I can't quite remember it all. Which is why I usually spend parts of my evenings replaying the day. Do you do this?

I vaguely recall getting a chai at Starbucks this morning...I think I had to drive around the block because I wasn't sure if they'd be open that early on a Sunday or not. They didn't have their tip box out so I handed the woman the $1 when she handed me my drink. A truck kind of rode my ass all the way to work - trying to follow me through yellow lights and such. It turned out to be Boss2, which was kind of amusing.

Then I remember a burst-out-laughing moment at our morning meeting where folks started to stand as we were going to present a certificate and I said, "Oh, don't get up folks, sit down," and Boss1 said, "Yeah, it's only Andy." Everyone laughed at Boss1's comment and I laughed at the 2 people still standing looking around at everyone else who had sat down because obviously they weren't listening to what was going on. Ok, so you had to be there, but trust me that was a funny moment.

After that things start to blur. I think I spent a very long time with our finance officials this morning dealing with a problem that came on our plate late yesterday afternoon. I kind of remember sitting at a meeting that worried me about retaining our people. Then things start to clear up...a little.

Two of our senior female leaders spoke to some of our junior members today. It was great to hear how these two started their careers. They talked about mentors and my mentor was sitting across from me and we looked at each other at one point and I was pleased that I had picked him to mentor me. I have other mentors too, but he's one I actually have down on paper and have spoken to about being my mentor.

After that he and I and Jim headed to lunch. We ended up eating with Boss1 and had a great time. During that meal, as I was talking with these 3 higher up people, I thought back to when I was new to this job and how I'd observe others in those positions eating together at lunch. I used to envy people like me who would get to eat and talk with our leaders like that. Boss1 is the head dude at my workplace and being able to talk to him like a...well, human is so refreshing. And while we were talking about various things - work and personal life - at lunch, I just kept thinking about what other junior members would be thinking as they observed us. It was a little humbling. I don't know...does that make sense? Probably not.

After lunch I ran into my friend KB and I helped her find a briefing on Boss2's desk she needed to recopy. I stepped into Boss1's office and asked if he knew where Boss2 was and he whipped around in his chair and uttered a nice sentiment. Apparently, Boss2 sent out an email telling everyone in our section and our building why I had taken last Thursday off. A little birdie, KB, had filled him in on the purpose of that day. So I retaliated a bit but not in a bad way. It ended up being a big joke and we had a great laugh. As Boss2 said, "If you can't laugh at work, you're in the wrong place."

Truly the rest of the afternoon was a blur - various people stopping into my office to talk about issues, trying to sort out paperwork and then prepping for my 2-day meeting tomorrow. I then came home and inadvertently napped for a couple hours. whoops.

I guess what I'm saying, inarticulately, here is that if I don't reply these days I don't remember what happened. And if I don't remember what happened, is my day really worthwhile? Of course, after going through this list...was this day really worthwhile? sheesh...

Does anyone else feel like this ever?

05 April 2008

Letter 5

Dear Dad,
Growing up I always wanted to be you...except for the smoking thing. I always thought you had such a great mind, a great head on your shoulders, and a wit that was awesome.

I've been thinking about you a lot this week. It's not an anniversary of your birthday or deathday or anything like that. It's just a lot of things happening in my life are making me think about you.

One of my memories of you is going to the tiny city hall when you left the city council. We were all gathered around and the mayor gave you a plaque for all your hard work. At the bottom it had a quote:

"Well, it's only my opinion but..."

I chuckled at the time because as a young kid I laughed because the adults laughed. I didn't get it. But this week I really felt the full impact of that quote.

The funny thing about that quote is that you were really a quiet man. You contemplated things. You were one to think before speaking (I really wish I could learn that trait). But when you spoke you always started with, "Well, it's only my opinion but..." and you'd continue with your thoughts. What was interesting to me is that I know when you said those words your colleagues would sit up straight and listen. At that moment, they wanted and needed to hear what your thoughts were - whether they agreed or not.

I decided this week I need to adopt this statement. As I said, I don't have your tact to think first before speaking my thoughts. It often gets me in trouble - venting about something to the wrong person and when later rereading the issue I find that it wasn't as bad as I initially thought. Or when I start to comment about a situation - even on an email - and people take it as if that's what has to happen. It's a little scary to think that people would even contemplate that if I speak it becomes law, but lately it seems like that.

Of course, part of this is to CMA*, as we say, because one of my colleagues has this great habit of replying to all on emails - or adding in additional people. Example: we're looking to find individuals in our workplace who meet a certain criteria. I mentioned one person and said I was going to talk with Boss1 and Mungie Boy about other persons. Well, this colleague replied to all on the email and basically criticized my idea.

It was frustrating - not only because my idea was immediately ground into the ground like you used to do with your booted foot to your cigarette - but because it wasn't just to me, but to everyone. And I still believe my idea would be a good candidate.

But despite that, I'm really going to start using your statement - "Well, it's only my opinion but..." because then I can at least feel better about my comments and maybe not feel so pathetic every time I make a comment.

I'm also going to really try to think first before I speak, and vent only to my venting post. It seems anytime I speak to anyone else, it comes back to bite me in the ass. I need to rely on my trusted agents and only them.

God, I miss you, Dad. I could really benefit from your guidance these days. I love you.

p.s. I'm going to check with mom and see if she still has your plaque. Maybe I can get it and hang it in my office as a remembrance. Maybe that'd help.

*cover my ass - you can do that too!

Roller coaster day

I love my job, you all know that. I really do. But today...well today wasn't as bright and colorful as it usually is.

I'm just feeling incompetent today. I had scheduled an orientation briefing at our workplace...I'm in charge of setting it up as it's a requirement for everyone on base and it's mandated by my Boss1. Of the 69 scheduled, 3 showed up. So I canceled it and rescheduled to November, which is basically the next available time.

Part of the problem for this is that it's an orientation briefing for new people coming in. Due to our schedule on our weekend work days, there are so many trainings and other meetings that it can't be held every month. Well it could, but that would be a huge waste of time for not only me, but all the presenters who need to brief. So I've been holding this twice a year. The last one held was last November and I had a good crowd. Now today I had three.

I don't know if I planned poorly or the word didn't get out well-enough, or what, but it's very frustrating to me. I worked on the schedule, I booked the room, Julie sent out the list of who needed to attend (which I know at least one section didn't get it), I had everything set up having worked late last night and came in early today - all for nothing. Well, not nothing - those three that came are really appreciated in my eyes and sadly I can't sign them off because they still need to attend the briefings. It's a requirement. (I need to do something for them in November.)

And the rest of the day I was fielding questions of why it wasn't happening, how many people showed up, and how one person thought I sent out invitations to those who need to attend (which pissed me off because it's not an invitation kind of briefing - "Hey come if you can!" - it's a requirement which training managers for each section are supposed to be tracking too)...But overall I just feel like a failure. I know it's not entirely my fault but sheesh - 3 out of 69? That's just wrong. I did have one supervisor call and apologize but when we went through his list a lot of his people were at a work conference this weekend so they wouldn't have been there anyway.

I don't know...it just kind of dampened the whole mood of the day.

One good thing was going on a walk-about with Mungie Boy. We hit several different sections had said hello to people. Mungie Boy is higher up the chain so it's good for him to get out and see other people. And since I work for Boss1, one guy told me it was really good for me to get out too since I'm working for him - then the younger folks at our workplace would understand who I am.

Anyway...it was an up and down day. I don't know. Good but not as great as usual.

04 April 2008

Letter 4 - A letter to the ethics god

It doesn't end.

Yesterday I took the day off, which was great, so I thought today would go pretty well since I'd be fully rested (I mean, sheesh - I slept in until 6 yesterday!).

Well, I woke up at 4:20, got my chai at starbucks as usual and hit the ground running this morning. I finally took a break and went to lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. That was awesome. It was great to catch up. We hadn't seen each other in about a month so a catch up was needed.

When I got back to work, it all started again - run, run, run. I was working late trying to get the last few things ready for tomorrow morning. Boss1 came down the hall and used both my first and last name and said, "what are you still doing here?"

He's never done that. It was almost like getting middle-named by your parents. I, being the sap that I am and running on lack of sleep and liquids, started to tear up a little (though I held it back) and answered why I was still there. Then I jokingly said that our Asst AG said I needed to mark down 2 hours of comp time.

Boss1 then got serious and said, "You better be marking down your comp time young lady. I'll sign off on it but you have to mark it down."

And I said, "It's not a big deal. I love my job."

"No you don't."

"I don't?"

"Okay, moe, you do love your job but you need to be keeping track and marking down your comp time. You like your vacations, too."

Then I thanked him for the day off yesterday and he looked at me like I was insane. hmm....what did I do wrong there?

So, now I'm having this complex. My lunch today went longer than I planned (we had a lot of catching up to do) so I was going to use my last hour of comp time I have on the books to cover that. But now Boss1 is telling me to mark down my comp time - which would be an additional 2 hours for tonight. So do I just mark down one hour for tonight, which would technically be inaccurate but easier on the paperwork, or do I do what my guilt-ridden stomach is telling me and just ignore it and let it go?

Here's the thing...often I feel like when I'm working later and supposedly earning comp time, I'm really just trying to make up for my lack of organization during the day and so it's not really comp time it's just finally finishing the work I should have had completed.

My job is great, and I work with a lot of people...many of whom come into my office and sit to chat about work things. Some of these conversations go quickly. Others end up dragging on for hours (literally). They are beneficial talks - they cover a gamut of issues we deal with at work, many of which we're trying to deal with all at once. But it also keeps me from getting done what I want to get done. So I stay late, when every one else is gone, and I can get so much more finished just by staying an extra hour alone. I kind of see it like making up for the time I lost.

But I know that others at my work place don't do this. There are some who, if they work a few minutes past quitting time, will claim an hour of comp time. Some have what they call "circle time" where it's comp time off the books, but can still be used whenever - they just clear it with their supervisor. Boss1 and I can't do this because we're in the spotlight too much with our higher ups, so we need to actually claim it. It adds extra paperwork and I have a hard time justifying it for myself most weeks.

I don't know. I go back and forth on this with some of my co-workers. One thinks I need to be claiming it and gets disappointed with me when I don't. Others think I should just take the time off in the same pay period, but I can't always find the time so I would and often do end up just letting it go. Or I'll take that extra 15 minutes for a run at lunch and then feel okay because I know I've worked at other times. But that's not right either. I don't know.

Of course, then as I'm leaving tonight 13 hours after I got to work today, the sun was still out, the air was calm, it was still warm, and it's a Friday night. I was heading home from work, alone, and thinking - what the hell am I doing. I should have left earlier and I could have gone running. Why didn't I?

Because then I wouldn't have gotten all my work done. It's a vicious cycle.

03 April 2008

E is for Emily

I linked to a story about Emily a few days ago. They went in for tests recently and she's been diagnosed with a rare and not so great disease. Please read this post and consider giving if you can. They have raised $15K but that will spend quickly with medical bills.

If you cannot donate, please, please keep this family in your prayers.

Letter 3

I'm a minor history buff and today is an awesome day in history. Today was the beginning of building the west. Well, kind of.

Today was the beginning of the pony express in 1860. Go here at the history channel website and you can watch the video all about it.

That's my letter for the day. :) Get it?

Of course this was also the last day MLK Jr was alive - he was assassinated on the 4th. Sad, no?