Jan 31, 2008

In a normal week, I spend 3-4 nights eating alone in hotel restaurants. I don't mind this so much because I usually have an entertaining book to accompany me to dinner. And tonight was no exception. EXCEPT that my fictional friends could not distract me from the loud voice of a stranger in the next booth. Here is what I learned about her:

She's short and stocky with big calves. She has two sons, one of which is applying to college. Her husband of nearly 20 years is a college football coach. She's a 38DD, and she buys all her lingerie at Frederick's of Hollywood. She has a nipple piercing which she got on a night of drunken debauchery with 3 friends. She has had several affairs, and her husband knows about a couple of them. Her parents have always made her feel insecure and self-conscious about her weight. She is constantly compared to her "perfect" sisters. She loves her job, but dislikes most of her colleagues, who all think she's sleeping with someone else from her office. And to top it all off, she was having dinner with a married man (not her husband) who is more than 20 years her senior. And all this information was gleaned from her answers to his questions. Wonder what he was up to.

Needless to say, I didn't get very far in my book. And I had my server rush the ticket, so I could get the heck out of there.

I'm still shocked and appalled by what I overheard. And I wish I hadn't heard any of it. But that loud, grating voice. Gah!

What is this world coming to?!?!?!

Side note: I am having a truly exceptional hair day. It did everything right, even in the wind. Totally makes up for the crazy diner.

6 Things Meme

Jan 30, 2008

I stole this meme from another blog. Because I wanted to. So there.

Six Things You Might Not Know About Me

1) I had an imaginary friend when I was a child. His name was George. He was green. He was six inches tall, and he could fly. We used to play tag. Sometimes he'd sit on my shoulder and whisper in my ear. He got me into a lot of trouble.

2) I drive a Fleet Vehicle (aka Company Car). And I get more rock chips than anyone I know. I don't follow too closely. I don't break the speed laws. Much. I can't explain why this happens to me, and why it happens to me only in this car. Maybe the rocks are throwing themselves at me in an act of worship. Or aggression.

3) I like vampire novels. And sometimes the movies. I like werewolf novels and movies, too, for that matter. I guess I like the supernatural. I like the idea that the things that go bump in the night might be real and living among us. I really like the idea that the monsters could be good OR evil. Just like us humans - who can sometimes be monsters.

4) I've been fasting negativity for the past couple weeks. On the advice of Handsome, who was absolutely right to suggest it. And it has been productive. I've been more positive and upbeat. And Handsome is the obvious benefactor.

5) I punched a boy in kindergarten. Because he tried to kiss me. I used my official bully status to intimidate him until we left elementary school. I also bullied a very sweet girl who sat beside me. Until the third grade. I feel bad about that. About both of them, actually.

6) I'm a Mac. I drank the proverbial kool-aid. And I liked it. I'll never go back to the way I was before I took this job. And it makes me very happy to share my joy with others. And I really want this. And this.

And now, for those individuals that I want to see play along: Leah, Lucy, Katherine, and Jeff or April.

Crazy Cat Lady

Jan 28, 2008

I didn't expect to find her driving the beat-up mini-van in front of me at the stop light. And I didn't expect to see one of her cats peak it's head over the backseat and stare at me. And I really didn't expect to see it dressed in a pink t-shirt with "Cute" written in purple sequins across its back.

And I wished that my cat would willingly wear a cute t-shirt or take a car ride with me.

Me = future crazy cat lady. *sigh*

The Baby Is Here!

Jan 25, 2008

My dear sister Leah delivered her fifth child, and second daughter, today. I can't wait to meet Little Miss Sofia Grace.

So, I Married A Rock Star

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

Jan 22, 2008

Oh the things I saw today!

I'm in Northern Idaho & Northwestern Washington this week, and it's seriously cold. Although it's been sunny, the temperatures have been low enough to keep the lakes, rivers, and streets (!) frozen.

As I was driving through the countryside today, I saw:

  • Entire lakes frozen solid and covered in snow. AND there were people out there ice-fishing. At one point, I saw a couple guys* dragging a sled full of fish across said lake. Later that day, I saw a herd of deer way out in the middle of a different lake - not sure what they found to eat out there.

  • A herd of cows in a field covered in snow. Most of these cows were laying down. In the snow! Stupid cows. This is why we eat them.

  • Me, skidding on the ice, barely missing two other cars. Praying louding, swearing mildly. Thanking God I didn't hit anyone or slide into a ditch or embankment. I love and hate snow.

  • A lot of people who looked like this.

*Had to be men out in the middle of a frozen lake. No woman would willingly do that. Feminist or not.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Jan 21, 2008

This week I'm in Spokane, WA, where it is 5 degrees at night, and 20 degrees in the day. The kind of weather where you can't take a deep breath of fresh air because you'll choke on it.

Seriously friggin' cold!


Jan 17, 2008

Signs on the restrooms at a popular seafood chain in Seattle:



William Goldman was right!

"Scientists have discovered the remains of a rodent the size of a small car which used to forage the South American continent. The 1-ton creature is believed to have been about 3 meters in length and 1.5 meters tall."

From CNN

Geeking Out

Jan 16, 2008

Steve Job's much anticipated MacWorld keynote address was yesterday morning. Like all of us who have drunk the Kool-Aid (we know who we are), I want one of everything. Especially the Time Capsule, a combo wireless router and back-up hard drive (for use with Time Machine). It would be nice to recover some desk space and to be able to back-up my data across my wireless network. Yeah, that would be awesome.

And I can't wait to get my hands on a MacBook Air. Even if I can't buy one, I want to fondle it. Thin, light-weight, and beautiful. We really do make the sexiest computers on the market. It's nice that we've integrated the multi-touch trackpad, but I think the lack of an optical drive says something important about the market.

I download most of my software across the Internet, buy music, audiobooks, TV shows, and HD movies (including rental) from the iTunes Store. Is it possible that CDs & DVDs are going the way of the floppy disk?

Wise Advice

Jan 14, 2008

This fall, one of my colleagues admonished me, "you are what you do everyday." Her meaning was pretty clear - a professional (at anything) practices her craft every single day. It's true in art, music, sports, even sales. Everything.

And then this morning, I was reading from "Law of Attraction" that "you attract to your life whatever you give your attention, energy, and focus to, whether positive or negative." Pretty much the same thing my friend was telling me.

It was a powerful reminder to hone my craft consistently and positively, to keep first in my mind my goal of winning - for myself, my customers, and my company.

Because, to tell the truth, I have been lax in my thoughts and actions. I've focused more on the challenges I face, than on the opportunities - it's been like seeing the potholes instead of where the road is going. Time for an attitude adjustment, I think.

Whisper Sweet Nothings

Jan 11, 2008

"Every time I open my sock drawer, I am reminded of how much you love me!"

Smells Like Home

This morning, I pulled a shirt out of my suitcase, and it smelled exactly like home. Fresh from the wash, so I buried my face in it and absorbed the scent.

"They" say that the olfactory sense is the most powerful link to memory. The funny thing is, home isn't really a memory - it's all the memories, but not any single memory. It's peace, happiness, laughter, chores, safety, so much more.

Years ago, our family was friends with another family. And I absolutely loved the way their house smelled. It was in their clothes and furniture and carpets. It was some undefinable aroma that instantly set my heart at ease. And I tried for years to replicate it, always falling short.

Little did I know that I'd find it in my luggage - fresh from the home Handsome and I created. It set this weary, saleswoman's heart at ease.

National Delurking Week

Jan 10, 2008

January 7th to January 13

That's right - it's that time again. Stand and be counted!

And I'll do the same for you. In fact, I've delurked on two blogs this week already. And you can too. Go on. You know you want to.

Crackin' Me Up

Jan 9, 2008

"[O]nce I get going my nose runs like a Kenyan." A Girl and a Boy

"[M]akes me feel like my veins have been injected with glitter." Dooce

"[Y]our kid is like your own B.O. – you just think everyone else’s is worse." Antique Mommy

Where's A Cop When You Need One?

Jan 8, 2008

So, I'm driving along in rush hour traffic, and some moron decides he needs to take THIS exit. NOW!

Except, he has to race across three lanes of traffic, crossing the striped "caution - don't drive here" area, and nearly careening into me as I take said exit (from the appropriate exit lane.) The truly frightening part though, is that this exit has a 40 foot drop-off on both sides as three lanes exit to different roads.

Needless to say I honked my horn and shook my fist. Idiots like that should have their licenses revoked.

New Year's Resolution #2

Jan 7, 2008

Since the first resolution didn't seem to work (my flight yesterday was delayed more than two hours), I have a new resolution.

Stop sitting next to annoyingly gregarious and/or drunk and/or loud people, especially those who do not understand the universal "I don't want to talk on this flight" signal - an open book.

That happened to me last evening. She was loud and pushy and insisted the three of us be Best Friends Forever and talk about everything that crossed her drunken mind. Including how she's a "major lesbian, not that I'm hitting on you." And every time I returned to reading my book, she would bang her elbow into my arm, demanding I "pay attention!" to her inane blabbering.

I kid you not.

To the angel of airline seat assignments: Please don't do that to me again. Please.

2008 Photography Adventure

Jan 5, 2008

For Christmas, Handsome and I bought the Diana+, along with some color and black & white film. Throughout the year, we are going to pass the Diana+ between us as we experiment with the unique photographic possibilities this camera presents.

I hope to post samples of our work throughout the year, starting as soon as Handsome finishes his turn and has the film developed*. He will be using the Diana+ primarily in Central Texas, while I'll be taking it along my travels across the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully, we'll have some fun and unusual images to share with all of you. Keep coming back and looking for the category "Diana+ 2008."

* I am estimating that it will take my husband 2-4 weeks to go through two rolls of film, but I'll need only one weekend. Guess we'll find out!

Verbal Economy

As mentioned before, my team had training this week. And as always, there were several Q&A sessions. Most of my colleagues ask clear, concise questions. Except for this one guy.

Every time he opens his mouth, my eyes roll. It takes him five to ten minutes to get his point across. By the time he's done with his speech, no one remembers (or possibly cares) what it was he wanted to know to begin with. It drives me crazy.

In speaking and writing, I prefer fewer words. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and keep it short. I suspect people like this guy use times like this to show their intelligence. "I use more words, therefore I am smarter then anyone else in this room." That or they just like to hear the sound of their own voices. Either way - annoying.

In sales there are two important things to remember. The smartest person in the room is the customer, and they want to hear their own voice more than yours. Sales reps have a bad habit of forgetting these truths.

Cedar Fever

Jan 4, 2008

One of my least favorite "features" of central Texas is the January event we call Cedar Fever, when all the mountain laurel (scrub cedar) trees pollenate. This time of year always brings with it sneezing, a runny, bloody nose, and itchy eyes. Frustration cubed.

Bowler's Elbow

Jan 3, 2008

I kid you not. After our team training meeting today, we all went out to one of those "every distraction you can imagine" entertainment warehouses where we were able to indulge in unlimited pool, video games, miniature golf, and after 7:30 - bowling!

Now you may not know this about me, but I really enjoy bowling. Especially with a group of very good friends who enjoy the "sport." Especially after a couple drinks. That's when things get really funny.

My foursome was sober, unlike some of the groups around us, but you wouldn't have known from watching. Top score all night was 112, and he even had a couple very lucky strikes. And there were several times when I fell right on my @$$! I broke two nails, got a blister on my big toe, and a serious case of bowler's elbow to prove my prowess.

In the final game, I made my first strike . . . while talking on the phone with Handsome and paying only half-attention to what I was doing. I cannot believe I took a semester of bowling in college, spent countless hours at the lanes as a teenager, but still managed to bowl as poorly as I did. What a blast!

Hello and Welcome to 2008

Jan 1, 2008

We started off the New Year in fine style with a four-course dinner at the Four Seasons, watching the fireworks near Congress Street Bridge, and enjoying an excellent champagne at home to cap off the evening. We stayed up late celebrating and slept in far too late this morning. But, what a great time we had.

The table next to us was a group of four from Corpus Christi, who included us in some of their revelry. And I think we ended up in several of their photographs. Some day in the future, they're going to look at one of those pictures and wonder what the heck they were drinking back in 2007 and who the heck those people we have our arms around are.

Just a friendly reminder never to underestimate the power of new year festivities in the friend-making process.

So, here's a glass raised to all of you. May you each have a healthy and prosperous 2008, and may you find fast friends in unexpected places. Cheers!