The Aftermath

I am very blessed and quite lucky, while destruction is all around me, I came out of the storms with just a dented car. I can live with that. My parents’ home was left untouched but only a short distance in either direction from their house trees, houses, animals, etc. all felt the wrath of the storms last night. They are still without power as well.

I ended up going up to their place after work today so I could cart back half of their frozen food. And I was amazed at all the traffic going back and forth on their road. Yep, people are traveling near and far to look at the destruction.

I have always found this interesting, the rubber necking. When I was visited by a tornado in ’98 while at work the only thing I wanted to do was go home. I was in trance as I drove out of downtown Nashville, sure I was curious to see what had happened but really, I just wanted to get home. I wanted to get as far away from downtown as possible.

I guess for some, they are looking to see what is still standing or maybe they want to help those who lost everything but driving around, doing the tourist thing had never made sense to me. Take a moment and read the news, you will get plenty of pictures that way.

On my way to my parents I saw some working on cutting the trees down into manageable pieces. And if I had a chainsaw I would be willing to jump out and help but I don’t think my lack of grace plus a chainsaw is a good mix.

I am asking you (all nine readers) to pray for everyone affected by the storms. Donate to the Red Cross or give blood. I think by doing one or all of these things will help those that are working towards repairing what was destroyed.

But, should anyone need any help with demoing a house, I am ready and willing. I have mad skills when it comes to ripping things apart!

The Perfect Storm. . .

At least that is what I am going to stick to for the time being. We have been hit several times today with strong wind, rain so hard and heavy you couldn’t see in front of you and hail.

This morning as I was trying to get my first cup of coffee in my system we got an email about possible strong storms. No biggie, at least for me, since I have been kind of desensitized to these storms, thanks to living in Nashville for so long. Several of us gather to chat about it, figure out what we should do and then I found myself grabbing my purse and my diet cherry coke (a girl needs her caffeine) and heading down the steps to the first floor of the office building.

I was calm because living and working in the valley means that most times the storms loose some of their umph when they hit the mountains. But when rain started pouring through the skylights I started to second guess this cool facade. Down to the basement I went along with a somewhat funny (at least to me) update on Facebook.

Duck! In the basement at work.

The best comment back was from Sonia, basically asking what is up with me at work when tornados come through. Well, that seems to be the norm for me. And my preference would be to be in my apartment, hanging in the closet with the cat.

Once we were released from the basement, we got to see that one red light was hanging by a thread while another was missing in action. Actually pieces of it were scattered on the street. Good times.

I finally headed out later that day to head home, thinking I was going to make it before we got hit again. I was wrong. For the first time ever, I ended up driving while pea sized hail came down and the rain was so heavy that I could barely see in front of me. But I managed to get home, intact and my car had no dings. And a cat waiting for me at the door, ready for me to be home.

Of course the next line of storms decided to hit a couple of hours later. I hit the closet with Wookie and then heard an awful crashing sound. I popped out of the closet to see just what in the world was going on. Hail. . . I had actually not seen hail in person, so this was interesting.

After the storm had passed I went down to my car to take a peek. Larger than golf balls, this is the hail that pummeled my car. Thankfully I only have three dings that are noticeable. One took the paint off but I am very fortunate, no cracks in the windows or a tree sitting on my car.

So say a prayer for everyone that is dealing with these storms. They are nasty.

Now I have to go medicate the cat because he is not thrilled with everything going on right now.

Movies and The Easter Bunny

I have been a movie watching fool as of late. . .as much as I enjoy going to the theater to watch a movie, the price for admission, snacks and the like make me faint of heart, so I wait until it comes out on one of the movie channels. After getting Netflix I started to catch up on some of the movies I had wanted to see.

Love and Other Drugs was a great movie. In true chick flick tradition, it has the boy meets girl, boy pursues girl theme but with an added dimension. While it may be fluff to the guys out there, it shows that true love does conquer all even when dealing with a major lifelong illness. It also has some naughty scenes that left me even a little red in the face.

Life as We Know It was another on my list of movies to watch at some point. I got a bit misty eyed towards the end but overall, a cute movie that might make some of my friends think long and hard as to who they would leave their kid(s) with should something ever happen to them. And for us girls with the penchant for wanting to tame the bad boy, I am sure this movie will go down as one that can give false hope into taming the beast.

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia,  a documentary executive produced by Johnny Knoxville (it makes all the more sense now!) that was recommended to me. I remember in college and shortly after college, Sonia loved to share with people that I was from Deliverance Country. Thank goodness it was always in jest and that I don’t have family members that even remotely resemble this wild crew. I lost track of how each family member was related but it didn’t matter. This is a group that I would never want to meet in a dark alley. Also, I think the eight year old boy in this particular documentary might be willing to knife someone if the mood strikes.

Easy A, I have been wanting to see this one for quite some time. In a nod to The Scarlett Letter, the film’s star, Emma Stone, rocks it out. Her family is cool and if I had a teen daughter, I would make sure she watched this one. It also has one of my favorite actors, Stanley Tucci, who as usual, is divine. Funny, good message and a nod to my 80s Brat Pack movies. Swoon. . .

And yes, I am 37 years old and I still get an Easter basket of sorts. This year I got my always reliable Reeses Peanut Butter eggs (so not good for the weight loss!), gas for the car and some yummy food from EarthFare. Of course, I am thinking my mom was stressing out at what can be an overpriced trip to the grocery but I got lucky today. Of course I was a bit surprised that Target was closed (that was my intended stop) but I think I got the better deal in the end. Grapes, blood oranges, apples and milk. Yum. Thank you mom and dad for springing for the goodies. I can’t wait to cut into my blood orange. Something that I used to only find at Whole Foods when I lived in Nashville.

Happy Easter to everyone, it is a day where we can remember that Jesus came back after dying for our sins. Which is nice since I know I regularly screw up that the big man and some very special angels are always on the lookout for me.

Giggling at Work

I have gone back to the days of keeping my ear buds in with the music blasting. . .well, not really blasting, I would like to keep my hearing. Since I have the attention span of a gnat, sometimes, well, a lot of the times, I can get distracted while working.

So the past two weeks I have been listening to the radio via the ear buds which does allow me to have the volume up a bit more and I can actually hear the songs. Case in point, when the Lady Gaga song “Born the Way” first came out I could have sworn that it was “Express Yourself” by Madonna. Now before Lady Gaga comes here to rant and rave about how wrong I am, the reality is, it does remind me of that song and when you have your radio on at the lowest notch for sound, well, it does sound like that.

In the past two weeks I have been rocking and rolling my way through pulling reports and working each account. In fact, I am kind of ahead of the game. All because I have been able to shut out the random visits and conference calls that go on around me.

I somehow manage to hear my phone ring though (my work phone has different ring tones, I chose the one that sounds like a bomb is getting ready to go off). Shy is calling me to tell me about the phone and computer system crashing yesterday at their office. We chat about our weeks for a second and I mention the Queen and how she is kicking butt in terms of sales goals.

Shy had sent an email congratulating her on being one of the top people in sales for last month and the Queen writes back saying she should look at the bags under her eyes. Shy was going to offer up some MK products and I said, ask her if they are Louis Vuitton. Because if there is one thing about my Queen, she is styling and rocking nice things. This has me in fits of giggles because the Queen replies back saying they might be Couch or Prada (something like that).

And then it goes down from there, we talk about the goofy things that happen in her office and I am still giggling. I am sure that my coworkers think I have lost it. Shy and I even discussed how a therapist on call for the office would be a good thing. I asked her what color she would prefer for her straight jacket and she requested an ice blue one to really bring out her eyes.

And this is what I do all day, I laugh while I am working. My job isn’t funny but between emails, texts and the things I hear on the radio while working, I can’t help it.

I think each day should be started out with a funny YouTube video. That way, as you go through your daily tasks, you can let your mind wonder a bit and giggle. Because laughter is the best medicine, even when you are having a bad day.

By the way. . . a few items to Google/YouTube for a Friday evening:

  • Will Ferrell, drunk history
  • Giggling penguin
  • Charlie Bit Me
  • Betty White on SNL (any clip will do)

Umm, Could I Borrow Your Walker?

I changed up the exercise routine last night. . .and I am paying for it today. I have had The Biggest Loser Wii game for about a year. I was using it a bit last year and fell off the wagon. I got this game because I could use it without the Wii Fit Board.

I had a horrible experience with that board a couple of years ago before I even got a Wii. A coworker brought her’s in for everyone to try out the Wii Fit. As the resident Jill of All Trades in my former office, I was asked to set it up in the conference room. Tangent. . .the conference room is big but the shape of it is weird with a huge table that cannot be moved around BUT the projector is mounted on the ceiling and you hook everything up at the docking station. We have spent many a lunch hour in their watching tv, movies and March Madness.

Now where was I? Oh yes, I set it up, make sure everything is working and Mini Me (who is quite smaller than me but we always shopped at the same store, so we were twins some days) suggests that I try it out. I’m game, I wanted to see what the Wii Fit Board was like anyway, so this is a great way to try it.

I wasn’t as, umm, fluffy then but when I stepped on the board it let out a squeal/gasp as if I was about to crush it. Dude, so not what you want to hear first thing in the morning. I can now add a computer telling me that I am a bit too big for my frame.

While I liked the game my center of gravity is off so balancing on it was horrible. The stupid thing kept calling out instructions, comments and other very embarrassing points of contention. I gave up quickly.

Fast forward to me actually having a Wii, I picked up the Wii Active because it was cheap and gave me alternatives for exercising. Last year I was really into The Biggest Loser (have since kind of kept it on my DVR to sit forever until I either watch it or finally just delete it). I noticed they had the game out and after reviewing it on different sites learned that you do not need the board for this game. I’m in!

Then came the hula hoop injury of 2010 along with the torn calf muscle. So much for working it out huh? The new year dawns, I am injury free along with a lot of poundage, I decided to get moving. And moving I have been doing! I walk, I use Wii Active and last night I had an impulse to throw in The Biggest Loser for giggles and a change.

I select my profile, choose Bob as my trainer because Jillian scares me and I opted for the Full Body Workout, Beginner Level but the hardest of that level. It’s only 19 minutes, I can do anything for 19 minutes!

About five minutes in I am completely second guessing why I am doing this. I am huffing, puffing red mess. I tell myself I can’t quit, I just have to push through. Sweat is dripping, I run to turn the air on and get back to this torture I inflicted on myself. By the time I was done I was thankful that I wasn’t on the floor in a crying mess. I manged to score an overall three out of five and that encourages me since I didn’t even think I could finish it.

But then the morning came, I hobbled out of bed and realized that I worked muscles that haven’t been noticed for quite some time. Struggling to get ready for work and wishing that I was going to a spa instead. About the time I get ready to take a break for lunch I realize that my body is still unhappy with me, so I stand up.

And I do something I haven’t done in ages, I started stretching. Really stretching out those muscles, working on getting the aches and pains out. It feels really good. And as I do one final calf stretch I started laughing.

Wouldn’t it be my luck (and beyond hilarious) that while stretching out that left calf I heard a pop like I did last summer?

At least my boot happens to be in my cubicle. . .don’t ask, long story.

Oh and if you have a walker, can I borrow it? This old gal needs some help getting around!

Redecorating, Blog Style

I changed up the header (mom, dad, that picture thingy thing at the top) and would love to find a WordPress for Dummies book so I can play with the other stuff. Actually, I would love to take this to the dot.com world via WordPress, but financial priorities as they are, well, that will happen in time. Let me know what you think of the new header (here please, I could use a little comment love around these parts!).

And while I would love to add silly pictures of me with some of my friends, I kind of think they would like to stay behind the scenes. So you get me and the cat. Yep, that big grey furry thing up there is Wookie. Cute isn’t he? We have been together for almost 12 years now and I think we both like the arrangement.

As I have said before, I love to write. It seems like that was one of the few things I was really good at in high school and carried it through college all the way to present day. I don’t care about making money off of this, I only want to share with those nine readers or so (so stealing that from Gerry House) what happens in my daily life. At least what is fit to print. . .

So I am taking this time to really work on sprucing the place up, I have been at this for almost two years. In that time, I have learned how to edit myself (so I don’t completely embarrass myself), dated, had a relationship, my parents started reading and I have gotten some great/sweet comments from everyone I know personally that actually read here.

Sometimes blogging is hard to do, there is such a fine line with throwing thoughts out there and the reality of what you wrote standing in front of you. I am in uncharted territories in terms of putting my relationship with Chandler on here. Actually, we hit a huge bump in the road last month. The only thing I can say right now is I love him and what he has brought to my life, we talk but we are on a break. Cue the Rachel and Ross comparisons. . .

I have been using this time to find myself again and really think about what it is that I want out of life. Sure, I would like to get married and have children but sitting here right now I can finally say this: I am okay with being a single gal. Do I get sad sometimes about this rough patch? Yep but I also know that there is a reason why I am here and I am lucky to have the family and friends that I have.

I have also been outlining like mad for my little book project. It is a very bitter pill to swallow when you look at all your past failures in the love department. And I am having a time trying to get all of my memories down with regards to Bubba. Who coincidentally was very cool about the whole project. He just asked me to change his name, which I have already done, so no worries Bubba!

So there you have it, a few changes on the blog, in life and well everything. So give me a bit of blog love and leave a comment. This is one of the few times I will shamelessly beg for them! It is easy, painless and makes me smile when I do get one that doesn’t involve lose weight quick, make your penis bigger. . . gotta love spam!

A Very Lazy Day Indeed

Last night I could have swam to Nashville and back with all the rain we got here. Instead I opted to stay in and read. I have been trying to only use my Kindle while out and about only because I read really fast and no amount of Amazon gift cards will keep up with my pace.

But I was reading an Emily Giffen book and could not put it down. Yes, I read chick lit and love it. It allows my brain to relax, enjoy and the chances of Googling some of the tidbits like I do when reading nonfiction are slim. Yes, I am a nerd when it comes to reading and wanting to know more. . .

I finally went to bed around one am with thoughts of what I needed to get accomplished today. Instead I ended up getting out of bed before eight, having some breakfast and began the really lazy day that I apparently needed. I napped, more times than I care to admit, today instead of doing laundry, picking up the kitchen or anything else of value.

I watched some tv while awake, even catching the Grove Bowl (Ole Miss’s Red/Blue spring game) before cooking dinner and finally getting my sheets into the washer. I do feel bad though. Wookie was curled up under the covers and protested when I was moving him. And now I am waiting for the sheets to dry so I can finally get them on the bed so I can sleep. I have been known to keep it for the next day opting to sleep on the couch. . .I am lazy.

But it turns out that this was a great day to be lazy. After a few nice days, the rain also came with cooler temps. A bit of a shock when I went out to check the mail. So while I was lazy today, the good news is the chances of me actually sleeping most of Sunday are gone. I normally cannot nap both days anymore. I guess that means I can finish laundry, exercise and hang up clothes that are piled on top of the suitcase used last month. . .

The Process of Getting Ready for the Day

I am not a morning person. . .but when working for the other office, we were offered flex time. As in, I could come into the office at 7:30 each morning and be done and out the door by 4. Of course, I also had a ten minute commute. . .

While my office here doesn’t offer flex time (and oh how I miss it!) the longer commute makes me want to hit the road early so I don’t have to sit on the one interstate that gets me to downtown. Missing the traffic snarls and the random bow up and stop for no reason makes it worth getting up early. And road rage to a minimum. . .

Since I am not a morning person I have resorted to taking my shower at night. I may have baby fine hair but this stuff retains water and refuses to dry, at least quickly. So at night I take a shower, pull my hair back in a pony to let it air dry for a bit. Before I crash into bed I dry the mess I call hair and it looks quite scary with random curls.

After begging my alarm clock (aka hitting the snooze button) for just a few more minutes I jump up to brush my teeth and see what attitude my hair may have that particular morning. Then the fight for finding something, anything that will cover the expanse that is my poor body (and cursing the fact that I love sweets a tad too much) I get dressed.

Now in the past few months I will admit to not trying to put myself together. A little powder, mascara and lipstick along with running a brush through my hair and I would hit the door.

I looked like a hot mess. Something that my friends and my mother would shake their heads at; but when it comes to not being happy with how you look, well, you forget that you have to try.

So thanks to Shy, I am working on making an effort. I am actually putting a little foundation on before the powder and surprise of all surprises, a little eye shadow! The one thing I am in love with at the moment? The White Wash stick from Mary Kay. I am a Clinique girl at heart, this sensitive skin has a thing for the line. But since I was introduced to Sephora (oh my, I could spend hours in there) I have picked up various brands to use. I love my bronzing powder I got from Clinique but most of the year I am pasty white and it doesn’t look right. Enter Nars with a bronzing duo I can use year round.

The White Wash stick is awesome though, I am not sure what it really does but it adds a bit of depth to my eyes. And when you wear glasses all the time, you need to do something to make them pop behind the frames.

The best part of actually making an effort? I can get this all done and still be out the door by ten after seven! On my way to Sonic! And while no one really sees me during the workday I find that I am sitting up a bit straighter and a spring in my step.

But I still have issues with the morning though. I like my sleep. . .

A Weekend Spent with Friends

Those crazy women I worked with in Nashville are still the best, loving and caring people I have met in terms of coworkers. I often get calls asking how I am doing, funny, sweet emails from them. And when I make it back to Nashville the whole clucking crew surrounds me as we head to my favorite bar, The Crow’s Nest.

Shy, the one who helped pull the prank on Foxy last week, came for a quick visit with her daughter this past weekend. Little Miss was kind of tired yet hung out with us until we could both see she was getting ready to hit the wall. After much convincing, we got her into bed and continued our girl talk for a bit.

Being able to sit in front of each other and actually talk is something that I took for granted with all of my friends there. Right now we take what we can get and that is usually in the form of calls, emails and text messages.

But having that moment to just sit, one on one and talk about life with her gave me a bit of peace. We laughed at her reactions to us girls when she first started at the office. Dare I say we might have scared her a bit! But as time went on, the embarrassment she must have felt when we talked about lady parts, lady issues, relationship issues, etc seem to dwindle. We can still make her blush but that is the fun part of our friendships.

We talked about my desire to be in Nashville, relationships and the latest gossip heard around the office. For me, this was the kind of time I miss being here and not there. The friends that I have here are wonderful and we have a long history but living away from here for a total of 15 years also makes it kind of hard to relate to at times. And that is all me, not them.

Our Saturday kind of started out slow, just enjoying hanging out and then I went to make breakfast. It doesn’t happen often enough that a meal is served on my table. I relish that when it does happen. We then started to setup the Mary Kay party she was doing for me that day. Buy Shy, just like me, has a difficult time switching time zones. So towards the end of getting everything setup, it was more like a mad dash to get it ready.

My friends came, we had fun and played with the makeup. I also got some great bonding time with Little Miss. We played, I fixed her a drink and got her comfy out on the deck so she could read one of my Harry Potter Books.

Once the party was over I was beat and I didn’t really do all that much, so who knows what made me want to just curl into a ball and nap. But we cleaned up, packed a bit and went for dinner. I was silly enough to offer up a drive by run to Krispy Creme to which Little Miss decided we must stop in and get some. But I was a good girl. I held off and say no to those really good smelling doughnuts.

I was thinking more along the lines of ice cream and Shy agreed. So another stop was made and I regretted getting my ice cream cone because I could see all the calories. But treating myself to something yummy once a week is okay in my mind.

After getting back to the apartment, I helped pack up the rest of the boxes, carrying them down the stops with Shy. Once they left, my place seemed so quiet. I was sad to see them go but I hope that I will get to see them soon.

I did get lucky and Wookie was all about snuggling last night and today. And getting unconditional love from him can make my day. Even with the fur flying, the fur balls around the apartment, I am so thankful to have that big old ball of fur to love on.

And here is to more visits from my friends where we can laugh, talk, drink and just be silly.

Thank you Shy and Little Miss for visiting, I am thinking of some great places we can visit the next time you are here.

And to my friends that came to the party, thank you so much for coming. I hope you enjoyed it and will come back soon to hang out.

A Phone Conversation with Mom

Yesterday while looking cross eyed at a spreadsheet my mom called and here is the conversation:

me: Hey mom, what’s up?

Mom: I heard the news, are you okay?

me: Huh?

Mom: I heard the news and wanted to see if you were okay. . .

me: What in the world are you talking about?

Mom: I read that Ben Rothlisberger is getting married in July and wanted to make sure you were okay after hearing the news.

me: Umm, yeah, knew about that a few months ago. . . oh and Gardner calls him Ski Nose

Mom: (laughing) He doesn’t like him?

me: Nope

For some of my friends, they have gotten quite used to me saying, “Well, my future husband, Ben Rothlisberger, is going to kick butt in (enter that week’s game here). And yes, I know that I am a grown up but I can’t help it. To me he is cute and he just happens to play for my favorite NFL team.

So as long as Ben is happy then I am happy. And now my delusional self will go clean the bathroom before company arrives.