Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Movie Review: The Break Up

These reviews are free so they can't all be timely. The Break Up staring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn is playing nightly on HBO and pay-per-view.

May I just say how delighted I am that I missed it at the theater. It wasn't funny and it's not really clear which character you're supposed to root for. Gary is a selfish snob, and Brooke is a wicked bi-Atch.

They pulled out all the stops and include a nice little part for Jon Favreau - who was so awesome in Swingers. He's the guy that brought us ELF - a wonderful pairing of Bob Newhart and Will Farrel. Even the witty and quick banter between Jon and Vince couldn't make this film enjoyable.

It's not as bad as Gigli or the Golden Bowl (the standard for all bad movies) but it was right up there with a Ben Aflec movie.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Stupid thing to do before a road trip

Last night I tried to figure out why some of my newest music isnt on my iPod and now Im regretting it.

The reason and solution are technically very simple.  The iPod was originally formatted on a PC meaning it was configured to synch with my crappy dell laptop.  Now that my life is on a Mac the iPod needed to be reformatted to talk to the Mac. 

The reconfiguration took about 2 minutes but to complete the process the iPod needed to be plugged into the original charger for about 20 seconds.  Unfortunately for me, the charger is at work.  So I brought the iPod to the office, plugged it in a voila it is reconfigured.  Theres no music on it, but when I get back to my Mac (on MONDAY) I can load my tunes.

In hind site, the old music would have been preferable on my 4+ hour car ride tonight than NO music.  I could drive home after work, load music and THEN head over the mountains, but is it really worth the extra 90 minutes?  I have radio and 4 cassette tapes (I have a seriously old school radio in my car). The tapes are awesome:

Footloose Soundtrack
s Greatest Hits
Supplys Greatest Hits
Jim Croche
s Greatest Hit 

Maybe Ill hit a Fred Meyer or borders on the way out and see if anyone has any cassette tapes. 

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Duck and Brother

Kev-o my older brother (or older bother as he's known in the inner circles) is a good guy. He works hard, loves his wife, is a good dad to her daughters, and tries to do the right things in life.

He joined the Marine's out of high school, and seemed to enjoy the brotherhood and the life. It wasn't always easy, but he was in for eight years. Those eight years included a tour in Iraq in 1990. Desert Storm V1.0. After he got home he got out and home life took over.

Eight years is a long time, and there's retirement monies there that are not lost to you if you join the Reserves or the National Guard, which is what he did. As a National Guardsman he spends a few hours a month, earns some extra cash and continues working towards a retirement check from the military. It's good deal.

9/11 happens and we (the family) are thankful that he's not in the Reserves as those folks are heading back to the Middle East. Kevin's unit got called up for a year to guard some super secret place in driving distance from his family in the Salt Lake City area (no they aren't Mormon - but everybody asks.) This ends up being a pretty good deal for them, he serves, he's home for most weekends, his job works out. Once it was over he went back to normal life.

After Katrina Kevin's unit went to Louisiana to help. He said it was sad and rewarding all at the same time. He felt a special connection to the people because "our people" are from there.

Life goes on, he's back to work, and yet this War in Iraq wages on. I care about the news reports and I feel for the families, but day after day is too much. Soon I'm focusing on Katie Holmes and her odd marriage, and funny things I see everyday. It's just easier to ignore it.

The news reports that the last of the stateside Reserve units are being called up. It barely blips in my head until I get the panicky phone call from Mom. Kevin's going back to Iraq. She doesn't say it, but our fears are in sync... what if we used up all of our luck the first time around?

People I've told ask what he does and when I say he's a driver, their response is to look away and say "oh." I try not to let the fact that the only fatalities the news talks about are related to IED's or roadside bombs scare the crap out of me. Of course they aren't going to comment on gun battles. Heck, it wasn't four years after he got home the first time that he shared that he wasn't just driving the mail around but that he was actually shooting at people. The news is skewed - so you can't let it scare you.

Mom listens to the latest out of Washington and the pressure that the President is getting to come up with an exit strategy and is filled with hope that he won't have to go. Sorry mom, these aren't people who care; they want to be re-elected. Totally different thing. Kevin himself seems resigned to the situation, "been there done that, what's there to be nervous about?" That's a nice state of mind.

What they want with a 42 year old asthmatic smoker is beyond me, but they're taking him. So, he's going. Yesterday he found out he's leaving June 12th. Mom and Dad will make the trip to SLC to visit and I will try to go. (the new boss, just had two weeks of vacation makes that a little more complicated than normal.) Mom gets all Momish when Kev's in peril which makes me think that she'll be better off without me there. However, I am a nice buffer for the unfortunate tense relations between Mom and Kev's wife. (There isn't enough time to go into that.) So, we'll see if I'm going.

That's the news...

Friday, May 18, 2007

That's not what I meant!

In a meeting today with the new big boss man my colleagues laptop computer started to make a noise and wouldnt close a program.  (Lets call him Bob)

The girl colleague across the table asked innocently, Are you hung?

Uh theres almost no recovering from that, but she did a remarkable job while the rest of us giggled like little immature children

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A positive experience at Macy's

I've never been a huge fan of the Bon Marche' -- er Macy's. (Sorry, I'm old school Seattle.) You can seldom find someone to assist you and something usually goes wrong.

Case in point, I purchased an extra yard of my couch fabric to cover the areas where Peter the cat is likely to scratch. The fabric was ordered at the same time as the couch and so far Macy's has sent the wrong fabric twice. That said, there are just some things though, that must be purchased from Macy's - furniture is one category where they typically get my business.

I did buy some shoes before the trip and the very nice shoe guy offered me a 20% discount if I would put the shoes on my macy's account. I had intended on paying cash, but the discount was almost $28 so I agreed. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that he didn't apply the discount.

With no time and little desire to drive back to the store before vacation I tried to call the store - I don't recommend it. You'll end up in an irritating loop between voicemail and the switchboard system. I decided to try and ended up leaving a small message on their customer feedback board.

Lo and behold, upon my return from Sunny Mexico a message was waiting for me from the store manager. My account has been credited the $28! How very wonderful!

Now if I could only figure out how to get them to turn this floral upholstery into the kind I actually need I could die happy.

Poolside Fashion No-No

Warning... this one is not for the weak.

Senior Speedo Gonzales was with us for three days. He was a fan of sunscreen but not of rubbing it in to his skin so he spent a lot of time with the white cream on his face.

We also greatly "admired" his pretty gold necklace.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Guacamole Tour 2007

Perfect weather, an amazing hotel with a swim-up bar and a private beach made for a delightful vacation. We swam almost every day, played a lot of Boggle, ate really well and contributed to the local economy (shopped).

We invested in a guided tour of the Sierra Madres and while it was geared for tourists it wasn't totally disgusting and we loved it! Two big BMW jeep things drove us up into the mountains where we took a hike, spent time on a rural farm, ate hand-made fire cooked tortillas, explored a town of about 1200 people, and then finished off the afternoon on a private beach with Mexican BBQ and swimming in the ocean. All in all ... a great day!

Rico spent one morning on a "Canopy Tour" which is this crazy thing where they've tied cables above the trees strap you onto them and push you off rickety little platforms. As you zip across the jungle you try to put the fact that Mexico seems to have few personal safety laws out of your head. While he was off doing this, I was at the spa paying them to place hot rocks on my back and trying to stay awake. After my 90 minute session I was in a drunken stupor and had to spend the rest of the day in the pool. (Darn)

Some things about Mexico you can not gleen from the brochures and web sites, the first thing is that it is not a place for anyone with less than 100% walking capability. I think each business owner owns the sidewalk in front of their building and were allowed to put them in at what ever height they wanted. There can be a 6 to 18 inch differential in the sidewalk from building front to building front and block to block. Some are wide enough for two to walk side by side, others are so narrow that the street is the better option.

While the boardwalk area, beaches and hotels are an oasis of relaxation and beauty the city and the roads are less than idyllic. We took the bus a lot to avoid a $8 cab ride into town and it was an adventure. The buses don't appear to be on a maintenance schedule and the suspension systems were for the most part... shot to hell. However, the patrons were always quiet and kept to themselves unlike the buses here where it can get quite noisy.

We saw lots of wild life. Dolphins, Cows, Birds, Bugs, Chickens, Pelicans and the elderly cruise passengers.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Can't we just wax off our Bush?

I know... it's a terrible title, but I'm not changing it.

I heard on NPR today that Bush vetoed the Iraq exit bill and his comments were something along the lines of 'I'll not accept any bill that proposes an arbitrary deadline for failure in Iraq.'

I guess it's pretty apparent that he's not using Oprah's secret (thinking positive thoughts to get what you want out of life) regarding the outcome.

a deadline for failure... what a MORON!!

As for the waxing thing... the little salon down the road does Bush waxing for $35 - should we start a walk-a-thon to raise money?

A better frame of mind

My bags are packed, the cat box has been re-freshened (someday I will create a cat that doesn't poop - that will be my gift to the world!), dishes are done and I'm mostly ready to go!

I can't find my digital camera battery charger and I think I've looked everywhere. Obviously I haven't looked everywhere or I would have it. I remember the outlet I last used it in, but Ive had dinner guests since then so it could be ANYWHERE.

What you ask is the connection between the battery charger and dinner guests? The answer my friends is frantic last minute cleaning - and surface cleaning at that. You know, the last minute sweep through of anything out of place. It goes in a big pile to someplace the guests will never go. Yes, I've already checked the laundry area and the scary places in the "office". It will I'm sure magically appear the day I get back.

We leave tomorrow at 7:45 am - so I'm picking up Mr. Rico at 6:00 a.m. thank heavens there's a drive thru starbucks on the way to his house.

I don't expect to get blackberry service in Mexico - but I'm sure the hotel has a business center so you may be getting an update.

I did stop by Tropic Dreams for one last fake 'n bake. The gal suggested upping the minutes so I was adventurous and gave myself a 7 minute top off. Most of you have never done the tanning bed thing - Janie use to be totally tan-arexic until she had to have a little something burned off her skin, now she's a pasty white as God intended. Anywho - the build up to 7 minutes is actually funny because the leatherettes around me at the check-in counter are signing up for 16-20 minute sessions. Good Christ are they cooking a chicken in there? As it was, for me anyway, 7 minutes was enough to feel a little crispy. No matter - I'm done with the fake tanning (until my prince charming comes to whisk me away to Greece for a year - I may have to top off the exoskeleton when that happens.)

I guess that's it. maybe though I'll leave you with some (OLD) "poetry" to tide you over.

Here's an oldie from 1998:

6501 1/2
Ode to my upstairs neighbors
(also a primary driver for moving )

I put my book down and turn off the light
my lids close and I'm embraced by the night

This is the time for quiet to grow,
instead my ear drums begin to blow

I can hear every word, every intonation
every noise, every tiny reverberation

at 11 they lay in bed, laugh and talk
by midnight, I'm angry and want to balk

at 1 they're watching a dirty movie
by 2 they're quiet... in a little groovie

at 2:15, I'm frustraited, wide awake
upstairs the bed moves and the ceiling shakes

I hear a sigh, a coo and a yearning moan
She calls out a name and yells a groan

Above me the movement slows and I think they're done
but no they start again, having pleased just one

It sounds to me like digging for buried treasure,
she's pretty vocal about her ambassador of pleasure

at 4am I just want to roll over and die
and finally I hear it - the girls last sigh

I drift away into a dark bliss
the alarm sounds... fuck it's 6!

I make it to work and slump at my desk
plop my head down for a little rest

The phone rings, my head flies up disturbing the pool,
I have to wipe my face, remove the drool

What did I do to deserve this degradation?
How do I endure nightly sleep deprivation?

Tonight I'm ready, I have ear plugs
and have filled my body with hard core drugs

I snuggle in my bead, ready for a riot
but its peaceful upstairs, blissfully quiet

I can't hear nary a peep
I softly drift ...

Certainly not Ogden Nash, but it is based on a true event.

What's the dealio?

Im headed out tomorrow morning for a fabulous vacation, but I am covered in a thick ooze of gloom.  Im not sure if it is because Im tired and yet still have a ton of work stuff to do, or if it’s the lack of exposure to the new boss prior to my departure or that Im just cranky.  I do know it isnt biological so all you who immediately jump to that conclusion need to pop off with another theory.

One thing that is bothering me is that I approached the new manager (NM) on something I needed a decision on, and even after two follow ups Im still without an answer.  I will now move forward with the assumption that the answer is no, but I have to say Im cranky about the lack of follow through.  Yes, I am being a little bit of a victim, but I think I was crystal clear about what I wanted, why it was important and when I needed an answer.  I dont feel that yet another follow up is in my best interest at this point, but I doubt that I have the maturity to just let it go.

I have a bitter little scene running through my head:

Scene MegaBank cubicle farm near future

Coworker:  blah blah blah Zigfield Conference.blah blah

New Manager: Oh hey TPgal, didnt you talk to me about that once?

TPgal: (with attitude) Yup, I needed your permission to arrange travel to attend and speak.

New Manager: So are you going?

TPgal:  Um, no you didnt get back to me.

New Manager:  (defensively) well, why didnt you follow up?

TPgal:  Well, after we talked three times about it I assumed that you would actually respond with an answer.

New Manager:  Clearly, if it had been important to you, you would have not only met with me three times, but sent multiple e-mails, posted billboards outside my office AND put flyers on my car.  Frankly, I think youre just being a big baby!

TPgal: yes, yes I am wahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Really, I could follow up again with an e-mail or a walk-by but its his second damn week in the job and I really wanted him to be the kind of person who actually followed through.    Honestly, the loss of the trip is beside the point.

Anyway Im about to eat some lunch that should even me out a little.  Im also touring the new Seattle Art Museum today, that will lift my mood somewhat.

Ill try to post a positive message prior to my departure so you arent left with a week and a half of TPgal pissing and moaning.