Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Big Move... done...

I am never moving again.
I will die in the New House.
Hopefully when I am old and gray.
I'll be like all those other Brookline mavens who have been living in their homes for 60 years, with Realtors knocking on their doors to see if they want to sell their home at a 5000% profit. Or something like that.

The movers arrived at 8 a.m. When I say "8 a.m." I mean 8 a.m. The three guys and a big truck arrived so on time that the atomic clock could have been set by them. We were going to move the house and then go to storage and move stuff from storage to the New House, too. They quoted us a time estimate of 11 hours. Eleven hours? Joseph and I just laughed about it. 4 hours later with a fully tightly-packed truck, we decided to not go to storage and went directly to the New House instead. All told, they were right. It took about 9 hours. With the trip to storage, it would have taken 11 hours. Wow.

Yesterday, we managed to get the house organized somewhat, unpack some stuff somewhat, went to the Container Store and bought these wonderful clear-front drawers - 9 of them - for the bathroom closet/pantry, and managed to feel good about two days worth of mayhem and havoc.

Pictures post-move can be found here.

The roofers are busy banging on the roof. It's looking good.
The demo hasn't started yet. They better hurry before we fill up the first floor completely. We had to move some things into one of the front rooms.

Second Christmas

You've heard of Second Breakfast?
It comes after First Breakfast, right before Elevenses.

So Second Christmas is sort of like that.
It comes after First Christmas, before New Years unless you are unlucky enough to have yet another Christmas - Third Christmas...

You only have Second Christmas if you have more than one Christmas celebration due to a sundry of possible reasons.
This year, we had First Christmas in South Carolina with my brother and his family.
Then we landed back in Boston on the 26th.
The 27th we spent the day in panic-packing for The Big Move.
Then the 28th was Second Christmas at Joseph's sister's house.
This was after a full of more panic-packing for the Impending Big Move.

The pictures can be found here.

Pictures from...

Christmas in South Carolina can be found here.
Lots of pictures of the nieces, especially the new one - Hannah.
Eight months old and cute as can be!

I think she looks like me, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Year in Review

Well, some things just never change.
Here it is, December 28th, the day before December 29th when the movers are due at 8 a.m., and I have yet over estimated my ability to function as an independent entity and to pack the rest of the house in a mere two hours.
I suddenly realized this last night - oh, about... uh... 9 p.m., after which ensued a great flurry of activity on the internet, cancelling meetings, sending out emails, saying something to the effect that "I will be out tomorrow because I have to finish packing for the move on Friday..." Sigh...

Looking back, I wish the year had been more of some, less of others, and glad for some sameness.

In a nutshell:
  • I gained another 5.6 pounds
  • We bought a new house (again) on a whim and rented our current place
  • I traveled to India (again)
  • Saw my new niece in S.C.
  • We went on our first cruise to many islands
  • Went to Napa and bought about 19 cases of wine
  • Oh... I ran Big Sur Marathon in April...
  • And, I ran Disney in January - the Big Debaucle...
  • My gym membership remained relatively unused
  • Didn't bike much, run much or swim much.
  • Didn't read much.
HOW could I have been so busy when I didn't do so much?

I gottagettagrip in 2007.
At least get my priorities in order...

I think I need to get another cat.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Miracles for Clean Living...

The darnedest thing happened this morning.
I came into work and booted it up in the docking station, just for grins, and the screen on my monitor was working! I can't see it on the laptop, but I can see it on my monitor!
I made myself very busy copying all my files to the network drives as backups.

As I finished, Dale the Support Guy called. He had called already last night, a mere one hour after I lodged my problem ticket with the help desk. And here he was following up again.

Told him what happened and he said it's because it's the main board that's broken and not the screen or the video card, etc. Anyway, I do need a new laptop.

He took over my machine remotely, rooted around, then say, "I'll be up by 10 with a loaner." It was about 9:15. I started sending out responses to email people had already sent to me and around 9:30, the screen went dead and that was that.

At 10am, Dale the Support Guy comes through my office door toting an upgrade to my old dead laptop, took about 40 minutes to set it all up so that it feels like nothing ever happened (other than a mysterious speed chip added).

And here I am, waling away on the keyboard, with a new laptop ready to order to order as soon as the December freeze is over.

As my Hunny Bunny often says, it must be "clean living."
Not to mention a terrific Help Desk, great timing and all around good luck.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Where's my camera...

...when I need it...

Joseph is in my office, doing the oompa loompa song.
And he's also doing the dance to go along with it.

It's one of those nights...

The path of least resistance

Sometimes, it's easier to pack the drawer than it is to take everything out of drawer to pack the contents, only to have to unpack the contents and stick them back into the drawer.

Ya know?

Deep Dark Secrets

I think I need to start a new blog.
One where I can write down all my deep dark secrets.
The kind where I hash through all my issues from childhood, how they affected me, how I overcame them, and how it shaped my adulthood.
The kind you only want to share with yourself because they are too complex to try and explain it to anyone.
The kind that if you give voice to, will cleanse you from it's grips and you are made whole once again, if you ever were.
The kind that gets discovered by your legacies as they are cleaning out yours closets after you die.
The kind that gets packaged into memoirs and gets published posthumously.
The kind that gets made into the movie of the week - but gets dramatically altered, of course, since it's prime time and must be PG rated for family viewing...

I always have these feelings after I visit with my brother and my sister,
My past becomes my present and I am afraid of what I've been... glad of what I am now... and hoping I am more than I was before.

If you don't know what I am talking about, then I don't need to share them with you.
If you do know what I am talking about, then you understand why I won't share them with you.

I wonder what I'll call it...

Technical difficulties

So, with my technnical woes of late, do I take a chance and go to the new blogger? I have a google account but I can't remember what it is. You see, the information is on my laptop. You remember. The one that imploded while I was visiting my brother? Yes, the one I can't boot up to get my files? Yes, that one.

We arrived home this afternoon after a flight cancellation, a rerouting, and then a mad dash for our connection at La Guardia. The only thing that went right was that the car service was there waiting for us to take us home.

I immediately called my admin upon landing and arrival at baggage claim, told her my tales of technical woes, thus giving her more fodder for laughter, and asked her to put in an emergency order for a brand new system. When I got home, I immediately called the Help Desk, who opened up a problem ticket. Basically they have to go through the motions of putting a scope on my laptop and trying to diagnose it, which will give them the same conclusion that my laptop basically imploded. The problem ticket outlined all of this and in the end, requested that they retrieve my hard disk, put it into another loader laptop until my new laptop is here, at which time they would be able to transfer all my files over from the old disk to the new. I hope it's as easy as that.

Typically, when I arrive home from a trip, I do laundry. But this time, our bags were taking a later flight out of La Guardia, so... no laundry. Which left me a lot of time to call the aforementioned Help Desk.

In the end, Joseph brought home Pizza after taking some boxes and wine over to the New House. And he even went to pick up the late baggage from the airport... after all my fretting in the car over my Buckey and my Skin Care, he probably thought that was the path of least resistance.

So, we did the laundry while packing more boxes for the Big Move... which is THIS FRIDAY! GAK!!!

Anyway, the laptop implosion means that I will have to go to the office tomorrow morning and Thursday morning just to sit around like a VEAL tethered to my desk, waiting for the Help Desk person to arrive...

Such is life in the Big City. It's excitement after excitement...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just so you know...

... I think my video card is crap...
I am at my brother's in SC for Christmas.
I booted up the computer and then the creen went black.
I tried rebooting. Nothing.
Then I hooked my laptop up to my brother's monitor. Nothing.
I wasn't sure if it was my laptop screen or the video card.
The fact that neither my laptop screen nor my brother's monitor shows anything tells me it's the video card. ARG!!!
So, I am stealing 5 minutes on my brother's computer...I feel so clandestine.
The saddest thing is that I can't event write my drag blog posts - it's like I'm blind.

And I had so much to blog about.


Merry Christmas.
Santa is in Peru right now.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back in the running

Three days on the antibiotics and I am good to go.
Yesterday afternoon, I felt good enough to go for that run I wanted to get in.
5.25 miles on the upstairs-tenant-neighbor's treadmill.
And this morning a 2.15 mile recovery walkish-joggish thing.
And I just got back from my primary care doctor for an update on the rash thing and the dermatology appointment I had on Monday and things are getting better.

Soon, Joseph will come by to get me and we are off to another Night of Camping at the New House. I hope to get the bathroom finished today. Then I can start unpacking some things and we can start using it tomorrow. I mean, what's a Night of Camping in a TENT in the living room of your New House if you can't jump into the shower in the morning! A hot shower, complete with fluffy towels and your favorite new soap since you aren't allowed to use the high maintenance luxury brand from Neiman Marcus because you have this ugly RASH ECZEMA thing on your body. Oh, sorry. Make that a warm shower. Hfff.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hump Day update

Well, Wednesday blew by.

I was happily working at home when Joseph sent me an email asking me if I could meet him at the New House to talk to Scotty the Contractor. Uh... let me check my calendar... Uh... Yeah... So I send a note to my office and boss and tell them, "be back soon... gotta go up to the New House...Talking to the contractor... shouldn't take long..."

You would THINK!
The New House is only two miles up the road.
Scotty has seen the house about 4-5 times already.
How long could this take?

How about...
Um-huh. All. Afternoon.

Never made it back to the house to take up working again.
Joseph dropped me off at my hair appointment about 3 hours later.
Then he met me at Fire 'n Ice for dinner, where we got some of the worst service we've ever had there. I know it was busy. But the waitress we had didn't seem to have a clue. I was watching. She would go into the kitchen... and then... nothing... it's not like she was hustling like the rest of the staff. Then she would magically appear on the floor, back to the kitchen, and then nothing again. It was like the great disappearing act. Ugh. I was so annoyed that I had to tell the host guy. He kept apologizing, but it wasn't his fault. I hope someone told her. We certainly did with the less than normal tip we gave her. I hope never to encounter this person in another eating establishment as my service person. Ever.

Then back home to an episode of The Biggest Loser. These people look great. I gotta find a way to get on that Ranch. Seriously. One guy lost me, Joseph, the Dingle Doggie, and the Dingle Kitty and then some more to boot! It was amazing! The ones who did the work at home by themselves all had personal trainers. I think that might be the way to go.

I also talked to my friend Harriet the Doctor. I had enough of this sinus thing. I am telling you...I have not idea how a small sinus area can have such a detrimental effect on one's physical and mental stability! All I feel is the soreness and the pain behind my nose and eyes. And it's all I can do to just move around. All that filled-with-cotton feeling in my sinuses was making me tired and sleepy. All day long! I had some meds in the fridge so I called Harriet and she said that I could go ahead and take them. Thank goodness. I started the first day of antibiotics yesterday. Four days to go. I am already feeling better. I hope to get on the upstairs-tenant-neighbor's treadmill sometime today.

That's about it.
Time to start a new day and get to work.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Anticipation ... or Paralysis?

Joseph and I had an interesting discussion last weekend about how some people this year are trying to sum up their year with a single word.

Joseph's word is "transition."

I chose "paralysis." But Joseph thinks that "anticipation" is more appropriate.

I guess both could work - and anticipation could lead to paralysis, which I think has happened for me.

The year has been marked with transitions, true, but for me, I suppose I've been "holding my breath" in anticipation of all that is to come, much of which will change my life in so many ways. And being a person who likes routine to some extent, veering off the tightrope I didn't know I was walking on, well... I guess it's paralyzed me to another extent.

At work, we got a new EVP to replace the old EVP that I got along with so well. As in all administrative change, corporate transitions are rarely different from the goverment - out with the old and in with the new... I guess I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop since he took over. It started with rumors of old EVP's retirement (turns out the chairman of the Company found new work for him closer to where he was building his retirement home out west and now he is still working for the Company). The retirement occurred finally, and the new guy took over and then it was all about waiting for the new EVP to learn about what's he's walked into, which created even more rumors. It all culminated with the understanding that there were be a reorganization of the division and this time, I was actually asked to be a core team member in determining what that new organization should look like. I was in the Services group. I fought some battles, got to know a few senior managers that I had never worked with (exposure and visibility), lost some and won some, and I think I've done a good job of keeping my vision alive and well in the data space, and the group is in a good position to move forward. I've slowly exhaled on this one.

Now I've taken another deep breath for the final outcome - the senior managers have continued to meet to talk about what the new organization would look like, complete with names of people to run things and the hierarchy of who is reporting to whom. I am still in anticipation on this one; however, this time, I know about 80% of what's going to happen. Dare I slowly exhale again? The first announcement has come out and the final will be out in January some time with a final in February. I've been told my span of control would be vast and that the data portfolio is still mine to run and grow and that the question of someone else running this team has not even come up. So far so good. But it ain't over til the fat lady stops singing, right?

Then there's the whole anticipation thing with my running. After Big Sur in April, I guess I just got tired. I was anticipating some change, I thought that I could just run for fun. But I should have known that life would come in to fill that spot and running took a major back seat in the trunk for a long time. An additional 6 pounds later, I am back, pounding the treadmill for now, until the weather turns warmer and I've got some miles under my belt. So needy of a goal, I signed up for the Vermont City Marathon. It feels good to be running again. And complaining less about it.

Then there is the house move thing. We looked and looked, found a house, then had to wait for the estate sale to begin. More waiting. We submit the bid. More waiting. Then we get the news that our offer has been accepted. It's been one deep breath after another until the closing, and now that we have the house, we are waiting again for the tenants to leave. This is one of the bigger anticipation items. We figure it will take about 5 years to get this house redone.

We don't do this very easily, do we? We manage to have work changes, life changes, housing changes all at the same time, right around the holidays, which in and of themselves are some of the most death-inducing times of the year. And all of this in preparation for yet another life-changing highly anticipated moment next fall or winter...

And now I come to the anticipation of taking off these 16 pounds I've gained from blissful happiness in my life with Joseph. I am on the precipice. I can fall forward and take the plunge. I look down in that pit and I see the hard work, the food discpline, the workout discipline, the regimentation I need to get it done and lose that weight. I look back behind me and see a soft comfy life with a husband who loves me and tells me I look fine. But I know that if I turn around, I will never lose this weight and I will gain more. I know this to be trueand it will certainly be the death of me. And those who want to argue with me can just shut the hell up because it's true and no amount of your rose-colored thinking to make me feel better makes it any less true. I need to jump off this ledge and my legs won't move.

I just need to exhale and take another deep breath.
Then another, and another...

First Disease of the Season

Ugh. I am so sick.
Sick Sick Sick.

I think I now have a full blown head cold.
It's a light one but I am knocking on wood because it could get worse.
I went to bed at 9pm last night. I think I needed it because I slept through until 6am this morning and if Joseph hadn't woken me up, I'd still be in a deep slumber.

So, I spent the better part of the morning, redoing my calendar for the week since I plan on staying home until this thing is non-infectious. I should have known better than to go the the RI office last Thursday and even more not to go to the Company Christmas party in RI that night.

I walked into the convention center where the party was and was immediately beset upon by one of the contractors who works for me, who wanted to "talk" to me about nothing more than his future, etc., with the group. ARG!!! It's a PARTY! Then today, I find out from that person's manager that he is sick sick sick! I bet he gave it to me. His future with the group? HAH! It's gonna end up in the trash can with the dirty tissue I just threw in there.

Yes. I am evil. I battle it every single day. I am always acutely of my human frailties and fallibilities. Even with all the hard work, it manages to squeeze out of my orifaces... Sigh...

I think for the rest of this winter season and for all winter seasons in the future, I will work from home unless a meeting with a Very Important Senior Manager dictates my physical presence. Then, I will wear a mask and latex gloves to be disposed of afterwards. I wonder if that would be too obvious...

Monday, December 11, 2006

And another thing...

...Can I just tell you that I have DONE NO WORK today???

I've been in meetings since I walked through the door...
I ate lunch at 2pm.
Actually 2:30 pm because I had to go out to the Post Office, and the Cobbler, and then to pick up my Chacarero (if you don't know what that is, I feel bad for you. Seriously).

And I've spent the last hour vegging out.

And now I am four minutes late for a meeting with my boss.

I might have to use what I've been paying for...

That is, the Gym.

Tomorrow, I was going to go to the NH office. On days that I go there, I don't have a lot of time in the morning for a workout. But tomorrow, I've decided to stay local and go to the reunion in Burlington from my house after work.

The reunion is for a group of us that worked together about 15-20 years ago at another company. I wonder about people who arrange reunions, the ones who get up one morning with the bright idea of getting together with old co-workers from that long ago. I mean, does that kind of thought just sort of pop into your head? And if so, how do you get in touch with the people in the first place? I'm someone that loses touch with most people - give me about a month without contact and I'm lucky to remember your name much less remember that I used to work with you.

Or is it that these people don't have this idea pop into their heads, it's that they have been thinking about it over the days, weeks, months, years since they last saw their co-workers. I mean, what kindalife does one need to have (or not have) to be constantly looking backward into their past? What are they hanging onto?

Anyway, so when someone I work with at my Company, who I used to work with back then, forwarded me an email about this reunion, I thought "why not?" I'm the curious type. I want to see what people have done with themselves for the past 15-20 years. Okay. I'm NOSY. Happy now? So that is why I am going to subject myself to an hour or more eating with near-strangers. Because I. Am. Nosy.

Anyway... this was supposed to have been about the Gym. What a non-sequitor...

Since I am not traveling to NH and will be fighting rush hour traffic at 5pm to get to the restaurant for that reunion at 6:30pm (yes, drive an hour and a half to get to a place that should only take you about 30 minutes to get to on a good day) I figure I will run in the morning. But since my upstairs-tenant-neighbor is home visiting for a few days and since she won't be leaving for LA until 8pm tomorrow night, I will have to SCHLEP MY PERSON to the GYM at the wee hour of the COLD FROZEN MORNING - all to run for 60 stoopid minutes on the &^%$!! treadmill! ARG!!!!

The price of getting back into shape.


It's so predictable

I have a 9am doctor's appointment. At 9:18, I was still waiting.
At least I got into the exam room. It's like getting your foot in the door.
And ti was the plushest doctor's office I'd ever seen. Even the exam room had wall to wall carpet. Well, I guess it's the minimum when you are located on Comm Ave - nice ritzy little area... go figure...

There was an older woman in the sitting area - she looked to be about 70, but I bet she's around 60 or so with a lot of sun damage. She was very nattily dressed and looked like the plastic surgery type. Not that I have anything against plastic surgery...

So, this was my dermatology appointment. I have no skin cancer types of moles. Thank goodness. I've been meaning to get a body check for years now. I was also told that the reason skin lesions, etc., turn brown on me is because of my melanin cells. They are nice and chunky (great) and because of that they are also very healthy and will let out the melanin, which colors wounds such a nice deep brown. And they take longer to go away as a result. And if I go into the sun when I have these "wound spots", they will take much longer to heal. Great. She also said that I won't wrinkle. I guess that's something to be thankful for.

It turns out that my rashes etc are due to eczema. Huh? I have nothing in my family history that would make me prone to this but as my primary care physician told me, if you have a history of hives, that's an antecedent to this type of thing. She gave me a list of soaps (Dove Unscented - the only soap on the list) and told me to take warm short showers (WAH! I LOVE LONG HOT SHOWERS!!!) The good news is that after this is over with, I can go back to them. And two new prescriptions (I guess these are stronger), and a list of four body creams to use (ugh, and not a single luxury skin care brand name that Neiman Marcus carries - I have only heard of ONE - and I have to get them at Gary Drugs.) Damn. It also turns out that I have sensitive skin. Damn damn damn. What an inconvenience!

The good news is that I am taking the right medicine in the morning and at night. Thank goodness - but I still have to take the atarax - so the grogginess will stay with me every single morning.

And the other good news is that this is not permanent and at least I know what heck it is! That is probably the biggest bit of good news there is.

Oh, and it seems this is also the office the local best plastic surgeon...if I ever think of getting a tuck here or there, at least I know where to find him...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It feels like two days... one day...

Have you ever had one of those days that feels like you did so much that it feels like you've lived two days instead of one day?

[ARG! WHY is that stoopid washer making that noise???]

Today is like that. Two days in one day.
This morning, I ran for 75 minutes. It was really wonderful. It's the longest distance and time I've run since Big Sur at the end of April. I feel hesitantly confident that I am on the road back. Of course, this coming week is gonna be tough one in terms of sheduling in workouts...

Then I ran (quite literally) to Ming's in Chinatown. Joseph picked me up - it was perfectly timed, and we drove to the New House, where I proceeded to finish painting the ceiling and apply the first coat of paint on the trim in the second floor bathroom. This is one of the rooms we must finish before we move in.

Speaking of moving in, we have tenants for our current place and we are moving out the last week in December. It's not that bad but we are also visiting my brother in SC over the holidays, coming home and then probably moving the next day. Talk about cramming everything into a single week.

Anyway, I can't believe we are moving in three weeks and I still have a ton of packing to do.

Tomorrow, the plan is to go the New House after work and put the second coat of paint on the trim in the second floor bathroom and apply the first coat of paint in the closet of that same bathroom. I am hoping to finish all the trim tomorrow night. Then it's on to the wall paint. I can't wait. After this is finished I can actually start moving stuff into that bathroom and feel like the move is somewhat complete - at least until the construction on the first floor is finished and makes its way to the second floor - probably around next summer sometime. Ugh...I can't keep it straight.

Then we came home and I made Korean dumplings - Mandoo - for dinner. I made fried mandoo and mandoo soup. Elizabeth the Niece and upstairs-tenant-neighbor came down for dinner. We had a great time. They all just left. Phew.

I feel like I managed to squeeze out a lot of extra time from today's hours. And now I have tomorrow looking at me in the face. And so much to do...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Camping in... Brookline...??

So. Last year or several months ago, I ended up giving Joseph a tent, camping equipment and IOU for a camping trip.

So. Do you think that there is even a remote possibility that two people who are on the go go go all the time, will stop to look back and remember that the past dictates a camping trip in the future? Uh. Right. And if you consider that one of those people (eg, me) has short memory and that one of those people (eg., me) hates looking back and is all about looking forward and that one of those people (eg., me) is a procrastinator... yeah. Right. Thank goodness Joseph has a long memory, never forgets a blasted thing, and is always thinking about how to squeeze more and more crap... uh... activities... into our already full, crammed-full, over-the-top-chock-full lives... He's gonna kill met yet. I just know it...

Last weekend, Joseph had told me to pack a bag for Friday night.
Well, that worked well - it got late and later and latest of all and then he decided we would do whatever it was he had in mind the next Friday - that was last night.

I packed a bag, we went over to the New House, Joseph pitched a tent in what will be our master bedroom, filled up the aero bed, and we camped. At the New House. In Brookline. GAH! Where is my camera when I need it??? ARG!

For dinner, we went out to Yasu - Korean BBQ place around the corner which we drove to...

I love this version of camping. Of course, it was so cold that I slept in sweat pants, a long sleeve t-shirt with a fleece sweatshirt, and a pair of warm socks that my sister gave me a few years back. Just like camping. At one point, I woke up to voices outside our window. Just like camping.

The only thing not to love was the areo bed. Can I tell you just how awesome the tempur-pedic bed is? I never realize how awesome it is for my unless I am in a different bed - the aero bed being way down on the list of comfy options. I might have to consider getting a tempur-pedic areo bed cover.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sore throat

If I ever find out who gave me this sore throat, I am going to be going to jail for homicide.

I have a headache and this morning, the sore throat came upon me and now it's spreading from a single tiny spot to a broad generalness.

Now... if it turns into a sinus infection, I know what to do about that.

If it's the flu or the cold, I am going to poke my eyes out!

Exercise Note. 4.7 miles this morning. Thank goodness I ran this morning. If this sore throat thing turns into a cold or flu, I won't be running for a while. Jeez...

Bad mood - Good mood

Nothing puts me in a worse mood than when I have to drive to the RI office.
Getting there isn't a real problem - about 55 to 65 minutes.
But getting home is a real bitch - usually 1 hour 20 minutes on a good day.
And you have to leave before 3:30 or you get stuck in traffic so bad that it takes anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get home. This is because the genius of highway transportation decided that the RI to Boston Corridor of I-95 should be successively fed by major highways - such as 128 south, Rt 24, then you have the Rt 3 south split, but Rt 3 North feeds into an already clogged I-95. From that point on, the traffic doesn't let up for the remaining 7 mile stretch into Boston. GAH!

If you leave before 3:30pm, WHY BOTHER GOING INTO THE OFFICE?

Anyway... yesterday, I had a bunchameetings with people who were at the office and of course, I was busy spreading good cheer with the bonuses, so even the commute couldn't get me down. Besides, it's the Company Holiday Party at the RI office, which I was invited to. As a manager with staff in a number of places, I can decide which party to attend and this year, as in last year, it was the RI party. Had a good time - lots of food, lots of wine - too many people, etc etc etc...

Next year, I think I will forgo the parties... after 14 years, it's the same ole same ole...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sleepy-herbal remedy did not work for hives...

I woke myself up scratching last night.

Looks like I have to go back to the atarax.

So sad.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's Bonus Time....

...for me....

I got my bonus this morning from my boss.
He sent me an email.
10am or 2pm? Your choice.
Hmmm... let me think... uh... 10am?
Why put off getting told how much bonus you're getting when you don't have to?
Oh, never mind that I had to reschedule a meeting, and move another one, and generally redo my entire calendar for the rest of the week...
Just kidding.

I am one happy camper.
I got a goodly sum and an excellent rating and other super secret stuff.

Thank goodness I have a good bonus - I need it for the New House.

I was told my strengths were:
  1. people management ("hands down the best people manager out there...")
  2. delivery ("there are no words to describe how good you and your team are in this space")
Areas of developement:
"gotta keep your emotions in check"

Ugh. I only do that with YOU! When you don't lisssssten!!! :o) It's called passion! Jeeeezzz...
Okay. I can live with that if you had to dig that deep to find something for me to develop. Sounds good to me!

I love Bonus Time.
Joseph loves Bonus Time, too!

Happy happy happy!!!

Oh. I've been told I've got too many direct reports in light of the new IT Transformation that is happening in my division two levels above. Dang. I just reorged two months ago. Now I have to reorg the group again. And I need to get to 3 local direct reports and everyone else who is currently reporting to me will report through those three people. Hmmm... if I get to 4 direct reports, I wonder if they will notice. Dang dang dang...

Fungal-Hives-Thingie... slowly going away...

I love my doctor.
I am doing exactly what she told me to do and it's slowly going away.
But not before it has spread to a small portion of my backside.
For some reason, not scratching that portion of my backside has been a challenge, especially in public.

It will take another few weeks for this to even subside, I think....

I sooooo did not feel like getting up today...

Okay. I confess.
I only ran .75 miles this morning.
Point. Seven. Five.
Not even one mile.
Did. Not. Feel. Like. It.

So shoot me.

That atarax pill I take at night for my itching and hives thing is really killing me.
Afer 8 or 9 hours of sleep, my eyes just do not want to open.
It's a weird feeling.
My body feels fine.
My brain is awake.
And I feel like I should be able to jump out of bed.
My face feels swollen.
My eyes can't open.
And I can't seem to sit up.


I ended up getting on the treadmill with plenty of time to run.
But, my lazy butt would only get up to a walking speed and it revolted at .75 miles.


Tonight I will try and take the other sleepy herbs I usually take and see what happens.
I should be okay.
I mean... what are the chances that I will be itching myself in my sleep?
The fungal-hives-thingie is getting better...
I looks like it's getting better...
I think it's getting better...

Oh... today is Incircle at Neiman Marcus, which means a trip to get some goodies for my skincare regimen after work today...

I love skincare...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Random Thought...

I gotta publish these things on time instead of saving them all up.

Playing Santa

I love this time of year.
If it's December, it's BONUS TIME.
Every six months at my company, we have a review.
In July, we get our merit review - and we all get a raise of some sort...unless you're a lousy employee. Then you get a warning, a bad rating and no raise.
In December, we get our bonus review - we all get a bonus of some sort. It's based on your base salary, your level, your performance rating, and they calculate a bunchastuff and you end up with a bonus out of it. Unless you are a lousy employee, and you get a warning, a bad rating and no bonus.

(If you keep up being a bad employee, they end up working you out of the company. Of course, you usually know you are a bad employee beforehand and it should come as no surprise at review time.)

Anyway, I went to the NH office today and gave out bonus numbers. Made people very happy, which makes me very happy.

Hmmm... I wonder when I will be getting mine.

Tonight, we went to Masa for dinner. It's their anniversary dinner night. You get a three course meal for $27. Cannot beat that price. And the portions are a little smaller, which means they are perfect single servings for a single human of a reasonable size. We both ended up with the chicken entree, which is unusual because I never order chicken. Something about working three summers during college in a chicken packing plant, that's a story for another day... Anyway, I would have gotten the tenderloin but it came with a bed of goat cheese mashed potatoes. I hate goat cheese. It tastes so... hmm... goaty... The chicken was very good.

Exercise Note. Arm workout. Which is pretty lame. But it's something. I am thinking I really have to start going to the gym for a real workout. Too bad it's really cold out. Stoopid Weather Liars. ARG!!! Of course, it's all their fault.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Getting colder

That's what the weather liars are saying.
It's gonna get C-O-L-D.
Really cold.
Like freeze your skin cells off in 20 seconds cold.
It's gonna be that cold.
And they might be telling the truth this time.

Just when you want them to be wrong, they come out and finally tell the truth.

Exercise Note. 4.25 miles this morning. Gotta figure out this weight-exercise thing. I need to see if I can get on The Biggest Loser or something. Think think think...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another busy weekend

I often wonder what it's like to be able to just sit and do nothing.
And I am not talking about for a weekend or a day... I am talking about just for an hour...
Ok. Half hour.
Uh... 15 minutes?
Yah. I know.


This was another full weekend...

Yesterday, we worked at the house. Again.
Then we went home and showered, and then met Joseph's sister and brother in law for dinner at The Fireplace, which is about a mile up from the New House. They have an excellent scotch list, btw. We think we will go there often! The ambiance was nice and the amazing thing is that the food is excellent and ya know... it's not as expensive as a comparable meal in Boston. Go figure.

This morning, Joseph met the Deads for a run. I drove him up to the Newton Town Hall where Bruce and Neil were waiting. They were going to run 12-15 miles and I had about an hour and forty-five minutes to do my weekly grocery shopping. that might seem like a lot but it's NOT. Believe me.

After the run, we ended up at Buff's where Doug (another Dead runner) was saving a table for us. Wings and Beer. Nothing like it. Especially after a run. But it's also good after a rushed and hective grocery shopping trip!

Exercise Note. Nothing. I was busy expending calories while working on the New House. Can I tell you how old that is getting? Yeah. Already.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday Morning Sundries

I am thinking that today, I am taking a rest day. My body is a little tight and I haven't stretched much (at all) this week. So I will do that and see how I feel. I need to get in another arms workout today; otherwise, I will have only done arms once this week instead of twice. It's going to be a busy day so I have to think about scheduling this in.

We are going to the New House to paint some more so that will be a workout in itself. Last night, we had so much to do so I ended up NOT having to pack a bag - we will do this next week perhaps. Too bad, because despite all my whining and worrying, I was sort of looking forward to it.

My possible-fungal-rash thing seems to be doing better after a good night's sleep. Joseph mentioned this morning that the Atarax knocked me out and allowed me to get a good solid 9 hours of non-scratching sleep. This morning, I took my Zyrtec and slathered on my stronger-steroid-cream-mixed-with-anti-fungal-cream combination. I have to get an anti-itch topical spray though. And of course I haven't showered this morning - the whole "don't use soap" thing has me weirded out...

This morning I had my usual other breakfast which is miso soup with rice and kimchee (of some type - there are over 300 varieties of this). I noticed that Trader Joe's miso soup is a bit sweeter and not as good as the Asian store instant variety. So much for that experiment.

Lots to do Lots to do Lots to do...

Joseph is out running.
I have to think of a good Christmas present - many something that comes in a small package since his birthday present came in a large one..
Think think think...

Speaking of Christmas, we are going to South Carolina to visit my brother and his family over the holidays. This means we have to buy presents and schlep it all with us. Dang. I hate schlepping stuff like that around...

Friday, December 01, 2006

If it's Friday...'s Brain Dump Time...

For Joseph's birthday, I got him a set of Ksyrium SCC SL wheels...and a pair of Michelin Pro Race tires...
He had a bit of semantical difficulty when he told people got a set of Ksyrium tires.
Of course I immediately corrected him and said they are wheels...
He is not the technical bikie gearhead toy lover that I am and as a beginner triathlete, he's still learning. And he is so CUTE that it doesn't really matter...
I was on the fence about the wheels - been thinking about it for a month - and then I talked to EEBEE, a friend in Illinois, who recommended them. Of course, that clinched it. I didn't know about the tires and EEBEE recommended these, also, so of course, I got them put on the wheels.

For dinner I took him to Bin 26 Enoteca on Charles Street.
It's a wine place that dubs itself similar to a tapas place, but only Italian.
Small plates in Italian is Piattini so I don't know where Enoteca comes in but whatever...
The portions were bigger than tapas and smaller than the usual whoppingly large portions you get at restaurants these days. In fact, they were the perfect individual portion sizes. The wine selection is good, and they have a wonderful book that educates the diner with a complete consolidated list at the back. They also have an extensive list of wine-by-the-glass.

Rash Note.
I went to the doctor today for my rashes. First of all, they are not hives. They are too big for hives. She thinks that it has indications for some type of fungal thing. FUNGAL?? ME? ARG!!!! As clean and germphobic as I am? WHERE in the WORLD did I pick up a FUNGAL THING???

But she did say she wasn't sure. She had never seen anything like it. She said that it could also be eczema. ECZEMA?? I thought they occurred in kids with asthma? She said that it can also occur in people who have a history of hives. Ah. Hmmm... I've had hives for over 20 years. I take antihistamine every single day or I can't control it. So today, I walked out of there with a prescription for a strong steroid, atarax (which will knock me out for days at a time), zyrtec for the daytime (if I can wake myself from the atarax-imposed sleep-stupor), and a list of OTC prescription meds for the possible-fungal-thing that I have. I am a walking pharmacopoeia!!!

Oh. And I am not supposed to use soap on anything that has this outbreak.
Uh.... but it's everywhere.
"I know. Don't get soap on it."
Uh... but it's on my neck, my arms, my legs... uh... don't get soap on it?
"Yes. Don't introduce any chemicals until this thing clears up."
Uh... how do I shower?
"Hmmm... that's a dilemma..."
Do you KNOW how CLEAN I AM?
"Are you one of those who lathers up real well and scrubs real hard?"
OF COURSE I AM! How do you think I get all the dead skin cells off my person on a daily basis? GAH!"
"Oh... hmmm.... use soap but don't get it on the spots."
ARG! They're everywhere. HOW will I do that??"
"Yes, well... don't use soap." Sigh...
"If you do, use something like BASIS - something mild, and avoid those areas."
Blink blink blink... BASIS? Ugh.
"Don't use soap."

So tonight, I will go to the pharmacy and get my myriad of potions and lotions.

Work Update.
Anyway, I was going to be working from home today.
But I had meetings right after the doctor's appointment and it was faster for me to go to the office than go back home. And besides, my boss had said he wanted to talk to me about some reorgnization stuff. I saw him when I first got in and he said he'd catch me later. So here I sit, much later, and he has walked by my office at least three times, and do you THINK he has stopped to updated me on any of it??? Right. Nothing.

And one of my people were finally promoted and we were told that we could communicate this to the staff. So I had a meeting with her and told her she got promoted. Then yesterday, I sent out an announcement to the organization and other relevant parties about the promotion. What happens? My boss sends me a note telling me that I should have waited because he has 6 promotions in his organization and he would like to do it all together. Uh...why is it that YOU have to do the announcement? Uh... like the one in July? The one you NEVER announced?
Oh... and like the organizational changes that you delayed announcing for two months causing all sorts of confusion and havoc? Right. Whatevah...


Exercise Note.
3.8 miles this morning.
The HRM is acting up - the watch isn't picking up the HR signal but the treadmill is.
I wonder if the body glide I used to cover my chafing under the HRM is causing issues.
Tomorrow, I'll try it without the body glide and see what happens.

And Joseph told me to pack a small overnight bag tonight.