Thursday, December 31, 2009

A look back and a look ahead

I have been happily on vacation for almost 2 weeks. I had big plans to post stuff and send holiday cards and read books and ski and on and on and on. So far, I haven't really done too much. It has been wonderful.

It was COLD when we got to Colorado (much colder than usual) so we decided not to ski the first few days. As it got nicer, people came to town in droves and we didn't want to wait in super long lift lines. So basically, we are just lazy.

Shiner has decided to protest the cold. She won't walk very far before she begins hopping around or just plain stops and refuses to go any further. My arms are getting pretty buff from carrying a 17 pound dog. Maybe I should invest in a dog purse. She has a coat and boots, but she doesn't like them either. Yeah - I am that lady. The one with the fully dressed dog walking like she has swim fins on.

I always get contemplative this time of year. I try to take a look back at the good and bad of the past year and think about the promise of the year to come. 2009 has been rough for a lot of people. Loss of jobs, loss of nest eggs, loss of people. Maybe the biggest thing is loss of faith in the system. I have certainly had my share of ups and downs, but compared to so many people I am blessed - or maybe just lucky. Here's to putting 2009 in the bag and for a bigger and better 2010!

I did however send off 2009 in style. I spent the day at a spa getting pampered. I started with a hot stone massage, moved on to a facial and finished up with an organic Peruvian chocolate body wrap. By the time I left I was so relaxed I was seeing colors.

It was so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays from Psycho Santa to you and yours

The Holidays have snuck up rather quickly. They always do, so I am not sure why I am always surprised. It is always a time of too much to do and excess food and fun, but I love this time of year. The photo above does not quite capture just how crazy that Santa is. He is affectionately known as Psycho Santa here, and when you flip the switch on his back his head swings back and forth like Stevie Wonder.

I really meant to participate in Cha Cha's Holiday Home Tour but I didn't quite get my act together in time. So here is glimpse of how we roll in the house of mutts and chaos.

Here is a shot of the outside decorations:

Notice I didn't say MY outside decorations. This would be the neighbor's house. We didn't put up a single thing.

That neighbor also baked us some cookies:

They are very cute and taste good too. Yes, Martha Stewart lives in my hood.

We did manage to get the tree put up. It is a bit of a Charlie Brown tree - you can see all the way through it even when it is decorated - but it's our Charlie Brown tree and we like it! This picture makes it look almost normal.

What is that under the tree? No, not presents, because we haven't really bought many. It's a dirty sleepy Shiner (the dog, not the beer.)

We lined up the nutcrackers next to the fireplace. Which we have actually had on 4 times this year since we had a bit of a cold snap here in Big D.

Years ago I spent days putting up tons of decorations. It did look nice, I will admit. Then one year I realized that I just didn't feel like doing it all, so I only did some. Each year it is a bit less (although I really did mean to put up a few outside things!) and the Holidays still come anyway.

This year we have gone to parties, hosted parties, spent time with friends and family, bought presents for adopted kids and grandparents, took the mutts to have their picture taken with Santa, and enjoyed a fair amount of holiday cheer thus far. We still have a few days to go, and I plan to pack in even more fun. I kind of think that is what it is all about and to hell with more decorations!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Maybe Schneider can help

About a month ago I had a moment. I had a long day doing things out in the yard and throughout the house. I was busy, I was dirty, I was tired.

About the time the Cowboys game started I figured I would run to the grocery store. This is football country. A fair portion of the state comes to a screeching halt during the game. This particular week they were playing the Sunday night game, so it was about 7:30 when I headed out. I figured the store would be quiet and I could quickly purchase the necessary provisions.

I hadn't been to the store in a while, so the cupboards were pretty bare. I had planned to cook dinner every night, so I had a huge cart full of stuff. When I headed to the check out, the lines were full (apparently several women had the same idea I did), and I was ushered into a new line with a trainee. She was a a bit flustered and groceries were flying all over the place. Having my own bags threw her for a loop as well and I would up helping bag my stuff.

I really think that I had my keys in my hand at some point during that time, but by the time I got outside they were long gone. I took everything out of my purse. Nope. The store employees helped me look. We walked up and down every aisle. Nope. We looked in lost and found (where there were 6 sets of keys). Nope.

A bit of panic sets in. The Rockstar had ridden his bicycle about a mile down the road to the neighborhood cantina to watch the game with his friends. If I called him, it would be at least 45 minutes before he could pedal home get the spare keys and come get me. Plus, I would be hearing about how I interrupted the football game male bonding experience by losing my keys like a dingbat girl for the rest of my life.

I could walk the mile and a half home to get the extra keys and ride my bike back. Except that my bike is locked in the back of the Tahoe in the parking lot.

I decide to text a friend who lives about 2 blocks from the store. She laughs and promises to come get me. I am standing in the parking lot with my melting popsicles and bouquet of flowers when she drives up. She is such a nice friend that she drives me home and back before she tells me that she has been home from work for the last three days with the flu. I didn't even think to give her the bouquet of flowers. I suck.

The next day my keys showed up in the lost and found. Maybe I need one of those key clips like Schneider had - I bet he didn't lose his keys.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Death by PowerPoint

I work for a very large company. My usual day is a cross between a Dilbert cartoon and an episode of The Office with Milton from Office Space thrown in for good measure. Office gatherings are filled with akward pauses and uncomfortable situations.

I am a system architect for multiple large financial systems. Daily I must navigate code changes, abends, audit requests, regulatory requirements, and stupid users. Basically, I speak multiple kinds of geek.

But on the bright side, I have a boss who knows that he sometimes acts like the pointy-haired boss and is my friend as well as boss. I have a few normal co-workers too. It's a good way to pass time while I figure out what to be when I grow up.

I have meetings, pre-meeting meetings, partial team meetings, full team meetings, post meeting meeting reviews, status meetings, web conferencing and more every week (if not every day.) A person from another department glanced at my calendar and commented that I had a lot of meetings this week. I counted them - 27 meetings. Sadly, it was a light week.