Saturday, January 30, 2010

John Tesh In Concert

This is your gift, this brand new day.
So take it to heart, take it on faith.
Open your eyes, don't be afraid to learn how to live.
This is your gift. This brand new day. This is your gift.

This Is Your Gift by John Tesh

Yes, it's true -- I went to a John Tesh concert tonight in Bryon Center -- and I took my mom.

All together now... "Awwwwwwww." Isn't that sweet? It was, really. I got tickets from work and I knew my mom would enjoy it much more than my husband would. She loved it. And I enjoyed it too (except for the rapping, because let's face it, a 57-year-old white man has no business trying to rap, even it if is tongue-in-cheek). We had great seats in the lower level, center. I'll have to remember to say thanks to J's cousin for getting us such good seats -- it pays to have friends in high places, right? Ha.Ha.

The show was very entertaining.The show side-kick, Gib, was a riot (even if he didn't have the muscle to toss free t-shirts to the back level of the theatre). By the way, Gib -- -- how's that for hawking your site, oh great webmaster? Now toss me a t-shirt. :)

The hip-hop dancer that performed was really great, and the music was really nice -- I especially enjoyed the instrumental pieces and the song quoted above "This Is Your Gift." I really loved that song, and it's a message worth remembering.

Blue skies. Peace.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The One Year Anniversary

Today was the one year mark. Not a happy anniversary, but one that made me sad because a year ago today many of my friends and co-workers lost their jobs. One year ago today 1/3 of the staff in our department was shown the door,
sent packing,
given the heave-ho,

It was terrible -- and that's from my perspective -- and I wasn't even there since I had already left the office before it started to happen. In fact, I was leaving for my 1/2 day off when Pam and I passed each other in the lobby and wished each other a "good weekend". Then I went home and she went in to her "meeting" only to find out that she was getting the axe. Followed by so many others.

So sad. It makes me tear up every time I think about that day, and I wasn't even there to experience what happened first-hand:
- the anxiety,
- the knowledge that you might be next,
- the hours of waiting and uncertainty,
- the knowledge that if the department secretary came to your cube it was bad,
- the security guys escorting people out.

They joined the ranks of the unemployed a year ago today during the worst economic time that I remember. The worst that many of us remember. Perhaps the worst ever (although that remains to be seen -- history will tell).

I cried daily for months after it happened -- and I was one of the ones who was still employed. I dreaded going to work because I could hardly bear to be there, so I cried. I dreaded the drive home because by that time I'd had all I could take, and I cried some more. I felt survivor's guilt, so I cried. I got some "help" and still I cried. I did what I could to support them through this tough, tough time, and I cried -- we all cried. Buckets, waterfalls of tears.

We began "lunching" on Thursdays -- a group of us that included our "liberated" employees and some of us still in the trenches. It was our version of therapy. Oh, the conversations we had: some sad, some bitter, some raunchy, some bitchy, some slap-happy, some oh-so-serious, some where we laughed so hard that the whole restaurant was looking our way, some where we just told each other to hang in there, many where we just reinforced that we would all be OK. What a lifeline these lunches have been. Continue to be.

What a long, strange trip it's been, right? But you're makin' it. New experiences. New challenges. New "opportunities" (as Sturgeon would say). New roads for you all to travel: new jobs, going "freelance", spending quality time with your kids, travelling. Searching for blue skies.

To all of you -- I thought of you today. As I do nearly every day. Know that you're in my heart. Much love, and blue skies in our future.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hanging out in limbo

To quest or not to quest? Who the heck knows?

That's a question we just don't know the answer to. We've got no news. None. Still. Nothin' from the embassy. Nothing from the Ministry of Families. Nothing from the lawyer. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

So we continue to be in limbo about whether or not anything will happen on the adoption front before our paperwork expires in the first few days of May.

I was so looking forward to starting this year "fresh" and informed. Knowing something about what life would hold, what direction our lives would move now. While this was not a resolution, more a fervent wish, I did so hope it would be a reality. Well, it's coming on the end of January and we've got bupkiss. Squat. Nada. Dare I say that reality sucks?

So we go into 2010 in limbo. Just like we did in 2009, 2008, and 2007. Feeling like life is on hold, and my heart breaks a little for all that could have been these last few years.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ladies Night Out

My "Ladies That Lunch" group got together for margaritas and great food at La Cantina last night for dinner -- at least those of us who didn't have ...
- book club to attend, or
- have to work designing book covers, or
- have to teach a class on resume-writing together. You know, those of us with nothing better to do, right?

It had been too, too long since we'd gotten together, and picking a date that worked for everyone seemed like an impossible task (we are busy women after all -- we've got lives and all to attend to) so I picked a date and a locale and I send out the email: Meet me for dinner! And lo-and-behold three of my gals showed up!

Good foods, good friends, good belly laughs (the manager, Linda, is a trip) -- and it was all kicked off by Lynne sitting on a tack. Really. A big ol' 1" diameter tack with a hammered head that, once upon a time, was the piece-de-resistance that topped the leather webbed chairs we sat in.

What are the chances that it'd be sticking up on a chair waiting for someone to sit down? But the better question is: What's a small puncture would between friends? Once she handed over the evidence to Linda and straightened out her fresh-water pearl necklace (from the museum in Seattle no less) Lynne was all set for a good time. Truthfully I'm sure the two free beverages helped too (thanks to Linda). I think for a free margarita we all would have sat on a tack. :)

So all in all it was worth that small sting from planting your bum on a tack, right Lynne?

I love my ladies! I'm looking forward to next time.
And the rest of you slackers? Be there!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Things I am grateful for today

- A husband who makes homemade mac and cheese for dinner because he knows I love it

- A low-ish price per gallon when I have an empty gas tank

- Friends at work who know what works and what doesn't

- Having my heated mattress pad turned on when I get into bed

- A niece who calls to remind me that she has gymnastics tonight, and would we come?

- Clean sheets on the bed, through no effort of mine

- A nephew who happily plays with matchbox cars with me

- A Diet Coke, or three

- A night out with friends to look forward to tomorrow

- A husband who has a sense of humor (he wants to be called Sven or Rico in this blog)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Relax and get better

As we were leaving work yesterday one of my coworkers said "Rest and get better this weekend... or I'll bring my shopvac in on Monday to clean the snot out."

Or something of that nature. I can't recall if he said "snot" for sure, but you get the gist of it. I think the week-of-sniffling that I just experienced was getting to him too. And here I thought I was sitting in my cube suffering in relative silence (apparently not!). A week with a cold, two different daytime cold meds that didn't really work, and my bum in a chair in a tan cube. Sounds great, doesn't it? I started looking forward to the weekend on Tuesday morning -- so I'm thrilled the weekend has finally arrived.

Thank goodness the plan to relax this weekend is coming together. The whole fam went to Nate's b-ball game this morning where he continued to be a scoring machine. His dad says he's never met a shot he doesn't like -- which is great -- and he practices shooting hoops so much that most of them go in. Yeah Nate!

A couple of quick stops later and then we're at the bookstore to browse. Been sitting here in their cafe ever since. And as I look around I realize that it's a kleenex-free zone, which means I'm finally on the mend. Woo-hoo!

Love it. Vegging, reading, sipping Diet Coke, people watching, looking through magazines, listening to our iPods, and playing on the computer (which seems to work better here than at home, so maybe Jay's right about not getting a great signal at home, which would be a bummer!). Veg-o-matic. Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing. I just realized I'm breathing through my nose -- both nostrils. Wow! Stick a fork in me... I'm done!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Refresh... refresh... refresh...

I sent another email to Margine asking for clarification about our expiration date. Or the expiration date of our paperwork. Whatever. I hoped it would slip in under the wire since they're an hour behind us -- she might still be there, right? Apparently not. It's the next day, and ...

I did great deal of hitting "refresh" today. Log in, check the inbox... nothing... refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Log out.

Anxious much? Just a bit. And yes, I did just do the same thing before I logged in here. Log in, check the inbox... refresh -- you get the picture? I even picked up the phone and dialed C. to see if she had any luck getting through to Mi Familia today, and I hate talking on the phone. Guess what I got? A busy signal. Arghhhhhhhhh!

So I got NO satisfaction. My inbox stubbornly remained empty. The dialtone just kept beeping.
Calgon, take me away!

FYI, I wanted to put a picture of a spa tub here, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The end of the quest

I got an email today and I thought it was the end, the end of the quest. It's been three years now -- over three years if you want to be accurate -- and an ending is due. And here it was.

Margine from the embassy had emailed, and she said February 5 was the expiration date. Well, I wasn't a 100% sure that's what she said, since she wrote in spanish. But I generally get the gist of the written word, so I was pretty sure I followed it.

Unfortunately she didn't say much else. And I thought our paperwork expired at the beginning May -- so we still have a little over two months time, if everything (and I mean everything) worked in our favor for once. Oh dear, what's going on?

How did it the expiration date get bumped up to February? Crap. I must have read it wrong. But then so did Mi Familia, because I would swear that they said May too. But February 5? How can that be?

So I pulled up the paperwork, and I read it really carefully. Crap (again). She was right. If you read it really closely -- I mean read what it really says -- it clearly says it expires 18 months from...

So it's over. Not in May, but now. Wow. Three years coming and yet it's still a surprise.