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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Year in Review

2008...oh my!

Each year at new years I have wished for true love. Last year, I wished for a good year of weight loss, no complications and good health. Imagine my surprise to reach the end of the year and to find myself rolling in everything I've wished for. Sappy... yes, untrue... nope.

Here's my year in review.

January: Back to work after my surgery and onto a normal schedule. I'd lost about 66 pounds since I started my weight loss journey. I was feeling the results in my clothes and spending a lot of time in the closet shopping for things that fit. I foolishly agreed to be on the board at my condo, and for the first time ever weighed less than the number shown on my drivers license. (Month end tally: 66 lbs down, pant size 24)

February: Started out the month getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. 10+ bags to Goodwill. I went on my first business trip since the surgery. It was filled with challenges related to eating socially, but in the end it worked out. My aunt took ill and entered the hospital leaving me as the closest and most able bodied relative to visit and assess the situation. (situation.. BAD!) Month end tally: 75 lbs down, pant size 20)

March: I Still dealing with my aunt, who was bouncing back and forth from the hospital to a nursing home. Most of the things in her house were a total loss due to (understatement of the century coming up) her unfortunate housekeeping skills and thus trips to the dump were occurring at every weekend visit. I had hopes we could move her to an assisted living place and started working on that with a social worker, but by month end it was clear we were dealing with major issues like MRSA. My weight loss took second stage, but I was still moving along. My retirement account posted a 12% loss for the first quarter. Month end tally: 82 lbs down, size 20 )

April: Even though, I was still in the throws of the family situation, I started to think about possibly dating. April 1 I make a reference to looking into Match.com. We moved all of auntie's remaining items to storage . I was still driving to Bellingham every weekend and missing my own life. In an attempt to move things along I signed up on Match.com. No dates; but had a quick 'romance' with some evil scammer. I also joined the gym. ( Month end tally (89 pounds, size 20 )

May: Had one of my credit cards stolen online and had to deal with that, Auntie died in the early part of the month. I felt relief and guilt. I had a minor flirtation at work and enjoyed a weekend with my girl friends in Portland. My huge insurance settlement came in from Auntie, not enough to really do anything, so I decided to let it sit. My gal pal Becky turned 40! Go girl! (93 lbs gone, size 20/18 pants)

June: hang on to your hats folks, the online dating thing took off in June. I went on a date, was talking with one guy and met someone potentially interesting "this guy seems nice, maybe a little too enthusiastic about his family -but practice dates are good too." By the end of the month was feeling pretty good about myself and not at all embarrassed about "playing the field". I finally passed the 100 pound loss mark and bought a pair of pants in a normal store -- not the big lady section, but regular clothes for regular sized people. Sad news, my cat Peter was getting sick and I lost him at the end of the month. (107 lbs lost, size 18 pants)

July: My date with the "nice" guy was great and within a week of that date we agreed to see each other exclusively - but not because I'm smart, but because I'm lucky. The nice guy found my blog and called me out on my multiple dates and in a rare moment of clarity I noticed that he could really be something real. (Thank God for miracles!) By the end of the month, J and I were spending as much time together as we could manage. (118 pounds lost)

August: Turned 40! Had a great party with my wonderful friends. Introduced J to my parents. Found out I posted a document on my companies web site that mistakenly used the word "Pubic" instead of "Public" oops. I was falling in love... really really falling in love. Weekend sleepovers were starting to happen. My people were beginning to express concern as to how fast the 'dating' was turning into something super serious. Well I was willing to take a huge fall; it is my time to be happy! (123 lbs - size 16 pants, size 14 dress for my birthday party!)

September: Planning a trip to Greece in October, I was looking forward to it, and at the same time i was sad about leaving for almost a month. Things at work seemed bleak, the stock price was in the shits and things don't look good for MegaBank. J helped me clear out the storage locker in Bellingham and it was a huge relief to have all of Aunties things resolved. How odd to have someone to willingly help. J finally shares with his parents that not only are we dating, but that things look really serious with us. We talked about getting married for the first time. End of the month, my company was seized by the FDIC and I called off the trip to Greece. (130 - size 16 pants)

October: cancelling the trip sucked, but I was able to meet with people from the new ownership which ultimately resulted in a job offer. J and I had a romantic weekend away in Long Beach, I started to meet some more of his family and by the end of the month we officially became engaged. The love situation has put a big dent in my gym attendance and we vow to return to the gym. (weight... steady at 130 - pants 16)

November: I met J's parents to the first time am waiting to find out if I have a job, I'm thrilled with the election results. Planned a romantic weekend with my guy in a hotel downtown... you have to love the 'staycation.' Bills and collection notices for Auntie are still rolling in. I try to get a head of it, but she's still gone and not bringing in any money. It's a hassle and I'm whiney about it. Thanksgiving goes well - my parents meet J's parents... all is right with the world. It's official, we are living together. (weight... 130 gone, pants 16... but size 14 in jeans)

December: The holidays are here... lots of events. Dinners, parties, cleaning, putting up two trees. Snow, more snow, and then some snow. I basically skip the last two weeks of work due to snow and then an unplanned vacation. I have a job until March, and an offer to move to Manhattan. It's a nice thought, but I'm not going. Christmas goes well in spite of the fact that Mom and Dad don't make it over. New Years Eve is tomorrow and I'm aware that my life is blessed beyond belief. (weight loss 130, size 14 clothes)

Come back for the photo progression next.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our First Christmas

Well, in spite of the fact that my parents chose (wisely) to stay home for the day my first Christmas with J was wonderful.

We woke up early, had a quiet moment alone with good coffee near our tree. His parents were up and soon the stockings had been distributed. I have had a spectacular life with many many happy Christmases, but 'doing' stockings was a tradition that my family never embraced. I think it had more to do with the fact that my dad's schedule, as a policeman, was different from year to year. Some years we had our Christmas on Christmas Eve, and in others we were Christmas morning folks. One year we had our celebration on the 23rd. Christmas for us has always been more about the day we are together than the 25th.

So, having never done stockings I was excited to experience it, both as a receiver of treats and to find the right items for the other stockings. It turns out, stockings are WAY fun... the stockings yielded CD's, socks, Pez, ornaments, cheese spreaders, and other fun treats.

After the stockings the distribution of the gifts began. I must say that it is good to be in a new(ish) relationship at the holidays. J is a good gifter (lucky me -- AGAIN) and imagine my surprise and delight to open a pretty new Kindle. (Electronic Book)

J and his dad made breakfast after our overwhelming but delightful gift exchange. It snowed all morning and phone calls were flying back and forth about our expected trip to Duvall for dinner. They had a solid 20 plus inches of snow and we had to make a group decision to go or not go.

In the end, we decided to brave the elements and head east to be with family. The roads weren't too bad, but since my car has front wheel drive, and tires with tread (J will be getting new tires for his birthday... SURPRISE!) I was the driver.

The trip in was slow and felt a little bit like the Autopia ride at Disneyland - where the little cars are on a track but you're sort of in charge of where you go. The snow was making a nice little railing to help us stay on track. My jetta is a low riding vehicle (not "drive-by-shooting-in-the-hood" low) and it was scraping bottom some. We made some very nice "fenderburgs" for our friends in the cars that were following us to dodge.



Once in Duvall we parked the cars in the parking lot of the hardware store and cousin Marty took us the rest of the way to their house. Here's a snow shot that shows the depth of the snow on top of their hot tub. I don't think they've been using it very often.

We had a lovely dinner of flank steak with veggies and then played some party games. I was tested with the game of "Dirty Mind" where you have to guess what object the clue is talking about, but the clues are VERY suggestive. There's something wrong about your future father-in-law reading a clue about hot sticky goo on a wiener (katsup.)

Our trip back home was a bit more stressful, but only because most of the snow had melted off the roads, but the temperature had dropped and we were worried about ice. It was a slow, and slippery ride home, but we made it just fine.

J's family, his parents and the cousins are great. They are fun to be around and they genuinely like each other. There is also a lot of affection between the couples. They have made me feel really welcome and seeing how much they like J is awesome. They aren't perfect...a wing of the family avoided the celebration due to a silly brouhaha that resulted in the entire "drawer of grievances" being opened and aired before Christmas. Time will take care of it, but it is a stellar example that all families have conflict. I'm still new, so having a slightly smaller group makes my entry into the family a bit easier. Smaller crowd means easier name remembering. (Actually, I have this side all figured out, it is the names of the Colorado folks that I may never get.)

So, there's the super exciting run down of our first Christmas. I missed my parents and yet felt completely at home with J's family.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FUV Shopping (Futile Useless Venture)

Since I'm about to lose my job my thoughts have turned to what I can do to be more fiscally conservative in my life. I'm sure you and I just had the same thought... BUY A NEW CAR.

J and I have been looking at cars for a bit and while I still like the Jetta, I keep gravitating towards a car that has a little bit more staying power in the inclement weather, yup, I want to join the SUV crowd. I don't need the Expedition or the Land Rover Mountain Mover, but the Toyota RAV4 or the Highlander appeal to me.

With the end of the year approaching, and me technically still employed we decided to drop by Toyota of Bellevue to see how hungry the sales folks are. Well... in spite of a front page story in the national news about Toyota posting a loss for the first time ever, they aren't very hungry.

Alex, our "prospective buyer consultant" lost J at hello, lost his dad when he marched us through a 4 foot snow bank to a car that wasn't what we wanted and lost me during the 45 minute wait while they "appraised" my car.

The manager came back with the printout of the Kelly Blue Book value (that we had looked up at home in under 45 seconds) and then offered us $2000 less than the posted rate. Before J could rip the 'manager' a new place to pooh, I quizzed him on why the value was less than the quoted price. The manager started some song and dance about the features on my car being "basic" but when I let him know that the site took that into account he moved on to the resale and the inventory of used cars not moving very fast. I couldn't stop myself so I told him that it didn't look like the inventory of new cars was moving fast either.

He then asked if I owned the car outright, and I said (mostly to let him know that we had come to buy a car) "Yes, in fact, the title is in my purse right now." His tone changed a little, but I was done especially since they weren't willing to offer any incentives (cuts in price) on the car we were looking at.

We left feeling very frustrated and it is doubtful we will return in the near future.

You know I don't react well to crappy service, and this wasn't the worst service I've ever encountered (Maggiano's Little Italy, Bellevue WA - is in the #1 position currently) but as for feeling like they were trying to sell me a car, this guy sucked.

What you need according to the Beatles

song chart memes
more music charts

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bummer

Mom and Dad called this morning to say that they agree that coming over the pass for Christmas is a bad idea.

So, for only the second time ever we're not going to spend Christmas together. They will spend their day with my aunts and hopefully have a lovely day. I will be with J and his parents and will be thinking of mom and dad.

I'm disappointed, but 100% agree it is the right decision. It still sucks though...

Outside Seating?


















The view from our deck.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Good Neighbor

We (J & I and his parents who arrived Friday afternoon) are enjoying our snowbound existence.

This morning, J and I walked to the Fred Meyer at the bottom of the hill for eggs, bread and a few treats like the Sunday paper and the New York Times. He and I enjoyed a quiet moment together at Starbucks before heading slowly back up. The exercise was great and it was fun to get out into the snow.

We have been playing cards, watching football and will start season 3 of Weeds this evening. J took a call from his neighbor who was stuck in the driveway and we bundled up to go help her. Getting her car up into the parking lot involved about 45 minutes of serious snow removal with a scraper and a monster shovel. I'll be taking a much needed shower as soon as my body temperature returns to a moderately normal zone. I'm so hot right now I could melt butter on my forehead.

Work is a slim likelihood for me tomorrow considering the park n' ride near the house is closed and the closest metro will come is about 3 miles away. My desire to go sit in an empty office just isn't that great. I will call in for "vacation" for the week and not worry about it.

I'm mildly stressing over the visit from my parents in that if they get across the pass will they be able to get to my place? I don't think my condo will be accessible. The little hill going down into my complex doesn't get any sun so snow and ice stick around until well after a snow and ice event is over. A hotel is an acceptable alternate plan, but we will have to switch up the Christmas event location.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive...mock and be mocked

So, I may have been a tad too quick to mock the Seattle Media.

Today we awoke to the white stuff and traffic snarls that are still an issue 3 hours later.

So, in spite of my non-snow-snow day yesterday, I did it again today. I have a few teleconferences and some reading to do... so it is smarter to do it here vs. spend 2 hours to get in and then 2 hours to get back.

The only bummer about the weather is that my friends and I were to have delivered our "adopt-a-family" toys and food tonight. There's no way we're headed out so the delivery just got a lot more complicated. It may fall to J and I to do this weekend. I'm sure his parents would enjoy the good samaritan activity, but I will leave it up to them to join us or not.

I was going to take a photo of the snow, but the views from the condo are great, but not really ideal for a winter wonderland photo, unless you want rooftops or a picture of the pool next door. (brrr)

I picked up some super cute flannel pj/house pants at REI last weekend and they seem to be perfect for hanging out on a wintry day.

That's really it. NOt much to report. J and I are watching Weeds and I have some 'homework' to do today to catch up so that I'm where his parents are. He bought Season 3 to watch over x-mas. It's pretty danged funny.

Gotta go...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Job & the Job

The local media irks me. With the impending threat of snow all they can talk about is the weather. It is cold, it might snow, it might freeze...

Yes, there was snow in places today, but not a flake in my neighborhood. I listened to the weather folks and made arrangements to work from home today, but I could have gone in.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not sad about getting to stay in bed until 8am, take my phone calls in my sweats and getting caught up on the laundry today. But...if it actually DOES snow tonight I have to make the decision about tomorrow. Showing up to work is a good thing.

One of my phone calls today was with the Senior Senior manager of the team I would be working with at MegaMegaBank. We talked about the team, the work, the position, the location and the compensation. My reaction was: good, good, good, eek, and what!?

team: small, busy, hardworking, international
work: familiar, a growth opportunity and interesting
position: a challenge, a career builder
location: Manhattan, NY
compensation: same salary, same benefits

The lure of Manhattan is certainly interesting. I can see myself carrying my groceries home from the corner market, dining at neighborhood gems and soaking up the arts. However, my salary, while nice is not Manhattan friendly. We could afford to rent a pretty decent place, but the dream of home ownership would die quite quickly.

I can't say the idea isn't tempting, and the offer of continued employment extremely flattering but...

The Sr.Sr. Manager said that I could let him know in January where I stood and if the answer is no then they won't go through the motions of extending an offer and I'll just live out my 90 days. So, officially, J and I are discussing our options.

I know better than to request a paid trip to Manhattan to look at neighborhoods and experience life as a potential New Yorker. The first thing is that I would probably fall in love (which would be the point of their paying for the trip) and since I know, I'm mostly a no, it would be unethical.

To be fair about the process J and I are exploring real estate listings so we can honestly assess the financial impact of such a move.

J could find another job, but we need to make all decisions based on one income. That's my rule - because it's the only income we could count on going into the situation.

I won't officially say the answer is no, but it's a pretty strong likelihood at this point.

The chances of my moving to New York, might be lesser than the chance of snow in Issaquah in the next few hours.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Health and Safety

The 'little' bug that J had is going around their office. I encouraged him to put up signs to help prevent the spread of the bug...

"Don't Lick Your Co-Worker."

He won't do it. In fact, he doesn't think it is funny at all.

Maybe his humor will return once he stops aching from all the puking. Sheesh.

Frigid

Yes, it is TRITE to blog about the weather, but I've been called worse things.

It was a whopping 16 degrees outside when I got up this morning. The bed with the warm winter weight down comforter and the warm, heat generating dude was hard to transition away from. When you poke your nose outside the covers and it goes all cold getting up isn't high on the activity list.

I wanted to shower and dry my hair before seven so that when last nights episode of the Daily Show came on I could enjoy it while I sipped my coffee. Well, darn it if the Daily Show wasn't a rerun. I was waiting to see what John Stewart would do with the Iraqi Journalist shoe throwing incident. Showing the Prez with stinky shoes is a fantastic insult, and funny to boot. (pun intended) I worry that the offending journalist will be hanged for his actions - I don't mean like lose his job and his credibility, but like dangling from the last standing tree in Iraq.


I will give Georgie some props, he has excellent Duck and Weave reflexes. I wonder if he's been playing the soccer game on the Wii Fit? It must be easier in real life to tell the difference between the soccer ball and the shoe, because on the game console I whack my head against the shoe all the time. I bet he'd be able to dodge the panda head too. (Although, that is a pretty disturbing image, children kicking a severed head of a cuddly, endangered animal at you.)

So, like I was saying, it was cold this morning. It's supposed to snow tonight, which will be awesome! I've already made arrangements to work remotely tomorrow so I'm SET. J will be working, so I'll have HOURS to work on my Guitar Hero Career. I mean, on lots and lots of MegaBank activities.

Actually... last night, I played a small two song gig on my career and earned an encore. I played some Linkin Park song that I'd never heard in my life and played it PERFECTLY. 100% of the notes hit! Woo Woo. I'm not at all ready to advance beyond the easy skill level, but I am actually enjoying Guitar Hero. I run out of patience after about 2 hours of it being on... it is loud and our house is so small that even with the door to the back bedroom closed I can't quite get away from it.

I'm hopeful that once we sell our houses, get married, and I get a new job that we'll get a house that is big enough to separate the game room from the primary living space... or big enough to have a quiet TP gal room where I can putter in my own noise when needed.

This isn't a sign of terrible trouble in 'THE RELATIONSHIP" I have always needed a quiet space. As a kid I would have friends over and my mom would notice that my friends were playing without me, and she would find me in my room or taking a nap. I would exile myself for my own "time out".

J is actually really great about this and when I've asked for a break he is kind and understanding. I also acknowledge that I could go home and have quiet, but I would rather be at J's than be alone. I used his address when mailing my x-mas cards which is kind of a back door way to announce that we're living together. At 40, it's really no one's business where I live, so it wasn't intended to be an "announcement" but it has increased my email and telephone inbound communications.

It has been great to talk with everybody. (Oh my, I am rambling on and on...)

So, last tidbit. Work is fine, not much to report, life is good, winter is here, x-mas is upon us. I'm happy happy happy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sick Night...the revenge

OK, so our sick day the other day was a stretch. Well, for me any way. J was honestly feeling punky and used the day to recuperate. However, taking it easy to stem the tide of an oncoming cold was nothing compared to what we went through last night.

We had folks over for dinner last night and then watched the finale of Survivor (Go Bob!) Half way through the show, J started quietly disappearing into the back of the condo. By the time the show was over he was spending more time in the loo than in the living room.

If all four of us hadn't eaten the same meal, I would have bet that J was suffering from food poisoning. Thankfully (and selfishly) I am not also throwing up and well... the other unfun evacuation from the back end.

I feel for the guy, and there's nothing I can do. I chilled his favorite flavor of Gatorade and keep offering to clean up any mess. He won't let me do it, and I understand. I wouldn't let him do it for me if the roles were reversed.

I didn't have ANYTHING on my work calendar for today so I decided to work from home. I feel a little helpless and basically useless, but I can keep my guy in toast, or whatever foodstuff isn't terribly painful if it comes back up.

We were up most of the night, but he's sleeping peacefully at the moment. (I'm not mean enough to take a photo for you, but trust me, he looks cute all snuggled into bed.) He is getting color back, which is a good thing. A grey, pasty J... NOT PRETTY.

Happy Wintry Monday everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sick Day

With a cold rapidly approaching (and two use-it-or-lose-it days of sick leave left in my bank) I decided to take it easy today. My poor work ethic was aided by J who is also fighting a little something. I'm sure it is a complete coincidence that we both are sneezy and are reaching for the lotion coated kleenex.

Anywho, we called in sick this morning and then went back to sleep. Waking up at 8:30 was such a treat, and one that rarely happens even on the weekends. We popped a DVD in the player and started to get caught up on Weeds. After a couple episodes we changed out of pj's and into semi-ok street clothes and went to breakfast.

Our weekend breakfast place looked completely different on this late Thursday morning. Imagine that?

We made a quick stop at the Kirkland Sur La Table and then headed back home where the remainder of season one of Weeds was waiting.

Because we are bascially big children we have already broken into the Christmas presents and have also been playing Guitar Hero all afternoon. I had to take a break because our standing Thursday night guests will also be playing and I can't "Rock" for more than two hours at a time. J has much more stamina than I and will be the stronger "player" -- always.

I, however, am cute and intend to bank on this fact until it no longer works for me.

Thankfully, we are experiencing a rare moment of quiet. J is trying to get the Playstation Home feature to work. We have no idea what it is supposed to do, but it was released today so we are super excited. (woo woo)

I did finally shower in anticipation of our guests tonight and have enjoyed my "secret Saturday." Going back to work tomorrow won't be fun or exciting, but it's Friday, so it'll be fine.

The day has been wonderfully relaxing and I hope that the cold doesn't "reimerge" next week. That would be so sad...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lethargy & The Holidays: A Festivis Miracle

There is very little work to do at my job these days. There are small little bursts of activity which I should be grateful for…but they are sad little tasks that I don't really want to do. One such task is awaiting my attention right now. I am supposed to create a little report for each one of my staff that is 'exiting' so that we can track their exit activities.

Um… ick. It's sad that my sheets look like this:

Name: Joe Employee
MegaBank Manager: Me
More MegaBank Manager: N/A
Current Responsibilities: none
Transition Activities: none
Issues: The function this person was performing has been "absorbed" by MMB and all archived data is available until 1/29/2009.

There have been lots and lots of great and wonderful things that my team has done, but it now means nothing. It is a discouraging reality.

This sad reality also makes my desire to get cracking on this report really small. It's one thing to work on something that says how fantastic and smart your people are, but to basically report that we have been made useless is dreadful.

The days drag on here… thankfully it is the holidays. I wandered downtown today for a bit of shopping. I seem to be doing a good job with my future mother in law (Fmil)but poor Ffil… he's got nothing headed his way. That’s not entirely true, but its close to being true.

I ordered something really great for my dad on 10/31 and the damn thing hasn't arrived yet. If today is not arrival day, I am going to demand a refund. Darned online sellers.

So….as I was saying, work isn't "work" it is a matter of being here long enough during the day to call it a full day's work. The first bus home is at 3:30 and every day I am on it. I am not the employee I want to be right now. Not at all.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Becky & English Beat


Here's Becky and Dave, from English Beat.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Holiday Disclaimer

This was at the bottom of an email from one of J's co-workers:

Please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. And in lieu of a Happy New Year... please have a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or choice of computer platform of the wishee.


DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTABILITY -- (By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)



Wednesday, December 03, 2008

"F*cking Lame"

Those of you who know me, know that terrible customer service gets my blood boiling.

 

I'm not completely unreasonable and I am aware that everyone has a bad day, but there are times that I can't let it go.  The quitting the gym experience was one that bothered me mostly because it was a process set up to be intentionally difficult

 

J and I pulled together a cross selection of family to dine with the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday.  We were a party of ten and when I made the reservation (many days in advance) I called the restaurant to ensure it wouldn't be an issue. 

 

Having dined at Maggiano's Little Italy in Bellevue with a large group I knew they could handle our party.  Well, there are things you know, and things you THINK you know.

 

The Friday after Thanksgiving might be the craziest time to try and dine out especially at a place connected to a major shopping center, but we all made it to the restaurant and found parking.

 

Having checked in we were taken back to our table, which was not placed in the main dining room.  The restaurant opened up its banquet rooms and converted them to seating for parties of 10 or more.  We were perfectly happy to be out of the loud dining room and seated ourselves around a large table that was preset with plates, glasses and silverware.

 

The waiter arrived with 5 menus (there were 10 of us) and proceeded to hand them across the table (rather than walking around to hand them out.) He told us we had to share. 

 

In looking at the menu we quickly figured out that instead of being given the normal menu we were looking at a family style meal that was a fixed price and that we were supposed to order two of every course for the table.  Honestly, this was a fine way to go and I think we spent less per couple than had we ordered individual items.  My issue is that the server should have explained it.  He handed out the menus and then walked away.

 

When he returned he asked if we wanted drinks and at that point we asked for the wine list.  The waiter, let's call him Doofus, seemed put out and spun and went to retrieve the wine menu.  J's dad ordered a 3 liter bottle of wine and while we were waiting for it to arrive he and J's mom noticed that their plates were dirty.

 

I mean dirty, like smeared chocolate on the bottom of the plate and chunky potato gunk on the top of one of the plates.  During the wine arrival a quiet complaint was made about the plates.  Doofus responded with the confused question "oh, do you want new plates?"  Uh, YES.

 

The main meal service was basically fine, although when a second bottle of wine was ordered, J's dad surprised Doofus by requesting a new glass to taste the wine.  I know, it is unreasonable that you can't just pour the old wine into the half full glass already on the table, but you can't.

 

The family meal we were enjoying allows for unlimited refills and I would like to take the opportunity to say that we did not ask for seconds of any item.  The reason this is relevant is to show that while we were a large party we weren't running the server back and forth for more pasta, more bread, more, more, more….

 

We ordered our dessert and the dinner plates were removed and new plates brought out.  They weren't brought to each place setting, but a pile of 10 plates were handed to my future mother in law.  She immediately noticed that they weren't clean.  In fact, they looked like they had only been rinsed. 

 

At this point, I started to loose it.  None of these individual issues was enough to be upset about, but they just keep adding up and Doofus seemed unequipped to deal with it.    I got up to quietly ask for the manager.  I gave him the run down and said he needed to do something for the table, because the service we were getting was terrible.

 

While I was in the hall explaining the situation, my fFIL (future Father in Law) grabbed Doofus and rejected the desert plates.   Upon my return Doofus was standing behind a sturdy woman in a white coat (the executive chef) and she was explaining that she was sorry about the plates.  She adjusted the wine off our tab and then she walked away. 

 

This would have been a nice resolution, but….

 

The damned deserts were brought out and when Doofus set them on the table he said "will there be anything else?"  I couldn't stop myself from sounding a bit snotty when I said "Oh I guess we'd like some serving spoons or utensils."  This clearly pissed him off because he huffed away and came back with about 80 big spoons that he just set in the middle of the table.

 

We resumed our meal, enjoying the food (which throughout the meal was great.)  At one point cousin D. excused himself to use the restroom  (he could have gotten up to quietly cover the bill, but he's just a jerk like that….)  and when he was returning to our banquet room he stepped into the hall behind Doofus.  Doofus was complaining to a colleague that he "had the table from hell," and that we were a "bunch of f*cking losers."

 

Thankfully this wasn't relayed to me until the next day. 

 

When the bill arrived we noticed that a note was printed on the bottom "For Parties of 10 or more, we add 18% gratuity for your convenience."  I really hate this practice because I think it limits the tips the servers get, but in spite of the terrible service we didn't balk at the addition.  We divided the tab by the number of couples and paid our tab and left.

 

The next morning, J was doing some math and figured out that there was no way the tip was added.  A seriously not planned waiter stiffing.

 

I wrote a letter to the manager of Maggiano's to explain my disappointment at our experience and J believes we will get a reply.  Having emailed the letter Saturday and finding myself here Wednesday with nary a peep, I think we have a case of "eh, who cares?" 

 

I'll let you know if we do, but in the meantime I strongly suggest you find another location for you big post-holiday family get togethers.




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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Verdict

As I predicted, my last day with MegaBank is slotted for the end of March. I’m ok with this timeline because it comes with a reasonable severance package. If the new owners of MegaBank follow through with their proposed job offer the dates may change.

I had a not-so-secret wish that the date be closer to summer so that I could justify taking the rest of the year off, but I’m happy with the timing as proposed. I’ll work until spring, and then start looking for a job. Who knows, maybe I’ll have no break and can use my severance to do something wonderful.

That’s the good news. The harder news was that MegaBank had the local managers tell their teams the news about their disposition status. Meaning, I had to sit with each of my team and tell them the decision that someone else made about the future of their employment. In my opinion this was good and bad. It was really awful to deliver hard news that I had no ability to control, but I’m happy that they heard it from me because they know I know how hard they worked and what great people they are.

Having been through the demise of a company before, I’m fortunate to carry the knowledge that life goes on and more work will come. However, I know my circumstances are different from most of my team. I’m a single gal who doesn’t owe much money to anyone and isn’t supporting a family. I can live lean and was already planning to sell my condo; I don’t have the same responsibilities and stresses as the majority of my group.

I’m thankful that I’m going into this with a positive attitude and hope that as the year progresses that I can take the time to enjoy my ‘time off.’ Gosh, maybe my job this summer will be to go to the gym and be the fittest bride on the planet by September. That and hand making party favors. I can see it now, at every place setting at the reception there will be a depiction of the person, made with macaroni and yarn. Doesn’t that sound AWESOME!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Decision Day


MegaBank tells us today how long we can stick around....

My guess is 3/31 and I'm a lucky one. I am ready for any news even 1/31.

I slept like crap last night, stress dreams and multiple periods of awakening. Yuck.

More info as it arrives.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My brain

I had a stress dream about work and I haven't been able to turn off my
brain and go back to sleep.

I'm off today, but here I am wide awake at 5:30. Arg

Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Monday Musings

The work stuff is in a separate entry. The other topics on my mind are:

The Wedding Update: We met with a photographer Saturday. I liked them a lot and felt they were true professionals. Photography is a big deal and I’ve seen quite a few of my friends not be happy with their photos so I want to take my time in the selection. I did open my big mouth and tell the photographer that she had photos on her web site that I didn’t think positively reflected her skills. As soon as I said it I felt like an asshole. My need to manage others or speak my mind is really irritating to me. She emailed later that day to say that she was grateful for the information and that she removed some photos from the site, but I still felt badly about the incident. We’re meeting with a couple other folks over the next few weeks. I hope to find someone we love!

The In-Laws Update: T-minus 3 days until we meet for the first time. I am sort of already living at J’s house but for the Thanksgiving holiday visit I’m moving “home.” We both agree it is a good idea, and neither of us like it. I swing back and forth between feeling like I’m being kicked out (I’m not) and knowing that this first visit is critical. His parents haven’t met me and by insuring they (J and his M&D) have alone time it will help them transition into a world of J & TP gal. I started packing up some of my things for the week and I got a little sick to my stomach.

I don’t want to be the clingy girl who can’t stand to not be away from her boyfriend. It is only 5 nights, and I can do it. We’ll see what happens at Christmas though. Mom& Dad-in-law are coming for about 10 days and I really don’t want to move out for that long. It’s not a sex thing…it’s a sleep alone thing, or drive across the county each night thing. Plus, J’s place feels like HOME so, this banishment sucks.

Christmas Update: I did some early Christmas shopping and I’m still happy about my August/September purchases. I got something for my dad, but it hasn’t arrived yet and based on the slowness of shipping I’m having unreasonable anxiety that it won’t come by 12/24. Mom’s gift is a tougher nut to crack. I know what I want to do, but I’m not sure I’m up for the expense.

The Annual Exam(s) Update: We got the all clear on the mammogram and girl exam results. It is news because BOTH tests originally came back abnormal and I had to go back for additional workups. The deeper mammogram was fine… very quick, new pictures and then an ultrasound. The doctor came right in and said that the thing that was causing the extra attention was the fact that I have MORE tissue than I did 4 years ago. It is unusual for that to be the case. After a quick rule out of some more ominous reasons I shared that I’d lost a little bit of weight (130 pounds) and the doc put the ultrasound machine down and said…”that’d do it. See you again in 6 months just to be sure.” WHEW.

The other test was a LOT less fun. Without being overly graphic the doctor painted my inner girl parts with vinegar and then took “samples” of anything that turned a strange color. Thankfully only two spots needed ‘sampling’ because it hurt very badly. Thankfully those biopsies came back clear too. Although, the nurse who called left this message:

“This is Chris from Dr. T’s office and we wanted to let you know that both samples came back showing no abnormal cancer. Come back in 6 months for another visit.”

The phrase “abnormal cancer” is what caught my attention. Clearly she meant to say “nothing abnormal” or “no cancer” instead of something that implied that the normal cancer was there.

The Messy Martha Update: The only way to get back the final social security payment that was paid to my aunt and then mailed back to Social Security by People’s Bank (who don’t know Social Security laws) is to set up an estate for my aunt. The cost of probate was going to be significantly more than the $1,700 I spent out of my own pocket to cover the error by People’s Bank. It is frustrating as hell to incur a loss like that, but I’m going to let it go. I may write the People’s Bank people a letter to let them know their lack of knowledge of the law has resulted in hours of headaches and ultimately the loss of my aunt’s ability to pay off the rest of her creditors. I’m out money, but on a more impactful level the Medic One people didn’t get paid, nor did some of the hospital people.

Martha’s friends in Bellingham send me letters from time to time to tell me what they did with all the arts and crafts supplies. Apparently, there are senior centers and rehabilitation centers in the Whatcom county area that are benefiting from all the pens, paper, quilting and sewing supplies that we salvaged from the mess. That is a nice thing to know. While burning down the house seemed tempting at the time, it is good to know that others are enjoying the items.

That’s it for now. I am pimping for topics these days… feel free to drop a suggestion in the comment box below.

The underemployment chronicles

Have you ever had those days at work that are so hectic that you don’t have time to finish one task before three more kick off? Those are the days where you have to interrupt someone so you can run to the bathroom so as to not pee on the floor. Those days tend to fly by in a whirlwind of activity.

I’m not having one of those days. In fact, I’m not having one of those months. MegaBank was “sold” to a MoreMegaBank in September and since then my work life has been like a cheese factory. It is a flurry of activity, and then weeks of sitting followed by a tiny spurt activity and then nothing.

We tried to lead the way with a project plan to transfer our important activities in a meaningful and smart way. MegaBank has made many acquisitions and we know what needs to happen, but the MoreMegaBank folks don’t really seem to feel the same way as we do about our “important” activities. They took one look at the project plan and said something like “oh, isn’t that nice.” WOW, not an overwhelming vote of partnership.

I’m trying to stay positive and keep my team motivated, but with not a lot of work and our partners falling like domino’s it is a challenge. There is work to do, but since our division doesn’t have an exact mirror on the MMB side we are talking with 6 or 7 people to make decisions vs. 1 or 2. I feel like I’m in LIMBO. December 1 is looming and we are promised information on or by that date. Seven days… I can endure seven days.

In the meantime, to keep myself busy at work I’ve cleaned up my desk, updated my addresses, and gotten rid of MegaBank Operational Excellence materials. (we aren’t operating excellently anymore…) I’m making sure my employees files are together and moving through old email. The Control+A and then Delete is something I’m not ready to do just yet, maybe I’ll be ready on 12/1.

It is disappointing to be at a company that is being ripped apart. These folks I work(ed) with are smart, bright and dedicated. We were doing good stuff and now it doesn’t matter. Do I think that corporate greed is to blame? Oh heck yes I do. I get to feel removed from any blame because I’m a technology person who wasn’t part of decisions to extend loans to folks who had no business getting a loan, but I think the financial crisis is due to greed and bad ethical decisions. Did I personally profit from the dastardly deeds of others…. probably. Certainly not to the 14-24 million dollar range, but I’ve made a good salary with decent benefits and tasty annual bonuses. I’ll be getting a nice little package to walk away. I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that feel a little guilt.

I will get another job and will meet new people and think that they are smart and brilliant too but I will miss my colleagues here at MB. The only upside that I can see is that my “network’ just expanded. As folks I respect, and who hopefully respect me, move on to other companies I have a broader reach into organizations. Usually people scatter one at a time…this is a much more dramatic event.

For the most part I’m trying to be upbeat, but it is hard when people you love are exiting. Remember way back in May when Mike left I was so devastated about working here without him? I still feel that way, and I guess I’m getting my wish. Soon, none of us will work here without him.

Another “positive” thing is that my readership can now expand. Folks who worked at MegaBank weren’t invited to the blog because there is a sharp difference between work TP and blog TP and I needed to not sit across from someone in a meeting who knew my inner thoughts on the weight loss world, or my short dip into the dating pool. It was short but eventful… happy to be out!

That’s it I guess… on this topic. I’ll post a random topic blog in mere moments. I have time to write one. In fact, feel free to make suggestions about any topic you’d like to hear about. I’m an open book.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Dave!


In honor of friend Dave's birthday his friend Erika organized a huge dinner out. Sadly, due to strange forces of nature the party of 12 turned into a party of 5 (hmm, that sounds familiar.) Over wine and yummy nibbles at Union (on get this... Union) in downtown Seattle Dave's people enjoyed a small but lively evening.

Conversation mostly roamed around the perils of dating. J boldly inquired about why Erika (totally cute) and Dave (completely wonderful) hadn't ever dated. While the two friends awkwardly tried to explain that they'd been 'friends for 20 years' J endured the claw of death while my hand gripped his knee under the table. Hey, you never know...

In anticipation of shared bottles of wine, I booked J and I a room downtown at the Fairmont Olympic. The corporate travel discount at former MegaBank still has some pull. I am shocked that we got such a good rate considering the ENTIRE Washington Redskin football team and their subsequent posses were in the hotel. The lobby was teeming with huge men followed by little people drafting off of their speed. Some of these folks reminded me of those little fish that swim along with the shark and feed off any of the bits the shark misses in its frenzy.

After dinner, J and I slowly walked (super high girl shoes on TP) back up to the hotel and had a night cap. We found a little table in the corner near the piano man and watched the hoopla. Eleven PM must have been the first warning for curfew because all the huge athletic men got up, signed tabs and exited the lounge area leaving pockets of people who suddenly seemed just a little bit less cool.

At breakfast this morning, J asked me why Shawn Alexander (my Christmas card buddy from 2006) hadn't stopped by to say hello. My thought is that he probably thought that since we met for only about 90 seconds a couple years ago that I wouldn't remember him. But that's not the case Shawn, I remember the little people, you should have felt comfortable to stop and say hello.

Our room was lovely, as you would expect at the Olympic Hotel. I did find a 1 1/2 inch piece of metal screw on the floor near the perfectly coordinated chair and almost stepped on it. J, who surprised me with this touch of evilness, suggested we call to the manager and claim I injured my foot and see if we couldn't turn it into complimentary nights at the Lake Louise property in Banff during our honeymoon. When I suggested we jam it up his foot and pretend he was the injured party that idea quickly faded. (What a pussy!)

Taking a "stay-cation" in a local hotel, even at a good rate quickly adds up. As a future unemployed MegaBank employee this might be the last adventure out for a while. However, it was completely worth it because we had so much fun at dinner with Dave and his great friends and didn't have to worry at all about driving.

We did have so much fun that I had to take a nap when we got home. I'm rested now, and J (who doesn't nap) is "watching" the Seahawks / Redskins game with his eyes closed. He hasn't moved in over 30 minutes and I assume that he is either dead or in some sort of meditative state.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Apple Cup 2008


It's official, Washington State University sucks just a little bit less than the UW this year.

It has been a miserable football season for both teams, with WSU losing to teams in the PAC-10 in a fantastic way, 3-66, 14-63, 13-66, 0-69 (ouch), 0-58, 0-31.

While we did win one game this season, and UW did not, they managed to put a lot more points on the board and so they were (as of today) ranked 9th in the PAC-10, while we followed up in the #10 spot. Woo Woo Go Cougs!

We did win in the big Apple Cup this year in double overtime.

J and I are off to dinner with a bunch of Huskies (UW folks) tonight, but I'm sure I won't be doing ANY bragging. 0-69!? There is just no pride in that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Duh!

This confidentiality disclaimer was on the bottom of an email J received today:

***************** CONFIDENTIALITY DISCLAIMER ******************

The information contained in this e-mail may be confidential. IF YOU RECEIVED THIS IN ERROR, please call the Virginia Mason Privacy Officer at (206) xxx-xxxx. Thank you.

Patients: E-mail is NOT considered secure. By choosing to communicate with Virginia Mason by e-mail, you will assume the risk of a confidentiality breach. Please do not rely on e-mail communication if you or a family member is injured or is experiencing a sudden change in health status.

If you need emergency attention, call 911.

This is the line that got me.... "If you need emergency attention, call 911."

Can you imagine the email that prompted this addition?

To: Dr. Smithson
From: tpgal@dumbass.com
RE: My severed head
Message marked: Urgent

Dr. Smithson,

I accidentally removed most of my head from my body. (LOL) It actually hurts quite a bit, and I'm wondering if I should come in?

Could you mail me back and let me know if it is normal for my head to keep flopping over to the left like this.

THX,

TPgal

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

1 year anniversary

I was reminded today by a friend that today marks the one year anniversary of my surgery.

ONE YEAR!!! WOW

I'd like to say that it feels like yesterday that I was checking myself into the hospital and waiting with my mom for the surgery team to come gather me, but it doesn't. So much has happened and that person who agreed to go on this nutty journey isn't really here anymore. She pops up every now and then in a fleeting moment of shopping insecurity like when I walk past the big lady section at the mall and I wonder if the sales people in the petite section will let me try on the clothes I've chosen.

I adore that big girl because she took a huge risk that allows me to be where I am today. I hope to always see her as brave.

It is a dangerous association for people who are considering weight loss surgery to equate the loss of weight with the finding of your life partner so I don't talk about love on the support sites. However, if you had said to me last November 19th that one year to the day that I would be going to an open house with my fiance to taste the menu for our wedding I would not have believed you. (Have the ravioli, ooh it is so good!)

This year has changed me in many ways. I'm a smaller person and yet my appreciation for little things is so much greater. I have more energy than ever before, I enjoy going to the gym, and my body temperature is LOW. I AM COLD ALL THE TIME. I have never been cold before - that is an oddity.

Do I recommend this surgery for all people battling obesity? NO!
You have to be willing to walk away from food choices that are not good.
You have to give up carbonated pop, you have to focus on nutrition.
You have to work out.
You HAVE to take your vitamins.
You have to be prepared for people to gush over you when you want to be invisible.
You have to be prepared to be a little irritated that people are nicer to you when you are smaller than when you were big, but you're still the same person.
You have to embrace the fact that sometimes you will throw up, sometimes you wont poop for a few days and then when you do it won't be very nice.
You have to be ready for your hair to fall out, and then grow back funky.
You have to be ready for it to be "all about you" even when you want to focus on your friends and family.
OH, and you have to be ok with food holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Hanukkah or Thursdays) to be about something different, but that your people will still eat more food than you could eat in a week. You have to be ready to have the servers in restaurants to think there is something wrong with your meal when you eat 1/3rd and don't want a doggie bag. (It's better to split with someone....)

I am ok with all of these things. I even love some of them. I don't feel like I'm deprived, I enjoy good food and am having the time of my life!

Thank you Terri for today.

Waiting....

I'm not a patient person.  I am in limbo on a few things that are making me nutty right now.  Here's my list:

1) The actual news about my employment status.  (11 days until they HAVE to tell me; and a phone call about my status isn't the same thing as the real letter.)

2) Annual girl test results.  The test was Thursday, waiting waiting waiting
3) First mammogram results.  I'm 40 now so that's a fun new test
4) Waiting for some actual work to do at work

When I complained to J about this he replied back with this list. 

1) Waiting for the first snow
2) waiting for 9.19.09
3) waiting to go to Denver for the first time
4) waiting to meet the in laws
5) waiting to go on our honeymoon
6) waiting for the time to come home


Ok, his list is better than mine, a tad bit more sticky sweet than you may be able to stomach, but still…it's a better list.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Fuzz!

A while back I blogged that my hair was finally coming back in.  I'm happy as all get out about this development as I am rather vain when it comes to my mane.

There is now a very even distribution of new hair growth long around my entire head.  This new growth is about 2 inches long and is mostly tucked under longer hair, but where it is visible where I part my hair.  I normally sport a sleek part but I now have a mess of curly fuzz.  No matter how much time I spend with the hair dryer in the morning, I have this halo of new hair around my head.  There is a fine line between not enough hair product and too much.  The amount of product it takes to make the fuzz lay down makes me look like I've been working in a potato chip factory over the industrial fryer.  (NOT PRETTY)

I am hopeful that it will continue to grow and within a few months I can get a haircut that will blend the new in with the old.  In the meantime, I am ignoring it as much as I can.  I guess a fuzzy do is better than a bald do (for a girl anyway.)

My doctor said that the Iron he prescribed will also help with the hair growth, so I will endure the unfortunate gastric effects (uge) of taking massive doses of Iron in order to have lovely hair.  If I would increase my fiber, the UGE would be lessened. 

Yes, indeed, this IS what I'm blogging about.  I know there are world events that require our attention, but you do not turn to me for my opinions on Iraq's desire to have our troops gone by 2011, or the guy who shot his 6 year old (who turned out to have been a little drunk at the time… grrrrrr), or the idea that Hillary could be Secretary of State (a VERY nice way to get her out of the Senate and since she's NOT an idiot, it might be a good move.)

I blog about my hair.  I’m not ashamed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

True, but funny?

I'm continuing to get mail from hospitals and companies who are eager to get paid by my deceased aunt.  I've called PharMerica (an online medical supply company) 4 times to provide Aunties physical and fiscal status and I still get mail.

I'm on the phone with an associate in their collections department and I said I wanted to let them know that she was "still dead"  and "still broke" - the dude didn't laugh, smirk or even acknowledge that what I said was mildly funny.

I think my humor is too dark for collection agents. 

That's just sad.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For...

J is a great sport, he's easy going and generally very open to new ideas and experiences. I'm not quite sure he was ready for the aftermath of the "Will you marry me?"

I have an acute awareness that the wedding is only a day, and that the important thing is the life we are building together. However...the wedding planning is an experience.

If you've been paying attention you've heard me say that I am a big fan of the Martha Stewart Wedding empire. I faithfully buy the quarterly offering of the latest dresses, cakes, and ideas. I knew J was a keeper when (before the actual engagement) I saw the newest issue and bought it with him and he didn't run for the door. Poor guy didn't know that at home I had about 20 additional issues. These are for reference...and damn it, it's girl porn! (I don't and won't complain about Maxim that arrives monthly. We each have our interests.)

The planning is going well. We're ahead of the game in a lot of areas and are currently mulling over the invitations and will start the photographer search in earnest after the holidays.

While I am "the bride" I am working on not being overly "it's my way or the highway" on things. I am presenting options and photos so he can see my vision. There's a new idea floating around for the bridesmaid dresses that is really exciting to me and at first discussion J wasn't all that warm. But with more information and a few visuals that may change.

There are certain things about a wedding that the groom just isn't equipped to deal with. It's not that they aren't smart enough, or strong enough...but really, what heterosexual man cares about chair covers? Shoot, what straight (never been married) guy even KNOWS about chair covers? It's a crazy expense and I think it will be worth it. The chairs at "the manor" are terrible and chair covers will neutralize them and be a dramatic decorative element that will make our floral investment pop. As committed as I am to this expense it was hard to bring it up. Even talking about it was a little embarrassing. The look of confusion on J's face was one I don't want to see again.

We've set a budget and little items like this will increase the spend. However, I'm happy to cover things like seat covers out of my monthly play money. Suzy Ormond probably would yell at me for that, but damn it...it's my day. (lol) It's our day. OUR DAY

I'm not complaining about the wedding planning. I've waited a while to put an event like this together and am enjoying the process. I love that I had a vision and that my gal pals are contributing -- fun fun fun!

J is enjoying it too... last weekend we sampled the first idea for wedding champagne. TERRIBLE. So, we'll keep looking. The search for the right wine and champagne offering will be fun.

There will be more wedding stuff here in the future, and when it is all said and done -- photos! Until then...have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A day off


Oh how I love a day off. I got up this morning at the same time I would if I were going to work and I got so much done.

I bought a dress for a dinner out later in the month. One dress, ah ah ah

I had a mammogram on two breasts, One, Two! ah ah ah, two breasts!

I loaded up three boxes of stuff for goodwill. One, two, three boxes, ah ah ah

I did four loads of laundry, One, two, three, four! Ah ah ah ah! Four loads of laundry

I purchased 5 pairs of black (sexy) panty-hose. One, two, three, four, FIVE pair of panty hose, ah ah ah ah

I purchased 6 items at Fred Meyer, one, two, three, four, five, six items. ah ah ah.

I also made dinner for my guy, picked up a ring that had been sized and made the bed. (making the bed isn't really a blogworthy item, but this is my list damn it!)

It's back to work tomorrow where my largest contribution to the world will be holding down a chair for the most of the day. ah ah...ick

Veteran's Day

Here's a TP Gal shout out to the veteran's I know:

To my dad who served in Korea - woo hoo!
To my brother who served in Iraq (twice) - woo hoo!
To my uncle who served in Vietnam - woo hoo!
To my future father in law who served in Germany - woo hoo!
To my friend Brett who served in the Gulf and Korea - woo hoo!
To my friend Craig who serves in the Gulf - woo hoo!
To Becky's dad who served in Korea - woo hoo!
To my cousin Vern who served in Germany - woo hoo!


To all veteran's, thank you for doing a job that I wouldn't want to do! Your service is appreciated!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Possible Honeymoon Location

We're talking about honeymooning in the Canadian Rockies... this little hotel seems mighty fabulous.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Weekend Update

I love the go go go weekends because time flies, I get to see friends, it is fun and good.

This weekend my plans sort of fell apart and while I was sad to not be able to get together with a friend who I haven't seen in ages I'm basking in a glorious two days with no obligations.  Laundry is getting done, J is busy going through his pantry and ditching lots of stuff.  If you make waffles once every 8 years, do you need a waffle maker?  Personally, when I NEED a waffle, IHOP is happy to make me one.  

We bought a new coffee pot - the kind with the pods.  I'm torn about this little machine.  The first issue that was resolved prior to the acquisition, this little wonder has a filter so we can have coffee without having to buy the pods.  Thankfully the pods are recyclable but I'm still struggling with the plastic.  My second issue was the fact that it only makes one cup at a time. However,  I'm finding that I like a weaker blend of coffee than J, so I can have my "weak ass cup of coffee" and 2 minutes later he can have his "stomach lining killer blend" and we're both happy.  The other thing I like is that we make 2 cups, not 8 and the machine is off (rather than warming coffee we're not going to drink) thus it seems more energy efficient.

J's interpretation of this paragraph is that I was "kind of a bitch about the coffee pot, and now I've warmed up to it."  Then he added  "kidding!!!  (I mention this because it is actually true...he said it, and it was accurate.)

I just finished the 2008 holiday card.  I figured since I didn't send one out last year, and 2008 was such a huge evolution that it needed to happen.  It's a lot of "me" pictures, but I suppose it won't look too vain.  (hope)

I did get some indication of where I'll fall out in the work situation.  There's a job that the new overlords are looking at me as the possible candidate.  It's a great opportunity, not much of a stretch from my current responsibilities, but of course 100% different.  The challenge... LOCATION.  It's in Delaware or in New York.  Rather than force me to decide right this second the manager is putting me in a grouping that will give us time to work together to decide what is the best thing for everybody.  

Moving...well its a crazy idea, but there is some up side, especially if it was only for a few years.  Living on the east coast would be a new and different experience.  If we were in Delaware we could rent and then keep our home out here so we would be sure to come back.  Nothing is decided - I don't have ANY details on the offer or when I have make up my mind.  (Er... we have to decide, this is a group decision between J and me.)

Next on the agenda is errands, I bought a suit and it needs to be shortened (HOBBIT), I need a 3 hole punch to help keep my wedding binder in order (OCD?) and I may need to have my toes professionally painted.  I can get down there now and do it, but it's only $15 for a very professional job and...they massage my feet.  GOODNESS!

I should run and help J.  It is wrong to ask him to throw stuff away and then not help.  

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grammar Police

Ok people, there are many little rules and nuances in the English language that are confusing. I do not claim to be a professional writer and I am certainly not a qualified English teacher, however there is something that has been bugging me lately.

I was in a meeting with my esteemed colleague MJS listening to some very high mucky-muck talk about the future of the IT organization and the culture and blah blah blah. He had a casual, likable style about him and I thought to myself that he was rather smart. Smart, that is, until he dropped this bomb:

"Irregardless of the next few...."

WHAT THE HOLY HELL!?

Irregardless is NOT a word! If it were it would mean the exact opposite of how people use it. Regardless means "no matter what" and "ir" means "not" so "irregardless" actually means "not no matter what" or "not at all. " Do you follow me? No, try this:

You say: "I will love you irregardless of your weight!"
You mean: "I will love you fat, thin, chunky, tiny, huge, whatever!"
You're actually saying: "I will only love you at the right weight."

If you only learn one thing from the TP gal, it should be this. STOP using "irregardless!"

For the record, none of you whom I know in real life use this word. There was a frequent offender, but we don't run in the same circles anymore. (The cause of the separation is 100% unrelated to the offending word under discussion.)

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I feel a sense of relief.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What TP is talking about on this historic day

I'm thrilled about the election.  I was fearful that even though President Elect Obama had the lead in the polls and the majority of votes that the vast right wing conspiracy machine would kick into action (again) and further kill my trust in our system.  I'm excited about the change, but agree with some who believe that 4 years may not be enough to undo the steaming pile of pooh that we're in right now.

 

With that said, what's on my mind today?  Work.  Grumble.  I'm so very frustrated with the lack of information, the inability to see or understand the line of thinking around transition activities.  My (former) management made us go through and map out everything we thought we would have to do to transition the work we do to the new company.  This wasn't a fun activity, but I did it.

 

We met with our new management and they looked our plan and basically said "well, isn't that nice?"  A bit dismissive if I may say so.  I'm ok with them driving the transition (or rather non-transition) but I'm still being asked by my (former) management to provide dates and status on the list I made up.  They are aware that no one cares but them, and yet I'm still being pushed to march forward on this silly stuff.

 

I LOVE MAKE WORK!!!!!  It is totally super.

 

MOOD:  CLOUDY

 

Some days I am positive and feel like there is transition work that might keep me employed here until March or April (my dream would be June - that's a financial dream, not a "wouldn't it be fun" dream) but today, I'm in the "get me the f*ck out of here!" place.  I'm thinking that 12/1 - I will get a 60 day notice of termination.  Today, that plan doesn't seem terrible to me.

 

Financially, getting let go in June rocks; it would enable me to "retire" until 2010.  A January departure date would still enable me to pay off my tiny credit cards and take a little time to deal with the condo I'm about to sell, but the priority would be getting a job before the money runs out.   Either way... I'll be able to fund this wedding (which will be fun fun fun) and start my marriage with no debt - that's not a bad scenario.

Monday, November 03, 2008

New Fictionary Additions

Joggle = the unfortunate movement of my extra skin (after the weight loss) that occurs when I try to go for a run.  "I'd love to go for a jog, but the joggle messes with my rhythm. 

MapGuess = the MapQuest printout of areas that it isn't quite sure of (like the Redmond area.)  "I'm not sure if it's 23425th SE 345th Court West or SE 324th Avenue West or 324th North Court East South?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hold on to your shorts....

I've been hinting at something for a few days now and it is time to share. J and I have been talking and we've decided that we're going to get married. You heard me... TP gal is getting hitched!

I've heard it said that when you know, you know, and believe me -- I know. Without getting overly mushy and sappy I would like to share that J not only feels like family to me, he is the partner for which I had been hoping. We have a lot of fun together, but I feel strongly that when the chips are down that he's the one I want by my side. He has been amazing regarding the work thing; he's supportive and listens when its needed and provides distraction and entertainment when the situation is required. His family is fantastic and he has been fully accepted by my parents and the Aunts & Uncle.

We've scheduled a September wedding (09.19.09) and have picked a location and a caterer! The ceremony itself will be simple and sweet and we're hoping the party will be fun! We'll be doing some dancing and I believe we will have at least one bottle of wine on hand!
Picking caterer was a huge decision that we wrapped up this week. We got a few quotes from caterers that are clearly proving a level of service that I frankly can't relate to. The one company 'cut down' the number of bartenders by three to bring the food cost down to only $1000 over my entire wedding budget. Conversely we were given the name of a caterer who offered us a screaming deal, but I couldn't get her on the phone and her staff couldn't answer basic questions. I would rather pay more for a partner than cheap out and have to stress that the food is even going to arrive. J has been amazing about the planning and a good sport about everything that has to happen now vs. later. He's interested and has an opinion, but so far not any violent opinions about things that are ... um... not to sound all "Bridezilla" but wrong.
J mentioned that his cousin Teresa would be making our cake and my first thought was 'uh oh, my first lesson in compromise.' But it turns out that she has been to culinary school and is a professional cake person. Fan-damn-tastic! How thrilling to have someone who likes us make our cake. J has some fun ideas about what he'd like to have and I just want it to be pretty so I'm happy.
I did accidentally try on a wedding dress - even though it is WAY to early to pick something out. I saw it in the window and popped in to see the price (to get over it if it was hella expensive) and it was quite reasonable. The shopkeeper asked me if I wanted to try it on? Oh my... the idea that I would be able to try on dresses that weren't in the big lady store floored me so I said yes. As I stepped out from behind the red velvet curtain in that white dress my body temperature rose about 10 degrees and my heart started to race. I looked like a bride!!!!! I do want to go dress shopping with my girls and I hope that in the spring we can coordinate a weekend to make it happen - in the mean time, I'm envisioning myself in that pretty dress saying sweet things to my wonderful guy.
On the 'attendant' front - I'll be having four ladies standing up with me, Yaz, June, Becky and Janie. They all have been supportive and important in their own ways that there is no way in HELL that I'm picking a "Matron of Honor" They all mean the world to me and I don't think there needs to be a hierarchy so I'm not going to do it!
Here's hoping TP gal doesn't turn into the wedding update site, but you may have to hear about it more than you want. What can I say? I'm a 40 year old woman who is about to marry a man who makes her heart flutter and makes her laugh until she can't breathe. I'm happy happy happy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Series

I'm not a sports blogger, but it is super exciting to see former Mariner Jamie Moyer be part of team that won the top prize in baseball.

He was a solid, stand-up guy in the Seattle organization and I was sad to see him released. This win makes the sadness of not seeing him in Mariner colors worth it.

Way to go Jamie!

Congrats

Tee Hee

Those of you without older brothers may not get this, but it made me laugh out loud:

cat
more animals


And this one... we'll you know where I sit:
Senator McCain, austin powers, mike myers Dr. Evil
see famous look-a-like faces

The work update

Things are still status quo at MegaBank; still no definitive news on what's what. There's lots of misinformation rolling around. People share their opinion about what they think is going to happen as if they know what is going to happen. It is easy to get caught up in the hysteria. Honestly I'm trying not to get too worked up.

I'm resigned to the idea that I'm going to lose my job. I'm just hoping that the timing is good (as if there can be good timing to be unemployed.) My fingers are crossed (a perfectly acceptable strategy) that my release date will be in the summer. Let's put our collective heads together and pray for a June 30 date. June 30. June 30, June 30!

There's NOTHING magic about that date other than it is halfway through the year and the weather starts to get good in July. I could spend some time with Becky at Gambleside while my poor boyfriend slogs to work everyday. (He's sweet, but he won't quit his job to play with me even if I ask nicely.)

A March release date is a more realistic expectation, I can make that work too. It won't be the "retirement 2009" situation that a June date would be, but I'd still enjoy my summer.

The "Retirement 2009 Program" scares J a little bit. I wonder if he's worried that I'll NEVER go back to work and that he'll be stuck with a deadbeat girlfriend. tee hee. (It wasn't a planned thing to make him fall in love with me and then for me to suddenly have no income... honest. I'm totally trustworthy.)

ok -- enough. Get back to your life, but.... come back soon - there is gjavascript:void(0)oing to be exciting news here soon.