Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You're doing fine...

I'm in Tulsa.

First things first - we went rafting over the weekend.  It was awesome and fun, and I got this incredible souvenir:


Yes, you can see London and France in addition to my killer bruise.  It doesn't hurt...much.

Anyway, now I'm in Tulsa.  My trip started with a whimper - I got an interesting car at Hertz:



The Chevy Speck Spark.  It's cozy and twee.  My favorite adjectives.  Even my cus.tomers have been making fun of it.  One asked me if I had gotten it on purpose.

It has XM Radio, though - so I'm getting my Show Tunes on.


So far, Tulsa is weird.  I saw this as I walked to dinner the other night:


 I don't think they know what "rogue" really means.  I'm OK with that, I just had to laugh.

And of course, the best thing about this trip:



I love the Kum, I'm indifferent to the Go.

It's been a long-ass week.  I'm tired, but it's been good.  I'm ready to go home.

ae



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sticky situation...

I came to something over the last few days, and I want to talk through it here.

I've decided not to enter my pepper jelly in the State Fair this year.


This hurts me more than it hurts you.


No, I'm not dying, it's not a cry for help, either.

It's just gotten to be a huge pain in the ass, and I've decided life is too short to waste time on things that are so fundamentally irritating and unrewarding.

I have some ribbons.  One of each color, to be exact - and in some cases, more than one.  It would be great to have a final blue ribbon to close out my fair years in true OCD style, but to quote my sister, "The juice ain't worth the squeeze."

I still plan to make quite a bit of pepper jelly, because I enjoy the process, I like the output, and I have friends who enjoy receiving it.  And I have lots of peppers, mad skillz and a sense of pride in my accomplishment.

So why do I give a flying f*** what some frustrated old biddies in the Ag Extension office think about how it LOOKS?  Not tastes, mind you, but looks.

Because, let's be real - it tastes amazing.  People offer to buy it. They crave it - they ask for it by name.  I am known for my sense of humor, my massive vocabulary (and boobs) and my pepper jelly.  Not necessarily in that order.

So I refuse to pin my worth on what these judges think.  And now that you have to pay to enter, and to get in, and you have a four hour drop off window, and a four hour pick up window...

I'm tired of it.  Frankly, I'm just tired.  And I'm done. And it's not like I'll really miss the fair.  I have access to goats in other venues, and I don't need to win a large stuffed banana with dreadlocks because some dude incorrectly guessed my age.

Carnie Not Included


It was a good run.  I had a lot of fun and I had some success.  It was worth doing.

But it's not worth it any more.

I may come back and do it again next year, I may not.

But for right here, right now... this is the right thing.

Thanks!
ae


PS - N & O Chambers of Cumberland Furnace, TN.  This is not an admission of defeat.  Y'all can take your jelly and shove it ... in a display case in the exhibit hall.  Ultimately, I win, even if you have a ribbon.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Don't be coy!

Did you ever wonder what I sound like? Want to hear me talk about koi?




video
Today is your lucky day!!!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

See what's become of me?

I haven't been on the road in a good while, at least by my standards.  I have a few trips coming up, but even in the office, there's not a lot happening.

At least not much work.

I somehow manage to put in eight hours and it doesn't crawl.  Au contraire - often it flies.

This week, I've had my two dear, sweet Maine friends in town;  Derek and Andrew.  Matt and I feted them Monday night, and they are nice enough to drop by my cube at least daily to shoot the shit. I love these guys like family, and when it hits the fan, they're solid, amazing people.  Nothing but love.

Case in point - remember how I was going to use my silver for dessert when they came over.?  The next day Andrew asked me about my silver.  It tickled me that he noticed.  It's like he reads my mind...or this blog.  Hmmm.  But whatever, I was tickled.

Even the bittersweet stuff has elements of joy. To wit:

Yesterday, one of the nicest kids we ever hired had his last day with the company - and to celebrate his departure, *he* brought in doughnuts.  When he worked over the wall from me in Support, he brought them every Friday (even though he worked in the call center and probably didn't have tons of disposable income).

Yeah, that's the kind of kid he is.  It gets better - he picked out an especially gooey chocolate iced one and put it on my desk with a note to feel free to peruse the selection over in Support.  And he also left me a personal, hand written thank you note detailing a number of nice things about me that was far, far kinder than I deserve.  It made me feel awesome.  I went and thanked him later and told him how much his kindness meant.

The note was sweeter.


But, how do you clock these things against a timesheet?

Well, I'd put it against every night I slept in an airport, or came to work exhausted after a red-eye, or made awkward conversation with a weirdo on the plane...

I can't explain it exactly, but I feel like after eighteen months of treading water in an emotional tsunami, I've reached the shoreline, and I'm catching my breath.  And where I've landed is kind of crazy and scary and beautiful.

I know it doesn't work like that - but don't harsh my mellow - I'm happy; let's go with that.










Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coda

So, after all my bitching about the birds in the chimney, one of the babies ended up in our fireplace today, tangling itself in the fire screen.

I freaked out an appropriate amount and then got Matt to take the whole screen outside for me.  I'm hoping that the bird gets out and finds freedom.  Or, that Darwinism handles it.  Whatever, I'm not picky.

Anyway.

I finished out the day making brownies, polishing silver, and boiling simple syrup.

And trying not to feel like a bird killer.

ae

Care Packaged

So, it's Sunday late afternoon, and after a flurry of activity yesterday, today has been pretty slothful.

This isn't me.  But it could be.


We had my sorority sisters over yesterday, which required a quick and intense burst of cleaning.  The good news there is that it means my pals from Maine can come over tomorrow.  And that's a good thing.

I've decided I'm taking them to Taco Mamacita for dinner, and then to the house for dessert and merriment.

I think.  The fact is, Taco Mamacita is walking distance from a gelato place, but truthfully, I want to have them to my house, dammit.

There's a small issue in the living room, though.  Well, first of all, I need to change the bulbs in the ceiling fixture - easy enough.  But the problem is we have chimney swifts.  They're knocking debris into the fireplace, and honestly, they smell a little funky.  And they are loud little fuckers.

But we're legally prohibited by conservation acts to do anything.  So, who knows?

Do I clean out the fireplace and hope they don't stink up the joint between now and tomorrow  night?

Do I bake something and just keep the party in the dining room?

And if I bake... do I take the easy route and doctor up boxed brownies then serve them with coffee ice cream?

Or... do I make a lemon poundcake and serve it with peach or strawberry ice cream?

Oh, Pioneer Woman.  I don't have flour handy.


And why does everything make me cry?  I watched a beer ad that made me tear up just now.

Earlier it was a photo essay of a dog's last day on earth before his owners had to put him down because of a massive inoperable tumor.

So.  Here's what I'm thinking.

Brownies would be way, way easier.  If I did some cinnamon in there, I think it would be a nice compliment to fusion tacos.

But the lemon cake is refreshing and with the fruity ice cream... it would be a nice lovely end to dinner - a palate cleanser.

I'm also thinking I have horrendous PMS.

Realistically, I need to stick with the brownies because I have to do some laundry and cook some supper and probably scrub out the fireplace.

And I also wonder if I'm having hot flashes.

Because I've been overheated and cranky like a bitch.

Fuck it.  I'm doing cinnamon brownies, coffee ice cream, and I think I'll use my good silver and pretty summer china.  Note to self... get some nice white paper napkins.

Wrong aisle.


Now... what am I missing?

Other than a sense of humor.

ae



Friday, July 11, 2014

What's eating you?

So, we had an event at the office last night.  It was a Film Festival.  And although I didn't submit anything for it, I attended - because I love esprit de corps, and because they asked my sweet husband to emcee it.

And of course, there were pictures.

Oh, honey...no.



To say nothing of the pics from the 4th of July weekend.

Mountain at the mountains.


Which were, let's be honest... unflattering.

But it wasn't the photographer.  It was the lard-ass in the picture.  And I don't mean Matt.

In fact, it looks like I could EAT MATT.  And then go get some fro-yo to get the taste of husband out of my mouth.


So, I have to get it together.

But how?

One thing I'm considering?

A carrot/stick approach.

I can only post on Facebook every time I lose one tenth of a pound.

The thing is, I looooooove Facebook.

Do I love it more than food?

We'll see.

ae




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Oooooweeeee

I had a great vacation. Got plenty of sunshine, rest and I felt relaxed and ready to come back to the office.    I am glad to be back at the office, though my zen vibes didn't last. I got a little mouthy at a company-wide meeting today.  Shocking, I know.  But if you're going to be loud in my space, I'm going to get agitated.

Ah, well - I make the little people happy, even if I give the management team agita.

This weekend I'll be showing the town, or parts of it,  to a few sorority sisters who are here for the weekend.

Neon and on.



But first, I have to get through a full-day meeting with my department.  During which, I'm going to need to NOT get mouthy. I'm just putting that out there.

I also need a good nap.

Maybe I'll go ahead and get that now.  An eight hour nap. We'll call it bedtime.

ae

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Political Coups and Cocoa Puffs

So, it's Sunday, and while I don't go back to work tomorrow, it definitely feels like the end of a week.

The mountains were great.  I went up early to meet the TV guys who needed to make a quick tweak to get our satellite working. Then I napped and read.  I had a nice dinner and then Matt arrived.

The next morning, we went for a ride on the ATV, then puttered around the house waiting on Mom, Laura and Henry.  We spent some time in the creek and at the waterfall, then grilled hot dogs for dinner.

The next morning, we produced a little something out of the cabinet for Henry.  He had been begging for Cocoa Puffs, which he had never eaten, but saw on TV and learned "they make everything chocolately", and that was enough for him. 

Laura gave me the OK on getting a box with the other groceries.  I'll be honest - I've never seen a kid so excited about breakfast.

He hugged the box.  I didn't get to watch the meal - I had a meeting to attend.

My first annual club meeting sans Dad. And it was mostly obnoxious.  Long, scattered and repetitive.

And then, they voted to reduce the number of board members from 7 to 5 - and since I'm one of the newest board members... I was one of the 2 that didn't get voted on.  The president of the club was kind to me about it, but it stings a little.  What can I say, I'm power hungry.

That said, I'm still the head of the Social Committee, and a member of the Membership Committee, which, let's be honest, are way, way more crucial than a board appointment.

And as head of the Social Committee, I threw another great fucking Annual July Picnic.  It was epic.  Tons of food, lots of people, kids laughing, grown ups talking... we had a ball. 

This morning, we had a little memorial at the cabin for Dad.  We all said a little something, and then two friends of Dad's played guitar and banjo and sang.

As it turns out, the banjo player got his first banjo from Dad, nearly 40 years ago.

It was a nice remembrance.  And then, we got packed up and came back to Roswell.

Dinner at Capozzi's, a quick swim at the neighborhood pool, and now it's time for bed.

It's good.  It's all good.

ae


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SCOTUS Scuttlebutt

So, there's this big tsimmes brewing because the Supreme Court told Hobby Lobby it doesn't have to insure certain kinds of birth control for its employees, because it's against their religious beliefs.

Now, I have only been to a Hobby Lobby once, with a friend,  There I bought a roll of ribbon, some needles and a spool of thread.

I haven't returned.  Mostly because it's a hot mess there, and also because they made a big deal about not selling Hanukkah decorations, and that goes against my beliefs.

Now, not that you care, but I have an IUD.  I've had it for six months, and I love it.  It, for reasons that don't matter, and for reasons that are none of anyone's damn business, is my method of birth control.

Although, let's face it - as I'm pushing 40, my breeding years are in the rear-view. 

I'm still occasionally having a period.  Not much of one, but enough that I still apparently feel the need to cram my bottom desk drawer with "supplies". 

Go with the flow.


 Anyway, back to IUDs, SCOTUS and HobsLobs.

My feeling is this...

Fuck Hobby Lobby.  I mean, it's a shame that they feel the need to stick their nose into everyone's "business".

And fuck the Supreme Court - except for Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer (no relation), and especially Bader-Ginsburg, who needs a holiday named after her.

I mean, today, we're saying - it's OK to exclude certain birth control because we're Christian.

What if down the road, someone says, "We won't cover chemo, or antibiotics, or stitches because that's playing God".

It could happen.

So for now, I'll continue to vote with my ballot and my wallet.

And I'll stop buying pads, apparently.

ae