Wednesday, December 31, 2003

How Bright Is Your Aura?

Connie, the brightest color in your aura is Violet.

Contrary to popular myth, auras are actually multi-colored energy fields that can be divided into seven primary layers. Having Violet as your brightest color means that the sixth layer of your aura is the most vibrant. You experience exceptional peace and purity, which radiates from your aura. You see your purpose clearly and that has allowed you to make excellent choices in many areas of your life.

People who have Violet as the brightest color of their aura have a deep sense that they're living the life that was intended for them.

What kind of Sexy are you?

Sweet 'n' Sexy

You're not overt about your sexuality, but you're not purposely hiding it either — two traits that naturally draw people to you. You possess an understated zest for life, and a way of approaching the day with a can-do attitude that draws people to you. As a teenager, were you maybe a little on the quiet side? Even if you weren't, it's clear that underneath your occasionally understated statements, you have an undeniable sweetness that attracts people who see that special something burning from within.

Is it the way you carry yourself? That quiet sparkle in your eye? Those who know you intimately can't wait to uncover your sweetness. What's hiding behind that innocent smile? A little devil perhaps? A tattoo in a seductive spot saved only for your lover? Possibly, but you're so good, you'll never tell. Or will you?

So keep those heads turning. Just make sure it’s for the right reasons.

Final Thoughts for 2003

*big sigh*

There is nothing I can write here to truly sum up the year in total that is 2003. I can say it has been one of the most adventerous, heart-wrenching, heart-warming and fulfilling years of my life. I thought I would simply post random thoughts as they come to me, and maybe some of them will make you smile.

I am in love with my wife, and am grateful to be surrounded by those who love us and support our marriage... my sister is my truest and my best friend, too bad it took me this long to realize it... I don't like white chocolate, but I love it in fondue with bananas at The Melting Pot... Gingerbread biscotti and a mocha grande is the perfect way to start a morning... My faeries keep me safe and happy... Lorene is stubborn and hard headed - and I am damn lucky to be blessed with her friendship... I am a hard ass when it comes to my daughter, but it's because she is a wonderful human being and I only want her to flourish and become an astonishing force in the world... I love Emeril Lagasse because he makes the hard things look easy... I love my brother because he makes the easy things look hard... Jennifer has the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen - and a heart to match it... Gold Canyon candles are addictive... I used to dread turning into my mother, and now I am looking forward to it - she is a remarkable woman... a fresh clean face and a new eyeliner can change the world... Dee is integrity personified... not everyone has to like you, but it's alright to like everyone else... there's nothing quite like a grateful kitty's purr... Lindi is at her most beautiful when she's sleeping, smiling or laughing... it doesn't matter how big or how small you home is, it's the love that fills it that makes it full... Shane and Chet make a beautiful couple... I am grateful to have a coffee cup that doesn't leak on my blouse... music is my soundtrack and I am lost without it... if someone in the office is ordering Chinese, bag the sandwich and order some chow mein... Dylan is like a big brother, Rob is my other bigger brother - and I love them dearly... eating cereal in my jammies on a Sunday morning is my therapy... I am glad to have Christopher in my life, he always lightens my heart... I really am a good cook, it's my oven that seems to have the problem... I miss Scottie, my Godfather and my Aunt Vi - I wish they could have been to my wedding... 8:15 am is the perfect time to get up, now if only the whole world knew that... it's okay to send your ex-fiance a wedding announcement... Toni is resilient and strong and one of the funniest people I have ever known... take the time to help somebody each day, you may be the angel they were praying for... even if you don't know what it is, eat it, you may be surprised... I am blessed to have 2 Stephanie's love and friendship... it's okay that you have friends who know where the bodies are buried, they probably helped you put them there...

All my love and the best of everything for 2004. Stay Safe - and please don't drink and drive!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Pity and Loathing in Utah

I have taken today to really take stock of my life. I looked back, unsheltered, from all of the various comings and goings, thankful not only for the journey, but for the many, many lessons I have learned. Drinking my coffee and eating my Gingerbread Biscotti, I happened to be downloading claims from the mainframe, and browsing like I always do (since I can't do anything else) and came across a website of someone I once cherished as an old friend. I had let go of a lot of betrayal, loathing and anger when it came to this person, but reading the lines of this website evoked a new, strange sensation - pity.

As the words filtered through the computer screen, I witnessed the transformation from a strong, independant woman, full of self-esteem and beauty, into a hollow shell of a woman literally begging for self-and-others' approval through changing her body. What she doesn't realize is that even after she changes, she will still be a hollow shell because of her own distructive forces. She claims to have moved on with her life, and in the same breath, she visits the thorns of her past relationships - relationships she lied through, connived around and ultimately destroyed - because, as she laments, the simple fact remains that we were good friends to her and it's easier to hate us than truly miss the friendships she torpedoed.

Her website was an interesting read, however, but it seems to me that, although she states how happy she is with the small group she now encircles, she continually cries out for friends, someone to talk with and share the day-to-day with. And she continues, even recently, to talk about the "dysfunctional" portion of her life - the one where I was involved.

Now, in all fairness, I will submit I had a hand in the distruction of our friendship. I take the blame for a lot of things, but certianly not the numerous list she seems to still live by. That's her choice.

But I was a good friend. I still am a good friend - to those who know me best, and know I won't feed them bullshit and will be there for them at a moment's notice; that has been proved time and time again. The "Looney Tune" gang I surround myself with aren't perfect, but they are the ones who have proven through honesty, integrity, honor and diligence that they will be true friends. It's sad that she couldn't see me for who I am, or them for who they are.

Up until now, I only wished the best for her and her life. She told me the same, and then I read this entry, ironically written on my birthday... I ran into a mutual friend of ours who informed me that my ex-friend has been unemployed for several weeks and is having a difficult time finding employment due to a recently developed medical condition. I feigned the proper amount of concern and veered the conversation to a more palatable subject since talking about this certain person still brings nausea to my stomach. However, on my way home, alone in my car, I smiled. Karma is a beautiful thing.

Seems her "informant", who was probably MY OWN BLOG (since I don't really associate with the same people she does and she's been routinely been visiting all our blogs in an effort to move on with her life) was inaccurate... I LEFT my last job of my own accord, my health problem was under control in a matter of a couple of weeks, and I found suitable (and lucritive) employment based on my skills.

It's a wonder that someone who claimed me no ill will, deep in her heart, always meant harm to me.

And now, she is lonely, without many friends... interesting how Karma really works, isn't it?

I did mention up until now, I wished her only the best. That has changed. I wish her nothing. She is no longer a source of hate or betrayal for me.... she is a reminant of a past friendship that I treasured, and am grateful is over. I now know who my real friends are and have always been - even with their little odd traits and quirks. They are amazingly beautiful and will remain my continuous blessing.

So, I have breathed a deep sigh of release and have thoughtfully prepared my "Mantra" for today, in her memory:

I Pity You.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Did We get off Early on Christmas Eve??

The answer, yes, but we didn't get off easily. Let me set this up for you...

We have three shifts, each of which start at different times. I just happen to have the typical 8-4:30 shift. Some of my co-workers have the early shift, and end up leaving at 3:30. Most of the time, with holidays and that, we can move or shifts around to leave early, come in late, whatever we need, they are pretty flexible. I anticipated most of my team would request to work the early shift, so I didn't move from my mid-shift, and committed to work until 4:30 on Christmas Eve.

So, on Christmas Eve, as we are working away, an executive email was sent that let us know they were shutting down the building at 4:00 and those who normally work until 4:30 will still be paid for a full day. How nice...

How nice... until the old biddies on the other side of the wall start bitching, "Well, do WE get to leave at 3 since we normally leave at 3:30?"... "I'm gonna talk to my supervisor!!"....

Exasperated, I said, VERY loudly, "OH-MY-EVER-LOVING-GAWD!!! No WONDER they don't do anything nice for us around here, someone ALWAYS has to BITCH ABOUT IT!!!"

The room went silent, and no one bitched from there on out.

I told my my family what happened with the possible-lunch-on-Friday bitch session and the Christmas Eve bitch session and my father grinned, looked at my brother and said, "She sounds like a Union negotiator."

I take that as a high compliment. From my dad, it was definately meant that way...

As the Snow Hits!

The U ended up sending us all home at 12:30 on Friday due to the weather conditions. I tromped out to my car, which had to be parked on the road because there is not enough parking passes, dug out my car, only to find my rear view mirror on the drivers side was shattered from the snowplows throwing the heavy snow... almost got hit by a BMW who thought he could make it up the road in front of me and hit a snow bank... money can't buy everything... heh heh heh... I was able to make it to Lindi's store and hunkered down with Lindi and Sarah who both had to work, then attempted to go home, to find our entire parking terrace snowed in... Connie Andretti tried to get her car to a stall and got stuck, then got unstuck and we packed our stuff and headed to Lindi's Mom's for the night. Her brother had no power, so he and Beth were there, too. We had a huge sleepover (which I think her mother secretly loved). Luckily for us, Lindi's dad bought a new snowblower and their drive was clear for all our cars.

My grandfather's power was out, and he had to call the paramedics for oxygen until Praxair could get some tanks to him. My Dad took care of the heat and some warm food and hot coffee... braving the conditions to make sure he was okay. His power came back on Saturday night. Bill and Beth's power is STILL not on, so they have been living at Lindi's parents house, checking on their house now and again, making sure the pipes haven't frozen. Utah Power indicated they may have power tonight.

I had every intention of delivering goodies on Saturday, but there was no way I was venturing out on Saturday... I had too many close calls... Lindi's father cleaned up our parking terrace, and we discovered one of the branches off the big tree to the side of the house had broken, so we called the landlord to get that taken care of. I left Lindi's Mom's house and went home to cook a turkey dinner for Karen and Summer, who were coming over to celebrate a late Christmas with us. I had been defrosting a turkey for the past two days, and when I went to dress it and put it in the oven, I noticed the damn thing was freezer burned! My father gave us a fully-cooked smoked turkey for Christmas, but it was frozen in our freezer! We pulled that out, ran it under water for 15 minutes to get the wrapping off, stuffed it with apples and celery for aromatics and stuck the thing in a 300 degree oven for 4 hours. Just in case, I had a smoked, cooked and defrosted ham on stand by... but the turkey turned out beautifully, and we had a wonderful dinner! Lindi didn't want to do dishes, so we left the whole thing out, except for the food, of course.

Sunday morning, I snuck down to the kitchen and cleaned it, did all the dishes, and put it back together from the night before, so Lindi woke up to a nice surprise! Then, while making fresh cinnamon rolls and preparing to make breakfast for my family, Lindi got a phone call from her Mom (Bill and Beth were still without power), and we invited them all over to our house for breakfast! We made 18 pancakes, cut the ham into 7 nice ham steaks, cooked 13 eggs, 6 cinnamon rolls, half a pound of bacon and a skillet full of hashbrowns! Lindi loved every minute of it, and they all left full and happy.

We all met up again at 1:30 to see Return of the King, which took my breath away. I didn't even notice it was 3 1/2 hours long. Spectacular! I was in complete awe the entire movie. And what about the kiss between Arwen and Aragorn? Was that not fabulous??!! Afterward, we met up at Red Lobster for dinner, and got sick on the shrimp feast! Not really sick, just FULL sick!

And I made it to work today, with the wind blowing and the cold outside. The heat was off in our building all weekend, and just came back on, so it's cold in here - it will take about 2 hours to get back to temp... I wish I was still in bed...

I have also made a new observation. Since opening my Yahoo! account, I have continually been the victim of SPAMMERS... to which Yahoo! has installed a SPAM guard, to help put all those emails in a nice bundle. Odd, since I think Yahoo! is probably the ones who are giving out my email, anyway... Some of the emails, however, don't make sense, or just do NOT apply... and therefore will be featured as, hopefully, a chuckle of the day.

Drink of the Day: French Vanilla Cafe'

CD on the Playa:Personal compliation which includes Tori Amos, Alanis, Bill Withers...

SPAM of the Day (this may change periodically....): FROM: jessa SUBJECT: Sexy Paris Hilton Wants A C0ck Up Their Virginal Ass! ... first of all, Paris is one person, secondly, I am most certian she is not virginal... and sexy is still up for discussion...

Friday, December 26, 2003

Friday Five!!

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
I think my biggest accomplishments surrounded my wedding, leaving a job I hated, finding a job I love, and making a home with an exceptional woman who I am blessed to love and support.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?
That my father couldn’t walk me down the aisle and my mother couldn’t see me get married.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?
I hope for a moderate amount of financial success that will lead us to a new home, for my sister to get pregnant or adopt a baby, for my mother and father to be healthier, and for all of my friends continued success…

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
Every day is the beginning of a New Year when you look at it, so I make resolutions each morning… if I get them accomplished, I am in a better place each day!

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
Nothing in particular, but I definitely want a KISS!

Happy Freakin' Day After Christmas!!

Yes, I am working, but at least I am working with the poeple I enjoy working with! All the whiners are at home, whining over something else.

My Christmas was blessed and we were totally spoiled!

Christmas Eve, I started out at my parents, celebrating with my niece Sarah and the rest of the family. We were there primarily for Sarah, so we spoiled her, laughed and I left at about 9:30. I rushed home and got the house ready, then traveled to Lindi's Uncle's house to celebrate with them until after midnight. We played Scattergories and ate wonderful toffee from this little shop off of 9th and 9th... Lindi's Uncle is really a funny guy, a quite the host. Lindi's cousin Mike brought his baby, a greyhound that he rescued, and beside the fact that she's skinnier than anything, she is really adorable. That's something I've not gotten quite used to on an animal, the ones that are healthy when they are thin. She weighs all of 61 pounds.

When we left Tom and Carol's house, we had "our" Christmas at the house with just the three of us. Sarah came home to ONLY a stocking and a note from Santa, telling her that, although she's been a good girl, she's had some close calls, so he hid all of her presents and she had to follow clues to get them... which she did, and quite enjoyed! 10 clues - 10 presents hidden in the freezer, fridge, laundry room, pantry, linen closet... Her reward was a DVD/CD player of her very own... we all were very, very blessed, and finally went to sleep at 1:30am.

We woke up at 6:30 am (can you say 5 hours sleep!) to get to Lindi's parent's, where Sarah and Grandma went to church while Lindi, me and her father cooked breakfast, then, after they returned, spent close to 3 hours after breakfast openeing presents and visiting... then off to Sarah's father's parents house, where Sarah actually had some time with her father, playing air hockey, while we talked to his parents... then off to my parents house for ANOTHER 3 hours opening presents. Lindi was rewarded for all HER patience with a brand new HP photo-printer as her "whammy" present! My mother got a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring, earrings and watch as her whammy from my dad, and a telescope as her whammy from her kids! She cried more than I can ever remember. My father got a gorgeous smoky quartz ring... and a talking tie pressure gauge - don't ask.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Yes, It’s Christmas Eve and I’m Working…

Like I really had a choice, anyway. Per my previous blogs, the floor is dead, no one is really working anyway, but I have to try my best. We ARE tracked, after all.

Last night, I spent some time on me and got my nails done. I didn’t have her cut them down, so they are really long, almost ¾ of an inch, and bright Christmas Red! I am glad I’ve gotten used to the length and can still type… well, maybe… and I made Rice Krispie treats for my Dad for Christmas.

Tonight is the gathering at my parents to celebrate with my niece Sarah, and Lindi and our Sarah are going with their family for their annual Christmas Eve at Uncle Tom and Aunt Carol’s house. We hate splitting up, and this is the second year we’ve had to do it, but there’s not much choice. Then tonight, the three of us are going home and having our Christmas together. We arranged with Santa to come early!

OhmifreakinGawd... I am sitting here, in my own little world this morning, chatting with Lorene when over the cubicle wall comes "THIS! THIS IS CHRIST THE KING!!" Now, I like Christmas music and everything, but I was really getting into my own music, Barry White’s greatest hits.... argh. Then, to make it worse, when I relent and turn off Barry, they turn DOWN the music and start singing on their own…

Kill me. Kill me now.

Lorene suggeted I should turn up my music... can you imagine? "Can't Get enough of your love BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBEE!!!!!"

Oh, and we didn't win the department decorating contest... we didn't even PLACE. Now, my Christmas is complete. Can I tear down the fireplace now??

Out-of-the-Blue Comment by a Co-Worker: "I met this guy on the elevator and he was going to the 2nd floor and I was going to the 4th floor… when he got off on the 2nd floor, I just followed him like a puppy dog…” Oh, Lord.

Drink of the Day: Vanilla Caramel Café

CD on the Playa: Barry White’s Greatest Hits…

Lunch Menu: Turkey and Cheese on wheat (no mayo), Doritos… and a Diet Coke…

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Happy Tuesday

Or, sorta.

Last night was hell. Simply put.

I left work at 4:30 and headed directly to the bank, which took an hour. From the bank I traveled west to Lorene’s house, which took an additional hour, then from her house to Wal-mart (which I am now boycotting for their lack of fair labor practices), and through the parking lot with all the other crazy shoppers, 45 minutes. By the time I finished my shopping and drove home, it was 8:00. It was constant walking, so I was shaking really good when I got home. I took a Lortab and wrapped while Lindi baked stain-glass sugar cookies and we went to bed. Lindi fell at work, and really bruised up her right side, so we were trying to comfort each other through the night because we were both hurting so. Luckily for her, she didn't have to work until 11, so she slept in a little… we’re quite the pair…

IF YOU HAVEN’T – please sign up on my GUESTMAP… it’s to the left… it’s fun! And answer the MINI POLL from yesterday!

Today less and less of my co-workers are here, so I am getting more accomplished even though I really don’t want to work. One co-worker brought in Velveeta Fudge (it was pretty good and seems really easy). I’m just kinda “not here” in my head…

Oh, word of advice, if you are not working while at work don’t do the following:
1. Play Solitaire on your computer… when EVERYONE can see your computer screen from the hallway. Dumb.
2. Don’t process your AVON orders from your cubicle, spreading out all the AVON everywhere… Really Dumb.
3. Don’t ANNOUNCE that you are officially not working today, but getting paid for it… while your supervisor is standing on the other side of the wall… Really, REALLY Dumb…

Out-of-the-Blue Compliment: "The only time [insert an ex's name here] had any class was when they were with you. Nice.

Drink of the Day: Café Mocha with Raspberry

CD on the Playa: Christina’s Christmas… again…

Lunch Menu: Crab and Shrimp with Mixed Greens and Lemon… and a Diet Coke…

Monday, December 22, 2003

Christmas is Coming…

And the parties all begin! Goodness, I don’t know what to do with myself lately. I have such good intentions, I really do. I intend on a homemade Christmas, but just can’t seem to find the time or the motivation. Friday, I came home with all the zest I could, wanting to bake all my cookies and cakes, but only ended up baking some cookies and going to bed. I didn’t even get to Christmas Cards this year… Gawd, I suck…

Saturday was wonderful, though, I was able to treat Jennifer to a pre-birthday lunch and an afternoon of just hanging out at my place, then off with Lindi and Sarah to the Family Christmas party. I don’t know if I told you about it last year, but it’s quite fun… each of Lindi’s Uncles and her Aunt live just off of 39th South, starting in Magna and working their way through to Murray. So, Starting with Magna (Uncle Mike), we spend 30-minutes at each house, enjoying different foods from appetizers to chili to desert as the night progresses, ending with Lindi’s parents in Murray. It’s five houses and all night long. Next year, I told Lindi I would drive so she could enjoy a cocktail at each house like some of the other grandkids were doing. Sunday was a lazy morning, followed by a movie and dinner at her mom’s house, then more baking in the evening…

My back is okay, still painful, but yesterday was the first day I was able to get through a 24-hour period without any type of medication. I am not sure if today will be the same, but so far so good. I am hoping the worst of it is over, until I go to the spine center… then Gawd help me!

And the death toll continues… two more co-workers lost family members – a mother and a nephew… This is getting really bad…

Friday, December 19, 2003

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Warning:: signs
  2. Aspirations:: choking
  3. Starvation:: diet
  4. Lid:: cap
  5. Sketch:: drawing
  6. Interrogate:: police
  7. Credit:: cards
  8. Scotch:: butter
  9. Confused:: yeah... er, I mean... dazed
  10. Paris:: France

Oh, You have GOT to be Kidding Me…

While eating at a potluck Christmas Holiday Luncheon with some co-workers at a table in the break room, I nearly choked as the discussion turned to time off around the holidays. First of all, let me paint you a picture… there are about 16 people in my unit, and about 50 or more on my floor. When it came time for us to request holiday time-off, we were instructed as to the rules of these requests. It would go by seniority, of which I have none. You could not request the days before AND the day after Christmas off unless you have the time and you have to use it, and then it would go by seniority only. Keep in mind, of course, that month end is coming up and the unit usually works about 20 hours overtime over the last week of each month to make sure all accounts are posted and all money is accounted for before the books close. There HAS to be someone here to DO all of that work, so they needed to balance the requests with the needs of the unit. There will only be half of our unit working the day after Christmas and about 1/3 of the unit will be off on Christmas Eve.

Needless to say, I didn’t even bother filling out a request form. There was no point. At the bottom of the heap, I will pay my dues and work Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, as well as New Years Eve and the 2nd of January… not leaving early or any of that crap, either.

So, when someone told me the University was thinking of buying lunch for those working the day after Christmas as a “thank you”, some of my co-workers were actually upset. “I don’t think it’s fair… I am working the 23rd and they’re not buying ME lunch… what they should do for one person they should do for everyone…”

Am I seriously in a parallel universe here?!?!! Are you seriously complaining because you GOT the time off you requested and would rather have lunch??

Look here, Sparky, you get to take off most of the next two weeks, spend it with your family and friends, while I am here on Christmas Eve AND the day after Christmas without complaint. It’s a sandwich and a soda, fer-fuks-sake, I think it’s nice they were even considering thanking those who have to come in, because, without us, you WOULDN’T be allowed the time off you requested. So, shut the hell up, or drag YOUR asses into work and do YOUR freakin’ job so I can go home and be with MY family! Until then, I don’t want to hear about what’s fair and what’s not fair… There are plenty of people lined up to take your place if you don’t like it… Jeesh…

The Friday Five!

1. List your five favorite beverages.
Diet Coke, Cafe' Mocha, Bailey's and Cream, Champagne and Tequila...

2. List your five favorite websites.
Too many to count, I love all the blogs listed to the left, and The Onion,

3. List your five favorite snack foods.
Chips and Ranch Dip, chocolate of ANY kind, Doritos and cottage cheese, Oreos and Orange Juice and fruit... doesn't really "go" does it, but I had to be honest...

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.
I love any kind of trivia game, so there's like a million of them, I love Mancala, Clue, Jenga, Poker, Cribbage, and Gin Rummy...

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.
I don't play video games, but I occassionally enjoy a good round of Mortal Kombat...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

After a Tumultuous Night…

I feel a lot better. I can’t say I really got any sleep, but I am doing better this morning. I think I am having early PMS symptoms because everything over the last few days has pissed me off. Even the little things. The guy cutting me off on the way to work or the co-worker who didn’t fill the paper in the printer and leaves me to do it. It just seemed like I was the brunt of every joke, the last to be thought of, constantly being taken advantage of in this and that or the other thing, and just generally picked on (Don’t worry, there is an up-side to this pity-fest).

And then I realized I was taking it out on the people that really have mattered most in my life. They certainly don’t deserve it, and I apologize for harsh words and hurt feelings. I love you dearly, and you know who you are, and I know I can have bad moments. I'm sorry.

In thinking what could have been the catalyst for all of the bad energy, I realized that death has touched me FOUR times in the past 6 days. Two Co-workers, my lovely Lori and my cubie-mate Olga, both lost their grandfather and their father respectively, within 2 days of one another. Not that I knew either of them, but they both had lingering illnesses (cancer and heart failure) so their challenges and grief while their loves ones were passing became OUR challenges, as well. Then Dan, which I haven't allowed myself to think about much (I'm not ready). Then yesterday, while looking for Lori's grandfather's obituary, I find an obituary of one of my old college newspaper photgraphers, who also did all our photography for the Academy, Ed, apparently hit by a car. Add to that my grandfather is back on oxygen, can't feel his feet to walk, and refuses to tell our family what exactly is wrong with him so we can help him - and the lingering, nagging feeling that this is going to be his last Christmas - and I just seem surrounded by death - and I hate it. I realize death is a part of life, but I feel like I have been swimming in it lately and I am drowning.

Sometimes you have to forgive yourself before you can start to apologize for the wrongs you have done. So, today, I forgive myself any shortcomings I may have, any oversights I have made, and will move on fresh from this day.

Happy Surprise!

I came into work today to find a beautifully decorated red bag FULL of my favorite chocolates, Lindor Truffles, and a gorgeous hand-painted ornament (a heart, painted red, white and blue) with a card from my boss, Kirsten. I was grateful for the thought, especially after we all worked so hard on the decorations for the office. Kirsten is cute like that, and it is really beautiful…

And Last, but Definitely NOT Least…


I am excited and proud of you two. May your home be a shelter from the cold, a hearth for the heart and a haven for your family and friends. I love you both.

OH... also...

I called the Tobacco Quit Line and set a date to quit smoking. .. January 10th. A co-worker is doing it on January 1st... I think I need a little more time than that. They are sending me a packet of materials and some referrals for support as well as checking my insurance to see if they can supply me with the patch. She gave me some good "Getting Started" tips based on other people's successes... and they make sense. So, wish me luck!

Drink of the day: Irish Creme' Cafe'

CD on the Playa: Josh Groban... I needed him today!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

And the Award for Best Use of Construction Paper Goes To…

Me, dammit!

We are having a decorating contest throughout the University. And our division chose “Rockin’ The Holidays, Music Through the Decades.” So, each department was given a decade and was asked to decorate based on the music of there particular era. Luckily for us, we got the 90’s through the millennium.

I just happened to remark to a co-worker, not in my unit, about some cool ideas I had about decorating… the next thing I know, I am making a freakin’ 6 foot by 5 foot cardboard fireplace, complete with mantle, stockings baring various artists names such as Ashanti and Snoop Dogg, a chimney with billowing smoke and dozens of pieces of sheet music to grace our walls (bunched and twisted for 3D effect) reflecting Christmas Music from popular artists like Mariah and Gloria Estefan… I also pulled covers of CD's off the internet and copied the ones I had in my desk, the whole place looks festive... I have been decorating this bastard for 2 days. We better freakin’ win, that’s all I am gonna say. And they owe me a day off with pay, too…

Now, someone wants me to make boots sticking out of the billowing smoke… I am not sure when I became a master of construction paper, but, hey, it’s all in good fun!

I know my blog yesterday seemed a little gruff. It was in response to a myriad of problems. I don’t mean my friends aren’t worth my time, of course not. I have also learned that when I vent my feelings, other people take them personally. I do not mean them personally, even to the point of saying that it isn’t personal, but people will take my feelings personally anyway. Can’t control it. And I won’t feel responsible for it. I am done trying to make peace with everyone on this planet and having to apologize for my feelings. No more.

Drink of the Day: Vanilla Mocha

CD on the Playa: C&C Music Factory... kinda funny, huh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Don't Wanna Work...

So I'm not gonna. Just kidding. I am busier than hell, but things are okay.

I've decided not to see my doctor until after the first of the year. I have way to much going on to stop what I am doing... I know, I know, don't lecture. I am taking care of myself as best I can. I'm hurting pretty bad today, but I will go home and take a bath and all will be right with the world.

I've also decided to stop trying to control things that are out of my control. It seems elemental, but not for me. I've been busting my ass, trying to get things to happen in all aspects of my life, and I'm just not going to do it anymore. If you have a problem with my work, you better tell me, I'm not a mind reader and I have no idea. If you don't like the way I say something or do something, speak up now, because otherwise, I really don't care. If I'm not cool enough to warrant your time, screw you. I'm an awesome person and if you don't think so, eat shit and die. I don't have time for hypocritical fakeness right now. There are people in my life who do deserve my time, and from now on, they are the only ones who are going to receive it.

Monday, December 15, 2003

And the Results Are…

(insert drumroll here)… I have 2 bulging discs in my lower spine (between L3-4 and L4-5, for those who want to be technical) and I have bone spurring all over my lower spine. Whut whoo! I am not crazy! I am going up to the Cottonwood Spine Center for Pain Management – I guess surgery is not an option, which I am happy for, actually. The last thing I wanted was back surgery. I am praying they send me to physical therapy – maybe I can get these back muscles straightened out. I had to call my Chiro and tell him I was discontinuing treatment with him... I’ll bet he feels like an ass he didn’t x-ray my lower back before he
started cracking...

This weekend was rather charming. Friday night was spent baking 4 different kinds of cookies for a party on Saturday night with Lindi’s Mom and “the Girls” who get together once a month. This year, the Christmas party was at Jean’s house, so Lindi and I helped set up and clean up for 13 people. It was a very nice party, people lingered after the potato bar and ice cream sundaes and talked and chatted until 9. By that time, I was in desperate need of pain medication and BED! The upside? I definitely have the “Worst Present” for the After-Christmas Party!

Sunday morning, Lindi and I slept in, then went downstairs for football and breakfast (homemade hashbrowns with onions, garlic and 3 kinds of cheese, bacon and homemade scones with butter and honey – yeah, I cooked…). It was quite the surprise to turn on the TV to see our soldiers had captured Saddam Hussein. Immediately, I hugged Lindi and we both cheered, as a flood of emotion overtook me. It was strange, almost like I’d been fighting an internal war since the Persian Gulf and to finally have him in custody after all these years was a victory for all my friends who went off to war to fight him. I immediately thought of Marc and Michael… Beautiful Marc, coming home from war, playing acoustic guitar in my kitchen (shirtless – my dad LOVED that) and giving me his dog tags, still with Saudi sand inside the protective cover… and Michael, dear sweet Michael, going to war then onto Germany, never knowing how one simple choice of joining the military would forever change his destiny. I felt as if it was a victory for them, and all our soldiers, who fought in both wars. My step was a little lighter that day as we ate breakfast in our jammies, watched football, spent time together, then headed to her mother’s house for Sunday dinner made by her brother and watched The Two Towers. Her brother made stuffed chicken breast and twice baked potatoes… and all was well in the world.

I felt so unbelievably grateful for our freedom and our safety in this country. I know I bitch about equality and all that rot when it comes to Gays and Lesbians, but I wouldn’t choose another country on this planet to live, or to raise a family. Whatever the trials, I am still free to love Lindi and live with her for my lifetime.

This morning, as I was looking through the obituaries for a couple of co-workers family members, I ran across an obituary for Dan Lao, a High School friend, who passed away last week of complications of Diabetes. I was immediately saddened, as Dan was one of those people you never forget. We met in High School debate, and became fast friends. I never saw Dan in a bad mood or depressed. Not once. Luckily for me, we caught up with each other a couple of years ago when he emailed me out of the blue and we met for lunch, chatted online, and he even attended my 29th birthday (the one where Michelle was drunk and danced on a table, singing Britney Spears… and there were naked people in the hot tub at 3am…). His obituary was beautiful, perfect for him, talking of his love of music and movies, his wife and his two daughters. He is one person who made the world better just by his being in it. His passing is a loss for us who knew him, but it is definitely something to celebrate, as I know he is on to bigger things… he’ll be watching out for us all… his work on earth was done, and I am blessed to have known him. May His Memory Be Eternal.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

All is Well in CT Land....

I went in for my CT scan last night at Jordan Valley - and oh what a wonderful experience THAT was... it was painful but I lived... barely. They made me lay down on the machine, no support under my knees, with my arms stretched above my head to get the proper angle of my spine. 45 minutes later, I had lived through the pain enough to tolerate it, and the test was finally finished. The tech came out and said "Ok, we're done." "Great," I replied, not moving one inch. He looked at me with a smart-ass glance and said, "You can get up now." "Fabulous," I said, rolling my eyes, "You wanna help me?" My back had totally frozen in place and he had to peel me off the CT table. Idiot.

I was able to take a Lortab when I got home and then we headed to the Porcupine Grill for Lindi's company dinner, which was really, really nice. I had Filet Mignon with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies, and she had Chicken Cordon Bleu. I also had half a glass of white wine with dinner. Bad, BAD mistake. It didn't hit me until after our Chocolate Porcupine dessert how SICK I was, and Lindi took me home and put me to bed. I shouldn't have gotten as sick as I did, but I am okay this morning. I am still stiff and sore but not nearly as bad as I have been in previous days.

I tried on all my Mary Kay makeup and I have to say, I picked some damn good colors. I am using eyeliner for the first time and it really looks good - and Michell-e tells me I do it well. The only thing I don't like is my lipstick - it's too light and orange on my skin, I'll have to get that replaced. I remember the color being different when I used to sell it - maybe it's changed.

So, the next few days should be interesting - we'll be baking cookies for a party on Saturday and I will be baking blueberry bread and cornbread as part of my homemade Christmas. We're also doing Sugar and Oatmeal Raisin cookies. I am going to be a baking fool!

I got two early Christmas Presents - Lindi gave me a Raggedy Ann doll she bought when she was 16. Raggedy Ann was my favorite when I was a little girl. I took her clothes, washed and pressed them and febreezed her... and she now has a prominant place under our Christmas Tree! And the second - I woke up this morning, got ready for work and went downstairs to find Ms. Kitty and Mr. Valentino in the living room, together, about a foot apart, enjoying each other's company WITHOUT hissing or spitting! Happy, happy day for the pet parents!

Drink of the Day: Diet Coke

CD on the Playa: "Lindi & Connie... The Soundtrack." Our Wedding CD with various love songs to make my heart melt...

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I Have the Best Wife in the World...

She called to wish me a Happy Anniversary. 17 months together, 2 months married, and I wouldn't have it any other way...

Lorene's Right...

If I wasn't on Torodol and muscle relaxants, I would have been upright yesterday to wish Toni the BIGGEST and HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!

But, as it is, I was not upright... I was in bed, in pain, because my back was out... again. I bent down to feed the cats yesterday, exquisite pain went up my spine and down my right leg and I couldn't move. I ended up getting to my bed and calling work and Lindi and was off to the doctor for a shot in the ass and a referral for a CT today at 3:00. I am not to return to the Chiropractor until I am released... So, I have a hot pack on my butt and am trying to work today, much to the shagrin of some of my co-workers who keep asking how my ass is feeling.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

If Connie was not a pretzel and on muscle relaxants, she would have done this herself.......but here I am, Lorene, doing it for her....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONI! Wish I could put it much more goobery and sappier, but Connie has the knack for that.....

Friday, December 05, 2003

I Like Being Well-Adjusted!

I awoke this morning feeling pretty good, a little shell-shocked, but good. My pain scale yesterday was a 8-9 out of 10, today it’s a 4-5, so I am certain the adjustment has a great deal to do with that. I have another appointment today, so hopefully I will experience an even bigger release. I am also thankful that my insurance has full chiropractic benefits, no limit, $15 copay. THAT is the biggest relief – that it will be covered. The Dr also took some X-rays of my neck to make sure none of the discs were bulging. He’s pretty confident that with a few treatments, I can relieve 95% of my headaches. Whut Whoo!

Thinking a lot about Jennifer lately, she’s been stressed at work. Sending positive thoughts to her as she tries to whittle the mountain back into a mole-hill. I have seen a great deal of character in her lately, and I am proud she is one of my best friends.

Also glad to be back in touch with a childhood friend and her partner… now trying to get together during the holidays is NUTZ, but we’ll do it. I haven’t seen them since my wedding, and we have so much to talk about and catch up on. I don’t feel right with the universe when I am not talking with her on a regular basis. She travels a lot, and they both have their own businesses, so that can be really tough.

Here's to Shane and Chet - 14 days to your new home!!

Oh, and Tino is adjusting well to his new home. He looks forward to his nightly brushing and is starting to rule the roost. Ms. Kitty is still being a bitch, but she'll get over it. It might take her a few weeks, but she'll come around. After all, he's soooo handsome!

I got my full set of Mary Kay today! I am so psyched. I have to throw ALL of my makeup away since having an eye infection and some kind of dermatitis, so I thought I would start clean and fresh with a whole new brand. The colors are beautiful. I forgot how much I loved Mary Kay... now they are expensive, but I got the whole kit and caboodle, and my Mary Kay lady gave me her full discount (love you Michell-e), so it cost me as much if not less than what I would have paid at a cosmetics counter or AVON. Plus, I know the quality of Mary Kay - I sold it ! I got the eye compact with 3 shades of shadow (White Sands, Hazlenut and Persian Spice), blush (Nutmeg), lipstick (Toffee), lipgloss (Almond Glaze), lip liner (neutral), eye liner(Charcoal), mascara (black), creme to powder foundation, oil-free makeup remover, cleanser, mask, freshener and moisterizer; PLUS the full Satin Hands pampering set. Now, if you have never tried Satin Hands, you MUST call a MK rep and just get samples. Your hands and feet will never feel so amazing as they do with this stuff. So, I am just thrilled and can't wait until I get home and can try everything on! And then go to bed! *wink, wink*

Hope the week is well for all of you and you get all your shopping done and can relax in the arms of the one you love.

Drink of the Day: Vanilla Caramel Cafe'

CD on the Playa: James Taylor Greatest Hits

Thursday, December 04, 2003

My Butt Hurts!

My father’s surgery went off great, and he is very happy with the results. He is going to have his other eye done next week, he is really excited for the new view on the world. His color perceptions are completely changing, which I think is great – he’s seeing colors he hasn’t seen in years. My Mom says his eyes even look a little brighter!

After we dropped Dad off back home, got him settled, ate lunch with them, we went Christmas Shopping! After about 2 ½ hours, we are DONE with the exception of Lindi’ step daughter and a few odds and ends to complete the package. We even were able to finish our 3 Angel’s stockings!

Somewhere around the 2 hour mark, my back started aching and suddenly, my leg gave out, with shooting pain from my lower back down to my toes. Sciatic. Great. I actually had to sit down in the middle of the aisle of the store for 20 minutes until I felt I could walk again. All night I was in complete pain, pain which I had to take Lortab for. Lindi was an angel, taking care of me every step of the way.

Then, to come into work today and find Lorene had the SAME problem on Wednesday. (Sometimes, I really hate being cosmically linked to my friends!) She was able to find relief at a Chiropractor, which I have never been too, much out of fear.

So, tonight, I had my first adjustment. I had three discs out in my neck, one in my middle back and two in my very lower back, causing the sciatica. He adjusted me, alright, and it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced, but I knew it would be. It will get easier as we go on. If I consider my back has never been adjusted, and my lower spine has probably NEVER been in alignment since I carry and extra vertebrae in my lower spine, I guess I came off pretty easy. I have a muscle-relaxer on board now, and it helps a great deal. Lindi and Sarah are taking extra good care of me! Lorene was a great help to me… I wouldn’t have gone if she wasn’t there.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


this week! Thinking of you two and hope you have a very special day! Love you guys!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Okay, This is Funny...

One of the many hats I have worn is that of a columnist in a small web-zine run by an old High School boyfriend, Mike Craner. Below is one of his columns that addresses an issue that I think everyone at one time or another has dealt with. I loved it, and laughed boisterously when I read it. Enjoy! You can find this web-zine at

Mike's Place
By Michael L. Craner

Usernames & Passwords.... bane of my existence. It seems every day, I have to come up with them, and every place has it's own restrictions of what can be used, how many characters, etc... THEN someone always seems to have "your" username already... so you get to dream up something new that you won't remember.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for all this security stuff, I've even employed it myself on my sites. Normally I don't mind too much though. Come up with a username and password, write it on the wall and forget about it, right?

Sometimes, especially in the corporate world, that department known as "IT," (No one has figured out for sure who works in "IT," or even what "IT" is) mandates even more restrictions on your password, such as time limits to your password. Anywhere from 30 to 90 days and that password that took you at least half that time to remember has to be changed. Aargh!

To make matters worse, I have certain programs that run in the background that check email on all my accounts and do all kinds of things. Whenever I have to change my password, I also have to change it in all those programs, or else after a number of unsuccessful logins my account gets locked out, requiring a phone call to "IT" to get my password reset.

The following are a few my recent calls to "IT" to get my account reset. You should keep in mind that whenever I am required to change my password I am usually in a hurry and annoyed at having to change it at that not being able to use the same password over again for at least 3 years has started to drain my pool of usual passwords which has prompted a more creative approach.

IT: "Hello, this is Jack, how may I help you?"
Me: "Hi Jack, This is Mike, I had to change my password today, and now I'm locked out of my account again and need it reset."
IT: "Sure, no problem, what's your username?"
Me: I tell him my username
IT: "Ok, and what password did you have?"
Me: "Before or after I changed it?"
IT: "The new one."
Me: "byte me"
IT: "Excuse me?"
Me: "byte me"
IT: "Sir, I assure you that I am with IT, and will never use or give out your password, but I need it to verify who you are to reset it."
Me: "I told you, "byteme."
IT: "Oh, ok I understand now. he he, that's good, I'll have to use that."
Me: "You said you would never use it!"
IT: "No, I meant that I would never use your username and password together. I want to use your password for MY account."
Me: "Fine, I guess I have to change mine again. *click*"

(The Next Day)
IT: "Hello, this is Jack, how may I help you?"
Me: *click*

(5 minutes later)
IT: "Hello, this is Paul with IT."
Me: "Hi Paul, I had to change my password again because Jack wanted it, but now I'm locked out of my account again and need it reset."
IT: "That's easy, it'll just take a moment, what is your username?"
Me: I tell him my username.
IT: "Ok, and what is your password?"
Me: "You're not going to use it are you?"
IT: "No sir! I'd lose my job if I did."
Me: "Well Jack said he wanted my old password to use for himself."
IT: "I'm quite happy with mine, so you don't need to worry about that either. Now what is your password?"
Me: "What password"
IT: "The one you want reset."
Me: "I told you."
IT: "I'm sorry, I must have missed it, could you please tell me your password again?"
Me: "whatpassword"
IT: *click*

(7 minutes later)
IT: "Hello, this is Paul with IT."
Me: *click*

(3 minutes later)
IT: "Hello, this is Jack, how may I help you?"
Me: *click*

(3 minutes later)
IT: "Hi, This is Tammy!"
Me: Hi Tammy, I need my account reset, Jack stole my last one and Paul hung up on me.
IT: "I'm sorry to hear that, I'll fix you right up."
Me: "That would be great, my username is ....."
IT: "Ok, and your password?"
Me: "whatpassword"
IT: "Hey, that is too cool! That's mine too!"
Me: "CRAP! Now I need to change it AGAIN! Did Paul tell you?"
IT: "No, I've had this password for a month now. Tell me what you want to change your password to and I'll change it for you and reset your account."
Me: "okiedokie"
IT: *silence*
IT: *silence*
Me: "Did you get that?"
IT: "No I'm sorry, I didn't hear anything, would you please repeat it?"
Me: "okiedokie"
IT: *silence*
IT: *silence*
IT: "Hello? Are you still there?"
Me: "Yes, did you change it yet?"
IT: "Change it to what?"
Me: "Just Byte Me!
IT: "I'm sorry, you used that password already, you'll have to pick another."
Me: "aaargh!" *click*

(c) Michael L. Craner, 2003

Compliment of the Year...

"I have to search very hard for your less than perfectness..."

One of my co-workers sent me this email. It was in response to a running joke we have - her job is to find my mistakes and bring them to me to correct. When I told her I didn't get the new position, she was happy I was staying so we could still have our morning ritutal of her bringing me paperwork, and my bitching and groaning because I made another stupid mistake... it's good to have co-workers you like.

Drink of the Day: Raspberry Chocolate Cafe'
CD on the Playa: Still Christina... need some new Christmas music...

Monday, December 01, 2003

Happy Monday after Thanksgiving!

What an incredible weekend. I am so happy that I was able to have four days off, and a lot of alone time with Lindi, and alone time with myself while Lindi was at work. Sarah spent most of the weekend with her grandmother or her cousin, so I lounged, baked, watched movies and relaxed a great deal of the weekend.

Thanksgiving was wonderful! We started over at Lindi’s Aunt’s house, where I was inducted into the family by offering the family prayer, in Greek. They were quite impressed, and I only messed up once. Can’t remember exactly what I said, but something about blessing the family and the country. It sounded cool. The food was great, and we were sorry we had to leave so soon. We then traveled to my parents, where the WHOLE family was able to be there, which was a surprise since my sister had to work and we didn’t know if we’d see my brother, let alone my niece Sarah! My mother’s turkey was OUTSTANDING, and we were in awe of her feast. We ate a little more, watched football and my brother made fun of me relentlessly… especially about my attempt at a sweet potato pie.

Friday was errands, a little cleaning and resting. Well, it was all those things AFTER going to the Cat House from Hell and picking up Valentino, the most beautiful cat in the world. He is a chatterbox, and he and I trapsed all over the valley together, holding full-on conversations, shopping for new shoes for Lindi. Lorene is not kidding about that house – it is a hell-pit and needs to be destroyed. I am glad I could mother one of those babies… I wish I had room for more. But my baby is gorgeous - black and white long hair, beautiful BIG blue-green eyes and he loves me! What more could you want?

Saturday was an alone night for me and Lindi. I made her a beautiful dinner, we drank wine, watched tv and retired early. Sunday we got up early, went to brunch with her family at IHOP (seemingly a new tradition), then went bowling. Well, they bowled and I watched. We downloaded more wedding photos, printed a couple for some beautiful frames we got as presents, and looked at more for our Christmas cards.

Oh, and I picked up the wine Jennifer ordered in from Greece - the same wine we drank at Spago's for my bachelorette weekend! Boutari - the wine of the Gods.

I also straightened my hair. When did it get so long??

All in all, a wonderful weekend, a new addition to the family and just plain relaxing!

Drink of the day: Vanilla Caramel cafe'

CD on the Playa: Christina Aguilera My Kind of Christmas... can't find my Amy Grant Christmas...