Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holidays Half Over

Well, I dropped of Mom and Unc at the airport this morning and so Christmas is officially over. Yesterday we stripped the house of decorations. I know it may seem a little brutal, but I was pretty sure if I didn't get it done then, it might be March and I'd have a fire trap of a tree sitting in my living room.

I made out like a bandit this year - receiving not one, but TWO GPS units. I'm still deciding what to do with the 2nd one. I may gift it to Hubby or go check out my exchange options at Best Buy. I also got the under counter CD/radio unit I wanted for the kitchen (cuz you know I'm such an amazing cook and spend hours there....not...). Hubby installed it right away (another gift!).

This baby even has an iPod connection cord...sweet.

And in case that wasn't enough gadgetry, I also scored a little pocket Canon digital camera. I think Hubby heard me bitching and moaning about the beautiful SLR that I inherited from him when he got his new camera. I'm not a bells and whistle kind of gal. Give me a camera with one button, a large view screen, and can fit into my pocket and I'm a happy girl.

It took these holiday/family photos!

We're heading off for our next half of the holiday - looking forward to seeing my sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew-in-law, and two great nephews!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Robin Laid an Egg

Well....here we are...at another Christmas. My 42nd Christmas alltold. And they sure seem to come fast and furious these days. It's hard for me to believe we are in the last days of 2009 when I'm still singing Prince's 1999 in my head from that eventful New Year celebration.

The next few days will be filled with family, friends, and food. And, oh yeah, maybe a little alcohol too. Just a little (really!). I splurged on a lovely Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc and I'm just debating if I should share it alone with Hubby tomorrow night before family arrive, or save it for the holiday meal toast....hmmmm.

I hope everyone who stumbles into my virtual world here has a lovely holiday, a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and keep coming back for more. Remember....there will be something new to see on January 1 (it may not be totally cooked yet....but it will start regardless).

Be well. Be happy. And don't eat the yellow snow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Mouths of Babes

Yesterday I spent an enjoyable hour sitting at the kitchen counter with one of my most favorite 8 year olds of all time. Miss Chloe was showing off her writing journal and I was struck anew by the young mind and about the sometimes very adult thinking.

On one page, titled "First Day of 3rd Grade" she wrote, "When I was getting on the bus, at first I was scared, but then I sucked it up." I laughed out loud at this entry and so related to the feeling.

Today, as I drove in to work and thought of the myriad of things to do on my desk - many of which I'm still trying to figure out HOW to do - her words rang in my ears and I re-wrote them for myself: "When I was heading to work today, at first I was overwhelmed, but then I sucked it up."

Wise words.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

This is just going to be a rambling rage against the machine. The machine that is THE MERGER. While I am grateful every day that I have a good job and that I work with good people, this in between phase of we aren't who we were and we aren't who we are going to be is a killer.

We have started, stopped, started and stopped again on so many projects so many times I'm beginning to lose count. On one side, we have our pre-existing management who have definite ideas of how to take the value proposition of our firm into the merged entity, on the other side, we have the mysterious MERGER company that seems to operate in stealth mode with lots of smoke and mirrors. It is a strange combination of a leadership team that seems to be much more business-direct on things, and yet, they are not willing to talk to the players in any interactive way.

Our latest start-stop-start-stop has to do with our brand....who we are as we present ourselves to the marketplace. Will we be MERGER, will we be OLD COMPANY, will we be both? What about our sub brands? what about our Operating Companies? What about in each of the umpteen countries we operate in? what about in each of the 4-5 divisions we have? These are big questions that can have big implications in how well we do in sales of our services going forward. Identity can be a big part of the equation. So recommending a focused team and an objective outside consultant participation seems appropriate. Not to mention the fact that our thinly staffed corporate teams are being run ragged just keeping up with the day to day.

But no. Response: Consultants only tell you what you want to hear (according to one MERGER leader). Well yes....unless you empower them to give their true opinion and factor it in to your decision process. If you aren't going to trust the consultant to know their area of expertise, then why the hell should you hire them. So instead, the "Board" will decide our brand, and the rest of us will execute it.

How the "Board" will come to their decision is a mystery for another day. But since I have about 100 other tasks on my list, I'm going to take a deep breath, let go of my disillusionment with this MERGER, go back to hoping for the best once we get through this painful limbo period, and move on to the next item.

Just somebody, please, tell me when I can peek behind the curtain and get a better understanding of who has their hands on the controls.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Self-Help on an Empty Stomach

This morning I awoke and while Hubby was showering, I opened a little book I picked up on the bargain rack at Borders this weekend: "The Experts' Guide to Life at Home" (hint - this is research for my soon to arrive OTHER blog).

As I scrubbed the crust from my eyes and sighed deeply thinking of another work week to come and all the extra holiday activities scheduled for the evenings, I opened to the first chapter - "Increase Your Energy"

Wow! How timely!

According to this book, "...energy can be acquired through simple strategies, action steps, and power sources." Well, hell, that sounds good to me.

  1. Take a 10-minute Thank You walk - essentially walking while thinking about gratitude, because "When you are thankful, it's physiologically impossible to be stressed." Seriously? news to me.

  2. Eat Breakfast. Duh.

  3. Take 5-10 minute energizer breaths while thinking of "a feel good mantra, such as 'Great things are happening." Ok - starting to sound a little cultish here....

  4. Take a B-Complex Vitamin. Guess that makes sense.

  5. Eat More Earlier. I loved the sentence here that said, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out charge card." I generally prescribe to the eat more (period) or maybe eat more chocolate.

  6. Exercise. Duh, but how to enjoy it?

  7. Healthy snacks. Strangely enough all examples in the text are tied to almonds. I wonder if the author owns some kind of nut stock.

  8. Drink Water. Apparently most of us are dehydrated without even knowing it - causing fatigue and headaches....and I thought it was just life.

  9. Have fun again - turn on music and dance around the house...actually sounds like a good time.

  10. Spend 10 minutes in silence. I have to say I spent a little silent time on Sunday morning and was surprised how strange it seemed to me. I'm so used to waking to the radio, running all day with people, machines, traffic, phone calls, meetings, and tv that I had forgotten how loud quiet could be.

  11. Neutralize energy vampires. Has anyone else noticed how vampires have taken over everything? The young adult section in Borders had no books that were not related to some sort of blood-sucking being.

  12. etc. etc. etc.

Well - I decided to keep these things in mind as I got ready for work today. I turned on music instead of the normal depressing morning news show. I didn't dance around, but I hummed. A good first step. I drank a big glass of water and then decided to drink another and take a multi-vitamin (after checking the expiration date, because I couldn't remember the last time I had used one) that was rich in Vitamin B.

Within minutes though, I realized that I had forgotten a step. I hadn't eaten breakfast! And my stomach immediately began to rebel against the 2 large glasses of water sloshing in my gut along with the vitamin (oh and I took a calcium pill too). The sweat began to break out on my upper lip as I tried to apply make-up, blow dry my hair (and no way was I turning my head upside down for extra volume today!) and quell the nausea rising in my throat. Finally, nearing the limits of my psychological warfare against barfing, I skittered down to the kitchen and broke out some crackers. I sat at the table (for my 10 minutes of silence) and began my positive mantra of gratitude.

"Thank you for graham crackers left over from the pie we made last week. Thank you for moving the meeting to 9:30 so I have time to sit for 10 minutes in silence and swallow graham crackers and bile. Thank you, thank you, thank you for not hurling all over the bathroom I just cleaned."

I think I did pretty well for my first day's attempt at living an expert life at home. Don't you?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's Coming on Christmas

Well, the tree is up and decorated..I'm shuffling furniture and every day decorations to make room for things green, red, white, gold, crystal, and glistening. Every plug is full, the front and back doors are wreathed, and the dining room table actually has a tablecoth instead of a puzzle on top.

We've spent the last two hours enjoying Love Actually, the ultimate modern holiday movie. And I'm about to start tackling the gift wrapping...

I must admit that the duties of Christmas often overwhelm the joy of it all, but having most of it behind me two weeks prior to the date goes a long way toward making it bright and enjoyable.

Last night, friends we rarely get to see stopped by to quickly borrow some supplies for an event and their two adorable daughters wandered our house exclaiming at decorations, lights, and candles. The one who is, I've discovered, an anti-pyromaniac, actually secretly blew out every candle I had. But more importantly, she gave me about 10 hugs and drew me a picture with an I "heart" you message.

And really, what else could you want for Christmas?

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Think I Must be Crazy

As you can tell, I'm having a hard time getting to blogging these days. Sporadic is the word of the month. And yet...I'm cooking something up....something that will require a year-long commitment from me on a blog/activity project...and I think I must be stone-cold nuts to try it.

But here's the thing. I don't have any kids. I don't even have a dog. And while my cats are always happy to see me, they don't really need me. My hubby? He needs me. He needs me in the best way possible. He just likes to see me, be near me, talk to me...otherwise, he's pretty self-sufficient. The job? Yeah - it is really demanding. But with the MERGER, all things are up in the air. The school thing? Yeah - the assignments and the semesters keep rolling along, and the thesis thing is hanging over my head and is coming up quick. But life keeps moving along too swiftly to do only one thing at a time, so I've got to make the time work for me.

So, the intrepid Kiki (formerly of Good Intentions blog...I'm trying to revive her, but she's become a facebook and Jewels game fanatic instead) is going to help me set it all up. She's going to partner with me in my journey into insanity. And if we've timed everything out right, January 1 will be a whole new blog of fun for Wenderina.

I have no doubt that since the other 99% of my life will continue that Anxious Moments will still have a place and plenty of content. My anxiety ain't going anywhere, and this will remain the home blog for my various ramblings.

But as for the other blog...get ready...get set....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Conversations Over Dinner

Last week as I travelled for business I was able to enjoy the one true benefit of business travel. Putting faces to names of people you deal with long distance all the time. Enjoying a meal and a glass of wine with these folks is the best part of the trip.

One individual in particular was a joy to spend time with because he has such passion for, well, everything, as I found out. In our meetings he cut to the point immediately, made plenty of jokes along the way, but was all about getting to the answer. He listened and was appreciative of expertise and input that was not his own ideas, and yet I never doubted who was the leader in the room. His passion extended beyond his work and an interesting dinner conversation began like this.
  • Scene: New restaurant in downtown Denver.
  • Surroundings: hip, happening, all waitresses slinky and sexy in black short skirts.

Me: [commenting on wait staff] Well, they're hot but they're slow...I guess you are supposed to forgive them because they're so damn hot (made by me, not one of the men at the table)

Him: Yes....these girls are hot, but I have to say, I've been married to my wife for about 15 years and she has NEVER been hotter than she is right now.

Me: [melting] really?

Female Colleague (His "Work Wife"): What is it, do you think, that makes you feel that way?

Him: Honestly? [sips drink] I think it's her bootie. Damn, she's got a fine bootie.

Me: [laughing] Tell us more.

Him: I can't keep my hands off her...if it wasn't for those damn kids...we'd be all over each other all the time.

Me: Oh - you have kids - how old are they?

Him: [deep drink, deeper sigh] The boys are 3 and 5.....

Me: Oh how swe....

Him: NO. No. No. They are not sweet. [eyes twinkling, but shaking his head miserably] They are HORRIBLE. Just Horrible. If I could just get rid of them, it would be just me and my wife again....then, let the games commence!


Not exactly the conversation you might have around the conference room table, which is why I enjoy the dinner opportunities. But how cute was it that all the 20-something hotties couldn't detract from him thinking about his hot 40-something wife at home and his "horrible" kids that just keep him from getting in her pants 24/7.

He's now officially on my favorites list.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hugs or Handshakes

I'm a bit of a tight-ass. Didn't you know? Well, yes I am.

I'm also a bit of a prude. If you didn't know that, you are a moron. Have you seen one single reference to S.E.X. in this entire blog?

Yesterday I had the same experience that recurs whenever I travel on business. When I greet people that I "know" well - via email, or periodic meetings, do we hug? or do we handshake? Essentially we have a very limited relationship. I don't know their spouse's name (or their spouse's gender). I don't know their kids (or even if they have them). I don't know their age. I don't know where they live or how they live. I don't know much of anything actually....although we are (corporate) war time buddies...which is saying something.

Today as I was walking into our Denver office I ran into a pack of my colleagues. I don't think I've seen these folks in over a year. As they approached, I began to wonder....ok is this a hug or a handshake moment.... ???? My prudish, tight-ass mind began to click away.

Being a nearly 6 foot tall female - and not the skinny model type - I have a bit of a physical presence. Think Cheerleader Coach from Glee folks. This morning I was wearing my new kick-ass boots - with 3 inch heels...so add that to the mix. One of the colleagues (male) is about 5'2" ...hugging him would cause an immediate issue of face to boobage quandary. Another is about 6'0"...but I've met him only once. Another - a lovely 6'2"ish - I didn't recognize at all, but I'm bound to have talked to him on the phone many many times. And lastly a female - friendly and fun (to my recollection), but not in my normal circle.

What to do, what to do.

With only fractions of seconds to decide the right course of action, I quickly stuck my hand out to the 5'2" incher and then bent to brush cheeks briefly. Then embraced the woman with a joke about warming up in the brutal 8 degree weather. The 6'0 unknown guy...he just followed the crowd and gave me the half embrace welcome. The 6'2" was an introductory handshake and yessir, I did know him from many a phone call and email transaction, but had never met him in person.

Awkward moment passed.

But it is amazing how much easier it is to make this decision when departing the same group at the end of a long day of meetings, hard work, laughs, strategies, jokes, and finally a meal with wine. Hugs and kisses all around...when can we all meet again, we cry....how much we love one another, we declare....how valuable the time we spent, we agree.

12 hours difference in time....but a huge leap in relationship and socially acceptable touching.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Left Hanging

Keep commenting on my previous post...you guys have some interesting ideas...


When I was in college Hubby and I had cassette players (for those of you who don't remember those, shut up and go to a younger person's blog, I have no time to educate you in defunct technology). Cassettes were a great tool for making copies of records (yes, I know, another defunct technology...but it's making a comeback!). Hubby was a fan of Harry Chapin and had made some cassette copies of albums. Unfortunately, he did a piss-poor job of figuring out how much tape there was to use in comparison to the album and the last song left us hanging....every g*ddamn time.

The song was: A Better Place to Be. And if you know Harry Chapin, you know that every song he writes is a well-crafted story - compelling characters, an arc, a life lesson.

This was the song we would listen to:

A Better Place To Be

It was an early morning bar room,
And the place just opened up.
And the little man came in so fast and
he Started at his cups.
And the broad who served the whisky
She was a big old friendly girl.
Who tried to fight her empty nights
By smilin' at the world.

And she said "Hey Bub, It's, It's been awhile
Since you been around.
Where the hell you been hidin'?
And why you look so down?"

Well the little man just sat there
like he'd never heard a sound.

The waitress she gave out with a cough,
And acting not the least put off,
She spoke once again.

She said, "I don't want to bother you,
Consider it's understood.
I know I'm not no beauty queen,
But I sure can listen good."

And the little man took his drink in his hand
And he raised it to his lips.
He took a couple of sips.
And then he told the waitress this story.

"I am the midnight watchman down at Miller's Tool and Die.
And I watch the metal rusting, I watch the time go by.
A week ago at the diner I stopped to get a bite.
And this here lovely lady she sat two seats from my right.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was alright.

You see, she was so damned beautiful that she could warm a winter frost.
But she looked long past lonely, and well I on to lost.
Now I'm not much of a mover, or a pick-em-up easy guy,
But I decided to glide on over, and give her one good try.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was worth a try.

Well I was "Tongued-tied like a school boy, I stammered out some words.
It did not seem to matter much, 'cause I don't think she heard.
She just looked clear on through me to a space back in my head.
It shamed me into silence, as quietly she said,
'If you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me.
Cause I know I'm going nowhere, and anywhere's a better place to be.
Anywhere's a better place to be.'

Well I drove her to my boarding house, and I took her up to my room.
And I went to turn on the only light to brighten up the gloom.
But she said, 'Please leave the light off, oh I don't mind the dark.'
And as her clothes all tumbled 'round her, I could hear my heart.
The moonlight shone upon her as she lay back in my bed.
It was the kind of scene I only had imagined in my head.
I just could not believe it, to think that she was real.
And as I tried to tell her she said 'Shhh.. I know just how you feel.
And if you want to come here with me, then that's all right with me.
'Cause I've been oh so lonely, lovin' someone is a better way to be.
anywhere's a better place to be.'

Well The morning come so swiftly I held her in my arms.
And she slept like a baby, snug and safe from harm.
I did not want to share her or dare to break the mood,
So before she woke I went out to buy us both some food.

"I came back with my paper bag, to find that she was gone.
She'd left a six word letter saying.....

ARGHH!!!! Saying WHAT??? What???? What????

This was the day before Internet folks. There was no Googling the answer. And yes, I supposed we could have gone to the RECORD STORE (yeah yeah, whatever - no Amazon or itunes either) but we were poor college students and for some reason we just continually tortured ourselves with not knowing the 6 words....

Imagine my frustration then, when my little blog reader posted a teasing entry from Erin at Poor Penmanship that went like this:

"So, I’m flying back to Iowa for Thanksgiving, and the woman in front of me at airport security has a bullet casing in her purse. A bullet casing. The TSA guy pulls it out of a makeup bag thingy and says..."

When I click on the link to read the post - it's not there!!!! A subsequent post indicated the previous post had been inadvertently deleted from a mobile device...but I'm sorry...I CANNOT go through that again. I must know! I must, I must. What did the TSA guy say? And how many words were in the sentence? I'm actively lobbying Erin for an answer....

***UPDATE*** Erin answered in the comments!

And for those of you who wish to know the end of Harry's song;

...'It's time that I moved on.'" (THE SIX WORDS!!!)

{and here's the life lesson...A whole 'nother section to the song I was without for all those years}

You know The waitress she took her bar rag, and she wiped it across her eyes. And as she spoke her voice came out as something like a sigh.
She said "I wish that I was beautiful, or that you were halfway blind.
And I wish I weren't so g*ddamn fat, I wish that you were mine.
And I wish that you'd come with me, when I leave for home.
For we both know all about emptiness, and livin' all alone."

And the little man, Looked at the empty glass in his hand.
And he smiled a crooked grin, He said, "I, I guess I'm out of gin.
And I know we both have been, so lonely. And if you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me. 'Cause I know I'm goin' nowhere and anywhere's a better place to be."

So much more satisfying to know the end of the story.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whaddya Think?

I'm a group thinker...I may have my mind made up before I start, but I like the group to agree with me...so I've been thinking of setting up my own little 365 day blog for 2010. You know the type, 365 days, 365 recipes...or living like Oprah...or some such nonsense. I'm just looking to focus this hobby a bit.

So here are my top 3 ideas:

  1. The Cozy Cottage: Follow a Career Woman with domestic disabilities as she attempts to create a cozy home room by room.
  2. Twelve. Read and discuss the books published by Twelve in 2010.
  3. No Boob Tube. Watch me go crazy-nuts without any television, DVR, or even hulu in 2010.

I have to be honest. As a self-proclaimed TV addict number 3 frankly scares the bejesus out of me. I think it scares Hubby too as he would have to live with me. But he did say, if I selected number 3 I would probably be surprised how much time I had on my hands and would be able to do all three blogs without breaking a sweat!

Let me know your preferences - or bring a new idea to the table - but be warned...I'll be making up my own mind.