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.