"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Heading to Vegas!

Well, today was my last day of work before my vacation. I get to have five full consecutive days COMPLETELY off work! That has never happened before - at least not since I've been at this job.
I'm packing my bag for my trip to Vegas. My mom will get here about 1 a.m. after she gets off work. (She's keeping the girls for me this weekend, and getting them off to school on Friday and Monday.) I have to leave for the airport by 2:30 a.m. tonight, at the latest. It's a two-hour drive to the airport normally, but I'll have to check the road conditions before I go. That allows an hour and a half before my 7 a.m. flight. Thanks to the convenient time difference though, I'll be landing at 8:38 a.m. - direct flight. The flight back will be considerably more. I'll have two connections - from Vegas to L.A. to Charlotte then to Columbus. It's about 1,000 miles more in flight. Fortunately, I like flying. So 4 hours and 38 minutes to get there, and 7 hours and 4 minutes back, 9 hours and 15 minutes including connections. I leave there at 11 a.m. and return at 11:45 p.m., local time Monday. Probably a good thing I decided to take Tuesday off too, because there's still that three-hour drive home from the airport too.
I won't be getting any sleep at all tonight, and I definitely won't sleep on the plane. I'll probably look a wreck by the time I arrive, and I'll be so tired that all I'll want to do is sleep. I only slept about 4 hours last night. Ah well, I'll power through somehow. I'll have the adrenaline going, so that will help. I'm meeting my Italian friend F in person for the first time, and I've never been to Las Vegas, except to connect flights once. Yeah, I think I'll have some adrenaline working for me. :)
Time to finish getting ready. If I hurry and I'm lucky, maybe I can squeeze in a nap.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Comfort food

Munch is sick. Tummy bug. No fever. It shouldn't linger long, and she seems to be improving already.
Gin has a head cold. Her eyes are glassy and her nose is red.
It's snowing. I hope it clears before we have to leave. It's really coming down out there.
I have cinnamon rolls. Everything will be fine.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Saturday Shuffle

I woke up early this morning so I could get started on my work early. I had a meeting at the school at 10 a.m., so I needed to get my work done a little sooner than usual. No good. I managed to get about half of the pages from the newspapers downloaded to my computer - then my connection cut out. And stayed out. Until 9:40 a.m. I scrambled. I posted the home page items for two of the papers, but then I realized that page 1 was missing from the third newspaper. Checked the ftp site. Nope. The geniuses forgot to put it out on the ftp for me.
So anyway, we're about two minutes from the school. I grabbed the girls and raced out to the car. Get to the school and the door by the office - the one I was told to use - is locked. Hop back in the car and drive to the other side - also locked. But there's a basketball game going on, so we can get into the other wing of the school. We walk all the way around through the inside back to the other wing. Locked. "Forget it," I told the girls. "We're going home." If they call a meeting then I have no way to get in, it's not much of a meeting, is it? They'll just have to send the information home from school. They've wasted enough of my time on this already.
I jumped back on my computer and got up all the possible stories I could on the Web sites before I had to run out and pick up Book at his dad's.
Then we did our usual Saturday stuff - grabbed lunch and headed to Nana's house. Nana's having some home renovations done right now. She's just gotten her kitchen remodeled, now she's having a half bath added off one of the bedrooms (it's currently a FIVE bedroom house - thanks to an earlier renovation - with ONE bathroom). So Nana and I chatted with the contractors as we watched the progress, while Munch and Book played - surprisingly without conflict or incident. And Gin curled up on Nana's bed with a book. Gin fell asleep, so we decided to go ahead and come home, and Nana said she would bring Gin back when she woke up. (She was up all last night with a head cold, so she was pretty wiped out.)
So I brought Munch and Book back home and jumped back online to work some more. And now that I'm finished, I really don't feel like doing anything else.
Think I might just hit the shower and then veg for the rest of the night. I've been sneezing a lot today. I hope I'm not getting that head cold. Flying with a head cold is miserable, and I definitely don't want to be sick for my weekend getaway.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flashback Friday - Say say say

I heard this song on the radio this week, and I remembered the video. I just had to pick it for this week's Flashback - Say say say by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.

Troubled times...and my great escape

It appears that my friend L at work was caught in the latest round of layoffs at the office. I can't imagine what the justification for that was. If it were based on quality or merit, she would not have been the one who got it. The girl's got real talent though (graphic design) and she's smart, so I expect that she will be able to come out of this in a better place.

All staff members - including corporate - have now been ordered to take five unpaid days off by April 30. It won't be so bad, as it's timed with getting tax refunds, so we should all be able to cover the shortfall fairly painlessly. It could have been worse I suppose. Still could be. It's not over yet.

I'm a week away from my weekend getaway in Las Vegas! I'm excited! We've got more cold weather coming, but I get to escape from all of that for just a few days. It will be a welcome and much-needed break from real life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

At Acobay, it's all about the stuff

Okay, if you're bored with the usual social networking thing - or even better, if you're so caught up in it, you want MORE social networking possibilities, Acobay has a whole new way of networking.
Acobay is a consumer community. You go in and register for your account. It takes all of about a minute. Really easy process. Then you're on your way.
So how do you get your profile going? Well, here's the cool part - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE STUFF! The stuff? Yes! Your stuff! What kind of phone do you use? What kind of car do you drive? What magazines do you read? What movies do you like? What are your favorite restaurants? What are your favorite toys? Anything!
You plug in your stuff and you're automatically networked with other people with the same stuff! You can discuss your stuff, and then you can find all the other things you have in common. Pretty cool idea, I think. I'm signed up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another view from my window

There was a thick fog this morning and the temperature is only about 9 degrees, so all the trees are covered in a heavy frost. The fog has lifted now, but the view from my window this morning is just lovely. At the moment, there's very light snow falling and no hint of the slightest breeze, so each snowflake is drifting impossibly slowly to the ground. It's rather mesmerizing to watch.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spotty connection and sock sorting

Munch, my seven-year-old daughter is sorting socks right now. Sorting socks used to be her sister's job, but Gin is slowly trying to train her younger sibling to take over some of her chores. I made this suggestion to Gin myself. I know Gin, who is 11, has more chores than Munch does, really does do more around here than either her sister or her 18-year-old brother. Most of the time, she does it without too much of a fuss, but lately she's been complaining - both that she doesn't want to do it and specifically mentioning her sister has fewer chores. So I told her to train her sister to do some things and make them her job. Personally, I like to try to get them to resolve their own problems among themselves. Gin had my permission, but it was up to her to select one of her jobs - that was appropriate for her sister - and train her as a replacement.

So anyway, Munch is sorting socks, and she just came in here to ask, "Is this sock blue or green?" I looked at it, and honestly, I could not for the life of me make the distinction myself. So I told her I couldn't tell myself but noted that really all she needed to do was find one that was the same. It didn't really matter for her purposes which color it was. I had to smile. I know she'd have to take the sock from room to room in all the different lights - and seek her sister's opinion as well - to determine once and for all whether the sock was blue or black. You see? This is part of the nature of Munch's personality and the reason she never gets anything done. She gets off on these little tangents. It's a constant struggle for me and her teachers at school. And it drives her sister nuts! Hehe.

Just as Munch walked out, I looked down at my laptop and noticed that the page wasn't loading. My internet connection dropped - again. I let out a huff and said, "Gad, what a pain!" (I'm moderately exasperated by my temperamental connection lately. I think it's the weather. The wireless signal is just being too sporadic for any other explanation.) A few seconds later, I realized that Munch was still standing in the doorway looking at the sock. I also realized how that must have sounded at that moment. I immediately said, "Oh, not you, honey - my internet connection." She replied, "Oh, I know, mommy." Of course, she's been hearing that a lot lately.

I just got the "you are not connected to the internet" page again.... Ugh, and I've got a column to research and write tonight. Should be fun....

(Posting the moment it comes up again.)

View from my window


This is the view from my window this morning. I wish I could have captured the massive snowflakes falling. I don't mind it so much today. I don't have to go out early, and at least the brutal cold has eased back to more reasonable, normal winter temperatures. I wouldn't have seen this view - at least not this early - had I not been rudely awakened by an unwelcome phone call from my ex-husband this morning (it should be noted that ALL phone calls from my ex-husband are unwelcome). This is the ONE morning in my two-week work cycle when I DON'T have to wake up to an alarm clock. At least he had the decency to apologize and tell me he'd just call later. Of course, it was too late by then - and too early.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Flashback Friday - I Ran

My connection was down all last night so I'm late. But here's your Flashback Friday for this week, Flock of Seagulls' I Ran. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Might be the best Monday on record :)

It's Monday. (Tuesday by the time this goes up.) I had to work in the office. It snowed all day. Should have been miserable, right? (I mean, this is me, and I'm kind of a downer lately - hell, I'll admit it.)

Nope, it was a great day. I mean, it was a REALLY GREAT day.

I had a great morning working at home during the two-hour snow delay for school (why will require a second, future post all its own).

I got the girls off to school and headed into the office in a great mood already. The boss was off for the day. (That really didn't matter. I actually like my boss.) It was a really nice day in the office. I was there a longer amount of time than usual, but the chatter was fun and pleasant. We talked and laughed. Everything got done with no problems at all. It was just a good day in the office all around.

When I got home, I found that my brand new LUCA TONI jersey had arrived in the mail. I just ordered it THREE DAYS AGO, and it's here already! Woohoo! I stripped off my sweater and put it on immediately. Mmmmm.......Luca Toni. For those of you who don't know the name, he's Bayern Munich's best striker, plays for Italy's national team (football - and not that crap with the pads and helmets but REAL football ;) ) and he's the sexiest damn man on the planet! I'm including photos for the benefit of those who don't know him. Hell, it's a public service. :)

I found an old friend on Facebook last night whom I haven't seen in about 13 or 14 years. We were great friends in college, but completely lost touch after. I sent a friend request, and he accepted today. Boy, was he surprised to hear from me! Turns out, he still talks about me, even! He sent me his phone number, and we stayed up talking so long that the battery on my phone died, just as we were saying goodbye, so even the timing on that was perfect. It was so fantastic just catching up on everything we'd missed, but it was also like we'd never been out of touch at all. He and I always had such a close, comfortable friendship. We could always talk about anything with each other. We can't even remember ever having an argument. To top it off, he even gave me the phone number of another mutual friend from college who was easily the best, closest friend I've ever had in my life. I will be giving her a call and shocking the hell out of her very soon. :)

Could there be a better day than that? It's the little things in life that can just make it so good sometimes. :)



Luca on the pitch, celebrating a goal for Italy :)




Off the pitch, stimulating much drooling :)




Up close - isn't he stunning? I could do this all night.....






Post pictures of Luca Toni, I mean! Geez! Get your mind out of the gutter!
Although........ :)))




Sunday, January 11, 2009

HELLLLOOOOO?!?!?!?! idiot....

Had a good laugh at my own expense today. I was talking on the phone with my mother. She just got a new cell phone plan, and she wanted to let me know that she was tired of fighting with customer service over porting her old number to the new phone, so she was just going to take the new number they gave her. "Oh, ok. Let me put the new number in my phone," I said.
I started looking around my bed where I was sitting. "Wait a minute," I said. "It was just here......"
I picked up the book next to me. Nope, not under there. Looked under the pillow. Nope. Mixed up in the blankets somewhere? Nope. "Hang on.....damn it. I was JUST on it a minute ago because my internet dropped, and I was using it to check my Facebook account."
I got up and started looking all around the room. "I don't know what the hell happened to it, Mom. It was JUST here!"
Checked my coat pockets. Nope. Did I throw it in my purse? Nope. Did I stick it in my jeans pocket? Nope.
"What the hell?!"
"That's alright," she said. "You'll find it. I do that all the time."
Five minutes later.......after running downstairs to check the kitchen and the bathroom.....
"Oh hell...... I'M A FRICKIN' MORON! HELLLLLOOOOOOO?!?!?!? I'm ON my phone!"
She laughed.
"Hey, wait a minute!" I said. "YOU didn't get it either, and YOU called ME!"
It's been that kind of day. Two days, really. I'm scattered.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Flashback Friday - Take On Me

This is a Flashback Friday long-distance dedication (a la Casey Kasem) for a friend who says a-ha's Take on Me is the best 80s song EVER!


Bonus Flashback Friday because it's just so ridiculous, and I still have flashbacks of it myself - I give you .... Fish Heads

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back to the 'routine'

I must say, I'm glad that the holidays are over, and we're getting back into a normal routine around here. Here it is Thursday already, and the week seems to have passed by almost unnoticed. Days in the office have been quiet and uneventful, and evenings at home have been domestically tranquil - well, as much as they can be with kids.

My latest project has been completed. I made wine a couple of weeks ago, and it stopped fermenting earlier than it should have because I didn't add enough sugar to the mix. It's moderately awful, but drinkable and alcoholic. Maybe I can use it in some sort of mix. I'll be making another attempt and adjusting my recipe. It's a simple enough thing to do and fulfills my need to "create."

Most of my friends (online) have been traveling during the holidays, so I haven't had much contact with the outside world. Fortunately, my dearest and most faithful friend Z has just returned home, so we should be able to chat again. I look forward to the stories of his travels - after all, if I can't "live" myself, I might as well live vicariously. Another friend, F, also has just returned home from traveling, but he is preparing for a business trip to the U.S. soon, so we expect to be able to meet in person for the first time. I'm very much looking forward to that as well. I expect there will be much talk of politics - as we're both obsessed with the subject - and we'll have a new president in office by then.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday morning

My days have been all mixed up lately, with the holidays interrupting the work weeks and throwing me off completely. I felt like I got a little cheated this year. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day were all on Thursdays this year (yes, I know, Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday). This cheated me a little bit because I only get the actual holiday itself off work, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work from home anyway. This New Year's Day I still had to work though. I even had to do an extra newspaper because the girl who normally posts it got the day off, so I had to do her work too. What that meant for me, though, was being able to work short days the rest of the week, because I still got credit for the eight hours of holiday time. It was just distributed over the whole week because I worked on that holiday. Anyway, on Tuesday, I felt like it was Friday. By Friday, it seemed like Monday. This weekend, I didn't have to work, so I think I'll be back on track now. I've even got a column topic to write tonight because it will simply be a continuation of last week's column.
The temperature dropped to just below freezing last evening, then we had rain come in after midnight. The temp then went back up, so I woke up this morning to fog so thick outside my window that I couldn't make out a single thing outside. It was actually comforting in a way. My head felt much the same, so I was sort of aligned with the universe. The fog outside has thinned just slightly, as has the fog in my head - just slightly - thanks to my first cup of coffee for the day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flashback Friday - I Melt With You

For Flashback Friday, the original (of course) I Melt With You by Modern English

Cynical

I've become cynical. Of course, some people would hear that and say, "Rachel, you were born cynical." This is probably true. I mean, I've always been skeptical anyway. But I think it has gotten worse. Part of it is because of my own life experiences, of course, and part of it is from being in the news business.
Funny thing about being in the news business: Nearly everyone goes into it because they are by nature idealistic and believe in ethics and principles and free and open communication and the right of people to KNOW, etc., etc. - but nothing sucks the idealism out of a person faster than being in the news business (except maybe law enforcement).
Unlike the rest of the population, those of us in the business can't ignore the news. We HAVE to read the crimes and scandals and horrors and misdeeds going on in the world around us, and we become jaded. During the election, I was frequently heard saying things like, "Write me a headline when a man DOESN'T cheat on his wife! THAT would be news!"
I used to be empathetic when I read and saw the stories of tragedy on the news every day, then the more I learned about the seedy underbelly of seemingly every person on the planet, I grew numb to it. Eventually, I have even found that they have lost their "tragic" edge for me. I've begun to look at stories of death and find myself thinking that they have been blessed for having been spared from this world, if they are "innocent," or I think good riddance that they can't create more misery, if they are "guilty."
It's a conflict for me. I can't help looking for the good in people, but now I find myself expecting that it won't be there. I've stopped believing that "deep down" there is a good person in someone, because if there is good, it wouldn't stay hidden deep down. If there is good in a person, it will come right up to the surface. But you can't trust what you see at the surface. It's more likely that the dark is hidden inside, and that's what you have to look out for. I am quick to judge (more often positively than negatively, though, still), slow to trust, skeptical of intentions ... and yet, a tiny thing can make me remain hopeful.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

100 things we didn't know

BBC magazine has posted 100 Things We Didn't Know Last Year
Number 79 is hysterical and one I will definitely have to keep tucked away for future reference. Number 99 I've been meaning to bring up. You see, I've been having these allergy attacks.....