Monday, January 31, 2011

I Can't Rock Climb...

I have discovered that rock climbing with one arm just isn't working out for me. It may have happened while I was trying to do some funky little move on my pull-up bar, one of those, elevate body, flip, twist, kick-sideways-like-you-are-in-a-Matrix-movie moves. I did something to my arm and it just isn't repairing itself. Ignore the pain until you are completely lame, I always say, but that isn't working out so well either. On a positive note, I AM getting pretty good at one-arm push-ups.

Last night C asked me to go to the church with him. He was doing something with the keys. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. He had handfuls of keys that we tried in every single lock in the building to help identify them. Organized, that's my man. C is not the sloppy slaggard husband by any means. 

We arrived home at 1 AM, and despite my exhaustion, I still liked hanging out with him. He also cleaned the house for me so I could go to the salon on Saturday. In exchange I made him a yummy lasagne, a big pot of steel cut oats for the week, and a batch of cookies. 

During church we had a meeting about preparedness. As you may know, "Mormons" or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asked to have a year's worth of needs on hand in case of financial demise, catastrophe, or medical emergencies that would isolate a family to their own home. 

Over the past five years we have accumulated a years-worth of long-term storage wheat, rice, legumes, oats, and other necessities. I always keep extra oils, canned goods, medicine, and other items on hand as well. I have both a mechanical grain grinder and a hand grinder. We have water stored, a kerosene heater, a kerosene lantern, and long-storing synthetic kerosene. Every family is asked to be prepared for emergencies specific to their area. 

They even have a website to help people be prepared for emergencies: 

In the preparedness meeting, C stood up to announce something and I just swooned at his gorgeous voice and batted my eyes at him until he started to turn red. When he sat down next to me (which rarely happens at church) I whispered sweet nothings in his ear and got a few back even! We whispered jokingly to each other over our need for more chocolate chips in our food storage... AND more water as an afterthought. I decided that I really like sitting next to him after all of these years of staring at him sitting with the bishopric.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, canned butter powder? Not so bad. I figure if I don't know how to use what I am storing, it is worthless to me, so I tossed it into some rice crispy treats. Not QUITE as crispy, but C ate them with no problem.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chocolates from my Boss and Diamonds from my Husband...

I am about a week out from the conference, and ran to check the conference bags yesterday before our awesome logo was stitched on the lot of 2000. I returned with several stitched bags as samples. Our director of strategic relations caressed and inspected as if he was admiring a BMW 135i. "I NEED one of these," he explained while his team oohed and aahed in true peanut gallery fashion. I so appreciate their humor. When I showed them off to the software engineers, they asked if these were the speaker gifts.

"No, these go to every attendee at the conference." They were visibly impressed, and a few registered right then just for the bags. No kidding. My Armenian friend told me she needed a "kickin'" bag like that, since she didn't have any room in her leather attache case for her laptop.

When I returned to my desk, what to behold but a box of chocolates from the CEO. I confess, I knew it was coming since my conference counterpart also received one. I sent a thank-you e-mail to the CEO. He said he would have delivered it in person, but was busy skiing with the CTO of HP. For the man who never seems to stop working, it is nice to know that he does have a LITTLE fun once in a while.

According to my conference counterpart, the CEO asked us in one of our many meetings if we liked chocolate. I don't recall that conversation, but considering the purported stress-relieving properties of chocolate, I imagine it was an attempt to: 1. show appreciation and 2. reduce stress. One of my fellow office-dwellers joked that he was trying to convince me to do the next conference.

On that note, I met with my would-be boss. He said that they had started negotiating for me, but that the final step would be the CEO. [sentence about how I think that will go... wink, wink ;I]

When I walked in the door that evening, I heard the dryer buzz and quickly folded the load of darks, thoughtfully started by my one true love. The bathroom mirror was free of fluffy feathers where Kawi sits and looks at himself, and the dishwasher was running in a spotless kitchen. Two little birds had apparently gotten enough attention that they were quite content. I came home to a house full of diamonds, carefully polished and placed.

We left for dinner (compliments of my work) and then I returned home and continued to work until after midnight.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Travel for the Birds

We recently made a swift journey to visit C's grandma. Due to our limited time to prepare, we opted to take the birds with us. Kawi has gone on several small road trips with us, but we weren't quite sure how Penny would handle the trip. She was an absolute, cuddly delight. She took it easy and even enjoyed a self-inflicted massage.
Kawi endeavored to look at himself the entire time, and even serenaded himself for a few minutes...

...before disintegrating into a grumpy, stressful mess, only remedied by tucking him inside of a jacket so that he could take a much needed nap. Did you know that birds get grumpy when they don't get their naps? Many a bloody cuticle will attest...

The hotel was kind enough to waive the pet fee for our little buddies, who were not so fond of their travel cage accommodations. Kawi had no problem going right to sleep the moment his cage was covered, but Penny cried so pitifully at night that we finally uncovered her cage so that she could see us. I pulled her out of her cage early the next morning when she started to cry again and let her settle in on my chest. Penny decided that the tiny space between C's back and the pillow (while sleeping on his side) was perfectly suitable, but my vision of a Penny pancake made me think otherwise.

Penny's presence did come in handy, however, cheering C's grandma by fluffing her hair and giving her some friendly cuddles.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


While playing the female lead in a high school play, I was required to write my signature on a wall chart once I arrived on site. A fellow actor stood behind me and commented on my signature, which breached the boundaries of the box allotted for its habitation.

"Even your signature speaks of non-conformity." He commented.

There are laws that do and should apply to everyone. I make sure I put in a hard day's work that is worth more than the pay I take home. I don't try to get something for nothing, because I believe that God doesn't want entitled, spoiled children.

I keep the laws of the land, and I try faithfully to keep the laws of God. All around me, I watch as silly rules and expectations are established. A lot of my peers, unwilling to rock the boat, just follow along. When the salesperson at the store asks for my phone number or zip code, my reply is "No thanks." When the blood bank asks me to give them my SSN, I refuse, because they don't need it. If a manager at work is speaking critically about someone in a large group of people, I will defend that person if they aren't there to do so.

Oddly, in my religious circles I find that keeping God's commandments also falls under non-conformity. I keep them because when I was 16 years old (at the height of my non-conformity to everything), I prayed to know he was there and really loved me. He lit a fire in my heart that I noticed would dwindle when I made bad choices. I wanted to feel close to him, and so I did what I felt and knew was right. Sometimes that meant saying or doing "unpopular" things - to my associates, close friends, and even to family members.

Some would call my behavior "rocking the boat" or kicking up dust, but I don't believe in doing something just because everyone else is doing it. I don't believe in cheating on a test just because the student at the front of the classroom is reading off the answers, and everyone else is writing them down. I don't believe in doing something that I feel is wrong just because I am too afraid to speak up. Doing what I feel is right is my objective, and the price I usually pay is popularity.

Yesterday, after beautifully navigating through a marketing problem, our CEO leaned back and asked why I didn't want to do "this" (marketing), when I was so obviously good at it. I told him I would be happy to explain in private. As I walked out of the room, he asked if I could meet with him. He said that he'd heard many rumors about why I didn't want to continue working on the conference, and I proceeded to tell him the real reasons in a respectful, but clear manner. "That was incredibly transparent and clear. Thank you." He replied. As I left he called after me, "I'm sorry about all of this. I really am."

I then left to meet with my boss-to-be. I love navigating problems, analyzing and researching data, and proposing solutions. As I left, we conversed about the next steps to me making the transition to his team. The only obstacle I see in the way is possibly the CEO. I hope he has removed from his mind the idea that somehow he will convince me to continue working on what he wants me to do, because my mind is already made up. I "see" myself working on this team, and once that happens, I can't be turned back. It's as if I am already there.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Just Finished Working at 1:00 AM...

...and despite the fact that my sick-but-in-denial husband is under the magical K.O. Spell of Nyquil, his subconscious reflexes still make him squirm away every time my ice cold feet wander over to get warmed up.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Do You See What I See?

My aunt used to name her cars, but I was unaware of the recent trend in vehicular eyelash extensions...

I am not sure about this one: is it a Muffin Dash, or a Dashed Muffin?

I spent quite some time studying male fashion last month. I am talking about masculine male fashion, not the other kind, and while I did notice some trends utilizing jackets and jeans, I think this "holey" version is best paired with untied sneakers from the position of those holes.

Speaking of male fashion, wearing a tie when it isn't necessary is a great way to make the best dressed list. I returned some books at a local bookstore, and found something that made ME swoon:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What's in Store for 2011

I stand on the precipice of 2011, staring across its vale to behold the object of my heart's desire. I embark on a journey of great import and even greater promises. I am steeled to its challenges with a will of iron, and thirst after its rewards like a blistered-lipped desert nomad.
The fiercest fire begins with the tiniest spark, and the longest journey begins with a single step. Some things are just worth the journey. Like trying to get a decent video of Penny. Let me tell you... if there was a critter who could ruin a perfectly good video by freezing up the moment she catches sight of a lens, it's her. Case in point:

Today we took a short drive and she was so excited that she was jabbering more than normal, so here's a little snippet of what we occasionally get to hear out of Penny:

Kawi is ever infatuated with C, to the point of watching C's every move:

It has created some problems because Penny has decided that C is pretty fun, too:

Like running a marathon, I have tried to enjoy the journey to the end of this conference, but that is one adventure that I will be happy to see end. The completion of the conference means some new beginnings for me, as well as some new challenges. Words can't express my elation for some of them. We have a full year ahead.

This year I will be teaching the New Testament. Sadly, it isn't quite as thrilling as the OT, but then, I am a little quirky like that. Today in the introductory lesson I did find my NT groove. I think it went rather well, and C mentioned that he didn't notice any deficiency in my enthusiastic teaching style that would communicate anything different from last year.

The Art of Simplicity
I was ridiculously happy to spend the days leading up to 2011 doing very little. Over the holidays we have watched many a movie (including Narnia, Tron, Tangled, and both versions of True Grit)  and enjoyed many a delightful meal. New Years Eve we ate at Red Lobster where I enjoyed a lovely lobster tail, grilled scallops and shrimp, and delectable coconut shrimp. Bueno. We cancelled some other plans we had to simplify the evening and arrived just before the rush with a gift card in tow.

We visited with some friends later that evening and stocked up on a few treats to welcome in the New Year. Sometimes less is more, and lately, that has been more true than not.

The Art of Order
I woke up on New Years day with an evil plan brewing in my head. For the past year our spin cycle (Christmas acquisition 2009) has stood in the hallway next to my office. There simply isn't enough room for it in the workout room (if I want space to do Jillian workouts, that is). While C slept, I started moving furniture, and once I got access to some real muscle, the spin cycle moved in where our dresser once stood.

 As for the dresser, it is now cozily housed in my perfectly tidy closet. Photobucket

C also had a closet makeover this weekend (nope, he did that all by himself).

Well, here's to a thrilling new year! The house is clean (EVEN the office!), and it's a good thing because it will not get a good cleaning for at least five more weeks. I have a gut feeling that 2011 is going to be a banner year!

Today C and I watched this.

As a former mission companion used to say (every day until it was carved upon the grey matter tables of my mind): 


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