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!


Tee Hee

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

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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Movie Review: The Invasion

What the world needs is more remakes of decent quality scary movies from the 1950's.  In 1956, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a scary concept.  The idea of space travel and aliens were high on the list of things that were frightening to folks.  These days, alien invaders in the form of microscopic organisms isn't as scary as say some guy becoming President, dying and then his pretty, but inexperienced VP runs our nation.  **Shiver**
(Get off your soap box tpgal...) 
In the 2007 version of Invasion Nicole Kidman has to fool the alien infected masses by looking stoic and unemotional, which is right up her Botox Alley.  She also has to beat the shit out of some kid and get spit on my Jeremy Northam (who was totally dreamy in Emma, and can't seem to play anything but creeps now.)
To be fair, Invastion wasn't terrible; it wasn't OH MY GOD awesome, but it kept my attention and at one point I did require the comfort of a big strong person to save me from the stupid thing that Nichole was doing.  Note to self, when you're locked in a pharmacy and waiting for help and you hear a room full of people banging on a blood soaked door - DO NOT OPEN IT.  The blood is a CLUE dumbass.
The pace of the movie was good, and while the dialog got a little 'fake medical' at times, I found myself caring for the characters.  So, as a mildly entertaining DVD during the halloween season, I give Invasion a thumbs up. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I need a day off from my weekend

Oh description of everything on the agenda for the weekend was pretty accurate. Here is is 7 p.m. Sunday and I'm pooped.

Our mashed potatoes for the cider pressing party turned out great. In typical TPgal fashion, we made too much. We were told that we were cooking for about 20 people, but it turns out the kids dined on pizza so our two huge crock pots of warm, creamy garlic mashed potatoes were too much. However, we did not come home with pounds and pounds of leftovers. I scored enough turkey, gravy and potatoes to make a yummy dinner tonight.

The cider pressing party was good fun. Becky's parents have this large wooden press that you feed the apples (and some pears) into to chop up and then once the barrel is full a wooden lid is screwed down onto the fruit and the excess juice is squeezed out. It was a true group effort in that all the chopping and pressing is done under manual effort.

In addition to pressing 15 cases of apples into the freshest and best tasting cider I've ever had, Becky also pulled of a perfectly wonderful turkey.

We've been enjoying stunning fall weather so we were outside the whole day under a tree that was shedding leaves. Fabulous!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A busy Saturday

I'm officially back from my non-vacation to Greece so I guess I should start acting like I'm in town.

Today there's a lot on the agenda. Breakfast with J's work buddy Bob (the anti-relationship guy.) I liked Bob the first time I met him. He told this "great" story about how when he moved his family back to the US from South Africa the funny folks on Air France thought it would be funny to tell him that both the family dog and the bird they were transporting had died in flight. I'm not really sure where someone begins to think that something like that might be funny - but it really wasn't. When they landed in Paris Bob made the folks show him the dog and the bird. For some odd reason every Air France manager was on the tarmac to apologize and make sure Bob was happy. (This happened years and years ago, I'm sure by now they know it isn't funny.)

After breakfast, we are running to my house to pick up some stuff (i.e. my desk and the crock-pot.) A trip to the grocery store is in order as we're bringing 20 pounds of mashed potatoes to a harvest party at Becky's. (20 pounds pre-cooked.) Later this afternoon, while Sleep Country replaces the torn box spring on the brand new bed that J purchased I'll be peeling and boiling potatoes.

Tonight we're going to dinner with our friends Doug & Chelsey. (Are they friends...are they family? They are both.) Anywho Chelsey's parents are coming into town and we're all gathering to celebrate some big news.

Last night, J and I went on a date. We went to SIP in Issaquah for wine, cheese and a yummy dinner and too much desert. He's great for me, as we split the appetizer and the entree. We couldn't decide on which desert to order so we got two, but didn't eat half of either. The leaded coffee was a bad idea, but it tasted GOOD.

So, this day is underway... Bob awaits at the Kirkland Pancake House, so off I go.

Monday, October 20, 2008


A friend sent me a copy of a Facebook exchange between two friends that I'm sure was horrifying for the people involved.

The scenario is this, girl 1 posts a photo of herself with a famous person whom she knows through an artistic skill that they share. Girl 2 comments that the famous person has not aged well and refers to her by a common but incorrect nickname. (i.e. referring to Mother Teresa as "terri" -- NOT COOL)

So, the exchange is going back and forth and then BAM the famous person comments "what's up?" The girls try to cover with saying how she looks like some teacher of theirs from ages ago and the famous person says:

"so, I guess I have aged - well yes we all do! and I am not a Patty thank you."


The lesson careful what you say on the Internet about people, they likely are reading you. I've made that mistake about folks in my real life, but have thankfully edited myself after my senses took over. I am prepared to apologize for my comments no matter how true or justified I felt they were at the time.

It's one thing to talk smack about some famous person you don't know, but if you do know them, perhaps you should either remember to be kind or be prepared to say to their face, "hey you look old."


I'm so sick of all the political ads that are so negative and hateful. The governor race in Washington is awful, neither of the candidates has anything to offer in the way of hope for a renewed future. Instead of telling us what the candidate will do to improve the state, our economy or education for our kids they are posting ad after ad that vilifies each other.
The presidential election isn't much better, but I have a solution!
My absentee voter packet came in the mail, so I'm going to vote today and all these ads will go away.
You can thank me the next time you see me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Maybe this will help

Without going into a lot of detail for those of you not subjected to my daily "I'm so in love" emails - it may need to be said that things with J are going extremely well.

We are however settling into a routine that allows for more independent time to pursue our own individual interests while still enjoying each others company. Right now, I'm blogging and he's vacuuming something. I feel no obligation to run into the other room to help.

He has not only met my parents but gone "home" with me for a visit. This was a big deal, most of my best friends have never gone home with me. J was able to spend time with the Aunts and with Uncle Ed. We did the standard TPgal family event where we helped someone around their house. (This time it was my parents.) J and I hit Costco and brought M&D much needed supplies and then puttered around their house. J is technical support for the family (his and now mine) and he installed the new big screen tv.

This weekend we bought a (gasp) new bed. J's set up was more than 10 years old and needed to be refreshed. You are now wondering... are these kids shacking up!? The official answer is "of course not." I have my home and he has his. My place will likely going on the market after the holidays, but for right now I have my own place.

So, we made it to church this morning and somehow I got volunteered (meaning I didn't say no) to teach 6 weeks of Sunday School and to give a 5-7 minute talk during Advent on the "Power of Waiting." Pastor Kirby thinks "my story" is inspirational. Um.. I was angry and sad and finally decided to take control over my life. I'm sure my "speech" will be more than that. I know that my pre-2008 life taught me a lot about how to be really appreciative of the joys of my world. It's not all about the new relationship's about really loving things like being active, feeling attractive, having a sense of direction and ownership over my own destiny.

The Sunday School thing is just wrong. I'm a tad bit too evil to teach Sunday School, but maybe I'll learn something. Maybe there's a life lesson for me.

Work...well, it is pretty bleak. I'm balancing the desire to get laid off with the guilt over not coming anywhere close to my normal level of work ethic. I will be looking for new work, but am likely to hang out and collect a severance check. There's something in the hopper, but no details yet.

Have a great Monday (or Sunday if you're hanging out on line.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I don't normally blog about sports but as an alumni of WSU (cougars) this headline caught my attention:

USC ends Cougars' scoring streak 69-0

I think the next time the Cougs call asking for money I'm just going to scream into the phone... "69 to Zero!?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Americans...tisk tisk

I was standing in line at Dairy Queen and the guy in front of me was marveling at the display of candles for sale. They had all the numbers for you to buy to pop on top of your ice cream cake.

I couldn't help but overhear as he said to his friend:

0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9... I guess you just get screwed when you turn 10. That sucks.

Yes indeed...

Joe The Plumber

While watching the debate last night I knew that the reporters across America were scrambling to find "Joe the Plumber" and sure enough, there's news regarding his failure to hold a plumbing license in the town in which he operates.

The article also says that he doesn't earn more than $250,000 - which is the income level at which Obama's tax plan would actually increase. (Having done none of the research myself I'll trust that the figure that 95% of us make less than $250,000 is accurate.)

Joe Wurzelbacher "the plumber" said "if you believed (Obama), I'd be receiving his tax cuts." UM so, why the fuss???

I give Joe credit for acknowledging that perhaps too much time was spent at the debate talking about him. He said he felt like Britney Spears with a headache, everyone wanted to know and that he hoped he wasn't embarrassing himself.

Not at all Joe… not at all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Last day

Today marks the last day of my non-vacation. I spent the weekend at my parents with J. He got to meet the relatives and help Mom and Dad with some needed household things.

We managed to visit a couple of wineries in Prosser, Kestral and Airfield. My college chum Flint is the wine maker at Kestral, but he was not around when we arrived. Airfield was fun the sampler people had a lot of energy and made the experience a hoot.

We bought lots of wine at both places.

Today we're running errands, getting me a bus pass (because I am actually going to work this month) getting the cars washed and a few minor things for around the condos.

I am woefully behind on my bookclub book and fear that I'll be the one that doesn't finish it, even though I've been off for a week. Starting the daily commute will help I'm sure.

I'm still in a good place (mentally) about the job situation. If (when) I get laid off the severance will be enough to survive for a while without much worry. Don't fret about the tp gal, she will land on her feet!

Happy Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm still not in Greece

Having had to go into work for two VERY IMPORTANT meetings with the new owners of our company, the fact that I chose to be in town has turned out to be a good choice.

I'm keeping up on email, but mostly playing house to fill my days. Last night I made a yummy chicken garlic penne pasta with fresh tomatoes. So good! (even if I may say so myself.)

Dad is in the hospital, so J and I are going over Saturday for a quick visit and to help M&D with some things. It is a one day trip and yet somehow the aunts and uncle have been informed that we're coming. Lucky J!

Dad is mostly ok, he's anemic and they don't know why. Those early morning phone calls suck though. He says he feels good, but they won't let him leave the hospital. Maybe he's not the best judge of what's going on.

I'm glad the schedule has worked out that we can go to visit.

Other than that, the week has been a whirlwind of chores, shopping and visiting friends. I'm not sleeping in or anything, but am having fun.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Work Situation

It's still not ok to comment publicly about the company I work for and I wouldn't dream of discussing anything remotely confidential. However, there has been a lot of articles in the press lately that I would characterize as very similar to the information provided to the folks on staff at former MegaBank.

When a bigger company gobbles you up, under any circumstances there is an evaluation of the staff on both sides of the acquisition that are evaluated to determine who is redundant. The evaluation of the staff on the acquirer side is usually a convenient opportunity to rid the payroll of problem people - most of the staff on the acquirer side are considered to be "safe." Those of us on the acquired side do not have the same safety net.

I'm extremely confident that in spite of my excellent skills, good attitude, and moderate salary that there's likely no need for TPgal at the new company. I'm ok with this reality. I'm financially better off than I was when eCharge closed its doors without notice, and my support system is stronger.

They're telling us we will know our disposition (aka fate of employment) by December 1st. There are a couple of options within that scenario that are attractive, but I don't be waiting until then to start looking. I would rather walk away from a severance package and into a stable job than pass up an opportunity to advance my career, or even take myself in a new direction.

For folks who don't feel like they have options, the December timeline is terrible. Two months (well... 6 weeks at this point) is a long time to twist in the wind. I personally don't feel like I'm twisting, I still feel in control of my own reality.

It would be a bummer to walk away from a year end bonus (I KNOW, HOW ON EARTH CAN A COMPANY THAT WAS TAKEN OVER STILL HAVE BONUSES?) that I had hoped to use for an event later in 2009. But...if the right job comes along, I will gladly take it. I understand that there is a cost to sticking it out to the bitter end in a situation like this, morale tends to drop to negative numbers.

As much as I'm motivated by money, I need to be happy. I've spend enough time being cranky.

So, more news as it comes out. When I know what's going on with me I'll share. In the meantime, I'm being super conservative with my money and not regretting the cancellation of the Greece trip for one moment.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Non-Vacation

I'm having a 1950's housewife vacation. Well, not the vacation of a 1950's housewife, but pretending to be a 1950's housewife. I'm cleaning, cooking being way too domestic.

Yesterday after I had lunch with Becky and ran errands (returning one of the swimsuits) I ran to the grocery store and picked up things for dinner.

In an homage to the 1950's I made a big garlicky meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes and threw in some asparagus to green up the plate. It was a meal that I wouldn't have done just for me, and was way too much for just J and I. Fortunately, Thursdays are Survivor Nights with our friends (and family) D&C. The four of us devoured my heart attack special in no time.

The trick to my meatloaf... using two different kinds of meat - the leanest ground beef you can find, and plain old ground sausage. Holy Crap... it is a good combo. It also helps to not be shy with the garlic and the spices. I didn't find the bread crumbs until after I was done with the mix, so I took salad croutons, crushed them and used them as filler.

Over the course of dinner (and two bottles of wine that C and I mostly polished off ourselves) we hatched an evil, diabolical plan. Wanna hear it? Good!

In looking at my things with a critical eye (something I strongly recommend to you all after cleaning up Martha's things) I realized I have a rather large collection of arts and crafts supplies. I use to make my own holiday cards and scrap books. Now I have lots of rubber stamps, special paper, cutters and embossing materials.

Since I don't use these items anymore, but I do have a significant investment in them so throwing them away or giving them to strangers doesn't feel right. C is in the same boat in that she has lots of this crap laying around too... so here's my diabolical plan:

C will plant an idea in the ear of "the one they warned me about" to have a craft night with the idea that we'll swap stuff that we no longer need. C and I will bring all of our stuff, and intermingle it with everyone else's stuff and then suddenly get called away and leave EVERYTHING behind!

Yes, it would be easier to give it away but this feels more, oh I don't know...evil. And I like being a little bit evil.

I am moving so slow this morning... maybe it has to do with the two bottles of wine. I just can't seem to get going. I've showered, watched an episode of Law & Order but fell asleep so I had to watch it again. I'm a slug.

I am off though... I have a plan for today and it doesn't involve an elaborate dinner. J is working late tonight so we'll probably grab some quick chow later on and watch a movie. That's my plan anyway; he is allowed to have his own ideas. I haven't completely squashed his free will just yet. (In the secret rules of women guidebook it says to wait until after you're married to kill their free will. I may not actually get to that activity because I'm having so much fun in the "woo him" stage - why move on?)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Love Birds

I'm honestly trying not to love blog too much, but I did want to share some photos from the weekend in Long Beach. Don't worry, I do know the difference between things that are fun to do, and things that should NEVER be photographed...