Friday, July 30, 2004

Shades of red

I have been working at my new company for two months now. I am beginning to figure out just how huge the company is and how small I am. You want to talk about being a tiny fish in the ocean, that is me.

I am getting into a new area of the industry and yesterday was my first try at it. My director and our high tech guy met with some various folks throughout the state. Things went really well and we had a great game plan when we left.

So, I got in the office this morning, very excited about this new endeavor. I started going through my notes and getting to the action items I had listed. I read through everything and started composing an email to get some follow up information that we needed to provide to the potential client. I listed everything, read through it again and I hit "send". There goes my email zooming through cyber space and being delivered to the contacts I selected. I am a big girl, I have just taken the bull by the horns and gotten to work. I am so proud.

This all takes place before my director comes in. I think I have done a great thing, being proactive and getting to the middle of what we needed. I am mistaken. Basically what I have done is played the part of the peasant who thinks they can just  march up to the king and ask for his crown. My director came in and informed me of who I was emailing. Apparently this is the Founder's best friend, he has been working for the company since it started. He is so important that he has an admin person who sees his emails before he does. Yup... that was not out of my league. My position did not come with an assistant, I am the fact finder, email composer and message returner. Suddenly I felt as if the temperature in the room increased by twenty degrees. My director said that I turned three shades of red while he was in my office. He looked at me and laughed. He said that this guy is really nice and won't think anything of it. It was probably a good thing that I mentioned in the first sentence that I had just joined the Atlanta office. That may have been my saving grace. Is wasn't like I just sent some demanding email to him, but I did list a couple of questions that we needed answered. You, know as if I completely knew what I was talking about. As though I was not a new employee who just took a crash course in the program a day before the meeting. You know, like I was out there with my "A" game,  corporate tycoon, all knowing....... completely stupid, out of place and pretentious.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Are you getting ready for school???
My mother and mother-in-law, along with several of my friends are teachers. I have noticed while talking with them over the last week that they hear the school bells ringing right now. School days will be here again and very soon.
I so clearly remember what it was like to get ready for school. My parents would take me to school to meet my teacher. We would get a list of school supplies which usually included boxes of Kleenex, glue, ruler, and lined paper. I remember how exciting it was to pick out my school box, the pens I would use, and I will never think of school without thinking about my first Trapper Keeper. My first Trapper Keeper was red. It had a place for a pen, a tablet of lined paper and four folders; yellow, green, blue, and red. I was ready to be head of the class.
My career has somewhat become school in a full time sense for me, so I do not "get ready" for school anymore, I am in school year round now. Some things have not changed though. I still walk through the aisles where the new school supplies are and I usually buy a new notebook to write stories in or maybe pencils with my name on them. I will not be shopping for new "school" clothes or getting a new pair of sneakers, but I will watch the kids in our neighborhood wait for the bus and see their parents wave as the bus pulls away and remember my own school days with a great big smile.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Forever an "Afterglow"....

I have been one fortunate lady these days when it comes to music I enjoy. I was able to go to the symphony this past weekend and last night I saw Sarah McLachlan in concert. Eleven years ago I introduced my sister to Sarah. Now at the time I am not sure she was all that excited about it. Possession was the first CD of Sarah's that I ever had and we listened to it every day on the way to school. Yes, I said every day. My sister had no say in what we listened to in my car. As far as I was concerned she was lucky that she did not have to ride the bus. Eleven years later she is playing Sarah for her infant son and giving me tickets to her concert. You can wear some people down I suppose.

From the very first time I ever heard her voice I was hooked the way our mothers were hooked on Etta James. The gift of gentle truth in her words that puts your own heart on display has always been alluring to me. Her songs have been bookmarks in my mind for my loves of the past, my passions in life and my devotion to the love of my life. Where I have a hard time finding the words to say, Sarah offers the words in songs like Fallen, Sweet Surrender, and Push.

The melodies in her music seem to make the words just sing off the page. So many of her songs are a part of memories in my life, high school graduation, lazy days on my balcony in college, and my wedding day.

There are so many things I think of when I listen to her CD's. There were the morning of total high school senoiridous, when three of my girlfriends and I could not stand the thought of going into school, so we would listen to "Ice Cream" to pick us up before we stuck our nose in the books and left our laughter at our lockers.

Years later, those songs still evoke the same emotions and remind me of the many joys I have that are all part songs from Sarah.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I am taking the stairs

I realized today that I am getting slack again. I did not work out this morning, or yesterday morning. Sleep has been a good thing for me. This in turn has helped me realize that I am going to very soon resemble the distant cousin of Pillsbury Dough Boy if I do not get my rear in gear and I mean that literally. So, I began today by taking the stairs. I work on the fourth floor right now, so I guess that is not saying much, but it is a start. And with me goes the laptop, purse and lunch. I have made two successful trips today and I am starting to feel pretty good about my latest workout routine. At least it keeps of the Twinkies.....

Friday, July 23, 2004

And today your fortune is......
I really wish I had a digital camera. I think most of my posts would be so much more entertaining.... But, then your eyes may see something different from what I see. So rather then upload a picture of my fortune from lunch today, I will just type it,
The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.....
lucky numbers 7,13,20,31,32,33
So, if you are thinking of playing MegaMillions or what not this evening, I will expect to get a cut of your earnings since I am handing out my magic numbers. And besides, it was my fortune cookie.
The thing I wonder about the most here, is if the folks who write these fortunes are so smart, why have we not applied what we have learned from centuries before us? Or better yet, what has kept this writer from having a book on the shelf next to Socrates?
Speaking of writing, I have been so slack! Between the book I am reading for my book club and the books that I have to read for work, I have not taken a lot of time to finish anything. I think I will do that this weekend, after the floors are mopped, the bathrooms are cleaned, the laundry is done, I have been to the grocery store and after I have finished the items on my task list for the conference I have in September.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Things are moving very fast

This has been a really fast week, even if it does feel like a Saturday. Work has picked up- a lot and so has my social calendar which is fun as well.

When Greg and I went to bed last night, he was slipping into restful sleep while my brain was still running. I asked him one question, which he answered and then another which he answered as well, and then I just thought a little more, a little more and a little more. Pretty soon it was 11:30 PM and I was still awake. Not annoyed, just thinking. There seems to be a lot for me to do right now. We have an unhappy puppy because she is still itching and nothing has helped, so I might have to stop being a pansy and take her to get a shot like I did last year. I have appointments that still need to be made and taken care of. I have a product line to study and a conference for an professional organization I am in that is coming up in September. These are the things that are swirling around in my head right now. And I just heard about another trip I have to go on at the end of this month which is pretty huge right now...... More things to think about.

Does anyone have a good wind down ritual that you do when you are going to sleep? I seem to drift into a shallow sleep and wake up at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 in the morning because whatever I was thinking about when I fell asleep has resurfaced. How can I tell my brain to shut off???

I feel good though, so I am either high on sleep deprivation or kick it mode.

Monday, July 19, 2004

I feel like I am in junior high again
If you were to look at an aerial view of the junior high school I went to, you would see a larger H  as the main halls and a smaller square in the middle that held the court yard. That is a lot like where I am right now.
I have been working at my new company for  six weeks and my director brought me to Charlotte, NC for one of our regional staff meetings. The regional office here has 50 team members and all of the offices surround a large file room, break room and conference room. Since I will have to come to this office from time to time, I have been set up in an office to use when I am here, which is pretty cool. I got a brief tour as my director brought me around to meet everyone before of meeting, and it reminded me of the tour that the 7th and 8th graders gave to in coming 6th grades before I started junior high.
One very important thing my director forgot to mention, and I forgot to as about was where the ladies room is. I figured out the breakroom so I could put my bottled water in the fridge, but the restrooms, I swear are hidden away. I am really not kidding. There are a couple of short hallways that branch off from the main perimeter and I have been lost twice today. It appears to be some form of initiation because they have a new employee that just started today and she has aimlessly walked the hallways as well. I think I figured out the trick though. The first time I was lost, I looked lost. I was walking slowly, and craning my head into every hallway and door that I passed. So, of course everyone will be nice and try and direct you to where you need to go. Well, I did not want to look lost again, so the second time I just confidently walked around the entire perimeter, passed my office twice and said good afternoon to the receptionist for the eighth time today. But, I did not look lost and I not only know where the ladies room is now, I know the shortest way to the ladies room, then back through the break room to grab a bottle of water and then through the conference room so I may say hello to the group who is meeting on new marketing materials, before I finally make it back to my office.... Yup, I am slick.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Part Two: What fun things you see... In public restrooms
Thanks to my friend Mary, I have found a great site for writings on restroom stalls. More intelligent drunk people. If you have ever written something on a bathroom stall and want to know if it has made it to this site, then check this out- The Writings On The Stall.
And the fun in Tucker will continue this evening. Mary and Andrew are hosting a bad movie night. The last time we had bad movie night we watched Turkish Star Wars and Glitter. Well, we did not exactly get through Glitter. Something about Maria Carey saying "You're a fly DJ and everything..." Just ruined it for us. Now Turkish Star Wars was a great flick, in a very bad sort of way. Tonight's showing will be, Satan's Cheerleaders. After reading the review, I am sure we will have a hard time finding bad movies to top this one. Bad..... Very bad......
Now, if you are looking for something good to rent this weekend, maybe you should try "Beaches" or "When A Man Loves A Woman". And let's compare notes on Monday.

Monday, July 12, 2004

What fun things you see- In public Bathrooms
Friday night, Greg and I had dinner with our friends, Mary and Andrew. A new Mexican restaurant just opened up near us and it was supposed to be like a restaurant that Greg and Andrew would frequent when they were in college. It was the kind of place that you could order a big beer with a hand signal. Unlucky for us, this branch not only did not know the hand signals, they also did not have draft beer. So, we were beer snobs and drank our Tecate from cans and Budlight from bottles. The food was good, so we really were not too disappointed.

After dinner we decided it would be fun to go to a neighborhood dive, The Wooden Nickel. TWN qualifies as a dive because they had an unknown band (more on them below), bad service and old bar smell when you walked in. This is my kind of place, though. You can walk in, order a pitcher, sit at a table and drink the night away which is exactly what we did.

The band was interesting to put it mildly. They had a female lead singer who opened with an Offspring song, and she did a good job with it. This band played everything from Fuel to Heart. The most outstanding thing about this band was one of the members. He appeared to think that he performed best on top of the bar, which is where he spent his time when he was singing. When it was his turn to play, he was on the speaker platform. He hopped and skipped and looked as though he has probably done that before. Greg and I were talking about yesterday and what was weird to us was not so much that he was on the bar, but that no one seemed to think it was strange or unusual. I just have not seen a lot of performers take it to the bar, I guess. At the time all four bartenders were MIA, so I guess it really did not matter if he was on the floor or the bar.

One thing I did decide Friday evening was folks who hang out in these dives and write clever messages on the bathroom walls, think they are offering new wisdom to the world. One author felt compelled to let the world know that if you are looking for a good time to contact Sam Something-or-other. This comment prompted another to add,"If you were looking for a good time, there were people you could pay for that. Unless you are one of them." Classy..... Then there was this little bit of wisdom, "Live like it is your last day, one day you will right." That is so profound! This should go down in the books as one of the most brilliant quotes. Drunk people got it, don't they? Well, of course one day will be my last, silly.

I think I will begin collecting quotes that I find in public bathrooms. This is just good stuff.

Friday, July 09, 2004

We will never grow up... We will forever be kids
Just when you thought all newly married couples were spending their time having candle light dinners and gazing in each others eyes for hours at a time..... You meet Greg and I. We are showing true signs of reverting to our very young years. While we could be spending our time planting flowers and our money on new furniture, new floors or paying someone to get our lawn looking like our neighbor's, we buy video games. Atari video games. I am talking, old school Pac Man, Pitfall, and something that closely resembles Galagia. Good stuff. So, rather then gaze into each others eyes and whisper sweet nothings our eyes are locked on the TV screen and there is no whispering. This is not an evening for the faint of heart.

The best part about this find is that you can locate this little toy at your local discount store in the toy section. It is less then twenty bucks and hooks directly to your TV. The challenge is remembering how to play the games, "Run from ghosts and eat the fruit, you dummy." This little gadget is really going to help me out when I come home and I am too tired to do yard work. All I will have to do is ask Greg how many times he killed the mothership and I will be saved.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Staying in constant trouble
Greg and I just returned from a wonderful vacation with his family. The week of the Fourth of July every year, Greg's family takes a vacation together. We spent the entire time eating home made ice cream, sitting on the porch, gazing at stars, and in the law enforcement's review mirror. For a group of well behaving, young adults, we sure did not seem like it this weekend. Greg, Holly and Mike (Greg's sister and Brother-in-law) and I were getting into some kind of mess every time we turned around, or flipped around is more like it. Our trouble started less then two hours after we arrived. We got to the house Saturday morning, dumped our things, put on our swimsuits and headed to the lake. They have two jet skies which we spent the week battling over because one is clearly faster than the other. Greg and I started off riding together on slower one. After getting it warmed up, Greg (who is a very careful person), heads out to the middle of the lake. We were not on the jet ski for more then five minutes before we took a spin too fast and flipped right over. So much for a leisurely afternoon ride. The biggest thing I was worried about was getting the jet ski flipped right-side-up. That proved to be the easy part. Getting us both back on top and getting the jet ski started again was the hard part. Greg climbed on first and then I climbed on back, he started it up and we flipped again. After trying that a couple of times, we tried putting me on first then Greg on back. The first time the jet ski would not start up, we tried it again and we flipped and we were both too stubborn to take it back to the dock on our own and let the other swim back. Greg's family watched this for about five minutes. Finally Holly could not see Greg's head so she got a little nervous and help was on the way. Mike and Greg's uncle came out and brought us back in. That ended our tandem riding for the day.

Sunday, we were back on the jet skies. Holly and Mike took them out then Greg and I, and finally Holly and I went out for a while. We are not real sure what possessed us to ride out as far as we did, but it was fun, none the less. After a while, I got to thinking that we had been riding the slower jet ski, which Holly was riding now, and we had not checked the gas. With that said, we headed back..... It took maybe five minutes for the jet ski to stop. Holly switched on the reserve tank, started it up and we thought we were going to be on our way. Nope, that sucker was not going to work. The reserve tank had some malfunction. Now, Holly deserves her propers on this. We were out in the middle of the lake, far, far away from home and she was cool as she could be. Lucky for us, there was a rope on my jet ski. We tied her jet ski to mine and started back. There is a sand bar not too far from our dock, that we call Cocktail Cove because boats gather there and spend the afternoon coasting. As we passed Cocktail Cove, we got some funny looks. People were looking at us as though they have never seen a jet ski being towed before. Finally back at our dock our husbands came walking down the hill to help us out and give us a hard time for getting into trouble- again. No harm, no foul so we were good to go. We did stay off the jet skies for the remainder of the day though. But, Monday we were on them again. We had been tubing on the pontoon boat which was not as fast as we wanted it to be. So, Monday we got the bright idea that we should pull each other with one of the jet skies. Greg was the brave soul who decided to go first. Mike drove the jet ski and I was the lookout. Greg did great! He managed to stay on the entire time without being slung off, I was pretty impressed. Then it was Holly's turn. I drove the jet ski and Mike was the lookout. Holly, also did a great job, that was until I made a bad spin and she was dumped off. Now, getting back on a tube after you have been dumped off is next to impossible, but Holly tried it anyway. Mike even jumped off the jet ski to help her. There was no getting back on. Luckily we were not far from the dock, so Holly and Mike hung on to the tube and I pulled them back. Yes, we all realized that this is not legal, but we were 100 feet from the dock and I was driving slow. Sure enough though, once we got back to the dock a law enforcement boat pulled up to make sure I was not pulling a couple of folks on the back of my jet ski with the intention of drowning them. Where were these guys when Holly and I were in the middle of the lake???? This did not stop us from more play. Once we were pulled together again, Mike was on the tube, I was driving and Greg and the lookout. Mike hung on forever, and showed no signs of being rattled or almost flung off. Greg and Holly's uncle, Gary thought we were being way too nice to each other, so he called for a hotrod to get on back and let him take them for a ride. Poor Greg was the victim. Gary and his wife, Melissa got on the jet ski and with a laugh that was full of trouble, they sped away with Greg hanging on for dear life. The law was on to us though and watching us every time we went out again. They followed along for a while as Gary pulled Greg and when they were satisfied that Gary was not playing rough, they went the other way. I stood on the dock and watched them race off. I waited, and waited and waited some more and then I got a little nervous. What if Greg had been dumped off and a crazy jet skier was trying to catch waves in Gary's wake and ran over Greg? What if Gary did not see where Greg was dumped off at? What if Greg had been dumped off and could not get back on? Greg had a long way to ride just hanging on the tube. Fortunately for me, my fears were shortly put to rest when Gary and Melissa came zooming back with Greg safely riding on the tube, but looking very worn out. Greg was a total champ. He hung on the whole time, but Gary still made him say "uncle". The day ended well.

The remainder of our time was pretty calm, although we did rescued a frog from being torn apart by the fans on the porch and we had no rain- there was sunshine the entire time. All together it was a great time and we will look forward to doing it again Labor Day Weekend. This time, we will try to stay out of trouble.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Step away from the snack box
Our entire office is going to become candidates for the Weight Watchers. About a week ago a couple of guys came into our office and made a great offer that we could not turn down. This is how pitiful we are. We all said, "Oh, I really do not need to be eating things like that...." Ten minutes later we were the proud owners of a new snack box. This thing comes complete with Reese's Pieces, Honey Buns, and other assorted chocolate candy bars in addition to Ramen Noodles and Crunch N' Munch. I was good for about two days and then I broke down and had some Reese's Pieces.

Now I have to avert my eyes from the snack box when I go into the breakroom to get my lunch. I have been making a concerted effort to eat well. I have a sweet tooth though, so it makes it hard. So, while I was warming up left over pizza for lunch, realllllll healthy, I started checking out the nutritional information on selected items. I use to just look at fat grams, now I have to check out sugars, carbohydrates, sodium, and I am appalled! I eat some of the worst things known to man. I can get 11% of my daily carbs from one candy bar. Have you ever looked at the nutritional information for a Honey Bun? 56 carbs!!!!! That's right, 56. That is more then 33% of the average daily recommendation. But, if you really want to get freaked out look for nutrition information on a package of Slim Jims. The twin pack (as if one is not enough) specifies that you write to them to get nutrition information. Write to them? If I have to write to them to find out how far over the daily recommended amount of carbs are in one Slim Jim, then I should probably not eat it.
I might have to stick to my celery sticks. I can still eat pizza and maybe still fit through the door.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

What a girl wants
I have a collection of handbags. Some are Target purchased bags and some are vintage finds from eBay. Some women love shoes, I love handbags. I do not really have a bag that goes with every outfit, but I would like to. I think that is the girliest thing about me. I do not primp too long, I distinguish seasons by baseball, football, and basketball, I like real beer and I do not mind getting dirty. But, I love a good handbag. I get so excited at the beginning of spring or fall because I know that every store I walk into is going to have their new season bags and I will finally find one that goes well with my brown corduroy slacks that I like so much. But, I must report- this year I have not purchased 1, no not even one handbag. I have purchased wedding gifts, baby gifts, house cleaning supplies and oil changes. But no handbags. I want a new handbag more then I want hardwood floors right now. What is wrong with me? Maybe I could just buy a new change purse and satisfy this urge. I do need a new change purse. One to go with my leopard print wrist purse that I save for nights out at clubs in Midtown.