Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Change of Plans

Heavy Sigh

After a long discussion and an evaluation of my finances I made a really tough decision yesterday.

Because my employment outlook is uncertain and bleak and this vacation was going to basically eat up my entire short term savings I cancelled the Greece trip.

I was able to recover my frequent flyer miles (140,000) and use my travel insurance to cover the cancellation fees on the sailboat trip. I am "out" the boat trip costs but I'm feeling strongly this is the right move.

J gets a lot of credit for asking tough questions, but being adamant that any decision I made was about my financial situation and not about him or his desire for me to be home. I talked it over with my trusted advisor Becky who is equally passionate about travel and about practical financial decisions and she helped me calm the swirling thoughts.

Its not easy to decide not to go, and it is a dissapointment but the idea of spending my savings right now just feels wrong. We were also told yesterday that the new company will tell us what our compensation packages are going to be by the end of the week. Everything is on the table for adjustment....vacation time, seniority, insurance, salary. Its true that my being here will have no influence on that whatsoever but if the package is meager I've protected myself in the short term. If the package is adequate but I'm only employed for a short period I've got some cushion. If the promote me to CEO I'll buy the country of Greece and go in the future.

I'm still going to take the next week off because I need time to decompress. I'll be in town and will likely be doing house stuff. I'm considering putting my condo on the market. If its going to take six to nine months to sell it may be time to get started. Its just an idea at this point. And, with that kind of a timeline there's time to adjust the path if my life plan goes awry.

I'm not really sure I want to share my entire thought process with the work people but I need to tell them something. I will be coming back to work earlier than planned and the will likely notice. I'm tempted to leave my out of office message at the three week mark so people will seek out answers vs save their needs for me.

I'm sad, but also have some relief that I'm doing the smart thing. (Being an adult is a bitch sometimes.)

I'll be mostly on cell phone the next week and a half. Feel free to call.

- TP

Monday, September 29, 2008

Vacation Countdown

With the romantic weekend over, plans have really come together for my departure for Greece Wednesday.

I'm getting a stronger picture of my fellow adventurers and I don't think J has much to worry about. So far there's the Colorado guy who seemed nice enough, and now the 60 year old Austrailian mom who is coming with her two sons. (19 and 22). I'm not hot enough to pull off a shipboard romance with a 22 year old (if I was wanting too _ which I'm not).

The 55 year old retired military woman doesn't seem to be on the manifest. Oh well

I'm mostly packed, I may go back and edit a little more as maybe I don't need four t-shirts. And maybe I'll make an edit to my long pants. I was going to bring a pair of capris but maybe the jeans I'll going to fly in will double for any cold weather. Nightime lows are hovering around 65 degrees so I doubt I'm going to need a parka. My main issue has been wanting clean clothes for the return trip, but I'm assured washing can be accomplished. I've flown in four day old jeans before and I'm just not going to fret over it.

So far I've packed into just the backpack and I have faith it will work. The bonus is that most of the stuff I have to take I can ditch upon departure from the boat. I'll have room for trinkets. I don't know about money....

On the work front, its been stressful and I've agonized about leaving, but since I personally can't change anything about the "acquisition" I just have to have faith that if a decision is made to cut my job that I'll get some notice and a reasonable severance.

I'll deal with the job thing upon my return. I just wish I had more information. We all do.

For the time being vacation is the plan. My camera is charged and my passport is ready.

J will be blogging a little when I check in and I've left him with some get to know you type questions in case he wants to share.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nancy Sinatra

These are "THE" boots I was talking about. I LOVE this outfit, I feel preppy and kicky and a little bit sexy.

Sorry about the bathroom shot... I didn't want to dig out the tripod this morning.

Sinead O'Connor No More

One of the side effects of weight loss surgery is the irritating loss of hair. It has to do with the diminished amount of protein that is absorbed and the mere act of the surgery can shock your system enough to cause the hair to fall out.

For me, this was frustrating because I already had (have) a thin patch at the top of my head. I'm not sure if this is genetic or due to my terrible diet pre-surgery - regardless, having MORE hair fall out was not a side effect I was looking for.

Thankfully (I guess) it is a slow process. It started in earnest about 2 months after surgery and lasted for about 4 months. I would lose hair in the shower, while brushing my hair, walking and breathing. Some WLS patients can't stand it and cut their hair short (not cancer patient short, but short.) I am vain and decided that a comb over was the way to go.

While it may have been noticeable to everyone, most people didn't say anything. There's nothing like being told about something you know about, hate, but can't do anything to fix. (See Pres. G.W. Bush)

In the last few months the shedding has slowed to a normal rate, there's still hair in my brush, but I'm not clogging the vacuum anymore (not that I actually vacuum... please!)

More exciting than the fact that I've stopped being invited to the Sinead O'Connor fan club meetings, my hair is actually growing back. I didn't notice at first, but now I have a 1 1/2 inch halo of hair at my scalp. It looks like frizz, but I'm not complaining. It means that within a few months or so, my hair will be fuller and less "thin" up top.

Woo Woo.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Closet Shopping

The days of being able to shop for clothes in my closet at almost officially over. I have very few items that I'm saving for "the day when they fit."

There's a kicky dress I purchased at an antique store and the tall leather boots I bought but haven't been able to get around my monster calves.

As of today we're down to one item. I was able to get the boots on! I already have the perfect outfit picked out for their first outing.

Tuesday, I will wear the boots, with black tights and this cute shorter black and green skirt and a black turtleneck. It will be sassy and yet will still be appropriate for the night out which includes dinner at Purple and The Phantom of the Opera.

Being able to get the boots on makes my excitement for fall so much greater!

I also did some mall shopping this morning and picked up a pair of jeans - SIZE 14 Petite! Damn girl, you're tiny!

Donations Accepted

more the engrish!

Friday, September 19, 2008

What a day

What a week....

Work still sucks but the manager who is breathing down my neck was MIA today so I was able to actually work. You won't be getting any details on my "error" but I feel confident that legally and ethically I was and am correct. Time will work it out.

The only really "issue" is that I'm leaving town for almost a month, and it's frustrating that THIS is the memory that my manager will have during my absence. However, I have been working to make sure that my i's are dotted and my t's are crossed before I leave.

The performance review cycle kicks in while I am away and I will be dropping an EXTENSIVE annual review write up on his desk so there can be no doubt of what I have contributed this year. He can view it through whatever eyes he wants, but I HAVE delivered in 2008.

So, the effort to dot the i's and cross the t's is massive. It helps that I finally have a full staff and everyone is working. I'm learning to delegate and that is actually moving the dial on lots of activities. I'm happy happy happy with my people these days.

I've spent the last couple nights at a strange man's house. Ok, he's not strange... he's lame! I don't mean boring. He's a work friend who had surgery on both of his feet and his partner had to leave town 3 days into his recovery. I went over to provide moral support, get dinner and let the dogs out to poop.

Their house is lovely and I like it. It is very put together and far more stylish than my little heterosexual girl condo. In the room I was staying in the art on the walls color coordinated perfectly with the bedding and I asked if it was staged (condo for sale!) for the sale and I was told no, that's just how it looks. WOW! I've seen coordinated before, but this is a whole new level.

Speaking of levels, the condo has about five levels and at one point in the early morning dealing with the gods I got lost. I can be forgiven for not having my orientation straight (no pun intended) at 5 am in someone elses house.

The dogs are great and without words they can convey their needs... PEE PEE PEE PEE PEE PEE and then as soon as they are back in the house... FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD. I wish people could be so clear.

The mood at MegaBank is ok, people seem to be waiting for whatever the market is going to do, but for the most part are staying focused on the tasks at hand. There's not a lot of Chicken Little "the markets are falling, the markets are falling!" going on. I'm going to stay put for a while and see how things go. Maybe once the year is over I'll put out feelers into my non-banking contacts and see what I can come up with, but for right now I'm ok.

I am however - STILL AT WORK and don't really expect to leave until after 8 or 9 tonight. I have another 7 working days until I leave for vacation, but I've got plans after work all next week ('sept Monday) so the opportunity to knock things out of the park is limited. The days are FILLED with other peoples shit. Today I had two appointments after 5pm -and honestly I'M NOT THAT IMPORTANT!!!!

J comes home tomorrow, so I'll work late tonight and leave the computer and blackberry here and focus on a relaxing "weekend". Tuesday I get to see Phantom of the Opera - which I'm really excited about. I emailed whatshisface today and said I had been listening to the sound track over and over so I was ready to sing along with the actors! I love live theater, its so entertaining!

Have a great weekend!

Oh and here's an open comment to the mother f*ckers who broke into Becky's house and stole her 5 year old son's backpack AND the cute Buddha statue... YOU SUCK!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wish I were there

I've been getting photo's like this all week from various points along J's vacation itinerary.

Don't you just want to take your shoes off and walk along the surf line?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deep Reflections

I had two people tell me yesterday that I'm essentially disappearing. They weren't referring to my skinnier self (although, I am sporting a cute new small skirt purchased in the regular person's department --and not the biggest size on the rack either! When will that stop being novel I wonder?)

These folks, who have the best of intentions, called me on the carpet for basically turning into one of THOSE women who once they are in a relationship start speaking solely in "us" and "we." I certainly don't see myself that way - I still feel 100% like me, only for the first time ever I'm in a solid, adult relationship. "We don't feel that way, we are happy..." (barf)

I hope I can be forgiven for jumping with both feet into this relationship. I understand that it seems inconceivable that after a lifetime of not dating that I would seriously have found "the one" after only being on the market (if you will excuse the phrase) for a month. I didn't think it would happen either... I mean it is insanity to think that the second person you meet is really the one to stick to. However, feeling the way I do about J I won't continue to shop around just because he arrived on my doorstep early in the dating process.

To be fair, no one is suggesting that what I am experiencing isn't real. The concern seems to be the speed at which this became a discussion about long term, life long things. Nothing has been decided yet about that, even though there is plenty of talk. What I find somewhat ironic is that when SadRico started dating again and found his now Mrs. Rico I counseled him to wait 1 year before getting engaged. Am I planning on taking my own advice... nope. However J is on point for when the question is asked, so you never know it might be a year, or never... I'm not overly traditional, but on that front - boys ask the girl.

Regardless of my inexperience in the dating realm, I am a strong, confident person who knows exactly what I want out of this life. I have made significant decisions to get myself to where I am today and I fully intend to continue down the patch I'm on. Having a partner I trust, adore and feel completely at home with is the bonus of all bonuses as I move forward with my life.

It is hard when people you love don't immediately jump on the "OMG I'm so happy for you" bandwagon, but I appreciate their candor. Their comments are not being ignored, and I promise you that in addition to allowing myself to feel happiness and joy over finding J that I have spent time focusing on if he's the one I'm going to hitch my star to, or if I should let him hitch his star to mine. I keep comimg back to the fact that my list of practical things I need / want / deserve in a partner are present in this person. Plus, in the non-practical way he makes me happy. That counts too.

In no way am I suggesting he's perfect. I'm not perfect and neither are you - right!? I know that we will hit a hitch and argue about something we both feel passionate about. Only time will tell how we weather that event. I know that there might be times when I look across the table at him and wonder what I was thinking? (I really can't imagine that scenario, but based on everyone I know who is married it seems that you ALL have had that thought at one point or another, so it seems logical that it will happen to me.)

I know these folks are honestly and genuinely happy for me. Their concern is appreciated and I don't fault them for looking at my inexperience and trying to help me 'see the big picture' but I fully believe I'm seeing it.

I'm seeing the big picture and I love what I see.



It is wholly unrelated to any market conditions; I made a tactical error and am paying for it.

I want to crawl under my desk and live there. I do not eat crow well.

Monday, September 15, 2008


After almost two months at the same weight I've finally started dropping again. When it first starts to happen I tend to think that it's a fluke, but not so.

I'm down 6 pounds in the last week. That's an incredible amount and isn't sustainable. I've earned to be happy with slow and steady along with the dramatic and unusual. In 1.4 pounds I'll be at the 130 lost mark. pop! (the sound of my own mind blowing)

I still have a way to go to get to the "goal" of 130 but considering how far I've come what's 60 pounds? To be honest 130 seems unlikely I would be happy with anything under 150.

So, j and talked last night about getting serious about returning to the gym routine. We've been together for two and a half months now, and neither of us are going anywhere so we can chill out and spend the time apart to be healthy.

The Greece vacation will be a kink in my routine, but I'm not waiting. I had a great workout yesterday and my gym stuff is I'm the car for after work.

Go (tiny) TP gal!!

PS: I am missing J. How on earth did someone who didn't exist in my world when summer started get to be so important? I don't know but I'm happy about it! My life is charmed right now...don't stand too close or you'll get some on you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Single Again

Wow, it's so incredible t be single again. I was up late last night doing something I haven't done in more than 9 weeks. It was hot, steamy and took hours. Yes my friends, I ironed clothes - on a Saturday night. Woo Woo!

Today I woke up (alone), showered and then went to church. Believe it or not the earth did not quake when I passed over the threshold into the sanctuary. I was welcomed and I realized I haven't been to church since early July.

After an enjoyable morning, I drove to the gym (I know, ironic) where I lifted weights and spent 43 minutes on the elliptical. Why 43 minutes? Well...not to over share, but I've been plagued with a bit of the stomach flu for the last few days and that was as long as I could go without, um... having to go.

Once home I had some lunch and now I'm taking a small break from cleaning my garage. I had some boxes of Messy Martha's things and I'm in the mental state that it's time to get rid of "stuff." I'm disposing of boxes, an old car stereo, things I should have taken to goodwill and the HUGE box my damn TV came in. J assures me that when the time comes to move that I won't need the box. It really is massive and makes it a challenge to get my car in the garage. I'm going to trust that he's right and get rid of it.

I came in for a moment to ... um... well go and managed to catch a call from J. They are in Williamsburg, VA and he's contemplating ditching the folks to spend tomorrow at a Busch Amusement Park to partake of the roller coasters. Oh my, I have a danger guy on my hands. Honestly, I wish I was there. I haven't been able to ride roller coasters in so long and I totally can now! I'm not really pining away to be in Williamsburg - the accuweather says that it is currently 91 (at 6pm) as compared to our lovely 76.

The garage isn't going to clean I'm going to head back out. Later, I'm going to sit on my couch alone and catch up on last seasons Grey's Anatomy. I only have 4 more to go to be current. I'm told this is important homework for Thursday nights with Dan and C. In the winter J and the gang gather together for Survivor and Grey's Anatomy. I'm happy to be included and will gladly catch up on GA.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Here I am

I took J to the airport this morning. He and his parents are spending a week discovering historic early America. They will be exploring Jamestown, Fredricksburg and other sites important to our collective history.

I'm not overly excited about him being gone for a week, but as my three week Greece holiday is coming right up I was careful not to be whiny about his trip. I teased him about him finding someone better while he was on his trip but since he's traveling with his parents and their friend Sally (65) its pretty unlikely.

J has been dolling out the information about he and I to his parents in a slow and indirect way. I keep telling him that his mom is a woman and that she NEEDS details, but he's convinced that because they haven't been able to see us together like my family and the rest of his that it's better not to overwhelm her with how serious things are. I kind of get it, its only been two months and some of my people are surprised at the level of togetherness that J and I have achieved - but "they" say... when you know, you know.

His parents will be here for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I'm pretty confident that by Thanksgiving his parents will be 100% in the know about us. Heck, I think they are already - you can't tell me that not one of the 400 cousins hasn't called to "share" about J's girlfriend who they got to meet. Or that the fact that I'm at his house every time they call - 10 pm Saturday night and still there at 9am Sunday morning... these are smart people and it doesn't take a rocket scientist.

Boys and their moms have a special bond which I appreciate and will honor, but I think he fails to realize that in some areas women are women. He thinks that because she's the mother of a son that she's not into the girly things and I think he's wrong. We were talking about the planning of a large hypothetical social event (calm down, nothing is planned or seriously on the table at this point) and I suggested that if we get to that point I'd like to make sure his mom gets to be participate in the planning. He assured me that she wouldn't care about that (again, because she's the mother of a son.) Oh, I 100% disagree. I bet money that if it should come to pass that she'll be excited and probably touched to be included.

Anyway, all that is neither here nor there. There's no planning taking place - we're focused on getting through this week, enjoying our long weekend in Long Beach in two weeks and then getting through the 22 days while TP is hanging out in Greece. And, if I hear from one more person that "absence makes the heart grow fonder", I'm going to pop them in the mouth. Yes, missing someone does intensify your feelings but it also sucks. Besides, I'm not sure how much more fond of J I can get...

So, J's out of town and like the friend who only calls you when they are between relationships I expect to be posting more frequently this week.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bye Bye Badge

In the "how ironic" category - our stock at MegaBank hit the two dollar range and on the same day I accidentally flushed my employee badge down the toilet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Over the top

Here's your fashion advice for the day.

Be a fan, embrace your team, your favorite player, go ahead, spend $200 on an authentic (like) jersey. I say, wear it proudly to the game.

However, you don't need to fully suit up for the game to sit in the 300 section of Safeco Field. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO ASK YOU TO PLAY. You don't need cleats, nor do you need the kicky arm bands.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Blog Topics

With the impending presidential election, the hoopla around the vice president selections, federal takeovers of Freddie Mac and high profile executive firings (er... "retirements") at local companies you would think that I would have lots and lots to blog about...Not so much.

It is not that I'm not deep and don't have opinions, but everybody has opinions. Who cares really? Palin... she seems inexperienced but I'm not quite sure what the uproar is about her baby. He has Downs Syndrome - does that mean she can't have a successful work career? I don't think that's what the media is trying to imply, but it is one of the messages they are conveying. I know, there is speculation that the baby belongs to one of her kids but people also think Elivs is still alive.

Presidential Election..I live in Washington - we go Democrat. I don't have violent negative feelings about McCain but worry that because he's an extension of the current administration that he couldn't turn things around. I'm not convinced that Obama can do it either, but he's got the better shot in my opinion.

The takeover of Freddie Mac. WoW! Our economy is going to take a huge hit for that. It needed to happen, but I think its going to hurt.

Executive firings... er "retirements" - I know it is "how it works" but it kills me that you can run a company into the ground and still get 24 MILLION to walk away.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Done and Done!

After being alone for so long it is a little hard to get use to having someone around who actually wants to be helpful. I felt sheepish when I asked J if he would give up his Saturday to help me empty the storage unit in Bellingham where the remainder of Messy Martha's items were stashed. J was not "eager" to go, but was willing and even called in members of the family to be in the wings in case we needed them. I couldn't believe that these folks would even consider coming out to help J's new girlfriend whom they've only met once - but I was assured that this is all part of the benefits of being "in" a big family.

We parked the rental van at the entrance of the storage locker and then started sorting the stuff into piles for GoodWill and the dump. Thankfully, I wasn't emotionally invested in any of it and sorting was easy.

At one point I did experience a bit of an emotional meltdown. I was thinking that this crap represented her whole life and I was just throwing it away, and how would I feel if my life summed up to a storage unit filled with boxes and shitty furniture? It was about that time that J suggested a break. We had a discussion about how this activity would be so much harder if it were our parents, and then had a moment where we realized that when/if that happens we won't have to do it alone.

Barb and Frank, Martha's friends came by and picked up all the art supplies, crafting materials and "art" that was left. They filled a truck and drove away with all the things I was feeling guilty about. They have people who will enjoy the crafting supplies, beads, yarn, paints, pens, and even the strange little cards Martha use to make. Her hundreds of hours of effort were not thrown away and I was happy to see go with people who appreciated Martha and her gifts.

The bed that I had been fretting about was easy to move but the underside of it had some mold growing on it and it made me nervous that the Goodwill people wouldn't take it. However, we drove up, they unloaded it and we drove away. As we got back in the truck I said to J 'I can't believe they took the bed" and he said "SHhhhh, we haven't made it out of the parking lot yet!" He put the truck in gear and we drove away like we dumped a dead body.

The dump trip was somewhat satisfying in that you back your vehicle up and start throwing things as hard as you can. All those nasty pooped on clothes that I washed and saved for her…. TOSS. Her journals with pages of angry opinions about how terrible the family and life was… TOSS. The stinky, pooped on mattress… TOSS. Junky, badly constructed, moldy tables… TOSS.

I had a huge sense of relief as we drove away from the storage unit place in our car after returning the truck and checking out of the unit. Now, I can focus on trying to remember the positive things about Martha vs. thinking of the burden of dealing with her stuff. There were plenty of things about her that were good, she was an amazing singer, musician and mostly her craft stuff (embroidery and painting) was really great. She made me four beautiful wall hangings that are above my bed and I think they are stunning, classic and I hope to display them forever. When I was a kid she introduced me to the ballet, an art form I love to this day. She was a word person and enjoyed reading and writing - two things we have in common. She also made her own way, in that she moved to San Francisco, formed a good unit of friends, built a life for herself and wasn't dependent on someone to take care of her. She took that a little to the extreme - I think you can be independent and still have someone in your life.

Having a partner doesn't make you weak.

After we were done we drove to Anacortes to visit with J's cousin who kindly let us shower and then fed us an amazing dinner. They have a lovely home on the water and I may have to start doing some serious sucking up in order to be invited up there again in the summer. (I'm not too worried about that actually)

We headed back to our part of the world around nine, and I was sleeping like the dead by 11:30. It was a big day and I'm thankful it is done.

My only advice to you all -- sort through your crap. Do you really need everything you are storing in your garage? Probably not. I challenge you to spend a few hours each month to rid yourself of "stuff". I'll be doing some of that next weekend. LESS IS MORE!!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This may be part of the problem

There might be reasons why the Greece trip isn't quite the anticipated event that normal vacations are. Last night I tried to arrange my travel from Athens to Keci Buku.

I have a flight from Athens to Rhodes, Turkey- where I will apparently pay for a visa to enter the country. Then I have 24 hours to take a hydrofoil to the island of Marmaris and then catch a taxi to Keci Buku. Somewhere in there I need to find a place to sleep.

My initial thought is to get to Keci Buku and just be there, but the places to stay are minimal, however, there are so many options on Marmaris that it's a tad daunting. Ideally, I'd like to stay at or near the marina - but I can't seem to find anything. Marmaris is a resort and the hotels I'd like to book have a three night minimum and appear to be all inclusive. The "lesser" more adventurous places have warnings about location from previous guests.

Maybe I should just wing it, get there and then spend my day finding a place to stay. People do it all the time, and I should be able to set my apprehensions aside.

I'm not planning where to stay on the back end of the trip. I'm going with the flow and will only book my hotel in Athens for the night before I leave. (Holiday Inn at the airport!)

I think if I was able to nail down how I was getting to the port to catch the sailboat my excitement level would increase. It bugs me that I'm haven't been able to work this out. The guidebooks and the online information for the sailboat people said I should work with an agent to make this happen. I guess, that's what I'm going to have to do.

And... I so have to get a new photo on my passport. I look NOTHING like the puffy gal in the picture. That is my task for today.

UPDATE: Noon, passport update accomplished. New passport with my better photo will be here in 7-10 days. Whew!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I know, I know, I’ve been getting your email hints about the lack of blogging. Clearly, you know that this dating thing is going extremely well and it has been keeping me from my normal blogging activities. Blogging during the day (at work) really is supposed to be an exception and not the norm. My employer kind of wants me to focus on work, while I’m at work… CRAZY.

However, today is not the day in which I will completely live the “keep work and life separate” motto. I’m spinning on a number of topics that I should be able to work out on my own but I need to over share.

The first thing that’s going on with me is an odd state about the Greece trip. While I’m looking forward to it, it is just kind of looming out there as something that’s coming. I’m not in my normal state of pre-vacation excitement. Generally about this time I’ve started practicing my new language, spent time in the maps, planned out things I want to see and have been doing research on the history of the area. So far, I’ve only bought a couple swimsuits and am working out the items I need to pack. I haven’t spent as much time as I should yet to figure out where I’m going to stay in Athens and then in Rhodes.

I spoke yesterday with one of the folks who will be on the trip with me it wasn’t an instant “friendship” match, but he seemed like a tolerable fellow. I think the trip is going be small, meaning that instead of three boats of people we will likely be one boat. Maybe that will translate into more personal space for TPgal on the boat or more importantly less restrictions on how often we can shower.

Perhaps tonight I will do more Greece homework and finally mail the Seascape people my itinerary. Some of this apathy has to do with the horrific amount of work that has to get done before I can leave without guilt, but mostly it's about looking forward to other things in my life. Such as:

J and I are headed to Long Beach for a weekend at the end of September. I can't wait to show him where I grew up. He grew up in Denver and the ocean is a spectacular place to visit. I'll get to take him to some of my favorite places on earth. I hope the weather will cooperate because the beach is best experienced outdoors. Even if it's raining, we'll bundle up and enjoy walks on the beach. Oh gosh, I can't wait!!!


J and I finalized plans for a trip to visit his parents in February. This will be a mildly long weekend (Friday through Tuesday) with many of his relatives coming to help celebrate his dad’s 70th birthday. Even though we’ll be forced to endure a weekend of chastity sleeping arrangements (i.e. him in the basement and me with an ankle bracelet low jack in an upstairs room) I’m really looking forward to it. There are a few things about the trip that I think will be great including spending good quality time with his parents, seeing where he grew up, and hanging out in Denver with someone who knows and likes the area. I’ll also get to see my gal pal Misty that weekend.

I think it’s odd that I’m more jazzed about a weekend in Long Beach and then in Denver with my new dude than I am about three weeks in Greece. I AM MENTALLY ILL.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Messy Martha...the return

No, she hasn't returned from the great beyond, but I did finally get a response from Social Security about the payment they took back. Actually, Social Security "assures" me they did not ask for the payment back and that the bank must have done it on their own accord. Whatever… there is an underpayment that I covered with funds from my personal savings account to the tune of $1700 and I want my money back.

Social Security is sorry to tell me that they do not recognize her will, nor the power of attorney information I provided and that I need to submit a document from the court stating my "appointment" to have the overpayment paid to me. In real people speak it means that I would have to send her estate to probate to get the appointment.

The attorney I spoke with told me that it would cost well over $1700 in attorney fees and notices to creditors to go the probate route. SWEET! He then advised me to call SS back and ask them to pay the overpayment to Martha directly. Her checking account is still open and any payments there will go to "her". Honestly, that's what I was trying to do in the first place. I didn't want a check cut to TPgal…I wanted the monies to go back to her checking account (where I would promptly cut a check to myself and close the account but that's neither here nor there.)

I've got a call into the Bellevue Social Security Office to see if talking to a real person will help. If that fails, I'll evoke the friend network and ping Janie's cousin for assistance. I hate to rely on the 'network' to get the Federal f*cking Government to do what is right, but I will!

At the end of the day I'm tired of dealing with the Martha stuff. The storage unit is hanging around my neck - but J said he would go with me Saturday to try to resolve it. It's going to be a long day. We'll have to take a bunch of stuff to GoodWill and then dispose of the stuff they won't take. The problem is that to sort the items we'll have to unpack the unit and make a decision about every single box. ICK.

Oh man… I'm not looking forward to it. For some reason the storage unit seems more daunting than dealing with the house, that was (if you read back) knee to waist deep in garbage, old clothes, stinky open food containers, dishes, adult diapers, poop, flies and "art supplies". J and I were talking a few weeks ago about the house and I explained that I had to deal with stuff there that was so gross that I couldn't really even think about. I said that I picked up poop off the floor and he asked…

J: "Oh, did she have pets?"
TP: "Nope..."
J: "eeeewwww"

Eeewww is right my friend…eeeww is right.

So, the storage unit shouldn't be that daunting. Everything is clean, boxed and neatly stacked. As a bonus, I'm not emotionally invested in any of it. Barb, the type A friend wants some of the art which she can gladly come pick up. I feel a little guilty about not wanting to bring the "art" back to my place, but I don't want it. Dad doesn't want it and it seems cruel to send it to brother dear and his family.

There are boxes and boxes of journals that she wrote over the years. On one hand it might be fun to go through them to read her "interesting" view of the world, but she was so unhappy that the ones I did look at made me bitter. Yes, there are letters written from my grandparents sprinkled throughout the journals, but the ones I found were followed by angry dissections about why her parents were bad people. Gosh, I'm so very thankful that I have the ability to see the happy side of life.

Anyway, of all the stuff the bed is really the thing that is bothering me, it is a monster queen sized wood platform with drawers. I was too chickensh*t to get rid of it when we were packing the house - stupid me. I was worried that we would have to throw it away, however, a quick check of the "can I donate it" section on eases my mind. They will take it, now if J and I can lift it we'll be golden.

Sadly, there is a whole list of stuff they won't take that includes animals, auto parts and fire arms. ANIMALS! How stupid are people that they have to be told this???? "Uh, here's this horse we no longer need, can I have a tax receipt?"

Cross your fingers that we'll be done with this mess Saturday. It would be nice to apply the $89 per month storage fee to something else like my shoe collection or savings for a big once in a lifetime social event. I'm pretty sure that my attempt to get SS to pay Martha her final check will go nowhere, but I will try. If I can't get the money back, I wonder if it would be legal for me to deduct the $1700 I paid to cover her bills from my taxes? Who knows… if she could deduct the Hurricane Katrina victim allowance in 2005 (as a resident of Washington) who knows what you can do.

(here's a photo looking into the living room. See how she pulled out the vacuum cleaner, I'm sure it would have been a huge help!)

Summer's Over

With the long weekend behind us, its time to settle down and really focus on work. The days of daydreaming about romance and allowing the weight loss journey to be a reason to be distracted at the office need to end.

I'm leaving for Greece in 28 days and I have A LOT of work to do before I can leave without worry. The only way to get it done is to actually... um.... start. (of course, instead of being on the early bus this morning, I'm blogging. Perhaps I need a lesson in action vs. words.)

The long weekend was amazing. Even though we didn't really go anywhere it was great. I met the remainder of J's Seattle based family. They were funny and very nice. I felt very at ease and look forward to more 'family' events. Now, all that is left is meeting his parents. Based on how the rest of the family talks about J's M&D I'm not concerned at all about them. They are clearly adored.

Sunday, J & I met my parents in Roslyn for lunch. Roslyn is kind of a halfway point between where my parents live and here and my parents enjoy the Brick tavern. We didn't know it, but it was some sort of Pioneer Day or Logger Jamboree celebration. A parade was about to start as we pulled into town. We timed our visit perfectly as we moved inside the tavern, settled at a table while the parade was going on outside. We enjoyed a nice long, easy visit and then some of the parade participants came into the tavern and performed. The bag pipers played 4 or 5 songs and my dad was in heaven. My parents were taken with J and any anxiety I may have had about the visit wasn't an issue.

I talked to Mom last night and she said she could see that he's family. She said she was glad she finally got to meet him because we're moving at warp speed over here and she felt strange that she hadn't yet. She also said my aunts are concerned about the swiftness of this relationship, but once I get back from Greece J and I will head over for a visit and they will understand when they see us together.

Sunday night, J and I made dinner and opened some great wine. I really love that we can spend the whole day together and still sit and talk for hours.

We spent Monday on the couch watching movies and catching up on the Closer and Project Runway. We didn't actually watch The Committments - we mostly napped through it.

It was a great weekend. I need to head to the office, there may be more later...