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Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Runway: Fail

I am a fan of this show.  It is one of only three reality shows I can handle.  Project Runway is a competition show where they bring 12 or 18 or however many clothing designers together and make them cobble together outfits in a day and then whittle down to the top three or four who get to show a collection during fashion week in New York.  It is catty and wonderful. 

The finale was last night and I tell you I am irritated by the winner they chose.  The Interweb is abuzz today with loathing and sadness for the fan favorites. 

Here are a couple of fun, bitchy comments from blog posters:

"I feel like the ultimate backhanded compliment was Jessica telling Gretchen that, 'my sister would love your clothes'. REALLY?!?! Who wants to dress like Ashlee Simpson? "

"Caca couture. Gretchen's line is 100% inside-out Huggies.  "

I know she's a Northwest girl who got dumped by the fella while she was filming the show, but she was unkind and flat out rude to other designers INCLUDING Tim Gunn.  No one messes with Tim Gunn.


  My favorite was Mondo (see the little cutie) his style was unique and fun.  Granted, I can't wear most of his things, but if his prints were translated into ready to wear, I'd be dropping some coin. 

Fictionary

Stellular - a fantastic new phone service with coverage between Earth and Neptune.  "Thank you for calling Stellular One, a representative will be with you in a moment."

Waggle - My new pregnant way of walking.  It is a side to side, yet forward motion.  It can be emulated, but you have to tuck a small pumpkin into the front of your pant to get the full effect.   (oddly enough, waggle didn't pop up as misspelled.. I wonder what it really means...)

Officially "waggle" means "to reel, sway, or move from side to side ".  The reason for the waggle is irrelevant. Sigh...not a new word.  


Boredrobe - a collection of clothing that is dull and predictable.  'It's time again form my black slacks, blue button down shirt and loafers." 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend away

I've abandoned my fella again and am at the lovely Lake Quinault Lodge on the Olympic Penninsula with my gal pals. It was quite the drive to get here, but it is totally worth it.

A storm is coming in so it is windy and wet. Fabulous winter(ish) weather. The rain held off enough for a hike this morning.

The lodge, built in 1890, is charming and cozy. The one restataunt has very good food. That is fantastic because near as I can tell the closest food is about 40 miles away in run down Aberdeen.

This place falls solidly on the list of places to come back and enjoy with whatshisface.

My book is calling me. Later!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Duh...

A few weeks ago we had our one year warranty walk thru with our home builder.  Our house is in good shape but there's lots of nail pops and hairline cracks in corners, so today is the day that the dry wall repair person is here.  A tile grout dude is also showing up to redo the kitchen counters and make repairs in our shower.  I think they used the wrong products and considering the lack of argument the inspector made I think they know it.

A great thing about working at home is that I can be here without interrupting my work schedule.  However, I made Jason stay home (work from home as well) because I'm attending a charity lunch event that has been on the calendar for months.   We didn't want to abandon our house while the workers were here. This morning we finished prepping for the workers and I got dressed in my finest charity lunch get up (skirt) so as to be ready before the first worker arrived.  I felt a little silly for being so dolled up on a day when so much manual labor was going to take place in our house.  It sort of screams "I'm not helping with anything."

I took my decaf coffee to my desk and looked at the calendar.  Sigh.  The charity lunch is NEXT Wednesday.  I had about 6 seconds to change back into normal clothes before the first worker arrived.  Silly me. 

The good news (other than the fact that our builder cares enough to fix the little stuff in our lovely home) is that now I can use my previously busy lunch time to try to finish my excellent book club book.  The meeting is tonight and I have 230 pages to go.  I'm 415 pages in and the story is zipping by.  I think I can do it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Voting: My opinion of this crazy process

My ballot arrived yesterday and I quickly got to work on my duty as an American and voted.  I hope that the moment the ballot hits the mailbox that the nagging and dreaded political ads will stop. 

I wish that candidates would spend their advertising dollars to tell us what they have done that is noteworthy and not link their opponent to dreaded and dastardly deeds.  I think I would respond better to that.   I'm a Patty Murray fan, I think her efforts to support veterans and to bring earmarks to our state have been beneficial to our community.  Yes, she voted for the banking bailout (which most of the big banks have paid back) and she like every politician alive has taken money from big business and special interest groups - sorry people that's how this crazy system works.  I'm not impressed with Dino Rossi and haven't seen (or paid attention to) his plan to improve things.  His platform seems to be "time for a change".  That's a reasonable idea, but bring something to the table other than "I'm not her".   Both of them need a time out for their nasty and misleading ads.

The real effort in voting this go round are the multitude of initiatives and propositions.  Is it ok to sell booze at the grocery store?  I think yes.  Should we restructure the taxes on booze? I think not.  I don't mind paying a ton of taxes on unnecessary items like booze or cigarettes.  Yes, it is a slippery slope, I mean at what point do my pretty shoes become unnecessary and could be subject to more taxes than someone's work boots? 

Should we repeal the taxes on bottled water, soda pop and candy?  Again, these are taxes I don't mind.  It is a nutty convoluted calculation as to what is considered candy and what isn't, but  for the most part these are items that aren't required to live.  The bottled water issue could be questionable in an emergency situation, but we're typically not in emergency water situations. 

One ad went to town on the issue of certain local foods being subject to taxation that foods manufactured elsewhere weren't subject to.  This turned out to be true but not really accurate.  The local foods were subject to a B&O tax that the out of state items weren't subject to.  B&O is a tax that most, if not all, local business pays on their products and services.  If you hold a Washington State Business License, you pay B&O.  I paid city B&O in Issaquah as well as the portion of my consulting income that I paid to the state.  These out of state food manufactures are not subject to local B&O - they likely pay a similar tax in the location where their business is located.  Taxes like B&O are part of doing business and if you don't like it, move your business to a state or city that has low B&O rates.  (Did anyone notice that Boeing moved it's headquarters to a tax friendly location of Illinois?  Washington Mutual did the same thing when they moved their primary holding company to Arizona or some similar nicely tax friendly location.)   Granted, it is hard to establish a business license in a place where you have no physical presence, but when you're Boeing or formerly WaMu, you can move some poor lackey to the area and hold down an office without having to move your headquarters.   I think Boeing actually moved to Chicago - but none of the execs at WaMu moved to the southwest.

Some of the other issues were not so easy to land on a decision.  Thankfully, Jason and I can cancel each others vote out on topics like income tax for the wealthy.  I'm torn between thinking we need to do something to shore up our finances but am worried that we'll drive our big income families out of our state and open ourselves up to an entire state income tax.  Granted, taxes paid to the state in the form of income tax can be deducted from your federal taxes so our rich friends won't actually be paying MORE taxes we're simply redistributing the flow of money to our state.  But, is that the right thing?  Aaarg.  How are we supposed to know?

When little Lucy says she wants to be President of the US when she grows up I'll be thankful that the likelihood of that actually happening is more remote than my winning Project Runway. 

Jason says that he hates that we have to pay for postage to mail back our ballot.  I do agree that voters might be more likely to participate if they didn't have to find a stamp. (I mean who has STAMPS these days?) His suggestion is that every candidate contribute the cost of one ad to a fund to cover the cost of postage.  I think we need to go farther and require that for every single stinking dollar advocacy groups and candidates spend on advertisements that have any inkling of negativity or are found to be false or misleading that they contribute the cost of the ad (including the cost of printing, or airing the ad) to a fund for a good cause like education.

One thing is for sure, I will never run for office.  I've stated too clearly my distaste for negative ads, my support of equal rights for our gay community and my opinions on silly Lindsay Lohan to ever be taken seriously as a politician.   My inability to get through a debate without a "Frankly Mr. Opponent, You SUCK" would also knock me off the podium pretty quickly.

But, I will endure the season of negative ads and vote.  For this I think I get a cookie!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The babies room

Photos of the work on the babies room can be found here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Next Summer....
















I'm thinking there will be a moment next summer when my new bundle of happiness is napping and I can lay on the table in the sun after some yummy wine.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boston

I’ve been at a conference in Boston this week. It has been interesting and informative. I really enjoyed the lengthy discussion and overview of the BP oil spill and how their response and missteps with the press can be applied to any event that may occur in our own companies.


without glasses

with glasses
I haven’t been to this conference since early 2008, and I was only about 3 months out from my surgery and thus was still “big Terri” at that point. I have mostly adjusted to my new stature and don’t really think about it anymore in my daily life, but when I encountered some of the folks who knew me before their reaction is kind of funny. The women flat out say, “wow, you lost weight” and the men, who are trained to never EVER comment on someone’s weight, tend to mention the color of my hair or my glasses.

If I known that these eye glasses would make me look 115 pounds thinner I would have purchased them years ago!

A tiny corner of my vain brain wishes I wasn’t just beginning to show the baby bump, so they could see all the progress that I made, or that I was far more obviously pregnant. No matter, anyone who has had any sort of “catch up” conversation gets to hear about my transition from MegaBank to the current loved employer and the personal transformation of the marriage to my very own Mr. Wonderful and the impending arrival of our Lucy.

I get to come home tonight and while I was excited to come, I’m ready to go home. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to get out and explore this lovely and historic city, but the warmth of home is calling my name loudly.

The other trouble I’m having is that I haven’t adjusted in anyway to the east coast time zone. I was up until 2am (11pm at home) the first night and again last night. I’m tired now, that’s for sure. I hope I don’t sleep the whole way home on the plane. I’ve got movies and a book to keep me busy and we’re all aware that a cocktail will not be in my future.

I’d better get back to the conference topic at hand. Although I did choke on my scone this morning when I saw that the Sr. Director from the organization that MegaBank was given to is on the agenda. I don’t have any animosity towards the MoreMegaBank people, but I’d rather not deal with them any more that I have to – seems like a normal reaction.

The other reason to come back to Boston is the food.  The clam chowder fricking ROCKS.  I'm also finding an unusual after dinner treat on the menu at every venue.  The expected Boston Cream Pie is on the menu, but so is a yummy apple crisp.  I had no idea it was a food associated with this region.  I expected lobster, clam chowder and the BCP, but a warm and gooey apple crisp?  That has been a happy find.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A party, a red headed slut and a red nosed girl.

We zipped off to Denver for the weekend. We were there to visit Jason’s parents and to celebrate the 80th birthday of a dear family friend.


Mrs. B was one of the Southmoor Park Denver ladies who made the trip out for our wedding. Her attendance was made all the more special because of the fact that she lost her “Mr. Wonderful” in June. Trust me, when someone of her spirit and situation grabs you on the arm, pulls you in and says “pay attention to every day!” you listen.
Mrs. B is a tiny woman with a very formidable presence. She is a surrogate grandmother for Jason and her love of Jason and his family is clear. We will be lucky to find someone like her in our own neighborhood. She says it like it is and is a true lady.
She told us at Easter last year to save this weekend for her 80th birthday party, so we made sure to book a ticket as soon as we were able.

She’s been having trouble with her back and had surgery earlier in the year. At almost 80, complications are not unusual but she has been determined to celebrate her birthday in style. Last week she experienced what was described as unbearable pain in her back and so she called 911 for assistance. Before the fire department could wisk her to the hospital (well, actually,they waited with her while a transport company came to take her to the particular hospital that she insisted on going to) she invited them to her party.
Here’s a clue as to how likeable and what a strong personality that she has, during the party there were no less than ten members of the local fire department that came to the party. They were on duty, so they were in uniform and arrived on their trucks. This delighted the kids at the party to no end. It was if the Pied Piper arrived because at one moment all the children simply disappeared. These patient fire fighters were giving tours of the truck and letting the kids blow the horn. Thankfully, most of the neighbors were at the party, thus the blasting of the horn was likely not a major disturbance.

No less than 200 people were invited to the soiree and it was lovely. She even had a band tucked into the corner of her living room. Mrs. B knows how to party. We’ve privately agreed to attend any party she throws.

In addition to this fun event we also were able to have dinner with some of the local family and friends. We dined one night at this place called “The Perfect Landing.” This little restaurant is at the other Denver airport, the one where the private jets land. It was rather fun seeing these expensive corporate jets take off and land while we enjoyed our meal. Over dinner the discussion turned to cocktails and someone mentioned having something called a “Red Headed Slut.” Well, let me tell you this, I’m so very thankful that I’m pregnant because we ordered one and it was horrid.

A “Red Headed Slut” is a drink made with equal parts of jaggermeister and peach schnapps and a dash of cranberry juice. It is NOT good. We passed one around the table and I had a sip and then happily tossed it aside. I’m not a fan of licorice flavored beverages, jagger, uzo or anise are not common flavors in my world. Those of you who like it amaze me.

We also spent some time with the soon to be grandparents, who tipped their hands that they are very excited about the impending arrival of Miss Lucy. It was sweet to see their excitement in person. We ventured out to Babies R Us for a showing of the thus far selected baby items (the pack n’ play, rocker and other items that no baby should ever have to suffer without.)

On an overly personal note (as if I never go there) I grew a rather large pimple on the top of my nose. My attempt to resolve it has resulted in a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer situation. This morning in the shower I rubbed the wash cloth across my face too aggressively and scrubbed off the scab. The amount of blood was frightening. In fact, I haven’t seen so much blood in the shower since the movie Psycho. (Becky wins the award for the most blood in a bath tub in an unfortunate leg shaving incident while in college.) I worried that I was going to need a Band-Aid across my face, but thankfully I bled out before I had to leave my room. I do feel like quite the grown up at my conference this morning with a cute scab on the top of my nose.

Friday, October 08, 2010

New word: TRAILERHOOD. As in, we live in the sixth yella trailer on the left in Butler's Cove Pines.
(stollen from Janie)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dinner with old friends

I still love this blog.  honest.  Even if I leave it for periods of time.

I dragged Jason to a dinner party last Saturday night.  (This is an over exaggeration considering all I had to do was say,"Hey, my friend Robin invited us to dinner Saturday.")   However, since I seldom have to endure dinners with people I've only heard of, I wouldn't have blamed him if he had been apprehensive about spending the evening with these folks.  He's a good sport and my people are very enjoyable so he has enjoyed all my friends thus far and told me as we left Robin's that he thought they were nice people with very articulate kids.

Over the course of the evening talked about all the gossip of the work life we use to share and our common people.  We delved a little into politics (not much) and talked a lot about parenting.  It was great to get more perspective.  Their kids were interesting but still kid like.  I was happy that the evening wasn't too heavily weighed down by our common work history.  I'm still very interested in the success and well being of the company that Robin owns but if it was all we had in common can I just say... boring dinner party.

A few of my former beloved MegaBankers are guilty of falling into the rut of only discussing the demise of the bank or how they got screwed.  Sorry sweeties, we all got screwed (some to a much lesser degree) and if we're honest we were part of a massive organization that in some ways took advantage of people who have the tendency to trust rather than research.  I loved the work I did at MegaBank and I learned so much, but feel sick at how "the market" sold things like interest only loans and zero equity loans to people based on "stated income."  I am lucky in that I was far removed from the actual selling and processing of these dream killing products but I don't think I would let myself off the hook if I was in Hitler's Army but just processed payroll.   There is some forgiveness in remoteness, I mean they didn't convict Ted Bundy's housekeeper.  (These are very dark references - Hitler, Ted Bundy, Banking.  Time to lighten up.)

So, back to the point.  We had a great evening and it made me reflect on all the people I've known over the years that are close in geography but whose lives have become separate.  I still have love in my heart for them and try to keep in contact, but I guess this is how life goes.   We're about to embark on a journey that is going to make us less accessible to our people, but I know it is the right journey.  (By less accessible, I mean that we're going to be more closely tied to Lucy's schedule than our own.  I believe we will be raising a portable kid, but life as we know it will be changing.)  I think it is important to learn from everyone I meet, be a good friend even if it means simply checking in on them every now and then and remember that I'm never too busy to call and say "how are you:?"  Ok, maybe some days I am too busy to do that, but I can make an effort from time to time.

This isn't a pointed remark about anyone other than myself.  I'm talking about the former co-workers, old college chums and friends of friends I've met, connected with. and have faded away from.   I do have some very dear friends that I'm not able to see as often as I think we would all like, but I give us gold stars for making the effort to stay connected as our lives morph from teen to hip sassy 20's and now into our *gasp* middle age.   In fact, I'm super jazzed about a long planned girls get away that is coming up.  Multiple gold stars to us all for making time to do it.  It's going to be great - we're going to hang out, enjoy a fabulous lodge hotel and stay up to late.  I'm giddy with excitement.   I know it is not possible to plan events like this with all the people I've met and appreciated throughout my life, but I can be more outgoing and less self-involved.  (Me, self-involved!?  Get out of here.)

Perhaps that's the beauty of FaceBook, you can send genuine support to someone you use to have things in common with, but not suffer the awkward silences that might accompany the reality of lives that have really diverged.  It is nicely remote  (again with the Hitler's housekeeper thing.)

I guess, I'm just feeling grateful for time with an old friend and feeling nostalgic about those that I've lost along the way.