Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saturday in the Park

Between all the busy-ness and business of today, I got to spend a couple hours outside. Everyone keeps posting all these Spring images everywhere so I thought I'd do the same. If not in attempt to savor the season then at least to show off.

This tree is one of the main reasons I bought my house. It's this beautiful about three weeks out of the year and I can see it from the window. Otherwise, it's a mess and not very attractive for the other 49 weeks. You see what I base decisions on now, huh?

The tulips are holding on for a few more days.

And finally, Colorado's attempt at a Palm tree.

I would so not make it if I had to live in the city.

Friday, April 28, 2006

How to Become My Best Friend in Fifteen Seconds

I was standing in the women's restroom today adjusting my belt in front of the mirror. This woman I don't know started chatting with me. I really thought nothing of it.

Until she said this:
(I have to mention this woman is Chinese and speaks with a somewhat heavy accent. It makes it easier to imagine just how adorable her comment was.)

"Why are you looking at yourself in the mirror like that? Don't be so critical."

"Oh, I wasn't. I'm just adjusting my belt."

"Noooo. I can tell you were looking at yourself in a bad way. Don't do that. I would kill for your body. You look so great."

"Huh?" The only reply I could come up with for this tiny little woman.

"You have a wonderful figure. You should show it off."

"Oh, thank you."

At least I've learned how to say thank you for a compliment. What I really wanted to say was "Oh my God, I love you. You're my new favorite person on Earth. Can I buy you things? What do you want? Anything, promise!"

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Purpose Of The Past

"You know what I always liked about you?"

"What's that?"

"That I could count on you in any situation. I could bring you anywhere and introduce you to anyone and I knew you could handle yourself."


"I knew I didn't have to worry about you saying or doing something that would compromise me or embarrass me. I never worried."

He called me. A blast from the past. Except less blast. I'm not sure why he called, really. He used the excuse of "just wanted to say hi" but that just seems fake. Does anyone seriously just want to say hi? I don't. If I'm curious, I'm curious. Just say it.

But no. Instead we talk for twenty minutes about nothing only for the conversation to lead to us. What once was. Apparently, there are things he misses. Things that he liked. I can't say I'm completely shocked, there are things I miss too. So I reminded him.

"That's good. But that wasn't all there was to it, you know?"

"Yeah, I know. But it was just so easy, wasn't it?"

"What? Bringing me places?"

"Just going places together. I didn't have to hold your hand... you know I'm not a hand-holder."

"I know." And then it hit me. "You're having a problem with someone you're dating, aren't you?"


"Well nothing. You're dating a girl who you makes you worry about being embarrassed or humiliated by something she says. You're afraid you can't leave her to her own devices for fear of your own ego."

"Woah, that's harsh."

"Yeah, but is it true?"

"It's just different, you know?"

"Yeah, I do know. Listen, you have to tell her. Telling me is doing nothing but annoying me. And if I remember right, this is not a new problem. You never confront the person you're having the problem with. You always go elsewhere."


"Think about it."

So we spent the next ten minutes in a telephone counseling session going over it before saying goodbye.

"You were always right," he said.

"Not always."

"Well you were always right about me."

Some things happen to take you back and remind you of what once was. Some things happen to simply serve as a reminder of just how far you've come.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Just Picture Them In Their Underwear

Public speaking is the number one fear of people in this country. We're more scared of this than death, snakes, being burglarized or even mugged. In fact, once a student in one of my speech classes actually used the excuse of getting mugged in order to delay his speech. There really was never a way of verifying whether or not he was actually mugged but I will tell you this, if he was sweating and stuttering half as much before being mugged as he was during his speech, no one would have bothered him.

I cannot identify with this fear. I've never really had a problem getting up in front of people to talk. Even when I have to wing it, it's no big deal. Sure, it's taken a while and a lot of practice in order for me to feel comfortable in front of a crowd of strangers but even before I was comfortable, I've never really been afraid. Today it's one of my favorite things to do. Maybe I'm missing something or maybe I'm crazy, I don't know.

I know this isn't normal. I know most people have to really work at getting up just the nerve it takes to stand up, much less use technique and aids to involve your audience. There is a lot of advice on how to do this. People will tell you to use handouts or ask questions or have a gimmick but the truth is, none of this will really make you better. It will get you through the act of speaking and, hopefully, give your audience something to look at but it won't make you better. I have seen just about every technique possible over the years: tossing food into the audience, calling people up on stage, doing a headstand in the middle of a speech and laying on the floor. Though these things get attention, they don't really get the job done if the person using the technique doesn't want to be there.

A lot of us have seen good speakers, I have no doubt. Even more though, we've seen bad ones. Two weeks ago, in fact, I sat through an hour presentation done by a man that could make millions as a hypnotist. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize this and is stuck making only thousands as an auditor. As he droned on and on about numbers and rules I thought "doesn't he know this is boring?" Probably not because it's probably not boring to him. But that doesn't make him good or his material interesting. That's what a lot of people miss when they're speaking in front of people, the audience has a different perspective. You can't just tell them information, you have to sell it to them. If the material is dry, say so. Acknowledge the obvious and the audience will respond.

This brings me to the reason for this entire post. Last night I had to give a presentation that I'd been preparing for over the last couple of weeks. I was presenting something that was both new and complicated for the audience. I had to do it in a way that didn't intimidate anyone and yet still armed them with the information they would need when they walked out of the room. In addition to that, I had to sell them on the idea in the first place. I was prepared. But so were they.

Five minutes into the presentation, the questions started. They were firing them off, left and right. I had all the answers, I think. I made jokes. I made points. I had to shut a few people down a few times. They weren't happy, but I think it turned out well. Seven new contracts were signed which I know means nothing to a reader in this context but trust me, it's BIG. Most of all, it reminded me that no matter how good you think you are or how prepared you might be, there is always a reason to try to be better. And maybe a little afraid.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What? It's still good.

You, there. Standing in the doorway of my cube. Why are you staring?

Is it because I burned the popcorn? Or is it because I'm eating it anyway?

Monday, April 24, 2006

My Windshield on the World, Part 2

Earlier today, someone told me I needed to "get out more."
Yeah, okay.

Photo 1: I almost always take a picture from the airplane window- always on the way home. My way of saying goodbye. I know you can't tell, but there's ocean under them there clouds.
Photo 2: Yes, we are on the opposite side of the road. No, not everyone pays attention to the traffic signals. Yes, every car, even the open Jeeps, had an evergreen air freshener. Pretty sure they're convinced it covers up the smell of all the dope. Didn't have the heart to tell them they're wrong.
Photo 3: I looked like an idiot tourist and got honked at twice while taking this one. Gotta love your home state.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Yesterday, I met a little girl named Audrey. Audrey is eleven years old. She has two sisters, one older, one younger. Audrey loves soccer and she is one heck of a player. Audrey does well in school makes friends easily and is an all-around good kid. Audrey has cancer.

When Audrey was diagnosed, just a few short months ago, her entire life changed. No more school, no more soccer. Audrey and her family have been going through what so many families experience when cancer comes knocking- everything else stops. Your life is now doctors, hospitals and waiting. Audrey waits for treatment and for the day she can kick a soccer ball again. Her parents wait for their hearts to stop breaking. Her parent's vigilance is amazing. I am quite certain that after talking with Audrey's father for 10 minutes that I probably met one of the strongest people in this world. Saying this man was a positive thinker is an understatement. He is the true definition of a parent- there is clearly no limit as to what he'll do for his children.

On top of all this, Audrey's insurance provider has decided they can no longer cover her. That's right, an eleven year-old in daily treatment for cancer is no longer covered by insurance. Audrey doesn't know what this means. Her parents are at a loss. Someone had to do something. And someone did. Her soccer coach, and her entire soccer team, in fact. Yesterday over seventy soccer teams of all ages and abilitites came together in a charity soccer tournament hosted in Audrey's honor. All funds, donations and proceeds going to Audrey's treatment.

The people that put this together (in only three weeks) amazed me. They were organized, determined and thoughtful. Games were played from 8:00 in the morning till 8:00 at night. And not once was a score announced. Everyone knew why they were there.

Around noon, Audrey was able to make it to the tournament. She was able to do a lap around the field with her teammates and even kick a ball around a little. Because Audrey is currently in chemotherapy for eight hours a day, five days a week, she has very little "off time." But yesterday, Audrey had some off time. She knows it doesn't come often and, even at her young age, she knows the uncertainty of everything around her. I pray she also knows we are all pulling for her.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Redneck Woman

Things can get a little heavy sometimes. Not to worry though, life has a way of showing you the lighter side when you need it.

I wore a summer skirt to work today. My reasons were because it's summer weather and because I didn't have to iron it (this always being the most important reason to wear anything).

A coworker took notice.

"Oh! A dress!"

"Yep, I'm lazy."

"Lazy? That's not lazy."

"Well, I didn't have to iron this skirt to wear it, so I'm lazy. Simple."

"Oh, so you're one of those redneck girls, huh?"

"Umm, yeah."


My redneck ancestors would be so proud.

Thanks to Gretchen Wilson for singing a song that, apparently, was about me all along.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I Make My Own Mountains

As I came to the top of a hill on my run today and saw this view, I remembered some advice I'd given myself last year when life seemed to be happening at a faster-than-a-speeding-bullet rate like it is now: You don't have to decide everything right now.

Though all those schedules and deadlines might be like that snow on the mountain, life itself is the mountain. It will be there when the snow melts. It will go through another season, looking the same as it always has. It will stand in that same place no matter what the storms may bring. I know life changes but until one's last breath, it's still life. It's still there to be lived and survived and used.

The pressure I'm feeling to make decisions and changes in my life is only coming from me. I can turn it on so easily, it's turning it off that needs work. And I'm working on it. It's going to be a lot easier to get over the mountains and through the storms without the extra weight of over-analysis and doubt.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sometimes I do need to Just Run

Today was a about 25 degrees cooler than it has been around here lately. That, along with the wind, convinced me it was a good day to hit the treadmill.

I came home to let the dog out and as I was standing on the porch I thought "what kind of runner are you?" So it's 50 degrees, big deal. So it's windy. Is that seriously keeping you inside? What have you become? So I went inside, put on my running clothes and headed out the door.

I'm not going to lie, the first mile was hard. I had to talk myself through it, a lot. But soon I settled into a good pace and before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill I like to call my "Nemesis." I named this particular hill because it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, it always took me 20 minutes from the second I step off my porch to reach the top of this hill. Well, today I reached the top in 18:31. Oh yeah!

That was the end of Mile 2 (and now you know what a slow runner I am). During Mile 3 I passed my buddy, Lance Armstrong. Okay, so obviously it's not really Lance and obviously if I were to see him on the street it would be strange to see him running but I digress. I call this guy "my buddy Lance Armstrong" because, quite simply, the guy looks like Lance Armstrong. And, seeing him (and his killer quads) always makes me want to run faster and better. So I picked it up and soon I was into Mile 4.

During Mile 4 I passed no less than 8 other runners. This is a route in which I normally do not pass one other runner (except Lance) so seeing 8 people getting their butts out like me was encouraging. Especially considering the knee can't seem to make up it's mind as to whether it's actually injured or not. I tried to pay attention to triggers but nothing seemed consistent: It hurt a little stepping up that curb, so maybe it's stepping up. Oh, wait, it didn't hurt on that one. Hmm. It hurt a little stepping down that time, so maybe it's down? Well, Mile 4 was almost all downhill and it didn't hurt at all. Hmm. Ridiculous knee.

Mile 5 passed pretty quickly but by Mile 6 I really started feeling it. I had been going too fast so I slowed down a little and tried to concentrate on just finishing. Just when I thought I should stop and walk, How Bad Do You Want It (Tim McGraw) started blasting through the headphones and I made it home, sprinting.

With all that was going through my crazy little head today, I really needed a run like that.

Too Much To Think About

Life is getting busy again. I can feel it... those stress free Saturdays have gone by the wayside. I look at the calendar and there's something every weekend, every evening. Races, training, weddings, fund-raisers, you name it, it's on the calendar. I don't even have time to think about where I should go until I'm there. I just need a little more time to sort it out.

- Work. It's so busy I finish one project and barely take a breath before I move on to the next.

- Grad school. Do I want to apply? If I do, I need to do it soon. Application deadline is June 1. I'm not ready for the GRE or GMAT at all but I could probably pull it off if I needed to. The thing is, I don't have time to even call and talk to anyone. Why doesn't admissions open at 5:30 a.m.?

- A friend of mine revealed to me over the weekend that if she's not married by the time she's 29 (that's next year) that she's going to look into artificial insemination. She's always wanted kids more than most people want air so I can understand why she's set this deadline but I really don't know what to think. There are so many things I want to ask her like how? and where? but all I can think is no friggin' way would I be willing to take on the responsibility of parenthood by myself. No way. I can't imagine.

- Training. My left knee is entertaining a slight injury. It hurts only from time to time but each time it's enough to freak me out and think "oh my God, I can't run. I'm going to get behind on training and then not be ready for what's coming and then get fat[ter] and slow[er] and oh my God." But, since it doesn't hurt all the time, I just keep going.

- I have another friend that I don't know how to get through to. Her life has come to the point that she's completely out of control. Her marriage. Her family. Her weight. Her attitude. And all I feel like I can do is stand by and watch. I've told her my concerns and that I'm worried about her and all she says is "I know, I know" but never anything more. She's not even willing to admit anything or accept any responsibility. I've never watched a train wreck about to happen but I feel like this is what's coming and someone's tied my hands and gagged me. There's nothing I can say or do to prevent it.

- The house. There are several things I need to do at the house. I have no idea when I'm going to have time to take care of it. If you know anyone in Colorado that can clean carpets, service a central air system, paint a wall, repair a gutter and reseal a window can you please send them my way? I can do pretty much all of that but I only seem to have 7 spare hours in the day and if I don't use them to sleep, then bad things will happen.

- I put on 10 lbs. since last season (race/running season). Yuck. I hate them. I've lost 2 of them so far but it's slow going. I hate that I can spend 6 months getting to where I want to be and in 2 months it can all go to crap. I know, it doesn't help that I eat pie but still, stupid calories. It's so frustrating.

- I want to take piano lessons SO badly. I priced keyboards the other day. Not bad.
But then I think, how am I going to fit that in with training for marathons, grad school, work and volunteering? Ack!

And the worst part is, I can't concentrate on any of it. All I think about is the next time I'll be able to take a break from it all and get away. (It's 5 weeks from now, in case you were wondering.)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sunny Skies (and Key Lime Pie)

Easter Sunday was absolutely beautiful in so many ways.

First was Easter Sunday service. Of course, the place was packed. I don't talk about religion much around here or anywhere else so I don't have much to say about it but I will say this: I don't think being a "Christmas and Easter" church-goer is bad. If it's the remembrance of the Resurrection that gets you out of the house and believing in something, I really can't see room to criticize there. I feel like there's a shortage of people willing to openly believe in anything so if it's what you do, it is worth something.

With a quick change of clothes, I went with some friends down to the Incline. There's nothing like serious oxygen deprivation and physical pain to help one reflect on Easter service.

After that I headed home to start making what would become the proudest moment of my contributions to Easter dinner. Key Lime Pie. And yes, it warrants capitalization. I've been working for quite some time on perfecting this and though today's wasn't perfect looking, it was perfect tasting. Due to the summer heat we're having in April, the top layer settled a little too much. Next time, I'll have to get it to the fridge faster I guess.

After throwing together some salad and potatoes, I was out the door to grandma's house. The family all packed in and ate. The figures are early but as far as I can tell, I personally ate enough to sink a good-sized ship. Everyone else seemed to have done the same so we decided to go for a walk to the park up the road. This is not normally something the entire family would do but I think a thread common to each and every one of us is to never waste a beautiful day by sitting inside. We had a great time at the park. Playground swings hurt my butt a lot worse than they used to. Apparently, they're made for small children. The merry-go-round is also not a good idea after any holiday dinner. Still, there were moments from this day that will remain with me forever. They're the moments you make on purpose so that when you're somewhere alone and far from home, you have something in your heart that bridges every distance and fills every empty space.

An hour later we headed home from the park ready for dessert. I am more than proud to say that, thanks to me, my entire family is currently in a Key Lime Pie-induced food coma. It really was that good.

As the sun headed West, we packed up left-overs, said our goodbyes and hit the road. For whatever reason, I drove right past the left turn that would take me home and decided to cruise around the hometown for a while. The sun was starting to set, it was 70 degrees, the windows were down and James Taylor* was in the CD player. Ignoring the ridiculous number that is the price of fuel right now, I just drove around the city, not quite ready to let go of the ordinary beauty of the day.

When I finally made it home, I called the little sister. I miss her so badly on days like this. I want to send her the sun and the food and the feelings from today. She had a good day with her hub and the baby-to-be but I know she wants to be closer. I don't think we'll ever be okay with the distance. We just deal with it as best we can. And she makes me swear on our mother's life that I'll make Key Lime Pie when I visit her next month. Obviously that's not going to be a problem.

*Sunny Skies is a James Taylor song. The song is about a man who is not so sunny. At the end of the song, he wonders "if where I've been is worth the things I've been through." I would have to say yes, but don't miss those sunny skies.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Am I That Transparent?

Tonight I hung out with my mom and baked. Well, I baked and she sat in the kitchen and told me what to do like some kind of kitchen foreman.

Altogether it was two loaves of banana bread and a couple dozen peanut butter cookies. She was going to bring the cookies to work with her and I, the banana bread. As I was leaving, she instructed me on how and when to slice the bread and how large the slices should be because obviously, at 26, the whole knife thing is new to me. Not to mention, division.

"Make sure you let it cool and slice it in half and then make the smaller slices. You can't feed eighteen people on fat slices."

"Okay, boss."

"Love you."

"Love you."





Thirty minutes later I walk through the door at home and my phone is ringing. The miracle that is caller ID says it's mom.

"Hi, boss."

"Hi. Also, wrap it in tupperware if you've got it. It will stay fresher than foil."

"Gotcha. Okay, love you. Bye."

"You ate some on the way home, didn't you?"

"What? What are you talking about?"

"I can hear it in your voice. You couldn't wait. You ate some."


"Well, at least you have two loaves."

"Yeah, mom. I'll probably finish at least one tonight. Night."

"Bye, honey."


I hate when my mom is psychic and it involves my inability to resist baked goods.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Everything You Didn't Want to Know (Alternately titled: Don't watch movies about math, drink margaritas and then sit down at the computer)

I watched a movie about math. Well, it was about math and mathematicians. It sort of reminded me of work because they kept talking about how you may not be able to prove something works but sometimes, if you spend the valuable years of your youth at a desk with a pencil and paper, you can prove that it doesn't not work. Doesn't. Not work. Double negatives, blech!

This reminds me of work because often times, in programming and coding and blah blah blah (because I know that's what most people hear when those words are read) there are double negatives all over the place. Not null. Not inactive. "Logic" they say, but it's not logic. Unless, of course, the meaning of logic is actually the opposite of everything you've ever known as logical then yes, it's logic. If you think that's confusing, get this: programming has languages within languages. Styles within styles. Dialects within dialects. That means that every little wild-eyed computer geek can pretty much write code anyway she or he wants to as long as it makes sense to them and spits out the same crap at the end. [Sidebar Disclaimer: By crap I don't really mean crap. I heart programmers.]

For instance, that little button that says "Publish Post" might be obviously called Publish Post to you. You would be logical to think that was it's name. Wrong-O! Remember what I said about logic. Instead of Publish Post, it could actually be called something like "xN11" or "c55" or "Paul." Seriously. To make matters worse, the programmer can then choose her or his own abbreviation for these "names" in order to make it something she or he can remember as they go on to write the "Dynamic Whatever of the Century" or, you know, do their day to day job.

So yeah, this movie about math really got me thinking. About work. While I'm at home. Hate that. Originally, I sat down and read a few other people's blogs and started having deep thoughts and wanted to write about how the world doesn't add up and how we can or cannot prove certain things and how math theory has never been my strong point. Clearly, I did not accomplish this.

But maybe I accomplished something more. I once again proved two things to myself: 1) Work may be confusing but it is SO not boring. 2) Blogging will make it better.

Alternate, alternate title: I really don't know crap about this but most of you either don't know the difference anyway or I lost you at the second paragraph.

I Should Have Named Her "Killer"

Apparently, for the last four years, I've been harboring a vicious beast. With an agenda.

Early this morning, I opened the front door and let my dog out, as I do every morning. There are no fenced yards in this neighborhood so people either use leashes or have voice control over their dogs. Since it's 5:30 a.m. I usually don't have to worry about anyone else being out. I let her out and stand on the porch and watch her while she takes care of business- which often includes carefully sniffing every square inch of grass in the yard. When all is sniffed and done, she trots back inside, inhales her food and hops up on the sofa for her first nap of the day.

This morning, I opened the door and she ran up to it and stopped. I urged her "come on! Go!" and she just looked out the door as if she were about to cross into the Twilight Zone. After a few more moments of contemplation, she looked at me and charged out the door so fast the carpet where she had been was smoldering. As she shot down the steps, ripped across the grass and darted straight into the street I finally saw what the big deal was.

A squirrel.

She's never chased anything before. Unless something's trying to get between her and her next meal, she could care less. As it turns out, she just hasn't been provoked enough. After she came to a stop, she barked at the top of her lungs for a good minute at the squirrel who was now safely up a tree twenty yards away. Finally, after promises of dog treats, I was able to draw her attention away. I grabbed her collar and dragged the snarling sixteen pound attack dog back to the yard. As we walked back she kept looking behind her as if to say "I'll get you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This will be difficult to understand if you're not a runner

The strange thing about being a runner, for me anyway, is that the novelty never wears off. As much as you try to perfect a routine by eating a certain way or by speedwork or whatever else, there's always going to be those odd days where something just doesn't feel right. Often times, it's these unexpected days that remind runners that they're human.

That said, the novelty does wear off for everyone else. Your friends and family get used to the idea that you run. Though they support you and encourage you, the routine is established for them. They leave you messages that say "oh you're probably out running, call me when you get in" or "If you don't have a race to go to that weekend, I hope you can make it to the wedding." Their idea of you is not you the runner, it's you the person that runs.

Most successful life-long runners get past this. They fit their running into the schedule of life because it's something they have to do. Whether you're trying to stay in shape, keep up with the kids, train for races, blow off steam or maybe all of the above, you have to run. The day is not right without it. This is where the two paths tend to converge, or crash.

Throughout my years of running, I can say that no one except other runners (and possibly an enthusiastic cyclist or two) can understand. They don't see how you prioritize running like they prioritize lunch- except you prioritize lunch too because you're a runner and therefore, you eat a lot. They don't see how it's part of who you are and how you define yourself. A lot of things can cause bad days but for a runner, not getting to run is often at the top of the list.

With as many people as there are that run marathons these days, you'd think this idea would be more wide spread. Still, even with all those millions of runners, only something like .015% of the population participated in a marathon in 2005. That, I suppose, sheds some light on the reason we still get the "crazy" comments when we get up at 4:00 a.m. for a run or save all our vacation days to travel to races. But the numbers are growing and hopefully, the two paths will converge one day and not crash. Hopefully they'll just coexist and maybe even get a few converts over to the "other side." It would really work out well for all us runners if the rest of you could just join us because, after all, we're runners and we really don't want to change.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Who Cares?

For the first time in a while, the person in the mirror took me by surprise this morning. I didn't completely recognize her. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I spent all afternoon yesterday drinking on an outdoor patio (we all know what a combination of tequila and sun can do for your looks) but I think it was more than that.

Something has changed other than the shade of pink on my face today. Something's a little different. And as opposed to the past, I don't care that I feel different.

I've always been pretty good at being myself. I don't spend a lot of time defending my choices in clothes, music, etc. Being the only person in the car that knows (and sings) Born to Run doesn't really bother me. When I bought the house that my mother thought was "too much work", I didn't listen. When people scoff at the amount of money I'll spend on traveling, I brush it off. Admittedly though, in the back of my mind, I did care. I didn't need people to like what I was doing or agree with me, but I did care if they didn't. I wanted to know why we disagreed. I wanted minds to change and things to be 'just so', so I could feel better. Though I didn't listen and it wasn't always evident in my actions, I've allowed opinions to be the gauge that determined the direction of my heart and mind.

For some reason, today's the day the universe picked for me to realize: I don't care. I'm glad you're you and I'm me and you have an opinion and I have an opinion and we can find a way to get along. That hasn't changed and I'm thankful for it. I'm not saying I don't respect your opinion or value it. In fact, now more than ever, I need it. Even as I type it, I'm not certain "care" is the right word. I do care about people and things. Sometimes I care so much that I would do anything to make sure it's known. But it doesn't affect my happiness, it can't. That's the part that I have to be alright with. It doesn't mean anything is wrong or that I'm apathetic. It just means I'm completely accepting of something that's mine.

I'll be the first to admit, this isn't a sudden revelation nor is it that profound. Rather, this has been more of a progression. The way it seems now, confident decisions and comfortable decisions are not mutually exclusive and I think the difference is how the decision sits with you when all is said and done. You may like what you did and things are working out great but if somewhere the whisper of another's voice is haunting you and you're feeling guilty or sad or dissatisfied, then you're losing out. It's not worth selling yourself short by not embracing the differences and moving on.

If you did something well and left no one in your wake, there's no reason for apologies. If your favorite music is the soundtracks to old Westerns, no worries. If you want to spend $500 on your cat, do it. If you want to eat ice cream for lunch, go ahead.

Or maybe not. If my pants don't fit, I do care. A little.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's nice just to be asked*

Every Friday I "allow" myself to stop at Starbucks in the morning. It's a little treat I have at the end of every week. The truth is, if I could justify $25 a week on it, I'd stop every day.

Anyway, the friendly barristas have come to know my routine. I'm often their first customer of the day on Fridays due to my early working hours and it impresses me that every single Friday, they're in a good mood.

"Goooood morning!" They announce, in unison, as if the fact that me walking through the door is reason enough for celebration.

And for the last year and a half that I've kept this routine, a half-asleep "Hi!" is about all I've been able to muster. This morning was no different. So when the friendlier of the two barristas started chatting with me, I thought nothing of it.

"What are you up to for the weekend?"

"Not much. Running, cleaning, eating. You know, the usual. And you?"

"Oh probably just work and a few other things. We have some new coffees, do you want to try some samples?"

"Sure," I agree, because if it's free, it's for me.

"Okay, great!"

The barrista then proceeded to make me samples of six different teas and coffees. Some with milk, some with soy, some with syrup, some without and on and on. I sampled for a good fifteen minutes. All the while the other barrista looking over with raised eyebrows and a smirk on her face. I wondered if this was some conspiracy to send me to work bouncing off the walls, consequently getting me fired and not be able to afford Starbucks any more and therefore, they wouldn't have to deal with me at 5:30 a.m. ever again.

I was wrong.

As I sampled the final drink (Modo Green Tea or something odd like that) I told them thanks and proceeded to leave. As I turned to go, I heard the sample-crazy barrista say "Um...." and trail off.

"Did you say something?"

"Ummm, well, I was wondering..."

Oh geez, what's happening here, I thought. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, well, I just wanted to ask you, ummm.... do you ever go to poetry readings?"

"Oh, no, not really. I've only been to a few."

"Oh, okay. Well, if you ever want to, let me know. Have a good day!" Just as cheerful as ever.

And I looked at the other barrista, smirk still on her face, and said "Okay, ladies, see you later!" And then I just left. It took me until I got to my car to realize that I was pretty sure I'd just almost been asked out, by the Starbucks barrista, who is a woman.


I've never been asked out- albeit half-way- by another woman before. Since I'm not a lesbian, perhaps this is not startling information. Nevertheless, I'm a little intrigued. I'm flattered, too. I mean, women in general can be so much more critical than men so if a woman is attracted to me, far be it from me to argue. The thing is, I'm also wondering if I gave out some sort of "vibe" that suggested I may be attracted to her? I would wonder about this with anyone I wasn't attracted to though, so I suppose I should not approach it any differently. I don't want my Starbucks routine to be weird. I really couldn't handle that. It's my normal staple at the end of chaotic weeks, it cannot change. So, I'll just continue with my routine, be friendly and not take any more samples? Will she be offended? Should I worry? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Was she even asking me out in the first place? I mean, I've never mentioned poetry before, so she wouldn't think I'd be interested, would she?

Do I even need to be asking these questions? Maybe it was some school project for her Sociology 101 course and I was a test subject. Yeah, that could be it.

*Also could be Good Thing or Bad Thing: Part 2

Thursday, April 06, 2006

So I'm not saving the world, but it's still hard work

Work has been ridiculously busy lately. And it's not going to let up. We're working on a huge project that will go on for several months. I'm really getting into it and learning new things all the time. It's like I have night-before-an-exam brain; there's so much information in my mind, it actually feels full. Really really full.

In the tech world, we like to give everything an acronym or an abbreviation. Instead of saying Database Administrator, we say DBA. Instead of saying Asynchronous Javascript and XML, it's AJAX instead. You get the idea. Today I gave this project it's new official acronym: MOS. Massive Overhaul of Shit. That's what it is. Everything must be brutally scrutinized and analyzed and reviewed. Everything is changing. I've never been involved in something so huge. Granted, we're not changing the world. We're just changing the way thousands of people see it.

As a result of Project MOS, I'm becoming Work Girl. It's scary. Work Girl doesn't have time to clean her house. Work Girl doesn't remember to call her friends. Work Girl eats on the go. She doesn't have time to go to the bathroom, much less go for a run. I feel so guilty, too. I haven't run in two days. Oh, big deal, you might say. But for a runner who also happens to be an anal planner, it's serious.

Just to paint a picture of how my day looked, I'll give you a little play-by-play. Alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. I sleep till 5:15. I drag my butt out of bed and eventually, out of the house by 6:00 a.m. I get to work at 6:20 (good commute time). I spend the next nine hours in a meeting. No, not meetings, a meeting. Yes, it took 7 adults 9 hours- minus the 13 minutes I spent eating my lunch at my desk while responding to email- to make decisions on Project MOS. I spent about 2 hours after the meeting trying to make sense of our decisions and then send out the notifications that were my responsibility before anyone had a chance to change their mind. You gotta jump on that crap, seriously.

I still felt like a slacker even though I worked my hiney off all day long.

The one thing that did make the day worth all the crap was this note from my boss (one of many (bosses, not notes)):

Great work today. I hope you know how important you are to this project!

But then it was followed by this:

See you at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. We need to get things in order before the weekend! Thanks!

And then I had chips and salsa and a margarita for dinner. You can't do everything perfect in one day. The world would stop rotating.

Note: I've just read Bre's post for today. Apparently, we were on the same wavelength. Let's hope it doesn't happen again, to either of us.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Boring Old Update

Okay, so it's not really old but it is likely very boring. Nonetheless, I feel the need to update. For some reason, a few visitors around here ask me about things from previous posts. Weird, huh? There's nearly eight of you and some of you find it in your inquisitive little minds to ask me about the past. I find it so odd and yet, totally love it at the same time. I want to go outside and shout "I love blogging. It's finally all about ME!" But that would just be ridiculous, mostly.

So, on to the updating.

One of my first few posts was about the famous Aussie. Due to my instant and complete fascination with his charm, I was able to ignore the fact that he would be out of the country in mere weeks from our first meeting. So, charmed I was for those weeks and now we email and write of the strange way life works and how it doesn't make sense. This sort of sucks but no longer being one hung up on the fairy tale, I sort of just use the emails to fill my need to complain about not being able to control life and love and blah blah blah. I'm such a user.

Another popular topic is this guy. I spent a lot of time trying to get away from thinking about him. I tried drinks and dating others and trips to Vegas. Turns out, though, all I really needed to do was write about it here. It appears as though sharing your current torment on the internet is a cure-all for getting over someone. Who knew? I know, you did.

Possibly the funniest question I've received is: "Did you really not like the movie 'Hitch'?" I had a post that was strategically placed, here. Funny story, actually. You see, I was set up with this guy and I'd put off actually going out with him for a loooooong time. I knew there was something that didn't click but I finally caved and went out with him. A few days later, I think he found my blog though I'm not sure how. (Sidebar: I think he comments under the guise of "Stephen" or, sometimes, "Steven". I know, it's more frightening than I'm willing to admit). Long story short, this post was really about a bad blind date in which I felt, well, cheated.

I think that's about it for the boring-but-still-okay-enough-to-write-about questions. The few others have just been about whether or not I want to buy porn. I don't.

So thanks, visitors, for the time you spend here. I love the comments. I love visiting your sites. I love that I can write decently one day and literally spit out crap every other day and you still validate me. That's good times!

Thanks to all eight of you, more or less. Turns out, eight is enough... ha! Get it?!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


On Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00
in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

This will happen a total of 37 times and not again for another hundred years.

It gets me thinking. Am I taking every opportunity to be a part of moments that may never happen again in my lifetime?

Usually, I'm sleeping at 1:02:03 on Wednesday mornings. This time though, maybe I'll wake up and take a minute to remind myself not to "sleep" through anything that I'll only see once.

Or maybe I'll just take that moment now. I'm not Miss Sunshine when I have to wake up in the middle of the night.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I spent all day Saturday with my cousins, five and eight. Both boys and both very smart. They also both have more energy than fifteen puppies on speed. We biked, hiked, walked the dog, played at the park, played basketball, drew pictures and put a puzzle together. I was pretty proud of my ability to entertain them, until I realized it was only noon.

Kids are exhausting, obviously. One of the most tiring qualities of all is the two million questions they have about everything. The most popular is "why?", which comes in many forms. There's "why not?" and "why should I?" And, of course, the ever familiar from my own childhood, "whhhhhhhyyyyyyyy?" followed by stomping and pouting.

The day was filled with these little questions:

Boy of 8: I'm getting bored on these little rocks. Why can't we climb on those bigger rocks?

Me: Because you have to have special equipment to climb those and we don't have any equipment.

Boy of 8: But those people are doing it, why can't we?

Me: Because we don't break the law.

Boy of 8: Dang! Stupid laws!


Me: Get your shoes on.

Boy of 5: Why?

Me: Because we're going outside. Get your shoes on.

Boy of 5: Ummm, hello, you can go outside without shoes. Duh!

Boy of 8: Yeah, there's no law.



Me: Shoot baskets so I can take your picture.

Boy of 8: Why do you want a picture of it?

Me: So I can remember what a good basketball player you are.

Boy of 8: You won't have to remember when I'm on T.V.

Me: Okay, Jordan, shoot the ball.

Boy of 8: Who's Jordan?

Me: Oh dear God.


Boy of 5: Why can't we listen to the radio?

Me: We can! What kind of music do you like?

Boys in unison: Everything!

Me: Okay, here, listen, this is a good one. It's The Eagles.

Boy of 8: Who are The Eagles?


Boy of 5: Do you have kids?

Me: No.

Boy of 5: I think you do have them.

Me: If I had kids, don't you think you would have met them?

Boy of 5: Maybe you keep them in the closet (hehehe). Do you keep your kids in the closet?

Me: Hmmm, do you think I keep kids in the closet?

Boy of 5: Yes, I bet you do. But why would you put them in the closet?

Me: Because they wouldn't quit asking "Why?"

Boy of 5: Oh.

And that, friends, is a little thing I like to call birth control.