Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's a real fine place to start...

Last weekend we celebrated the almost 3 year old's birthday - he is now officially the three year old. Every birthday is special, this one was no different. On his first birthday, we practically had a coronation. His second birthday was fun, especially when he realized that all those presents were for him. This year, the buildup to his birthday started 6 months in advance. He knew what was going on, was appropriately adorable and frenetic, and ate much cake. Perfection.

This has been a bit of a rough week. Between Dave's long hours, drama at my job, and the three year old coming down off the birthday high, I'm pretty much done. So, the item identified for LGF:

"Hump Day"

My hatred of this term was renewed after I spent the longest 2.48 minutes of my life in an elevator with a person enamored with the concept. You know how this goes...the conversation is...brief... yet...simultaneously...eternal...

Despite the interesting connotations of the term, "Hump Day" is just another rip off. First, it's just a stupid term. There's no hump in the week. And, if there were, which I'm not saying is the case, then it would have to be located at exactly 12:00 noon - based on my calculations, this is not an entire day. I know that everyone isn't as data driven as I am on topics such as this, but stay with me a little bit longer, OK? If we assume that there is a hump in the week, and it falls after 12:00 noon on Wednesday, it actually brings us only one half day closer to...Saturday! The KT Corollary to the Hump Day rule is that this magical half day, due to the space time continuum, moves us further away from another part of the weekend...Sunday! Thus, the whole thing is a lie. The only day that can be honestly recognized as being closer to the weekend than any other day thus far within a week is the often overlooked Thursday.

The only thing I can think of that I reeeaaaalllly miss right now is sleep, so I shall go and find some immediately. If I sit here much longer, I fear that I would awaken to find a keyboard pattern on my face.

Thank you, Thursday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Parenting Coup

The almost 3 year old was in rare form tonight - he really didn't feel the need to go along with any of the suggestions Dave or I proposed, regardless of how forcefully our ideas were suggested, or repetition of same. With that in mind, it was determined by our council of two that bedtime draweth nigh much earlier than it might on other evenings. Armed with the promise of Bob the Builder, I took a rare turn at putting the almost 3 year old to bed. Fulfilling my promise of Bob the Builder wasn't so difficult from a tactical standpoint, but strategically...this is a plan I will not be employing in the future. Bob the Builder is excruciatingly long. To be exact, this particular Bob the Builder video is one soul-sucking hour long. I no longer care if Bob can fix it, build it, or fold it in half and stick it in his toolbelt. Following the much awaited (by me) conclusion of the epic saga of Bob the Builder, the almost 3 year old determined that he was not yet ready to sleep. He asked for a particular song, which I delivered. He seemed ready for sleep...then...he found his Sheriff Woody (Toy Story, for the uninitiated). Sheriff Woody was waiting for a solo flight around my head, it seems. I remained quiet for the first couple of trips, gritting my teeth and reminding myself that this was only a ploy to get me off the topic of sleep. Sheriff Woody isn't gifted with graceful flight - the third pass may require a visit to the ENT, and the fourth pass basically grazed my brain (that's for you, Brian). In a moment of stunning clarity, illuminated by the streaks of light behind my eyes, I did not express my frustration to the almost 3 year old. Instead, I chewed out Sheriff Woody. "Sheriff Woody!" I said, mustering all of my mommy authoritative voice (at some point will I not feel like I'm playing mommy on TV?) "It's time for bed! You are keeping me and almost 3 year old awake! If you can't stop flying and go to sleep, you are going to time out this instant!" What do you worked. Almost 3 year old scolded Sheriff Woody for his antics, and sleep arrived a mere 5 minutes later. Bliss.

It's kind of funny - all day I work with adults, and a lot of them are pretty sharp. When I'm able to persuade an unwilling party over to my side, or convince two people to let go of each other's throats, or talk a stressed out colleague back in from the ledge, I sometimes feel like it was just dumb luck. On days like today, when things go particularly and spectacularly well, a part of me expects to see a group of people who strongly resemble the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Prize Team congregating at my office door...but instead of handing me a giant check, they hold up a sign that clearly reads IMPOSTOR.

But tonight, I convinced an almost 3 year old to go to sleep without a fight or a crying jag. Tonight, I am a genius.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'M MELTING...what a world, what a world

OK, this is ridiculous. It is so hot that my brain is frying inside of my head. I can literally feel myself expanding as I bake when stepping outside. It's like a protracted death, interrupted by the incessant attacks from the mosquitos who are apparently impervious to the scorching sun.

The good news is, it's supposed to cool off to a chilly 93 on Saturday, the day that the almost 3 year old actually turns 3.

Other than the weather, items identified for LGF are limited today to phrases:

1. The phrase "(insert person/place/thing here) can see me in hell". OK, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the least of your problems will be encountering the source of your contempt when you are in hell. Based on my understanding of hell, there are few individuals, including but not limited to Condescending Pharmacy Clerk, who can compare to the discomfort level one would experience in hell. Just a thought.

2. "I could care less". Given the widespread use of this phrase, it's entirely possible that I just don't understand. It seems to me, that if a person could "care less" about a situation or problem, there is serious ground to be gained by the party inflicting this particular irritation. I would see this as an open door demanding to be kicked down.

3. "There is no I in team". True, but there is an M and an E, and changing the spelling of team to teim is one of my fantasies. It's been my experience that people who employ this particular saying are riding along comfortably on the backs of their teammates.

The tributes:

The once upon a time when Coach and Dooney didn't introduce new collections every month. If I find myself inexplicably and unfortunately poor when a certain item I particularly like is introduced, the odds are very bad that I will be able to obtain it anywhere other than eBay.

Spring 2007...I didn't appreciate you enough, did I? You were here for me, and I didn't pay enough attention to you. I learned from my mistakes in our relationship, and want you to come back. Please baby - don't be that way.

Time for me to go soak in ice - have a lovely evening...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Heat is On

Although talking about the weather is one of the most overwhelmingly boring topics in the whole world, the recent trend in scorching, soul-sucking, insufferable heat is my focus for LGF this weekend. Yesterday we stayed inside pretty much *all day*, due to the fear of evaporating if we ventured out of the house. This morning, Dave and I attacked two outside projects, thinking that if we started early, we would avoid the worst part of the day. We were wrong. There is no avoiding the worst part of the day, when it lasts all day long. Thanks to Dave, the trees are pruned, the branches are cut and ready for the garbage pickup, and the yard is watered. Thanks to me, the leather in the Maxima is cleaned and conditioned, and there is no longer an obstacle course through our garage of empty boxes filled with packing paper. I can't say the same regarding the rest of the garage, but heat stroke prevented me from going further. Those of you who know me well will understand that I had to be lured from the garage into the house, as I had entered into "project zone", where the need for food, water, and elimination are ignored in my quest to complete my task. Unfortunately, the nature of my tasks tend to grow from something manageable (break down boxes, put packing paper into trash bags) into a hero's challenge worthy of endorsement by the Stygian Witches (clean entire garage, organize tools into cabinets, rearrange boxes by contents, then repaint exterior of house - before lunch). Thankfully, Dave did an intervention and so I didn't die. That makes it a good day.

Venturing from the usual format, I give my highest approval to a movie we watched this weekend - 300, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae. This movie had it all - strong characters, outstanding story, educational plot, and men who went to war in their underwear and a cape. Those guys knew how to accessorize, too - the shields, the spears, the swords - all TOP quality. I admire that. I may well be the last person in the U.S. to see this movie, as it's been over 3 years since I saw a movie at an actual theater. This has it's good and bad points - I would have liked to see this one in the theater (I understand that it was at IMAX for a while, dammit!) but on the plus side, I can stop the movie whenever I need a drink, smoke, etc.

My brain is still sore, so that's it for today. Until tomorrow...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Joys of Travel

I'm back from Orlando - it was a great trip. The meeting was very productive, and I got to visit Downtown Disney on Tuesday night (so AWESOME!!), and Orlando Premium Outlets last night, and see a lot of my peers who live in different parts of the country. My flights connected through Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, which has smoking lounges inside the building, in almost every terminal. Now, on to the list:

Items Identified for LGF during my trip:
1. My own personal hell - I could look across the highway from my hotel and see the sign for the Coach factory outlet AND the Dooney factory outlet. I tortured myself by taking a stroll through each of these stores last night. Did I mention that I had NO money to spend? If I am a very bad person, this is how I will spend eternity.
2. The majority of other travelers - General rule of thumb - when walking through an airport that is roughly the size of a city, regular traffic rules should be observed. Do you come to a screeching stop in the middle of the street to engage in a conversation? Is it your habit to straddle two lanes while driving slowly? Do you drive off and leave your children a block or so behind, then stop short upon the realization that it's YOUR name they are screaming? If so, you are a blight upon society and should never be allowed in Orlando International or Hartsfield-Jackson. And you should consider driver's ed.
3. Airline cost savings tactics - I don't miss the rubber "turkey" sandwiches, and I'm not that enthusiastic about eating while on a plane, anyway. Bring me a diet coke and don't crash the plane, and I'm happy. HOWEVER - "puddle jumper" planes should be reserved for just that type of travel. I'm talking to you, Delta Connection. A trip from Tulsa to Atlanta is not going across a puddle. In an Embraer, it's a sweaty, confining, stuffy journey in a sardine can. Why did I get a 767 from Orlando to Atlanta (1 hour) vs. an Embraer from Atlanta to Tulsa (2.5 hours). This is ridiculous and must be stopped.
4. Airport Security at Orlando International - Plan to arrive an hour before your flight, in order to stand in "line" for 45 minutes, and sprint to the tram, then run like hell for your plane. During this time, expect to be publicly humiliated by TSA screeners who are taking out their frustration over their lot in life on you. This is the sacrifice Disney demands of you.

The tributes:
1. Christine - My manager, Christine, is leaving tomorrow for an amazing opportunity with another company. I wish her the best of luck, and she deserves every success. I will miss her terribly, though. She lives outside of Philadelphia, and as such I only see her roughly annually. She was in Orlando, and seeing her before she leaves our current employer was the highlight of the trip.
2. Minibar - I needed you, minibar. When I worked until 2 a.m. on both nights, I longed for your company. My lonely, empty, bare little fridge needed company. Where were you, minibar? Please come back.
3. The time when I heard the words "Final Destination" and didn't get a little shiver, wondering if I would get home, ever. How foreboding.

Have a lovely evening...I'm going to bed now.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Zero Hour Approaches

The time is now 11:11 p.m. CDT. At 6:45 a.m. CDT, I need to be at the airport. Perhaps in the future I will consider beginning the packing process prior to 9 p.m. the night before departure. As a business traveler, I know to plan on my luggage NOT arriving, so everyflippingthing has to go into my roller bag. Thanks to Dave and his constant wisdom in terms of investment items, my rolling laptop bag has a back compartment that is...a small suitcase! I had serious concerns about dropping the $$ for this particular bag, but it has been a very worthwhile investment. Thanks, Dave!!!

I'm a little distracted with preparations for this trip, but look forward to getting lots of new material as I travel through Atlanta to Orlando tomorrow.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

You Can't Always Get What You Want

As an update to yesterday, Dave and I did venture out into the hysteria known as "tax free weekend!" in the hopes of obtaining our needed items. With Jacob in tow as tour guide, we employed a new strategy...we arrive at the stores about 30 minutes before closing time. The end result? Dave found a suitable pair of new work boots at a lower price than anticipated. For me, the psychedelic print shirt was not to be had. I visited my usual provider of psychedelic print shirts, but had to declare no joy after all of my selections made me look like a 5 months pregnant extra from an Austin Powers movie. While this is only a slight departure from my daily goal of looking like an extra from an Austin Powers movie, I just didn't care for the added twist.

So...the list for today will focus on two types of shoppers worthy of LGF:

Type 1 - Shoplifter. If you can't afford the shoes in box A, please do not switch them with the shoes from box B, in order to pay a lower price. I'm not so much concerned with the cost that eventually gets passed back to me, The Consumer - it's just tacky and wrong and stealing. Plus, it confuses those of us who arrive at the shoe boxes after you.

Type 2 - Drive By Parenting Counselor. To the balding man in the blades sunglasses...thank you so much for your editorial comment regarding my child's temper tantrum. It could have been that he was tired, or perhaps impatient, or it could have been your ugly-ass muscle shirt and too-tight shorts. I followed you around the store to intimidate, you, yes...but also to imagine what might have been your rejected wardrobe options for the day. If the sunglasses/shirt/shorts combo you selected is any indication of your life choices, I'll get my advice elsewhere, thanks.


Beaming Technology - OK, I know it wasn't real, but whatever happened to beaming technology? There are some family members and friends I would really like to see, and beaming technology would make that sooooo much easier. Plus, there's the whole issue of being a business traveler who is NOT flying out of a major hub...the only interesting thing about a layover is when you're using it as part of a dirty joke.

Leopard Sandal Thank You Notes - I remember where I last saw you, Leopard Sandal Thank You Notes, but that was one year and two houses ago. You are so cute, Leopard Sandal Thank You Notes, and I have no idea where you might be. I miss you. Call me.

Until tomorrow, when I am less than 12 hours away of leaving for Orlando...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Is it reeeealllly worth it?

Today is Oklahoma's first "tax free weekend!". If you don't live here, don't get too excited. It's basically one weekend where shoppers can purchase clothing and shoes of a price *under a certain threshold* (no designer handbag savings) without paying sales tax. If it were up to me, there would be no taxes on anything, including my nerves. But alas. Texas has enjoyed this annual event for several years...come to think of it, the first time this happened in Texas was right after I moved there. States wishing for such a boon to their local economy should contact me with a lucrative offer for relocation...but I digress.

Today, I am limiting my list of items to be nominated for LGF to this "tax free weekend!". All I want is a new psychedelic print shirt to go with my uniform of black boot cut pants and 2" heels - I'm going to Orlando for a meeting this week, and nothing makes me feel intelligent and professional like a new psychedelic print shirt. All Dave wants is a new pair of work boots - the need for which should be self-explanatory. Our hopes to achieve these goals were dashed today, all due to the "tax free weekend!". So many people. So many cars. We just couldn't do it. I lift my diet coke with vanilla to all of you who saved a ton of money on your back to school purchases. I tip my winston light to those who actually planned out their clothing purchases to make the most of your clothing budget. For me, it wasn't worth it - I had to do something that I really don't enjoy - I delayed my gratification. This weekend, I shall dream of my perfect shirt, and how it will bring out my eyes, make me smarter, and change my life. My frustration is mounting.

In the "Gone but not Forgotten" file...
Grocery Store Delivery - I have an almost 3 year old. As such, I approach a trip to the grocery store with fear and hope that a brief visit will pass without incident is dead, fallen victim to the anvil of reality. Since most convenience and specialty stores are woefully lacking a drive through, I look back wistfully upon the days of grocery store delivery. To those who know my age, NO, you're right, I don't remember it from when I was a kid...I am too young. What I'm referring to is the crash of the early 2000's, which can count among it's victims We hardly knew ye.

So long, farewell, it's time to say goodnight...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Feels like the first time...

Today is the first day of the rest of my blog.

Every day I compile my list of people, places, and things deserving of localized gravity failure...the experience of (without warning) zipping off into outer space. I didn't invent this term, but will take undue credit for it and pass it off as my own (thanks, understand, right???). Negative? Maybe. Therapeutic? Youbetcha.

The corollary to this list is the group of people, places, and things, who and where and which, through no fault or responsibility of their own, experienced LGF - this is my tribute.

Today's List of Candidates for LGF:
1. Job candidates who labor under the mistaken impression that MY job is a giant probabilities game, and that my favorite part of all is when they call my office phone 35431654378453541 times within 15 minutes without leaving a voice mail. Persistence = good. Psycho dialing = bad.

2. My woefully inadequate printer cartridges - you tempt me with your promises of clearly printed documents, and reward my devotion by going dry when I need you most.

3. Condescending Pharmacy Clerk. I'm sorry that I get on your nerves, Condescending Pharmacy Clerk. I apologize for standing outside of my car in the EMPTY OTHER THAN ME drive through to insert my child back into the booster seat of his discontent. My regret at having my debit card ready to go and simultaneously handing it to you while fastening a seat belt is heartfelt. I am sorry that I ruined your day through my very existence, Condescending Pharmacy Clerk.

Gone but not Forgotten:
1. Ubiquitous Styrofoam Cups - There is a very good reason why, every single morning, I visit a certain establishment which will remain unnamed but rhymes with Phonic. From waking until approximately 6:30 p.m., I exist exclusively on diet coke with vanilla and nicotine. The paltry plastic cups offered by the more convenient and less expensive purveyors of diet coke simply do not suffice. The condensation on my hands, desk, and folders is unacceptable. The prematurely melted ice *cubes* ruin the satisfaction I seek from my lifeblood.

2. Toys in the Cereal Box - It's just not the same! What are we teaching our children? They are going to grow up thinking that your reward for finishing a project is a sugar rush and an empty box roughly the size of your torso. Wait...

3. Commercial Jingles Sung Harmoniously by Happy People - Somehow, it just made me feel better to know that somewhere, a freshly plumbed kitchen sink was bringing contentment to at least a quintet of people.

At least, that's what I think.