Wednesday, October 31, 2007



What the HELL do I do with the candy???

When will I learn?

My senior senior manager (two levels up) was asking the same question over and over about a process that I manage, so I offered to come up and answer any questions, help her to understand what the scoop is and to review the items that are under her.

I'm not one to finagle time with the high mucky-mucks. I want to get my job done, do it well and be rewarded at pay raise time (I want my 2.25% raise every year.) I tell you this so you know I went into this with the truest of intentions to clear up questions.

It was a train wreck. Instead of attempting to understand the purpose of the process and her role, she honed in on the report and a piece of data that I probably should have seen as the land mine of all land mines. She wouldn't get off it, and the meeting kept spiraling down and down and down. I didn't get defensive until she referenced someone else's process as a comparison. Frankly, the only good thing I would say about the referenced item is that the gal who botched it together is gone. She was MUCH better about selling herself than I am. Now, 6 hours later it occurs to me that perhaps both the senior manager and my new boss (the QB) don't know is that not only is the process I've developed the most robust at our company, but it may be one of the top in the industry. No company I've talked to can do the tracking, management or follow up that we can. There are books and books about all sorts of security management practices, but not for the process I've developed.

For her to be focused on the number of items vs. the content or the purpose is extremely deflating.

The end result... I get to go back in 2 months and report on my progress of making my process "better." Never mind the risk that we're managing, I for f*ck sake will make sure that my process lines up with what she THINKS is the right metric to capture.

AND... at one point she made some crack about how old one of the items were, "2004... NO ONE was here in 2004!" Um, be-Atch... I was.

Anyway, it was awful. I'm open to new ideas, but a total smack down out of left field over stuff management doesn't understand makes me want to hurl.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scenes From Philly

Mr. Washington I presume?

Da Bell

Where they made it happen....

Where it all went down.

all dolled up!

I love the iMac built in camera... but I need to do something about the background...

I'm in the midst of laundry and it shows.

Travel Whine

Blogger won't let me upload my excellent photos from Philadelphia just yet, so I'll take a moment to complain about my journey home yesterday.

It was raining on the east coast, so there were flight cancellations in Philadelphia. American Airlines called me at 2 to tell me they canceled my 5:30 flight and asked if I could be at the airport by 3. I could get there by three, but I had no idea about the security process so I had to say no. The agent was somewhat annoyed that I wasn't at the airport 3 1/2 hours early but booked me on a 4pm flight with a connection to Seattle. Middle seats.. (urg)

It wasn't until I was at the airport when they dropped the bomb that I would be flying through TEXAS and having a small THREE HOUR LAYOVER. I'm not sure, but flying through Texas might have been the most in direct way to fly from the northern east coast to the northern west coast.

Thankfully, the Dallas to Seattle flight wasn't remotely full and I had a whole row to stretch out in, and I actually fell asleep. Good thing too because it made the 2am arrival a little more bearable.

I have a little travel hungover today, but will rally in time for dinner and a show with the only group of super cute men who ever invite me out. Yes, I am speaking of the Gays. We're off to dinner and to see Spamalot. It should be a riot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

thank you!

Your quick response has made a huge difference! While lunch was another "cheese" festival the afternoon snack was a delightful mix of green veggies (peas, cucumbers, asparagus, peppers and zucchinni) with a side of buffet fruit.

Buffet Fruit, what is that? You ask hoping that I'll write MORE about food.

Buffet Fruit is the standard mix of honeydew mellon, cantaloupe, strawberries and watermellon. Nothing exciting like berries, apples, oranges or pears - but still solid fruit of the non-canned variety. At this stage of the game, I loaded up with two plates of veggies and fruit.

Thank you so much for our generous contributions!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Calling all caring Americans, our brethren in the city of brotherly love need our help.

All over the city hotel patrons from lands lush with unique items like cucumbers, lettuce, and spinach are suffering from withdrawls.

I need your help in raising money to ship these needed food items to this otherwise lovely city.

This morning, I scrapped the only three raspberries in the entire state off the top of the (honestly) granola and frosting breakfast goo onto my plate. The other conference guests looked at me with hate and loathing in their eyes, but I didn't care. Scurvy was starting to set in, and something had to be done.

Lunch was a little better - a tomato and mozzarella salad (in 19 cups of oil) with (and remember, I said "little") salted shaved chicken or salted shaved "beef" and a vat of orange goo, with a steaming tray of onion rings.

I skipped the snack session today and went up to my room to work a little, but I heard that they served little squares of pecan pie. Now, I love me some pecan pie, but one should really only eat one square inch a year.

Our dinner party wasn't able to get into the local cuban restaraunt so we walked around the corner to an Italian place. We shared an Arugula salad and a flatbread pizza that we topped with ricotta and spinach. It was awesome, and it was a challenge to keep myself to one slice.

All joking aside, I am in LOVE with the neighborhood where our hotel is located. It is the perfect mix of urban and residential. We're in the historic district and it's very charming. Of course I couldn't afford a home here - the brownstones are in the low 2.5 millions - but it would be pretty cool.

I'm very much looking forward to my power tourist session Friday. I'm afraid the rain will arrive just in time for my day in the city, but I won't let it stop me. I can just walk around the corner to the Urban Outfitters and pick up a hat - and a hot pink Christmas Tree (ok...) and go about my day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

TP Wonka and the Fried Food Factory

Day one of the conference and its a food nightmare.  Breakfast was sweetbreads and whole milk, one strawberry adorned the top of a massive tub of butter.

Midmorning snacks were giant caramelized cinnamon rolls.

Lunch was salad (whew) chicken breasts each pre-dressed with 3 slices of bacon and cheese, or battered & fried catfish with French fries, the soup was a thick clam chowder with giant white bread rolls.   Dessert . Enormous wedges of a cream pie that looked to be lemon or banana based former fruit product.

The afternoon snack. ICE CREAM F*CKING SUNDAYS.

For those of us who are attempting to eat healthy this place blows!

My lunch was so light that I was (am) feeling hunger, so I ran up to my room and downed a calcium chew as a snack.  (thats simply sad)

I want credit for not eating this crap.  The hotel is really beautiful, but damn it this food situation had better improve.

Huge News...

Multiple sources this weekend informed me about JK Rowlings announcement that Harry Potters beloved headmaster Professor Dumbledore is actually gay.  Interesting news I guess, especially if you are wrapped up in the lives of fictional characters. 

To me it doesnt matter if hes gay, straight, had a secret affair with an elf, or worse a muggle. Mugglesexual?   While I believe Ms. Rowlings comments to be in jest, it bothers me that she would joke about it.  The days of insulting someone by calling them gay should be capital O over.  Had her intention been one of tolerance then she should have broached the subject in her multimillion dollar earning books in a forthright manner.  To mention it after the fact is a weak attempt with no cost to her pocketbook.  A more risky move (but one worthy of respect) would have been to write it into the actual story.

It is not shocking to me that a character in a childrens story would turn out to be gay.  Plenty of characters throughout the fiction have frequented the Neighbors Bar in fantasy land.  Last time I was there with my friend Craig, I saw Prince Charming putting the moves on TinkyWinky (who I thought was a little young to be out that late.)   Poor Cinderella, I hope that Prince tells her that hes a member of the family before they have kids.  Maybe they have an agreement but its really none of our business.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

See you in a week

I'm off for a week of security talks in Philadelphia. It should be fun, and I do have half a day for tourist stuff. I'm sure like all of my half day city explorations that it will prove to be too short.

My flight leaves at 6:46 am tomorrow morning which means I have to get up at the crack of dawn (even earlier truth be told) and I'm nowhere near ready. I just finished packing as I had to quickly re-set the wardrobe once I checked the weather for the week. I was mentally prepared for 50 and crisp, and we're actually looking at 70 and wet.

I realized that the housekeeper people were coming while I'm gone and I can't expect the cat sitter to pick up my crap, so I'm still making sweeps of rooms to pick up wayward shoes and lost socks.

Also... one last unfavorite task before bed... the damned cat box. I just scooped it yesterday, but I know I won't be doing it in the morning. I'm sure I'll be regretting my midnight bedtime when the alarm rings at 4:15. My plan is to sleep the first few hours on the plane. Sure, that makes for a hell of a time going to bed on the east coast but there's not much to do about it now.

I'm sure I'll be posting from the road, so don't think you're off the hook in trying to keep up with me.

As for you JANIE... for not returning my call Friday, I may just have to call you when I get up tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I went to the funeral today of a man I didn't really know. He and his family are members of my church. (My is an odd phrase I think.) I didn't know him personally, but I've met his wife a number of times and really liked her.

I was saddened to hear the weekly updates regarding his health and was moved when I got the e-mail that he had died. I sort of felt like an interloper today, but I'm glad I went.

It was your average funeral. Well, if average is a rock band and weeping Insurance salesman. Gary was in the insurance business and clearly was loved by his clients and the people he worked for. The gruff, no nonsense Insurance Salesman gave the most touching reading of 1 Corinthians I've ever heard. Normally, this passage is read at weddings by some cousin of the bride who has a terrible case of stage fright. All I ever really remember of it is that Love is patient, Love is kind, it is never boastful... and then I'm off in my head thinking about weddings and how my feet hurt. Well, not today. This beer swilling insurance guy was choked up, and read the damn thing with meaning and purpose. It was as if he had written the passage for his friend himself.

The big life lesson for me today is, it is what it is. Make the most of it, and to display the integrity myself that I expect in others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

RE: Fictionary?

From MWR:

Asshorn - one of those over-ear Bluetooth hands-free cell headsets

Or perhaps I'm the only one who surmises a correlation between using those devices and personality.

You are so right! We have one of those at work, and the only time I EVER see him is when he’s on the phone. He purposely goes for a walk when a call comes in. Maybe it makes him feel important. Who knows. We mock him in a mean spirited way. We are small soulless people.

I also think there’s a term: MergeHole or FuckMerge : the individual who refuses to abide by the every other car freeway merge technique during heavy traffic. (This term applies is not limited to the over aggressive mergers but also applies to the folks already on the freeway who refuse to make a hole.) A prime example was the FuckMerge in the grey Ford Taurus Station Wagon this morning who refused to let me in.

I abandoned the term “AssMerge” (which could be something totally different)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Billie Jean

The family got good news today. My brother's ex-wife Anna finally was compelled (that's legal talk for do it or you're going to jail) to do a DNA test on the child that was born as their marriage was ending. My brother has insisted since the beginning that the kid couldn't be his and has been in a long drawn out legal battle for almost 16 years.

Frankly its been a mess. There's this kid who may or may not be family. He didn't have access, we didn't have any relationship with her at all. And then, here's my brother who's holding his family together on a shoestring paying buckets of money for a kid he believes in his heart isn't his.

Well, the tests are in... and he's not the papa. Good news for my brother and his wife, maybe they'll get some or all of their money back. Good news for the kid, Anna is about to re-marry and the new guy wants to adopt the kid. I honestly hope they'll be really happy.

I wonder if the state of Georgia will be as fast at returning the paid child support as they were about garnishing his wages.

Frankly, I think they'll avoid returning Kev's money until they get it back from Anna. Hopefully my current sister-in-law wont run out and buy a pool or a new car until they have actual money in hand.

In other good news, it also seems that my dearest brother is so far from the action in Iraq that he's BORED. He said his job consists of watching the "detainees" (nice) walk the yard.

Technically, (and legally) I wonder how long you can be "detained" before it rolls over into actual captivity? One or two years? I love the semantic games we play.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Animal Planet

Last night was pretty dry in the tv arena, I'm caught up on all my dvr'd shows (except Friday Night Lights) so I was flipping and landed on the Animal Planet channel.

They were showing a program about fat pets in the UK. They featured a 40 pound (16 kilo) cat a 202 pound Rottweiler and a King James (I have no idea) Springer Spaniel who was so round that he could only lay on his tummy with his feet sprawled out. He had no spring...

The kitty had a heart murmur and the HOT vet gave the mummy a stern talking to. Poor Peter, because of this show the all-you-can-eat buffet is now closed. He's gone from a heaping 1/2 cup of crunchies in the morning and one at night (and then a top off any time the bowl was empty-ish) to the prescribed 1/4 cup in the morning and one at night.

I'm sure he's a little pissed. He keeps walking me by the bowl and making a noise as if to say.. HEY ASSHOLE... THE DAMNED DISH IS EMPTY!!!! LOOK! EMPTY.

Well buddy, I get it. My all-you-can-eat-buffet is closed too...

Maybe we'll do Kitty and Me Before and After photos. Oh lord, wouldn't that be the saddest thing ever? Here's Middle Aged Midge and her CAT. (She doesn't need a man, she has a cat.)

It's not polite to talk about poo!

No one ever said I was polite.

My parents recently had lunch with some old friends. My news is my parents news so they shared with these folks that I'm about to have weight loss surgery.

This like most other news seems to be an invitation to bring up every scary story on the face of the earth. "Oh, you're adopting!? You have to be really careful because my sisters roommates brother went through an open adoption and the baby turned out to be an alien!" We've all done it, I think it's human nature.

So, these folks warned Mom and Dad that their friends sister's neighbor had WLS and now has the stinkiest poo ever. Apparently it's so bad that the lady can't even fly because the stink is so pervasive. (That's some nasty poo.)

I'm not one to take my information from friends of friends, or their sister's neighbor so I went to the experts. I posted a poo question on the message board of my new favorite web site (with the worst name ever)

I didn't expect but a couple responses, but apparently the formerly fat like to talk poo. Holy crap! (ha) The response was overwhelming, and thankfully most people claimed to not have a marked difference post surgery.

Some of those folks were pretty danged funny... I just hope that I'm not forever remembered as the poo lady.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I think its strange that companies like my cable tv/Internet provider put lip service to going GREEN by hounding me to get my monthly statements online, but continue to send me important mail about other services I should buy from them.  This other mail comes at least weekly.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Weights & Measures

With my work travel schedule my business trips are stacked at the end of the year, and while I enjoy the change of pace it's caused a kink in my diet. It's hard to stick to 6 small meals a day when the food is scheduled as part of the program.

Yes, it is an excuse, but lately I have been sliding back into some not so good eating choices. I had *GASP* taco time the other night and I ate EVERYTHING. I felt so full I almost puked, but it tasted so good.

Clearly routine is an important factor towards my success. I have been trying, I make sure I keep up on the water intake and avoid sweets. Not surprisingly my weight loss has plateaued. Every morning I shower, towel off and run into the other bathroom to see the damage and for almost 3 weeks it's been holding steady with a 1.5 pound variance up or down depending on who knows what, the moon's gravitational pull?

I was getting frustrated, so I stopped the morning weigh in. With the exception of the Taco Time incident, this week has gone well. Friday I was craving fast food CRAP, but made myself go and eat at home. (small victories) This morning, after a weeklong abstention from the scale I stepped on to see what progress I had lost. Lo and behold... I'm down another 5 pounds!!!

That means I'm twenty-seven pounds down from where I started! Woo hoo. Rico tried to round it up to thirty, but I don't roll like that. I wasn't rounding up at my highest weight, so rounding up the weight loss seems wrong. Plus, there's nothing to say that the next three pounds won't be really hard to lose so let's not dismiss them before they are gone.

I'm kind of on a high at the news and am reinvigorated to keep going. My goal for the weekend (in addition to a three-pete at the gym) is to go through the closet and weed out all the summer stuff that I won't EVER need again. (by next summer I should be in all new smaller sizes!)

So, thanks for your support and have a delightful Sunday.

P.S. On a more somber note, one of my co-workers father's passed away suddenly this week. Please, PLEASE take the time to tell your loved ones that you love them. No matter how much they drive you crazy, don't let it go unsaid.

To my family and friends, I really do love you with all that I have inside, I would be no one and nowhere without you.

Friday, October 05, 2007

New Do Review

I got my hair cut... what do you think?

(I'll post a picture of the do after I do it myself. The professional blow out always looks awesome and isn't repeatable.)

Monday, October 01, 2007


I threw all this away from the work fridge today. Sad and wrong!!!

I'm pretty sure this apple won't keep the doctor away.

These breadsticks look a little past their prime as well.

You may need to look closely at these milks, but what I love is that the same guy who buys a new milk every week doesn't think to throw away the old cartons. That sandwich also has some "extra" stuff on it that I'm pretty sure Outtakes didn't include with the Turkey and Cheese.

Coming Soon: It came from the work fridge

I took some great pictures today while doing a little purging in the work fridge....

I found some ancient breadsticks, an "apple" some "wine" (aka aged fruit juice) and some older milk products.

Pictures will be uploaded this evening. I bet you can't wait.