Saturday, September 29, 2007

Don't Spend It All In One Place....

I haven't been blogging much lately, which is mainly the result of being too busy with the new job. It feels like I am always either getting ready for work, going to work, at work, returning from work, or recovering from work...each day, every day, 5 days in a row. And I'm exhausted.

I counted it up....right now, I spend an average of 12 hours a day devoted to work in some way. An hour (or more) getting ready for it; 20 minutes driving to it; 10 hours at it (8am to 6pm on avg), and another 20 minutes coming home from it. I try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, if I can. So that leaves 4-5 hours a day....out of 24....for myself. A whopping 17% of my day, not work-related. Yee ha. Don't spend it all in one place, eh?

While I need to work right now for various reasons that are beyond my control, and I am ever thankful for this job, it does suck the life right out of my day. Hence the blog is sorely neglected. *sigh*

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not Enough

Why are weekends only be 2 days long? Who made those rules, and why did the rest of us follow them?

We spend Friday night trying to recover from the week prior; we spend Sunday night getting ready for the week ahead. The only peaceful day unto itself is Saturday, and that's far too fleeting, full of random errands that have to be run then because there is no time to do them during the work week. Whew!

Truly....who voted for this two day weekend thing, and can we get a recount, please?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pizza Pie Thighs

One of the nice things about being back at a regular job is that Fridays are now so meaningful. TGIF in a big way. Once again, we've resumed our old Friday evening pizza night, plopped on the sofa with a bottle of vino and a hot pizza pie. Horrible for the thighs, good for the soul. One of the simple pleasures of life. I'll take it. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Plastic Cups, Bad Shoes and no Rice-a-Roni

I'm back from San Francisco. As usual, I have observations:

- San Francisco has a huge homeless population. I think I personally stepped over every single one of them on my way to work each morning. I've never seen that many scraggly, bearded men shaking their plastic cups all in one place. Ewww!

- They're homeless, but they're creative. One held a sign asking for money because 'he needs a haircut'. Another asked for something...anything...'even if only a smile'. That's all he got, too.

- It's only September, but already, a slight fall chill is in the air. Leather boots, gray tweed skirts and light fall coats abound. And those are the men. (Hey, it's San Francisco....what do you expect?)

- The aroma of exoticly spiced food seemed to be in the air all the time.

- Starbucks coffee is cheaper in San Fran than in the Palm Beach airport.

- High tech is still king. Every human (probably even the homeless guys) sported a cell phone, Blackberry, iPod, iPhone or some other late model chip-laden gadget, and they were all actively using them.

- Street-car/trolleys can be annoying.

- Food was everywhere, but I saw no Rice-a-Roni anywhere. :)

- I walked down a very busy shopping street with some fun architecture, but I noticed that it was still pretty much all the same shops you can find at any mall -- Old Navy, the Gap, the Container Store, Crate & Barrel, William-Sonoma. Corporate America has moved in and ruined yet another formerly unique neighborhood.

All in all, it was a quick real fun to be had....just work and trying to deal with the time zone differences and sore feet from wearing new/wrong shoes. I may be crippled for life now. Perhaps that's what happened to some of the homeless guys....the ones in the wheelchairs. Perhaps it all started with bad shoes, a long walk to work and people shaking their plastic cups at them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Catching Some Air

Today, I’m blogging from 33,000 feet, high above...oh, probably Utah or Nevada currently, heading to San Francisco on business for a few days. Today will be a very long day, as there’s a three-hour time zone difference between Florida and California. So I just backed my watch up from 3:00 pm to noon, and the flight attendants are serving us ‘lunch’ again. I say ‘lunch’, but what I really mean is a snack – peanut butter crackers specifically – to at least try to acclimate us to the Pacific time zone, meal-wise.

It won’t make much difference, really. I won’t be out here long enough to reset my time clock. It’ll just be a few days of waking up at 4am and falling asleep on my feet at 8pm, and then I’ll be back on a plane headed eastbound again on Wednesday afternoon.

I’m attending a trade show in downtown San Francisco. Going to SFO usually excites me, but this time it just feels so functional, so non-entertaining and work-related, it may as well be Detroit. I won’t see anything, except on the cab rides to and from the airport. So it’s not like I’ll be able to enjoy the city. I’ll just exist in it for a couple of days, and it probably won’t even know I’m here. And that’s the glamour of business travel. Sometimes you go cool places to work. And all you do is work. That’s what happens when someone else is footing the bill. You’re on their time and dime, not yours. So work, it is.

I am meeting four work colleagues out here. It’s a bit uncomfortable, because they all know each other, and I’m the newbie. And they each fear that I am somehow here to replace them. As an ‘FOJ’ (friend of Jim, the new CEO), I’m quite sure they’re not sure what my presence here is all about. So I expect them to be disingenuous, on guard, worried…studying me. The truth is that I have no agenda, other than to try to help create some new business. We’re all on the same team and have the same mission, but I’m not sure they believe that. It’s a period of change for the company, and they’re all a little insecure about their jobs. Some of them should be. Things are definitely changing. But I don’t think my presence has anything to do with it, truly.

Landing in a few minutes. Hope my bags made it. I don’t wish to spend more than one day in today’s business suit. I had an hour layover back in Atlanta. Surely that was enough time for someone working on union pay to move my bags from gate A19 to gate A9, but don’t ever bet on it.

More later…...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

And It Wasn't Even That Good...

It's happened again, and this will be the last time. I just can't do it anymore.

I've talked about this before as a minor annoyance, but now that I am spending most of my time in Florida, I have to put my foot down and nip this in the bud. I'm talking about friends who invite us to dinner, order grandly and then insist on splitting the bill in half, even when we ordered very little. It's just not fair.

I could overlook this practice when it was infrequent. But now that it has the potential to become a common event, and since I've put our household on a tighter budget, I simply refuse to subsidize other people's expensive entrees on a regular basis.

Case in point: Last night for dinner, I had an appetizer as entree, my husband had some grilled fish, and we split a salad starter. The table also shared an appetizer and ordered a bottle of wine, although my husband didn't drink any wine (due to a stomach issue), and I didn't eat the appetizer. By all accounts, our portion of the bill should have been maybe $80 with tax and tip.

But what were we asked to contribute? $130. Yes, $130, for a portobello mushroom and a piece of fish. Our dining partners had ordered grandly, not so much the Mrs., but her husband ordered several pounds of King Crab, and God knows what that cost.

So...on the way home, I told my husband that we just can't do that anymore, and we need to find a way to alter this practice without hurting anyone's feelings. These are lovely people and dear friends, and I feel bad even posting this on my blog, but the practice simply has to stop.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No Need To Look

I was out in traffic today running errands during lunch break -- to the bank, to the dry cleaners, to the coffee shop. And in about an hour, I noticed the same thing several times -- NOBODY LOOKS. Drivers in cars, when they turn, when they go to change lanes, when they come to an intersection -- NOBODY LOOKS! And you can watch them and actually see them NOT LOOK. They just drive on, like they're the only car on the road. I am simply amazed by that.

I dodged two or three potential accidents in a single hour today - even laying hard on the horn once -- by watching and noticing that people did not bother to look my way. I can't believe more people aren't killed on the roads out there every day. Truly amazing.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Boys of Fall

It's back, and I'm ready!

This is what I love about Fall. Even though the temperature still screams 'summer' all day, every's officially Fall because football season has kicked off, and the weekends are loaded with games, games, games. College football, pro football, heck even high school football. Bring it on! I love the season!

Tonight? NY Giants at the Dallas Cowboys in a Dallas home opener. Rivalry mania!!! Eli Manning vs. Tony Roma. Rockin'!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I haven't been following the Madeleine McCann story as closely as some of you out there, for obvious reasons, but I did hear that the parents are now officially considered 'suspects' .

While I have no idea if this has any merit -- it may very well be heading down the right path -- I can't help but think that if it's not, what an absolute nightmare for those parents.

I can't imagine having lost a child so randomly like this, suffering through heartache, sleepless nights, endless days, feeling completely helpless, and then suddenly someone points the finger at you. Clearly, if they are involved, it's warranted. But if they're not, what a nightmare upon a nightmare. I can't imagine.

I did hear that the police grilled the mother for 11 hours straight. I'm not sure that's a fair way to assess someone's potential guilt, unless there is some really hard evidence to point at. In a dejected emotional state over the loss of a child, if someone grilled me for 11 hours straight, I'm not sure what might come out of my mouth out of pure emotion and frustration. Certainly I would never confess to a crime if I hadn't done it, but I might grow weary and say something that the police would try to hang their hat on -- an inconsistency in a timeline or something, perhaps. And if they are on a mission to find someone guilty, they can certainly railroad someone into fitting their own needs. There have been accounts of people under stressful interrogation conditions who confessed to a crime they didn't commit, just to get them to stop badgering them. Seems odd, but it happens.

So I guess we'll see how this plays out, but after having lived with the JonBenet Ramsey case in our faces for years and years now, and having witnessed the way the police and press absolutely destroyed the lives and reputations of the parents over this (with basically no evidence), I'm a little wary of diving in and swallowing the line of thinking from the Portuguese police. It may very well be correct, but I'll reserve my judgement for later.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Smoked Out

Every day now, I pass the smokers....the sad and forlorned faces standing in the building doorway on my way to work, puffing their lungs out. I don't like them. They give me a bad feeling.

I wonder why people smoke. What in the world ever causes them to put a burning piece of anything to their lips and inhale? Who decided that was a good idea? It stinks, it's unattractive, it's expensive and there are so many nicotine nazis out here now, it's become a total social faux pas. So why do they do it? I can't think of a single redeeming factor it offers. Yet they puff away like there's no tomorrow.

I wonder if they know....that automatically, when they light up a cigarette, they assign themselves a lower I.Q.; they move themselves directly into a lower class of people; they reveal themselves as being woefully uneducated; and they scream to the world that they're worthless and weak and a slave to a filthy, nasty habit.

And you know what? None of those things may be true, but that's what I think when I see someone light up. I can't help it. It's simply my perception.

I do not have friends who smoke. I've never specifically set out to socialize only with non-smokers, but it seems to have turned out that way, and I don't think that's an accident. I remember my dating days. I wouldn't go near a guy who smoked, no matter how hot looking he was. It simply turned me right off.

My parents smoke. Or they used to. In their 70s now, they've all but quit, finally. My dad has given it up completely; my mom has cut down to a precious few per day. But they were from a different time, a time when smoking was part of growing up, a right of passage into adulthood, something glamorized by the big screen. So I can forgive them my perceptions because when they first lit up a cig, it was a different world. Today, it just makes me cringe to see a young person smoke.

I've never smoked. Never smoked anything. Never even tried it. No cigarettes, no cigars, no marijuana, not one puff of anything, ever. I simply abhor the notion. To me, the smokers in the doorway are just nasty little addicts. They may as well be standing around shooting up heroin.

I wonder if we'll ever come to a time as a society where people simply don't want to do that anymore....they just stop and never do it again. I don't know what it would take to make that happen. What attribute can we discover about smoking that would make it so abhorrent that everyone would just stop smoking? We already know it can kill us, so that wouldn't do it. Maybe if they discovered that it made us fat or old or short or bald, people would actually want to stop. But somehow, I doubt it. And that's a real drag for all of us.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Say It Ain't So

No, no, no....tell me it's not so!!!

I just read that my main man, Daniel Craig, has become engaged to his horse-faced, bird-legged, man-chick of a girlfriend. SAY IT AIN'T SO!!!!!

He's so very hot, but I do wonder about his taste in women. Are those beautiful crystal blue eyes functional or is the man BLIND?

Oh, no, this is not good. Not good at all.

The First Day

Today, I rejoined the working world. What seemed like an experience sure to cause hyperventilation turned out to actually be okay. It was a good day, probably because I found myself sitting in meetings with someone I used to work for. Sort of felt like old times, and it was a good day overall.

I wore a great dress, my black ballet flats (ala Audrey Hepburn) and a black blazer. Being dressed up made me feel good.

It was a long day, a day without lunch, a day that lasted almost 11 hours, but it was a good one nonetheless.

The first day is always the hardest, and I'm glad it's behind me. Onward.

Monday, September 3, 2007

All Dressed Up and Some Place to Go

I'm in Texas today but will be jetting back to South Florida this afternoon to begin my new job tomorrow. Yay!!

I'll be going in as a consultant, not a regular employee, but that's mostly semantics, as it's easier to get me started this way, since it keeps my boss from having to go to his 'uppers' to get approval for an unbudgeted position. The plan is to plug me in now and make me permanent as a position evolves over the next few months.

I'm very excited and flattered that my boss has made room for me in his organization, even when it doesn't really exist. There's definitely a need for some talent; there just isn't an official 'opening' for it at the moment. But he's found a way to make it happen anyway. Yay him! Yay me!

So this weekend, I had to run out and buy some new work clothes. I had a few things, but my working wardrobe had dwindled over the past year, so I needed to replenish. Thankfully, everything was on sale, and I scored some great stuff. I found a $600 pinstripe suit on sale for $200. It was a spectacular find and a real shopping coup because I found the jacket and the pants on separate sale racks, the only ones left, both size 4. I reunited them as a set in the dressing room, and they fit perfectly. That was pure shopping GOLD.

I also bought some separates to serve as 'gap fillers' that pair well with skirts and pants already in my closet, plus two great dresses which can be dressed up or down, depending on the accessories. And I found all this within two hours. I was like a whirlwind through the shopping mall on Saturday. Topped it off with a pair of black patent open toe sling-back pumps and a pair of black open-toe ballet flats with a slight wedge heel. All wonderfully interchangeable with most everything in my closet.

So with job in hand, new clothes on my back, some great new shoes and a spring in my step, I am ready to go. More than ready.