Friday, September 26, 2008

Chicken Soup Amazing

I've been sick most of the week, today is the worst. My whole body aches, my chest hurts when I breath, and my stomach gets upset whenever I eat. I was feeling better than normal yesterday, so I decided to surprise Paulo by coming over and cleaning up the house a little, take out his recycling and get his mail - which I was going to do earlier in the week after an event near his house which I ended up skipping because I felt unwell.

Anyway, needless to say, I woke up this morning just miserable. He was traveling back in to town from work, so I sent him a message that I'd still be at his place when he got home from the airport. He came in, snuggled me up on the couch (I was still in bed) and then proceeded to make me a cup of tea, and THEN, he made me a batch of chicken noodle soup from scratch.

He's so amazing! He likes taking care of me when I'm sick - he waited to go meet a friend for beers until he was sure I was doing all right on the couch, he would have stayed home if he thought he needed to take care of me. Mmmm, I'm such a lucky woman :o)

Three good things:
1. The soup warmed my tummy and my heart.
2. I didn't have to ask Paulo to do anything for me - which makes it sooo much better.
3. I think he's making me sloppy joes for dinner - and they're gooooo-ooood...that or he's getting Thai food, also good!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chicago Trip, Part 1 of 4

We flew out of our home city on a lovely Saturday morning. Our trip to the airport was seamless, but for the frustration of the TSA's new sorting system that, frankly, is completely useless. Oh well, we arrived with plenty of time to hit the bookstore before heading to the gate for boarding.

After a, relatively, brief 3.5 hour flight we touched down in Chicago. Paulo is originally from a Chicago suburb, and we were primarily flying to the Chicago area to visit Paulo's brother, Stefen, and Stefen's family, including their 4 week old baby, named RJ. Paulo's mom, Yvanka, was also staying at Stefen's house for an extended weekend. Though I had overhead several conversations between Paulo and members of his family and knew they seemed like very nice people, I was a little anxious to see how we all go along and whether they would approve of me as a match for Paulo. Really, who doesn't have a case of the nerves before meeting their sweetheart's family for the first time, especially when you fly halfway across the counry to do so?

Stefen picked us up at O'Hare and we drove the 45 minutes or so to the suburbs for a lovely couple of days relaxing with family. Both the boys in that family drive the same way, which was amusing to me. When we arrived and settle in, I felt so very welcomed by the entire group, and Paulo's mom is a ton of fun; she waved me over to the couch as soon as I arrived and gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek (as well as could be managed since she was holding baby R.J.). She has an irreverent manner that makes you feel like you can say and do anything and that she'll not pass judgment. She's warm, funny, smart, and so completely excited to be a grandma. Tracy, Paulo's siter-in-law, is a total sweetheart - she has an infectious smile and always has something nice to say. RJ was spoiled in the best way by everyone happy to hold and cuddle him, not to mention feed him. That little boy sucked down bottle after bottle from the houseguests (I maintain that I'm the only one who managed to have him finish the whole bottle though, I think I held it at the perfect angle, heehee).

Most of our time was spent relaxing in the living room, talking about the Olympics and the elections. The only tense portion was when Paulo's dad (his parents divorced about 8 years ago) decided to come over while Paulo's mom was still visiting. We sat around the television and nobody said much, but it was completely tolerable. Paulo and I had a good talk later about the family dynamic, and I was honored to be let in on Paulo's very personal insights on how his family works and the decisions Paulo has made about how to handle them. It illustrated, yet again, how well we can communicate in both the good times and the difficult situations.

After 4 days we bid farewell to Yvanka and packed our bags to head for downtown Chicago the next morning. I'm delighted to have met Paulo's family and been so comfortable with them.

As a post-script, Paulo's sister-in-law, Tracy, is now an addition to my on-line social network and independentl confirmed that Paulo's mom "thought the world of me." YES!!! Though Paulo had already assured me of the fact, confirmation by Tracy adds that much more lustre to the situation. I can't wait to see them again, and to see how big RJ is!

Three good things:
1. Umm, Paulo's mom likes me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. I am comfortable around and really like Paulo's brother and sister-in-law, and his nephew likes me too :)
3. Paulo already mentioned going back to visit with me...several times.

Stay tuned for Chigaco Part 2!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pajama Day

It's my last day of work and I could swear I'm in the twilight zone.

My boss came to work in light blue pj's with yellow stars on them. I'm surprised she opted for sandals over slippers. She proceeded to act as if she was a recently awoken hibernating bear for the three hours she was in the office. She also held a meeting with the quality control contractor we just hired. Why she didn't tell me it was pajama day!? I wanna wear pajamas to work!! (yes, I'm rolling my eyes)

My afternoon wrapped up with a cute little old lady telling me via telephone that "you'll go to hell before I will if you're lying to me." It was the errily cheery tone of her statement that made it impossible for me to contain the belly laugh.

Then I almost made my really cool co-worker, Isabell, snort Diet Pepsi out of her nose when I asked her if she'd also thought our boss was wearing pajamas to work...she did, and she'd been trying all morning not to laugh so by the time I mentioned it, she had a big pent-up laugh in her.

Three good thing:
1. After today, I officially don't work for the twilight zone office anymore.
2. Though strange, both the pj's and hell comment were highly entertaining.
3. I really won't feel bad about saying no if they ask me to help out more than I've already agreed to for the next week.

Now, the sun is out and I'm heading to the beach with Paulo.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I take a bow

I did it! I did it! I got a new job! I haven't ranted, let alone raved, about my professional situation in a while. I decided it was unproductive to put a lot of negative energy out there about how little satisfaction I found with my professional situation. Instead, I talked to a lot of people about what I was looking for, and started putting in applications selectively for things that looked interesting. The third application I turned in became the avenue to my new job.

I'm leaving my teeny tiny backwater of an office for the world of campaign finance. It's exciting for me, I love the subject matter I'll be working with. I also have it on the authority of a friend, who used to work for the campaign finance office, that they are very professional but very friendly there. That's also the impression I got in the interview. It was the first time I felt like I was interviewing the panel as much as they were interviewing me. It was empowering. I wasn't nearly as nervous as I normally am on an interview, because I wasn't sure I wanted the job until after the interveiw concluded.

I'll be sad to not have my two co-workers around to chat with, they're very nice people and I will miss them. But, I know this is the right move for me. I never really found what I was looking for in the tiny office. They just don't think about the world the same way I do, and that's ok, but it's not where I want to work. There are also some personal issues about my bosses behavior at times, and I know I'll never be comfortable working with her because I find it difficult to believe or trust things she says, professionally or personally. I had an epiphany about this a few months ago, as I sat in class and we were talking about ethics. I realized that, at the core of the issue, my boss and I have very different views on what constitutes ethical behavior - i.e. I view much of her managerial behaviors as unethical, and she thinks it's all perfectly acceptable - and at that moment I found great peace in seriously looking for a new job.

Three good things:
1. Ummm, new job!!
2. I've set up a graceful transition between the two positions.
3. Talk about applying learning to life - it feels good!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mojo at work

I have a friend, I think of her as MOJO. She's my sexy Latina friend, you know, the kind who always has guys getting whiplash from tracking her as she walks down the sidewalk. She asked to borrow a pair of my sexy shoes to go take a dance class. Since I was leaving to visit Paulo before she finished working, I left said shoes out on my stoop for her. Later in the day, MOJO was worried about getting home on time to meet a friend and asked if I would mind if she left my shoes outside for the weekend. I told her "heck no! Thou shalt not leave my sexy dancing shoes on the front stoop all weekend. Take the extra five minutes and go pick them up, pretty please?" Being the good friend that she is, that is exactly what she did. What followed was, I feel, highly fortuitous.

As she shimmied (MOJO walks with a certain sultry shimmy, not the seventies disco kind of shimmy) across the parking lot towards my door a very attractive man stopped her to ask if she enjoyed living in the complex because he was moving in to the area from out of state. Admitting that she did not, in fact, live at said location, she did offer up that her friend (me) very much enjoyed the place. Being a realtor, she of course asked him if he was interested in buying. He said he might be, and gave her his card. His name is, no kidding, Mr. Fine. And, by all accounts, he is very fine indeed. Apparently they have been communicating for a few days and are meeting up for drinks in the near future.

I feel like some sort of love connection fairy. Bow to the power of sexy dancing shoes!

Three good things:
1. MOJO has had it reaffirmed that she's a hot commodity.

2. My shoes are safe and sound.

3. The name Mr. Fine just makes me grin...I can totally fantasize about my dear friend being "Mrs. MOJO Fine" someday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nice People Do Exist

Desperate for my daily mocha, I was waiting to turn left across two lanes of traffic in to my coffe stand. As the truck behind me inched closer, impatient to be on his way but not willing to cut out around me, I watched the stream of cars coming towards me for a break. Finally, I spotted an opening my zippy little Subaru could make it through. Then the person last in the line of cars coming towards me slowed down...a lot...and he put on his blinker to turn in to my coffee stand. Damn, I was going to have to wait for another break and maybe even go around the block to avoid stalling traffic.

Suddenly, the car signaling to turn in to the coffe stand stopped and the middle-aged gentleman behind the wheel, perhaps sensing my distress, waved me in to the coffee stand ahead of him! I left $5.00 behind to buy his coffee for the day. It's nice to run across the nice people in the world :o)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hello to my new car!

Well, as indicated in the previous post, I have a new car. I did my homework and feel good about my decision to stick with a safe and reliable Subaru. Paulo came with me and was a haggler extraordinaire at the dealership. He even said afterwards that he had fun playing hardball. It was also nice to have Paulo's extensive negotiating experience backing me up. I'm certainly not as comfortable as he is with the general process of negotiation prices.
We knew the rock bottom price for this model at a competing dealership, and also had the information on the actual invoice price for both the vehicle and the options. After sending the sales man to 'the man behind the curtain' at least 6 times in 90 minutes we were at an acceptable bargain. The price was $120.00 over what the competition offered, but this car had better options, and it was also the color I wanted (I am a girl, after all).
Since I was pre-approved for a loan the paperwork at the financial office was relatively easy. They did change the term length of my loan at the dealership, which was perfect. I also got the maintenance package and GAP insurance rolled in to my loan because I was getting such a great rate. However, when I went in to my financial institution I discovered that the dealership had already pushed through a loan at more than double the proper interest rate by some "mistake." So, that got removed right quick. Then I discovered that the rate I was promised by the dealer wasn't available at the term length the dealer offered, and that the dealer was telling the bank, "I swear, she signed for a shorter term, it's right here." Well, the financial person at the dealer was lying through her teeth, or was too lazy to pull out the paperwork, because Paulo faxed me a copy of the paperwork I signed and, right there in clear type-face, was the longer loan term at the lower interest rate. Now I have the bank trying to push through those terms on an exception, since it's technically not an "available" loan. How that is possibly my fault, I fail to comprehend. My next idea is that the dealer should eat the cost of the additional interest they failed to advise me of if the bank makes me take the higher rate. Did they think I was just going to lie down and take this with a spoon full of sugar? Seriously?
Three good things:
1. I was so pissed yesterday that I deep cleaned my kitchen...a much needed proceedure.
2. I get to use my most intimidating "do the right thing and give me what I'm asking for" voice, look, and possibly correspondence.
3. I love my new car - it smells new and is all shiny and so quiet you can hardly tell it's on at a stoplight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Goodbye to my car

My wonderful Subaru Impreza inexplicably overheated last week on my way to Paulo's house. It was right before I left for Vegas, so taking it to the shop had to wait until my return. Sadly, the news from the auto repair shop is that I have a leaking head gasket...ouch...along with a problem with my clutch (which is the fault of the absolutely terrible mechanic who did a crap job on my new clutch last summer). The cost to repair it is somewhere around half of the remaining value in the car. My decision? Time to buy a new car.

Now, I'd been thinking about upgrading for some time. My sweet little Subaru had a lot of miles on it and I was thinking little things (like seals and gaskets...doh!) would be wearing out soon and it would need to have some serious investment in repairs. This is, admittedly, a much more dramatic and sudden impetus to upgrade my vehicle than I would have wished...but that's life. At this point, with a leaky head gasket, it's a candidate for a paltry trade in, or perhaps a rally racing enthusiast who want's to kit it out and take it in to the hills. I'll lose money since now I can't sell or trade it in for anywhere near what I still owe on it, but at least I'm financially solvent enough to handle it with only having to sacrifice picking up the tab at dinner with friends less often (sorry, friends...we may be splitting more checks or you'll be enjoying my home-cooked tasty cuisine).

Either way, my time with my 2001 Impreza, the first car I've ever truly loved to own, is at an end. The end of a beautiful relationship.

On another note: Paulo has been completely wonderful through all of this. He put all of his home-remodeling projects on hold to drive around to dealerships with me for the last two days. We play it like he's buying the car, or at least that I'm not buying it on my own, just to keep the salesmen on their toes. At the end of two solid days of zipping between dealerships I've decided to purchase a brand new (eek!) 2008 Impreza. I will miss having a sunroof, since they cost more to get as an option than I really want to spend right now, but the new Impreza is much safer and actually very roomy (they've moved it on to the Legacy frame). I also think the new body style is not as sporty as the 2007 and previous models, but I have found it impossible to find a manual 2007 Impreza...oh well. I also drove a Mazda 3 (poor side-impact safety ratings) and a Mitsubishi Lancer (felt like a toy car on meth). A loyal Subaru customer I remain.

Paulo has helped me with the research on what a good price is, and has also signed up to come along and help me haggle down the purchase price and help me keep an eye out for little scams they might try with financing and my trade-in. Through all of this, Paulo has avoided making me feel like I don't know what I am doing or what I need, as some guys would if taking their girlfriend car shopping. He respects the fact that I actually know quite a lot about Subarus and have a good idea of what I want. He's supportive and provides a kind of support I wasn't sure really existed - he knows how to help without taking over. He doesn't forget that this car buying experience is all about what I want, not how much he can show off about cars or bluster and be a manly man on the car lot. I think it's called respect, and it's absolutely wonderful.

Tomorrow we're going back to begin the arduous process of actually haggling with the dealers, but at the end of it all I will have a new car. Now I just have to decide if it's a better option for me to buy or lease...ahhh....the life of a consumer.

Three good things:
1. I will have a warranty!
2. My poor little car may be re-born as a rally fun!
3. I've discovered yet another wonderful way in which Paulo and I are insanely compatible!

(it's exlamation point day...obviously!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back from Vegas...again!

I just returned home late last night from another weekend in Vegas with Paulo. I take it as a mark of great respect that he welcomed me to come in for a visit during his week-long poker vacation with his buddy. To me, that says a lot about how much he trusts me. How many guys would happily invite their woman down to Las Vegas during a poker-fest? Not too many.

Admittedly, we had to have a few long and careful talks about what the expectations should be surrounding time together and activities before I bought my plane tickets. But, in the end, I really think we overcame any hesitation and successfully navigated our way through a potential relationship minefield. He had total freedom to play poker whenever he wanted to - I was well supplied with comfortable walking shoes, a good book, and my bathing suit. Paulo instructed me to charge any food or beverages to the room and did take me out to a very nice dinner at our favorite restaurant. The dinner was especially fun because I got to meet and hang out with another of Paulo's good friends.

I periodically visited the poker room, making the other players jealous of Paulo by wearing hot little dresses and rubbing his shoulders as he whiled away the hours at cards. Several times players from other tables tried to woo me away from Paulo with promises of a commission to give them a shoulder rub. Well provisioned by my sweetheart, I felt no temptation to take them up on their offers.

It was a little sad to leave yesterday evening; I wanted to stay in Vegas and go back to the pool, curling up with Paulo at night. However, as I reached my door some time in the wee hours of the morning after driving home from the airport I could hear my cat plaintively meowing inside my apartment. She'd heard me coming up the stairs and was waiting for me to dig out my keys and come pet her. I suppose it's not that bad to be home after all - there is a creature here, too, who loves me and wants to be around me. It took away the gloomy clouds of leaving my darling.

Three good things:
1. I have, again, reaffirmed that I'm a kick-ass girlfriend.
2. Paulo comes home tomorrow.
3. My kitty cat is a loveable ball of fur who earns her keep by being so cute and excited when I come home.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Meeting the Parents

Paulo and I spent the 4th of July weekend together, and oh, what a wonderful time it was. First on the schedule was a trip to the local islands where his Northwest adopted "family" owns a beach house. I'd met many of the people attending at previous shin-digs, but this was a chance for me to prove my mettle in a large party situation where Paulo wouldn't be right by my side the whole time. As we dove in to our cups of wine between 10:30 am and 12:30 am (the next day, of course) I can quite honestly say that I think I took home the brass ring for being the coolest girlfriend ever. I chatted, I helped with food, I laughed, I rubbed someone's injured foot (they were clean!) and I imbibed a respectable amount of wine without losing my dignity.

Then it was off to another island for a wine tasting, lunch, and viztin' with my friend Bonnie and her family. We toodled around country roads and had a tasty pizza lunch before sampling some local wine. Dinner with Bonnie and family was lovely, we met their family friends from England and had fun trading semantic oddities. We rounded out the evening with a drive North to our loding destination for the evening - a lodge! Nestled out in the country, our mountain lodge was warm and inviting. The inn-keeper was very mellow and told us all about the llamas in the adjacent field. We watched a VHS (and felt soooo retro) copy of "Meet the Parents" and turned in for the evening in our airy tree-top retreat (i.e. the suite on the top floor of the lodge).

The next morning we had a tasty breakfast at the lodge and began our search for organic, local strawberries. After cruising down a seaside drive we found a famous local berry stand where we lucked out and picked up some scrumptious local berries, along with traditional shortbread cakes dusted with raw sugar...mmmmmmm. A quick run to the market for fresh cream and some flowers for my mother, and Paulo and I were set to go and meet my parents.

Everything went swimmingly, of course. Paulo and my dad swapped home remodeling stories and worked on grilling our dinner together, mom and grandma thought he was very polite, my grandpa thought he seemed really smart, and my sister-in-law had a nice conversation about title insurance with him. My brother was being his normally anti-social self, but Paulo did try to engage him a few times with mediocre success, which is saying something.

I feel totally ready to head back East next month and meet Paulo's brother, sister-in-law, and mom. Life is good.

Three good things:
1. Paulo and I have proven, once again, that we're good travel companions.
2. I got to show Paulo around my stomping grounds.
3. I managed not to over-indulge on food or wine all weekend (sounds random, but it's important!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In Recovery from Mystery Weekend

My mystery weekend was faaaaantastic! I'm still recovering my energy from a whirlwind tour of....


That's right, I guessed correctly. Paulo did everything he could to misdirect my intuition - up to and including getting my mom in on the deal. He gave her creative license to try and convince me it was going to be somewhere other than Vegas, and boy-o did she ever do a good job!

Paulo had previously inquired as to whether I had a passport, which I do. The night before our trip I went to retrieve it from the drawer where it always lives and IT WASN'T THERE! Paulo arrived in the midst of my frenzy and said that it would probably be ok if I didn't bring it. That morning, however, I received an email from my mom teasing that she knew where I was going and, "had I packed my passport?" I freaked out. I had visions of reaching the security gates at the airport or a border crossing and not being able to get through, thereby totally destroying all of Paulo's careful planning for our weekend. Not only was my passport missing, I didn't have a copy of my birth certificate so I couldn't even get in to Canada or partway in to Mexico. I drove to the local health department and got a copy of it, and then went home from work early to resume the search for my missing passport. Several upended bags of papers later I found it, stuck to another folder.

Assured that I was prepared for anything, I gave Paulo a relieved hug and kiss. We set off on our adventure. He took back roads to the airport (but I'm more familiar than he knew with the airport area, so I had a big grin on his face when we left the interstate). He checked both of our bags while I plugged my ears and looked the other way. I deliberately didn't glance at my boarding pass as I went through the security checkpoint. Then we had a nice dinner with several glasses of wine in the airport.

At the appointed time, we strolled out towards the gates. Cruising along, we reached the end of a terminal, which was empty but for one gate slightly behind us. Paulo turned us around saying, "Well, looks like the only flight around here is leaving for Las Vegas. Do you want to go to Vegas babe?"

He's the most amazing man I've ever met.

I'll post further details of our trip soon, but I have to mention one special little detail. He did, indeed, tell my mom where we were going the day before the trip. His message to her was a full itinerary of our trip, complete with both his and the hotel's phone numbers so my parents could reach us if I turned my phone off. How does he know to do those special little things that I don't even know to ask for? Ah well, I do the same thing to him regularly.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mystery Weekend

In two days, I am being whisked away for a mystery weekend by the fabulous Paulo. Soon after our first full weekend together, he informed me that I should have a bag packed and be ready to hop in his car at 5:00 pm this Thursday. All I was told to bring was a nice dress and a swimsuit.

Since then, I've had the chance to model my 'nice dresses' for him and he picked one out for me to bring - it's not just a nice cocktail dress either. Of all the pretty things in my closet, he picked my formal gown for our dinner reservation. It's black mesh on the top, embroidered with vines and flowers in strategic locations, and the skirt is a slinky black velevet tulip. To accomodate this unexpected outing of my formal-wear, I made an emergency shoe shopping excursion last night with my friend Bonnie to pick up a pair of sexy black heels.

At home again, I began packing for my mystery adventure...5 pairs of shoes and 7 outfits later I decided I needed to haul out my big, international suitcase from it's hibernation cave under the bed. Now, I'm usually a light packer, but I usually know what I need to pack for. All of this ambiguity is making it difficult to pare down my packing list. I did, however, get another clue about mystery weekend when I mentioned I was packing. Paulo had to tell me that my toiletries should go in the big suitcase, otherwise Homeland Security might take them away for not being in 1 oz bottles stowed in a ziploc bag...We're leaving on a jet plane!!!!

Three Good Things:
1) I love good surprises.
2) Getting some quality time with Paulo, where we can sleep in and relax, will be lovely.
3) My new heels are 4" tall - I love being able to wear high heels and still not be as tall as that is sexy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quotable Quotes

A line from a recent email Paulo wrote to me:

"For people still in square 1, square 2 is an intimidating and "weirdo" place. But I'm sad to say, beautiful, you *are* a weirdo. How do I know? I did the math. :-) It turns out, we're both weirdos, but that's what makes it even better. "

I'd been filling him in on how weird it was to not be the first one to suggest doing things like take a weekend trip together, or meet close friends and family (i.e. moving from square one to two). He's invited me to visit his family with him in a few months, soon after his first nephew is due...I'm SO not used to being the one doing the agreeing instead of the asking. It's pleasantly unbalancing.

Three good things:
1) I'm getting what I asked for in a man - whod've thunk it?
2) Paulo's mom sounds like a really nice lady - I adore men who say nice things about their moms
3) I'm totally going to get my share of special weekends and time-off of work this summer, and hopefully past this summer as well

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Trip to the Stratosphere

I spent the weekend on a cloud somewhere above number nine. I've met the man who I think has incredible odds of being Mr. Right - the full package, the whole enchilada, a truly amazing and good man. His nickname is going to be Paulo, which a website tells me is African for "place of rest." While I think the site is on the wrong continent, I like the sentiment.

I've had some great relationships in the past, but I've never felt so calmly ecstatic about somebody. I'm utterly crazy about him, but I'm not crazy in general because of him. At some point this weekend I looked up in to his tawny eyes and said, "You are absolutely believable." Which, to me, is much better than if he'd turned out to be unbelievable. I'm amazed at his existence, but find myself very ready and willing to accept that he does exist and that I fill that same void in his world.

We finish each other's sentences and each pleasantly shock the other by doing something in such a way that you'd swear minds had been read because it's so perfectly what the other is looking how he left me a note written as a crossword puzzle when he left this morning after I'd gone to work, or how I said, without prompting from him, that it would be fun to get gussied up and sit behind him at the poker table so I could distract all the other players - something he'd talked about with a poker buddy in a 'wishful thinking' conversation.

I'm blissfully happy right now, and I'm taking the advice of my good friend Georgiana by soaking this all up to put in reserve for times down the road when life doesn't seem quite as blessedly perfect as it does right now. Because, let me tell you, Paulo adds an entirely new lustre to my already fantastic life.

Three good things:
1) He passed the test at lunch with some of my friends - essential
2) I'm so secure with him that I don't feel even a hint of desire to forget about the rest of my life in order to be with him
3) I think I have a healthy supply of schmoop (thanks to Geo this is one of my new favorite words) headed my way

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sick at/of Work

I'm sick today, and I was sick yesterday. Yet, I'm still at work :/
I feel like I should at least be putting in an appearance, so that when any potential reference checks happen the most recent thing in my bosses mind isn't how much I've been gone lately.
Oh, and I put together a training wish list last night in preparation for my, supposedly, imminent performance evaluation. Most of the training revolves around preparation for leadership roles in several projects that all government agencies of my type must do, but that we haven't been doing much on in my office. I'd like to do these projects, and if I don't do them here I'd like to be prepared to do them elsewhere. Besides, then I have "direction and motivation" checked off for my performance review. suh-weet!

Oh, and I just passed by the door to my bosses office. She's taking a nap on her couch, second one of the day. It doesn't motivate me to stay here, either today or in the long term.

I just hope I get over this flu (which makes eating a no-can-do) so I can eat the cute little brussel sprouts I bought at the farmer's market on Sunday. They're no bigger than my thumbnail!

Three good things:
1. At least from my end I'm prepared to have a strong performance review.
2. I am working on convincing myself that I don't/won't miss Charles, even though I do.
3. It's likely I'll lose a few pounds by being all sick and not eating. Hooray for the "I'm sick" diet.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thank Goodness for Board Meetings

I just got home from a 6.5 hour meeting...yes, on a Sunday...of the Executive Board, which I sit on, for the non-profit group I'm a member of, which took place in a city 1.5 hours from where I live. Whew!!

I'm the incumbent (and, after today, re-elected) local events organizer; it's something I'm pretty good at and thoroughly enjoy. It's also something I'm rather uniquely positioned to do, in that I'm the only person living in my city who is willing to organize an event each year :) I also help with events in the main city, the one 1.5 hours from where I live.

We held our annual planning session today. I filled in as Secretary, since that position is vacant right now. We hammered out the strategic plan for upcoming events, membership development, fund raising, and outreach today. We're a hard working gang.

I think I appreciated this event more than I would have at other times in my life, since my week at work was frustrating. I'm not appreciated for my ideas or willingness to try new strategies at work; whereas I am valued for those things in this non-profit organization, and I needed the ego-boost this week. Monday brought the event of being told at work that my list of ideas collected from the staff for agenda items at staff meetings had to be pre-approved by my boss before anybody else could see it. I work for a control freak, I'm slowly going crazy...she doesn't trust me to run informal staff meetings for chrissake, and it's not like she's there to run them herself most of the time...hence, why we've only had 3 staff meetings in the last 10 months.

Here's the touchy part though - I want to leave, but I'm participating in the wedding of one of my co-workers (who I genuinely like) in August...and our boss is officiating the wedding. I really don't want to burn that bridge before the wedding unless I really have to. So, I'll just mentally and emotionally prepare myself to move jobs for now, and sustain myself on the appreciation I receive for my community contributions. And, who knows, there might be a miracle and I could get everything I want out of my position after explicitly stating my requirements at my annual review in June.

I'll also go to yoga!!!!

Three good things:
1. Being on a non-profit board is great for my resume!
2. I won't have an extremely uncomfortable day at my friend/co-worker's wedding if I haven't quit yet.
3. I'll be nice and distracted when Charles leaves in a few weeks. :(

Friday, March 14, 2008

Persistence, Otherwise Known as "Not Settling"

I've had a very long week. Most of my projects and activities this week failed in some way or another; from getting ideas heard at work, to planning an event, to finding a small glass bottle with a cork. All of these things, among others, were failures.
As some of you know, I have been failing in many of my endeavors at work almost since I started this job in June. I'm working in a culture where new ideas aren't embraced, and I'm a new ideas kind of girl. So, I've been frustrated and, as a result, really tired for about four months now. On top of that, the last four months have also been the source of a lot of relationship stress, in that a guy I was dating unexpectedly turned out to be a total asshole-pond-scum, and then I took yet another ride on the merry-go-round of "I have feelings for you but I don't want to hurt you again" with my ex from last year. I'm a very, very tired lady.
Today, I had a meeting with my friend and professional mentor, Mentor. He listened to me elaborate all of the ways in which I have failed and been frustrated professionally, and my wish list of things I'd like to happen in my career. Mentor and I sat for a moment in contemplative silence, we blew on our Jasmine tea, and then he said, "You are tired because persistent pursuit of the right thing is very tiring. One day, you will find a leader who wants you on their team because of that drive; you will not settle for less than the right thing and they will recognize that as a valuable trait. At that point, you will still be tired at the end of the day because it is always hard work to strive for the right thing, but you will be tired for the right reasons. Don't worry, you're a hot commodity."
Mentor is a wise man. I am very grateful for his guidance.

I won't settle for less than what I know is right for me. I won't accept a job which doesn't value me, I won't accept a man who doesn't admire me, and I won't accept a cheap plastic jar in place of the beautiful glass one I know is out there, waiting for me to find it.

Three good things:
1. I'll sleep well tonight - I'm tired.
2. In the end, I will be happier with my choices by going for what I want instead of accepting what I have.
3. I'm learning to listen to the wisdom of others.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I've done some great things in the last few days, so here's my "feel good" post:

1. Submitted an 18 page research paper that I've been toiling away on for two months.
2. Closed some doors (see previous post)
3. Asked for some help from somebody important to me, and received it.
4. Helped a friend.
5. Called my mom to catch up.
6. Got out of bed on a weekend before 8:00.
7. Had my Sunday class canceled, but still chose to get some school-related things out of the way.
8. Played "catch the ribbon" with my overweight cat, both to make her happy and to help her shed some pounds.
9. Had coffee with some girlfriends.

Life is good.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Chase, Reversed

I've been on hiatus from romance. Mostly by choice, though nobody has really been beating down my door to intrude on my state of singlehood. Which, I guess is one part of the problem I've had with dating over the last few years. I don't feel like my door has been knocked on very hard, I've been doing most of the knocking. I had the good fortune to lunch with an old friend yesterday, someone who knows me well and has been in my life in several capacities. His advice was this "You don't take relationships casually, it's just not who you are, and it's great that you recognize that about yourself. However, you should focus on being the fascinating person you are, not on being a girlfriend." So true, and so in line with my recent realizations: I want to be my wonderful self, not somebody else's wonderful girlfriend.

As to the beginning stages of relationships, here's my latest resolution: I'm not going to pursue men anymore. If I'm always the initiator and the aggressor, I struggle to believe that they're as interested in me as I am in them. I want to believe that whenever I get involved with someone that they really want to be around me. They should want to call me up and see how my day was, invite me over for movies, come over to my place for dinner...I should not be the one making all of those invitations. Without pursuit on their end, it's just stress and misery on mine. It's time for me to give the guys out there a chance to make those invitations without any pressure from me. It's also time to let go of all those thoughts running inside my head about who may or may not be lingering on my romantic horizons and what I may or may not do about them if they are, in fact, going to make a move. Regardless of some potentially "I'm interested in you" behavior by a few of the men I know, all mouths are mum on the subject - fine. If they're interested, they'll just have to do something about it. I'm done chasing these men down. It's time to let go again and fly in the wind for a while; it's time to be chased instead of chasing. Because, dammit, I'm worth a little chasing.

Three good things
1. I have a lot to keep me occupied in being my fantastic self.
2. Quitting the 'guessing game' about the motives of others has a certain air of empowerment.
3. It's flattering to be pursued; I think I'll enjoy feeling flattered again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I just got home from yoga *bliss*

Ahem, that is, it would be bliss if I could actually walk. That's right folks, I'm on the injured list. I can happily say that yoga was not the cause of my pain, because I would hate to not be able to do yoga.

I woke up today with a pretty major pain in my hip; the very same hip which was hurt in the car accident. It's been doing well, I have no clue where this sudden pain came from. I'm considering accusing Brad, the person who's car I was riding in during the accident, of contaminating me with his hip pain ;) He's dealing with it on a far more frequent and intense level than I am, which is really awful. I feel like now I have a little window into his daily life, and it's certainly a window I could have done without.

After limping my way through all the standing poses in yoga tonight, I hobbled to my car, drove home, hobbled up the 3 flights of stairs to my abode, limped up the spiral staircase to my bedroom, and am now happily ensconced in bed with a heated blanket. Soothing. Nevermind that I can't even move my leg around under the covers right now. Yowchie! I'm sure I'll break this reverie by needing to hobble back down to my kitchen and feed myself soon enough, but I'm going to enjoy not moving for now.

Three good things:
1. I still have ONE painkiller left from the accident.
2. Thank goodness for heated blankets.
3. I have an excuse to wear ugly but comfortable shoes to work tomorrow...this is almost a bad thing, since y'all know how I love my pretty shoes...but I'm counting it as a good thing tonight.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Single on Valentin'es Day

Most of the time, this would be a depressing post...who wants to be single on the "most romantic day of the year?" However, I find that I'm ok without romance today. Perhaps it stems from the general feeling of satisfaction with my current status. I don't feel compelled to make any great rushes or leaps of romantic gallantry. I'd rather contine putting one foot in front of the other with care and thoughtfullness, being appreciative of the present moment instead of chasing a future dream-scape. I've cultivated a lot of joy in my life and that bouy's me. Of course, I miss the closeness and the thrill of romance, but I'm content to wait for it to arrive at the right time.

As for my plans on this day of romantic days: I dressed up today, I wore a sparkly new belt that my good friend Meredith gave me. Later, after the workday has ended, I'm going to hit the shops with Jo; we're each looking for a fun new accessory. Later, we'll go see an artsy movie with our mutual friend Daniel, who is also single today. We may or may not head to a local pub for dinner and drinks after the movie.

Is this what they call "living in the moment?"

Three good things:
1. I will be with fun people tonight so there's little chance of my mood taking a turn for the worse.
2. Can anyone say shopping?
3. I'm happy!

Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm under the weather, and so, at the risk of my "three good things" blog becoming a tarot card blog, here's a very low-energy effort at a post:

The Lovers card suggests that you have the courage to get involved, take a risk, consider a proposal or fall in love again. If you don't put yourself out there, you won't find what you seek. Make a choice to love or forgive. You could consider letting an outside party hook you up with a new prospect or rendezvous. Be aware, however, that giving into passion, temptation or lust could have consequences. Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Whatever in the world does the week ahead hold for me?

Three good things:
1. I don't have to think much in order to post my tarot card - this is good for you, dear readers, since my brain is full of cotton.
2. By my having a moment to write even this minimal post it means I've made sufficient progress on my research paper to take a rest.
3. Things seem to be looking up, if you want to take advice from the cards ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tarot Card...again

Another eerily accurate tarot card for today; it's quite reflective of my current state of being. Good thing knitting is tonight at the local pub so I can "spend time with friends and commune over drinks." I think I'll skip shaking my groove thing though, I'm a little sore from yoga.

**The Three of Chalices card suggests that you've worked hard to attain some level of success in your pursuit of happiness and love, but there will always be more to achieve. Take some time off to acknowledge your current success. Give yourself a pat on the back, spend time with your friends, commune over drinks or shake your groove thing without fear of being judged. Celebrate who and where you are right now without becoming bogged down by the end result of your search for love. Find reason to be joyful and grateful along the way. Revel in the pleasure and companionship of your peers, and indulge in the support of group empowerment without trying to make a love connection. You might find that you not only light up the room, but exude beauty, courage and confidence that make you more attractive and receptive to romance.**

Three good things:
1. More mysticism is always intriguing.
2. I get to see the all the knitting ladies tonight, which is always a good thing.
3. My mission today is to be happy with who I am and where I am. I like this assignment :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


My friend Georgiana has long espoused the benefits of yoga. She's compared the feeling after a good yoga session to the feeling one gets after a good 'roll in the hay,' so to speak. If only there was cuddling after yoga...

I had my first yoga class tonight, it was wonderful. My teacher is not at all intimidating, and it feels like she's talking to you directly during the class. I had very little trouble thinking about my breathing, my body, and just tuning in to myself. I almost cried twice with gratitude that I'd finally made it to yoga. After class I proceeded to wander dreamily through the market in my yoga pants, ski parka, and winter boots. I slung a basket over my arm and bought all kinds of healthy things, feeling rather good about myself.

Life is wonderful.

Three good things....hmmm, there's not a bad thing in here! Still:
1. Yoga is just as fulfilling as I'd hoped.
2. I am much stronger than I expected: mentally, physically, and spiritually.
3. Unrelated, but still good: my new glasses make it much nicer to drive, especially at night.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Tuesday and other news

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday; truly a wonderful and exciting day for us political wonks. I will have to resist the urge to check CNN every ten minutes. Clinton or Obama, Obama or Clinton...who the heck is Edwards going to come out for? Is he going to wait until after tomorrow and see where the chips fall? He has to have a better plan than that! I admit, I don't have strong feelings for the Republican race, I think McCain has it sewn up reasonably well.

Tomorrow is also my first yoga class. I'm really excited to begin yoga, it's something I've wanted to do for over a year. A car accident delayed my start-date, but it's finally here and I am looking forward to it immensely.

*Rant* I had a long weekend of discourse on systems thinking. I was frustrated by the poor behavior displayed by some of the people in the discussion. One person was literally poking their neighbor in the nose and giggling, and "passing notes" via laptop all day - this was not a kindergarten classroom. I had to try very hard to absorb the discussion because I was so mad that somebody would be that disrespectful. (do you see that I have a strong sense of injustice?) If you have something more important going on than being in class, then get up and freakin' leave!!!!!! I've done that, many times, and haven't suffered for it. Walking the line between "policing" the classroom and "tattling" on the person, I sent a message directly to them, asking if they were ok, that I'd notice they seemed really out of it during the discussion and it had been distracting. I hope they realize they were distracting more than their neighbor with their conduct. And, you know, that way if something was up that was legitimately distracting them, then I'm not being a total jerk about it while still making my point that it was really distracting. *Rant Over*

Three Good Things:
1. Yoga could eventually lead to my not being so upset by disrespectful behavior...all that inner peace.
2. I feel good that I didn't sit back and do nothing about the bad behavior.
3. I'm getting plenty of practice dealing with people who really annoy me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

**KERTHWAP!!** Holy Life Lesson Batman!

I received a blow to my self image yesterday, but I'm incredibly grateful for it. I'll keep this (relatively) short and say that I'm now able to define some not-so-wonderful things about myself that have been roiling around in a bothersome fog for several years. I knew they were in there, inside that fog, but I couldn't grasp hold of them in any meaningful or productive way and actually stop them from surfacing in my behavior.
The symbolism of the person through whom I received this message holding an umbrella and repeatedly tapping me on the leg when they made a particularly salient point was not lost on me. I've taken repeated emotional beatings in the past five years or so as a result of these issues, but never quite learned my lesson.
I really don't believe in "a god" but I do believe in some form of fate, or destiny. There are things we each need to learn in life, and you will keep on fumbling around and recreating the same situation in your life until you take the lesson to heart and change. Somehow being "beaten" with an umbrella was the appropriate symbolic gesture, along with some very frank yet caring conversation, to get through my fog. Boy, do I ever feel schooled.

Three good things:
1. I emphatically don't hate the messenger of my lesson, which is nice for a change.
2. I'm feeling rather enlightened, even though I know I have some hard work ahead.
3. The strange and symbolic and forceful way this came about blows my mind, which is pretty cool.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Retail Therapy Success Story

I spent a splendid Sunday afternoon shopping with two absolutely wonderful women whom I am blessed to call my friends. If you've read my previous posts, you know that I was still mad at my ex upon commencement of the shopping trip. Well, after four glorious hours meandering around some of my favorite shops, succeeding in my quest for some key wardrobe items, and having a scrumptious dinner, I felt much better; by this morning I was contemplating giving up the anger.

Then, at acupuncture today something else interesting happened. I remarked that the area between my shoulder blades really hurt during the treatment, which was unusual. A deep, burning pain was radiating from the center of my body. My acupuncturist remarked that, in several Eastern religions, the heart chakra is located in that exact spot and, given the events of the past nine days, it wasn't really all that odd that I was feeling some release in there.

Huh. Bodies are so strange! It knew I was ready to let go of being mad and had already started the process. I'm not angry with him anymore.

I made my own mistakes, I know this. I overreacted, I let myself get really worked up about something so that I made no sense by the time I brought it up, and I had really poor timing in my very typically female emotional mini-breakdown. I think I also may have though it meant more than it did in his mind when he started to call me his girlfriend. We hadn't had that "status of the relationship" talk, he just started to call me his girlfriend one day and I simply accepted it under my paradigm of: Girlfriend = we have more than a casual-hey-you're-a-nice-person-let's-have-fun relationship. That paradigm comes with expectations he was not interested in meeting. He really doesn't want a girlfriend right now, which is completely fine. I wish he'd figured that out before dating me, let alone before he started calling me his girlfriend. Yet, somehow, he did start to call me his girlfriend one day and then had to deal with a real relationship, and then he ran like hell upon that stark realization. Nor was he particularly considerate of my pain or confusion as he fled.

At the end of the day, we can both be the decent yet fallible human beings we are and go our merry ways towards finding more suitable partners.

Don't I sound smug? Damn right I do.

Three good things (this is an easy one)
1. I'm not carrying around a little burning rock of anger in my heart anymore. Yahoo!!!!!
2. I learned something cool about my chakras during acupuncture - I can't wait for yoga!
3. I have some wicked-awesome new clothes as a result of my therapeutic shopping session.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Mantra, Or Not

I am adopting a mantra to soothe my wounded pride. I feel that I'm rather adept at choosing nice people to be a part of my life. I have fantastic friends. I also have relatively few "stinkers" in my romantic history, all of whom I met before I turned 21. It's something I've worked at and feel I have had great success at. My most recent ex embodied my idea of a good person: considerate, communicative, self-aware, caring, and appreciative. The way he handled breaking up, however, wasn't any of those things. It was self-centered, inconsiderate at points, and he said some pretty condescending things. Why would somebody who consistently displayed all of the "good person" behaviors, even during some intense and unpleasant discussions, suddenly not display any of them?

The answer could lie in a new mantra: "Good people make mistakes." It's easier if I think of him as a good person who is going through some tough times and who made a big mistake in his handling of a situation. It makes me feel better, all right? I also just can't get myself to be cynical enough to think he had somebody on the side who was more tempting than me, as some of my friends have offered up as a reason for his behavior. This may mean I am naive, but I'm choosing naivety over cynicism - so shoot me.

Wait, wait, wait, there's a flipside to this whole "he's not a bad person" gig. If I let him back into the good person arena, then I have to battle off that old demon of "maybe ______" insert delusional and pathetic hope of reconciliation and resumption of "the good times." Gah, I think being mad at him is easier. Maybe I'll just do that for a little while longer - I don't think I'm sufficiently advanced in the "getting over it" process to not miss him if I'm not mad at him. Screw "new mantras," I'll stick to my current one "He was unkind, regardless of the validity of his choice, he was unkind about it and so I'm mad at him."

Good things:
1. I haven't been tempted to drunk dial/text/email because I'm mad at him.
2. I have a handy coping mechanism if I go somewhere that reminds me of how wonderful he could be.
3. Being mad at an ex is a great excuse to go shopping with girlfriends, which is what I'm doing later today.

How Appropriate - A Tarot Card

"The Temperance card reversed suggests that extreme emotions could flare up as patience is pushed to the limit, which means built-up frustrations finally seek their release."

As out-there (or woo-woo, as my naturopath once said) as it is, I do subscribe to a daily horoscope and tarot card reading. They're typically entertaining. However, I find it slightly disturbing when one is accurate. The tarot card above was the "tarot of the day" for my latest breakup. I wasn't the one over-reacting, well, not that day (and, for any male who happens to read this, I had APOLOGIZED for over-reacting a few days earlier and wasn't continuing the over-reaction on said break-up day). What really raises the hairs on the back of my neck a bit is that this was the third highly accurate reading that week.

Should I begin to pay more attention to these things, or is this just a series of coincidences?

Good things:
1. Mysticism is interesting to me, so my brain is occupied.
2. This is distracting me from a research paper (wait, does that count as a good thing?)
3. I feel further vindicated in my feelings about the breakup (more on that later)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Good Dates Come Back To Bite Me

Tonight I have been invited to go out with friends to a place that I love. It's a place I went with the man I was most recently dating on our second date. We had a wonderful time with dinner and conversation. Now, I'm not thrilled about going there tonight because, of course, we're no longer dating. Can I take along a smudge stick and cleanse the table where we sat for hours, laughing and talking and flirting? I had a similar experience Monday when out with friends for dinner at another one of my favorite places, where said man and I had one of the most wonderful first dates I've ever had in my life. Thankfully, my seat Monday faced away from where we sat on the date and my friends were generous in letting me vent about the situation.

Maybe I just shouldn't take guys to my favorite places until they have been with me long enough that I know they're worth the risk of tarnishing my favorite places with having to miss something when I go there as a single person.

I feel old saying that, like I'm giving in to the eventual skepticism and mistrust that mark many other singles I know who have been around the block a few times, but which has never marked me. I want to trust that people will be kind to me, even when their path diverges from mine. Am I finally reaching the point where I wonder if I should be open and trusting of someone without testing them? That is so inconsistent with the way I've lived my life to date, but the quesiton lingers nonetheless.

Good things about tonight:
1. I get to go to dinner with people I like tonight and create some good vibes again.
2. I'm going to have good food at dinner.
3. It's Friday, which means in the morning I'm having breakfast with one of my favorite people.