Monday, February 27, 2006

Dear Diary

I love Sean. He's so cute. I hope he love's me too. Sean Sean Sean


Sorry, flashback to 1982. Sean was so dreamy. As a fourth grader I totally knew that I loved him. There were times when I'd get to sleep over at his house (my parents must have been at a whopper of a party) and he, his brother Tim, my brother Dorkus and I would camp out in the living room watching the new Home Box Office all night long. Oh those were the days.

Historical fact, Sean was my first gay boyfriend. He didn't know it, because I was just his friends dorky little sister - but oh how I loved him. He had thick wavy hair, wide jeans, a tight t-shirt and the coolest tennies. Now that I think back he was rather snappy.

Sean dreamed of a day when a space station would be a reality. I recall him showing us a page in the Encyclopedia that had a cartoon drawing of a place in outer space where people could live. I wonder if during the MIR days if he ran around telling everyone that he predicted it. He was so smart.

He was also a rebel. He got kicked out of school for a week because he called a teacher a bad name when the teacher was out of the room. It was a total set up because the teacher turned on a tape recorder before leaving the room. Sean refused to apologize - because maybe the teacher WAS an asshole and got suspended. He was brave my Sean.

Sean graduated with my dear sweet brother in 1983 and I never saw him again. I hope he's up to wonderful things. (HOLY CRAP... I just googled him and GASP he's alive and is a real estate agent in San Diego. "Sean and John Real Estate - we make your dreams come true!" The Internet is an amazing thing.)

When I die and "they" go through my diaries they will find the first one is totally devoted to Sean. Page after thin dream filled page of "Sean+TPgal"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Connectivity @ home

I'm finally free of AOL. I've joined the ranks of hi-tech people everywhere and am now publishing from my home office.

So far, so good.

The iMac has some fun features a photobooth for one, so here's the required picture of a single gal and her cat. He's not too thrilled about looking at the camera.

Here's one that's a little less attractive. The photo booth feature has all sorts of distortion techniques and the photo's crack me up.

More fun photo's to come!

Friday, February 24, 2006

At least you have a job...

I try to keep the work talk down as I know that I'm fortunate to have a job that I mostly love, and one that pays me too much money. It's a dream having both things - however I have to bitch about my boss for a moment.

He is a great boss, supportive, reasonable, lets you argue a point, sometimes lets me win - but he has a big mouth. He was talking to his boss and said "you know if you let me I could find a million dollars in savings in the Risk Management program" well - who would say no to that? Unfortunately what he meant was - the three departments that I don't manage are wasting money and I could fix that ... What she heard was "take a million dollars from my budget" Holy CRAP -- our annual budget really isn't all that big. The million dollars ended up being 18% of our operating budget. YIKES. Our headcount cost eats up 39% of what's left over. (feel free to do the math if thats your thing.)

So, on top of having to find "slush" in a small program the CFO (that's chief financial officer) issued a "challenge" to find another 5% out of everyone's budget. Grrr. Seems like we've paid our dues already - but oh no.. I found it. So, when you see us flying "Bob's Crop Dusting and Discount Air" you'll know why.

I'm also thinking about a bake sale to raise funds for office supplies. If I sell 6 brownies I might be able to buy a ream of paper.

End of rant... I've got some beans to count.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The New Loo Review

Finally, after months, nee years of looking at cracks in the bowl of my cheap-o builder installed toilet in the master bathroom of Condo TP I broke down and bought a new loo.

I did my research on line (where every good gal does research) and learned what I needed to know about loo's. I measured the space twice and made sure that any loo selected would not only look good but fit into the space.

At Lowe's, where I spend most of my free money, the Loo isle was daunting. With over 50 toilets to choose from it wasn't an easy decision. I did find one that I liked and had the features I was looking for - a low tank (for easy cleaning) and a non-ADA approved seat height. The ADA approved seats are so tall that my munchkin feet don't touch the floor. No way was I going to do that to myself. I could see myself falling to my death in the middle of the night with my pink bunny pj's around my ankles. Plus -- with all the wack-a-doo stairs you have to climb to get into Condo TP - the likelihood of the next buyer requiring ADA anything is slim to none.

As I mentioned earlier I paid to have the pooper installed. Good thing too as they had to re-plumb the hose nozzle thingy (that is the technical name) as it wasn't the right height. (Isn't that just the typical outcome... do all sorts of research, measure over and over and you still have to do something custom.) The installer was out of my place in under an hour and even hauled away the old loo. (Thanks scary teeth guy!)

If course, when it's all said and done... the new loo does the same darned job the old loo did - but for a while anyway I get a little thrill when I have to go. I'm sure that will wear off very quickly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brokeback Blog

Ok, so "Brokeback" is the new acceptable phrase to indicate something is G_A_Y. It was amusing when Jon Stewart made a "Brokeback Senate" joke, but now it's starting to get old. The more "jokes" I hear the more I think it's people feeling really free to express their homophobia.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that not everyone has the same level of acceptance that I do when it comes to same sex partners - but I am. It saddens me that otherwise reasonable people are comfortable with the idea that who you sleep with is a spot on your moral character. I know... the Bible says blah blah blah. We certainly don't feel the need to live by the Bible in every way - society has chosen to take many of the teachings and ignore them altogether or consider them historical references. The fact that this "rule" is still held out as a sin against God has more to do with us than it does with God.

I'm don't want to get into a grand religious debate - you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. I try to have compassion for others and try to accept and understand that my way isn't really the 'best way' but it is just one way to be.

I would just ask you to check yourself before you make the easy "Brokeback" joke and examine your motivation. Are you being funny or spreading hate? (I'll check myself as well.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Ah... the three day weekend! Bliss.

There's time enough to spend time with everybody, clean house AND do stuff for me!

I managed to eek in two movies this weekend - one I wasn't supposed to see (the girls have it on "save") but Divorcing Rico wanted to see it so I agreed. Thankfully it is cute enough to see twice. (Don't tell anyone.)

Capote was also on the list. I thought for sure that the P.S.H. whiny voice would grate on my nerves but I got over it. Bruce Greenwood is a dreamy older gay man. He can take me to Spain any day. (Not that I'm a gay man...)

Spending time with SadRico. is good, but also so sad. He's wearing me out and I'm a shitty friend for not being able to take all the sadness and anger that he has pouring out of him. Two half days is my limit. His free place to stay has fallen through and I think he was fishing to stay with me at my place but I couldn't do it. I'm selfish and greedy but my sanity is a precious thing.

I'm still totally enjoying the iMac. Setting up Quicken has been fun. It's not so awesome to see how much in debt I am -- but thankfully it's mostly house debt. Still, seeing it all in one place puts it into perspective. The spending spree is officially over.

Well -- not quite. The new master b.r. toilet arrives tomorrow at 3! It's a lovely piece of equipment. Not as fancy as June's euro-loo that has two flush options (number one, or number two) but it's still pretty.

My friend Bill offered to install the toilet (after I pre-paid the installers) but I couldn't take him up on the offer. He's sweet, but since the failed camping trip fiasco we don't hang out and thus asking for favors seems wrong. His wife was pleasant enough during a brunch on Sunday but didn't say goodbye to me when they left. I thought it was odd, but will chalk it up to a hasty departure.

Finally, Janie called and left a lengthy message on my machine related to the (OMFG) 20 year class reunion. She is totally on the ball calling people and getting organized! YEAH JANIE! Go-Fight-Win!

Friday, February 17, 2006

UpChuck UpDate

Met with the gastrointestinal specialist regarding the throwing up thing and he recommended (and scheduled) an Endoscopy to determine (hopefully) the causage of the blockage. He had too, I mean you don't have someone tell you they are throwing up and not see it as an opportunity to make some money on an expensive procedure. He's gotta pay his mortgage somehow.

He, like my GP, thinks that it most likely is a "stricture" which means a narrow spot which generally presents itself as we get older. That's the inference anyway. He mentioned a couple other possible suggestions that were extremely down played and frankly scary to think about.

The upside of cancer being a cause would be chemo and maybe it would help me loose a few pounds. Still, I'm not rooting for that as the source of the throwing up.

They have to walk you through every possible scenario from being groggy when you leave to dying on the table. Dying may be extreme but approximately one in a thousand procedures experiences complications which according to my literature would result in real surgery. Dr. P assured me those are good odds. Good, but not great right? One in a bagillion-zillion would be better.

The appointment is the 7th - but I probably won't be in a condition to update you on that day so you'll have to be patient while I'm a patient.

If I die on the table I hereby proclaim it is my last wish that all my shelves be divided up equally between my friends.

Still MORE about the shelves

It's hard to believe that I have even MORE to say about these crazy office shelves but I do. As I said earlier, I cancelled the eBay order for the "shitty" shelves after the first one arrived in less than acceptable condition. I had no difficulty in getting my payment back and thought the matter was concluded.

NOT SO!!!!

I arrived home from work on Wednesday and found two huge packages on my doorstep. Yes, I have ANOTHER two shelves in my possession. I did extend an offer to the eBay lady to ship back the shelves as long as she pays the shipping. She confirmed that the order was cancelled with the warehouse and that she hasn't been billed - so unless I hear from her in the next couple days I may end up keeping them.

The good news is that the next time anyone comes over to the tpGal mansion there will be plenty of room to place your hat!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The value of an item is equal to the amout of money for which you paid, or you get what you pay for.

By now I think it's pretty obvious that I got a decent year end bonus (new computer, PotteryBarn furniture, happy outlook on life) but the spending will stop very quickly. I haven't just been spending on new things, I did pay for many things I already bought -- a.k.a. paid off some credit card debt.

Even though I've been flush lately I'm still looking for a bargain. I really hate to pay full price for anything. In an effort to save some dough, I bought three studio wall shelves off of eBay instead of paying full price from PotteryBarn. Well -- you get what you pay for. The first unit arrived and three of the five shelf bottoms were cracked and broken. I tried to ship it back to the manufacturer, but the cost to ship was almost equal to the amount of the expected refund. I decided to take it home and make it work. The eBay seller was nice enough to cancel the other two units. Thank you eBay lady.

I broke down and ordered the shelves I had been wanting at PotteryBarn. They were waiting on my doorstep last night. It was a struggle but I managed to get them in the house and put together. Unlike the cheap-o eBay versions these shelves are actual furniture! It took longer to uncrate the pieces than to put them together.

For once, I used my noggin and decided to assemble the item in the room in which the shelves will live. That turned out to be an excellent plan as at 7 feet tall these guys are hard for one gal to manhandle... or galhandle. Once assembled and adorned with my books, photo's of the friends and family it really looks great in the office. Great, that is except the one odd eBay shelf that is of obvious inferior quality and is a totally different color. Sigh... What's another $250? I'm worth it right? Actually, if I cash in my American Express points I could get the shelf for a song. That sounds like a plan! Who needs a free night in Nebraska when a gal could have matching furniture?

Finally -- sad question to end this entry. Now that my friends are getting a divorce what do I do with the photos? Do I put them away like we never went on vacation together? I suppose this is a minor thing to worry about during their trying time, but I can't help but wonder (oooh, now I'm Carrie Bradshaw) in a divorce, who keeps the memories?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Burlington Northern killed my Pottery barn order

East Glacier, Mont.
Tracks reopen after derailment
The railroad tracks east of Glacier National Park reopened Sunday, a day after a freight train derailed and blocked the lines.
The derailment of six cars Saturday afternoon disrupted service by Amtrak's Empire Builder, which travels a Chicago-Seattle route. Passengers boarded buses for part of the trip.
The cause of the derailment was being investigated, a BNSF Railway spokesman said.
Freight in the six cars included paper products, tile and aerosol hairspray (and Terri's Pottery Barn shelves.)

Part of my office shelf order had a train accident on the way to my house. I wonder if I can sue for mental anguish?

It's only money!

I finally succumbed this weekend and made an important home purchase. After years of using the 95 pound dell laptop from DotBomb(my parting gift) with a partitioned hard drive and only 5 gigabites of memory I broke down and bought a new computer.

I lugged home the super nifty Apple iMac. The ease of set up is phenomenal... it took about 20 minutes from the time I started until I was playing with the features. The built in camera is fun, and with MS office loaded on it's a work horse. I didn't go for the fastest, or for the one with 250 gigabytes of memory - I've been living on 5 gigabytes for years so I think 160 will do it for a while.

The amazing part is that there is one cord on the computer - the mouse and keyboard are wireless so it's a super clean workspace. I love it!

This purchase puts me on the brink of anothre major decision -- to finally get high speed internet. The cable guys are coming sunday after next so I might as well do it at the same time. It's only money right?

Friday, February 10, 2006


The new Sour Starburst Fruit ChewsTM are just like the packaging claims S-O-U-R.

Sour, like turn your face inside out, tears in your eyes, spit out the candy sour!

Yummy! Run out to get your package today.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ewww you threw up where?

They (Bob and Bob) say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Maybe in my life it's throwing up in public.

Wait... let's back up a little.

Ok, so a while back I was eating dinner and the food kind of got stuck. I could still breathe but the pressure under my sternum was pretty fierce. As soon as I stood up I needed to expel the food. Once that was taken care of I was fine. I ate slower and all was good.

It happened again and I thought it was weird, but thought I was just eating too fast. Then it happened in front of friends and I had to excuse myself from the table. So embarrassing.

My friend Ali has been on my case to call my doctor - but in true P family form I put it off.

So, I'm at the Westlake Mall Food Court with five of my colleagues and I sit down to a plate of Chicken Tiki Masala from the Indian restaurant. I take one - nee two SMALL bites of the chicken - chew it up and instantly I know something is wrong. I waited to see if it would pass, but it wasn't my day. I excused myself and made my way the 30 yards or so (that's important) to the ladies room where I promptly expelled the chicken. After a moment or two I thought I was fine and headed back to the table. I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat - but I thought maybe a sip of beverage might be a good idea.


I swear I took in less than a tablespoon of liquid and I had to repeat the above action. Well -- much to my horror I did not make it to the restroom this time. (Can I just die right about now?) I cleaned up as well as I could - but it was everywhere. So, on top of feeling uncomfortable add a noticeably stained shirt and 30 yards of people between me and my coat. Once I made it back to the table I realized I was shaky and my favorite colleague asked if he could walk me back to the office. (Yes please!)

I didn't make it to the office. Mikey ducked into the RiteAid on the corner of 4th and Drug Dealer to get some paper towels while I stood next to a junkie and threw up into a garbage can. (Man, there's nothing like a bus full of people looking at you and making assumptions to make you feel pretty.)

So, back to the office changed my shirt (thank heavens I had a button up Mr. Roger's sweater on hand) and called finally called Dr. Mike. They got me in right away (3 hours later) by the time of my appointment I was able to eat a cracker and a balance bar - so that was good.

Dr. Mike says that while he's not pleased that it took me so long to come in (a year, is that a problem?) he thinks it's something not too terrible. I have an appointment to go to a Gastroenterolgist to and have an up-O-scopy (not endo - moutho) to see if there's an esophageal stricture. I told Dr. Mike that it sounded like a really boring conference seminar.

The co-workers did ask me to lunch again today. I tried to say no, but they assured me they wanted my company. When I excused myself to wash my hands they did have a look of fear but we worked through it and even had a laugh.

We'll see what Dr. Pepin (Pepper?) has to say. More to come... (less vomiting I'm sure)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


This isn't a forum to bitch about my job because for the most part I am really happy but lately people have been coming at me in all directions and I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Minion is helping but many of these things are outside her sphere. Plus, she's not my assistant - she's got her own full time job to manage. Plus, she's going on vacation a nice 11 day jaunt to Hawaii. (Bitch)

The only high point is that all the other managers on my team are feeling the same way. Lu just popped in and said... "I QUIT" oh, if I wasn't such a fan of a warm place to sleep I might consider the same thing. (just kidding mom)

Part of my problem is that I'm not a good take homework home person. I take it, but don't do anything with it. The only real benefit is the extra cardio I get from hauling the laptop home.

BOO HOO. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Gotta get back to it.

But wait... I have to make fun of the PM (that's project manager for those of you not up on corp-speak. A PM is a person who documents the shortcomings of business folk assigned to the project of the moment. He (or she) doesn't actually do anything but coordinate meetings and track due dates. A good PM is loved because he or she makes your life easier so you can show up share your expertise and go. A bad PM is hated because they come at you last minute for everything and expect their shit to be the priority. )

Our department has a (bad) PM who is kind of a strange bird. He's the one who did a walk-by "Gee you look like shit." greeting. I thought it was just me who didn't like him until one of the other gals came into my office, shut the door and whispered.."I HATE that guy!" I talked her off the ceiling, but felt vindicated for my lack of team-ness for him.

So the funny thing is that PM has the highest high water pants I've ever seen. ALL of his pants could qualify has clam diggers - and some come more than 2 inches above his high-top boots. It's like he had a growth spurt at the age of 50. He has a wife so I'm not sure what's up with the pants. Maybe she hates him too and it's her way of getting back at him.

The thing I hate the most is that he calls me "dear" - I was ok with Surly Stan from Social Security calling me Dear - because he was 65 and I was 22. Anyone with 40 years on me can call me pretty much anything they want... but if that age difference is under 20 years - They call me Mr. TIBBS!

Seriously, I've got to go...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Status: Honey do list

1) Pick up wall brackets at ACE hardware: Done.
2) Install wall brackets in garage: They didn't fit
3) Hang spare dining room chairs (8) in garage: Rigged an alternate plan, hung 4 chairs
4) Be at home between 9 am - 11 am to receive new dining room chairs from Crate&Barrel: Chairs arrived at 8:02 am. Good thing I was dressed.
5) Rush to the Vehicle Inspection for a Breathalyzer test: Arrived when they opened, was in an out in 30 minutes!
6) Rush to the state licensing place to renew car tabs: Wrong place, drove to Factoria, computers were down - no tabs. Boo
7) Prove my residency to the State of Wa. (The *&%$&* Seattle Monorail project has flagged me as a potential grifter. They reported me to the state for moving my address to Renton suggesting that I did it to avoid paying the horrific monorail taxes. Well - mo-fo's I actually moved - so HA! You're a colossal failure - so double HA! What makes me mad about this is that I not only moved two years ago, but I've been paying taxes AND my name is in the damn phone book - but could they do any research? NO, so I have to be inconvenienced. Grr.)
8) Make 7 layer dip for Sunday (beans, guac, sour cream, taco seasoning, olives, cheese, and the 7th layer... love! I didn't buy onions so it will have to be love.) : Done!
9) Put the studio wall bookshelf together: Done
10) repair the bottom shelf of #9 (it arrived broken - but the cost to ship it back negates the refund so I gotta make it work.) : Repair job doesn't look that terrible.
11) Buy a home computer (maybe): No, gonna wait for my tax refund
12) Do 2005 Taxes: Woohoo - big refund!
13) attend church on Sunday to wash away my hate for the evil Seattle Monorail project: Awkward -- the divorcing friends both came to church. If anyone ever said that the big D was easy they must not have friends.
14) watch some football game on tv: So sad, there were some terrible calls by the officials, but we also made some not good mistakes. It was exciting. Sigh
15) celebrate the (hoped for) outcome: Nope, went home and ironed laundry
16) laundry: Almost done
17) dinner with friends at the Red House in Renton: Oh gosh this was super fun!
18) Finish the bookclub book: Blink The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (now that's my kind of personal growth... don't think - just do what you like!): No time to read... it was go go go
19) recycle the enormous box in the spare room: Nope, lazy

Friday, February 03, 2006


A Google search for images entitles Happiness gives us millions of hits. Here are some that I selected. Have a nice day!

Maybe the cat is named "Happiness" who knows?
The Secret of Happiness is the Key... ha ha ha
This symbol probably really means, look at me, I'm a honkey who can't read Chinese (or Japanese)

When I'm old I shall wear purple (and heavy eye makeup)
These guys are the IPM Happiness Squad. They look like our IT department at the failed dot com.
What is Phillip Seymor Hofman doing on this poster, shouldn't he be prepping for the Oscars. And frankly, these people don't look very happy.

oooh, puppies.

"Dude, you got your SQL server to run in mixed mode authentication! Me too! Awesome!"

Honey Do List

I have no Honey, so I guess all these are on me.

Things to accomplish this weekend:

1) Pick up wall brackets at ACE hardware
2) Install wall brackets in garage
3) Hang spare dining room chairs (8) in garage
4) Be at home between 9 am - 11 am to receive new dining room chairs from Crate&Barrel
5) Rush to the Vehicle Inspection for a breathalizer test
6) Rush to the state licensing place to renew car tabs
7) Prove my residency to the State of Wa. (The *&%$&* Seattle Monorail project has flagged me as a potential grifter. They reported me to the state for moving my address to Renton suggesting that I did it to avoid paying the horrific monorail taxes. Well - mo-fo's I actually moved - so HA! You're a colossal failure - so double HA! What makes me mad about this is that I not only moved two years ago, but I've been paying taxes AND my name is in the damn phone book - but could they do any research? NO, so I have to be inconvenienced. Grr.)
8) Make 7 layer dip for Sunday (beans, guac, sour cream, taco seasoning, olives, cheese, and the 7th layer... love! I didn't buy onions so it will have to be love.)
9) Put the studio wall bookshelf together
10) repair the bottom shelf of #9 (it arrived broken - but the cost to ship it back negates the refund so I gotta make it work.)
11) Buy a home computer (maybe)
12) Do 2005 Taxes
13) attend church on Sunday to wash away my hate for the evil Seattle Monorail project
14) watch some football game on tv
15) celebrate the (hoped for) outcome
16) laundry
17) dinner with friends at the Red House in Renton
18) Finish the bookclub book: Blink The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (now that's my kind of personal growth... don't think - just do what you like!)
19) recycle the enormous box in the spare room

Gee -- this might be the worst blog entry yet... but I love lists!