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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today

This happened:


I chopped off my hair:


And I could listen to these three songs on repeat:  1, 2, 3

All strange, but true.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Definitely

Well, it's official: my sister is definitely having a kid and it is definitely a boy. 

Thumbs up.

"Eff you, its cramped in here." (that's what he's saying, for sure.)


High-five

That is definitely a baby.


Oh yeah, and I got him this sweet little number to wear home from the hospital ;)

I'll head to Japan in April to welcome him to the world.  I am so excited. 

Snowflakes


This is lovely. Take a few minutes to read.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace Be With You

It was Christmas Eve two years ago when under the confinement of a snowstorm and the persuasion of a few friends I started this blog.  Almost 300 posts later who'd a thought I'd have so much to say. 

Here it is again, Christmas Eve.  I spent this morning finishing up making my last gift and have had an otherwise uneventful day.  We had a lovely lunch/dinner with the immediate family. Quiet, drama free, not a dish to do, and delicious; so unlike Christmas Eves of past.  (Poor Oompa has been quite sick and did proceeded to lose her meal all over the bathroom, so that wasn't so great.)

The gifts are all wrapped, breakfast ready for the morning, and we've cozied up to watch one of the greatest movies of all time. I am still the first one awake on Christmas morning at a phenomenally early hour despite all my efforts to exhaust myself.  After much negotiation, I've been given 7:20 am as the time I can wake up the house. However, I think I have successfully achieved exhaustion this night as any cohesive thoughts or ability to write is escaping me. So, I will leave you wishing you peace with you this night and always. Heartfelt holiday greetings to you and your loved ones.


Miss C

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Repeat - Holiday Edition

Christmas Song - Dave Matthews
Christmas Lights - Coldplay
White Christmas - Otis Redding
River - Rosie Thomas
Winter Song - Ingrid Michaelson & Sarah Bareilles (bonus points for the video)
Wonderful Christmas - Tom McRae
May Love Fall Like Snow - Sara Siskin

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cousin

I can see the lunar eclipse through the skylight.  I think I'll just lay here and hang out for a bit.

You are in our hearts tonight and always.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Help Desk

I'm in an all day training called "Take Back Your Life" learning all sorts of tips and tricks for managing information (email) and being productive (getting cuss done).

This has been the highlight:



Totally worth 8 hours of my day...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eight is Enough

Because I was practically bedridden (I use the term bedridden for emphasis, I'm not an invalid, just couldn't see straight and had dizzy spells when standing up straight) for 3 days, I've had a lot of time to think. Most of it was in a hazzy blur but I was reading and thinking nonetheless.


Allow me:

1.) I am grateful for roommates who keep a stocked medicine cabinet. As someone who rarely takes meds (despite the advice of doctor friends and doctor bosses) I finally caved Sunday night and took some tylenol and cough drops which seemed to break my fever and sooth my throat. What a relief.

2.) Max finally got a hold of a pair of shoelaces and ate right through them. I feel like this makes me an official roommate.

3.) I'm reading And the Band Played On which is a.) stunning; b.) heartbreaking, and c.) a must-read.

4.) In the midst of my misery, there has been an on-going torrential downpour which I happen to love. It also made our basement leak, but it sure sounds great pitter-pattering on the skylight.

5.) Oh yeah, I also bought myself 4 new tires for the bargain basement price of $700. As one roomate dropped $4k into her car for a new transimission, the other roommate's car just got a $250 tune up, my 60k miles service will cost $600, I'm having a hard time believing the auto industry is in trouble. Certainly, our household alone is keeping them in business.

6.) I've started thinking about resolutions. I've got some good ones, mostly involved around spending less, saving more, weighing less, reading more, etc. But I got some surprises in store, you're gonna want to stay tuned.

7.) In honor of National Hot Cocoa Day (yesterday), I brought to work peppermint hot cocoa, marshmellows, whipped cream, mini-gingerbread cookies, and butter waffle cookies. I also ate whipped cream by the spoonful. Both true stories.

8.) I went to a movie by myself for the first time in my life. Cross that off the bucket list.


Ok, enough.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Currently

I'm getting my ass kicked by an awesome headcold/flu combo that is really taking it out of me.  I left work early afternoon yesterday in an achy hot flash mess hardly able to move.  So I slept and then slept some more and since then have been resting. 

As I was laying there in my misery it dawned on me that I hadn't taken a day off since July 27.  Granted I was on a 3 month vacation just prior to that, but still, that's almost 5 months.  That's longer than a busy season.

I'd also like to add that cough drops are incredibly disappointing. We invented the wheel, bubble tape and put a man on the moon. Certainly a long-lasting throat lozenge can't be too far behind.

Also, I'm craving ramen. Hot, steaming, perfectly portioned noodle-to-broth veggie ramen....mmmm.

Alright, time to roll over and read some more as long as I can keep my eyes open.

Better luck tomorrow. 

PS. Max knows how I feel....just kind of want to curl up into a ball.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Showtime

When I joined the Foundation in July I knew of a looming meeting that I was responsible for planning and had been planning since then.  It is the second largest external participant event the Foundation does and this was the fifth year. New to the systems and process, the people and players, the general operations, my naivete was both a blessing and a curse. 

Prior to this meeting there was an additional dozen+ pre-meeting meetings to arrange, a snow storm, Thanksgiving, a 200 page briefing about the meeting, a boss on a three week three country European trip, and the coordination of a particular special guest (which is remarkably difficult).  Oh, and apropos, our meeting happened to fall on World AIDS Day which, although very cool, added to a heightened sense of awareness and recognition.  But perhaps the most anxiety I felt was around not feeling enough anxiety.  Everything was going according to plan and we had planned and planned this meeting that I couldn't possibly image a scenario where we hadn't anticipated.  But, as I have planned many events in my day, I knew there would be something.

Last week the date had arrive for the big meeting. It was showtime. Two hundred and fifty participants, one Grand Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Seattle, three days, over forty scientific presentations, sixteen hour days and one soaking hot tub at night to make it all worth it. The meeting was an absolute success. No hiccups, no issues, a seamless meeting if there ever was one. It really couldn't have gone much better. 

I would crawl into this tub every night and soak and scrub the day away. And every time I stepped in I thought, I could work this hard every day if I came home to this every night. Note.to.self.



The food was beyond your average hotel food.  Butternut squash ravioli, twice baked potatoes, roasted asparagus, spinach walnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette and deconstructed northwest salad. And that was just lunch one day. 


When I rolled over Friday morning I dialed room service from my bed. While I treated myself to the below delicious meal. I thought, "I could really get used to this room service business." Also, it was maybe one of the best breakfasts of my life, although I'm not really sure how much of that qualifier is that it was brought to my room piping hot or that it was actually that delicious. I think both.





I stumbled into the office Friday (later) morning completely exhasuted with an all-day retreat to plan happening the following Monday, and lots of this meeting follow-up.  I stood in the cafe in utter befuddlement as I had had catered meals served on platters to me for 4 days and I couldn't make a decision between a salad or a sandwich for lunch.  It was remarkably paralyzing and gave myself the little pep-talk of, "It's lunch, not your future husband, just make an effing decision."  And that was just the minimal struggle of my day post-meeting.

Many lessons learned this year and I feel further edified in my role and the purpose and objectives the team works tirelessly to pursue. I am honored and privileged to work with some of the most dedicated, intellectual, and professional individuals trying to develop a vaccine for one of the world's most devastating diseases. The research and collaboration occurring in the academic field is unprecedented and because of their collaboration, the audience was optimistic, energetic and encouraged on the progress and discoveries being made.

While I advocated for next year's meeting to be in Europe or Hawaii; they've opted for the same place.  Which, as long as that soaking tub is involved, I'll be ok.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanksgiving: How I Ate So Much It Hurt

If you know anything about how my holidays go and my extended family, you know it's usually painful and that the family is board certified batcrap crazy.  Holidays have always been something we've dreaded as it usually meant pickeled herring and lutefisk for appetizers, a brawl brought on by too many cooks in the kitchen, too many drinks in grandma and minced meat pie for dessert (wtf). It wasn't unusual to stop by McDonalds before or after Thanksgiving dinner because we were hungry and dinner couldn't satiate the appetite.  Oh, then there was that Thanksgiving (or was it Christmas?) when my uncle put a gun to his head in front of his kids and threathen to commit suicide.  Needless to say, holidays around the extended family is often less that enjoyable. 

However, in recent years and since the grandparents have passed, the holidays have been spent with close family friends with traditional thanksgiving goodness.  Take a look:

A table set for royalty, or at least 7 hungry gluttonous Americans.

The hostess with the most and the poor (but delicious) bird. She cooked two just to that we could have leftovers to take home. That's friendship. 


My menial contribution to this dinner were the baked from scratch honey rolls that were melt-in-your-mouth delicious doughy goodness. 


Let's talk mashed potatoes.  It is no secret that I can eat my weight in potatoes, particularly of the mashed variety.  Now that being said, these mashed potatoes are hands down the best I've ever had.  The secret:  the potatoes are boiled in cream, butter and 24 gloves of garlic for a few hours and then mashed in all its cooked goodness.  Surely these potatoes will be served in heaven.


Dad's famous sweet potatoes.



Obviously, larger plates are needed.

Same time, same place next year.  Please?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Room with a View


It looks like this when it snows.
On a clear night, you can see the stars and the moon
On a stormy winter evening, you can listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.

It's my favorite thing about this house. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I've been a very good girl this year. In the spirit of being well-behaved, may I kindly request a new set of tires? Please advise if I should provide a larger stocking.
Many thanks,
Miss C

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Right This Second - Winter Version

I just couldn't be inside this morning.  I layered up (long johns, jeans, favorite although ugly winter sweater, snow socks, down jacket, knit beanie, snow boots).  At a balmy 20 degrees, Seattle at sunrise after a snowfall is maybe the most magical sight you've ever seen.  Look what I spied.

I'm pretty sure this didn't go according to plan.


sunrise



Gasworks






Like


Who wants hot cocoa?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Right This Second

Starting in on Sunday's emails on Monday night.  Good job. It's going to be a late night.

In other news, it's still snowing and it's still wonderful.  There's no place else I'd rather be.  Snow in the Northwest is nothing short of magical. 

Right This Second

+freshly showered and snuggled in bed
+with yorgurt and granola
+watching the snow fall

Life is good great.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Thoughts of My Own

Recently I have been thinking a lot about a lot. Couple specific things, couple general things, couple irrelevant things. But with all those I've been struggling to articulate any conclusive or comprehensive ideas. So I'm taking the words of others to help articulate what has been weighing on my heart.


1.) Consider the stories of the good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10 and the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke chapter 16. Those are stories for thought.

2.) Dietrich Bonhoeffer is quoted saying, "We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer." Ponder that.

3.) “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” Try practicing that.

4.) In this same vein I want to link to my BFF’s blog where she writes about a recent experience of hers and I quote her here saying, “People. We're here for each other. Our motto should be: burden me. And we should mean it. Let our loved ones come to us with their troubles. And you know -- some people are gonna exhaust you with their needs and demands. But who's to say you won't have to lean, hard, on someone some day?”

I haven’t come to any other conclusion that sounds more like what should be practiced. Say, "Burden me." Practice kindness and forgiveness and with that I promise the opportunity to practice patience won't be far behind. 

That's the most I've come to understand yet so far from able to truly practice, but not for lack of opportunity.

Lies I'm told

We have this fancy software program that when you call the voicemail system it reads you your appointments. I have my boss's trip on my calendar so whenever I listen to a voicemail it says, "You are currently out of the office in Paris, Geneva, Lisbon." This is false. I am at work, in Seattle.

Lies, all lies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Here's what you may need to know

Well, it’s fall. There isn’t a more beautiful place in the world than autumn in Seattle. The weather has run the gamut of sunny warm autumn days to torrential downpour. The leaves on the trees turn spectacular colors of red, yellow and orange. Not only is it my favorite season, it is my personal reset button. It a new year; the time of year allows me to restart and recommit. Here’s what you may need to know about my autumn so far:

Something Festive:

Corn Maze: the manfriend and I headed north to navigate a corn maze which involved a lot of slipping and sliding due to soggy fields and poor footware choice. The highlight was watching a complete stranger who was innocently walking along only to have his feet slide out from under him and bite it hard into the corn stalks in front of him. Oh cuss, we laughed so hard (outloud) that I kinda felt bad. You woulda too if you saw it so don’t judge. Lessons learned: I have even less of a sense of direction in the dark and in a corn field. Hot apple cider on a cold night is a match made in heaven, 3.) Cowboy boots have no traction. None.

I’m going to go ahead and cross that off the bucket list.

Something Fresh:

Moving on Up: In one week my morning commute was 1.5 hours each morning, at which point I would rather have put a hot branding iron through my eye. I had had enough; I decided to move south. Now cozied up in a beautiful craftsman home in Wallingford I’m a mere 3 miles from work I can avoid the freeway entirely to get most places. I am within a short walking distance from the Burke Gilman trail that provides wide biking and running paths. I’ve been running every Saturday morning. I now have 2.5 roommates: one who makes chocolate cake balls and then leave for a week (love and hate this). One who I share a bathroom with and we have yet to strangle each other, and the .5 who likes to snuggle, meow real loud, and burrow into my freshly cleaned sheets but is too cute to drop kick or get mad at. The best part of my room is the beautiful skylight the lets in tons of natural daylight and during the pouring rain the sound lulls me to sleep. It is nothing short of grand.

chocolate covered chocolate cake balls


Roommate .5


Autumn


Some thing(s) fun and random:

+My sister comes home at the end of the month and I’m very much looking forward to her visit. 1.) because she’s totally preggers and going to be enormous….like a real oompa loompa. 2.) it’s the holiday season and she likes to decorate the house way more than I do. I just like basking in it. 3.) We will be visiting our favorite Thai restaurant….multiple times, I’m sure of it.

+I was on the phone with Seattle Municipal Court the other day. A very lovely customer service woman was having some technical difficulties is trying to connect me to another department. I was in no hurry so I was just chilling on hold until she sorted herself out. She comes back on the phone and says she’s figured it out and I says thanks as pleasant as possible. She replies, “You are patient and a good woman.” And I thought to myself, you have a job you couldn’t pay me enough to do , thus you get all the kindness and patience I can offer, which I can tell you isn’t much but it’s all I got. She also took my 800 dollars but that’s not her fault.

+Does anyone else think it’s a coincidence that the new Volkswagen sedan is called the “CC”. I think not.

+I need to get to NYC. It’s gnawing at me. PB and I keep talking about rendezvousing in the big city but we just can’t seem to make it happen. Fingers crossed it does.

Autumnal blessings and good cheer to you and yours this glorious season.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Other People's Children

My first real job wasn’t until college when I began working in an office on-campus. Up until that point I had always earned money nannying and occasionally teaching piano. That is all to say that while I don’t have any kids of my own or nieces or nephews (yet), I’m pretty good with kids. Well, at least I think I am. A couple weeks ago I met baby Greyson for the first time who was one month old, so adorable I wanted squish him up and put him in my pocket to take home with me.

Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out with two great kids, CJ and PW (both of which I’ve known since their births). We played “pool,” hide and seek, “Who can jump the highest?” “Whoever finds all the marbles and puts the game away gets a high-five from Me.” We read Fancy Nancy and Dr. Seuss. A lot of Dr. Seuss. I mean a lot of Dr. Seuss. So much so I thought I was crazy just like he was. I came to a few conclusions this night:


1.) Dr. Seuss had to have been off his rocker. Poor English, made up words, reversed sentence structure, what a whack-job. I know society wants to blame the deterioration of kids' verbal and language skills on texting and the interwebs, but can we look at the printed literature that we come to canonize as kids books. Let’s start there.


2.) I wish I saw the world through kids eyes still. Where you make up your own rules, find joy in hide and seek, knew how to share and take turns, and got really excited about brushing and flossing.


3.) Kids change your plans. I planned on blogging while they slept and CJ planned on staying up all night coughing like and 80 yr old with emphazema. Poor kid. So we read more Dr. Seuss.

As I put the kids to sleep last night, all was quiet until I heard PW’s voice say, “You can eat your dinner but it’s probably cold now!” Thanks PW, you’re so thoughtful. Also, that’s why they invented the microwave.


Right now, I think I want kids one day when it is suppose to happen. But until then I’ll just keep enjoying corrupting the minds of other people kids. Including my niece or nephew that is scheduled to arrive in April (insert giddy excitement).

As it turns out.

Welp, it turns out I still love my job. Its challenging, exhausting and energizing at the same time. I’ve been there 4 months now but just 2 weeks as a full time permanent employee so I’m still throwing down the newbie card whenever possible. I’m pretty sure this “fake it til you make it” mentality is going to catch up with me soon, but until then I hold on by life and limb not to drop the ball or let something slip through the cracks. I wish I could blog more about it and my day but I’m no dummy. I will disclouse a few highlights and observations:

+SBB: We need to take lessons from Cara, she is very amusing.

+Several mornings I really just want red vines for breakfast. But I also don’t want diabetes….so, it’s a toss up.

+I do expense reports for my team which I love and hate at the same time. Mostly because I get to be nosy but it’s painstaking and mind-numbing. Turns out boss lady for “dinner” had Pringles for $3 and a glass of red wine for $7. I’m not one to judge, I bet neither were worth it.

This convo:
Assistant: You look nice today.
Me: Thanks, I feel like a pregnant lady from a Brooks Brother’s catalogue.
Assistant: Well you don’t look like one.
(and that why we pay her the big bucks)

My favorite email to date from SBB:
“Wanted to tell you that I am very happy with your professional competence, initiative and good humor. I am glad that the foundation recruited you.”


“I do NOT have a puppy in my office.” - Boss Lady (closes door with puppy in hand).


It’s a good place. Real good.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Observation

Remember how this summer I was super tan, in really good shape, slept a ton and spent a lot of time outdoors? Proof:


Now it's fully fall, I'm a ghostly pale (almost see through), have just one pair of pants that fit, sleep approximately 5 hours a night and sit at a desk all day. 

Not complaining, just observing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Pressure

Today is my last day as a contract employee at the Foundation. As of Monday I will be a fulltime employee. I have joined the Global Health – HIV –Vaccine Team and could not feel more honored.



This week I sat in a meeting that discussed the inequalities is Mesoamerican and bring millions of dollars in financial aid to the poorest of the poor in the region. I listened to the president of our division share his recent opportunity to discuss with world leaders the relationship between government/regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical companies inconsistencies and thus global impact access to life saving technologies and drugs. One of our team members this week was recognized as one of the top 20 Nigerians living in the US making a difference. Over my short time here I’ve met leaders, diplomats, world-renowned scientists and advocates for improving global health. They are the real deal.

What energizes me the most about this job is the level of impact on a global scale that we are attempting make. It’s real people doing real work. The work my team is doing has the potential to impact real people around the world. This is high stakes and so very exciting to be a part of.


Last week, MG was asked if her and BG could give all their money to one area of focus she said this:

"If B and I could only work on one thing with the foundation’s money it would be an AIDS vaccine....Today, there are 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Five million are on treatment. Will the world pay for all the people who need treatment? It’s just not going to happen. That’s why you’ve got to work on a vaccine. If you can get a vaccine for this disease, then you can talk about elimination. And it may not look like it, but every time we do a trial on the vaccine, we learn something new. We’re making progress."


This is my team….no pressure.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Week - In a Giant Nutshell

Some weeks are busier than others.  While I used to be of the notion that I would spend one night out a week doing something social.  Because if I got beyond that my fragile little self gets run down real fast causing fainting spells, yadda yadda yadda.  So this week, was not a good example of me taking care of myself. In fact, quite the opposite. Let's recap:

Monday: Meeting up with old coworkers, I headed back into the old downtown stopping grounds for some happy hour action with SB and EN.  Let me just say, Palomino gorgonzola smothered waffle potato slices must be from the heavens. You're going to want to order a plate (or 2) next time you're there.  We ate and chatted about current conditions of our lives and had a perfectly lovely time catching up.  While headed out I ran (literally, she was running) into an old friend who I hadn't seen in months.  We ended up standing on the corner of 4th and Union in the cold for 45 minutes catching up on life before we decided to make plans to sit down and have a real good catch up (see Thursday).  It's in those moments when I believe in serendipity.

Tuesday:  Institute classes started up again with a new quarter studying Luke.  The one and only Sister M is teaching, as it should be.  I am quite excited to attend class with a  teacher who has a seemingly innate ability to teach with reverence yet make the subject matter interesting, intellectually challenging and allows me to explore idea of a higher purpose, meaning and power.  It's gonna be good, I can feel it.

Wednesday: Dinner at McDonalds with the man-friend.  We sat inside. He keeps me classy.  Nuff said.

Thursday: There is a new Latin food restaurant, Casa Patron, near Greenlake that I’ve been inching to try. So after running into said friend (see Monday) I took advantage of the opportunity to try somewhere new.  A great atmosphere, food and service, you know I'm comin' back for more.  The Vegetarian fajitas and with the obligatory chips and salsa were remarkably delicious. Great food with a great friend.  Pretty much the best.



Friday: Friday couldn't have come soon enough after a crazy week at work.  I picked up the man-friend after work and set out on a mission to  banish the polo ridden wardrobe and bring him into the young professional look.  Little known fact, I love shopping for men’s clothes with other people’s money.  Maybe more than I love shopping for clothes for myself.  So we shopped and shopped and shopped until the stores closed (they actually had to unlock us out of the Gap).  We picked up a few items but made plans to hit up downtown the next day to really polish things off. 

Saturday (the longest day of my life): After 4 hours of sleep, I ran a few early morning errands of grocery shopping and personal maintenance appointments before heading downtown to do some more shopping with the man-friend. Now again its no secret that I have taste in expensive things so when we started shopping I asked for a budget just so I could be aware of my boundaries. “Ehhh, whatever,” he shrugged.  Swoon.  As I walked in to Banana Republic – Men, I said, “I’m just going to pick a few things and you just don’t look at the price tag.”  He says, “Go wild.”  Music to my ears…so I did, and in the process fell in love with Banana’s Men fall collection.   Maybe I couldn’t convince him to buy the $130 button down sweater that was beyond slammin’ (it still makes my heart pitter-patter), but we did walk out of there with a hefty bag of new finds. Lucky we only had 2.5 hours to do our damage otherwise it could have been much worse.  

Still Saturday: Gemutlichkeit Oktoberfest Munich Style Dinner, or Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Tristan. "Gemütlichkeit"- the closest English equivalent is the word "coziness"; however, rather than merely describing a place that is cozy, Gemütlichkeit connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Tristan means "Happy Birthday Tristan" which is their dog who celebrates his birthday on a more than annual basis.  The combination of these two meant one thing: Dinner with the crew.  Joe made killer Schweinbraten mit Knodel, und Sauerkraut (pork sholder goodness and slaw – but way better) and a appetizer plate with pickles, radishes, dill and beets. Plus he made the potato dumpling goodness drizzled with gravy which he wasn't too impressed with but I could have eaten every last one. Julie and Steve brought Kartoffelsalat, fresh bretzel (fresh pretzels) with killer honey mustard sauce. Sam made a rockin’ potato salad that would put anything you find at a summer picnic to shame. I made Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese Dip).  






Yes, the lactose intolerant one made the cheese dip.  Accompanied with veggies and rocking rosemary bread from Essential Bakery. The cap it all off, Heather made traditional French Croquembouche.  It was all too delicious for words.

Besides their ridiculous mad cooking skills this group of friends have got to be the funniest people on the planet. Oh man do we laugh. And they's smart. And honest. And some of the most real people I know.  What a great way to spend a Saturday evening.

Now after a dinner party like that, you’d think you’d call the day a wrap and head on home to snuggle up for the evening.   But no, I defy convention.   The man-friend and I left early because our plans continued into the evening.

Still Saturday - 10/10/10 10k:  Some genius thought it a good idea a few weeks ago to run a 10k at midnight on 10/10/10.  Well, turns out it's October in Seattle and it absolutely POURED rain.  We're not talking a traditional Seattle drizzle we're talking Amazonian monsoon.  I've been drier in the shower.  But a dozen brave souls ran 10k along Alki beach in the pitch black night and pouring rain.  It was about as fun as it sounds.  We made the most of it, eventually just succumbing to the reality that there wasn't going to be a dry inch anywhere.  Every runner finished which was quite impressive given the circumstances.  Drenched to the bone,  I literally poured water out of my shoe and wrung a stream of water out of my socks.  E's earphones I borrowed were drowned and no longer operational.  I cannot emphasize enough how wet we were.  All in all it was unforgettable to say the least.

Finally Sunday:  The day of rest,  or so they say.  After yet again only another 4 hours of sleep I was up again off to church and woefully underprepared to teach. I was going to be relying on the Holy Spirit and divine inspiration a lot for this one.  After getting through the lesson I knew I need to get home asap before I was going to fall asleep standing up. I raced home, fell into bed for a few hours before waking up refreshed just in time to head to Family Jam session at the Lyman/Howard House.   With musically inclined friends we spent the evening circled up campfire style jammin out some tunes on the guitar and piano.  Maybe a harmonica was involved.  Maybe a little Cat Stevens, the Beatles, Brandi Carlile, Peter Paul and Mary, Allison Krauss, and Billy Joel was involved.  Good music, good friends, good laughs...perfect wrap to a crazy week.





So, that was the week.  In a giant nutshell.  


Thursday, October 7, 2010

You know that sinking feeling where you just want to throw up?

I had one of the moments today at 4:45 when I realized I lost about 5 hours of work.

poof. gone. just like that.

It was one of those moments when it is brought to your attention all you work has magically disappeared, you are instantly drenched in sweat on the verge of tears and want to throw up. all.at.once.

It's totes fun way to end the day.

Welp, better luck tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Freak Out x 3

I’m not one to freak out. I generally take a pretty relaxed approach to issues with the mindset that if no one is hemorrhaging blood/dying/a freight train is headed toward me/Adam Brody is standing next to me/or Simply Desserts is out of Orange Pumpkin Cake, there really isn’t any point to getting too worked up. It’s just a waste of precious energy. But then there are some days where I am in unique form and find myself with great opportunities to get worked up. Yesterday was one of those days.

Freak Out 1:


When I got home late Sunday night I thought it a good idea to just reconfirm when my homeowners would be returning from Africa. October 4. Hmmm, October……4th. Oh cuss… I glanced up around the house and thought to myself, “Well, there is some work to be done here.” Thus began mad dash to clean a three story house like a crazy person.


And because it was 1:00 am, I gave myself 30 minutes to do as much as humanly possible as fast as humanly possible and hope to the good heavens that I’d wake up early enough in the morning to finish up. 5 hours later when my alarm went off I sprung (gently rolled) out of bed and proceeded to clean more like a crazy person. Thus began sprint sweat-induced cleaning frenzy. Wash sheets, scrub bathroom, take out trash, vacuum, do dishes, pack up my things, take my things down three flights of stairs (don’t even ask me how many trips). I knew enough to wait to shower until cleaning was done but the 3 flights of stairs perpetuated the hot sweaty mess look. With just minutes to spare before I had to leave for work, the house was sparkling.

Freak Out 2: 


In the midst of my frantic cleaning, I took 15 seconds to step on the scale. Guys, I have packed on the L-Bs. Thanks to the EXCESSIVE amount of birthdays/parties, the lack of exercise, increased stress and the significant amounts of wheat and dairy into my system, my clothes are QUITE snug. Maybe that’s an over share but maybe it’s honest. So, yesterday I kicked my bag o’ cookies-a-day habit; I opted for rice cake and peanut butter with an apple instead of delicious Grandma’s Vanilla Crème Sandwich cookies. Baby steps.

Freak Out 3:


Those few minutes I had to spare before running off to work rapidly disappeared when I got into my car and discovered I was sans cell phone. “I’m sure it’s around here somewhere, let me dig around,” I thought. No luck. Let me go inside and call it. No luck. Let me dig around some more in the same places I just dug just in case I missed it. No luck. Let me run inside and call my phone from every room in the house to see if I can find it. No luck. Let me tear apart everything in my car ONE MORE TIME. No luck. Eventually I threw in the towel and headed off to work (outrageously late now). I pep talked myself all the way to work as to why I really didn’t need my cell phone and that I have other ways of being connect to people and thinking who really calls anyway? By the time lunch came around I had forgotten about it but then enlisted a friend to call me repeatedly until I (or someone else who was in possession of my phone) answered. Finally, at the bottom of my toiletry bag I found said phone, safe and sound. Freak out concluded.

Let's not do this again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Night Fireside

My seeming absence from the blogosphere should not be associated with a lack of things to blog about. Because boy-howdy do I have things to blog about. And maybe a few things I want to blog about but to protect the innocent, I won't (nudge-nudge wink-wink).

There has been a lot going on. More birthdays/parties than you'd think humanly possible. Accepting a full time permanent job offer, living in West Seattle temporarily, lack of sleep and exercise, etc. Really great things are happening, really tough things are happening. Feeling really close to some people and really distant from others (in some cases wishing it were the opposite). Lots of good decisions being made, lots of poor decisions being made. This pendulum swing of really great to really not great has perhaps caused a roller coaster effect that has driven me to want to jump track for smoother tracks, but I just can't kick the habit. 

Which all leads to me to believe that what is lacking is a sense of balance.  I feel like BFF is always yelling at me about this. I have an uncanny ability to just put the throttle to the ground and take off, in every sense of my life. I have always operated in the all or nothing, go big or go home mentality.  But in my wiser years, and I come to an understanding that perhaps this isn't the healthiest approach to most things.  

Because in reality, going big or going home is often a catalyst for stepping on the gas and pushing things faster and wanting things sooner than they should happen.  

I am deliberately being vague here but the reality is that the details are irrelevant.  What is important is recognizing that I am wickedly unbalanced and what I need to do is nourish the relationship that are healthy, let go of the ones that aren't and be able to identify which is which.  Taking care of my health and body which has been suffering the most needs to be a priority and finding a way to feel comfort in quiet stillness, rather than be distracted by cleverly disguised chaos.

I'm tired, running on fumes which is perhaps (definitely) contributing to a heightened sense of vulnerability and hyper-emotion tonight, but it's at least honest and authentic, which is more than I can say about some things in my life.  

So cheers to reflective Friday nights in front of the fire on a fall evening.   

Let's Make a List

Things I've learned recently:
  • There is a difference between consensus and unanimity.
  • There is a difference between probable and possible.
  • How to jump start a car (Now, I'm over it)
  • That plurals of acronyms are now grammatically correct when indicated with an ‘s. (This makes me uncomfortable but oh well.)
  • 8 hours of sleep in a weekend is painfully insufficient.
  • I absolutely loath doing laundry. Loathe with every fiber of my being. (Not a new revelation, just rediscovered)
  • When I print my last name, I capitalize the two Rs. Weird, but true.
  • I need to get my eyes checked. Bad, real bad.
That's all.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

RH2

Question: How do you feed 4 grown men 8 days before the 9/15 deadline?
Answer:  6 doughnuts, a jumbo bag of Starbursts, a jumbo bag of Red Vines,  and a jumbo box of Mike and Ikes. 
That’s how.

But first, let's rewind:

When I first began my unplanned career in public accounting I got into the doors via RAH, the husband of LJBH (mentor, friend, baker extraordinaire, mother of 2 of the cutes kids you’ll ever meet.) I spent my undergraduate career sitting in front of LJBH as her assistant.  On my first day at the Firm, imagine my surprise when my desk was directly in front of the one and only RAH. The ironic coincidence was too funny.  I spent a few months sitting in front of RAH while he spent most of the time mocking how I spelled my name.  He then moved into his fancy-pants office but would still grace me with his presence if only to light my democratic loving heart on fire spouting his republican propaganda. Oh the debates we would have. 

Fast forward four years, I visited RAH at his new offices for RH2, a new Certified Public Accounting firm in Kirkland, Washington. They have launched their new practice from humble beginnings and  when I walked into the office I thought for sure I stepped into the Season 3 Finale of Mad Men.  With 2 desks,  a couple laps tops and a desktop printer, a duo of powerhouse accounts were managing to process and file tax returns, carrying on business as usual.  Fast forward a few weeks, I visited them again to check on progress (and to hopefully lend a helping hand) and sure enough they are churning away.  Now a team of 4 accountants, an office manger and a business support professional, while small in numbers they are mighty in strength.  What once has that of a makeshift office space was coming together resembling that of  a real office space.  

I sat with them for a few minutes while we stuffed envelops, "processed" tax returns and chatted about the business.  Felt like old times (except the fact I really have no idea how to process a tax return despite my 4 years at the firm...oops).

Their success is inevitable as their hard work, dedication and vast knowledge certainly cannot fail them.  Fueled by doughnuts, processed sugar and the well wishes of friends, family and colleagues, there isn't a better group of professionals more deserving and more likely to succeed than this group.   

So RAH, this is for you, all the best wishes for success.  

PS. Can you still help me file my return?  And by help,  I mean do that magic that you do and tell me where to sign?   Cool, thanks. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Best

This has been my week (so far):

Sunday: Up at 7:00 AM
Monday: At work at 8:15 AM
Tuesday: At work at 7:30 AM
Wednesday: Need to be at work by 6:45 am for a 7:00 am call with London offices.

Are you noticing a trend here? I am and I'm not liking where it's headed.

However, after a day of meetings (7 hours of them) I was stoked when I returned to my desk to find my first package sitting on my chair. It looked like this:


I laughed out loud like a crazy person.
It was the best.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tastes Like...Not Chicken

One last thing:


This is us with our Deep Fried Rocky Mountain Oyster.  




As I took at bite, KC says, "Hmmmm, taste like testicle," and immediately out of my mouth in came. 


I'm just going to leave you with that.... 




Sunday, September 12, 2010

Save a Horse.

I'm a country girl at heart.  Sure the pencil skirts, stiletto heals, manicured nails, corporate job, suburb living parade I call my life is full fledged and alive and well. But in my fantasy land I love the romanticism that is the old west country living (obviously with all the amenities of the 21st century).  My dream life involves acreage of land with a few meadows of wildflowers, a nice sized garden, running down to the country store, tossing back drinks at the local watering hole, front porch sittin', lemonade drinking, cuddling up with a cowboy and dancing the two step.  Hard to believe maybe, but pretty true.

So when BB suggested we hit up the rodeo at the Puyallup Fair for a little rodeo action, I was all in. Don't have to ask me twice so spend the evening with cowboys, dancing and eating fair food. Decked out in our cowgirl gear we hit the fair early to take in the sights, sounds and smells (all for better or worse...).

This is what it looked like:

We.are.cute!

Obviously made a b-line for this place the minute it was spotted.


Maybe I had 3.  

Totally naturally delicious.

Well, now that's just crazy stupid.


Cowgirl up!

After a block of curly fries the size of my head, an elephant ear, a corn dog, scones, a few adult beverages and all the live stock we could handle, we were ready for the rodeo action. And it did not disappoint.

Get a load of this:

Bareback.

Steer wrestling.

BULL riding.  Like a real BULL.

The Scenery:

 
Maybe this is mildly objectifying, but, number 18...wow.  Just wow.

Asleep at the Wheel

That's Angela, dancing in the dirt, with a cowboy. Nbd.

The hat makes you legit.



Say, "High-five!"

Same time, same place next year ladies....COWGIRL UP!