Thursday, March 25, 2010

I call a do-over

I've got a friend who is remodeling her bathroom, and I've got bathroom envy. Or is it re-do envy? I want to redo my bathroom too. All of it -- from floor to ceiling. I figure it's been 13+ years, so it's time. Don't you think?

It would be great to do an addition -- and expand the whole thing. But that's not very realistic at this point, especially since we don't have any money set aside for that kind of thing. Maybe dreaming smaller is the key here. Baby steps.

So if I were thinking of just doing bite-size changes I can see stuff more along these lines:

New flooring like this maybe?

I love the pattern. And the colors, oh my goodness the colors. Love them! And they'd show way less pet hair than the white tile we currently have -- that's definitely a bonus. I know I wouldn't tire of this because we have an Indian slate back splash in the kitchen, which is similar in color. And, of course, if we're adding new tile then we'd have to put in radiant floor heating before installing the new tile. What a lovely thing that would be on cold winter mornings.
A new vanity like this?

I love the style, and I love that it would make the bathroom seem roomier because it's open instead of enclosed. But I worry about having enough storage for stuff you don't necessarily want people to see if they happen to use that bathroom. And, you know, a certain amount of "stuff" is essential in a bathroom. Would I find it irritating to have that stuff in a cute box on the shelf? Hmmm. I don't know, but I think I might. I wonder if I could have Rico build a cabinet that matches the vanity and I could hide stuff in that. Sounds like a workable plan.

A new mirror?

This would be nice -- a mirror and storage all in one (that way Rico doesn't have to build anything). I like that it's recessed into the wall, because that helps make the space seem larger too. Do you get the impression that our master bath is small? It is. Tiny. Tiny. Tiny. We were on a serious budget when we built, so there was no spa-tub or spaciousness involved in the master bath. So, yeah, I like this mirror, but holy moly I think I'd have a heart attack if I spent $1000 on a medicine cabinet. Maybe I can take an adult ed metal-crafting class somewhere and make it myself. That'll be easy, right?

A new color palette?
Maybe a purple-ish warm gray? Or a tan? Or a green?

Insightful Rose , OR

Nomadic Desert OR

Ah, a girl can dream.
It's really a shame that I don't have a spare $3,000 sitting around, because if I did I'd hop right on this bathroom redo plan!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Missing the larger issue.

Empowerment? Seriously?

I was greeted at this morning by an email-missive to help our department by taking yet another survey -- because the company-wide employee opinion survey didn't point out explicitly enough that we feel totally let down (Hello? Big kahunas? Are you listening?). I mean really, how many people have to express the same opinion before someone sits up and takes notice?

Oh, well let's not forget, changes have taken place since that survey was done, and it's a brand new world at work since then. Oh. I must have missed that part. You know, the brand-new-world part. Because, new management or not, where I am is just as miserable as is has been for the last several years, and I'm not the only one feeling that way.

But hey, at least they asked us for areas of improvement, right? Sure. And, just so we're clear, I'm saying that totally sarcastically, and drawing it out so that "sure" is more than just one syllable. They asked. We answered. And then they choose to "focus" on areas that weren't the pain points that we said needed to be addressed. That's an EXCELLENT plan. That'll help tons! Way to go!

(Just so you know, I'm hearing a voice in my head say these comments -- a specific voice, in a specific delivery -- and I can't for the life of me figure out whose voice it is. Talk about irritating. Rest assured it's not a "voice" that I'm hearing for real -- I know it's not real, silly. But as I read this back to myself my commentary is being narrated by a specific TV talent. Arghhhhh! Who is it?)

So "empowerment" is the focus of choice. And -- poor me -- I'm at a loss as to how to respond to this survey. How can I articulate the many things that are wrong? The way we feel so demoralized day in and day out? 

/dɪˈmɔrəˌlaɪz, -ˈmɒr-/
[dih-mawr-uh-lahyz, -mor-]
–verb (used with object),-ized, -iz·ing.

1. to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline, etc.; destroy the morale of:
The continuous barrage demoralized the infantry.

2. to throw (a person) into disorder or confusion; bewilder:
We were so demoralized by that one wrong turn that we were lost for hours.

Ohhhhhhhh. I got it! Go listen to the Hoops and YoYo "Sarcastic Wednesday" clip. That's who it is that I'm hearing deliver this narrative -- sorry, it wasn't TV at all, but a video clip that really resonates with me. This says it all.

The tone. The sarcasm. The pizza "reward" for working late. That's it exactly.

I'm going back to "the land of fairies and elves" now. I'll be working on composing my survey answers in a way that might be seen as empowering. Sleep is highly overrated.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Patience is a virtue, right? I've had lots and lots of it in the past (the last 3 years I've had tons and tons in some aspects of my life), but lately patience is in short supply.

Short, short supply.

This makes me wonder how I can build that reservoir back up? Or worse yet, can I? Or is my patience depleted until some of the issues I've lost patience with have been resolved? Ohhhhhhhh, that would be bad, because I don't see any of them getting resolved any time soon. Oy.

I'm dreaming about Isabella (can anyone say unresolved issues?)
Work continues to be a daily struggle.
He's unemployed and is considering going back to school (and how do we pay for that?).
The economy is so tough that jobs are tough, tough, tough to come by.

And to top it all off I'm just so flipping tired of it all. Can someone else be the grownup for a while? I need a break.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I did some grocery shopping (gasp!)

Normally we go to the grocery mega-store, known in these parts as Meijer, and I putz around looking at everything but the grocery section (yes, I even travel through hardware and automotive for fun) -- and Jason does the grocery section all by his lonesome (yeah for Jason).

But not this week! No-ooooooooo. I braved the store all by myself, and I done good.

I filled the whole cart at Meijer all by myself...

with this:

(which is ever, ever, so good! Hot and spicy, just like the box says.)

and this:

(I gotta have it)

and this:

All images from

Do I ROCK, or what? We are living high on the hog, baby!

P.S. We won't mention the chocolate Meijer poptarts or the two chocolate donuts from the bakery case, ok? Shhhhh.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Exercise. I hate it. Well, that's a little harsh. I don't really hate it, I'd just rather do something fun (like read, or garden, or swim with the kids). In my book, exercise doesn't even rate on the 'fun' scale.

I mean really, who wants to go out on a run, or lift weights? Ick. Not me. To quote Hetty, "I'd sooner give a chainsaw to a spider monkey." (I just love NCIS LA; L.L. Cool Jay is such a hotty, even if it sounds like he says 'Ewic' instead of 'Eric'.)

But back to exercise -- I, like many of my friends (like most Americans), need to lose weight. And it's not going to happen without getting motivated to move my butt (and assorted other body parts) and sweat it out.

The trick is figuring out what to do?

I like bike riding, but I like to actually look around and see the sights that I'm passing by when I'm riding. "Did you see that cool garage door?" I'll say. Or "Wasn't that rock garden awesome?" Or "That dog scared the crap out of me!" Guess what response I usually get from everyone I'm riding with? "Huh?", Disney Princess Girls' Bike (16-Inch Wheels)

Call me crazy, but I'm actually enjoying the ride rather than racing to the finish line -- and I'm the only one who's seeing what we're passing by. Why the big hurry? Oh, yeah, so your heart rate goes up and you're actually "exercising." Huh. That's right, it's not about having fun -- it's about exercise.

How about the treadmill? Boring as heck, but it's convenient. Or it would be, if I had one in my basement. But I don't. I have to go to the gym to use one. And who wants to parade their fat butt around in spandex pants in a location that you might be seen by other peeps? Oh doggy, NOT me. (Even if I could fit said body part in spandex that I currently own, not).

So then the dilemma is how to lose enough weight that it becomes acceptable to go to the gym to lose even more weight? It's a crazy, crazy cycle. Maybe we'll get a tax refund and we can set it aside for a treadmill. Or maybe I should just get up early and take the dog for a walk. Or maybe I should get up early and go to the gym then.

Nah. I'm tired even thinking about it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Forgive me ...

Forgive me blog-world for I have sinned. It's been 6 days since my last post ...

... and until today I really couldn't dredge up enough energy to care. It's been a week. A week, a week, a week from hell.

On the way home from work today I was thinking, "I wish I could just be numb for a while." And then I thought, no I don't really mean that (visions of being paralyzed running through my head, and that's not what I want, don't strike me down and make that my new reality, please. Can anyone say paranoia?). What I really mean is that I want to have a break from being so irked and thoroughly bothered by everything at work lately. Or I want to not feel that total ICK feeling that seems to be plaguing me every day at work. Don't wanna, don't wanna, don't wanna, don't wanna be there. Don't want to deal with the b.s. and the politics anymore. (Say it with me, "No more bullshit!").

Yesterday I spent the whole day with my headphones in with the iPod Touch cranked up GOOD AND LOUD. Me. The girl who really hates to have earbuds in my ears -- even though I have the most expensive ones known to man (Bose) and I HATE loud music (even if the sound quality is phenomenal with these buds). Still, I hate wearing them. Ick. It's making my ears feel itchy just thinking about it.

But yesterday you could barely pry me away from them. Being plugged in to my ipod was the only way I was able to keep my butt planted in my chair in tan-cube-ville without running screaming down the hall.


One thing after another. Not big things, just things. And all of them seemed to be more than I could handle. Stupid things. And yet, telling myself that they were indeed stupid things and they don't matter, and that I'm getting all worked up over NOTHING that really matters in the scheme of things didn't help. Nope, that didn't help at all. I know all this. Yet I kept right on clenching my jaw, cranking up the music, and tearing up while trying not to tear up. Stupid, stupid reaction to getting mad. Crying. Oy. Spare me. How girly can you get? (Not that I have anything about being girly, but it's SO not me)

I almost bailed out on the girls night scheduled for last night because I was feeling so crappy. I didn't feel like putting on a happy face -- and if my day was any indication I wouldn't have much success even if I tried. But friends understand that it's not all happiness and light, and they let you feel how you feel. Right? Well sure, that's true. But the fact of the matter is that I didn't want Rico Suave to tattle to my sister that I had bailed on a night out and went right to bed after work again. She's likely to drag me out in public in my pajamas with a bedhead hairdo that looks like a hot mess if she thinks I'm acting up (or down, as the case may be).

So I went.

And it wasn't all about me (I know, shocking, right?). It was a little bit about all of us. And a little bit about that "milk-a-what" Lindsay Lohen, and OMG is she crazy or what? And it was about reconnecting.

Last night we had "Oh-oh" moments, "Awwww" moments, and loads of belly laughs. We found a lot of humor in a fun game of "Fictionary" even if we need to pass the 'readers' (magnifying glasses) around the table so we could read the teeny-tiny print in the dictionary.

We talked about life challenges, stalkers from elementary school, work, fights, anniversaries, the earthquake in Chili, and Greek yogurt. We broke bread, polished off a few bottles of wine, and we 'crafted' definitions to words we plucked from the pages of our dictionaries. Quirky, funny definitions that involved an odd assortment of elements:

... a quince-firing gun
... tossed coconuts
... hot mustard poultices
... storage rooms next to the Rectory
... flatulence
... 500 Irish mermaids

And laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. Especially when it came to the "two tickets to that thing you love" guy from the Old Spice commercial that I had yet to see (and if you haven't seen it you have to here and watch "The Man Your Man" commercial -- OMG it's just as funny as it seems when Pam was acting it out last night).

I needed that. And I needed for the fun to continue today as I met another group of gals (and Glenn) for lunch.

Thank goodness for friends, laughs, and a full 24-hours without tears.

FYI: I didn't need the 'readers,' but I would have needed my glasses to drive home if Rico Suave hadn't been my taxi service. Thanks, Rico. You da' man.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Friday. Last day of the work week. Sun SHINING on the way in to work at 7:45. WOW! Really, wow! This is Michigan after all -- the land of the lake-effect gray sky -- and it seems like we don't see the sun from December to May (an, exaggeration, yes, but it really seems like it's the straight-up truth).


We need to feel the heat of the sun on our faces even if the air is brisk. We need to close our eyes and look up and see the spots of color on the inside of our eyelids. We need to feel, if just for a minute, that Spring has sprung and that snowstorms and perpetually gray skies are a thing of the past. Adios winter -- don't darken our door again. We're done with you!

Oh, if only it were true. Michigan winters are sneaky things. But, believe me, I've got my fingers crossed.

Goals for the weekend: enjoy the sun. relax (and for pete's sake, stop clenching your jaw). play some party games and enjoy punch and pizza.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I object to Objectives


And not just any old objectives, but S.M.A.R.T. Objectives. (Because, you know, regular old everyday objectives couldn't possibly be good enough). No-o-o-o-o.

What the...?

Apparently it's not enough to just do your job these days (not to mention do it well, or bust your butt doing it, or stress-the-heck-out about getting the crazy amount of work done with less staff -- old story, right? Nothing new to workplaces these days.). No, now you have to have additional, s-t-r-e-t-c-h measures for the extra work that you can do just for kicks. You know, 'cause you don't have anything better to do in days full of meetings, more work than ever before (and, did I mention, less staff to do it), and impossible deadlines.

Suck it up, girlfriend. Or, as my good friend Mo was told by her boss, "Put on your big-girl panties."

Seriously? "Put on your big girl panties." that's what she gets? (How's that for inspiring your troops in battle?) We've got it going on at the corp. Yep, we got it ALL going on alright. Poor Mo.

I made some pithy comment that I would have responded with a "bite me," or "stick it where the sun don't shine" -- but then, Mo is so much nicer than me that you know she just took it in stride.

Yup, that's how they roll. And you know what? In this economy they've got you by the cajones, so you'll pretty much put up with anything as long as you've still got a paycheck coming at the end of the pay period. Which brings me nicely back to objecting to OBJECTIVES.

S =
M = measurable
A =
R =
T =

In all honesty, the only piece of the acronym I remembered was "measurable" so I'm thinking that that acronym isn't all that effective. Eh?

Well, I'd better get thinking. You know, because we only get one day next week to build our OBJECTIVES because that's when our boss will give us hers, and everyone must have theirs "in the system" the next day. And our objectives need to build on hers, which need to build-on-and-flow-up-to-and-add-value-to our bosses' objectives (which flow up to her bosses', which flow up to her bosses', which flow up to his bosses' -- the big corp kahunas).

After all it's only March (which means that a quarter of the year is now just a memory if my calculations are correct) and we were on hold while they figured out what the heck they wanted to accomplish this year -- and then made sure they were S.M.A.R.T. objectives and that they started with an "action" verb.

But never fear, it's not like we were sitting in cubeville just twiddling our thumbs while they were toiling away on their objectives. We were doing, like, WORK, you know? Crazy kids!

Wish me luck -- because my boss just gave me a look that said stop disrupting my meeting when I asked if I could "opt-out" of objectives if I wanted to opt-out of the bonus for next year.

(I thought that was a good plan considering one was based on fulfilling the other)

BTW, because I don't want to leave you hangin':
S = specific
M = measurable
A = achievable
R = realistic
T = time bound

And YES, I did have to google it to find out what the s, a, r, and t stood for.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A buyer or a seller ... not

A buyer or a seller of bullshit I'm not.

And I don't want to be, really. I like being straight-forward. I like being transparent. And really, let's face it, I don't have much of an option anyway because with my ever-so-fair, freckled skin I'm lying "handicapped. I blush like no body's business. So it's just as well that I tell is like it is.

To the point. Frank. (Not to be confused with "To the point, Frank."). No bull for you, and no bull for me, and no explanations necessary.

Doesn't that sound simple? I think so. And I like it. Knowing where you stand is good, right? It eliminates a lot of maneuvering and politicking. I say what I mean and you say what you mean and we'll both know exactly where we stand. Until you change your mind. Me? Not so much. I pretty much know my mind, and I don't hesitate (much) to speak it.

Even when I don't know I'm saying what I mean I say it, apparently. (Not sure if I should be comma splicing there or not, so I hope you're reading the way I'm hearing it in my head.) Earlier today Lisa started laughing and asked me if I knew I was shaking my head in disgust as I sat at my desk. I had NO idea. No idea at all. But apparently,from the outside looking in, it was very apparent.

I was broadcasting that I'm not a buyer or a seller.