Thursday, August 30

Weird relic

Mom cleaned out the bookshelves and left a few sacks of books for me to donate or mooch. It's mostly her mysteries but there was one incredibly nostalgic find. Well, maybe nostalgic isn't the right word but it's safe to say it took me back.

My little brother once loaned my copy of The Empire Strikes Back to his best friend. About a year later I got it back with holes cut through several pages in the center. After much hounding (even then I was obsessed with the little injustices in the world) I learned that my brother's best friend kept the book on his bedroom shelf but that his older brother cut the pages to make a secret hiding place for his drugs. Can you imagine?! Today I found that book in the sack mom had left and it all came back to me. I remember the offending older brother driving my friend and I home once and telling us how great cocaine was. I was about 14 at the time. He and his friend kept going on and on about how coke really helped make you smart "especially on tests" they said. I distinctly remember saying "I don't think it makes you smart. I think it makes you think you're smart." I'd like to go back in time and pat myself on the back for that one. Of course, I was right. The two coke fans never finished Jr. college while my young friend and I both went on to get degrees. D.A.R.E. wasn't around back then so I thank God or my parents or whatever for my skeptical side and having a good head on my shoulders.

Over our Big Bear weekend a friend commented "Nobody ever offered me drugs in school. Not once. I was lucky." I said I'd never been approached either. I'd forgotten all about the coked out drive home with that guy. I've saw him about 10 years ago. He's now happily married with kids and would probably die if he ever remembered that conversation. I'm just glad I was such a prude.

Long live the prudes.

P.S. Mom, if you're reading this aren't you glad to finally have evidence that you did a great job raising me?

Tuesday, August 28

Living out of a suitcase

I spent the weekend in Big Bear for what has become an annual Scrapbooking weekend with a couple of friends. This time an additional woman joined us. I didn't know her very well but she's a neighbor of my college roommate so I figured she must be ok. My old roomie would never invite a freak to her brother's cabin. As it turned out, she was a nice addition to the weekend. Because we stay in a rather small family cabin, we can't fit more than four scrappers at a time. The cabin is a cute A-frame that provides decent scrapping space downstairs and bunk beds upstairs. The best part of the weekend is spreading all of our scrapping stuff out at our self appointed "stations" then being free to sleep, scrap, eat, scrap, eat, scrap and sleep all weekend. It's amazing how much can be accomplished in a scrapbook when you have 2 1/2 days of non-stop scrappin' time. The only down side is unloading it all. I downsized to one large rolling bag and a small "cube" and, of course, an overnight bag with clothes and stuff. The others have WAY more supplies than I do and, while I don't like unloading it all, it's nice to have access to it all. Here is a shot of what the cabin looked like after we unloaded and moved furniture:

I'm still not sure how we packed all of that, luggage, groceries and four grown women in one large SUV.

This is my friend Lynn:

Hey kids, this is what a mom looks like when you're not around. This is what mom looks like when she has an entire weekend to chat, watch chick flicks, listen to oldies and scrap to her heart's content. I call her Spicoli when you're not around because she's that laid back. We act and snack like Spicoli. As Martha would say, it's a good thing.

Following my weekend with Spicolli, I packed up and left for Las Vegas for a trade show. I typically fly to Vegas for work but felt like a road trip this time. I rented a car and drove for four hours while listening to book 7 of Harry Potter. It was great! I really don't mind driving. I mind the price of gas and the wear and tear on my car but, when it's on the company dime and in a rented car, I really don't mind it.

I do mind Vegas. I really dislike that city. It's a terrible place for kids. I can't imagine having to explain some of those billboards to a child. One billboard I saw featured a play on the "Got Milk" campaign. This billboard said "Got (insert silhouette of rhinoceros head)? Have you had you lap dance today?" Good grief!! My mini bar held beverages, snacks and condoms. Ewwww! Booth babes (scantily clad women who stand in front of trade show booths) were being abused everywhere. It's so gross. Vegas is just not my kind of town. And that's without even mentioning the gambling. I admit it, I dropped a dollar in a slot machine before picking up my car and it was gone in 5 seconds. I'm not a big gambler but I usually drop a quarter or a buck in a slot machine before I high tail it outta town because I figure it would be a pretty funny story is I won some cash with and investment under a buck. Of course, this has NEVER happened but it's become a little tradition. I feel bad for the old Vegas folks who sit at those slots for hours at a time losing so much money. It's all so desperate and depressing.

Oh, and if that isn't enough to deter you from that God foresaken town, check out the temperature today:

It's good to be home.

Thursday, August 23

Ha! :)

I just saw a quick tribute to Groucho Marx. Several anecdotes were shared but the one that made me laugh out loud was recalled by David Steinberg.

Groucho and David Steinberg were at a restaurant when Groucho was recognized by a priest.

Priest: "Oh Mr. Marx, I didn't see you! I want to thank you for bringing so much joy into the world.
Groucho: (without looking up from his soup) And I want to thank you for taking so much out.

Now THAT'S a funny man.

Personality Test

What does this say about you?

Wednesday, August 22

Laugh of the day

AL: I told you about the temp right?
JE: No. What about him?
AL: We think he has Tourette's.
JE: Why? Does he yell or something?
AL: No. He claps, just one clap, really loud about every 20 minutes. I wouldn't mind but it sometimes startles me.
Lucy: Well, it scares the hell outta me and I'm getting sick of it.
JE: Awww. Poor guy. He probably can't help it. I feel bad for him.
AL: Yeah, we did too until AD heard it and ran over to asked "Did you hear that? Was that you? What's that noise?"
JE: No way! What did he say?
Lucy: He said "No, it's not me. I was wondering what that sound was. You know I worked in the old building and people said it was haunted. We heard weird noises all the time."

All: ...

JE: Well, how do you know it's him clapping?
AL: Because I walked by once, right when he was doing it. He clapped once then smelled his hands.

All: ...

Lucy: Ok, come on. He smells his hands? That's bizarre.
JE: I feel really sorry for him.
Lucy: Then you try sitting next to him. He's gonna give me a heart attack!

All: ...

JE: OH MY GOD!! I've got an great idea! I'm gonna plug his lamp into a Clapper!!


Lucy: Ok, what?! You were feeling sorry for him 20 seconds ago. What happened?
JE: Oh come on, it could be like aversion therapy.
Lucy: I think that's officially creating a hostile work environment. Besides, if you really meant to help, it might be one thing, but you just want to watch his lamp flash on and off all day.
JE: Yeah, you're right.

5 minutes later, when I got to my desk, I found an email from JE with online Clapper information.
It's SO tempting.

Tuesday, August 21

What kind of Psycho-Betty am I?

So, after reading Shandon's thrilling news I decided to brave Mom's closet and look one last time for my old pre-teen reading materials. Mom has a couple of wrap around shelves in her walk-in closet where many of our books have gone to die. I didn't find Jane Emily, but I did find that image of the cover online and it really took me back. I did, however, find the following books:
  • Anne of Green Gables "The most beloved, beguiling and timeless heroine on all fiction."
  • A Matter of Feeling "The bittersweet memories of a young French girl's first love and the heartwarming tale of life in a Parisian family."
  • The Babysitter "The baby's crib is empty and something dreadful has happened to... the babysitter."
  • A Stranger is Watching "A terrifying tale!"
  • Sybil "The true and extraordinary story of a woman possessed by sixteen separate personalities."
Guess which books have thoroughly creased spines? Guess which books I completely devoured? I''ll give you a hint, it wasn't Anne of Green Gables or A Matter of Feeling. I loved creepy, freaky stories and still do. Although, I seem to have had a higher tolerance for "spine-tingling" tales when I was younger. Scary is harder for me to digest now.

I recall having to read Pet Sematary in front of a fire near the room my parents were watching tv in... and that was in high school. Maybe that's around the time I started to lose my nerve. Curse you Stephen King!!! *Waving fists at sky*

I was obsessed with The Amityville Horror but was recently disappointed when I made a Jodie reference and nobody got it. (KB and Shandon would have understood. Why do I even bother talking to anyone else?) Mommie Dearest still holds a very special place in my heart. Fallen icons have been a favorite subject ever since. It was the first Behind the Music experience of my life I ate it up. Mom recently saw an interview with Chirstina Crawford and said "Ya know, I really don't like that woman. I think she was a spoiled brat and I don't really blame old Joan for making her eat that supposedly raw steak. I think that kid exaggerated." I love my mom. She cracks me up.

I also adore By Myself, Lauren Bacall's autobiography. I must have picked it up from mom's pile of books because I can't imagine picking it out myself. I was about 13 when I read it and it probably started my love of non-fiction. It's funny how I tend to remember single scenes from the books I've read. I remember Lauren Bacall writing about her recurring nightmares about a body bag chasing her after Bogie died. They just packed Bogie up in a body bag and hauled him off right in front of her. Can you imagine?! For some reason her nightmares really made an impression on me. I still feel bad that she had to see that. I hope people are more tactful these days.

On the other hand, it's nice to know my dark side still lives. Guess what I'm watching right now? It's an episode of Nova called The Most Dangerous Woman in America. It's the story of Typhoid Mary... COOL! (It's amazing how many epidemics could have been avoided with a great big jug of Purell.)

Last year, when I went to Big Bear for a nice relaxing scrapbooking weekend with the girls, I was reading Year of Wonders. I loved the book but had a tough time defending reading about the plague/black death while on vacation. This weekend we're getting together for another scrapping weekend and I happen to be reading The Worst Hard Time. It's all about the dustbowl and is full of first hand accounts. I love it! I swear I would have been a history major if somebody had assigned books like this to me back in the day. It's not that I enjoy human suffering, I'm just fascinated by survival stories. I'm also amazed at our ability to forget the "worst hard times". I think it's official... we suck.

I pulled all of the books listed above from the bookshelf with the intention of adding them to my Bookmooch inventory. After some thought though, I'm thinking Sybil looks good and maybe, for a change of pace, I'll give that Anne of Green Gables a try. But first, does anyone know a good book on Typhoid Mary?

Sunday, August 19

Dream Destinations

For a while now I've been keeping a bookmark page of my dream destinations. Well, really these are dream accommodations in some great places. It's a work in progress and it's where I go when I'm getting the itch to travel. Most are exorbitantly priced and would require a winning lottery ticket to visit but they're fun to dream about from time to time. Some are historic landmarks while others are just some places I'm curious about. Here are a few:

The Broadmoor - Colorado
Deetjens - California
The Four Seasons - Prague
Inn of the Anasazi - New Mexico
L'Auberge de Sedona - Arizona
Sirenuse - Amalfi Coast, Italy (Holy Crap, is this place amazing or what?)
Ventana - California

*sigh* Ah, to day dream...

Saturday, August 18

Revelation of another sort

Before I traveled over seas a couple of years ago, I purchased a set of good luggage. Well, what I thought was good luggage. The expandable handle snapped in the tube in London on my way home. I can tell you that having a broken handle on the larger of your two bags can make navigating a subway and airport rather difficult. More recently, the zipper snagged and broke on the main compartment of another suitcase while on a biz trip. Fortunately, I was in New York and no matter what you might possibly need can be found on your way home. I purchased a luggage strap and all of my things made it home safely. Had I been anywhere else, I would have been screwed.

Upcoming travel finally forced me to look up a certified luggage repair shop and take my two limping suitcases in for repair. Unfortunately, the "Lifetime Guarantee" on my Travelpro luggage doesn't seem to cover much. In fact, it only seems to cover "defects" not lame craftsmanship. The repair costs won't be too bad but that's not the point. For those wondering, yes, I've already written an email to Travelpro tell them, in no uncertain terms, how disappointed I am in their weak-ass product. I won't be buying Travelpro again.

The repair man told me Travelpro's flimsy guarantee is precisely why he doesn't carry that brand in his shop. It was then that I had my revelation: from now on, before making a big ticket purchase, I'm going to a repair shop to ask what's the best. What needs the most repair? Who has the best warranty? What do you recommend? Think about it, who would know better than the poor guy dealing with disappointed customers which product to recommend? Of course, letting me in on the best products won't help business for him much. The luggage repair shop repairs hand bags among other things. I could always take something in for a small repair then drill for answers. It's a bit manipulative but I sure do wish I'd talked to that luggage repair man before I bought my luggage.

Friday, August 17

Where do I begin?

I hear people say "Where do I begin" all the time, but right now, I really mean it. I can't begin to accurately describe the week I've had. Only the 40 or so people who went through it with me understand. Still, I'll try to explain some of it.

The days were divided between two excellent instructors with polar opposite teaching styles and emphasis. We learned that they went to college together. One is a successful Professor at USC's Business School while the other is a successful consultant for large and small corporations. There was a wonderful consultant with a PhD in Psychology and some others but mostly it was a perfect balance between head and heart.

The days were so packed that I'd get to my room at the end of the day and barely remember how the day began. One fellow student said "Sunday night feels like 100 years ago." and that's exactly how it felt.

Yesterday, we went through a type of gradation ceremony full of symbolism, reflection and some meditation. I'm sure it all sounds strange but it was nothing but wonderful. I don't know of any other companies doing anything like this. They paid to have 40 of us get together to bond and grow and learn together. The assumption is that we will be with the company a while and that this investment in our bonding with each other will make the company even more successful down the road.

Last night we had a celebration dinner and I chose to sit with several of those from our overseas offices. I figured I wouldn't be seeing them for a while and I wanted to spend time with them. There were several highlights to the evening but one of my favorites came when I, a fellow American, a lovely Italian woman, a nice Polish Man and a reserved Japanese man started talking about favorite music and films. I hadn't had a lot of time to get to know the Japanese man and asked what his favorite movie was, then quickly added "an American film that I'd know." Without hesitation, he answered 12 Angry Men. The smile on his face told me he was thrilled with my response. Let's just say I was surprised and amazed by his response. I then asked "Who is your favorite band or music?" He said "Rah-mins". Ra-mins? Yes, The Ra-mins." He then started playing air guitar and said "You know Joy Ra-min?" OH!! Joey Ramone? The Ramones?! "YES! Yes," he said, "The Ramones! Oooooh, I love the Ramones!!!" I tried to high five him but a high five isn't a very Japanese habit so it sort of fell flat but he was happy none the less. He went on to name a few more bands then I said "Cheap Trick?" The man about lost his marbles. "Yes!!! Cheap Trick!" Then began singing "Surrender, Surrender..." We both sang some of the song. Music truly is a universal language. The Italian woman had mentioned her love of Grease so some of us kept bursting out in songs from the movie.

Later, we laughed so hard our heads hurt because the Polish man and the Japanese man confessed to being confused on a ride they enjoyed in the park the day before. The Polish man hates roller coasters but was a gamer and decided to give a Buzz Lightyear ride a try with the Japanese man. The Japanese man, on the other hand, loves roller coasters and thought it would be a thrill-a- second ride. They apparently rode through half the ride before they realized it was a kiddie ride and that they were supposed to be shooting targets for points. For some reason the thought of the security guys watching those two grown men just sitting bewildered in their Buzz car cracked us up. The Polish man said "I know, it's sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, no? A Pollock and a Jap get in a car..." . They must have looked so funny.

I spoke about travel with my Italian friend. She wants to visit Texas. I told her I wanted to visit Florence. (I think I'm getting the better bargain in terms of my travel wish list.) She agreed that it would be a good choice but that I couldn't miss Rome. She asked what I like to do for fun. I mentioned movies, going out with friends, BBQs with family, reading, crochet and then road trips. I mentioned the Diners and Disasters road trip. I may have scared her with the whole Donner Party story but how else could I explain my road trip obsession without mentioning that trip?

Later, my new Japanese friend showed me how the Japanese exchange business cards. He carefully extracted a card from his case, held it on the corners with both hands, bowed and said something in Japanese while handing it to me. I accepted his card with both hands an a little bow. I then handed him my card the same way. He took my card with both hands by the opposite corners and held to up towards his forehead and made another small bow. It was incredible. We're so damn rude in comparison! I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone hand a business card to another offhandedly with one hand while looking in another direction. I can see why cultural differences bite us in the butt.

I'm now exhausted. All I wanted to do is sit and reflect on the past week. Unfortunately, my boss really wanted me to come in for a meeting. I did, and was glad I believe my time would have been better spent alone.

Getting to my desk was weird this morning. Typically, the first thing I do it turn on my lamp and flip on the radio to keep my energy up. Today, turn on the lamp and radio and it was overwhelmingly distracting. The usually office noises were ok, but I just couldn't stand the extra stimulation. It was like walking out of a dark theater after seeing a profound film and the light hitting my eyes. It was all too much. Even on the drive home, I couldn't listen to NPR as I usually do. Voices were too much. I had to switch to a Classical that was, mercifully, playing Vivaldi. I guess I'm feeling more tranquil. A few friends commented how relaxed I seemed. I only stayed for a couple of hours.

I'm so afraid this optimism and happiness will drift away the second I dive back into the work on Monday. I've got a mini-vacation coming up next weekend as well as more travel in the beginning of September. Maybe I can spend some of that time absorbing all that's happened this week.

I wish I could bottle the thoughts swirling through my head and bottle them so I could take a sip every now and then.

Tuesday, August 14


I'm still fully immersed in my "Leadership" conference. At one point they asked how many of us would have ever imagined being at a "Leadership" course 5 years ago. I'm such a spaz, I couldn't have imagined it 2 months ago.

So far I love the whole experience and think the people I've met are amazing. Who knew we had offices in Israel, Belgium and Poland? I sat next to the Israeli rep at dinner. She's such a cool woman. There are about 10 languages being spoken at our tables and I love it!

So much of what we talk about all day is beyond esoteric so I feel really bad for the out-of-towners, who are still learning English. They must be so frustrated. We try to slow the speakers down and help the foreigners at our table with certain words, but still, it can't be easy for them.

They had us focus on one of our "key strengths" then take some clay and sculpt something to represent that strength or "genius". I apparently think quite highly of myself because I immediately knew my genius. I sculpted (and I use the word loosely) a bunch of balloons to symbolize levity. It's were I go when things get tense. I also use humor and levity to make a difficult point. It works for me and I've been aware of it since I was about 3 years old.

It was a surprisingly emotional exercise for many. Some people cried and they broke my heart. One gentleman from China sculpted a disc with his thumb print pressed in it and set it before an open door labeled "U.S.". He explained that he had to have his thumb print scanned at customs before he was allowed walk through the doors of America earlier in the week. He said his strength is being here in the first place and next going back through the door to share this opportunity and experience with his friends back home. How cool is that? Once again, I'm in the enviable position of taking my country for granted. It must be an overwhelming thing to not only come here from China to an English speaking leadership course, but to attend one set in the middle of a damn theme park. His head must be ready to explode.

I truly empathize with the participants from Asia Pacific. It's so against their culture to open themselves up, especially in such a public forum. I really admire them because they're hanging in there but it's SO difficult for them. I watched one woman wipe away tears as she prepared to step up and explain her genius/sculpture. It's just not something they do. Well, nobody really takes time to focus on their strengths, but it's downright taboo in her country. It was not only difficult because she was a shy person, but I don't think her strengths had ever been pointed out to her. I really don't think she'd ever allowed herself to think about what she was good at in a non-measurable sense. The whole "positive self reflection" thing was almost too much for her.

We've got more introspection tomorrow. I hope everyone is ok.

Oh, the premiere next door wasn't so bad. There were apparently screaming kids camped out since yesterday afternoon but I never saw them. I did see a young starlet walk by and thought she looked a bit haughty. Then again, how does one look humble in a designer gown with 10 handlers swarming around you as you cross a hallway? The only other sign something was up was the fact that we weren't allowed up to our rooms without flashing our room keys. I guess there are lots of little stalkers running around tonight. I'm off to find my earplugs. I anticipate lots of tween girls running up and down the halls tonight.

Monday, August 13

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

I'm sitting in a famous Anaheim hotel for my week long conference. I've been here for work before but never overnight. It's so strange to see all of the families in vacation mode while we're sitting through very intense meetings.

It's our first full day of the conference and the first thing they did was bus us an hour away. It was worth it though. We got our 360 surveys back. Those are surveys that we filled out on ourselves then asked Managers, peers, direct reports and clients to fill out on us. I didn't have any big surprises (phew!). It was interesting, especially the verbatim portion of the survey. People said very nice things but it made me paranoid that I should have asked more people to do the survey for me. I honestly expected more criticism. I guess I should shut up and be grateful. Some of the feedback made me laugh. Comments like "Has presence", "Publicly admits mistakes" and "Uses indirect influence" cracked me up. I don't see myself as having "presence" I think of it more of being a loud mouth. Within 2 hours of last night's mingle I offended a guy at my table. Oops! "Uses indirect influence? I totally do that. The survey claims it's a good thing but sometimes it a little devilish.

After studying our 360's we took a "class" picture then headed off to a big dinner. I say "big" because it was with all the BIG executives in our company. these are the men and women that run world famous divisions and ride on the corporate jet. They let them loose in a room with us, added cocktails and said "Go!". I have to admit that it was not something I was really looking forward to. I'm a fairly outgoing person but dumping me in a room full of rather aggressive strangers/peers and mingling with giants of industry is not necessarily a good time for me. I was pleasantly surprised. It was remarkably relaxed. I was one of the first few to step off the elevator. We walked into the restaurant and were greeted be three executives with HUGE smiles on their faces. It was so nice. I walked towards them and said "Look at those smiles! You look so proud." It was a fun evening. I met some great people that I would never have the opportunity to meet in any other environment. These are the people others are elbowing towards under ordinary circumstances. We eventually sat for dinner and they had the executives rotate tables after each course. It was great! Such smart and fun people. It was very inspirational. I also heard a comforting comment. A friend asked a big wig "What's the one thing you need to succeed around here?" Without skipping a beat he replied "Integrity. If you maintain a sense of integrity, people will follow. Strategy will come but you need the people behind you before you can get anywhere." I loved hearing that. It's something I've always believed but occasionally doubted. It was reassuring to hear. So much of what we're discussing is about "EI" or Emotional Intelligence. Looking around that room it was obvious that polishing your "EI" skills are a bigger deal than I ever dared to hope.

The people I'm spending the week with are remarkable. Some work right down the hall from me but in a different division so we'd never met before. I know it sounds stupid but it's the reality. It's hard to develop relationships when you're running around like a crazy woman all the time. It's been so great to make these contacts (Thom, you'd be proud.) and watch the lightbulbs flash over heads.

And speaking of flash bulbs, before they released us tonight they warned us that a VERY BIG promotional event will be going on tomorrow. Press and talent will be in the conference room next to ours prior to a red carpet world premiere. *shudder* I'll let you know how it goes. (Shandon, let's just say Cameron would have a heart attack.)

This is one trippy business adventure. I kept hearing a strange sound. I finally looked out my hotel room window and looked down to see the monorail whizzing by right under my window. Last night I heard some very loud pounding. I thought some idiot next to my room was beating down the wall then realized it's the fireworks from the park. Dang, they're loud! And my 6:15am wake up call was placed by none other than Mickey Mouse. Now, I like Mickey as much as the next girl but that voice at that hour is hard to handle.

Friday, August 10


I started working at my current company as a temp. I was hired permanently after about 5 months. I now know how rare that is and how damn lucky I was to get the job. I started at about an Assistant level and have grown into the role of Manager. I like my job and the people I work with but when you've started as a go-to-girl you're sort of always the go-to-girl. That's literally what some people call me. My title sometimes switches to the-answer-girl but it's pretty much the same thing. The trouble is that it's difficult to do my new job when I'm still fielding so many questions from my old job. I'm forever referring folks to the woman who now does my old job but they whine "... but I like talking to youuuuuuu." *sigh* It would be a nice complement but I know it's mostly a matter of them being too lazy to build a new relationship with the new girl.

One of the key tools I use in my new role is a pivot table in Excel. At first they were incredibly intimidating but, once I started messing around with them, I began to really love them. They're a fancy way to look at numbers at every angle imaginable and I can happily geek out on them for hours at a time now. Unfortunately, one of our sales guys is not so enthusiastic about them and because he remembers me as the go-to-girl he keeps asking me to run his pivots for him. It wouldn't be so bad but he's got a support staff who could do it. Besides, I've showed him numerous times how to run pivots. He pretends to pay attention but he must be looking at his Blackberry over my shoulder because after 2 1/2 years he still can't run a pivot. Well, recently I was freaking out and swamped and he wandered by and said "Hey doll, can you run a few pivots for me?" I flipped out and replied "I can't keep being your PIVOT BITCH!!!" He sort of stepped backed and said "Uh...well...umm... I'll get someone else to do it then." Now, I should have been MUCH nicer about it but how long am I supposed to do my old job? I guess he hasn't noticed that I have a new job that keeps me very busy. He's since gone to pretty much everyone except the one person I know could help him with his constant pivot crisis. I heard he was recently so desperate that he went to my boss and had her run the pivots for him. What the hell?! *sigh* I feel a tiny bit guilty but then I think for God's sake learn to run a damn pivot! When I was learning about pivots, guess what my boss did? She saved a pivot on my computer and walked away. Over her shoulder she said "Sink or swim!" I swam, why can't he? I'm guessing he was never an Assistant.

Tuesday, August 7

Is it getting chilly down there?

I ask because I've discovered a potato chip that I don't like. More precisely, I've discovered an potato chip that I hate.

Today, I had to present some stuff at an all day marathon meeting. They apparently know us pretty well because they gave us goodie bags that contained:

  • A notepad
  • pens
  • Post its
  • Play-doh
  • Beef jerky
  • Caramel rice cakes
  • Rice Crispie Treat
  • Apple Crisps (surprisingly good. They'd be better over ice cream but they were good none the less.)
  • m&ms
  • Some Dove Dark Chocolate (Again, they know us well.)
  • Kettle Chips

Mmmmmmm, Kettle chips. "Mmmmmmmm" until I tossed one back and gagged. What a cruel, cruel trick. They were Salt and Vinegar chips. Blechhhh! It was like some barbaric Schick Center aversion therapy treatment or something. I'm still whimpering from the ordeal. I've never had a chip let me down. I feel so betrayed.

Monday, August 6

The Big Weekend

Man, am I beat. I had a very busy weekend but a lot of fun as well. After seeing the fabulous Jersey Boys, I saw my friend perform as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. She was wonderful. I went with Tony and Lynn and we all loved the cutie playing Gaston. Well, some of us loved him more than others. We said hello to Mrs. Potts after the show then waited to get a good look at Gaston. Tony literally shrieked when he saw him. The actor soon retreated backstage but eventually came outside again. Tony yelped at the reappearance and made my heart stop. He scared the hell out of me. Gaston was definitely cute but seemed a little freaked out by his new stalker. It was a damn good time.

Sunday was spent preparing for a mini-high school reunion. It was a lot of fun. Lots of laughing and good food and some excellent margaritas were the highlights. We were missing one key player known here as Trooperdog. Troop, we all hope you can make it next time. It's a lot of fun but just not the same without you.

Naturally, I was responsible for the most inappropriate comment of the evening. When a cute kid was attempting to make a break for the lower and perilous part of the back yard, his mother gave a warning to be rethink the journey when I blurted "Oh, let's just see if Darwin was right." (What the hell is wrong with me?) Our backyard is great but really not appropriate for kids. There are steep drop-offs, a pool and lots of varmints. I'm sure there must be rusty nails buried out there somewhere too. No matter, as luck would have it all of the kids passed the Darwin test and proved to all be more than capable of surviving. It may have been Kb's warning that the pool had poison in it. That seemed to sufficiently scare the children. I'm certain I'm now known as a witch or something. Poison in the pool? Her family is so like mine when it comes to scaring children into submission.

Best epiphany of the night: Turns out many of us still know most of the words to Fish Heads. It was a proud moment.

Strangest child obsession: Yellow squash. Kb's daughter found a rather large yellow squash in Dad's garden and adopted it. Eventually abandoned, another sweet kid adopted it and took it home. I still have no idea why the squash was so popular with the under 6 set.

Promise: We'll do it again next year.

Oh, and I finished book 7 of Harry Potter. I haven't been able to read it all weekend due to some unusually late nights. I was so afraid that I'd get into some big action sequence late, late at night and miss something that I just didn't bother. That is until this morning, when I knew I could sleep in if necessary. I awoke at 3:00 am and read a few chapters. I then found a relatively "slow" point of the story and fell back to sleep. I finished the book around noon. I loved it! Shandon and Kb finished it ages ago and have been kind enough to not discuss it when I've been around. Thanks guys!! I know it must have been difficult but thanks, in part, to you I got to finish it without coming across any spoilers and I couldn't be happier. My big challenge now is to figure what to read next. I'm so behind on tv viewing that I've almost lost the habit. I could use a little break after all that Potter action. Whew! I think I have an issue of Cooking Light and a DVD of Miss Potter and an early bed time in my future.

Saturday, August 4

More Musical theater please

I just got home from seeing Jersey Boys. What fun!!! If you have a chance to see this one you really should. If you don't know, it's the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (as the poster promises). I've never considered myself a big Four Seasons fan, but I am now. This isn't some lame-juke-box-show where some weak story line is created just to tie known hits together. No, this one tells the great story of four Jersey boys and their rags to riches story. I love these guys.

I've been meaning to see it for ages but it finally made it's way to LA and I'm so happy it did. Not only was it a good time but it's a technical marvel. I've never seen a busier first act in my life. There must be 10,000 marks on the stage. Blocking it all out must be the biggest nightmare ever. Luckily, it's a seamless show with fantastic characters and amazing music. Check it out... I'm tellin' ya.

That being said, I'm not sure I'd recommend it for kids though. There's lots of colorful language and the subject matter can get a bit racy. Once you dumped the kiddies though, it's a damn good time. It's an interesting crowd too. Michelle Philips picked up her will call tix next to us. The man behind us was with his pre-teen son. When Walk Like a Man kicked in I could hear him enthusiastically proclaim "God! This is such a great song." I saw an older man with an old school anchor tattoo on his forearm. When was the last time you saw that? Have you EVER seen that?! I'm not talking some sissy four color tattoo the kids are so fond of today, I'm talking an old fashioned Navy variety ink job. Just like Popeye! I saw the typical (for California anyway) old rich guy with disturbingly young date... an no, it wasn't his daughter. This eclectic group made up one of the best audiences I've ever participated in. This crowd loved it and the enthusiasm was contagious.

So that's tonight. I'll have more musical theater to discuss after tomorrow night. I know you just can't wait .

Oh, and just in case you're thinking "Sheesh, is there a musical this chick doesn't like?" Well, the answer is yes. For the record, I HATED The Ten Commandments starring Val Kilmer. I was ready to open a vein or poke my eyes out just to make it stop. So there.

This poster is not worthy of being shown in the same post as Jersey Boys but I'm placing it here as proof that it existed. I'd have no problem testifying that The Ten Commandments Musical was in fact the worst evening of "entertainment" I've ever had to endure. And if your saying "Well, hell I coulda told you that." I know, but I'm an open minded kinda gal and a friend got a free ticket so it seemed worth the obvious risk. Let's just say you get what you pay for.