31 May 2008

Voices 31

Today's voices were my other niece and nephew - Ava and Jake. I went up to see them today for a little bit. They were in rare form...so sweet. Ava's starting to talk a little and Jake is always loud. To add to it Jake had a birthday party to go to so he was able to scream as much as he wanted (and squirt me with water - which I happily returned).

I'm heading off to the cities for a baseball game so I'll post pictures later.

30 May 2008

Voices 30

If I had been able to access my blog today and post you would have read two very long posts with me venting about stupid things happening at work. But since I'm not allowed to read blogs at work (they're blocked) that would mean I would have been at home to have access and thusly not have to deal with the stupid things happening at work and there would be nothing to post.

But as it is, I finally have settled down and I don't really want to post just to post it. A short version though, just for fun:

This morning I had a co-worker stand in front of my desk, arms crossed, and stare me down while telling me in a very angry, raised voice that she is my backup and she HAS to have a copy of that so-called appointment letter (which isn't an appointment letter at all, but a directory listing in the form of a letter). This pissed me off so much because a) she's NOT my backup anymore just because years ago she used to be the backup for my various predecessors and b) just because she thinks she needs a copy of the letter for her master file which she looks at once every 5 years doesn't mean she actually should have a copy of the letter and c) I hate when people try to intimidate me with raised voices and telling me "It's the way it's always been done." Bite me.

I was ready to drink at 8:30 this morning. I didn't though, and things were going okay until 2 pm when another project took 5 times and 2 hours to get it right because people kept changing their mind and needing to get set up on the program to make it work and then we had to change it because it "has to be right" even though it could have been canceled next week and fixed when we weren't under such a time crunch. By 2:30pm I was ready to drink again and I could have at 4pm during a end of the day briefing but I thought better of it.

Instead it took me from 5-8 to downshift. During that time I had supper, waited 15 minutes for mom to show up to go to a baseball game, sat in cold wind and then rain and then finally I was able to forget about the day.

And it's Friday. YAY! I'm so happy it's Friday. I know this isn't really a voices post but it would have been more so if I had had access during the day. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) this is all I can give you.

And on that note, I'm going to bed.

29 May 2008

Voices 29

I remember reading once that everyone talks to themselves and those who don't think they do were just asking themselves, "Do I talk to myself? I don't think I do."

Then there were those who said that you were okay to talk to yourself as long as you didn't answer yourself.

Then you could answer yourself as long as there's only one person (yourself) in the conversation.

Well, I am a self-admitted self-talker. And I do it out loud. And I answer myself. And I often have more than one person in the conversation.

I'm a mess.

Truthfully, I tend to critique and criticize myself, as well as encourage myself to do something. I do this outloud because often I'm alone so it's the only voice I hear. And if I talk it out and I can hear what I'm saying when I'm trying to sort out a problem.

I'll talk to myself while I'm walking down the hallway, or on my way to get the mail. I'll talk to myself while I'm running, which not only helps me sort out problems but also helps me strengthen my breathing. Hell, I'll talk myself to sleep at night.

It's amazing that I make it through the day sometimes.

This week one of my co-workers is helping out a lady in another section. Apparently this woman is more eccentric than I am and my co-worker has started a quote log. Whenever the woman says something off the wall, my co-worker writes it down. Some of the ones today are pretty out there. I'm sure the woman just thought they were things to say, words from her head.

Which makes me wonder, besides insanity, what do people think about me when I'm talking to myself at work, in my office, outside walking around. They must think I'm a loon.

And I probably am.

28 May 2008

Voices 28

The voices of children are so very precious. Of course, I'm more sensitive about this since I had to leave my Nika behind yesterday. I spent most of the day flipping through my pictures today and I told Boss1 that this was the first time since I started working with him that I didn't want to come back.

Before I let you look at another adorable picture of Nika, I have to tell you a few stories about my niece and nephew - Emmy and Zach.

Today these kids learned what it means to "put a cow down." This doesn't mean putting down the stuffed toy or setting down your hamburger between bites; nope - this cow had to die. She wasn't doing well so it was in the cow's best interest.

If you don't know, the cow has to be shot before being slaughtered. Emmy was going to watch but her wise mama told her she wouldn't want to. So Emmy ran into the house, but as soon as she heard the shot she wanted to go out and see. Unfortunately, she went out just as they were slitting the throat to drain the blood. Whoops! She won't be eating beef for awhile. In fact, she had a PB&J for supper and just before she took a bite she looked at her mom woefully and said, "Is there meat in this?"

She also had a moment where she looked back and saw all the other cows gathering around the dead cow and she turned to her mom and said, "I think they're having a funeral."

And then, to add to things, at the baseball game tonight Granny told her about butchering chickens when she was little, and was nice and graphic about it. I'm thinking Emmy's going to be a vegetarian for awhile. Too bad since she loves to eat.

My nephew had his own little fun with his dad. My brother-in-law's brother is getting married in a couple months and Zach asked his dad (my BIL) if he was going to be best man. BIL said no, that that would be Justin. So Zach says, "So does that make you the pallbearer then?" :)

What was the Art Linkletter/Bill Cosby show? Kids Say the Darndest Things? How true is that!

Well, I'm still trying to recover from my awesome trip so I'm going to leave you with this sweet picture of me and Nika. She's not looking really happy because I left moments after we took this picture - it's a good thing we took it at this point because about 5 seconds later I was bawling like a little girl.

27 May 2008

Voices 27

Tonight's drive home was 7 hours of a lot of fun. I got to talk with my sister and then my brother from out east called.

The former and I are working on a mini trip to the cities for her son to see his favorite team play baseball. So our chat tonight was working details. It should be great.

The latter and I were working on another trip to a semi-central location where he and I can meet up. I don't get to see him as often as I'd like, though he'd tell me time and again that he's offered me his frequent flier miles and I could come anytime. I think I'm going to take him up on that this year. I do miss him. He and I were really close when I was little but then he moved away and it's been tough since.

But usually while I drive I sing. Tonight I sang to Maia, Mika, Wallis Bird, and Take 6. My voice is husky now, but I love this. I love singing at the top of my lungs in my car. This is why I usually like my road trips on my own. I'm able to just be me and sing however I want to. It's great.

Hair today, gone tomorrow. A great title.

Bawling could be heard for miles as I pulled away from K&E's today. Nika is such a sweetie and I love my urban family so much. I'm really going to miss them.

To commemorate my last day with them (for now) K and I went to a local salon and cut my hair. YEP! I did it! I've been bitching about this for months and with the nudge from K I finally did it. And she was sweet enough to take photos.

Here I am, pre-op. I was kind of nervous though K couldn't quite understand why. When we first met I had a short short short cut - kind of like a boy cut. It was simple but in the fall of '05 I decided to grow it out.

Here we go!

My last official hair cut had been in November '06. And part of what triggered this one today was when E tugged on my low braid I had in on Sunday and said, "You better cut this before the marathon - this is like 16 extra pounds!" True enough. Not to mention I've been sick of it for a long time and Locks of Love is a great program.

Holy shit! My hair is long!

So, Amanda at the salon - who was awesome, by the way - braided about 8 inches of it to cut off. This confused me a little bit because I thought you had to send in 10 inches, and the website for the salon said you had to have 9. Whatever. They do this all the time so I'm going to trust her on this one.

I was going to put in the picture where Amanda cut off the braid but I didn't like it (my face looked funny). Then I was going to put in the picture of my hair where it's kind of curly, but I didn't. I was surprised on this though. K and I were chatting about our high school haircuts, oh so long ago, and I said Mom always made me get a perm, which I hated. Amanda said, "That's surprising since you have a lot of curl back here." K took a pic and showed me and wow! I was shocked. Maybe I'll post that some other time - or maybe I'll just figure out how to make my hair curly on a normal day (Amanda gave me a tip) and I'll post that instead.

WOW! Look at that hair!

This was my favorite picture from the salon.

I love my hair now! It's so light and airy. Plus I can still pull it back in a little ponytail in the back, which is great for work and running. I probably won't be braiding my hair again for a long while, but at least I can still pull it up so I don't get so hot.

Thank you, K, for nudging me along. You knew I wanted to do this and you know me so well. Thank you!

26 May 2008

Honoring those who have gone before us

Today we celebrate Memorial Day. It's always seemed like a sad day to me, and in many ways it is. But I also like to think of the good things about today.

The men and women who we honor today, those who died in service or having had served in our militaries, those are the ones who helped to build our country to what it is today. These are the ones who fought the Revolutionary War and freed us from Britain. These are the ones who fought brother against brother to free the slaves. These are the ones who fought the Great War and World War II. These are those who went into unknown areas to save lives.

These people are heroes. They fought, they died, and they gave their all so we can have what we have.

God bless all those in the military - past and present. Thank you for your service. I'm proud to stand among you.

Voices 26

My whining voice is coming out. "I don't want to go home!" and yet I have to. It's probably time.

This has been such an awesome trip. Today K & I hung out for awhile while E went to a Memorial Day parade. Nika and I got to play, while mom ran an errand, which was super fun. After lunch E and I cut down an old and hung a new gutter over their deck while K and A sat on the swing with Nika. It was such a perfect day. I got to use Dad's old drill bits, which came in handy when we realized E didn't have quite the right size for the project. It all worked out well.

It's always fun to do house projects and it makes me really want to buy. I know the projects are tough work but what fun to step back and see the accomplishments you can make. It's such a rush. And it's fun to do the projects with E because we can banter and have a great time teasing each other while we work. That's what friends are for, I guess.

E grilled burgers and veggies for us for supper and we got to eat on the deck. This could not have been a more perfect day...seriously. The weather was beautiful - especially around supper because the wind went down so I wasn't getting little bits of cotton or flowers in my eyes - and the temperature perfect.

I relished today - it's my last day with Nika for awhile and the next time I see her I'll have to share her with a lot more family. I kept smelling her head (I've actually been doing this the whole trip). I love baby head smell. It's just so precious.

I love my urban family so much and I really do wish they lived closer. For that reason I thank God for the internet and blogs and that old stand by - the telephone - because without them, leaving tomorrow would kill me.

25 May 2008


Today was awesome. K & I both got a little cat nap with Nika while E mowed the lawn and then off to Body Worlds! This was a great time for me. I went back in 2006 when it was in the cities so to see it again was amazing. There was more room to maneuver here - more space to function, so exhibit pieces I could only see the front of in the cities I was able to walk all the way around here. That was a nice thing because the bodies were set up at all angles. It was also fun to be able to talk about and dissect (so to speak) the exhibit with K&E and A afterward (A is K's sister).

Then it was off for a drink before dinner. We ended up at a little bar downtown. I'm not a big drinker and I didn't feel like my normal Captain & Coke (it felt a little white trash when the rest are drinking wine or bourbon) so I had a martini. Shockingly it was good. I'm not usually for all that but it worked for me tonight. We had a little party time and then walked to a Brazilian restaurant where they come out with the meat on skewers and slice it right on to the plate. this was sweet! We have a place like this in my now-town but I've been nervous to check it out. The one thing I don't like is that it's pretty pricey. It's one thing if you eat a lot - you'd definitely get your monies worth - but if you're like me and one plate of food is plenty at a sitting, this kind of got wasted on me. But the meat was great - perfectly cooked and seasoned. Yummm... My belly is still full and we finished our meal 3 hours ago.

So now I'm just hanging out in a thunderstorm. I was watching Talladega Nights with E but he went to bed and just as he did the lights went out then came back on. So I decided to just skip the rest of the movie and blog instead. I'm on a battery so I'm good. (knock on wood) I have the night shift for Nika tonight so I thought I should stay up and try to keep busy. If I read I'll fall asleep, which is an option since I have a monitor, but it's very possible she'll wake up soon so I might as well stay up.

I do love thunderstorms. They are so out of control, and me being a control freak, this is really cool. So Hyde and I are just chillin'. I have one more full day here before I have to come home so I want to make the best of it.

*sigh* vacations are the best.

Voices 25

It's only early afternoon and already so many voices have been present. Nika, of course, makes her presence known quite well. There was a fun gasp this morning when E made an announcement at church. And another loud roar of laughter when one of the kids during the children's sermon told E she thought he was 47 years old.

It's been fun. But the screamers today are my hamstrings and legs. After bending over most of the last two days staining the deck my legs now don't want to cooperate. I feel like I've just run a 10K (not quite a marathon, because then I'd be hurting everywhere). I need to be running more.

That's a bad thing, and my own fault, but I haven't been running on this trip. I packed all my running gear (extra even) and my shoes but I haven't been out once. I wake up at 5:30 and it's bright here but I just don't feel like getting up. Part of me doesn't want to disturb the gang, and part of me just wants to curl up and sleep. So this week will be hard on me, getting back into the swing of it all.

Today K&E and I are going to Body Worlds and to a Brazilian restaurant. I'm excited. This will be a nice afternoon I think. I'll miss Nika but it's probably time I start weaning myself from her since I have to go home soon.

24 May 2008


K&E and I watched Sweet Land tonight. K really wanted me to watch it and I've been meaning to so this was probably a good time to do so.

I really liked this movie, of course I'm a sucker for a romance. Plus there were some seriously funny parts (I thought). It was sweet.

I liked that the gal who plays Rebecca on Grey's Anatomy starred in it. She was pretty impressive. And the guy who played Olaf is super cute.

I should be more reflective tonight but I'm just not quite awake anymore. Maybe tomorrow. Plus I want to watch it again before I really get into talking about it. I like to watch things more than once so I can really grasp what it was and how it moved me. More to come.

Voices 24

Today was a great day. I slept in - which I don't usually do - and so I felt pretty well rested this morning. E and I have been staining his deck so I started the second coat and filling in the gaps between the boards (to make it look uniform...I'm kind of anal about some things). I worked for about 90 minutes and then took a little break.

E had to go to work so K and I took Nika on a shopping excursion (Target and Home Depot - essentials in life). We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed the break. When we got home I started on the rest of the deck and finishing up the parts I missed. It was a lot of work but really satisfying.

I love work projects like this. You can step back and see all the accomplishments you've made and feel great about the work you've done. We should have taken pictures - before and after - of the deck, but we totally forgot. Trust me. The work we did was amazing!

It's things like this that make me really want to buy a house. I mean, JB's doing it so why aren't I? The more time I spend with K&E here at their house the more I really want my own place.

Don't get me wrong. I love that I don't have any responsibility. I don't have to mow or shovel snow or deal with problems in my house. But...I kind of want to. I love mowing. Shoveling can be fun. And I'd like to know more about how the house and things in it work.

But I'm not sure I want to do this alone. As I sat in their porch swing looking at the flowerbed which I was going to stain either brown or green, I realized that I'd really hate having to make decisions about the house on my own. Granted I could do whatever I wanted to the house without having to worry about whatever people think - but it's really nice to be able to bounce ideas off of someone else. And if I bought a house I'd be the sole decider. I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

But the market is so good right now for buying and it seems stupid not to step up, grow up and take it on. AES kept saying the other weekend how houses are a lot of work. True enough, but what else do I have to do with my life? It's not like I'm dating anyone. It's not like I have a lot of friends around. (Yes, Sarah and Eric are around, but they'll be moving back soon; Theresa lives an hour away and everyone else are states away!).

Am I ready? Do I want to start shopping for a house? Do I want to take that on?

There are a lot of pros to this: my own place, (hopefully) bigger kitchen, I could entertain easier, places for friends to stay, equity, more storage, easier to recycle since I could set it up better than trying to shove it in my closet, and others. The cons: living alone, higher monthly costs (including utilities which right now I don't pay), I have no one to turn to if something breaks, I'd have to get up earlier to shovel in the AM, and others.

I don't know. It's a lot to think about and I just need to sleep. Maybe the voices in my head will come to an agreement sometime soon.

23 May 2008

Careful with words

A coworker (RAC) and I have this unofficial game where we read the paper and when we find typos or odd things we send them to each other with notes of what not to do when writing or publishing articles.

Earlier this week I found this article. Honestly, it's a sad story...a guy falls asleep and hits a Dept of Transportation vehicle and ends up dying. Seriously...sad! But the title of this piece...read it again?

Does this mean people will be fined by MnDOT if they don't wake up after a fatal crash? Shit.

Voices 23

Ah, there's nothing sweeter than a child's cry. I've been hearing it a lot more today. Nika isn't happy and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. I think we screwed the poor child up yesterday. K had given Nika the 1 am feeding Thursday AM, E the 5am and then somehow I ended up with the rest for yesterday.

It was just luck of the draw, really. I got up at 9 and hadn't had a chance to hold her yet so I fed Nika while K caught up on a few things. I was going to have E do the 1pm feeding. We had a plan that he'd run for 20 minutes while I kept her occupied and then he'd feed her and then we'd go to lunch. Well, Nika did not like that idea so I fed her at 12:55 and let E finish running and showering. By the time he was done, so was she and then we all went to Applebees for lunch. The 5:30 feeding I ended up with too, just by sheer coincidence that I happened to have her in my arms at the time. And the same with the 9pm one.

So for the whole day Nika had very little mommy time...which messed up her night and I think she's still trying to readjust today. And now I'm babysitting so K&E could have a date night. She's been really fussy since they left...I'm not sure if she was hungry or crabby because her diaper's wet or constipated since she hasn't pooped yet today. I don't know. I get the 1 am feeding so it should be fun.

Plus...I'm really scared I gave her whatever remnants I may have left from my cold. :( God, I hope not. That would make me feel like a total heel.

But I'm loving this vacation. This is what I like - hanging out with my urban family, staining decks, relaxing and not really thinking about work at all (I did call in today to check on things - I've been worried). It has been really good.

22 May 2008


So this week has been crazy busy, but I've been loving every minute. Monday and Tuesday were basically holing me up either in my house or at work trying to get things accomplished before my vacay. Boss1 seemed to think I'd be gone all week, but alas, no...just most of it and when I was there I was entrenched in finishing up projects and things before my trip.

Yesterday was beautiful and I spent most of it in a car, sadly. But happily my Mini led me to K&E were I get to spend some awesome time with them, hanging out, playing with Nika and staining a deck (yeah, JB, we aren't building one this time so I won't be able to help you. hahaha).

This is such a great break for me. I totally needed to get out of that other state. Granted I love where I live, and I love my job, and I love that I'm so close to most of my family...but K&E are my urban family. These are the people I lean on. They love me because they want to, not because it's a requirement by the birthing gods. It's an awesome relationship. I'm so lucky.

And getting to spend time with Nika just one-on-one has been fabulous. We're totally bonding and I think we're going to have a great relationship.

I'm getting all choked up now so I better go. I'm a sap, you know, and the late hours and lack of caffeine today aren't helping. :)

Voices 22

Bear with me...I'm typing with my God daughter on my arm. And she is Soooooooooooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to get online and see who won AI last night. Yay!! DC took home the prize, I see. Luckily I taped it so I can see it when I get home.

Ok, Nika's yelling at me so I better go. Later!!

21 May 2008

Voices 21

I'm on vacation! WOOHOO!!! More to come on that.

Second - AI finishes tonight and we'll see which David wins. Should be interesting! Which voice will win?

20 May 2008

Voices 20

Tonight is the final competition for American Idol and it's the standoff between the Davids.

I am not a big fan of Archie. He has a good voice, I'm not denying that. But all he sings are ballads and slow songs. I know people will fight me on this since his second song picked up a bit, but let's be honest folks: ALL he sings are slow songs. He's a crooner. He's a cryer. He squints when he sings. And all he has is the little girl vote. In all honesty, I think he could go far with just a few more years of experience and training under his belt.

DC is great. So far - we're only on song two - he has only sung rocking songs because he is the rocker. But we've heard him sing the crooning songs and he does them well. He's so much more versatile in his performances. And can I just say this - between the two DC has stage presence. He doesn't sing with his eyes closed or with a furrowed brow during a love song like Archie does. He sings the song with the passion of the song and lyrics...appropriately.

I'm worried about this one. Archie's going to get the little girl vote so much that he'll probably win. But I hope that DC pulls out a Daughtry in this one whether he's winner or not.

Edited to add: Of course, if I would have waited a few more minutes, DC sang Collective Soul which picks up a little but is most a slow song and did an awesome job on this. Man he's good. Paula said it best - He's true to the music and himself. It's fabulous. Of course Simon didn't like it but whatever.

And what did Archie sing? Imagine. No no...don't imagine what he sang. He sang, "Imagine". Huh, a crooning song. Imagine that.

19 May 2008

Voices 19

Spending the day home alone leads someone to thinking a lot. In my case, that's not a good thing.

I have a lot of balls in the air right now, a lot of things on my mind. I really feel like Dali's Galatea. When my sister's looked at this they just saw sperm and eggs, but when I see this I see the epitome of woman: a woman is made up of so many different factors and as I have so many things going on in my life right now, this is how I feel.

I went for a short run this morning, walking more than running. My head wasn't in it but it did feel good to get outside and take in some fresh air. But I also realized just how out of shape I am and with our fitness exam for work coming up in three weeks I'm more than a bit nervous. I need to make a point this week to get out and run, even if it's only for a little bit. I can't keep skipping it like I have been. That's not going to help me in three weeks nor in 20 weeks when I'm again running TC. Shit...20 weeks. That's going to fly by.

I also took my Morty (my Mini) in to get its tire checked. I've had one that's been leaking air for a few weeks now. I went to a place just outside of town and they had it ready to go in about 30 minutes. When I asked them what was wrong the mechanic said, "You had three nails in the tire...well, actually you had four but the fourth one wasn't leaking so we just fixed the other three." Okay. wow. I went to pay for their services and the people working the counter were startled. The guy asked if my ex-boyfriend had been around. Considering my ex is in MN, I don't think he would have anything to do with this (plus we ended okay). But the guy kept saying that finding three or four nails, as I had, in one tire screams out someone pounding them in manually, not an accident like I think it was. So who has it out for me? Huh? Is that you stalker up north? Are you pounding nails in my tire?

I'm also trying to figure out what to pack for my upcoming trips. I have two in the next three weeks and they are both very different. I should have gone shopping today but I didn't. I want to cut my hair but I want to do Locks of Love and I think I have enough to cut, but I'm not positive, so I'm holding off until I'm at my first trip and maybe K can help me. I don't want to do it alone either.

And then there are all the other issues going on in life - family, friends, work - I have a lot of balls in the air, as they say. For one of them I want to just take care of the problem but when I talked it through with my friend Debbie she said I shouldn't finish it the way I suggested because it wouldn't be fair to me. I don't know.

Anyway...it's been a decent day overall. I got my tire fixed though I have to watch it and get a tire ordered and get it completely fixed soon. I ran, which is more than I can say for myself in months. And my cold is almost gone. Things are going to be better soon.

18 May 2008

Small world

I forgot to mention this on the previous post but today was kind of funny. I'm sitting at the conference and one of the presenters comes up and asks me, "Are you related to Carrie and Dave?"

Uh, hello! This guy grew up in this area but hasn't lived here in 30 plus years. I get these questions a lot based off my last name and as it happens this time I could, shockingly, say, Yes! Though he got confused and thought they were my aunt and uncle when in fact they are my 1st cousins.

I haven't thought about Carrie and Dave, or their siblings, in a long time. When I was younger, mucho younger, we would have family get togethers at their lake house. Their father, my uncle, was my hero and mentor. I was always pissed that he died so young because he was going to teach me Norwegian, and he had given me a cup and saucer that he said had a great story behind them though he never told me what it was. That's for a time when you're older, he said. I never heard it.

Carrie and I had a connection because, of the first cousins on this side of the family, she was the oldest and I was the youngest. Dave and I always got along, I'm not sure why, but I just thought he was amazing when I was younger.

I haven't seen Carrie in probably 5 years and I haven't seen Dave in maybe 10 if not more. I kind of miss those family times, but we've grown so far apart anymore - literally. Crazy. It really is a small world.

Voices 18

I'm home from my conference. This was an awesome weekend. I, and a few of my colleagues, had the great opportunity to learn and discover some new skills and tools we can use in the workplace pertaining to leadership and helping ourselves and those we supervise grow.

It started yesterday early, and we went through a program called the 4 Lenses. We had to first look at 4 cards with pictures and put them in order of what we thought we were and rank them. Then we read the back of the cards and put those in rank order (some of mine matched, others didn't, with what I had previously picked). Then we answered 10 questions putting the four answers into rank order again. This all ended up with determining our color - or lens - with how we function in the world. I ended up a Gold - which is someone who is organized and likes to follow rules and structures. Shocking, considering the job I'm in. (That's sarcasm, for those of you who don't know me).

But in some ways it was shocking because as we went through some exercises I could really see me more in the Green group - these were the analytical ones, those who thought things out more. I really wasn't an Orange - those who like to have fun; I have stronger Blue tendencies - these are the touchy feely ones. I'm generalizing a lot on this because if I were to try to explain it this post would go on for a week.

It was a good exercise though. I do like structure. I like knowing what is expected. I like schedules and deadlines - they help me to stay focused and get organized. Some may question my organization abilities but as my college boyfriend said once, I am the Queen of NLPs (Neat Little Piles).

That took up most of Saturday. Then we had some down time and then a banquet. After the meal a hypnotist came and had a show for us. He ended up with 4 participants who stayed under the entire time of his show and that was a hoot. I wanted to try it and I started to see if I could while sitting in the crowd but my table mates kept talking and so I kept getting distracted. And I've never seen a hypnotist show so I kind of wanted to watch anyway.

It was crazy but what an experience. AES and I were sitting by each other and laughing so hard we both had tears streaming down our faces. It was hilarious. The hypnotist wasn't malicious - everything was done in sheer fun. It was good.

After that they had a little karaoke thing. AES and I sang together in high school so he kept prodding me to sing. I hate karaoke and having been sick I wasn't really up for it. Plus I hadn't been drinking because I don't usually drink and that usually helps my inhibitions to disappear and I can do at least one song. Well, I gave in when NA was trying to sing "Ode to Billy Joe" and didn't quite know it. And then I sang "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and called it good. The rest of the night I spent talking to the hypnotist (he was also the karaoke guy) and doing card and rope tricks...oh and bending spoons with my mind. I actually twisted one which was pretty cool and I kept it. :)

Yeah, yeah...I'm sure there are those readers thinking I'm naive to think that I actually bent the spoon with my mind. I wonder sometimes though. I really thought I felt the fork bending. The spoon twisting - I know that Ray did that before he put it in my hand but still a fun trick. But the fork bending...I know how he did it, but I do have a little Matrix in me and I wonder if it's not really possible sometimes.

Anyway, my roommate drank a lot so I wasn't looking forward to the night with her, but luckily she didn't hurl until this morning after her shower. I felt no sympathy. Last night she came up and was complaining that her supervisors were mean - "They keep buying me drinks." I said, "You don't have to drink them." Uh, duh. But she said that yes she did because they bought them for her, and that after the week she had with a different co-worker she needed to drink (despite the fact she drank every night while working with said co-worker).

I'm not a fan of drowning your misery in alcohol. I don't see the point when it's a depressant already. How does that help? She felt shitty this morning and I just didn't want to put up with it. I'm sure that makes me callous and rude, but that's how I felt. There are other avenues to work out issues you may have. She's good at bitching about them already; to add alcohol to it just drives me nuts. I'm sure some of this stems from my childhood, but a lot it stems from watching people mess up their lives with it.

Okay, off my soap box. Today we got to work on Strengths Finders a little. I really wish we would have gotten into this more. Oh2btigger asked about the "woo", and I realized I didn't explain SF that much.

A short version: SF is an assessment tool that people can use to find their strengths. We used this at my old job and as a department we all took the assessment and then used it to help understand how each other works well. My supervisor and I didn't match up on any trait - we were totally different. This helped both of us to understand better how to work with one another. I liked structure and set hours. She worked more off the seat of her pants and late into the evenings and random hours. Knowing this and other things helped us to work together better.

The kicker is that you need a code to take the assessment and you can only get the code by buying a book. We used Now, Discover Your Strengths, but they now have new one out that's the same thing called Strengths Finders 2.0.

The conference was really good. My hope is that people will use it and work on leadership and developing our employees more. We do great at the tough stuff, but our basic fundamentals need a lot of work. I'm crossing my fingers!

17 May 2008

Voices 17

Today I'm heading to a conference. It's a conference about leadership and organizational effectiveness. It should be good.

Besides hearing from several of our top people in our organization, we'll also be talking about Q12, the "employee engagement survey" through Gallup. AND, my favorite, we'll be working on Strength Finders.

We did the latter at my former job. It was quite fun to see who had traits of 'responsibility', or 'context', or most importantly - 'woo'. I was talking with one of my colleagues during our last work weekend and she said, "I have the woo." We both started laughing and then starting picking out people walking down our hallway. "There's Jon, he totally has the woo." That's totally our new saying. Do you have the woo?

It should be a good conference, despite that I'm up at the butt-crack of dawn on a Saturday. But this is just getting me prepped for my return to this week's former plan of getting up and running before work when I start that Monday.

16 May 2008

Voices 16

The voice of change came to my state today. Unlike JB I didn't go to the rally. I wanted to but with the conference I have to go to tomorrow (I needed to do laundry) and with my recent illness I thought it would be better to just stay home. No need infecting 7000 people with my sickness.

The cool thing is the Tommy Daschle spoke before Barack took the stage. I met Tom once. He was campaigning for senate (I think - at least it was congress of some sort) and he was going door to door...back in the days when that was normal. Anyway, I think I was 5 maybe and he came to our door. Mom was taking a nap or something and so he just gave me stickers and asked me to give my parents some literature.

I was so excited. First, he was cute back then (not that he isn't now) and I'm not one to not look at a cute man. Second, he gave me stickers! I was stoked. I put the stickers on my little green desk I had with the chalkboard top and the magnetic board on the inside. If I ever get back to mom's I'll take a picture and post it. The stickers are still there (though quite worn since that was almost 30 years ago).

Anyway... here's a video - a little of Tommy and Barack - if you want to watch.

15 May 2008

It's a "grrr" post

I'm really annoyed.

I'm annoyed that I'm sick. I'm annoyed that all my best-laid plans this week have fallen in the mud.

And I'm really annoyed that tonight is freaking beautiful - a perfectly still evening with all sorts of colors gracing the sky. We had rain earlier and so the clouds have been moving through. From my couch I'm looking at the brown brick building across the street, with green trees behind it, with the aquas, peaches and purples mixed in the sky. I tried to take a picture but that didn't work. You'll just have to trust me on it.

But I'm annoyed because I've been stuck inside all day, all week, because I've been sick. Okay, okay, I did go for a walk last night which was great, but I don't think that helped any.

I hate being sick. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I am getting better but I'm not quite 100% yet. Soon I hope. I want to run. My Brooks are calling out to me...

Voices 15

We start today with my voice as I dragged my sorry ass out of bed this morning. I slept poorly last night, again, though I didn't wake up. I was out like a rock but I just didn't wake up rested. But I headed to work wishing I had gotten up early enough for a chai but that didn't happen.

Anyway, my morning was going okay though I sounded bad and my Dayquil just wouldn't kick in. My voice was very scraggly and Deaner said I looked awful. He said, "You know they give you sick time for a reason. Your eyes look awful and your nose is red from blowing it."

Yeah, yeah. Thanks, Deaner. Of course he's also the one who told me that the time that's important for me to be in the office when Boss1 is in the office and Boss1 has had a rare week of actually being here, so I was feeling a little obligated to hang around. Plus I'm taking a few days off next week and I have piles of work to do.

Well, I finished my letters I needed to mail out and as I was walking back from the mailroom Deaner ran into me again. He said, "You need to go home." I said, "Will you tell my boss that?" So he did. Which I was planning to leave anyway, but I went in to his office right as Deaner was reminiscing about some guy from across the street who used to come in and by noon he'd be sick and leave. Then Dean said, "Moe doesn't look good...she should go home." I started laughing and said, "Sir, may I go home?" Boss1 said yes. And then I confirmed that he had meetings out of the office the rest of the afternoon so I wouldn't feel guilty about not being there (but less face it, I still am a little). Of course I also told him I'd have my phone on if he needed anything. Pathetic, aren't I?

I stopped by the grocer and picked up OJ and 7-up and started downing that as soon as I got home. Then I crashed on the couch and fell asleep for a few hours.

It's been nice to be home and rest up, but I hate this. I don't like being sick and I don't like that I'm not adult enough to stand up for myself and admit that I'm sick. I had to ask permission! Sheesh. You'd think I'd be beyond that.

The good thing of today is that I was able to catch up on Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty so I can watch tonight without feeling completely lost. And I got to curl up on my couch with my Chuck's and my blue blanket (the latter which makes me want to watch The Producers again.)

14 May 2008

A vote of self confidence

This is Stephanie Klein, who is awesome. Enjoy!

Voices 14

My boss and I have a running joke. He started it. A few months back he sneezed a few times and I blessed him, of course, and then he said, "I must be allergic to work." We've kept this going for awhile.

Well, when I get sick, I sneeze. I've graduated to a little cough now, too. Joy. But today I went on one of my sneeze rampages (those of you who know me personally understand this - I think I had 11) and he said, "You must really be allergic to work." I said, "Can I use my sick time then?"

He didn't respond, which was probably wise since I have a pile of work on my desk and I had stupidly hinted this morning on our way to a meeting that we should be playing hooky today (not together) because it was a beautiful 64 all day, blue sky and NO wind.

I really wanted to run today. But I'm so sick that there were points during the day where I had to prop my head up with my hands because it was so heavy it wouldn't stay up on its own.

What also sucked is that my nephew was having a preschool program tonight and I really wanted to go, but he has a little sister and I don't want to get either of them sick.

So I didn't run and just came home after work. Sadly my head kept yelling at me that I should go run. So I compromised. I went for a walk. The fresh air did do me some good for a little while. And the moving helped me to breathe a little better. Hopefully I can get better soon. I desperately need to run.

And because I haven't done this in awhile, I thought I'd share a couple pictures with things that made me happy today.

This is my park. When I run, I run by David all the time.
If you can see, there's a river just beyond the end
of the cement down there on the left.
Across the river there's a nice hill leading up to the bridge.

These are flowers and my new Chuck's.
The latter made me extremely happy today.
I've wanted Chuck's for a very long time and finally I just ordered them.
Aren't they cute? I love, love, love them!

13 May 2008

Voices 13

Dis is my voice today.

I slept wid da window open last night and now I hab a code.

And I look like crap.

Sleep tight eberyone!

P.S. Did you ever sneeze so hard your back hurt?

12 May 2008

Voice 12

The voice of reason and objectivity can sometimes seem harsh, but let's face it the truth hurts.

Mtanga was totally right today. She commented on my post here where I was being all pathetic and... well, me. I really needed to hear this.

Girl, you are so right. I've been thinking about your comment all day. You're totally right. I can dress how I want to. I think I've dressed the way I have - jeans and tees - because I feel like I live in a hick town. But I don't have to dress that way. I also think that initially when I moved back it was out of comfort having had to dress up all the time before, but now I've just gotten lazy and have slipped into complacency. (My only kudos to myself is that I haven't slipped into swishy pants yet. Thank God for that - at least I've kept some of my standards.)

If I want to feel better and dress better than I need to just step up and do that. Even pink suspenders if I want to. It's funny because I never defend why I like the Indians, so why I'm being so pathetic about what I wear, I don't know.

On a similar note, Andrea asked a good question today. This is my answer: "Today I am willing to receive constructive criticism and advice, especially when it helps me to see that my self-loathing isn't doing me any good and that I can be the person I want to be even if others think it odd."

Thanks, Mtanga.

11 May 2008

Voices 11

Happy Mother's Day to those who are celebrating this day.

So many of my friends are mom's or soon-to-be mom's or just became mom's or will be mom's someday in the future. It's a happy time.

Me? I'm a Godmama. I'm so excited about this new venture in my life. Granted I've been a Godmother before - but to boys who are actually my nephews too. So the aunt thing kind of wins out over Godmother (it should probably be the other way around).

But now I'm an honest-to-goodness Godmama. Nika is adorable and I get to meet her in person in less than 2 weeks! Around 10 days, give or take a day - depending on how you count. YAY! I'm going to tell her bunches of stories and spoil her sweeter (instead of rotten). She's so cute and I can't wait to hear all she has to say.

I'm thinking of seeing if Nika would be okay with just calling me the GM. :) That could be fun.

10 May 2008

Voices 10

This really has nothing to do with voices other than the voices in my head wishing I could be better looking and not look like crap.

I'm watching the Princess Diaries tonight. I love Larry Miller. He cracks me up. He plays Paolo in this movie where he makes-over Mia.

There was a lot of controversy (well, some) when this movie first came out - people complaining that it made it seem like only women with straight hair (not curls like Mia has originally) and women without glasses are worthy of being princesses (or something like that...I just remember the few stories about it).

Anyway, some of the things they do make me nervous - like plucking eyebrows (I probably should do this but I'm scared to start) and it seems everyone wears dresses all the time. Of course I'm not feeling the hottest today so that could be part of it. And it could be that Glamour says you should declare 90-days of being pant free - meaning you should wear dresses and show off those hot legs. And the fact that I haven't shaved my legs since the beginning of April (I know, "ew", but really...who's feeling my legs anyway? no one) and I haven't been running near enough makes me all the more nervous about trying to move into a dress regime, let alone shorts.

I would like to up the ante in my wardrobe though. Beege was talking about wardrobes where you have some basic pieces and build around them. My friend Grant used to talk about his sister and how she had built one of her sets of wardrobes around blacks and reds and anything in her suitcase she could make an outfit out of because everything went together. I had commented to Beege that I have a basic wardrobe - jeans and black t's.

It saddens me a little because I used to sort of dress up when I had my other job - I had to look at least professional. Not that I wore dresses because they weren't always practical in my job, but I at least wore more than jeans. In fact, in that job the only time I wore jeans was on weekends. Now I'm in them all the time - after work, weekends, any time I can.

But I miss dressing up. I need a make over. I remember reading once that Jennifer Aniston said she had to be taught fashion when she first became famous. I wish I could have that. Of course I want to lose like 20 some pounds first, but I really need help.

Of course I could dress up - I still have all my "dress shirts" that I bought the month before I was hired for my current job. Stupid me didn't return them and I have never worn them. So I could. Mark S (*sigh* - you can't say his name without sighing - trust me - K&E you know who I'm talking about - Scott's bro-in-law...*sigh*) ..anyway...he used to dress up on days when he had a lot to do. It was his strategy to keep him motivated and get work done. I tried it a few times and it really worked. Maybe I should try that again.

I mean, I look at these super cute spring and summer dresses in Glamour and Cosmo and other mags and I really wish I could wear those. I wish I could look sophisticated instead of a college kid. It's no wonder people think I'm 23 instead 33 as I am. Not that that's a bad thing, but if it's based on what I'm wearing, that's not good. I love my jeans and t's and I know I'll never get rid of them, but maybe I'm wearing them too much.

But truly - I want to learn how to style my hair. I want to wear dresses without feeling like I'm a fraud. Can someone really change? Mia does it, but of course that's Hollywood. Can someone like me - a lamo who wears a uniform and hair in a make-shift bun most of the week, and jeans and a low braid the rest of the week - can I learn how to dress better and look better? Can I wear dresses and look classy without feeling like a fraud?

My other fear: I have an opera I'm attending in a month and I have nothing to wear and I want to look hot. I'm scared I won't be able to pull it off. Not that the boys care what I wear - they've told me to be comfortable and one said I could even wear a pantsuit if I wanted - but I feel like I should dress nicer. It's an opera! And E! is wearing a tux. I want to look hot on his arm. Can I make it?

09 May 2008

Smile time! RAK with chai

Okay, one more thing... yesterday BB and I were chatting about random acts o' kindness and such.

I had stopped into Starbucks yesterday on my way to the dentist but because I wasn't getting my usual drink I went inside so I didn't throw off my order. I actually was picking up a tall non-fat chai for KC which I had promised her I would do Wednesday afternoon during the time I was blocking out the fact I had to get a crown the next day. Anyway...I went in and was chatting with the gal who usually makes my drink and I saw BB in the drive thru. We waved and blah blah blah.

Later that day I stopped in to say hi and we got to talking about a time she had bought drinks for some of her friends who were in the drive thru while she was inside putting in her order. But she mentioned how she's always wanted to buy the drinks for whoever was behind her in line, but she never had. I said I had the same thought but I never had either. Usually I didn't have enough cash on me or I just chickened out at the last minute.

Well today, I decided I was going to do it. I know this isn't a big thing, but I wanted to take a step and do something for someone else. So I had my cash ready (and extra just in case they ordered a lot) and drove up to the window. I think I threw off the cashier (not the normal gal) when I said I wanted to buy for the person behind me. It took her awhile to figure out how to do it. I don't know why she just didn't ring up mine and then ring up the next one. But whatever. To each his own.

But then I did one more thing, and now I'm not sure if this was the right thing. I asked the lady to give the person behind me a Smile card I got from here when they pulled up. I probably didn't need to give the card, I could have done without it, but I did anyway.

Of course, when I tried to leave I wanted to sneak out into traffic super quick so they wouldn't take down my license number or anything and start stalking the crazy lady who bought them their coffee for the morning, but of course traffic was super busy.

The weird thing, I felt nervous and unsure the entire time I did it. I'm not sure if that means I shouldn't be doing it or I need to do this more. Who knows.

Voices 9

This was not the day for me to speak or write. I totally screwed up multiple times today. So much so that I'm vegging tonight at home.

It started with me not inviting Boss2 to the breakfast across the street. Guys in the other shop occasionally make their own version of McMuffins (MOC-Muffins, for those who understand). Anyway, Kim and I have our system for muffin day - she doesn't like egg and I don't like cheese so we swap. She gets double cheese (and ham) and I get double egg (and ham - one of the few times I actually eat pork). It's awesome.

Well, usually Boss2 is gone when we have these. Once, after the guys called me for breakfast, I invited Boss2 over too. Well, I got schooled on that quickly. So this morning I just snuck out. (Shame). Well, eventually JP called him and invited him over. Boss2 showed up and I was still there. He was annoyed. "I thought you were my wingman for this...but no, you just sneak out without saying a word." Whoops.

Then later, JonG was looking for someone to help with a new hire and so I called Boss2 on his phone, thinking maybe he was at lunch. Well, no...he was at a meeting with Boss1 and other higher ups which I had completely spaced. Whoops again.

Then I was emailing my friend GB and totally messed up almost every line. I couldn't formulate a sentence, nor follow a train of conversation. It was bad.

THEN...wait...I think I blocked that one.

Anyway...my voices are pretty much empty tonight.

08 May 2008

Danger, danger...

If any of you are still looking for a birthday gift for me, you know in case you forgot or just don't know when my birthday is and you want to celebrate me on some random day of the year...or in case you're into the Baptismal Day celebration (which would be Sunday for me)...

...then please...I would love these! :)

The link is here, just in case you feel so moved. MoMA has some awesome stuff.


Tonight was group night on two levels. One, it was Bunco night and the final night for the season. I've been in the lead overall since last month's awesome game night, so tonight everyone was out for blood (so to speak - we really do just play for fun).

Anyway, I was having a crappy night. Julie just needed 100 points more than me to take first place. And it was very possible with the way I was rolling. I felt really bad for Nikki. It was her first night out, we were partnered up toward the end of the games and had 43 points on the books when suddenly she rolled a Snake Eyes and wiped out our score. Apparently my face just dropped. She felt so bad! I have to make it up to her tomorrow. I need to find something to give her because I don't want her to feel bad.

In the end, I won by a few points - not by much but enough. We divide up the overall pot to the top 4 winners so I got 40% of the pot, or $60. Nice. I needed that.

I felt bad because normally the winner buys the gals a round at the end but Tre had emailed yesterday wanting to see Group. We don't spend much time together and so when we can I try to. The show was at 8 and we're usually done by 7:30 so it worked out, except for me having to ditch everyone.

The show was good, though probably one I'd only see once. No offense folks, if you tag back to me here. It was interesting and at one point Tre leaned over and said there was too much chaos going on at the same time. Luckily this was only during one portion of the musical so it wasn't too overwhelming. I thought the Freud/Mother segment wasn't needed. It really wasn't needed for a costume change since a 15 minute intermission followed, but I'm not the director or writer.

Overall it was a good show. And of course, I'm a sap so I teared up at parts but nothing overwhelming like I've had occasion to do in the past.

But now I'm exhausted. I've been busy every single night this week, which is unusual for me. Tomorrow night I'm totally vegging.

Voices 8

"Holy mother of all that is good and pure! DAMN!"

That is what was going through my head just 30 minutes ago as my awesome dentist cemented my new crown to my very live tooth.

Dr. R and I debated on what to do. I was using the gas, which is always pleasant, but we decided not to numb me up to put the tooth on. I'm really glad we didn't because I wouldn't be able to enjoy my jelly donut as I am right now if I had had the Novocaine.

But because we didn't, the room temperature cement going onto my very live, body-temped tooth, stung like a bee-atch. Add to that the tapping of the crown onto my live tooth and holy shit. I teared up which didn't help because then Dr. R felt bad. But once everything settled into place she asked if I would have preferred the Novocaine and been numb for 3 hours.

"Hell, no." I hate being numb. You can't function, you can't talk, you can't eat (and I like to eat). So those 5 minutes of pain and the dull throbbing I have now, which will go away with more Ibuprofen, is nothing. I'm much happier now than if I'd be sitting here drooling and trying to function.

So I'm celebrating my pain with a jelly donut. And then I need to go to work. joy.

07 May 2008

Voices 7

The voices in my head are mad at me.

Very, very mad.

They keep telling me that the weather is beautiful and I really need to be spending time outdoors, but I've been ignoring them. I hear what they have to say (multiple times in multiple voices, dialects and accents) but I've been ignoring them.

Instead the last two days I have spent extra time at work. Yesterday it took red meat, but today it just took some Peeps and I was in the zone. I cleaned up my office. I can find my desk again. I straightened out some files and labeled others so I know where my projects are when I need them. And I'm feeling pretty good about it all.

All except the fact that I didn't go run. Man, it was gorgeous tonight and the voices are still yelling at me for not going out to run. Last night it wasn't as bad because it was raining, but tonight...man.

Egads! They're still yelling! Make them stop!

06 May 2008

Voices 6

This is one those days where I just wish I could have stayed in bed. In fact my head was telling me to do that most of the day... "Moe...go home...you have comp time...use it...go home." But I didn't. I stayed and worked.

But it was a pathetic day on the work front. I couldn't get or stay focused. My mind kept rolling and not stopping on one thing. It just wasn't good.

Finally I gave up, told Boss2 I was going to go home for an hour or so and regroup and then come back and work. I hadn't taken a lunch so it sort of became a really late lunch. Luckily he's cool with plans like that on occasion (I can't make a habit of it).

So while I was driving home I was trying to figure out what I should have for dinner. I began replaying in my head what I've had the past few days. That conversation went like this:

Last night, chicken
Sunday night, chicken
Saturday night, chicken
Friday night - cheese pizza with chicken
Thursday, scrambled eggs (a form of chicken)
Wednesday, chicken
Tuesday, chicken wings at BW3s
Monday, I didn't eat because my mouth was numb - that was an ice cream night
Sunday, chicken
Saturday, chicken - at Chevy's no less
Friday, pizza with chicken
Thursday, chicken
Wednesday, chicken
Tuesday, chicken
scrambled eggs (a form of chicken)

Do you see a pattern? Yeah, I did and it was scary. My mind was listless (despite the list) and I realized my lack of focus was in that I haven't had red meat in a very, very long time. Even when I went to my niece's birthday we had pork (I think) which I rarely eat, but we all know that pork is the other white meat.

This has happened to me before. Usually I don't go over a month (possibly more this time, I stopped counting after three weeks of chicken) without something - roast beef, a hamburger, steak, something. But it has been awhile. And I know I could probably substitute the iron and fortification I get from red meat with vitamins but I always forget to take them.

So on my way back to work (yes, I went back) I grabbed a hamburger kids meal at BK. Not only did a get an invisible ink pen which works, I got my focus back. I went back and holed up in my office for 3 hours and got a ton of work done. It was great. I feel so much better. I have energy and life again. I even read tonight which I haven't done in awhile either.

My apologies to all you vegetarians out there, but all I can say is, thank God for beef.

05 May 2008

Good day

I do love Mondays. I'm very lucky in that I get Monday's off though it means I have 4 very long days the rest of the week. But today was my day off.

It was great. I left my windows open over night and so I had a really good sleep. Then my friend called out of the blue to see if I wanted to go to lunch. I was stoked because we hadn't seen each other in a long time. We went to Famous Dave's, which isn't a favorite of mine but I had chicken so I made it through.

Then we ran errands and spent way more money than we should have (or at least I should have). I picked up some things at Hobby Lobby for a project I'm working on - and so far it's not working like I wanted it to so I'm frustrated. Then we went to Target for wedding gifts and JCPenney for bras.

The bad thing about today is that I should have gone out for a run, but I didn't get it done. I'm such a loser. :( And I didn't use today like I usually do and clean my house. So I'll either do that tomorrow night or next weekend. (If you're a betting man, bet on next weekend).

Voices 5 - a continued continuation

I felt a little bad about the girl last night. She kept screaming (after I had logged off): "I will not lower my voice! I don't want to lower my voice! Why won't you love me? I did everything for you! Why won't you love me?"

This went on for another half hour. I debated going down and trying to calm her down or at least telling her that if the guy doesn't love her and she's had to do everything for him, then he's probably not worth the time or energy she's sinking into this scream fest that's making her sound bad and keeping the neighborhood up.

But I didn't because despite the fact that I love my apartment and for the most part it's location (right by the bike trail) it's not in the best part of town. And who knows what kind of weapon she was yielding besides her cell phone and set of lungs.

It's just too bad. She sounded young so I'm sure this is just the first of many breakups for her. It got me thinking about my relationship breakups. Not that I haven't had many because I just haven't had the joys of that as many of my friends have. I'm totally not a Sex and the City girl. But here are a couple stories:

My college boyfriend broke up with me via letter - a true Dear Jane letter though he spelled my name wrong which pissed me off and didn't help matters. I know I cried over that one but I knew it was coming because he had gotten really distant in the previous month or so. It was hard to confront him before he finally sent the letter because he had gone off to grad school so we didn't have plans to see each other until Thanksgiving.

I do know that I sent back all his crap to him with a letter saying something about how I'm sure it was all my fault (I was young and didn't know better) which led to his then girlfriend (the one he started dating before breaking up with me) calling me up and forcing him to tell me that it, in fact, wasn't my fault and the knucklehead (as she called him) was going to explain things to me.

My first grad school breakup was almost comical. We had "dated" for a month and during that time he had he mentioned at one point that so many of his relationships had only lasted a month. I verified that fact on the sly with his friends, but he said that he loved me so we would make it. (That was comical too - he loved me after 2 weeks, really? This from the guy who's never had a committed relationship?) He was also my tutor for one of my language classes.

Well, one month - to.the.day. - I was working on my language final and he came to my dorm room and said he thought we should break up. Too bad for him I'm known as Calendar Girl with my friends. He went through his spiel and I just sat and nodded. When he finished I said, "Okay." He did a double take and said, "Is that it?" I said, "Well, I figured this was going to happen. It's a month to the day since we started 'dating'." He just said, "And you're not upset?" So, me being the theatrical girl that I am, I said, "Do you want me to cry? Do you want me to get mad?" And then proceeded to force out some tears and raised my voice a decibel (I'm not that loud of a talker), gave him a little what for and then told him to leave because I had to finish my final.

He left, I finished and turned in my paper, and went for a run. During that time, he went to a guy in our class whom I would never talk to, but told him that he was worried about me. Patrick came to my door and knocked but obviously I didn't answer since I was running and thus began the search party for me. It was hilarious. It was even more so later when one of the other guys in my class said to me, "I suppose you're going to break up with J. now since class was over." And my friend looked at me in shock and I started laughing and said, "Unless he breaks up with me first." I busted out laughing and left. Later that guy came up to me and said, "I'm so sorry!" Whatever, it made me laugh.

I've had others, some not so fun, but I don't ever think I've been at the all out screaming point as the girl was last night. Of course, I've mentioned before that I'm not really one to get mad anyway. I just don't go there. I don't know why. Maybe I'm just not emotional enough. Who knows.

04 May 2008

Voices continued

See, this is why I love spring and thump thump season and yet I hate it. I like to leave my windows open for fresh air. I used to live in basements (since 2001 I lived in two different basements) and they had no windows. Now I'm above ground and I love love love having my windows open.

But like I mentioned before, it's thump thump season and I'm in an apartment complex with the parking lot right below my window. Often people will have conversations (read: fights) which graciously drift into my apartment. Tonight there's a girl screaming into the phone (I think, I didn't get up to check) about how she's "worked my ass off for you" and "now you won't even marry me?"

It's better than reality TV - hell, it's reality!

Voices 4

It's thump thump season. Did you know that? The sun is out now, and I'm fairly certain that the snow is finished at least until November. So that means it's thump thump season.

Basically this means that the kids in my neighborhood (and by kids I'm also including all the so called 'adults' that live nearby) are cranking their stereo's which have the bass turned way up and the treble down so as they drive by the entire apartment building vibrates with the thump thump.

I'm not against music or turning it up when it's rockin'; trust me, I do it myself. Though I do feel it has a time and place (i.e. not 2 am in an apartment parking lot).

My only question is, do they thump thump during the winter too? If so, how can they even hear to enjoy it? They must be deaf by now. We're required double hearing protection at work around loud engines, and there are times when the thump-thumpers are louder than any engine I'm around. I worry about these kids (adults).

The good thing is that with the return of the thump thump, it's pretty much safe to say that spring is here. Thank God.

03 May 2008

Voices 3

No voices today. Just mine. Sorry.

I guess I could just go through all the conversations I had in my head today - some out loud (let's be honest).

This morning on the way to work:
  • "Shit, Starbucks is busy and I really don't have time to stand in line."
  • "Shit, I forgot my lunch at home."
  • "Dammit! I forgot to drop off my rent." (this one actually doubled at night too)
  • "Oh fer pete's sake, my tire is low again!" (i slipped into a Norwegian accent on this one)
  • "crap, this is a great way to start."

At work throughout the day:
  • "I'm not marking them in for the day if they don't call and tell me they are here."
  • "I'm really tired of chasing after everyone. If they don't want to get paid, fine."
  • "I hate FOCUS Training."
  • "Okay, it's not that bad."
  • "I really don't mind DP."
  • "But I'm really glad DP is finished."
  • "Where's Blake?"
  • "Can I go home yet?"
  • "I hate pee." (that's a long story)
  • "Please don't make me put this back in the pee drawer!" (that goes with the other long story, and I actually said this out loud)

And tonight at home:
  • "I'm tired."
  • "I need to cut my hair."
  • "My teeth still hurt. I'm so tired of taking ibuprofen all day long."
  • "How can I get rid of my canker sore? This sucks."
  • "I'm tired."

There you go! :) That's pretty much my day. Work days are so fun, sometimes. We're doing a lot of training this weekend - death by powerpoint, as we say - and though it's better than it has been in the past, basically it means a weekend of not really getting work done that I really need to get done. Ugh. At least most of my training was finished today so tomorrow will hopefully be somewhat open. I'm anticipating a longer day tomorrow. And Boss1 will be gone so he can't make fun of me (aren't I a planner?). tee hee. :)

02 May 2008

Voices 2

In keeping with this month's NaBloPoMo theme of Voices, I went to a Hymn Fest at a nearby church tonight. Of course the bonus to all of this is that it was being led by my AWESOME friend Mark. And of course I'm only saying that because Mark said he was going to start reading my blog.

haha...just kidding. Mark is awesome, as anyone who knows him knows is true. And this was such a bonus because someone from the cities was actually here, near me, where I could see them without having to drive 4 hours! :) Not that I mind, because I don't, but it was a nice change.

First, the hymn fest was great. For a Friday night it was a pretty nice crowd (I thought). The hymns and choral music was incredible, and since I had sang most of it with Mark when I was up in the cities. It was great to sing Nimemwona Bwana again and Mark even brought along Big Red. (forgive me, mark, if I spelled that wrong)

After we finished things up and Mark and I freaked people out by blowing kisses to each other, he and I went for a beer. It was great to catch up and reconnect. So many things have happened for us both since we saw each other last. In fact, I think the last time we saw each other for more than a church date it was last June during the Pride Party. Oh and Mark, I forgot to tell you to pass on hellos to Jeff, Gus and Buddy. Give them each a hug for me and send pictures soon!

I've had a couple good weekends lately, reconnecting with my cities friends and helping me get back to normal. I can't let this many weeks pass without a Cities moment again. I need it.

Well...off to bed for me. Tomorrow I get to work! YAY!

01 May 2008

Voices 1

NaBloPoMo's theme for the month is voices and boy let me tell you my voice was aching to break free today.

It started out with a phone confrontation with a colleague and it really pissed me off. I found out later that at least I wasn't the only one getting yelled at by this person but still there was no reason for this.

I was doing my job based on my job description and what I am supposed to do and there was a minor problem (easily fixed with a reboot) which triggered this immediate phone call (before the reboot). Then in that same phone call another issue was brought forth, again falling in my realm of things and I was attacked for, basically, supposedly butting into an area that's not my own. Fact, I needed to be involved in the issue, too. I can't really get into details which makes this really vague... sorry.

But what was funny, as I was on the phone with the colleague, I was getting so frustrated. The person wouldn't even let me talk and explain what I had done, why I had done it - they kept interrupting me as I tried to talk. I was literally holding the phone, my face in a angered look, clutching my free hand in a fist, and visible shaking because I just wanted to scream, "SHUT UP!" The funny part was that my boss walked by right at that moment and was genuinely concerned. Later I just wanted to walk outside and scream out, "FCUK!" because I couldn't get it out.

Thankfully, my good calm voice came to the forefront as I breathed in deep and when this person finally came up for air with a 2-second delay I jumped in and said, "Let me explain what I did so you understand." I said this in a very pointed way, but polite because I'm super nice. Anyway, we finally hung up and I muttered, which I'm sure Boss1 heard, "And that's why I should just go home."

The other voice in my head was this // close to saying to the phone person, "Fine. Then I'll let you work on the project this weekend that I agreed months ago to help on, since apparently I'm not supposed to be doing any of this. And those three articles I was writing...yeah, I'll just skip that too. Besides I have my own work to do."

But I didn't, though when they emailed later this afternoon wanting to get together tomorrow and asking how much work I've gotten done on the project, I said, "I haven't even looked at it. I'm hoping to tomorrow AM but I have a bunch of my work I need to get done and I have meetings all afternoon." Grrr.

Somehow my voice of reason eventually came out and my blood pressure went down and I was breathing easier. But I do regret venting to people about the situation whom I probably shouldn't have been venting to. I lost my venting post a while back and I'm really needing an outlet, especially in times like this. I need to find someone I can trust to talk to.

Or I just need to take up yoga so I can find my inner peace and calming inner voice.