Monday, May 29, 2006

Parenting is Not for Wimps

Holy hell!

I'm spending my extended Memorial Day weekend with my Portland friends. They have a lovely 8 year old daughter and a one month old son. Dad and daughter went to visit family in Spokane so it's been just Mom, Me and Mr. Pukes on Everything.

He is a sweet, even tempered, and calm munchkin - but considering all he does is eat, poop, sleep and fuss he takes up a LOT of time and attention. Yes, that is what babies do, and that parents do give up being the center of their own lives when they have kids - but I didn't get it.

Last night when I went to bed I felt guilty because I knew he was going to get up twice before I rolled my ass out of bed. Wow.

We got all bundled up and went to Bed Bath & Shitty Shit yesterday and were only gone for an hour, but Juni said it felt like a treat to get out of the house and go somewhere. I can see how new moms and dads might feel trapped in their own homes. Little Mr. & Miss Puke-on-Everything-Clean really control the universe. I have so much freedom that I can't imagine a world in which a trip to the shitty shit store is a treat.

It's been really awesome being here, and I've enjoyed it - but man-oh-man never again will I look at a mom at the grocery store and think - could she have taken 12 seconds to comb her hair? The answer is most likely - NO.

have a good one!

Monday, May 22, 2006

My strange connection to Veronica Mars: girl detective

Some "friends" have been mentioning to me in passing for the last two years that I should start watching a tv show called Veronica Mars. Well, the planets finally aligned and I agreed.

It is a good show, and I'm enjoying it. Don't tell my friends because I'll never hear the end of it.

I'm a mild geek and I noticed the producers name of the show sounded familiar. Rob Thomas. Honestly, I was getting him confused with Rob Zombie and I couldn't figure out why a hard core metal song writer would be the exec. producer of a show whose central character is a high school girl.

Any who... tonight I surfed over to IMDB to see what Rob Thomas looks like:
And was shocked to find out that Rob not only wasn't the dude who wrote the theme for the Matrix, but he was born in the same town as me. He and I most likely went to the same grade school good old Chief Kamaiaken "Go Chiefs!". He is older and may in fact have been in my brothers class. Next time I go visit the parents I'll dig out the old photos and see if I can't spot Rob standing next to dork-o.

Pretty exciting stuff eh? Some day I'll tell you how Tony Danza rubbed his armpit across my friend Ramsay's head.

I'm practically famous!

(This famous person connection is more exciting than being from the same region as Jim Caviezel... mostly because I can't pronounce Jim's last name. I always sound like a boozer with a good three day bender under my belt or Snoop Doggy Dog... same thing.)

There’s no Accounting for taste

(sorry, maybe my name stands for terrible pun Gal)

To catch you up on the latest drama at MegaBank here’s a summary:

1) I manage the department budget.
2) Due to a management memo that basically said “hey stop spending needlessly” we’ve cut 28% from our starting numbers which makes every dollar important.
3) In spite of the budget cuts, we still have to pay the bills for services we’ve used.
4) Our little division accounting department is so unorganized that it took 3 months to get an invoice paid (and in order to do that I had to by-pass the division accounting kluge.)
5) Dick H. Ead, the DFO (division finance officer) threatened me verbally.
6) I mentioned this to my boss who in turn mentioned it to Dick's boss
7) Dick was invited to quit (never ever a good invitation)

Now you’re caught up. Here’s what happened last week.

8) My boss had a meeting scheduled with the “NEW” DFO for Friday afternoon.
9) Friday at noon we bumped into new and old DFO in the elevator. AWKWARD!!!
10) My boss asked me to join the meeting.
11) I promised to be nice and not slay the dead dragon.
12) The meeting went ok, my boss shared nothing and I took point on all questions (dull shit like overages/underages)
13) At the end of meeting the new DFO asked me to step out so he could talk with my boss ALONE. (dun da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa)
14) 30 minutes later my boss calls me into his office and tells me that I’ve really screwed up. (shart!)
15) but I was nice… I pleaded
16) He then laughs and says that new DFO was really impressed and wants me to report to him “dotted line” (which means NOTHING) so I can have access to all the financial tools myself without having to flow my questions through his minion.

This is good I guess. It’s nice that the new guy doesn’t think I’m a royal bitch the way Dick did. And, I guess it’s good to get the finance experience – especially since I work at a bank. It is a little distressing, because the implication is that now instead of the reports I need just magically showing up, I’ll actually have to do something.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

TV: my very best friend

This has been a hard couple of weeks for me. My friends Josh, Donna, Toby, Jed and CJ have closed up shop at the White House leaving a big one hour hole in my tv plans for 2007. Those nutty kids Will, Grace, Karen and Jack have also stopped tripping into my livingroom with the best puns. And those wacky teenagers from Point Place, Wisconson have stopped smoking weed in the basement of the 70's show.

What on earth will I watch? If only someone would give me a clue as to what the next best show on TV might be my life would be complete again.

Lemmings to the left...

Like the millions of other people world wide I flocked to see the Da Vinci Code this weekend. I enjoyed it and thought they did a good job of not making an overy wordy, exposition filled movie. I did find it to be smart, interesting and reasonably faithful to the book. I can see why religous leaders are up in arms. Mr. Brown makes a compelling and easily believable suggestion that there was a Mrs. Jesus and little rug rat Jesi and there are decendents of Jesus among us today. Those of us with limited theological backgrounds don't find this suggestion horrific or ghastly.

Even if you believe that Jesus or "Jeeze" as his close friends called him was divine and the son of God - I don't see anything in his Divineness that would have prevented him from laying with a woman and bearing children. Sorry Red Staters... God gave us sex and it was man who made it shameful. It wasn't until like the 10th century that Pope's were 'chaste' - before then - I think they were into some pretty kinky stuff.

But I think it's importatnt to remember that it's just a movie. As for a rating - I'd say this one is solidly worth matinee pricing. Of course, I didn't pay a dime... I tricked my pal Yaz into buying my ticket by "losing my way' to the theater and not "having cash" on my person. Hee. She'll never uncover my evil plot to have her pay for everything.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday tp gal Blog

I was informed today by someone who is much better at navigating calendars and difficult things like day light savings time that the 17th marks the one year birthday of the tp gal blog.

I hope that you, dear reader, find it interesting and humorous. I try to infuse my personality into these posts. I am always surprised when someone says they've been reading the blog. Of course, as anyone but sadRico knows, the best way to stay out of the blog is to be an active reader of the blog. So, perhaps my 'avid' readers are doing so out of fear of being analyzed by me - the gal with 3 semesters of Advanced Psychology under her belt. Just so you don't think I'm over stating things (which I NEVER EVER do) that's three semesters over and above the required Psych 101.

I'm not, however, surprised that a year later I am still interested in throwing my thoughts and rants about my strange and sometimes boring life out for the world to read. As a kid and all through college I was a diary keeper. The diary died with my migration into the computing world. I couldn't get into posting diary entries onto my personal computer; maybe I need an audience. The paper diaries weren't for public consumption but there was always that chance that someone might find my diary (underneath a tree). Also, there was the possibility that my teenage life was exciting enough to be published. I could have been the next Anne Frank. The next non-Jewish, non-persecuted, non-war ravaged, non-voice of a lost generation, middle class, costal town, too boy crazy, Duran Duran loving Anne Frank. I'm sure you can see how as a teenager I could have made that leap. It's totally logical.

Any-who... thank you for reading. Come back there will be more exciting adventures of tp gal - or as mwr has pointed out tpGal or tp_gal or TPgal. I suppose I don't really have to land on a consistent spelling of my online persona just yet. It's only been a year.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunscream is for wimps

So, spent the weekend in Yakima with the parents. All in all it was a nice visit - but we had it out over the casual "gosh what would make this day perfect is if we had a gaggle of grandkids" comment. After a lengthy discussion under the big walnut tree in the back yard we came to an understanding. It was all very adult. (yikes)

The shortened version was:

"hey, how do you think that makes me feel?"
"I don't know, don't you think it's funny?"
""No, it makes me feel like you think my life is incomplete. And has it ever crossed your mind that I might want kids and I'm sad about it?"
"God, no, I'm so sorry."
"Here, have some pie."
"thanks mom!"

It wasn't quite like that, but it was nice to be able to say what I needed to say without reverting to a 5 year old or closing up emotionally.

So, other than THE CONFRONTATION, the weekend was lovely. Ma & Pa have moved back to the property in Granger to live for a few years to avoid capital gains taxes upon the sale of ye old homestead. The renters, who 2 months ago said they were moving were shocked to get the vacation notice and even more shocked when their requests for an extension was met with a kind, but firm no. Ma&Pa's other house sold in 7 days, and by sold I mean day one ad in the paper, day seven, depositing cashiers check in the bank. (People with cash are sooo lucky) So with the other house sold the parents had no choice but to move on to the property of the other house.

The renters finally gathered that my parents were serious about moving back in when they arrived in a camp trailer, parked in in the yard (on the pre-powered, sewered, and watered pad) and started packing up junk in the yard and taking it to the dump. I think it would be conservative to say that the now former renters were pack rats and kept a shitty house and yard. I wonder at what point that type of behavior becomes a mental illness? They had help yesterday moving truckload after truckload of crap away - from 8am until well after 9 people were in and out of the house taking everything. This morning before they came back over, Ma and I peeked in the back window and were jolted by the sight of piles and piles and piles of clothes, boxes, toys, and junk EVERYWHERE. It looked like nothing had been touched!

Once the house is empty the plan is to gut the kitchen, replace the flooring, re-do the bathroom and paint the place before M&D move in permanent-like. Until then, they are living the American dream - camping in the backyard in a 26 foot travel trailer. Needless to say I was thankful for good weather as we were able to spend most of the weekend in the back yard. We pruned the ancient apple tree and took out fence posts. Yup - it's hard labor at the parents house.

I didn't plan very well and only had jeans for the weekend - but it may have been a blessing in disguise... my legs are the only thing on my person that isn't lobster red. My face, scalp and arms have seen better days. I'm hoping that it will stop glowing before I have to head to work tomorrow.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Party in my cube May 12th!

A short e-mail arrived yesterday morning stating that Dick H. Ead in finance is moving on to another company.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

I may get fired... but the bills are paid

So my little plot against our division finance department worked!

Friday, I checked the files from the corporate accounting group and my little batch of "accidentally" misrouted invoices got paid. It only took 3 business days for the invoices to get to the group, get posted, checks cut, and payments mailed.

My boss recommended from now on we not only send invoices to the division assholes but also accidentally route copies to accounting. I only hope the poo doesn't hit the frying pan when the division folks find out we got our bills paid. Dick H. Ead will notice something is up when our numbers for May come in and we weren't at a zero spend. tee hee.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Sleepy Hollow Headache Clinic

If I were a doctor (or had a better color printer) and wanted to run my own business this is the business I would run.

The short trip east was a smashing success and worth the nutty time changes. As I said earlier we were not going to Manhattan but north and it turns out we were in Sleepy Hollow (aka Tarrytown.) Honestly, I thought Sleepy Hollow was a made up place like St. Petersburg or Holland. In spite of the historic tourism opportunites we didn't get out much beyond the IBM research facility. That's the bummer in traveling with a bunch of people - it's hard to get them to skip out on the meeting you flew in for just to see the Sleepy Hollow museum. I'm sure it would have been a quick stop. How long would it take to view a rotting pumpin and a cape?

We did see some cool things:

As we headed out towards the highway or whatever they call them out there "parkway" I noticed an unusual sight. Across the street from the uber retro (real retro not 'we're trying to make the diner look old to take your mind off the nasty bacon' retro) Red Fox diner was a gas station selling their goods for the now not so unusual price of $3.39/gal gas. It wasn't the price that caught my eye it was the big as life or possibly bigger Paul Bunyan guarding the corner of the gas station. He was at least 14 feet tall and had the trademark I'm gonna hold this axe until I die resolve in his eye. He's missing an arm, but that's ok - because as you drive by it looks like he's holding the gas prices like the tablet of commandments. Thou shalt not fill thy tank for less than 40 sheckles!

The only thing truly odd about this American legend is that he's totally decked out in the colors of the BP petrol station that he's standing on. Yes... it's true, Paul Bunyan - hero to American children everywhere for digging the Grand Canyon during a little scuffle with Babe the big Ox as become a Brit. He's as English as kidney pie and Hobbits.

(I didn't take this picture... it is a generous reproduction from a kicky website ( that provides directions to the fun roadside attractions in the good old US of A. Based upon the prices shown here, this photo wasn't taken all that long ago, and if you look really close even his eye is green.)

So, other than wondering if Paul defected due to his lack of support for our President the trip was great. The IBM research facility is a geek fest and while I can't really share much of what they showed us - let me just say that if the bestest and most smartest parts of our government can do half of what IBM is creating I might consider moving to the UK. Hurry, I need to buy more tin foil to line my hats.

We were only in town for two nights so our evening outings were limited. Night one they took us to a restaurant founded by the second cousin of Ben E. Hana. Remarkibly the atmosphere and presentation of the food resembled someplace I'd been before. However, with the exception of Joe No. Hana, all the help staff was Hispanic. "More Aroyos for your Hana Special?" (Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are Hispanic Sushi Chefs. I think Japan is recruiting the next line of chefs from Hispania. ooh, did you hear that I think it's thundering here inside my house. OUCH that's hot.)

The second night - IBM really tried to get our business by taking us to a place called "Castle on the Hudson" and the super fabulous 5 star restaraunt Equus.

Dinner was a stunning and memorable four-course festival of delights. I was a tad nervous because there weren't any prices listed on the menu but quickly decided it didn't matter. (I don't think I'll ever really lose that sense of being out of my league in moneyed circles.) It turns out it really wasn't THAT expensive - clearly it's not a place to pop into for a casual burger, but for a date or special dinner with friends it would be grand. (I could be a LITTLE jaded after the $150 lobster course from Rome in 2002.)

The dining room was a cozy space with a massive fireplace that I imagine back in the day the homeowners forced Shirley Temple sweep while she waited for her father to come back from the dead. "Sarah... is that you?"
During dinner a four piece band played lovely music and from out of nowhere my wine glass remained full. On top of the time change, I'm pleased I was able to keep my head on straight. Throwing up into the pool in sight of the $500 a night King Henry the VIII suite wouldn't have been sophisticated.

After dinner we loaded ourselves back into our two massive rental cars and headed back to the Hollow. My group got lost and headed toward New York and had to resort to the GPS system to the hotel. We swore each other to secrecy but my colleagues who were in the other car mentioned in the morning that they got lost on the way back and had to stop and get directions at a Dunkin Donuts.

There is a shocking lack of Starbucks in the burbs of ruralish New York and it was really apparent the next morning as we headed back to Newark for our early flight. We had to get up at 4:15 to head out - as we were only there two nights none of us were adjusted to the time change and it really truly felt like the 1:15 am that it was at home. The flight home was uneventful other than the boss man got upgraded to first class. That just ain't right. We do all the work and he gets the perks. Oh well, today the office hottie told him that he reminded her of her grandfather. (BURN)

So, here's the takeaway:

1)Sleepy Hollow - real place
2) Paul Bunyan - unpatriotic prick
3) Dinner in a Castle... cool
4) Going back to New York? - absolutely!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Big Apple... sort of

It's my first trip to New York tomorrow... sort of. We're not going to Manhattan that I know of, so maybe it doesn't count. My boss says that I should find a financial services conference in NYC because I HAVE to see it. "It's a wonder" he says with all sincerity.

This short trip is not that trip. We're headed to someplace north of Manhattan to meet with "big blue" - mom thinks they are owned by the Chinese now but I'm not sure. Since China holds a LOT of our national debt I think we should get use to the idea that Mu Shu Pork is here to stay.

I left work early tonight to avoid getting caught up in the Immigration Rally traffic. I kind of felt sheepish about ducking out early - after all isn't the point of walking off the job and standing in the street to make people like me sit up and listen? Well, sorry I was on a bus headed to the burbs by 4:10.

The new bus stop (my company made our department move into a new building - bye bye office - hello cube) is in a rather dodgy area. (I'm British today if you haven't gathered.) There are always people who hit you up for a quarter while you're waiting for the Red line to Suburbia but at the new bus stop there are a gaggle of loud urban young women who are obviously selling drugs. This isn't a snap judgment - but an observation. They get a phone call, nod to the thug in the hooded sweatshirt with his pants around his knees (it's called a belt Junior... get one.) he walks up shakes hands with phone girl and then they walk to another part of the street and "meet their friend." Why they have to do this at the bus stop is beyond me. I don't like it - and the Seattle Police Officer who was 15 yards away was no deterrent at all.

Anywho -- I should run, I need to look up the weather for Not Manhattan, NY and pack accordingly. Jeans and a flannel shirt probably aren't going to cut it.