Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday! I hope it is a very relaxing and fun holiday with your friends and family. I am also hopeful that where ever you are the weather has been more cooperative then it has here. I'm very very sick of snow and it's only the third day of Winter! So Be Jolly Everyone!



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas?

I like my job but there are things I really don't like about my job. For one, the whole month of December! Every day gets a little more busier and a little more stressful. It is almost like you can feel people on the verge of freaking out. With every passing day, people are getting less and nice and more and more impatient and in some cases down right rude. I'm sorry We don't have that book you wanted, maybe you should have started your shopping months ago. It's not like Christmas happens every December 25th, oh wait it does. And if dealing with people isn't bad enough, it's listening to Christmas music all the time. I used to love Christmas music but after listening it too all weekend long. Almost 32 hours of it! I'm just so sick of it but it doesn't matter how many times I hear the Christmas Song or Frosty the Snowman, I can't stop singing along to it. Making it even more annoying! This year has even been more challenging then usual because of the ice storms we have already had this year. It's been kind of unusual that we have had two major ice storms this early. We are still trying to make up from first Ice storm that happen while I was in Portland and last week we had freezing rain. (I didn't mind that one so much because it made the mall close early so I got paid for a full shift even though I only worked for 3 hours!) Because of these storms, we had to cut hours so we have been understaffed for all of the holiday season and that sucks. How are we supposed to give the good customer service when we are constantly running back and forth. I can't even get my v-carts shelved in a timely manner because I'm so busy cashiering or helping customers to do so. I can only imagine the sales we lost because a.) people couldn't find the book they were looking for because it was in a box we hadn't received yet or a cart that hasn't been shelved yet or b.) people who didn't want to wait in line because I was the only at info for the last 8 hours we were open or there was only 2 people at the registers. It's just really frustrating and there really isn't anything we can do. It's not like we can control the weather or anything and speaking of which. I guess we are expected to get another round of rain and snow mix this weekend. ho ho ho. Ick. I really do like my job but not right now.

And now for something happier, if you haven't read about my weekend in Portland. Click Here!

Monday, December 03, 2007


I'm back from Portland and it was awesome! And I brought back Katharine too. Now, I told my friend Fiona, I would do a Fiona-like report about the tennis. I don't think I can I do that because a) I'm not as funny and b) I don't remember everything. I should have taken notes but I will do my best. Be prepared. This is a going to be a very long post. You have been warned. First a few thoughts.

1. Portland is a really great city. Mom, Dad and I have never been there before and really didn't know what to expect. Yes, it pretty much rained the whole time we were there but it's the Pacific NW so that is too be expected. The people were very nice and answered all of questions. Our hotel wasn't very glamorous but it was a five minute walk from the arena and right on the light rail line and we were in the free zone so we could go downtown and back without any trouble. Definitely a city to put on your list.

2. Whose ever bright idea was to give out kazoo noisemakers needs to be shot. I mean seriously. I have given up on the thundersticks, as they have become a part of Davis Cup but if I have another kazoo blow in my ear I'm going to stick it down their throats! And I'm taking about the adults!

3. If you haven't been to a Davis Cup Tie then you are not a sports fan! It is the most unique sports experience in the world. To hear over 12,000 people chanting USA over and over gave me chills.

4. Does anyone know if Yevgeny Kafelnikov does commentary for Russian TV because I was sure I saw him.

5. I am an idiot. Not only did I forget to charge my camera battery before I left but I forgot to take my charger with me! So I didn't take as many pictures as I had hoped because I wanted to make sure my camera lasted the entire weekend but dad took lots of pictures too. So, it wasn't a total lost.

So, now on to the report. Our journey began last Wednesday after I got off work, Mom, Dad and I drove to Chicago. Yes, there are airports in Iowa but we had made arrangements for Katharine to come home and it's cheaper and easier for her to fly into Chicago then Cedar Rapids so we got to Chicago around midnight. Mom and Dad parked our car in the hotel's park and fly ramp and we went to bed. We didn't get much sleep because our plane left at 6:30am, so we had to get around 4 in the morning to catch the shuttle and check in. We all tried to sleep on the plane but they played Transformers. I really love that movie as cheesy as it is. So, when we got to Salt Lake City I was pretty beat. I did eventually fall asleep and missed the big showdown between Optimus Prime and Megatron but don't worry I own it so I can see it again. On our flight from SLC to Portland, we were honored with the presence of two different cross country high school teams who were going to Portland to compete in some Nike thing and unfortunately two girls from a school in Utah were behind us. I weep for our future. All I can say is thank god for headphones because they made my head hurt listening to them.
We arrived in Portland around 1 pm. We got our bags and then went to the information booth were the very nice lady explained to us about Portland's fabulous mass transportation system. For $2.05, you can go from the Airport to downtown and once we got downtown and stay in the free zone rides were free! This was good news because we didn't rent a car and now we didn't have to because our hotel was right on the rail line and were like a five minute walk from the Memorial Coliseum. Mom and spent hours trying to find a hotel in the same neighborhood as the arena and all the indecision and going back and forth with maps, we ended up with only hotel left that had rooms available for all three nights. The Inn at the Convention Center wasn't the most glamorous hotel in the world but it was perfect for us. It was a very popular area to be in, not just because of Davis Cup but on Saturday night at the Rose Garden Arena, Van Halen was playing. If only we had known, we could have seen the US win the Davis Cup and Van Halen in the same weekend! Anyway, back to Thursday, after we checked into our hotel, re beautified ourselves we set off to find the arena. We were pleasantly surprised that we did such a great job of finding our hotel. Then Mom and I did what we did best. Shopping. Not far away was the Lloyd Center. We dropped dad off at a bar so he could watch the Celtics place the woeful Knicks and we walked around. Now, by this time we had been up since 2 am pacific time and even though we all did get some sleep on the plane we were definitely tired so we didn't shop that long. We eventually joined dad at Sanford's restaurant's bar and had dinner. We got there in the middle of happy hour so we all had a couple of drinks or in the case of Mom, 1 glass of wine and had burgers to eat. We then walked back to our hotel and called it a night. Dad and I stayed up and watched TV and then turned in around 11pm.

Friday morning Dad got up early to exercises, Mom got us breakfast and I slept in. Typical We left for the day of competition around 11am. We got our t-shirts and walked around. I have to hand it to the USTA. They know how to put on the show. They had bands, jugglers and people walking around stilts. The atmosphere was a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The one thing I love about the crowd at a Davis Cup tie is that they seem to be more knowledgeable tennis fans then those who go to regular tennis tournaments. I really got the feeling that everyone there knew how big this was and how important it was to American Tennis. I'm sure there were a couple of casual fans who just wanted to see what it was all about but for the most part we were all there to see history. I don't know how to truly explain it because it is one of those things that you have to be there to truly understand it. We ate our hot dogs and popcorn and waited for the matches to begin. Before the matches started we were entertained by various performances from local Portlanders. Then was the opening ceremonies where the introduced the players, sang the national anthems. On Friday, there was a little boy who sang our national anthem. He was like 11 years old and his dad is serving and Iraq and well, mom and I just lost it. Andy Roddick played first against Dmitry Tursunov, who my mom now has a big crush on. It was a pretty routine match for Andy and a great start for the weekend. Then James Blake had a very exciting match against Mikhail Youzhny. I love James but he hasn't exactly been stellar this year in Davis Cup so when he lost the 3rd set we were all a little nervous but James pulled it off. It was exactly the start that we were hoping for, to be 2-0 after the first day. I wished I remembered more details of the matches but really is all a blur.

After the matches, we headed downtown for dinner. We had to do a little bit searching for a restaurant that we could all agree on. We found this Italian place called Pastini, I think, and it was fabulous! Portland is revitalizing their downtown and what I have seen they have done a great job. In Pioneer Courthouse Square was the annual Holiday Ale festival and there were people around the block to get in. We decided to pass but it would have been great to have gone in. After we ate, we headed back to the hotel and prepared for the doubles match.

Saturday morning, we all got up around the same time at Friday, made our way to the arena, had lunch and then got ready for the doubles match. The atmosphere was electric! With a win today, we would win the Tie and the Davis Cup for the first time in 12 years! Mike and Bob Bryan had a 12-1 record in Davis Cup going into the match, so things were looking good for us but it's Davis Cup and anything can happen. The Russians played Igor Andreev and Nickolay Davydenko, both singles players and you can tell that they were at times out matched by the Bryans. I have seen Davydenko played doubles before once in Cincinnati and I'm pretty sure he lost there too. Everyone was on the edge of their seats the entire match, especially the first set. The Bryans were a little tight if you ask me but who could blame them. This is the match they have been waiting for their entire lives! After they won the first set in a tiebreak, they settled down and won the next two sets pretty easily. It's amazing how the crowd can go from being on their feet cheering one minute and as soon as the player steps up the service line to serve, the crowd quiets down so you can hear a pin drop. After match point, the entire USA team bench ran onto the court and started jumping all over each other. It was amazing to see Andy, James, Mike and Bob hug each other but also Mardy Fish and Robby Ginepri, who have been members of the team in the past but this week were practice partners, join in as well. Then they took turns running around the court with the flag and drench each other with Champagne. I can not even describe what it was like to be there when it happen. I really need a bigger vocabulary.

We were still on our Davis Cup high when we went to Powell's bookstore. Powell's is this huge independent bookstore in Portland's Pearl district. Now, since both mom and I work at a bookstore we didn't plan on buying anything unless we knew it was something that we wouldn't be able to get here. All weekend long it rained and on Saturday it was pretty bad. We were soaked so the first order of business was to get something hot to warm us up and in the grand traditions of bookstores, there was a cafe. We got our drinks and then explored the store. I know we didn't even get halfway through the store when we decided to move on. We got on the Streetcar to downtown and walked around Nordstroms, one of our favorite stores and then had dinner. After dinner, we wanted to check out the Christmas decorations in Macy's. Well, as it turns out Macy's bought out whatever department store in Portland and downsized the Christmas display to the dismay of everyone in Portland. I guess Macy's went on a spending spree this year because they also bought out Neiman Marcus and pissed off a lot of people in Chicago but I digress. We explored downtown some more but decided that we were tired of walking around in the wet rain and went back to our hotel.

In Davis Cup, they have this weird thing of playing dead rubbers or matches that do not count because after the Bryans win on Saturday the US had only won but I guess they have to play them because the tickets have already been sold and well, they don't want to give that money back. Bob Bryan played the first match against Igor Andreev. Bob doesn't play singles all that often and it showed during the match but he put in a good effort. After the match, they interviewed Igor and he was very funny. Lief Shiras (I think) asked him what the Russian team did last night and Igor said "We had a couple of shots!" It was really cute. Then James played Tursunov. I think James partied a little too hard because he started off a bit slow. I'm being nice, he started off really slow but he broke the first game of the second set and the crowd finally got into it. We gave him, what felt like a five minute standing ovation, and he just stood there and smiled. It was the turning point in the match and after that the tennis just got better. Even though the match didn't effect the result of the tie, we could tell that both guys wanted to win and it was a great match. Then came the trophy presentation, finally! It was pretty emotional seeing them get their trophies and poise with the cup. As a team they have worked so hard for this moment. I remember my first tie that I went to five years ago in Paris. At the time it was only Andy and James on the team. It has been truly amazing to see them grow as a team and in an individual sport like tennis, it is incredible the bond the boys have. They truly are a team.

After the tie was over, we eat dinner at a local burger joint and then headed to the airport. Like Saturday, it had been raining all day and the winds had picked up so our flight to Houston was delayed so we didn't actually leave Portland after midnight. At the gate, I noticed Mr and Mrs Roddick was waiting for our flight too. I was hoping that my dad wouldn't see them because as much as I love him he has the tendency to embarrass me and really, I looked awful from walking around in the rain. Yes, I'm vain. So we get on the plane, mom and I are sitting together and dad is in the row in front of us and who does she sit next too. Yes, the Roddick's. Figures. I guess I should not of worried because Dad was very well behaved. He introduced himself again, we had met them before and they remembered him and me, which was nice. They are truly nice people. Very nice and approachable people. There were other people who went to the tie on the plane too so we all had a group discussion about the weekend. It was fun going over all the matches and hearing what they had to say since they actually know the players and their families. To say, they were proud parents would be understatement. I was very glad to meet them again because for two people who have raised a superstar, they are very down to earth. Our flight was an overnight flight, as you probably guessed. It's never easy to sleep on planes but I actually got some sleep and even more sleep on the flight from Houston to Chicago.

Our flight into Chicago got in a little but after 10 am and Katharine's flight was supposed to come in two hours later. So we had enough time to get our luggage, go back to our original hotel and pick up our car. Thankfully, it wasn't covered in Ice because we had heard that while we were in Portland the Midwest, especially our portion of Iowa, was slammed with a major winter storm. For those who are not familiar with a winter storm, that is a mixture of rain, snow, sleet and ice. It must not have been as bad in Chicago then it was in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City because they was very little snow left on the ground and our car was fine. We loaded our suitcases, went back to O'hare but this time the International wing. Checked the boards to see the news on Kat's flight. It was going to be a little bit late and then we headed upstairs for lunch. We sat in the food court for about an half and hour before heading back down to arrivals and lucky for us and Kat, who flight landed earlier then expected because less then 20 minutes later she was arrived! How I missed her. We took her bags and her, put her in the car and home we drove. Kat had a layover in Dublin and the Dublin airport had a power outage so basically, they still had radar up to help land planes but nothing was going out. She didn't even have to go through customs really because they had not computers. Lucky for her she arrived at the tail end of the blackout because her flight was only late about 20 minutes. Thank God! On the way home, we all chatted about this and that. Kat told us about her Thanksgiving and what she and her friends had been up to in the last several days. We had dinner at Pancheros and now she has gone to bed and I am about to head out again and meet friends for a drink.

So that was my weekend. I wish I could have been more eloquent but like I said, there are somethings you just have to be there to truly appreciate. It was an experience I will never forget. Go to Portland, if you haven't been there before and if you want to see our team play Davis Cup, first round is in early February in Vienna against the Austrians! Or you could just watch it on TV! Thanks for reading my report. I will try to have pictures up later this week.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So, I am almost finished packing. Really all I need to pack now is my make-up and other toiltries, which I still need to use this morning, hence why they are not packed. I have to take my garbage out and clean my dishes and then I will be all set to go. I hope work goes fast today but it will probably drag on. You know how it goes.

So, I won't be posting for the next two days because I'm not taking my laptop with me to Portland. I am proud of myself that I was able to keep with this all month long. Only missing like 2 days! That's amazing for me. Now that I have gotten into the habit of blogging again, I hope that I can keep it up. I can promise you it won't be every day like I tried to this month but it will more regular, I promise. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well, since the rumor is already out there.

I really should be packing right now but I sat down and I can't get up. *lol* I am so stoked for this weekend! I really wish I could just skip work and just go straight to Portland. But alas, I do. Speaking of work, I guess the cat is out of the bag (is that how that expression goes?) So, for those of you who don't know. I applied for a Assistant Buyer position at B&N's head office. I wanted to keep it on the download just in case nothing came of it but I was asked about twice this week by people so I guess word has already spread. The reason that I wanted to keep it quiet was when I was planning on moving to Chicago a couple of years ago, I basically told everyone that was what I was planning on doing. People would ask me, "Weren't you going to move to Chicago?" and it really got to me. I was kind of embarrassed that after I told everyone I was going to and that it turns out I didn't. I really didn't want to do that this time. If I don't get this position or end up moving to New York, I didn't want to have to explain to people in a year, why I'm still here but I guess that boat has sailed. At least this time around, I can say, hey, I just didn't get the job and there shouldn't be any shame into that. I'm not really sure I am qualified for it and I am pretty positive they prefer someone already living in New York to someone who will have to relocate. I'm really not trying to get my hopes up. About two weeks ago, I did have an initial interview, I guess. The HR representative wanted to ask me a few questions and give a brief overview of the job. She did say that it was early in the job search and that she will contact me whether they want to do a formal interview or not. I'm sure the fact that I haven't heard anything yet is a good thing. It means I still in the running, right? Again, trying not get my hopes up but wouldn't it be so cool to live in New York! You all will have to come and visit me.

Ok, now back to packing. I mean start packing! Go USA!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oops, I forgot to post something last night. I was going to do it after work but we went out to Old Chicago and when I got home I was just too tired. Yesterday wasn't that busy. I think everyone got all their shopping done on Friday and Saturday and were using yesterday to get ready to go back to work after the long weekend. It's funny. When I wanted it to be busy it wasn't. So, you know, Today will probably be crazy because I don't expect it to be and I have several things I want to get done before this weekend! Yes, this weekend! The most amazing weekend of my life! DAVIS CUP! and KATHARINE! I don't know how Kat feels about coming home but I'm freaking excited! I've really missed her. I have cleaned my apartment in and got out some good dvd's and vhs tapes in anticipation of her staying here. Just one more week!! She did ask me what I wanted for my birthday and really her coming home is the best present I could ask for.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maybe Christmas doesn't come in a store.

I'm sitting on my floor watching The Holiday (LOVE THIS MOVIE!) and trying to get myself psyched to get out my Christmas Tree. I figure if I don't do it now while I still have some holiday spirit in me then I won't do it. And that is what I hate the most about my job. Christmas used to be my favorite holiday of the year and now I just wish it get over with and done. Working in retail has really shown how materialistic the holiday has become. It is no longer about Good Will Towards Your Fellow Man but more of what can I give them to impress them. It's no longer about enjoying your time with your friends and family but worrying and stressing out about spending time with your friends and family. I really do feel like a Grinch but my goal is not to get caught up with other people's drama. Not to get to upset with customers who are rude or coworkers who complain. I want to enjoy the season for all it's worth. So, today I am going to put up my Christmas Tree and my singing penguins and later put on the Muppet's Christmas Carol and get into the Holiday Spirit!

In other news, today is my last day off before what will hopefully be a really great Week! Thursday, Mom, Dad and I are going to Portland for the Davis Cup Finals! USA vs. Russia! It's a tennis thing if you don't know. We are actually leaving Wednesday after work and driving to Chicago and leaving from there. This wasn't the original plan but it works out quite nicely because the Monday we come back, Katharine is meeting us there and we are going home TOGETHER! And then Tuesday, we all go back to work! My birthday is the Thursday after we come back (December 6, for those who want to know) And then that Sunday is my bday party with Jackie, who is also a December birthday! So now that I think about it. I have too many great things to look forward to be buried down in all this holiday no-spirit non sense. It's going to be a great Holiday Season! I can feel it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday!

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday in the retail world because it is the biggest sales day of the year. Or at least it has been in the past. Today is going to be hella busy but I think the biggest sales day of the year now falls on the Saturday before Christmas. You know, the final weekend for all those procrastinators to shop. Yeah. Anyway, Today is Black Friday and I am currently mentally preparing myself to go to work. I still have another 3 hours before I have to report to work and every minute that goes by makes me more anxious. To be perfectly honest it's not as bad as people think it is. Yes, it is busy and crazy and there is a lot of people walking around asking stupid questions but this is only the beginning. I mean it's still early. People will have some of the Thanksgiving glow on them and will be a little bit more patient and nice but as the season goes on, they start to get cranky and well, just plain mean. I rather work today then that last Saturday before Christmas or even Christmas Eve. Nothing says, Good will towards all men then have have a book thrown at you on Christmas Eve. See, what I mean, people get me. But enough about that. I'm sure I will have more rants later in the season so I will save those for later. Today is Black Friday. Our store has been open since 6am. The openers have been there since 4:30am! and will be long gone by the time the closers (me) comes in at 3pm. Now I much rather close on a day like this then open because I think it's better to be incredibly busy when I first get there and it be slow at night then the other way around. To me it just makes the day go faster. Plus, there is always the possibility of going out for beer after! I think I'm supposed to be a line supervisor, which is the worst job in the world because you have to stand at the front of the line, ask the customers if they have a membership card, if they need gift cards and gift receipts and so on and so on. I feel like I am really wasted here. It should be someone new or at least someone who is slow on the registers and info. I should be out there on the floor helping customers. Not only do I work 40 hours a week and know what displays are up and where they and what is on most of them I AM A LEAD! If they don't want me to be at info, then put me on a register. I know I can ring faster then all of the new hires! I think this makes sense. On one of our busiest days of the year, we should be highlighting our best people and not just throw anyone anywhere to fill up space. I know schedules are difficult to make but to me this is just common sense. Oh well, there is nothing I can do about it now but do the best I can in whatever role they give me. And to all of you still planning on going shopping today DON'T! Or at least wait until later tonight when it isn't so crazy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving. I'm sure you all know that but it was a good opening. I guess John, Kat's boyfriend, fiance or roommate (whatever he is for this week) has gone around telling his friends in Wales that Thanksgiving is "Like Christmas but without the presents". Well I guess that is true in some sense right? But Katharine has been trying to set them right but once she gets the the pilgrims and the Indians, the Welsh ask why we, Americans, would have a holiday celebrating the slaughter of the American Indians. And that's not true. That is not what Thanksgiving is about. Yes, if you know our history, we haven't always been fair or gracious to the American Indians and we will have to deal with that and really I wish that the story of the Pilgrims and the Indians was never introduced in the holiday because it has only really distracted from the true meaning of the holiday. Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Thankful for the friends and family in your life and getting together and celebrating those unions and relationships. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the gifts in one life. Most of us are not living the lives that we have hoped but for most of us we have so many other great things going on in lives to be thankful for. Thanksgiving gives us a chance to stop and look around. Most of us are so busy with jobs, family, and friends that we often lose track of what is most important in life. Of course there is irony in having Thanksgiving being the kick-off for the Holiday shopping season and all that good will and thankfulness will go out the window come tomorrow morning but let's leave that for another time.
So in the spirit of the holiday, please indulge me this little tradition of going around the table and telling each other what we are thankful for. I'll go first. :-)
I am thankful for my family. My parents and my sister Katharine. They are my rocks and my strength. They have support me and love me. I truly enjoy spending time with them whether it is going shopping with me, watching boxing or other sports with dad or just hanging out with Katharine laughing and doing something silly. I love them and I am grateful everyday for them. Thank You
I am thankful for my friends. I am blessed to have them in my life. They make going to work worth it. They make every day things seem fun and make me laugh. They are amazing and I love them! Thank You

I am thankful for my job. Yes at times it is frustrating and I am really underpaid but it also allows me to pay my bills and live a comfortable life. I may not have a lot of extra cash at the end of the month but I do not have to worry about if I am going to have enough cash to pay my bills every month. It has also introduce me to some of the most important and amazing people in my life. The friendships that I have developed through my job makes all the cranky customers, corporate bill shit, and annoying coworkers worth it. And for that I am really thankful.
This next one might sound superficial at first but I am thankful for the Internet. It has allowed me to talk to my friends and family faster and easier then before. I mean how else would I in Iowa be able to ask my sister in Katharine to get Jeremiah's address in California if it wasn't for the Internet? It keeps me connected with my friends and my favorites sports, entertainment and news. It is a lot of things but I see only the positives!

I am thankful for being me. I know I don't have a lot but I know I have more then a lot of people in the world. I need to learn to be happy with what I have not to wish for things that are out of my control. I am thankful for all the people in my life. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope today is a nice relaxing day. And remember all the things you have to be thankful tomorrow when you are out doing your Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

It's snowing outside. The first of the season and just in time for Thanksgiving. I'm not a huge fan of snow. Snow means cold and cold means an unhappy Beth. It's also not the best timing either for driving. Driving to our friend Annie's house can be treacherous enough when the weather is nice so I'm really not looking forward to the possibility of driving tomorrow if it's still going to be snowing or possibly icy. She lives basically in the middle of nowhere and the road twists and turns and there is always the possibility of wildlife to come out no where and attack! Ok, may not attack but run out in front of my car. It's even scarier at night when you can't see what's coming your way. So, that's not cool but I'm sure everything will be fine. I just have to drive carefully and hope all the animals are having their Thanksgiving dinners away from the main road.

So, right now I am typing on my new laptop, while I am copying files off of my old laptop so I can put it on this one. How cool is that? It's not going as fast as I like because one laptop is super fast and the other is super slow. But when it's done it will be so worth it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lost in Your Eyes

On my day off today, I decided to get my annual eye exam. Yippee! So, the good news is that my eyesight has not got any worse but there's always a but. Apparently, I have this fluid of puffiness in the back of my retina nerve or something like that. You would think that I would have paid better attention to what exactly it is but alas, I did not. It had a very fancy and long medical sounding name so it's somewhat serious. Dr. E, said that it effects the vision in about 1 in out of 10 patients who have it. So, I really I have a 90% chance that I will never know anything is wrong with my eyes. Other then that, my eyes are completely healthy and my contact prescription hasn't changed from last year so I just had to reordered my contacts and I was done. Oh, and because whatever I have is a medical condition, they had to bill my medical insurance and not my eye so a.) I have wiped out my deductible for this year, so really I should be making appointments to see every doctor I can think of until the rest of the year and b.) I still have all my benefits left in my vision insurance so I can get some really nice glasses! I haven't bought new glasses since high school, I think. I only wear my glasses at home and then really only from my bed to my bathroom in the morning and then from my bathroom to my bed at night but I do think if I had glasses that I liked and were my prescriptions then I would wear them more. Probably not to work or anything but on my days off and stuff like that. I'm pretty excited about it.

In other news, This will be the last post with my old laptop. After my eye exam, I bought a new laptop! Right now, the good people at Best Buy's Geek Squad is cleaning it up, installing anti-virus and taking off all the promotion crap that I don't need or want. I only have another 2 more hours before I can pick it up! Woohoo!

Monday, November 19, 2007


I have problem remembering to tape Heroes on Monday night. I usually work Mondays so that is what makes it difficult. I remembered 2 weeks ago, I forgot last week but I just programmed my vcr just now, So go me!! After tonight I will be 3 episodes behind but I figure if the writer's strike goes on forever like predicted, I'll have something to watch in the fall.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why would you do that?

Tonight, as we were closing the mall gate at work, a father yelled out to us "My kids are in there". Jackie replied, "alone? well, kids should not be left unattended in the store" The father responded, "they're 12. Even if they are 12?" Jackie came up with really the best answer because it really wasn't one that he could argue with and doesn't make us the bad guy. "Mall security that kids are never left unattended." It was the right response but what she really wanted to say was, "what? You don't think 12 year's old don't get abducted?" For those of you who don't know, our store is a mall store next to I-80, one of the busiest interstates in the country. We don't have the time or the capabilities to watch every child that comes into the store. We have no idea which child belongs to which parent. WE ARE NOT BABYSITTERS! It would be so easy for someone to lure a child away and get in there car and they would be gone. They could get on I-80, I-380, Hwy 965, 6, or 1 and that's just the major road ways or they could be taken to one of the many houses or apartments in the area. So, it's really troubling when a parent leaves their child in our kids department and then go off into the mall to shop. Why risk it? Why risk losing your child so you can have a hour to shop. and you know that if we are ever unfortunate to have a child kidnapped from our store we are totally going to be sued and most likely we would lose. So, next time we are with your child, niece, nephew or your friend's child, don't leave them in the store thinking that they will be safe because there is no one there watching them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So much for posting every day. Oh well, I did a lot better then I thought I would do. The reason why I didn't get around to posting something yesterday was I got sick. I knew I was coming down with something and as much as I tried to deny it, I still got sick. It really sucked because mom and I went to the Mall of America and I have been looking for it for like a month! On Thursday, when we got there, I was freezing! I think mom wanted to turn around right then and go home but I stuck it out. Yesterday morning, my throat killed me but I took some painkillers and I was good to go. I was fine for most of the morning but by the afternoon I was fading fast. I don't know how much actual Christmas shopping we did but we did have fun despite the sickness. I decided to call out sick from work today because I didn't think I would be able to make it through a whole day and as much as I hated given up a whole day of zone time I wouldn't have got that much done the way I felt last night and this morning. It was the right decision. Especially with Thanksgiving coming up and the Holiay season, I need to be at my best. I really needed the day off to sleep and rest. I spent the night at my parents house. Mittens, our cat, slept with me while we were watching movies. I really miss that. I'm still not a 100% but I feel a lot better now then I did this morning and a whole lot better then yesterday! I'm not really looking forward to going to work tomorrow but at least I won't be hacking and coughing all over the place. So, that's good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I wouldn't normally be up this early on my day off but today and tomorrow are going to be busy days. In a little over an hour, I'm going to get my hair cut. Just a trim, you know to clean-up the ends and reshape my layers. It's amazing how fast hair grows. Mom is getting her hair highlighted after me and when she is done we are going Christmas shopping at the Mall of America. We are going to shop today and tomorrow and come home tomorrow night because I have to work on Saturday. We usually do our Christmas shopping at the beginning of November because it's a little less crowded then the week before Thanksgiving but pushed back out trip for someone we love, who ended not coming. That's ok. It's still be a lot of fun.

Yesterday, when I woke up, I had a sore throat and today is still hurts but not to bad. I really don't want to be sick. This is not the time to be sick. So, I have been stock piling on the vitamin C, so hopefully I won't get worse. *crosses fingers*

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Good Cause

Every year, each B&N store picks a local charity to donate to during our Holiday Book Drive. This year, our store is the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. It's an institution that everyone in our community knows it so it is easy to play on people's emotions and say, don't you want to give a book to a sick child who is going to be in the hospital over the holidays? Most of the time it works. Our store goal was 1,200 books but we passed that days ago and we still have like 8 weeks to go. We have, with the help of our customers, donated more books then the last three years combine! It's truly an amazing stat. To think that this year, we are truly going to make a difference in a child's life is really enough to bring a smile to your face. Of course there are a few scrooges out there. I don't have a problem with people who want to only donate in their local store or if they have already given to the UICH through other channels. It's the people who pay for a $20 book with a $100 bill and are not interested in donating a book. Clearly, they have the money because I am going to give them back $80! But what am I supposed to do, call them out on their stinginess? Embarrass them in front of everyone? I guess that would be just wrong as them not donating in the first place. I think what is different about this year then in the past is a.) we have a charity that everyone recognizes and knows exactly what they do and is for a really good cause. In the past, our charity had been something that I had never heard of and I can't even now tell you what they are called. and b.) Rachel, our CRM, has split us into teams and whatever teams wins, everyone on that team gets a dozen cookies and for the leads, Rachel will work in our zone! So far, Tony's and mine team is not doing so good but we have plans. We have a whole strategy to catch up! So, don't you worry we are going to get back into the race! So, where ever you are, go to local B&N and support your local book drive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rant Stupid Cleaning lady!

Our store has the most ridiculous cleaning contract ever. Five days a week, they send a cleaning person in the morning before we open. They take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, mop up the cafe and power aisle and vacuum one zone and two days a week they only take out the trash and clean the bathrooms. We are responsible for vacuuming the other zones and on the those two days that they don't mop, we do. I know this doesn't make sense. Why do we spend the money (and from what I hear, we pay A LOT for) if we have to do most of the work. I appreciate that they clean the bathrooms but I suspect there are some days all they do is empty the trash and change the toilet papers and paper towels. As I mentioned before, I closed last night and I opened this morning. I know the cleaning schedule by heart. I do lot of closing! So, I know that on Monday and Tuesday nights, we vacuum the whole store and mop the cafe and power aisle. Well, the new cleaning lady sucks! Sorry, but it's the truth. Around like 7:30, I hear the vacuum and I'm like what?. This is not the first time that I have seen her vacuum the wrong zone but she wasn't even supposed to vacuum today! I went to the office and told Annie and she was like, hey! I called them already telling them that she is not doing her job, what else can I do. So, I go back out there and to tell the lady that she doesn't have to vacuum today. She said, "Oh, that's right today is Tuesday". She stops and I think everything is OK. Well, then I walk by the cafe and she is mopping! I DID THAT LAST NIGHT! That was when I gave up. I'm not going to complain anymore because it's not going to help but I will say this. It is incredible expensive for our store to pay us to vacuum and mop and then have people come from the outside and the exact same thing the very next morning! If all we had to focus on when we close is recovery, it would take us less then 15 minutes to close the whole store! and I am including on the weekends because on most nights we have all the re shelves done before we close so all we have to do is recover and straighten. The cafe usually takes longer because they have more to do at night and some of their tasks they can't even start until after we have closed but if we are done early in the bookstore we can help the cafe to get done faster. It would save on payroll and maybe mean that we wouldn't have to schedule so tight. I could be wrong about this but I'm sure I'm right!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 12. Can you believe it?

It has been unseasonably warm yesterday and today. I think it's been in like the 50's! It's November people! This is great. Today, when I went to Hy-Vee to get lunch I could have left my Hogwarts jacket at home. It's just so weird that I have yet to get my winter coat out and it's almost halfway through November! Of course, you know this mean we are going to be paying for this later. It's going to be one freaking freezing winter but for now I will enjoy it and give thanks where it's due. :D

Last night was our Holiday meeting as I mentioned. It wasn't as bad as I always expect it too but it was still boring. This year, they had all the leads speak first and then did all the miscellanious things last, which was nice because I think it did move a bit quicker and it also meant we got to skip over things that really were not that important. I had to present a few books my zone and of course, I forgot most of what I wanted to say and now I am kind of kicking myself for not because I had the whole store there! Oh well. I will just have to deal with it. After the meeting we went to Old Chicago for a little store bonding. We had a good turn out but it wasn't as many as last year and for the most part it was the same people that always come out. Annie and Rebekah came out. That was surprised. More Annie then Rebekah. No one really all that new came. Lars, our new head cashier came out but he started in like August so he really isn't all that new. It would have been nice if some of the new new people came out. Maybe I might have liked them more. Old Chicago kicked us out early and some of us were not ready to go home. So went to Jackie's place for the some more bonding and played Apples 2 Apples and I think I got home around 3am. It was just Jackie, Kat, Melissa, Scott, Aaron (he doesn't work at the store anymore but we let him hang out with us anyway) and I. It was just really nice to hang out with just them. They have kind of become the core of the store to me with Rachel, Rebekah and mom. I know when I work with them that they are going to do their job so I can do mine and everything is going to great. I wished I had more peace of mind like that.

In a few minutes, I'm going to have to start to get ready for work. I usually close Mondays so that's not a big deal but tomorrow I have to open. So that means, when I get off at 10:30 tonight, I am going to have to rush home and try to make myself go to sleep so I can get to work at 7am tomorrow. You know how much of a morning person I am not so I am less then pleased with arrangements and I really wished I had noticed this earlier because this is going to suck. Of course I want to complain but I know that at least twice in the last two weeks, Tony who makes the schedules, has closed and then opened the next morning too and he lives in Cedar Rapids! So that's an extra half and hour it takes him to get work and back each way but then again he is manager and I am definitely not!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meeting Tonight

Tonight is our Holiday Meeting at work. Yippee. After six years, I find these meetings to be boring and redundant. It's not like they are going to tell me something that I don't already know but I guess we don't have this meeting for my benefit but for all the new employees and boy do they need it. I shouldn't be so harsh. I was new once and asked a lot of questions but I don't think I was ever this clueless or lacked discplined. It's like some of them just don't even care if they learn anything. They just rather ask over and over again then listen and learn it for themselves but I guess it's better then the employees that think they already know everything and refuse to look anything up or listen to anyone. AAAHHHH!!!! It's just so frustrating because I know if we fail the next shop and it's because someone recently hired missed something important it reflex badly on all of us and that's not fair. I'm a good employee. Enough about this, it's just making me work up. The good thing about the meeting is what happens after. It has become tradition for us to go out after and have a little store bonding. I just hope a few people I don't want to bond with will be too busy to come tonight. Yep, I'm mean.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Why isn't the sun out yet?

I'm not a morning person. I enjoy my sleep. I like getting up around 9-10 in the morning and going to bed around 1am. That's just me. I really don't like getting up before the sun. To me that is just wrong. The sun should wake up first and then me. It's just the natural order of things or at least it should be. The last two days I have had to open at work. That meant I had to be at work at 7am and that meant I had to get up at 5:30am!!! TWO DAYS IN A ROW!! What a nightmare! It isn't that bad once I get to work but it's just horrible getting there. The only benefit is that I get off work at 3:30pm. It's kind of fun being able to leave while people are still coming in for work. Especially today. It's early November, so we have the early Christmas shoppers and it was a home Iowa football game and that always brings in the crowd and on top of those two things, we had a book fair too. It was for a local high school's art club. They had a couple of students singing in our cafe. I don't mean to be mean but they were kinda bad. Props to them for putting them selves out there but damn, can they hear out of tune they are? They sang for like three hours!! I think all of us were pretty much sick of it like after 30 minutes! Well I hope that the money we raise for them goes to the music department too. Oh, was that snarky? Anyway, we were talking about how I am not a morning person. The first thing I thought this morning when my alarm went off for the first time was how I couldn't wait for work to be over and I can come home and take a nap. *lol* How funny is that? Already planning on taking a nap, while I was still in bed! I'm pretty stoked that tomorrow in Monday, I don't have to set my alarm because I'm going in after 1pm to work!! Yeah Sleep!

Friday, November 09, 2007

What are you reading?

So, the request has it. I am currently reading American Creation by Joseph Ellis. I'm not the far into it but so far it has been very interesting. Ellis is a historian who specializes in the American Revolution and has written a couple of books on our "founding fathers". It's an interesting study on how the Revolution period was the most active and creative political period in our history and why it hasn't been easy to spread US form of Democracy to other places, aka Iraq. I decided to read it because it had been a while since I read a book from a zone, so I thought it would give it a shot. I do like reading about history. Humans are fascinating!

Before that I read His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. Which was excellent. I highly recommend it. I wanted to read it because the trailer for the upcoming movie adaption looked amazing! Now, if you have been reading the news then you may have read about how the Catholic League is planning on boycotting the movie because of it's "anti-religion" message. Pullman is a self confessed Atheist and his book is not very friendly to organized religion but Catholic League misses the point of the book. It's about freedom, faith, friendship and courage. Lyra, who is wonderfully strong female character that is not often found in literature, has all those qualities plus loyalty. She didn't set out to change the world, in fact is more motivated to save her friends and family then anything else. Producers and the director have stated that the film has watered down the religious aspect of the books but the Catholic League just states it's just a clever ruse to indoctrinate kids into atheism because if they like the movie, they are going to want to read the books and bam! They will be atheists! Well here's a suggestion, don't buy your kid the book if you are that worried. Silly people. For all you sane and rational people out there, it is definitely worth the read.

So, what are you reading?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I don't know what to say. I really don't think I have anything to talk about. I mean, for the most part today was normal. Work, was fine. I was mostly working on projects all day so time went by fast and then I came home watched Grey's Anatomy and then talked to Sarah. That's it. Oh, well before I talked to Kat about her so-called friend. Fuck Her! but that's another story. I guess I'm only really posting anything at all is to keep this posting thing up. Eight days and counting. So, yeah, I hope everyone else is doing well and stuff. *lol*

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Kat Returns!

KAT IS COMING HOME!!!! and this time is for real! After several false alarms it's finally official. Kat will be coming state side on Monday, December 3. She will be home just in time for the holidays! and most importantly, my birthday!!! Today, Kat and I hashed out all the details and made her flight reservations. Yippee! That weekend will begin with mom, dad and I in Portland for the Davis Cup Finals, US vs. Russia!!!! Tennis and Kat all in the same week!!!! Can you tell, I'm excited!

In other news, as many of you know, I have been trying to move out of Iowa City for awhile. Well, today was a big step in achieving that goal but since it's still very early in the process, I'm not going to say anything else. I don't want to jinx it. ;-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Happy Four Years of Blogging

After I posted yesterday's blog I looked at my sidebar. I was kind of shocked that I have been blogging for four years. FOUR YEARS!!! It's pretty incredible since I don't post all that often, especially lately. I started this blog so I could document my life. I was pretty ashamed that as a student of history that I would have nothing to leave behind for future generations to study about our time. The best information we have about the past have come from journals left behind and I have never been very good at keeping a journal or a diary. All of my diaries in the past have like 5 month gaps in them. Sound familiar. Somehow, I thought since I'm all my computer every single day that it would be easy for me to keep up a blog. I guess not. I'm still pretty impressed that I have been able to keep this up for six days in a row. So, I am rededicating myself to documenting my life and give more insight into what it's like to be a 24 year-old woman in the 21st century. I don't think that this blog will ever be read by anyone in the future but it still a good idea.

I'll start tomorrow with all the insightful posts. Now, I'm going to a movie because I have a coupon!

Monday, November 05, 2007

My laptop

My current laptop is five years old. I know, that is ancient in computer world. We have had a good run together, my laptop and I but it's really time for a new one because I have this sense that my laptop is on it's last legs. I know that I am almost out of memory and despite my best efforts to relieve this problem nothing seems to help. I keep getting these messages about how I need to run a disk clean-up. Well, every time I do, it starts but then turns my computer off midway. It's like it doesn't have enough memory to run it's own clean-up. Bummer.

In a couple of days, I should have enough money to buy a new one but which one? I know next to nothing about computers, except the basics. A couple of months ago, I asked my friend Aaron to computer shopping with me and let me know what I should get. So that was helpful but then I found out that through work I could get a discount on a Dell computer. So should I go with that or just buy another Sony Vaio (my last 2 laptops have been Sony's and I like them) from Best Buy. Well, Dell I could customize what I want and it would be shipped to me but at Best Buy I could buy it and take it home with me right away. What to do? Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Where would you go?

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? If money wasn't an option and you could go drop everything and just go, where would you go? I was thinking this today while I was at work. I think I would go to Australia. I've always wanted to go. It just seems so excited. The other side of the world and such. Kangaroos, Koalas and the hot accent! Perfect!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


For those of you out that really know me, know I am not a morning person. I am really not a morning person! Today, was my early day at work so that meant I had to be there at 7am. Which meant that I had to get up at 5:30AM!!! That's rough. And it doesn't matter that because of the upcoming holidays, I have been opening more, it doesn't make the mornings any easier. I've basically have given up trying to go to be early because I usually just lay in bed, trying to go to sleep and don't really fall asleep until much later then I would have if I just waited to go to bed at more normal time around 1am. Good news for tomorrow, I get an extra hour of sleep because I don't have to be at work until 8! Oh, wait. Is tonight the night we turn our clocks back? In that case, I get 2 extra hours!!!

Friday, November 02, 2007


I like having Fridays off because it means I can go home and hang out with the parents and mittens. I know that might sound weird but I really do like hanging out with my parents and even though I do work my mom, I rarely get time to spend with her. She's usually about to leave as I am coming in so Friday's off are a good thing for us. Not that we do much. This summer we saw a lot of movies. Today, we went out to lunch at Red Lobster and then just hung out around the house, hoping to catch Kat online. Sadly we didn't.

The holiday season has officially started at work. Yesterday we started to set up our holiday displays, including all the the holiday signage. In one way it's good because my shelves were getting packed with product meant to be displayed but it's all a little depressing because it means people are going to get crazy and the days are going to get long. I hate that working in retail has made me dislike the holiday season. It used to be one of my favorite times of the year but now I can't wait for them to be over. Well, cross my fingers that I won't have to work another holiday season after this year, at least not on the retail side of things.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

National Blogging Month or whatever

So, I said I would join my sister and blog everyday in the month of November. We shall see how long this lasts. I really don't have much to say right now and I'm a little tired. Maybe I'll be in a more chatty mood tomorrow.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Summer Movies

Movies I have seen so far this Summer.

Shrek the Third
Oceans 13 (2x)
Surf's Up (3x)
Knocked Up
Transformers (2x)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Simpson's Movie

I feel like I have seen more then that but I that is it. I have seen a lot of movies. More then usual. There must have been more movies that came out this summer that I was interested in seeing then last summer because I know I didn't see this many last summer or the year before. It seems like every weekend, there is a new movie that Mom and I wanted to see. Yes, my Mom is my movie buddy. I have gone to see all the above movies with her at least once. I think next weekend is the Bourne Ultimatum. I heart Matt Damon. So far, every movie I have seen I have liked. There really hasn't been a bad one in the bunch. Transformers was FANTASTIC!!!! I really need to see it again. HP was really good too. There were a couple of scene's from the book that I wished were in the movie but you can't fit a 800+ book into 2 1/2 hours. The Simpsons was so much better then I thought it would be. The last couple of seasons have suffered because they saved all their good material for movie. Surf's Up may be the cutest movie I have seen in a long time. I mean, what else do you need in a movie besides penguins and surfing. Enough said. Waitress is definitely a must see. They are all worth seeing.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Week From Hell

Ok, so I think I can finally talk about it. I think I am now calm enough to talk about the worst or what felt like the worst week of my life. First, Sunday, after having an absolutely fabulous weekend with my mom at the Mall of America, I was driving to work. I was stopped by a police for not stopping at a stop sign. I will admit that I did kind of roll on through but no one was coming and the mall wasn't even over. The Cop though said I just kept on going as if I didn't even see the sign, not true! Anyway, I was couldn't find my car's registration. I know I had it but I just couldn't find it. Well, it turns out that I did have it but it was a lot bigger then the older ones so I did see it I just didn't think it was it, if that makes sense. Good news, I did find it before I went to the Jo. Co. Treasurer's office to get a new one. Well, that just put me in a really bad mood all day. I tried to cheer myself on Monday by wearing my new dress I bought but it really didn't work and then Tuesday was about the same but then the shit really hit the fan. I mean that literally. I was really tired on Tuesday. I guess, my bad mood really wore me down, so Tuesday I went to bed early. Good thing. Around 11:15 I heard a thud. I got up to check things out. It looked like a pillow exploded all over the place. I turned on the light to find out that part of my ceiling had fallen. It knocked over a fan and a lamp. I didn't know what to do so I called dad, I left a voice mail for my apartment owner and then met a few friends from work for a beer. I needed to calm nerves. Around 7am my phone rings and the caller id says that it's the owner calling, I answer but no one is there. I leave another message thinking it was just a glitch. I try to sleep for another hour because I know that his office isn't open for another hour. I call the office at 8am. I talk to him. He says he will send someone this afternoon. Well, I really think someone is going to get to me before then right, I mean my ceiling has caved in! Around 2, I call back to see what's going on. I get the owner's son, he didn't seem to know what was going on and he would call me back with more details on the maitenance man. Ok, great. 3pm rolls around and I'm thinking it shouldn't take an hour to find out what the maitenance man. So, I call back. I get a girl this time, I explain what's going on, she puts me on hold, asks around, then gets back to me and says, the maitenance man is in a meeting until 7, he'll call after that. What! Well, 10 minutes later the son calls back to tell me that the "mm" is on his way. He comes and is like wow, that's bad. You think? He doesn't know what to do. He thinks maybe there is a leak on the roof that soaked down into the insulation to make it wet and heavy to make the roof fall but we couldn't see any wet spot but the ceiling is definitely damp but here's the thing. He didn't bring a ladder. If your told to looke at someone's ceiling, you would bring a roof. He calls the son, the son brings the ladder, they go on the roof and I go have a beer with my neighbor Helen. Well, there was a leak on the roof and they get that fixed but the bad news is that there is nothing they can do about my ceiling that night so I still had ceiling shit all over my apartment. Great. I had to be at work at 7 the next morning, so I was told that someone was going to be in my apartment to work on it but I wasn't really all that confident that would happen after Wednesday's fiasco. I fully expected to come back from work to find nothing had been done. Well, good news, there was someone working on my ceiling and he was almost done. He finishes and then tells me, he would call the owner to get someone to clean it up. What! He's not going to do it! He leaves and I'm shell shocked. I no longer have a whole in my ceiling but my apartment is worse then before. There is more insulation on my floor and it was all over the place. At least before it was some what confined to half of my living room. I was really confused. I just assumed that the contractor would clean things up after he was done dry walling, so I called the office again and got the son again. He didn't know for sure when the person was going to come, he was going to call his dad and call back. He did, this time it only took him about 10 minutes to get back to me. I wish he had waited. Basically I got scolded by his dad. The cliff notes version is that I should stop calling because it's not going to make anything go faster, he's stress enough as it is but is trying the best he can and that he is sorry this happened. What! Excuse Me! Can you believe it? Fuck Him! He's stressed out! He doesn't have to leave with. I only wanted to know what was going on. I think I have the right to know what was going on since it was my belongings that were covered in shit from his leaky roof!! Is that so wrong? How dare he yell at me! I called my mom, in tears, I was really upset. I couldn't believe it. After the week I have had, I really didn't need that. Mom, was finishing up her laundry and then take me out to dinner to calm me down. She got there the same time, the clean up man came. The first thing he says when he sees the mess is "Holy Shit!" I'm like, yeah! No kidding! What do these people think I have been complaining about? Dinner was great and by the time we got back my apartment was clean and back to normal. So, that's it. That is my week. Today, fortunately, it got better. Mom and I saw Ratotouille! It was wonderful go see it! Then we grilled brats and I played with mittens. Definitely a better day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

1st(?) Annual Easter Dinner

I'm sure you are all wondering how my dinner went. Well, I am happy to report it was a success. I had a couple of speed bumps but all in all I made a yummy dinner and all of my guests went home full and happy. Let me tell you about my day.

I woke up around 10am. I went to Hy-vee to get all the food. Mom had suggested that I get a Hormel roast because they were a) on special and b) have directions on how to cook it. Well, our Hy-Vee only had pork roasts and I really wanted beef. It turns out that the great people of Hy-Vee's meat department put directions on the back of their meat as well so that was perfect. I got a 2.09 lbs. round roast. I walked my food back to my apartment and put everything away and then headed out to Target. I needed to by more chairs. I downgraded on the chair department when I moved to my new apartment. I only had 2 chairs, 3 if you count the recliner. You all know I prefer to sit on the floor when I'm home. Anyway, so I drive over to Target but I forgot they were closed! Target Was Closed on EASTER but B&N was open. I drove over to the store to tell this mom and pick up the book I ordered. It was a good thing I did because I got to talk to Amy and Melissa and confirm our plans for tonight. Ok, so now that Target was closed, I had to do something I really didn't want to do. I went to Wal-Mart. sigh. I bought my chairs and left got out of there.

After all of this it was almost 1pm. I did a quick check of the emails and had lunch before I started the clean up of the apartment. I started with the bathroom because it was the smallest room in my place. I wiped down all the counters, scrubbed, swept and then mopped. It now sparkles! I then moved to the kitchen and did the same thing but before I could mop the floor I had to pick up the floor. I had a few things still in boxes that I haven't unpacked yet. I decided that maybe this was a good time to do that. It turns out there was a lot of things I could have thrown out months ago. So I did but it begs the question, why did I move all this stuff with me? I then went ahead and picked up my living room. Throwing away random things, junk mail and all receipts and what not. (Kat I did find Rebekah's present after all. It was in a bag and in a bag in a bag.) By this time, I had 3 bags of trash and a couple of empty boxes to throw away so 2 trips to the trash thing later I was finally starting to see some progress. Next, I swifter mopped around my kitchen and vacuumed my living room and I couldn't believe that my apartment was so clean! And it only took about 2 and half hours, too. I was sure it would take me longer. This would be a theme for the the night. It was too early to start cooking so I sat down and watched the Masters. Local boy, Zach Johnson won by the way. Here are some pictures of my new clean apartment.

The directions told me that it would take about an hour and half to 2 and half hours to cook my roast so around 4 I decided to preheat my oven and prepare my roast. I didn't know what kind of seasoning to put on it. I should have asked dad if I could borrow one of his rubs but I didn't. I wasn't confident with playing around with the different spices and herbs I had, so I decided to leave if Au natural! After, what I thought was an appropriate time, I started the potatoes. After like 20 minutes because that's what mom said it should take I dumped out the water and started to mash, which was hard because I couldn't find our masher. I'm sure we had one. Anyway, some of the potatoes were soft and easy to mash but others were still a little hard. They ended up being a little more lumpy then I would have liked but other then that they were good. Last but not least put on the veggies on the stove and they were done early too. I was done 30 minutes before I expected Katie, she was the only, besides me, who didn't work on Sunday so I knew she would be there first. I was a little panicked. I kept the roast in the oven on warm and the potatoes and veggies on low on the stove and hoped that would keep them warm. To calm my nerves, I opened my bottle of Cava that I bought for New Year's that I haven't opened yet. I had about an glass and a half before Katie got there after 6:30. I would end up finishing that bottle, by myself, by the end of the evening. When Katie got to my apartment, I thought it would be safe for cut the roast and serve everything because I was hungry and the rest of the girls should be here any minute. I told them, they didn't need to bring anything but I really should have known better because they stopped at Hy-vee to get some beer. Amy, Jackie and Melissa didn't get there until around 7, so I had to quickly reheat things in the microwave but luckily the roast was still warm. So, the lesson I learn, always plan to have the meal ready a half an hour later then you expect your guests, just in case they are late. After all of that, We finally sat down to eat and I think we were all hungry because the food went fast. We spent the rest of the evening talking, gossiping more like it, and drinking. Between the 5 of us, I have 18 bottles to return. I was probably the most drunk because not only did I finish my bottle of Cava myself but had to beers as well. It was a good thing I live here. *lol* When Katie and Melissa left at 11:30, I was so tired that I just went straight to bed and left the dishes for Monday. I had to get up early to open. At work, we are now having zone time in the morning. Which is nice because, it's 2 hours without customers but it's also 7 in the morning! That's harsh. Anyway, that's life. So, yes it was very successful! I will do it again but probably not for a while because it is a lot of work.

Melissa, Katie, Amy and Jackie before we ate my Delicious Easter dinner!

Yesterday after I work I washed my dishes, I moved my table next to my fridge and moved the shelves in the corner next to my windows. It gives me so much room, which is what I will need when I get my futon on Friday. The futon I'm thinking of getting is pretty sweet! The arms have adjustable tables on them, so you can either have a table or not but most importantly, when people come and stay with me they have a place to sleep! So that is what went down on Sunday. I'm definitely proud of myself. I'm not as inept in cooking as I thought. Now, I have to get myself ready to go to work. Ick.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Happy Easter everyone. Today is the day of rebirth. To start anew and in that spirit I did a little cleaning today. I did it mostly because I am having friends over for dinner and I didn't want to see how my apartment usually is but as I got going I really got into it. I went through boxes and threw away things I didn't need anymore. Like, old receipts and magazines that I have no idea why I kept in the first place, let alone why I brought them with me when I moved last year. I found things that I thought I lost or forgotten I had. I guess you could say that it's been a very productive day and the cleaning part didn't take me as long as I thought because I still have another half an hour before I should start cooking. Yes, I am cooking. I know for those who know me this is shocking because I never cook. I've never been really all that interested in and I'm also not very good. I'm sure one thing had to do with the other but I digress. I'm going to cook a roast, mashed potatoes and veggies and for dessert Carrot Cake. (It is Easter after all and it was on sale at Hy-Vee) I'm really excited about the whole thing. I'm pretty sure I will do fine but I am a bit worried about the roast though. I've never tried anything like this but really how hard could it be? I just put it in a little roasting pan and let it cook and a couple of hours later, it's done. Speaking of which, I better get myself going. Happy Easter and Spring Cleaning everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Since the last time we talked.

Since my last post, I have been to the UK and back. I visited my sister, Kat, who lives in Cardiff, Wales. I wish I was still there because I really miss my sister. I guess I got spoiled living with her because I got to see her every day. Now it's more like twice a year. Not enough. We didn't do all that much. We spent a few days in London, a day in Bath and then an afternoon at the Museum of Welsh Life. Mostly we just hung out and spent time together. That's what I really wanted. I've been the island enough that most of the "touritsy" things I have already done and what I haven't done yet, that's Ok. I have my reason. Mostly I'm not interested or not going to pay that much to see it. I just wanted to hang out with my sister. Watch movies, go shopping, hang out a pubs. You know things we used to do at home. It was so wonderful. I can't wait for her to come home in April!

Now that I am back, I have to get serious about my diet again. The week before my vacation, I kind of took a vacation from my vacation. I basically went out every night, ate whatever I wanted and didn't even bother to exercise. I gained back 5 lbs! I was really disappointed with myself because after all that work to get to the 30 lb benchmark, I ruined it. While I was on holiday, I did lose 2 lbs but it wasn't because I was watching what I was eating but all the walking we did around London and Cardiff. I do this. I lose interest. I find that I can put in less effort and still get away with a little bit and I become content with that. Before all of this, I would have a nutrisystem breakfast and then a dinner but have a lunch out or have breakfast and then have lunch or dinner out. And I was still losing weight but not as fast as I was before. I know that early in your diet you lose weight faster but I'm not helping my cause by sabotaging myself here. My goal was to be at my goal weight loss of 60 lbs by June. That's not going to happen. I will be happy to reach the 45 lbs mark by then. I wanted to not look like a blimp when I went to the pool this summer and be able to wear a cute little tankini. At least I will look less a blimp this year. Anyway, Well I'm starting over. From today, I'm going to back to how I was on the beginning. I'm only eating my meals unless I am meeting friends. (Tomorrow, I'm meeting Anna and Stephanie for dinner!) I bought yogurt and bananas to have with breakfast and a bag of lettuce for lunch and dinner and new bag of frozen veggies for dinner. I'm going to exercise 4 times a week and I'm going go outside and walk. I'm going to do this because I am tired of being fat! I'm halfway to my goal now and I'm not going to stop now!

Friday, March 02, 2007


I am happy to announce that as of today, I have lost 30 POUNDS! I am halfway to my goal! I'm super excited because I've been lacking in motivation recently. I think it's been the weather. I hate winter. It just puts me in a bad mood BUT despite this I have lost 30 lbs! This was exactly what I needed. I'm back. I've already did my exercises for today and I'm going to make my healthy lunch now! THIRTY POUNDS!!! WOOHOO!!!

P.S. I'm having a very Sex in the City moment. I'm wearing my Skinny Jeans! From the Express!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

All this good time is going to kill me

I'm quite tired. It's been a busy week. Between all my social obligations and late nights watching tennis, the earliest I have gone to bed this week is 1am. OK, so that is only about an hour earlier then usual but that hour makes a big difference. I really shouldn't be complaining. It's a good thing that I have friends that invite me out to parties and celebrate events in their life. I really do have great friends. Especially my work friends, who are just a blast to hang out with. Friday was the big Triple birthday party for Amy, Katie and Aaron. We went to Old Chicago. I felt bad for our waitress because we kept moving tables on her because it more and more people kept showing up. We did expect everyone who showed to up to come but we didn't think people were going to come as early as they did. We started out in a booth, then a table and then a bigger table. After that we took over the booth and table, then eventually migrated over to the high tables close the pool tables. We always seem to end up there. The highlight of the night (or at least the highlight for me) was when the birthday people opened their presents. Katie and Amy were easier to buy for. Amy and I share a love for Journey, so I got her their Greatest hits album. Katie has a reputation that if you give her enough to drink, she will do the Thriller dance. Oh yes, it is amazing. So, she got Thriller on CD so she can practice whenever she wants. Aaron was a little bit tricky. I'm not really sure what he likes to listen too. I just know that he pretty much doesn't like anything that I like. So, what about movie. Again, every movie I know he likes, I know he already has. So I thought to myself, why not something funny. Amy and I have been trying to get him to watch the movie Mean Girls and he has refused. Again, I thought to myself, well maybe we can't get him to come over and watch it that I would just give it to him. When I bought it, I thought this is going to be so funny. He is going to laugh but the more I thought about it, I started to think he might find it as amusing as I will. He might actually hate it. So I was really nervous about giving it to him but luckily he laughed. Of course, he might have been in such a good mood from all the beer that wasn't going to tell me he how much he hated it. I would say, it was a successful present. Even if he does end up exchanging it for something else. Just knowing that for a couple of days he owned Mean Girls is good for me.

Well, when I haven't been working and going out, I have been at home watching tennis. Damn, Australia and their 16 hour time difference. It makes for a lot of late nights. Thursday night/Friday morning Andy Roddick played Marat Safin. There was no way I was going to miss that even if I had to get up at 2:30 and stay up until 6. It was totally worth it because it was a very good match. Andy played very composed tennis with a lot more variety then in the past. Marat was Marat. He had many brilliant shots and then a lot of "what was he thinking". And it wouldn't have been a Marat match, if he didn't yell at the umpire at least once. I love him. BTW, Andy won. I had every intention of going to bed early last night but I was watching tennis again and before I knew it, it was 1am. So much for that. But it is all good. I do this every January and I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Let it Snow?

This weekend, we had our first legitimate snow of this winter. I have to say that I could have done without it. I'm not really into the whole snow thing. Nothing really good comes from it. Yes, it's pretty when it is falling and the few seconds after it stops. But then it hangs around and gets gross and brown. It's cold and wet and unpleasant. It makes people drive slowly. Ok, when it's snowing and things are slippery, people should be cautious driving but there is a different between driving cautiously and just driving slow. You would think that people have never driven in this type of weather before. It's like a little bit of snow makes people crazy and think that the world is going to end and they have to stay indoors or something. Last night, my friend Kat had a party and while it was well attended and fun, there were people who didn't come because they didn't want to drive in the snow. The forcasted ice storm never materlized and the roads were very drivable. I really dislike snow. Like I said earlier. Nothing good really comes from it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Boring Boring Boring

I really have nothing to say. The Holidays are over. Yeah! Things are slowing down at work. I'm finally get time in my zone so I can get some actual work done. I have the day off. It's a Friday and I'm spending it doing laundry. Yep, I have a Friday off. I should be doing something exciting but I'm not. I keep thinking of calling some friends and seeing what they are doing but I'm pretty sure they are all working at the moment. So, I sit here. Oh, and it's trying to snow. I guess it isn't trying to snow. It is but not sticking. We have had such a warm winter. Maybe I'll take myself out for a movie or just stay in and watch the movies I got from Netflix or both. I really need to have more things to do. Yep, I'm boring. boring boring boring. La La La. Oops, I think my first load is finished. Time to dry.