Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

In these few early morning moments I have before I need to start getting ready for the not one but three Christmases I am attending over the next two days I thought I would take a minute to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever your pleasure is this time of year. Its been a long, crazy year for this girl but I'm looking forward to spending some time with my friends and family in the coming days and excited about ushering in a new year. I wish the same for all of you.

Cheers!
Tiff


PS - Please ignore the bar thing hanging out behind the Christmas tree there... Home improvement never ends, not even for Christmas.

PPS - The cat is currently laying in that exact location, only this time he's chewing on the ends of all the ribbon on people's gifts. That would explain the cat-retching sounds that woke me earlier. Its a good thing that cat is cute I tell you what.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

As a child Christmas was my favorite holiday, even more exciting than my birthday, which I didn't start loathing until sometime around 18 or 20. I loved the lights, the chill in the air and the fact that my mom and I always had company. I think that is the part of Christmas that I have tried to hold on to as an adult, the happiness of being with friends and family. Even if I haven't spoken to someone as often as I should have, at Christmas getting together becomes a priority. I love that.

What I don't love is the commercialism and materialism that surrounds the holidays. I'm sorry to all of my readers who love getting presents or delight in selecting the perfect item to bestow on a loved one. Gift giving to me is stressful at best and gift receiving makes me highly uncomfortable. Like I'm sitting in the room in my panties and have to pretend its totally normal behavior.

This Christmas in particular I've noticed that I have had numerous opportunities for reconciliation with my past. And for some reason my instinct has changed from "run screaming from that jerk who broke my heart or the ghost of fathers past" to "maybe its time to forgive and move on with my life." We'll see if anything comes of any of this but I've decided as a New Year's resolution of sorts to just relax and be open to communications I might otherwise not have been.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's the craz-, craziest time of the year!

You know I used to be one of those annoying people that had all their holiday shopping done by mid-October AT THE LATEST. The key phrase in that sentence being "used to be". It seems that between the wedding and the honeymoon and the being unemployed and the career change I somehow... forgot to buy presents. In fact, before tonight I had only purchased one (1) gift for Christmas at all and that was something I intended to send to a friend on the east coast.

No, I have not in fact actually MAILED said gift to the east coast. Ahem.

But lord all mighty was it insane out there tonight! I'm not stupid (or desperate) enough to even remotely attempt anything resembling a mall but I did swing by a local book store to take a look at some things on my way home from work this morning and it was not pretty. The traffic, the lines, the rain, the harassed looking staff... Why do we put ourselves through this every year again? I've forgotten.

Though I do now have more than one (1) gift purchased. In fact, if I play my cards right I may not even need to go to another store again until well after the new year! Fingers crossed!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brrrr....

Dear State of California,

I know you and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. Really its been more of a tolerate/hate at best but that's neither here nor there. The fact is that I've remained faithful to you for almost 17 years, I've paid the exorbitant rent prices, I even bought an overpriced home! I've endured the higher average price per gallon at the pump (though I do thank you for lowering prices down from $5 a gallon - I can actually afford to drive to the gas station now!). I've even learned to cope with the millions of people constantly in my space and the houses popping up one on top of the other every where.

You, on the other hand, have not kept up YOUR end of this bargain. I endure the people, the expensive cost of living, the traffic and the high gas prices and YOU provide tolerable weather year-round. Considering that it took me 5 minutes (and most of a cup of much needed coffee) to get myself into my frozen over car yesterday morning, and then an additional 15-20 minutes to de-ice the windshield enough to drive (at least the side windows roll down), I would say this definitely does not fall under the definition of tolerable weather by any stretch.

The final straw was when I noticed snow (SNOW!) on the hills directly to the north of my home yeasterday and when they had to actually close all but one lane over the pass due to snow and ice on the roadway. You know, California, as well as I do that the people who call you home are TERRIBLE drivers and do not understand the concept of wetness coming from the sky. When this "wetness" appears to freeze... It's like a holy armageddon!

I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter. I'd hate to have to sell my home and move away, especially since this over-priced real estate? Totally not worth the money, but anyway! Moving on! At least bring me back my mild winter weather. Please?

Sincerely,

T.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Living the Good Life

Having spoken to many bloggers "off the record", I've noticed a common theme among us regarding posting. Our best writing is done when fueled by angst or anger or worry or sadness; we find it harder to put together coherent posts when we are happy. How many posts on weekend updates or how much one loves one's job/house/husband/wife/life can you write after all? Day 1 - very happy... Day 12 - still very happy. It gets a little stunted.

That is sort of where I am. I am happier than I have been in years. I no longer wake up in the morning with an ever-present sense of dread, I am no longer uneasy for no reason, I no longer well up with tears unexpectedly or cry to myself in the car for no discernible reason other than I feel sadness. Now I wake up happy, I feel optimistic, I laugh, I mean really laugh, and I do so frequently. Unfortunately I feel like the details of this happiness aren't exactly blog worthy.

And though there are a couple things going on in my life right now that I DO lose sleep over, alas I can not blog about them here either as the audience is inappropriate. So I am at a loss. Do I post superfluous posts about how much I love my new job, how happy I am to finally be doing something I actually ENJOY as opposed to doing something I am simply good at? How many times I can post about loving matrimony? How many times I can I fail miserably at explaining why I love being married and why a stupid piece of paper made me feel safe, secure, hopeful about the future?

Or do I just throw all caution to the wind and post about what is REALLY on my mind, backlash be damned?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why hello December...

First things first I have to send a big internet hug to BFL whose birthday is today!!! Happy Birthday darlin', can't wait to celebrate with you on Sunday!

*****

So... Did November just up and disappear all abrupt like on anyone else?? I swear between being gone for 11 days and Thanksgiving I misplaced half a month y'all! Here it is 3 days into December and I'm just now feeling like life is returning to normal. We're home safe, back to work, the laundry is almost done and the bags 98% unpacked. AND I'm blogging! A girl has to have priorities I guess. :D

The honeymoon was fantastic, better than either of us imagined or dared hope for. We stayed at this awesome all inclusive resort outside of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and yes, it really is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures on their website. You know how sometimes at the end of a vacation you are sad to be leaving but also kind of ready to go home? Yeah well this trip was NOTHING like that. Neither TheBoy or I wanted to leave and it was SO hard getting up that last morning to pack.

The only downside of the whole trip was that flying there from the West Coast is terrible! On the way out there we had three flights with a 2 hour lay-over in LA and a 3 hour lay-over in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The fact that TheBoy is 6'7" and doesn't fit into any normal sized airplane seats comfortably didn't help as he spent each flight (including the 6 hour one between LA and Puerto Rico) with either his knees jammed into the seat back of the person in front of him or stretched out into the aisle where the stewardesses I swear were aiming for his knees with those drink carts. Also, since I was still sick (am still sick, whatever) 3 take offs and landings did a number on my sinuses!

Of course once we got there and breathed in the warm tropical air and felt the sunshine on our backs all complaining ceased. I reserved a private taxi through the resort because the #1 thing people kept telling me about the DR was that pretty much anyone can drive out to the airport, call themselves a taxi and pick you up to take to your hotel. Which is fine if they do in fact take you to your hotel directly as opposed to taking a little side trip out to the middle of nowhere and robbing you first. And after seeing the hour long drive out to the beach from the airport I can see would be pretty easy to do! We went through cow country on these crazy rough roads with HUGE potholes and even bigger speed bumps, there are no street signs to speak of and ideas such as "right side of the road" and "two cars abreast" don't seem to matter there. It was definitely an experience!

The people at the resort welcomed us with a cool towel, a glass of champagne and a chorus of "welcome home", it was fantastic. Pretty much after that we never left the resort. Unfortunately because I was still sick, my energy level was not what I hoped it would be but TheBoy was content to let me sleep in and spend most days laying out by the pool reading (or napping) or swimming around lazily. This was our first time at an all inclusive so we weren't sure what to expect but the food was great in all the restaurants though we didn't care too much for the Asian fusion restaurant (I think because we have such awesome Japanese and Thai food here at home) and we definitely LOVED the french restaurant best. And all the booze included too? It was awesome! From the bars in and around the pool to the daily re-stocked mini-bar in our room (including bottle service!) we never were far from our next CocoLoco, Crazy Monkey, Mai Tai or glass of champagne. It was heaven.

Believe it or not we actually managed to take about 70 pictures! I know that may not seem like a lot to some of you who come home with hundreds and hundreds of photos from your vacations but trust me, TheBoy and I usually get home from some fabulous trip only to discover we took 12 photos and 10 of them were on the last day when we discovered we didn't have any pictures! So without further ado...

Room, the first.

View from room #1

Dinner, first night, totally jet lagged and with the ONLY tequila we drank the whole entire trip. Crazy no? They're into this thing called "rum" down there and you know, when in Rome...


Room, the second. Upgraded to swim up suite in the "excellence club" area. VIP. That's how we roll y'all. Woot!

View from the pool, looking at our "porch" of the room #2. Notice the hammock? TheBoy Had. To. Have. the hammock. He spent as much time as possible, when it wasn't raining, the the hammock.


Even though we never left the resort really, there were tons of things to do. We played pool in one of the most lopsided and damp tables ever in the sports bar and TheBoy even tried his hand at the archery they had set up.


Here is TheBoy enjoying the pool and waiting for the next round of pool volleyball to start up. He actually played quite a bit of pool volleyball and water polo though I think he might have had an unfair advantage since 4' deep water is like waist deep for him but... he certainly was a popular choice on people's teams!


In our rooms they provided these super plush robes and slippers to wear as part of the whole "spa" experience. They were of course too big for me but comically too small for The Boy. Check out the one-size-fits-most slippers y'all.


Here we are hanging out in the hammock after dinner one night...


Did I mention the birds? There are a ton of birds all over the resort. Flamingos, parrots, geese, ducks, peacocks... You name it and they are wandering around. Normally I think birds are dirty and gross but somehow in paradise I didn't mind so much. Which was good since they like to come up and visit you in your room and hop onto your hand while you are taking pictures of them.



Also, TheBoy got all artistic on me with the camera one night in the bar after maybe one too many Mama Juana shots. (I know that article says it tastes like port but it most certainly doesn't taste like any port I've ever had... It tastes like maple syrup. Seriously.)




Of course it did rain about half the time we were there. Funny I didn't mind it... Probably because it was still 85 degrees and someone was always still at the pool bar which was right outside our room.


Mere hours after that rain photo was taken, TheBoy was outside in the pool building a raft out of all the floating mats that blew to our end of the pool during the storm.


And last, but not least, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have my own night of too many Mama Juana shots and convinced this nice girl who was also there on her honeymoon to go swimming with me at midnight even thought the pools are technically closed. Y'all know you love me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Under the wire

I totally was NOT going to blog today. Because when pairing down the list of a million and two things I had to do today before I left, blogging didn't really make the top 10 list of essentials. Ahem. But since I was sneaking on the computer anyway to check the weather in the Dominican (rain and thunderstorms all 11 days we're there - WTF?) I thought I would check my email real fast, and then check the blogger reader to see who had posted and... slippery slope y'all.

Anywho, on Wednesday when I was deluding myself that I was not still sick as a dog I ran some errands after work to sort of primp and pamper myself before the honeymoon. Bikini wax and pedicure are fairly standard for me if I'm going out of town. Because sandals are much cuter if I don't have scary winter/half polished toes and well the bikini wax... Well that's probably enough about that.

What I did want to tell you guys about is my new amazing spray-on airbrush tan!! Why did I not discover this before? I'll admit to a few trips to the tanning booth back when I didn't have proper respect for things like skin cells and cancer but for the last several years I have been the queen of SPF. I wear sunscreen every day, in the winter, all the time. The result of this is that a) I am skin cancer free and haven't had one of those oh-so-attractive sunburns where instead of simply peeling the skin seems to slough off in sheets like I'm molting and b) I am day-glo white.

Well not anymore baby! 30 minutes of being airbrush painted and roughly 12 hours of processing time I am now a wonderful shade of... slightly less white. What? You didn't think I'd actually tan myself into some sort of Bahama Mama did you? Come on people, no one would recognize me! I am still blonde and freckled after all. But I do feel better that now I am not so blindingly white. Though all through the process the nice woman spraying me was talking about how a lot of women get these spray tans before their honeymoons because they make your skin look firmer and you look like you magically (!) lost 1o pounds.

Well I will say the cellulite on my ass is slightly less noticeable now that I am spray tanned but as for looking 10 pounds lighter? Alas I think that is one more miracle (!) weight loss ploy that just doesn't work. But. I think the desired effect was still accomplished because instead of wearing long pants and mu mu's this entire trip I might actually strip down to my bikini, if only to show off my fancy airbrush tan. A girl has to get her money's worth after all!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

T-minus 24 hours and counting...

This time tomorrow I will be on my way home from work to meet TheBoy and my mom who is graciously driving us to the airport. I will be packed, ready and understandably both nervous (this trip is THREE long flights out there and THREE long flights home) and excited. Whee fun! This time tomorrow I will be looking forward to tropical weather, the possibility of thunderstorms, days of lounging and relaxing by the pool, awesome food and drinks and lots and lots of good quality time with my husband. Eleven whole days of relaxing and doing everything and nothing and having no timeline and... paradise.

Today, however, I am stressed out because I have two huge catering jobs at work to prep for tomorrow before I can go home. I am stressed out because I am STILL sick and in fact I swear I am getting sicker by the minute. I am stressed out because the house is not as clean as I would like it to be before I leave on vacation*, but mainly I am stressed because I know that it will not be cleaned because a) I am sick and don't feel like cleaning and b) TheBoy's niece who lives with us will be here and, well, as much as I love her she's just not the scary AR/OCD clean freak that I am. I'm stressed because we fly home on the day before Thanksgiving. THE. DAY. BEFORE. THANKSGIVING!!! What the hell was I thinking??

Of course I am not really helping the stress level by sitting here drinking tea, nursing this God-awful head cold and bitching to the internets at large. But looking at pictures of the resort we are staying at and reading reviews of fun things to do in the Dominican IS making me less stressed and more happy and excited so... I think its a wash. Don't miss me too much while I'm gone and I'll talk to you all when I get back!


*Yes I am one of THOSE people that cleans the house before going on a trip so I have a nice clean home to come back to - are you surprised?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It figures

So with something like 72 hours to go until TheBoy and I leave for our long overdue and much anticipated honeymoon it just figures that I would wake up this morning at like 1:30 am with a fever and a burning sore throat. I have felt like crap all day and even put off my immense to-do list for today in favor of crawling back into bed and sleeping away most of the day. My body is extremely good at letting me know when I've been pushing it a little too hard and with the new job (in and of itself physically exhausting), the new work out routine and the general craziness surrounding this upcoming vacation I'm not exactly surprised I'm feeling ill. I'm more annoyed at the universe's sense of humor.

Hello Universe? Going on vacation of a lifetime in 3 days. Please knock off this flu/cold bug joke that you're running ASAP. Thanks, me.

Anyway, here is hoping that I wake up tomorrow and all of this is just a vague memory and I feel back to my normal chipper self. After all there are pedicures to get, bikini waxes to have and something must be done about the pasty white status of my skin before I have to blind all the fellow resort stayers in my bathing suit. But before any of that I am now off to work, for the second time today, with zinc tablets and EmergenC packets and loads and loads of Tylenol Flu.

Cross your fingers for me, k?

Monday, November 10, 2008

From the archives...

I'm not sure if anyone else does this but I have probably 50 "posts-in-progress" from over the years that I never quite got around to finishing. In the interest of giving you something to read while I run around frantically like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get ready for the honeymoon I thought I would post a couple.

This one is from May of 2007. Before TheBoy and I had what turned into the last of the knock down drag out fights over the future of our relationship, before we bought our home, before we got engaged and then married this last summer. It's been a year of changes since I wrote these words and I apologize that its incomplete... While I distinctly remember the feelings behind this post it feels fake to go back now and finish it.


**********


I don’t know how old I was when I first read these words. I know that I didn’t even know they were song lyrics until I tried to Google the author recently. I thought it was a poem… But the sentiment haunted me. It still haunts me but now it rings true. Perhaps it was a premonition?

I have a hard time expressing my emotions sometimes. I’m not that girl you know? The one who cries to her friends all the time and wants to talk about her feelings. I’m a strict ignore it til it goes away or explodes kind of girl. This is maybe not a good thing but it works for me. Tears make me uncomfortable. Especially mine.

So I dreamed we were somewhere
And everything you said was real
And everything I said was right
That we don’t have to fear the night


I always say the wrong thing these days. I feel like I have to censor everything I say. I just want to go back to feeling carefree and easy. Back when things were easy.


Then I’m in light and I still find
That when we look around we still feel
Like were running out of time
And there is nothing left for us to try


My friend Tammie said to me the other day, after maybe too many cocktails but I know she loves me so I let it slide, that she was afraid I’d wake up one day… 6 more years down the road and regret all the time I’ve spent waiting for something that may never happen. Only then I’d be 34 and maybe a little bitter and I’d have to start over, alone, after 12 years with someone who ended up not being the one after all.

We stay together now
When all the signals say we
Should move on from here

But I don’t think its coincidence
And I don’t believe in accidents
Its time to ask ourselves
Why are we still here


Is love enough?

Come back down and we still find
That all our waking fears are around us and
Shining in our eyes
They are blinding out the skies


Why is it that I can go days, weeks and months without a single reminder of the life I’m giving up and then sometimes… I just can’t escape it.

Something still you don’t give me
Something that just won’t break
You sit there silent in your place
And try to see your face


I need something from him – something unbreakable. A commitment that goes beyond his word, a promise made in front of our friends and families, a last name. He’s my best friend. I know the fear – I’m afraid too. But if he would take my hand I would jump. We could take that leap together.


Why do we still try
When all our time is spent in
Holding on to hope

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bitter Sweet

I'm not sure exactly what I want to say here. And I only have about 5 minutes before work to say it... I'm thrilled to see Obama elected and I'm elated that a handful of measures I was supporting went the way I wanted them (No on 4 - for example). But. Y'all. On what should be a happy celebratory morning all I can do is constantly refresh SFgate.com and watch the tallies of Prop 8. 52% percent in favor with 95% of precincts reporting.

I can't believe that 52% of the people I live around, work with (no scratch that all the women at my company are fabulous), people who shop at the same stores as me, ride the same public transit and walk their dogs on the same streets I go on my morning run down... I can't believe that more than half of these people are so bigoted and close-minded as to have let us approve legislation on one of the most personal moments of a couple's life. Last time I checked no one voted for or against MY marriage just because I happen to have met and fallen in love with a man.

I know that I might be alienating some readers by what I just wrote but the truth is I'm not sure I even WANT those types of people as readers. So I can't bring myself to care. I'm off to get ready for work and am praying for a miracle in that last 5% of precincts. I feel like I might vomit.

Monday, November 03, 2008

NaBlaPoMo

So about 6 months ago I decided I would finally, this year, participate in NaBlaPoMo. I felt I needed the incentive, the motivation, to get back into regular postings. And then I scheduled my honeymoon for the last two weeks in November and blew all those plans to hell. But, I thought I could post at least every day for the first 14 days... I was wrong.

So while I have many thoughts for posts running around my head, posts about marriage and death, about inequality and hope, I will once again NOT be posting every day for a month. But I have resolved to post more frequently. As for what "more frequently" will mean... Its anyone's guess. But thanks to all of you who still come by and visit. I do appreciate it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

No on Prop 8.

I remember way back a few years ago I naively wrote here that I wouldn't use my blog as a forum to push my political views. And aside from the occasional post imploring people please educate themselves and vote, regardless of the WAY you vote, and that tiny little site banner up there on the right, I think I haven't been overly political here.

But Prop 8 isn't about politics to me. It's about prejudice, about inequality, about meanness and people's insecurities and fear in something they don't understand. It's about religion. And no matter your religion, or your feelings about homosexuality, the federal government ensures separation of church and state. I wish I was more eloquently spoken on this... I just seem to be overtaken by a form of black rage that makes me want to punch people when I hear the arguments for yes on 8.

But since I can not form my thoughts eloquently I will point you in a direction of someone who can. Someone I haven't met personally (though I would love the chance to remedy that) but whose writing has always inspired me even though her original blog is now defunct and her blog has resumed here! Please take a moment to read her words.

I promise to get back to non-political blogging in a couple weeks. It's just that I can't help but feel like we have more at stake here in this election than we have in ages. And frankly I am afraid.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All in the name of science

A few months ago I was at a pool party at a friend's house and I couldn't help but notice that one of the other guests had quite possibly the most perfect skin ever. I figured she had to be at least my age if not a few years older just given the crowd but she looked amazing. And not just her face either, her stomach and arms were flawlessly smooth also. After a glass of wine (or three) I finally accosted this poor woman in the kitchen and confessed my desire to touch her. Rather than baking away from the crazy stalker lady she smiled and said, "olive oil dear. I use olive oil instead of lotion."

Seriously y'all... She. Looked. Amazing. And her age? 47. (A total faux pas to ask I know but I had already all but petted her so I figured there was no harm in asking.) Now even if I am realistic and think that 50% of her fantastic skin is genetic I was still fairly convinced I should try it. Then I remembered reading something on another blog about it back in the winter and I was convinced. All that remained was waiting until the weather ceased to be in the triple digits, because while I am desperate for soft skin, I don't much fancy cooking myself in olive oil.

Oh. My. God. You guys simply have got to try this! I've done it a couple of times over the last two weeks and my skin feels SO great. Also, it is totally decadent and pampering to rub yourself with oil. Kind of like a poor girl's massage. And other than an intense craving for a thick slice of crusty bread, I haven't noticed any side effects on my otherwise S-E-N-S-T-I-V-E skin.

A couple words of wisdom though:

~ Use sparingly. Seriously. The first time I tried it I just grabbed my entire bottle of olive oil from the kitchen and started slathering up. Thirty minutes later I was still as greasy as a sea bird after the Exxon Valdez incident. A little goes a long way.

~ Which brings me to, it's probably best to try this at night. Unless you are unemployed (as I am) and/or have very accommodating roommates who don't mind if you wander around the house naked while it soaks in. I certainly wouldn't recommend getting dressed right away in anything light colored or dry-clean only. I've taken to letting it soak for about 5 - 10 minutes and then, because patience is a virtue I do not possess, I just throw on an old pair of cotton pants and a t-shirt.

~ Watch out for your pets. If you have an inquisitive furry friend you might want to make sure they aren't in the room while applying the oil. That first day my kitty managed to lick himself into an olive oil induced coma. Which, while the vet assured me wasn't going to harm him, probably isn't good for him either. I'm just saying is all.

Also, oddly enough in the way that once you have an idea about something you see it everywhere... I was watching a sort of biography online about Sophia Loren and she claims to have used olive oil on her skin all her life. There are worse things than looking like Sophia Loren right? And at my salon the manicurist uses olive oil instead of more traditional cuticle oil in her manicures. I've even read you can use it as a deep conditioner/sealer for your hair! I might try that next.

Stay tuned for more stories of D-I-Y waxing and hair coloring!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pros and Cons

On one hand I could take a job that I think I could truly love, in an industry I have been dying to get into. I could meet new people, try new recipes, and get my creative marketing mojo working. I could have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

On the other hand I could stay home and collect unemployment while I look for something more suitable to my experience. Unemployment which remarkably would pay me MORE than this new job. For doing nothing. Where I could sit at home and job hunt and think of things to blog about here and read novels and try not to go slowly insane.

On one hand I could be making a little bit of money but have the potential to be happy. On the other I could "make" a little bit more money and continue to be miserable. All on the off chance that I would find something that wouldn't make me want to chew on paint chips but would pay a little better.

Is this really a choice? I'm struggling with it because the money is considerably less than I thought it would be, even when I was being honest with myself about how I'd be starting from the bottom again. But now that I've seen it in writing...

I know I've said before that money isn't everything. Lord knows I've made a lot of money and been miserable, and made a little money and been happy. But this whole grown up thing with a mortgage and responsibilities is... HARD!

Excuse me though, I have a call to make.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Keep on keepin' on

Well in an effort to wrestle myself out of the massive slump I've been in I've been trying to stick to somewhat of a schedule. Lest I manage to depress myself so much that I stay in bed all day and never shower. You know. So this week I've been trying to get up when TheBoy goes to work in the morning and go for a run or do the 30 Day Shred or, once when I was feeling particularly motivated, both. Now that 30 Day Shred thing? I'll admit I was totally skeptical at first... I mean what kind of die hard work out nazi could I be with only a 20 minute workout? Ha! The. Hardest. 20. Minutes. EVER! I'm just saying is all.

Also, does anyone know what happens when you take your sadly out of shape and over-weight self running for 3 days after hardly moving an inch in weeks? Shin splints that's what. Stupid shins. Of course I should have known better, what with the great shin splint agony of 2005 while training for that last marathon but no... I just laced up my shoes Monday morning and took off out the front door like I had good sense with not a stretch or warm up in sight. I've since started stretching and doing a short walking warm up but alas, the damage is done. This makes an interesting twist on my running form as I am now not so much jogging along at a snail's pace but more jogging along like a snail with a limp. Can snails limp?*

Anywho!

Last night I made the most awesome dinner. I don't think it TOTALLY fits into my whole just-say-no-to-bikinis-on-your-honeymoon plan but I don't think it sent me back to square one either. And it made me happy and filled the house with awesome aromas so... I suggest you try it! It's called Asado (not to be confused with Carne Asada) and I found the recipe here, at my newest favorite food blog. Thank you "blogs of note" for the tip! I followed the recipe almost exactly except for that I really only used 16 dried peppers which I think is what the recipe called for and either my peppers were mini-sized or 16 was an approximate amount because I only ended up with about half the puree I needed. So since I didn't have time to soak another 16 peppers I added about half a can of those chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (I had it open in the fridge from something else) and a can of tomatoes. It worked well actually. Though the end product was S-P-I-C-Y! Probably from the chipotles, which wasn't a HUGE issue here at Chez Ghetto (wine country edition) but might be for anyone who hasn't permanently damaged their taste buds.

That's about it. Just wanted to check in and say thanks to all my fantastic friends for checking in with me. Things aren't great but I'll make it through. I promise. MWAH!




*I realize I should come up with a better analogy than that but all that jog/limping in exhausting!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Digging Out My Soapbox

Well its official, politics are all anyone can talk about these days. It even inspired my friend Shawn to post THREE TIMES in the last few days which I'm pretty sure ties the number of posts he's written year to date.* And as much as I don't talk politics with family or friends I am happy when I hear random women debating finer points of policy while waiting in line at Starbucks.

So in along those lines, I thought I'd share something with you that normally I wouldn't. Because I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all morning. I don't know if any of you out there are as huge Post Secret fans as I am... What can I say I am just totally addicted to that site! It is the highlight of my Monday morning to check in and see the new week's posts. But today I saw something that scared the shit out of me.



Really? It frightens the hell out of me that there are people out there that take voting so lightly. Because for the record if this secret was in reverse and the voter was basing their decision on a liberal boyfriend's actions I'd be just as outraged. What the HELL people?

Vote because you care about the war. Vote because you care about human rights. Vote because you care what is happening in the financial markets. Vote because you CARE. Vote because you CAN. Please don't take this right for granted. Apathy will get you nowhere. It's your country, educate yourself and make a stand.



*Just some good natured teasing - keep it up my friend. :D

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Don't vote

There is still time in California to register if you haven't already... Oct. 20th is the deadline!



PS - Special thanks Shawn for the help with the scary complicated computer part to getting this video up here! :D

Tis the season...

For weddings!

In addition to our own wedding and the wedding for one of TheBoy's co-workers a few weeks ago, we still have two to go! We leave tomorrow for TheBoy's step-brother Chris' wedding in Temecula this Saturday. I can't wait to party with the bride and groom and to officially welcome Christy into this crazy family we've both fallen in love with. Also, here is hoping for warm enough temps to spend some time out by the pool!


I love those guys!

Also, preparations are in the final stages for my best friend from High School's wedding on Halloween. I am really excited for this wedding if for no other reason than Lisa is the total anti-bride just like I was! Its amazing to me when I look back how many rites of passage this girl and I went through together. First dates, first kisses, first traffic tickets while in our newly-licensed state, injuries we've helped each other recuperate from and broken hearts we've helped heal. I'm excited to be a part of Lisa's wedding to Harley, it feels like those two crazy awkward girls have finally made it!


Also, this wedding gives me an excuse to go out to the coast... Something TheBoy and I have missed doing A LOT since moving inland last year.

Of course I can't do a post about weddings with out sending out a special congratulations to my friends Christine and Michael who just got engaged less than 48 hours ago! SO EXCITING!


Words can not express how much I love these two! TheBoy and I are both so excited to celebrate with them!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Feeling better

Okay so after my mini melt-down in which I did not get out of bed, except to move to the couch, and didn't really even bathe for almost a week, I've finally snapped out of it. I think it had something to do with the arrival of TheBoy's niece who moved in last week because really, I can't be the scary aunt who doesn't bathe and wears the same pajamas day after day with her here right? Word is bound to get out.

Also, today I went on two interviews. It was supposed to be three but I had to decline one based on moral principle. The guy in charge of hiring and I have been corresponding via email and this morning he sent me the following message:

"is in concord. can u make it 2day."

Now. Let's say I overlook the lack of proper capitalization of either the start of sentences OR of the city name. Let's say I overlook the improper punctuation at that last question. I can not, or WILL NOT, overlook the whole u = you or 2day = today thing! This is business correspondence with a possible applicant for a position in a corporate environment fercrisakes! Lordy.

That's really all I have to report. I am out of bed, properly showered, dressed AND have begun the painful process of interviewing again. I even laughed this weekend. Baby steps right?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What it is like

Its like waking up in the morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for that split second before true consciousness kicks in and then rolling over and falling back to sleep. Its like feeling like you could sleep forever, like wanting to sleep forever, like sleep is the only place you can feel comfortable. Its when sleep becomes your escape.

Its like looking forward to an event for days, and then the day of carefully planning and getting ready for this event only to feel absolutely paralyzed with fear when it comes time to leave the house. Its forcing yourself to drive someplace and giving yourself a pep talk in the rear view mirror the whole way there only to pull into the parking lot, sit for 10 minutes and then turn the car back on and drive home. Crying.

Its like being at a party and not knowing anyone. You kind of hide out in a corner, back against the wall hoping no one notices you but secretly hoping they do. Its going to the bar for that third glass of wine just to give yourself something to do, even though you promised yourself you'd only have one. Its feeling like you've been at this party for ages with your fake smile and your carefully prepared responses to all the social questions and then finally making a desperate dash for the door because you can't stand another minute and are starting to feel like you can't breathe. Its looking at the clock on the dashboard of your car, rolling the windows down, desperately gulping fresh air, and realizing you barely made it an hour.

Its knowing you've alienated all your friends and not being able to bring yourself to properly do anything to make amends. Its clipped responses and no return phone calls or emails or "maybe next week" responses to your requests for lunches or coffees. Its being angry because they don't know what you are going through and then also understanding their position because THEY DON'T KNOW what you are going through.

Its like... not being able to tell anyone what its like.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"not a good fit"

There are a lot of things that I think of when I hear the term "not a good fit". Shopping for blue jeans, that guy who asked me out on a date over IM and general house remodeling projects spring rapidly to mind. But to hear it from a boss at a job I don't even like? It's a little humiliating.

Le sigh.

Let the unemployment and frantic job hunting begin!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things, things and more things

Something is wrong with my dryer. It's been trying to dry clothes for over an hour and not only are they NOT dry, they are also not even remotely warm. I'm hoping this has something to do with the water heater replacement we just did (which seems logical because the water heater is gas and the dryer is gas) but knowing my luck this probably means that we need to buy a new dryer to replace this one. Which, did I mention, doesn't even belong to us? Yeah.

Last weekend among the rush and frantic cleaning out of the guest bedroom I managed to get in some sanding and plastering on the fancy new sliding glass door my mother in law bought us. Please ignore the fact that my MIL bought us said door over a month ago and that its been partially installed and looking wonky for far, far too long. Last night when I got home I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my lovely husband had done the spray texture thing so I could start painting. Don't ask why spray texture scares me. Hanging sheet rock - fine. Taping, plastering and sanding said sheet rock - also fine. Painting and trim work - fine. Spraying texture at my walls out of a giant hairspray canister - SCARY! There is no rhyme or reason to my madness.

Yesterday I cried at work. I'll give that a second to sink in for those of you who are just speed reading this post (shame!)... I. CRIED. AT. WORK. And sure I tried to blow it off like "what? these aren't tears!" But you know and I know that they knew they were tears. It was almost comical how every man in that office suddenly had to be somewhere RIGHT NOW and very far away from the crazy crying lady. Y'all. This is the peak of mortification. So I did what any grown woman of almost 30 would do... I hid in the bathroom until the red rimmed eye and blotchy cheek look faded* and then I calmly walked back to my desk, grabbed my cell phone, and escaped downstairs where I called my mommy. Ah yes... I love being an adult.

Why did I cry? Yeah well see its like this. At this new job we try to help people. With their finances. And in case you haven't heard the news lately, or haven't read a newspaper or maybe just generally have been tuning out of life, there are a lot of people out there with serious financial issues and the are having a hell of a time getting on their feet. And me? Well I'm one of those people that if you are sad, I am sad. And also I want to fix it. Because I don't like being sad and I certainly don't like it when other people are sad.

So I spend roughly half my day hearing people's sob stories about how their husband died, or they came back from being deployed to Iraq to find their wife was cheating on them and went through a terrible divorce, or how they lost their job or got ill and so on and so on and I FEEL for these people and I want to HELP them and FIX it. But I can't. Like 99% of the time I can't do a damn thing. The other half of my day I spend either talking to people's voice mails or getting yelled at. And I'm guessing that given the explanation above about how I tend to internalize other people's pain you can guess how good I am at getting yelled at. So yesterday afternoon after one particularly vehement yelling episode I lost it.

Fun!

But. On the flip side an old friend from high school has asked me to help her with her wedding so I'm looking forward to that. AND when I went over to my mom's house after work last night I got a brand new pair of super cute shoes! I'm pretty sure they were meant to be a Christmas present but when I called my mommy from the parking lot of my office after bursting into tears at work I imagine she thought to herself... "I know what will make my little girl happy - shoes!" And you know what? It kind of helped. I do love shoes after all. It might have been the mom hugs that did it too. There is something about the combination of cute new shoes and a mother's love that makes things right with the world.

After last weekend I was sort of hoping to have a quiet weekend at home this weekend but once again the universe has thwarted my plans. So tonight I will be attending the wedding of one of TheBoy's coworkers. This is a fun couple who live just down the road from us here and we've hung out with them a few times and always have a blast. The guy has this fancy off road truck so the boys sit and talk about trucks and engines and... whatever men talk about and me and his coworker just roll our eyes and laugh at them. And tomorrow morning, earlier that I think we should have to get up on a Saturday but I digress, we are leaving for Chico to attend the birthday party of TheBoy's best friend. Which should be fun but also means we'll be having two very late nights and most likely won't get anything done on our to-do lists.

Which reminds me... I should get back to painting and cleaning! Here's hoping you guys have a great weekend also!


*Why, oh why, can't I been one of those girls that looks all cute and pouty and sexily distraught when she cries? Alas no, I am cursed with the blotchy red cheeks and blood shot eyes and random runny nose look. HOT!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Even my eyelashes hurt

I love it when I make plans for my weekend and then the universe steps in, laughs hysterically and then proceeds to change my entire time line and to do list. On Friday evening my plans for the weekend included a quiet Friday evening, a Saturday spent running errands and cleaning the house and a Sunday having some much needed girl time with pedicures and lunch with friends.

Instead what ended up happening was one emotionally draining fight Friday night, an early morning call Saturday that TheBoy's niece needed to move some of her things in like "right now" and the subsequent frantic cleaning out of the room she will occupy when she moves in with us in a few weeks, another emotionally draining emergency early Sunday morning and relatively little to no "relaxing".

I suppose that requires a little more explanation doesn't it? TheBoy's niece (whom I adore) needs a place to live and since we are the closest family members with a spare room who also need some extra cash we're renting her a room for a few months. And by spare room I mean that third bedroom we've been storing all our crap in that we either haven't un-packed or didn't know what to do with for the past year. Also? ALL my clothes were in that closet.

And because I am a procrastinator and also because I had no freaking clue what I was going to do with my clothes, I have been putting off the cleaning of that room in preparation of her moving in. Until we got the call that she'd be over with a truck load of stuff in a few hours. We made piles for goodwill, we made piles for the dump, we made piles of things that we have to find places for, clothes were shuffled into linen closets and clothes were loaded into my car to be taken to my mom's for storage (thank GOD she lives so close!). I cleaned, I mopped, I dusted, I organized... It was a long. long, long day. Then on Sunday I woke up to my house in shambles and still more organizing and cleaning and work ahead of me.

Don't get me wrong, I feel like I accomplished a lot this weekend... I'm just exhausted and feel like I need another weekend to recover from my weekend! Also? I must be SUPER out of shape because I am sore in places I didn't even realize there were muscles! I think a nice quiet evening of sitting around on the couch and drinking a glass of wine the size of my head is in order. And the universe is sorely mistaken if it thinks it's going to screw with me this time... I WILL relax tonight dammit!

Friday, September 19, 2008

MUCH better

So I don't know if its the fact that I am STILL loving my 20 minute max commute through city streets that never once force me on to a freeway or over a bridge but I just had an AWESOME week. AND I got to check off some projects from the list of things to do around the house!

It might have something to do with this (second) new job... Let's just say I have yet to have one of those "what the hell have I gotten myself into" moments and its been two whole days. I think I had one within the first 30 minutes at that other new job. I'm just saying. The whole happiness with the job might also have something to do with the super friendly, sarcastic humor having, sports watching, shit talking, hysterically funny group of guys I am working with. Or it might be the fact that I wore jeans to work today for like my first casual Friday ever. Jeans! To work!

I'm not saying I love this job... In fact I'm still pretty sure that the mortgage industry and I are destined to part ways. But at least for now, while I figure out what the hell I want to do with my life, I'm not miserable.

That's a start right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vegas Photos!

Look at me actually posting photos! Baby steps y'all...

So here are my amazingly hot sister-in-law Dawn, her amazingly hot daughter Nikki and me. The three of us shared a room and constituted "Team Chris" since we were all there representing the groom's side of the family...

The first night we finally got to Vegas and checked into our room about 11:00 pm. By the time we changed and refreshed ourselves it was almost midnight. And the three of us had not eaten! In fact the last thing I had eaten was half a breakfast sandwich with my latte from Starbucks at like 10 am that morning. So we decided we needed to eat (sadly the only thing open was the 24 hour cafe - you'd think that the city that never sleeps would have more late-night dining options but no). First we stopped by the "Team Christy" room to say hi and see what their plans were for the evening.


Here are all the girls that first night. Sometime between tequila shots one and two and definitely after Dawn and I had two glasses of red wine in the room while getting ready. Y'all. We had not even been to a bar or club yet! The bride is the one in blue. I married into a family of hotness y'all. Maybe it'll wear off on me! :D

After Dawn, Nikki and I ate we decided that since it was now well after mid-night that we would just hang out the three of us at the Studio 54 nightclub at MGM because we were far too lazy to go catch a taxi to the Wynn where the other girls were partying it up. We had a fantastic time. We danced, we flirted, we got free drinks... Life was good. At one point I wandered off to find the bathrooms and somehow in my drunken state made a friend. In the ladies room. She had driven out to Vegas from LA with a friend on a whim only to find when she got here that her friend's sometime boyfriend, sometime hook up buddy was there also. At which point she promptly got ditched. With friends like those...

At some point Dawn went to bed but Nikki and I stayed out dancing until they were closing the club. She met this SUPER cute British boy there and so I walked around with her and him and his friend. All I really remember about those boys is that Nik REALLY liked the one (and he was CUTE!) and the other one's name was Alister (how British!) and he was like 12 and kept talking about how he couldn't believe that the most beautiful girl he'd met all week was married. So he was a liar - but a cute one. And a fairly good sport for hanging out with the married chick so his "mate" could spend some time with Nikki. I think I finally made it to bed about 4:30 and Nikki staggered in sometime around 6:30.

The bride, also known as my soon to be new sister in law Christy, came in and woke up sometime around 10:30. AM. In Vegas. While I contemplated throwing sharp objects at her head until she left us alone for at least 2 more hours, Dawn and Nikki both hopped out of bed to get ready for the pool. Deciding I couldn't be outdone I grudgingly got up and slathered myself with sunscreen and headed with them off to the other room where we proceeded to drink mimosas for an hour and blared music so that I am sure the people next to us were cursing. Here is the bride looking shockingly bright eyed and bushy tailed!

And this was us trying to be all artistic and stuff taking pictures into the mirror outside Michael Mina's restaurant on our way to the pool party. Okay so its slightly off center and blurry. Its hard to take pictures into a mirror while a) not covering your face with the camera and therefore not looking at what you are shooting and b) after about 5 mimosas. I said I would post pictures, I didn't say they would be good.

The pool party was SO awesome. Not quite as awesome as that time TheBoy and I went to Rehab at the Hard Rock but pretty damn fun none the less. Also? I forget how much fun Vegas is when you are a gigantic group of girls. We walked straight into the pool, past the line of people waiting to go in, right past the line of people who were sort of in but still had to pay, and headed straight for the pool. It was forecasted to be 98 degrees (hah like the band!) in Vegas last Saturday and it felt it! We contemplated paying the ridiculous extra fee to have a place to sit (gotta love Vegas) but the other girls seemed confidant that we wouldn't need it and roughly 18 seconds later they had met a bachelor party who had not one but TWO private cabanas. Shade and seating problem fixed. Those guys were fun, they partied with us all day, gave us all sorts of free drinks, let us watch some college football and generally were just good times. You know since we basically took over their cabanas and all.

At some point in the afternoon it occurred to me that we had been drinking since 11:00 am and had had maybe 6 hours of sleep and had not eaten. So Dawn and I left to get some lunch (it seems strange to call it lunch since it was like at 4:00 pm but what can you do?) and then headed up to the room to shower and nap. LOL we were the oldest I guess! Once we were refreshed and beautified we headed over the the other room to check and see what the plan was for the night where we found the girls who hadn't even STARTED to get ready! They had partied down at the pool like rockstars and were now nursing espresso and trying to catch their second (third?) wind. The three of us decided to head down and have dinner and by the time we were finished the girls were beautiful and in full on party mode again.


Yes that is an inflatable male stripper doll, complete with anatomically correct erhm... well he was anatomically correct. Also there were about a million pages of guys cut out from playgirl magazine hanging up all over the room. It was awesome. The girls also made Christy a sign for the room and they were busy putting together about a million pages for a scrapbook. Some people are just too darn creative for their own good!


The last night we headed over to the Luxor to their club which is called LAX. It was the same exact thing as at the pool party. We walked straight past the line of people waiting to be selected to go in, past the line of people waiting to bribe the bouncers, past the line of people waiting to pay to get in and straight into the club. I love being a girl sometimes! Of course this time we didn't even have to wait a minute before we were invited into the VIP area. A cocktail waitress came right up to one of our girls as were were walking down the stairs into the club and told us she had a table of VIP guys looking for some girls to party with. Score! So we met yet another group of guys, these ones were all there because one of them had sold his company for a small fortune and had flown all his buddies out from the mid-west to party in Vegas for the weekend. There was even a guy there from Kerrville, Texas! Which I know is not exciting to anyone but me but... Kerrville! That's only like an hour from where I lived!

So we danced, and danced, and drank, and laughed and helped Christy with a list of dares she had to do that evening. We met the guys in the next VIP booth over who were a bachelor party from LA. It was such a good time. All the guys we met were so fun and friendly and they danced, and we danced, and I practically screamed myself hoarse "singing" along to Journey and Whitesnake songs, and I don't think I ever sat down or stopped dancing for longer than the two or three seconds it took me to sip from my drink. Cause y'all know I can't drink and dance at the same time. At one point we were dancing actually on top of the couches and this (super hot) bouncer came over and told us we'd have to take off our shoes if we stayed up there... Done! Dancing in cute high heels is painful enough but dancing in high heels with a huge blister on the bottom of your foot from burning it at the pool earlier is pretty much torture. One other girl's feet were literally bloody by the end of the night. Why do we women do this to ourselves?

It was another late night. Dawn and I left the girls at about 3:00 and ran into the first group of guys from that night (the one with the sold company) in the lobby. We hung out with them for awhile but declined the invitation to go back and check out their suite at the Palms. Because while I wouldn't have minded seeing this fancy suite at the Palms I didn't really want to be alone the two of us with 10 guys no matter how nice they were! So we caught a taxi back to the MGM and headed up to our room to change into jammies and watch comedy on TV and eat late night room service. It was so fun! I think we finally fell asleep sometime around 5 am. Me! 5 am! Two nights in a row! I have no idea how that happened... :D The rest of the girls staggered home sometime around 7:30 am. They are rockstars.

Sunday was just sleeping in until the last possible second before we had to check out and making our respective ways home. I'll admit I was a little nervous going into this trip because we didn't know any of the girls coming and sometimes girls can be... not so fun. But there was absolutely no drama, no pettiness and I had zero urge to slap anyone (except maybe once because they were too cute and skinny, or when Christy tried to wake me up that time...). We got along fantastically well and had the best party weekend ever. And now we'll all know each other when we get together to party next month at the wedding! Definitely just what I needed to take my mind off the super funk, crisis mode I've been in the last week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vegas!

OMG you guys I just had the best weekend ever in Las Vegas with my soon to be new sister-in-law! I'll post pictures as soon as I can find that stupid cable thingy for my camera... Which I think TheBoy has in his computer bag but it was SO fun. Exactly what I needed. The highlights include:

~Not going to bed until 5 am either night. Me! 5 am!
~Dancing, dancing and more dancing.
~The gigantic blister I have on the bottom of my foot from burning it on the hot as hell concrete at the pool party at MGM.
~The bride's amazingly hot AND nice friends who were so fun!
~Hanging out in the VIP areas everywhere we went because of the above mentioned HOT friends.
~Have I mentioned the dancing?
~The weather was FANTASTIC! Warm and sunny just the way I like it.

And there was so, so much more. I'll try to remember highlights later for when I post pictures. :D

Oh! Also on the whole mid-life crisis front I at least think I have found a job that will help pay the bills while I try to figure out what the hell it is I want to be when I grow up (though I do like Kate's idea of wining the lotto and become ladies of leisure...). More on that later too. Don't want to jinx anything before it happens. You know.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mid-Life Crisis?

Is 29 too young to have a mid-life crisis? I mean ideally I would like to live beyond 60... Assuming I am still in good health. But this can't be a quarter life crisis because I REALLY don't want to live to be 120! Either way, crisis I am having. I think I have pretty much concluded that I don't really LIKE real estate or mortgages. And I can't believe that this is what I should spend the next 30 some odd years doing just because I happen to be fairly good at it. I mean, right? How can I condemn myself to a life sentence of working at something I don't enjoy?

The logical next question is... what DO I like to do? The answer is a resounding "I have no effing clue!" Because I am a HUGE dork, and also because I am
seriously desperate here guys, I went online earlier today and googled "what do I want to be when I grow up" and up came a few pages, one of which was this online test thing where you answer a bunch of questions and it matches you to some careers.

#1 Personal Trainer.

#2 Event Planner.

#3 Teacher.

Now I'm not sure where #3 came from... I apparently missed the check box next to "hates kids" or something. #2 is not a shocker given I love cooking and planning parties and so on. I've even looked into that as a career path numerous times and even had my own catering business for awhile. Sadly getting a culinary degree is prohibitively expensive and it seems that to get an event planning job you either have to have loads of experience (which I am not sure how I am supposed to get if EVERYONE requires experience but that's neither here nor there) or you pretty much have to know someone in the industry who will hook you up with something on the bottom rung so you can work your way up. Anyone out there know anyone who works in event planning that is hiring?

Now #1 shocked me a little. I guess I can't see past these 20 pounds I've been adding over the past year. I mean would any of you hire a chubby trainer? Not to mention I haven't seen the inside of a gym in months and my running shoes get mostly used for aerobics tapes in the living room these days. But I was talking to BFL this afternoon and she didn't seem
surprised at all. I do have a lot of information running around in my head from working with the nutritionist... And I DO enjoy being active. Plus it would fit right in with my whole, hates to sit at a desk for 8 hours, likes flexibility and to be outside as much as possible, likes to help people thing. AND in its defense it is relatively inexpensive to get certified to be a personal trainer.

I guess I should have paid more attention when I was joking with
TheBoy that I am just waiting for him to make the big bucks so I can stay home and teach yoga for a living!

Am I totally crazy y'all? Cause I kind of feel like I am losing my freaking mind over here! I am actually seriously considering trying to find a waitress job or a retail job for a few months so I can at least make SOME $ while I try to figure this all out... But how do I tell me people I left a perfectly respectable industry (that I had been in for a decade) to wait tables and find a dream job?? Aren't I just a
smidgen too old for this crap?

The upside to all this? Even with the no job, no money thing looming over my head I am happier now in the last couple weeks than I have been in well over a year. That has to count for something right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What do I want to be when I grow up?

So I know I owe you guys more info on the whole new job thing… The problem is that I am really conflicted about how I feel about it. So forgive me while I try and get my thoughts straight here and of course any (positive) feedback you have to offer me is always welcome. I’m trying to figure out what exactly it is I’m doing right now and I figure maybe I should look back on my past jobs and see if I can figure out what I like and what I don’t like.

So. I’m the type of person that always has to be learning. I can illustrate this by outlining my job progress at any company I’ve worked at since I began working at 16. My first job was with a retail company that specializes in children’s clothes. I began working there part time at 16. A few months in I was getting more and more shifts and also being asked to participate in stocking shifts both at my store and at another nearby store. The regional manager knew my name.

While still working there I took a seasonal retail position with a gaming store during Christmas. When the season was over I was asked if I was interested in taking an assistant manager position with their closest permanent store which was in San Francisco. I declined. I eventually landed with a stationary store and quickly moved from part time salesperson, to a supervisor handling scheduling, training and banking aspects. During my senior year of high school and every summer I worked pretty close to full time. It was assumed I would eventually go through the management program and move up. I did not. I went to college instead.

During the first semester of college or two I held a few boring, menial jobs with absolutely zero brain power required. I worked as a delivery person for a graphic design company, I worked as a nanny (yes – this is what I blame now when people ask me why I do not want children), I worked pretty much anywhere and everywhere that offered me a job. It was crazy but I was in college and really only cared about the paycheck. I wasn’t so concerned about a “career path” at that time.

And then I took my first real estate job as a receptionist for a local high end real estate firm. I started working afternoons, then took some weekends, I helped set up and open a new office, and so on and so on. I finally felt like I was in a place doing something semi-challenging that was making a difference to my employers. And then I got bored. So I took a position as an assistant to the in house lender in my real estate office. Again I felt challenged and excited and like I was an important contributing member of a team. And then I got bored. Again.

From there I took a part-time position with a team of two high volume real estate professionals back at my original real estate firm (but in a different office). I LOVED that job y’all. I felt useful, knowledgeable, challenged. I loved being out looking at houses, I loved staging, I loved marketing, I loved that every day was different. I had left college and was working full time within the first 4 months and I was a licensed realtor in month 7. I worked there for almost 2 years. And then 9/11 happened. I sometimes wonder where I would be today if it hadn’t. Would I have eventually gotten bored there also?

Being unemployed without a college degree in the wake of 9/11 was a scary place to be. I took some seasonal holiday work at Bloomingdale’s (who subsequently asked me to stay on full time) for a few months. I eventually landed as a paralegal/office manager in a estate planning law firm. What I really was however, was a highly paid babysitter for my manic depressive boss. In my short time in that office, people were hired, they were fired (for whimsical reasons like “they didn’t have enough energy”), people quit, threatened lawsuits, books were thrown, emotional melt downs were had… It was stressful to say the least.

And then someone I had worked closely with when I was in real estate found me and began pursuing me to take a position with his company, a mortgage brokerage. It was an easy choice to leave the law firm, though the attorney (my boss) did make some crazy offers to get me to stay. This new job was supposed to be a kind of internship. I was going to work for the broker/owner, basically as his assistant, while I learned the business and eventually went out on my own to become a mortgage banker. That is what it was SUPPOSED to be. What it ended up being was a glorified receptionist position where I was stuck behind a computer or in front of a copy machine for 8 hours straight. No one offered to teach me the business, I wasn’t learning, I wasn’t challenged, and probably most importantly I was not one of the “favorites” in the office. That was the only job I have ever been fired from. I was actively looking for a new job because I was so miserable and someone I sent my resume too forwarded it on to my then boss. Apparently they frown on that.

Unemployment seems to be a common thread here among my job history. Luckily for me the job market was pretty good back then and I think I was actually only unemployed for a week or two. I took a position as the marketing director for a commercial real estate firm specializing in apartment buildings. Finally I was back in a challenging position where I felt like I was growing and learning and making a difference. The only problem? Yet another crazy boss. I seem to attract them don’t I? Only this one was also terminally ill (though interestingly enough for being terminally ill she’s lived quite a full and active life these past years) so it’s not like anyone was telling her she was a raving bitch. Even her husband tip-toed around her and if it’s one thing I’ve learned to hate it’s a spineless man. She would spread rumors about her staff, so and so had a drug problem, this other one drank, this one over here had never gotten her mental faculties back after her husband’s death… But she? Perfect in every way. Funny how her one daughter and son in law didn’t want her in their lives, one son and daughter in law moved as far away from her as they could get and still be in the US and the other daughter… well I think she actually might have had a drunk or alcohol problem. When I started crying on my way into work in the mornings and sobbing hysterically on my way home I knew I had to get out. I resigned the day before my 25th birthday. I had no job lined up. I was unemployed again.

I played around with having my own catering company because cooking had always been a passion of mine. In fact ever since I was a young girl I have dreamed of owning my own restaurant. But frankly culinary school is prohibitively expensive and the few things I catered and actually got PAID for ended up not being enough to pay the bills, so to speak. I remember one remarkable event where after the price of food and equipment and so on I think I made $200. For an event I worked on sporadically for weeks and slaved over for 3 whole days with very little sleep. You do the math, that’s not a very good going rate.

Luckily for me, while I was playing at being a caterer another position came my way. This time it was for a bank, as an assistant to a mortgage loan officer. This position evolved into the position I most recently left after nearly 4 years. And my recent posts and the last year or so aside I loved that job. Again I was challenged and felt like I was essential to a team. But, as seems to be my lot in life, I got bored. It stopped being challenging and started being mundane, there was nothing left for me to learn. And eventually having a boss I loved and work I was good at no longer made up for the heinous commute and the boredom I felt. I felt like the only place to go from there was to be out on my own as a banker. Someplace closer to home, someplace where I could have the flexibility in my schedule to be out meeting with people, to not sit in front of a computer or copier all day, to move on.

But now that I’ve done that I wonder if moving on to a banker position is really what I WANTED or if it was merely what was EXPECTED. I don’t want to look back in 5 years and have yet another string of un-fulfilling jobs behind me. I don’t want to keep finding things I love only to become bored in a few months or years. Why can’t I just find a job and stick in it no matter what like some people can? Why do I always need to be learning, be challenged, doing something new? And probably most importantly is there a career out there for me where I CAN find all of those things?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What? Like, it's hard?

Okay so you know the scene in Legally Blonde where Elle is getting ready for her first class at Harvard Law and she's dressed in that terrible tweed sweater thing and wearing designer glasses and she looks in the mirror and says to her reflection "I totally look the part"?? Okay I just had that moment in my bathroom. I'm all dressed in my cute little brown skirt suit with an appropriate yet fun little blouse and some really cute shoes (cause y'all know I have to have cute shoes!) and I thought to myself... "I totally look the part".

The problem is I don't FEEL the part yet. I guess that is what is scariest about starting a new job. (Also? Hi! I got a new job! I know I owe you an explanation post - stay tuned.) Mentally I am ready for this. I've worked my ass of to get here, it is the logical next step and it could end up being better than I ever dreamed. And yet emotionally I'm still kind of like... really? This is what I am growing up to be? How did THAT happen?

So anyway. Wish me luck. Orientation at the new job starts in 45 minutes. If you need me I'll be in the bathroom vomiting.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I think they call it irony...

At the gas station yesterday morning I pulled in behind a nearly 400 pound man driving a Honda Fit. Do you think he sees the humor in that scenario? I hope so.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real Life 101 for the Over-Achiever

TheBoy said to me the other day “You talk big but you have no follow through.” Ouch. But you know what? He’s right. I always have big dreams and big plans but rarely do I have the follow through to see them to the desired end results. For example, when we first became engaged I had roughly 9 months to get into shape. I researched bridal boot camps and workouts, checked into ways to better my diet and we joined a gym in our new hometown. Did I get into shape in the following 9 months? Nope. I even managed to GAIN about 15 pounds in those months. Awesome.

So right before the wedding, when I realized that I was indeed going to be a huge fat ass on my wedding day, I came up with a new plan. The “best shape of my life before 30” plan. I figure I have about 9 months before my 30th birthday and TheBoy has about 6 months before the same milestone. I was determined we were going to eat well, exercise and generally give up all things bad for us. The start date of the BSOMLB30 plan was July 8th. I have officially been to the gym twice since then. I am back to eating like a responsible adult and I did quit smoking (woot!) but… I’m not as far along as I thought I would be so I am discouraged.

In a moment of “ah ha!” clarity this morning I realized that this is the key to why I don’t have good follow through. Being discouraged. Because I have all these grand plans and I think I’m just going to snap my fingers and presto I’m healthy and fit and skinny and sexy. But in the real world things don’t work like that. In the real world TheBoy breaks a rib and isn’t super motivated about going to the gym with me (and I hate going to new places alone). In the real world you don’t just magically lose 10 pounds in a week. In the real world progress is slow. This is going to be a valuable lesson learned for me I think.

For example, I have started writing again with the thought of someday finishing a novel. When I first decided to buckle down as the case were and get serious about writing I made a grand plan. I joined a few online writing groups, I bought books on character building and how to get past writer’s block and creative expressions. When I dream I dream BIG. But realistically how many words have I written since I decided to “get serious?” Maybe 10. And because of this I feel discouraged and I am not motivated to continue writing.

Anyone noticing a pattern here?

I also think sometimes that in addition to being unrealistic about my progress/goals that I attempt to take on too many things at once. Planning your dream wedding is stressful. Planning someone else’s dream for your wedding? Double the stress. At least. And on top of that stressful event we bought a house. Buying a house is admittedly one of the most stressful things you do as an adult. But because we are over-achievers when it comes to stress, not only did we buy a house, we bought a house about as far away from our jobs and friends and past life as humanly possible and still be living “in the area”. Go us. And on top of the wedding and the house we had my diet and exercise plan PLUS the writing plan. Looking back I can see that I might have one or two things too many on my plate.

So today I am making a new plan. That plan is to not make any plans. I want to go to the gym and work out because I love the feeling I get from it, because it makes me feel healthy and strong, not because I’m afraid people think I am a fat ass. I want to eat right because I know it’s the right thing to do, to be environmentally conscious, to be aware of what I am putting in my body, because it feels good not because I am desperately trying to lose 25 pounds in a month. I want to write the way I used to, fast and free flowing, from the heart, not because I think I NEED to have written a novel to be considered a serious writer.

I am entering a place that is totally Zen y’all. Hopefully this time the results will be better. Without any expectations to live up to I shouldn't get so discouraged. Not being discouraged should stop me from feeling like saying “to hell with it all” and giving up. Not giving up means that I might actually have some long-term results. This would be a good thing. My inner OCD freak is rebelling against this new theory with all its might because it feels like I’m saying it is okay to be an under-achiever, that it is okay to not push your self or strive to be the best. I’m trying to convince myself that this is not the case. I still want big and great things for myself, I just want to realize that I don’t need to have them all RIGHT NOW.

Except for the job change. That I want RIGHT NOW. Though between you, me and the internets at large, something big is in the works. Something exciting and wonderful and perfect but also so terrifying that it sometimes makes me want to rock myself back and forth in a corner and chew on my hair. Cross your fingers for me!