28 February 2010

Thank goodness this is over

February has been a really crappy month. I just have to say it. The first two weeks were absolutely crazy and on top of that I was sick. Then I finally got over that and had a decent week - I started P90X and felt pretty good about life. But I wasn't motivated at work at all, so that wasn't good. Then I had a week from hell where Morty got super sick and apparently no one can get him to work right, so I'm basically without a car right now.

I am so excited for March. Things have to get better. I tried to start today with a two-a-day: P90X in the AM and then a 6 mile run (in two parts) this afternoon. Of course now I can barely move. I also got started on my running scrapbook that MS gave me for Christmas, which surprisingly is turning out fairly well. I'll have to add in wording soon but for now I'm getting the pictures and other stuff in, and then I'll be ready for this year! :)

But really, March has to be better than this. Right?

21 February 2010

5 years

Happy Blogiversary! Five years ago today, JG convinced me that I needed a blog. Little did he know it would turn into a diatribe about my dating life and other random things (like those-things-that-shall-not-be-named).

But wow, I can't believe it's been 5 years already. It seems like longer, and yet it seems like just yesterday I really started writing.

I have enjoyed these past years, some more than others. Some days I wrote a lot, some not at all. I took the NaBloPoMo challenge and wrote every day in November where I met Kat, Bethany, SAJ, and others. I took the blog every day for a year challenge in 2008 and I did it. It's been crazy, but it's been good.

I'm excited to see what lies ahead for me and my blog as the years change. I have a steady, solid man in my life now, something I didn't have ever during the time I've been writing, and I know he will continue to change my life as he already has. I have more nieces and nephews now (well 1) than when I started. I now have a Goddaughter in my life who means the world to me.

What else is coming? What else does my life have in store for me? What's on my horizon?

I don't know, but I'm excited for it and I can't wait to share it here.

Thanks for visiting as you have and hopefully will continue to do.

19 February 2010

Drive Thru Etiquette

Just my opinion but these are some thoughts I had today while sitting for 25 minutes at the Jimmy John's drive Thru...

1. The Drive Thru is for speed and convenience, but primarily speed.

2. In light of #1, if you have more than 2 sandwiches to order, go inside.

3. In light of #1, if you have a lot of special orders that require you to make hand gestures while you're ordering because that helps you to think out everything that each sub or sandwich is supposed to have, first write it down and second, GO inside.

4. If the Drive Thru screws up your order (it can happen especially if you did #3), drive around and go inside...do not walk up and cut in front of a car waiting for their order.

5. Correct change is preferred, but at least get close. A $50 bill is not cool, especially at lunch and especially not for a $2 item.

6. Do NOT honk in the Drive Thru lane, even if it's taking for.ev.er. It won't help. You may piss off the person in front of you who was not the cause, and even if they were the cause of the tardiness, it's too late now. It will probably just piss them off so much more that they'll take even more time.

7. Please stay patient. I know it's difficult, but the people inside working are trying their best and if someone violates #2 or #3 or any of the others here, keep in mind that the workers are having to deal with the idiots, too.

8. Smile! Life is short and despite the fact you're having to spend way more time in a drive thru lane than you had originally planned, think of the free vacation you're getting away from work and the stories you can tell when you get back! Your co-workers will commiserate and you will eventually feel validated.

Anyone have any others to add?

18 February 2010

Lenten Journey

Despite my lack of Ash Wednesday-ness yesterday, I have begun my Lenten journey.

A lot of people "give up" things for Lent, the sacrifice, the struggle. But I thought I'd take a different approach. So I have decided to think about my body as a temple, a gift from God, versus a burden. And to do that, I need to take care of it. I did start SB again last Monday, but Wednesday MS and I started P90X to get in shape. It's not just to lose weight, but I want to take care of my body so I can be a servant for the Lord.

I also decided that I'm going to do my best to be nice to people. I'm struggling with this already, but with one particular co-worker whom I have struggled to get along with over the years, I have made a point to engage in conversation with her each morning while we're getting ready for work. It's helping, I think. If nothing else, it reminds me that we're all humans and I'm not perfect so I shouldn't act like I am.

Like I said, though, I'm struggling. I know I have things I like to have done a specific way and when things don't get done that way I get frustrated. I have my faults, and I need to work on those too. Hopefully I will be able to shed some light on my issues as well over the next 40 days or so.

I missed it again

So I'm driving to MS's after a very unproductive day yesterday, feeling tired from lack of sleep Tuesday night and having gotten up at 4:30 to workout, and I drive by a church. It's 6pm and I think to myself, "What is going on?"

Then it dawns on me...it's Ash Wednesday and once again I have forgotten a churchly duty. I'm such a sinner.

Being away from the seminary has really changed me. It's not that I dislike church, but I don't find the pressure to go as much as I did. I'm not in a choir, which could be part of it too, but I just haven't gotten there.

I still pray nightly. I have to talk with God at some point throughout the day or I don't feel full. I'm not sure where I am with my religion; my faith is holding strong though.

15 February 2010

A good start

It's not quite 11 yet, but I've already accomplished a lot. I did 2 loads of laundry, ironed my work clothes, folded everything, ran to the grocery store to restock the fridge, emptied and started refilling the dishwasher, washed the dishes that can't go in the dishwasher, ran out to work to drop off my work clothes and pick up a letter I'm proofing for MS, ran to Walgreens to pick up photos and some SF candy, and packed up all my scrapbooking stuff to take to MS's when he calls to tell me that my MINI can get through the snow.

I'm feeling pretty good. On to the next task! (And the fact that USA is having an NCIS marathon is a great, added bonus!)

Happy President's Day!

14 February 2010

Another bust to the Cities

So today I was supposed to be in the Cities to see Guthrie's Macbeth production. I really wanted to go and I was determined, despite MS's protests and concerns regarding the weather.

Well, as usual, MS was right. The weather sucked for the first hour and by the time I got to the first big city I was so tense and uncomfortable I was ready to cry. So I turned around and headed back, still white-knuckled and stressed.

So I'm home. I've rescheduled my play and trip and now I have to figure out what to do tonight. I really needed a break away, but I guess that'll have to wait. I've been so stressed lately. Work the last two weeks has just been overwhelmingly busy and I could have used some time away. I guess I'll have to come up with some way to unwind and recharge here.

I'm also supposed to get back on Phase I SB tomorrow, so I'm toying with getting a white trash pizza for some comfort food tonight. But I have chicken that really needs to be cooked so I'll probably skip that too. Maybe. Comfort pizza sounds really good right now.

So I'm going to get off the web now and see if I can't cheer up a bit. It's probably time to do that.

Valentine's Day with my boy

I'm not a big fan of the forced romance day, and neither is MS - surprise, surprise. So we thought we'd play it low-key and just go to a movie and maybe out to eat the night before the dreaded day. Plus MS had to work today and I was supposed to go to the Cities (another post story) so this worked out well.

So after much debate because we'd have to go to the expensive theater, we finally agreed to go to the stadium seating and see "The Wolfman".

I know, romantic, right? Well, actually it was pretty cool.

I've never been a fan of Benicio Del Toro, but maybe I didn't give him enough credit. He was phenomenal in this movie and Anthony Hopkins is always incredible. The special effects were amazing and every moment was nail-biting. Loved it!

It's been a question for centuries if wolfmen are real. It was interesting to note that my home state is part of the 'case studies'. From the website:
1864 Dakota Territory, United States
U.S. troops kill many Sioux men, women and children during the Battle of Killdeer Mountain on July 28, 1864. In the months following the bloody action, 7 soldiers are savagely murdered while on nighttime guard duty at nearby Fort Pierre. In all but one case, the mangled bodies are found with both heart and brain missing.
Eyewitnesses claim to have seen a large wolf attacking the men, Commanding Officer General Alfred Sully, assuming the attacks are being carried out by Sioux braves dressed in animal furs as retribution for Killdeer Mountain, triples the guard. Three nights later, sentries shoot and kill an actual wolf outside the fort's gates. The wolf's body is shipped back to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.. Workers there note that the shipping crate contains only "the body of one Indian male, deceased, with gunshot marks to the head and chest."

I'm not sure if I believe it or not, but I sometimes wonder if we really know all that exists in our world and maybe these myths are actually truths that few see or encounter and those who don't are left to decided if they believe it or not. It's interesting, nonetheless.

A morning with Karen

Karen came to visit me yesterday. It was so awesome! She is the best!

I love impromptu visits. Karen called me Friday night while I was on my way home from work and we agreed to meet up for breakfast on Saturday. I was so excited to see her.

We went to iHop which is probably good because, with their super slow service, we had oodles of time to catch up. It was great.

AND she agreed to sign up for the Irishman again, and then we both realized we have one month to get ready for 3 races totaling just over 9 miles as well as extra walks to and from the start line and my apartment (so just about 14 miles for the day). I can't wait! Yay for Karen!

12 February 2010

Time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin'

I stumbled upon an article tonight about "Ten management practices to axe". It was interesting especially following the CNN article today about cool ways to streamline your home office.

First, let me start with the second article. It was a step-by-step on how to organize your home office to be more productive. I watched it at work and realized that a lot of what the lady was doing were things I could do and should do at work. My favorite part was the "Magic Box". It's a stand-alone organizer that can sit on a counter, floor, whatever, that has hanging folders labeled things like, "To do", "To Pay", "To Enter", "Receipts", "To go", etc.

I really liked this idea, so I decided, after looking at the monsoon of a mess I had in my office with papers lying every where and dust to boot, that I needed to try this. I happen to have a lower left file drawer that's pretty much holding nothing, so I transformed it into my "Magic Box". (The more I say that the more that sounds sick and wrong, but whatever.)

So I now have files labeled, "To do", "Waiting for", "To file", "For work weekends", "To process", "In process", and room for more if I need them. I'm really excited about this.

Then I went through all the piles I had lying on top of my desk and credenza and sorted. This was another of her steps: STAR, she called it. Sort, Trash, Arrange, Revisit. I have all my files either in my to-do file, to-file file, or in piles where there is just too much to just have hanging there.

The next step is to get little organizers for my middle drawer for pens and pencils and such. And then clean up the insides of a few more of the drawers that had been places to hold the piles to file. (and then to do all this at home!)

I felt really productive today. I got my desk cleaned and straightened. I feel ready for next week at work when I can just open the drawer and pull out the To-Do folder and go for it. I can actually see my desk, which is huge!

The part about this that I'm getting to, slowly and long-windedly, is that I didn't leave work until 8 tonight. Granted I had to take a 2-hour break to meet with a senator and few other people, but then I went back to the office to finish up. Technically, I should be claiming "comp time" for that extra 3 hours of work, but it doesn't feel right. It wasn't something required, that I had to do. It was something I needed to do for my sanity.

And then there's the fact that I just don't feel motivated during the early afternoon hours anyway, so I end up spending a few hours trying to get motivated and then around 2 or 3 I suddenly find my energy and I get to work! So I feel guilty when I claim comp time because I kind of wasted a couple hours already trying to get motivated so when I am motivated I should just work.

Which leads me to the first article I listed. Number ten said: "If you employ white-collar "knowledge workers" in your organization, you're better off giving them challenging assignments and standing back than managing them like assembly-line workers. An obsession with arrival and departure times is not the way to signal to your employees, "We're expecting great things from you," and neither are picky payroll practices that require salaried employees to use fractions of sick and personal days to attend to pressing life situations. Nothing spells "you're a cog in the machine" like a policy that happily allows you to work until midnight on a client project, then docks your pay when you're half an hour late arriving to work the next day. What to do instead: Set goals with your salaried employees, see that they meet them, and leave the how-and-where issues to your brilliant team members to manage for themselves."

What's funny is my title is just what that says. And many times I have felt just like the cog-in-the-machine sentence because I will work late on a project but I sometimes have trouble getting to work right on time in the morning (oh, and we have to sign for an hour, not just a half hour, if we're late).

It sucks, because there's nothing I can do. Our work is set up so that there isn't really room to bend on this stuff. And if I work late and don't own up to that time, that's my issue. I know my boss would probably sign off on it, but when I'm often working late because that's the best time for me to get things accomplished (both because I'm motivated and because it's when everyone else is gone so I can work in peace) then he's going to start to wonder what they're paying me for in the middle of the day. And then the shit will hit the fan.

So I either need to just suck it up and work as I have been the last three years, or I need to figure out a way to get motivated in the middle of the day. I'm not really looking for an answer here, I'm just frustrated because there seems to be no option. So I'm venting. :) la la la

10 February 2010


Okay, so what do we give those awesome people as a way of thanking them for helping us out of our snowy situation Monday?

MS wants to give them pie - because pumpkin pie is on sale at the local grocery store and some random lady in line said they were so good she was coming back for two more.

I was thinking something like a gift certificate to a local favorite restaurant or if we're going to do the pie thing then I make a homemade apple with crust from scratch.

Monte said it's the thought that counts. But I want to make sure it's meaningful too. I mean, if we had had to call a tow truck (or as one local establishment advertises it - TOE Service) that would have cost us around $100.

Store bought pie doesn't seem to emulate the importance of it all. But I don't know. Thoughts??

08 February 2010

Adventure Travel!

I have always been a fan of adventure travel. It's invigorating, exciting, sometimes terrifying. It's when you get in your car, grab a soda and map and an idea of where to go, and then go!

Well, today MS and I had one of our own. We headed to a nearby town to visit a sporting goods store that he likes and on the way back he insisted I "nap" so I could rest and get better. So I put the seat back and shut my eyes.

When I opened them we were in a small town just east of his place - well 10-14 miles east or so. I had faith he knew where we were but when we headed down a road that wasn't plowed I started to worry a wee bit.

Of course I also had faith in Morty and he did really well up until a mile away from the next intersection and we got stuck. Not really bad - Morty rides low and the road wasn't plowed well enough to get through.

Luckily Gene, Joann and Connie came by and were able to pull us out. Gene hooked up the back hook to his truck and Morty's boot and we had a nice little ride. We were truly fishtailing all over the road and while MS worried slightly about going into the ditch, Gene pulled us to safety.

Of course, then Morty had some trouble getting up the hill, so Gene, Joann and MS had to push me out. But we got out and to safety (blacktop) and are home safe.

It was a fun adventure though. It seems MS and I always have these kinds of trips and luckily we don't get super ticked off at each other. We just ride on through it. And it's great.

03 February 2010

Still sick

So I get back from Hawaii, I have trouble sleeping one night, I crash at MS's Sunday AM for two hours, then again Sunday night I start feeling icky, and BAM! Monday I'm so icky that I can barely move, my body aches, my head is full and anytime I try to rid myself of snot it feels like my head is going to explode.

I'm still like this, but it's getting better.

The bad thing is MS and I were starting our eating plan (SB) and P90X on Monday. Well, the eating plan began (mostly because I didn't feel like eating anyway) but P90X is waylaid until I get better. I have a separate blog set up for my eating and exercise plan and if you really want to read it, let me know. I don't have it linked anywhere because generally it's pretty lame. But it's good for me to document, so I do.

Hopefully I can get this crap gone soon. I don't like feeling icky.

01 February 2010

I long for this place

I need my sun. I miss the sun. I'm tired of being sick and achy. :(

The land of winter

Obviously I'm back in the cold place. MS had been sick most of the Hawaii trip, but other than taking care of him I didn't think of it effecting me, because usually I can ward off the germy germs and stay healthy.

But I think with the time change, the weird flight, the sudden temperature change from 80s to teens, and my sleep and eating pattern way off, it finally hit me.

I'm sick. I have this great sinus pressure, sneezing, a little sore throat mostly because of the sinuses crap, and now I feel like poop.

Last night I went to bed at 9, came home at 6:30 when MS had to go to work, and slept until 10:30. I'm only up because I forgot to put my lunch in the refrigerator when I got home. And I thought I should get up for at least a little while.

Plus I need to go into work today to get some things ready for the week just in case I get sicker and can't go in. It's a busy week ahead of me. Good timing, Moe!