Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I should be working. I should be writing content for a high-profile training course I'm working on. I should be researching correct financial terminology and supporting documentation.

I should be giving a shit.

But I just can't do it!

Instead I've been paying more attention to things that I'm more interested in. And none of it is related to my job and certainly not related to my project. This is killing me.

Just this weekend I had a mini-crisis because I felt overwhelmed and under-qualified for this project. And now I'm slacking as if I have all the time in the world.

I am a procrastinator who loves to play with fire.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Perception is a funny thing.

Today a coworker 1 sent me an IM about coworker 2. Coworker 1 (he) said coworker 2 (she) was an idiot.

Now I love some good gossip, but I asked him:

Any hard facts? Because based on her actions, she's pretty competent.

Him: Really? Ok. It's only conversation I've had. Nothing I can use to back it up with. It's just me and my 'male' twisting of stuff. Cool.

me: Oh no... I judge people like it's my job... but she's pulled her weight and then some.

Him: ok cool. Viewpoint changed.

So I thought about this. And it makes me happy that I was able to stop the gossip train and stand up for someone.

Did she deserve to be called an idiot? No. Especially since she had done nothing to warrant that impression. And if me pretty much asking him if he could prove it made him realize that he had nothing to go on, then I feel a little powerful about that. And in a good karmic way.

Women need to stand up for each other. Because we already have obstacles in the workplace. If we allow people to bash our sisters, even with reason, then we bring all women down.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vacation prep

I'm on a plane to Mexico tomorrow for 5 days in an all-inclusive hotel with my Carolina girls. Its the emotional vacation I've been needing.

The problem is that work's deadline doesn't stop and a huge deliverable of mine is due the day after I get home. The other problem, I don't have all the source material I need from the client to complete my piece of the deliverable. So inevitably I will have to bring my laptop and do some work over vacation. I am most definitely not thrilled.

I'm also not happy about the stress that I go through in the days/hours before I take off. Planning for dog care, packing, do I have all my meds, taking care of work and personal responsibilities before I peace out.

I won't be able to breathe comfortably until I'm past TSA security and sitting on the floor of the gate waiting to board. But then I'll have to whip out my laptop and do some writing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today's Horoscope

The hottest thing in your life right now sure isn't the weather, and it's not your love life. No, all the heat's being generated from the fresh ideas brimming from your head! So grab some paper, pens, crayons, a video camera -- whatever you feel like using to dig out your ideas. Songs, poems, stories, even silly 'to do' lists are all valid forms of expression right now. Unearthing what's deep inside of you is your biggest challenge today.

Damn right, its definitely not my love life. But, really, that's ok. My head is full of creative stuff. Too much it feels like. I'm about to explode.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not a Moleskin

I haven't written with any sense of consistency online or in my journal. I just haven't really felt it. But I did feel bad about it.

I think my old journal had some bad mojo. So I got rid of it even though I wasn't even half way through writing in it.

My new journal is an Ecosystem journal. I like the color and I like that it's made from recycled material.

I hope that it has good vibes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Setting myself free

I've been feeling this emptiness in me. It's nothing new, I think it may be cyclical. But this longing for something is back.

In the past I thought it meant that it was a signal for changes to come. That I had to do something different, or try something new, or travel someplace exciting to fill the void in me. This time I'm not sure exactly what it means.

I don't feel like running away, and I don't feel like retail therapy because I already know that's not going to make me feel better. And I can't even say that a perfect relationship will be the solution.

I was in B&N, roaming the aisles like I normally do when I feel my soul is lost and I found this book, Ten Poems to Set You Free. In the book jacket I read this:
Ten Poems to Set You Free inspires you to claim the life that is truly yours. In today's world it is deceptively easy to lose sight of our direction and the things that matter and give us joy. How quickly the days can slip by, the years all gone, and we, at the end of our lives, mourning the life we dreamed of but never lived.
I read that and thought YES! That's it! I feel like I've lost direction, the reason for looking for the joy. And I want it back.

The poems in the book speak to me. And the author's interpretation of the meaning of the poems are like constant ah-ha moments for me.

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
(Mary Oliver, 'Have You Ever Tried To Enter The Long Black Branches?')

That one line is like a slap in the face.

But I think this time, for now at least, I need to just absorb myself in this feeling. To not try and fix it, but let it surround me and envelop me. And maybe I'll find the secret of my soul. And it will tell me what I need to do to find the joy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Noticing the little things

I think I may be on to something.

It's ok to allow someone to do something for you, even when you're fully capable of doing it yourself.

My car needs to be inspected before I renew the registration. I've never done it before in North Carolina, so I wasn't sure if I could just take it anywhere, or if I had to bring it into a DMV location like I have to in NJ. So I asked Charles about it.

He offered to take my car in to get inspected while I was away this weekend. (He's also taking me to and from the airport.).

I had intended to bring my car in to get inspected during lunch today. I could take it to pretty much any Jiffy Lube or mom-and-pop auto store. But when he offered I saw something more than a kindly offer. I saw him saying "I want to take care of you."

If I had said , "no worries. I can do it" it would have been seen as more than don't go through the trouble. I would have rejected his offer of taking care of me.

But by agreeing, and recognizing how nice it is of him to do that, its the same as me saying, "I want us to be partners again."

Small steps, I know. But I'm noticing the small things that I would have otherwise overlooked.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yet another workplace rant

I know I'm an asshole work. I've come to terms with it. Most of the time I try to curb my asshole tendencies and try to be more open to the needs of other people. It doesn't always work.

It's not often when I get really invested in a project and very passionate about what I'm delivering. In the training world, there is a science to preparing content so it can be absorbed by a learner. So there are deliberate approaches that I take to help with content delivery.

Now I know, in the grand scheme of things, what I do for a living is not life-changing. Ultimately someone is paying me to do a specific task. My 'expert opinion' may or may not be desired. And that can often change in mid-project. But yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to win an argument. I wanted to be correct, but I knew the end result would only screw me.

The debate wasn't even with my client, but with the account manager. I had displayed some questions that were going to be asked to the class in a different way from the 'standard template'. When questioned, I provided my reasons; that the delivery of this particular session did not fit what that 'standard template' would provide and gave reasons and examples.

Turns out it didn't matter.

From the account rep:
If you do not have time to do this or don’t agree, then that is fine. We will make the adjustments ourselves and provide to [the client]. 

Which is basically a "fuck you, we're going to change it to what we want anyway, with or without you.


So I shut up and made the stupid change that the account rep wanted. And I was fuming!

And then I wondered why? Why am I letting something so minor as this bother me?

I don't like people telling me what to do. Especially when I don't agree with them. That's a given.

But I especially hate it when this 'advice' comes from right field. Where their only reason is 'because this is how we do it'. Where higher order thinking is discarded and robot action takes over.

I had a massage scheduled last night. After the day, I was so looking forward to just relaxing and letting the stress of that one conversation melt away. Didn't really work because damn if I wasn't getting pissed off all over again thinking about it.

Don't get me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Today's Horoscope

This day will be very placid -- with no noticeable highs or lows. But while there will be no major excitement (good or bad) today, you will find it hard to shake the feeling that things are about to change in a major way. As usual, your instincts are absolutely correct. Today is like the calm before the storm, so batten down the hatches and lay in some supplies. Very soon, there's gonna be a major shake-up!

My horoscope has been right today so far. Absolutely nothing going on. At work, at home. I wonder what this shake up is going to be about. I could use some excitement right about now.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Guess how i'm feeling

bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored.


Monday, August 01, 2011

I'm sailing! I'm a sailor

I've always wanted to learn how to sail. So when the "I've Always Wanted To..." meetup group offered a sailing lesson, I signed up immediately.

Saturday at noon, the class started at Lake Johnson in Raleigh.  There were 8 of us in the 6 hour class. Our instructor was Margaret, a 77 year old woman who had been sailing and teaching it since she was 17. So with 50+ years of being on the water, she was a firecracker.

We learned on Sunfish sailboats, a cute little boat that skims easily across the water.

There's nothing quite like catching the wind in your sail and taking off. One hand on the tiller and one hand on the line holding the sail taut. I was a sailor!

I will definitely be doing this again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Smart Cookie

I love it when even I actually believe that I know what I'm talking about with clients at work. And I sound all authoritative and make the client do some action items.

Power corrupts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On again, off again is now on again.

Today's Horoscope

Sorting will be a rewarding, energizing activity for you today. So seek out a confusing set of materials or information and get to work! You'll get a big boost out of making sense of a situation that would only confuse most other people. Looking at the big picture and finding the areas you want to explore and the areas you want to avoid will be easy for you, so why not offer your services to a confused friend, relative or coworker? He or she will be mighty grateful! 

Oh, it's been a while since I posted here. But I've been busy. A few weeks ago I attended my sorority's National Convention where I was asked to present as a keynote speaker about technology; specifically how technology and social media can be used to market us to a broader audience.

If you want to read all about it, check out my other blog.

Work has started to pick up as well. And that's why today's horoscope is especially relevant. My latest project is to develop training for new users of a complex order validation tool. I had a call with a few experts of the tools and process and I was quickly overwhelmed. They were jumping around from topic to topic, moving quickly through tools and I was trying to keep up. But I had to keep asking, "wait, what does that mean? How did you get there?"

As an instructional designer, I often describe my work as translator. I have to translate the wealth of information, sometimes useless garbage, into something that will be useful to a newbie. I have to wade through the 'nice to know' and cull it down to the 'need to know'. This isn't always an easy concept to sell when the experts believe that everything they say is must know information.

But that's like trying to brush your teeth with a fire hose. Too much, too soon.

However it's a challenge and I like challenges. Bring it on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today's Horoscope

In your professional life, things are definitely going to improve in terms of how well you work with others. For a while now, you have been held back in many business situations that involved other people. But today, whatever (or whoever) was holding you back will be gone. Suddenly, you will have a lot more control over your schedule, over what you can say, and most importantly over whom you can say it to. This upswing in your independence might startle you at first, but keep going. 

Well, this sounds promising.

I've been in a funk last week. Without divulging too much details, I was very discouraged and lost enthusiasm for something I was very excited for. After a few days to let the dust settle, I realize that my attitude is more my own issue than the direct actions of someone(s) else, but it has affected me just the same.

It all comes down to I don't like someone else telling me what to do. Not when I have a vision and when I am working towards something that I believe in. Something that was bigger than me and had nothing to do with me.

But in the middle of my stride, I was tripped and now I just want to take my toys and leave this playground that now seems very restricted.

And I'm not even talking about work.

My professional life has been going very well. I'm on a project working with a woman who I respect and enjoy collaborating with. I get to think creatively and problem solve. And above all, I'm getting the positive feedback that I'm looking for. I feel good about where I am and about what I do.

By nature I am very independent. Some may see that as callous or introverted. But in the absence of leadership, I will take over. I will do things my way and do it quickly.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Today's Horoscope

It's admirable that you're so willing to work with others to get things done -- your teamwork ethic is to be applauded. However, today you realize that if you want something, you might need to elbow your way to the front of the line to get it. It's not about putting yourself ahead of others -- it's about knowing when to grab control and make things happen. No one is going to seek you out and hand things to you on a silver platter (even though you deserve it). Work for what you want. 

Its interesting that this is my horoscope today. Because I'm still feeling lie there's something I need to do, to get started, and that there's something or someone that's holding me back from my full potential. 

It's a little discouraging.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Lead, follow or get out of my way

When I really get into a project, I like to take it with both hands and run with it. In my head I see the big picture and all the little steps it will take to get me there. My advice to people around me is to just get out of my way.

I have no problem asking for help when I need it, and sometimes a gentle reminder that there are others waiting to be given something to do will encourage me to spread the wealth. But what I hate are those who second guess or hold up my progress.

I have been very excited about some personal projects that I've been working on. In one, I have full creative license for all the marketing and social media exposure. I love it.

In the other, I'm on a much shorter chain. And I don't love it. It discourages me because again I see the big picture of how my efforts are all to increase exposure for my organization, bring in members and improve communications among our members. And I don't want to wait for others to get in my way. When I'm on a roll, I want to just GO!

These brakes are just holding me down.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Replay: 5/19/06

Here's a post from almost exactly 6 years ago. 


I have just witnessed that speaking solely for the sake of speaking doesn't necissarily make you look like you know what you're talking about. Sometimes silence shows wisdom.

When the client says to me straight out in a meeting, "I trust you.", over the business managers on both project teams, it means a lot. If I was my manager, I would have taken that harshly.

Master Class

Yesterday was the last episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. I didn't watch it and I don't have DVR. But I hope it exists somewhere online.

Instead I watched the Master Class series by Oprah and many of the things she said resonated with me.
"I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
-William Ernest Henley
She talked about the poem 'Invictus' and the last two lines talked to me. When I had done what others expected of me, it never really felt genuine. But when I do what my gut tells me to do, I feel complete. Sometimes it makes me feel powerful, and other times it makes me feel like I'm being selfish or insensitive.

But last week my mom filled me in on some family gossip about how family member going through a divorce and moving away. She was so overwhelmed and felt helpless because she never really had do do anything on her own. She had always lived with her parents, and at 64, continues to do so.

After this drama story my mom was proud of me that I never had to really lean on her and my dad for support. She was glad that I was independent and able to take care of myself. Especially with the drama of moving here, leaving Charles and building my own life, I could feel how thankful she was that she raised someone who could stand on her own feet and not break down when times got hard.
There is no luck without you being prepared to handle that moment of opportunity. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for the moment that is to come." — Oprah 
I have always lived with the notion that I wouldn't change anything that had happened in my life. Every thing led me here and made me who I am. And I like who I am.  I have often felt like a floating feather, just waiting to see where the breeze will take me. It's in those floating moments is when I question "what do I want to do with my life? What direction will I go?" And when I land, it's normally on something good. Or at least something that I can learn from. And then another breeze will come and take me away again.

Lately I feel that I have more control over the direction the breeze takes me. I don't know if its from age, or experience or from finally starting to listen to the voice inside me. But it's an interesting feeling.
"I say the universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers. And a whisper in your life usually feels like 'hmm, that's odd.' Or, 'hmm, that doesn't make any sense.' Or, 'hmm, is that right?' It's that subtle. And if you don't pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder. I say it's like getting thumped upside the head. If you don't pay attention to that, it's like getting a brick upside your head. You don't pay attention to that—the brick wall falls down. That is the pattern that I see in my life and so many other people's lives. And so, I ask people, 'What are the whispers? What's whispering to you now?'" — Oprah
 I've been wondering about my purpose. I know that I'm good at looking at the big picture and breaking it down into manageable chunks.I can translate complex ideas into simple concepts. And I can share those ideas clearly. This is why I enjoy the work I do as an instructional designer. I can be creative and use my problem solving skills and create something tangible that can be useful to someone else.

There is something bigger for me out there, something I'm supposed to immerse myself in. Not because I have to, but because it is something I want to do. I'm starting to discover what that might be. I might be standing right on the edge of it, or I might only be starting on the path to take me there, but I know it's out there and that I'm finally pointing in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today's Horoscope

Skip the staid, business side of things today. Instead, focus on the creative aspects of your life. Listening to music, cooking up an ambitious meal or even dancing around your bedroom is a great way to liven up the day and improve your mood. Creating something new is easier than ever, so don't be surprised if a tune pops into your head and refuses to leave, or if your mindless doodling results in some breathtaking images. All your inner ideas are itching to come out. 

I'm loving this horoscope today because I already know it's true.

I haven't been very inspired at work recently because I haven't had a chance to use my creativity. But I have been getting my creative fix in other ways.

I just created a new website for my alumnae association.

And I'm very excited to be helping my friend launch her new business by working on her website and social media marketing plan.

This feels really great to do. Feels like I'm fulfilling my purpose, something I think I've been lacking for quite a while.

Birthday Weekend

What a year it has been!

Just one year ago, I was signing away my home to move 500 miles away and live with a man I had just met.

This year I celebrated my 38th birthday among friends in a new place that I love. The changes are vast, but nothing that I would have any differently.
Saturday, my old friend and college sister threw a party for me and her husband. We were born on the same day. I shared cupcakes with her two boys.
Well, her three boys, I guess.

Then the adults came and we had plenty of burgers, beers and various other treats that made me go off my diet for the day.

The next morning, after a breakfast of birthday cake and coffee, I got ready for celebration number two.

I got to spend time with my new Carolina friends at a brunch. It was a multi-celebration. Kim got her degree, my birthday and Katie is launching her own cooking class/catering business.

I am keenly aware at how blessed I truly am.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Proof: I'm annoying

Apparently I'm pretty average on being picky and arrogant, but I can get pretty irritating.

Yes, I'd say that was accurate.

I am an asshole, you know.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A year of self-improvement

My birthday is only a few days away.

Last year on my birthday, I put my house in New Jersey up for sale. I spent the entire year taking an exciting risk: on romance, on job, on life. Two out of three ain't bad.

This year I think I'll do another year-long kind of project. Except this time the focus will be on self-improvement. I've already started reading some books that I've found very interesting and has changed my outlook on how I communicate with others.

The next step in this self-improvement journey is getting myself healthy again. For that, I signed up for Weight Watchers Online. I don't want to go to a meeting. I like being able to just log into my management tool, either online or through my iPhone app and keep track on my points and activity. It's only day two, but I think I could make a habit of it. And I like the challenge of staying within my points. It makes me start to reevaluate whether I want that extra scoop of sugar in my coffee.

The third step that I think I'll tackle this year is defining my purpose. This will need its own post someday, but lately I've been feeling lacking a goal, something to strive for that's unrelated to work. I have ideas -- actually several -- but I'm hesitant to move forward because I'm not sure if they'll make the impact that I'm hoping for.

Turning 37 was exciting and proof of my independence. I wonder what turning 38 has in store.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I've been ranting a lot lately. If not here, then I've been tormenting a friend with the nonsense that drives me up a wall.

Today's rant is about email spam from co-workers.

For some reason, some of the unfunny people in my company thinks its he-la-er-us to send an email using the department alias address with some stupid little inside joke.

I get it. I determine its stupid. I delete it.

Then within the next 3 minutes, I get about 15 audio chimes indicating that I have new mail. Every single one is a reply to all with asinine things like:


No, but she thought she was!

“Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”

I get it that they're trying to create some fun environment even though the group is split between east coast and west coast (east coast, represent!) But I don't care!

I've written about a hundred responses with "STOP SPAMMING THIS ADDRESS WITH YOUR STUPIDITY!". But I stopped myself and just hit delete each time. Not because I'm nice, because I've already confessed to being an asshole.

I stop because I would just be replicating the exact behavior that I abhor.

And I'm better than that. Actually, I'm better than all of them. (insert snarkiness)


I couldn't help myself. I caved in and sent my own response:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

coffee wars

I got into work this morning without my cup of coffee at home because I had run out of milk. When I got to the coffee room, only a pot of decaf had been made.

So I started brewing a pot of regular coffee and walked back to my desk to start up my laptop. When I got back, the pot was empty.

And no one started another one.


So now I'm starting a second pot of coffee, and also a third, because when I go back there, there better be some damn coffee waiting for me.

If this any indication that my day will be spent taking care of everyone else's shit, I'm ready to go back home. right now.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Pina Colada Cake

I was inspired by Cinco de Mayo.

It was my turn to host the monthly Bunko party last night. It was May 4th, and had I been clever enough, I would have done a Star Wars theme. But I flaked and took the easy way out and celebrated the Mexican St. Patrick's Day of Cinco de Mayo.

Really, the only difference between the two is that we drink margaritas and eat tacos rather than drink green beer and corned beef and hash.

I worked from home that day so I could scrub my toilet, whisk up the dog hair all over my couch, do some grocery shopping, cooking and baking of my newly invented dessert, my pina colada cake.

I'm sure I really didn't invent this. It was just coconut cake mix with vanilla icing. Coconut shreds were sprinkled on top and topped with pineapple slices and cherries. But it was so damn good that I was worried that it might not make it to the party without an obvious chunk of it missing.

Monday, May 02, 2011

This ain't no movie

I woke up this morning and checked Facebook and read update upon update about the death of Osama bin Laden. I didn't really have much of a reaction.


Don't get me wrong, he's a bad guy. But I don't really see how his death will really make a difference.

There were video of people in the streets, wearing US flags and cheering "USA, USA" as if they were just a part of the covert military operation of the Navy Seals to bring Osama down. People were declaring this an historic moment and justice served.

But is is really?

Loved ones are still gone. Many more innocents were taken. And the removal of one person who is only part of the cancerous terrorist groups will not make much of a dent, in my opinion. There will still be extremism and fighting, death and destruction and all the cheering and singing in the world won't stop it.

I'd like to think that this Hollywood-style kiss-assery will bring about a happy ending, but that only happens in the movies. The credits don't roll, the story continues on. This united American patriotism will last only as long as the next proposed healthcare budget, and those that struggle every day just to find shelter and food for their families will continue to do so.

So while this may be a big deal to some, to me its just another day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'm bored.

It's strange to say considering I have my job, my social groups, my friends and playing softball. Plus I can always entertain myself.

But here I am sitting at work and nothing is inspiring me. I'm just sitting around thinking, 'is that all? Ok, what's next?'

And I'm not really just talking about my job. I think it's the bigger picture. Defining my life purpose and what-not.

I have ideas and some things that I'd like to peruse, but I fear that taking the initiative and running with it may step on a few toes. Toes of people that I like and would hate to disappoint.

I've had this feeling before -- the feeling that I'm a feather floating on the wind just waiting to see where I wind up next. In any case, I'm sure this means that an interesting story is bound to come out of it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shut up

I was forced to take last week off from work. My company had a mandatory furlough for all contractors. It was a nice week off. I got to see family and friends back home, I played softball, I went to a friend's BBQ and I enjoyed the beautiful weather here in NC.

Coming back to work this week is bittersweet. While I enjoy the paycheck very much, I had to deal with the incessant talking again.I actually had to ask a coworker to please continue their conversation somewhere else because my headphones don't go high enough to drown them out.

I'm an asshole, I know. But this is the same person who throws a fit when people walk past on their way to the conference room talking loudly. The only difference with them, is that they keep walking and eventually go away.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Battle scars

That looks about the size of a softball, right?

Next time maybe I'll catch it instead of let it bounce off my elbow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A rant: Too Much Talking people

There really are all kinds of people. But the kind of people I want to talk rant about today are those who don't know how to shut the fuck up.

Personally, I am more of a listener. When I'm in settings with new people, or not yet part of the established 'group', I often sit back and listen to the volley of conversation. I'll participate when I have something helpful to contribute or if I want to ask a follow up question, but mostly I observe.

Its just that I don't like to waste words.

Even at work, and especially during meetings, I get to the point. It may not be socially acceptable thing to gloss past the niceties, but honestly I don't care about the weather somewhere else, what color you're painting your power room or if your toddler can go a night without wetting the bed.

So in social settings, with people I consider friends, it pains me to listen to endless lectures about them. (And it is a lecture and not a discussion, because they leave no room for anyone else's opinion.)

There are stories that I've heard a million times (and they weren't that interesting the first time around), stories that are completely opposite to what I believe in (that I often bite my tongue because I often think 'is it worth it?'), to stories that make me look smarter just by saying nothing.

The worst part is that the people I'm thinking about aren't bad people. I would even like to think that they may be one of the ones to come to my aid should I need it. But these are people who can only be taken in small doses. Like alcohol.

A little once in a while can make for an entertaining evening. But constant binges leads to headaches, nausea, and sometimes emotional/physical outbursts that are best left to the cast of Jersey Shore.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weekday warrior

I signed up to play softball for my town recreational league. We had practice for a few weeks and our second game last night.

I lovingly call ourselves the Bad News Bears. Many of the players on the team haven't really played before. Some, like me, haven't played competitively in years. But we all knew going into this that we were playing for fun and if we happened to win some games, then that was a bonus.

So far we've lost both our games. By at least 10 runs. Sigh.

The problem isn't that we're all awful. There are some good players on the team. One of the problems is that it takes some time for our hitting to come alive. Some of our errors in the field make me want to cringe. But the biggest problem of all is that we don't have a consistent pitcher.

Our league is slow pitch, which means the arc of the ball has to be between 6 and 12 feet off the ground. As opposed to fast pitch, the intent isn't to strike the batter out, but to get her to hit the ball somewhere that she doesn't want to.

Our pitchers have trouble reaching the plate or just can't make it hittable. And that walks in a lot of runs.

But what sucked the most about yesterday was that I pulled my lift quadricep on the first play of the game. I sprinted to get a foul ball from left field and I felt the pop. I finished the inning pounding my leg and trying to walk, but it was useless. Thankfully, nothing was hit to me the rest of the inning because I was done.

There was a sharp pain at the top of my thigh, right where it connects to my hip. I could walk with a limp, but the slightest movement could give me such a jolt that I had to fight crying out in pain. I sat the rest of the game on the bench with an ice pack on my leg, slowly leaking and drenching  my pants that eventually froze me out on a chilly evening. I didn't leave right away because I wanted to be a good and supportive team player. I also wanted to make sure that I'd be able to drive home. My car is stick and I needed my left leg to push in the clutch.

When I finally got home that night, I finally had to be a baby and cry out in pain when it hurt. Barry came over to kiss my face each time, confused as to what was wrong with me. I puttered around slowly and put a Tiger Balm patch on my leg for some much needed relief.

Laying in bed with an ice pack on my raised leg, I felt old and helpless. And I felt really far away from home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More process, please.

I just sat through a 70 minute WebEx listening to someone talk about an elaborate Excel template he created to manage project plans. All I could think of was Microsoft Project and how it does all that was demonstrated right out of the box.

Then there were so many tools and templates and processes and hoops to jump through... only to learn that as an Instructional Designer, I don't even have to do that. Its for the Project Managers.

What a colossal waste of time.

I got more out of the snarky IMs back an forth with a colleague than from the meeting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Duke Gardens

Every time I explore the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, I find something that makes me love North Carolina even more.

Yesterday my group of girlfriends who I call the Carolina Girls (they're a separate group from my sorority sisters but who are equally as awesome) all met at Duke Gardens for a picnic. The day started off gray and a little chilly, but the sky eventually cleared up and turned very warm.

We found a bench at the edge of a huge open space and laid out our picnic spread: chicken salad, mixed greens, fruit, cheese, french bread, chocolate cake and mimosas. It was a lovely, relatively healthy and easy meal. This was not your typical peanut butter and jelly picnic. We had some style.

We lounged on our picnic blankets and tailgating chairs and chatted for four hours as we sipped our mimosas and watched families playing on the lawn. In the distance a string orchestra played for the Duke University alumnae weekend event and the Easter Bunny even made an appearance.

It was such an enjoyable afternoon. I was gastronomically and mentally satisfied as I was stuffed with good food, good conversation and good company. I didn't really want to move because that would have required me to unbutton my pants.
At 3:30 in the afternoon, we reluctantly gathered ourselves and our belongings and as Kristin called it, "headed back into reality". As the ladies went back to their cars, I wandered around the tulip garden a little bit longer to admire the color display.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Carolina Ballet
I read a post recently about the pleasures of doing things alone, things most of my friends would never do. Last night I did exactly that.

I was having a day. It was gray, cold and I was feeling pretty blue (which is another post entirely). But I was determined not to sit and mope in my apartment in my pajamas all day. I was invited out to dinner with a good friend, but I wasn't in the mood for being good company. I just wanted to enjoy a solitary moment, but in the company of others.

So I did a search of events in Raleigh and Carmen was being performed by the Carolina Ballet. Perfect.

My last minute decision paid off. I got balcony, first row seats - the most perfect seats, really - for only half price. The show wasn't sold out and the ticket booth woman was very kind.

I can't say that I'm a particular fan of ballet or opera, but I do appreciate the arts and the skill, discipline that goes into it and the beauty that comes out of it. The passion that the dancers (or musicians, actors, painters.... whatever it happens to be) put into their art is so strong and so moving, that it has often brought me to tears.

In the dark, alone, with a few hundred other people, I was memorized by the strength of the people who danced on stage. The principles who made it look so effortless. And I was distracted by the men who has their junk crammed into their tights.

When the show was over and the dancers gave their final bows, I felt satisfied with myself. I was glad that I'm not afraid to explore and be on my own. And I wondered how many things I would have missed if I needed to wait for someone to accompany me on adventures.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Four Agreements

I just finished reading a new book, "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz.

I've been in this self-awareness, soul searching, happiness-finding mode lately and this book was recommended to me.

I love it.

Ruiz, a Mexican shaman of the Toltec wisdom, a way of life that embraces spirit and honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth.

The premise is very Matrix-like: the world we think we live in is a dream built on the rules and opinions of others. Because we only know what is taught to us, these ways of thinking, these 'agreements' have falsely defined us.

But one we learn to shed these false and negative 'agreements' that have wrongly defined us, we can invite new agreements that can lead us to a life of personal freedom.

The four agreements are:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  • Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
  • Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  • Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. 

This has made a tremendous impact on me and how I work through situations that are unpleasant. It's not something you read once and put away, but something I think I will keep coming back to.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fun at work

Silly posters have been popping up at work. I like these silly little surprises.

A quick update

I've been quiet about how Charles and I are doing. And that's on purpose.

In a word, we're doing ok. Actually, we're doing really well. So I guess that's two words.

He's a bit of a moment of clairity that I had recently that I shared with him:

I've been acting like a know-it-all and haven't been very receptive to others opinions sometimes. But I'm realizing that learning is growing and that's a good thing. I don't want to know it all because that means that I've stopped growing. And I see that there is so much you can show me And I can learn from you.

So, it's an evolving thing. And I'm happy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just a grouch

I think I might have a problem. I think I might be an asshole.

Really, I might need to join AA - Assholes Anonymous.

My asshole-ness really comes out at work. Especially during meetings. I can't stand the (completely not funny) banter that happens before the actual meeting begins - even though the meeting started 10 minutes previously.

It's even worse during conference/WebEx calls. Thank god I don't turn my video camera on. Otherwise everyone would see me rolling my eyes from the stupid comments and flipping the bird at the people who haven't prepared for the meeting.

My real pet peeve is people who waste my time. Whether I'm in the middle of developing a project or just surfing on the web, I can't stand it when someone tries to take my time when he/she is not providing any value to me.

Because really, it all comes down to what's in it for me.

I don't know if it's because I'm a yankee who's now in the south and things are just different here. Maybe not because I was just as impatient back in New Jersey.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A second job?

One of the things that keep us (mentally) young is to explore new things.

I explored a chair dancing / pole dancing class.

It was actually a workout class, and damn if I'm not sore. All those squats and hip gyrations and those fireman swings around the pole.

The best part about this class is that it was all women. Real women. With curves.

It was fun to not worry about what you look like or who's looking at you. There weren't even mirrors in the room so you couldn't see if you looked like an idiot.

The class was at a gym in downtown Raleigh. Aradia Fitness has a studio in one of the gym's rooms and from the ceiling are suspended silk ribbons for another class. They also have another location closer to me and I really think that I'll be checking them out for more classes. This was way too fun.

See the video about Aradia Fitness.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Scrap Exchange

I was in Durham this weekend for the farmer's market and was strolling around when I came upon this ridiculous elephant.
Intrigued, I wandered into the door and found this magical place called The Scrap Exchange.
The Scrap Exchange is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse.

We collect materials from hundreds of individuals, businesses, industries, and municipal sources and distribute those materials through our retail store in Durham, North Carolina as well as through workshops, parties, and outreach events across the Southeast.

This was such a fun place to explore. There were giant blue bins of...stuff, or crap, depending on how you see it.
There were cassette tape holders, wire, bumper stickers, computer keyboards (without the keys), puzzle pieces, plastic things, and other stuff that I really didn't recognize. Then in the back were piles of fabric just waiting to be used in something wonderful.

You could use one of the different sizes of bags and fill it up from the blue bins for a specific dollar amount.

Or you can just purchase things separately. They even have workshops where you can get creative and make stuff from the things you find. That's sounds like a great birthday part to me.