Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween


My office gets VERY into Halloween. I have seen some lumberjacks, Jason, The Statue of Liberty, a nurse, and more in the offices today. Ann is our resident cheerleader (let's hear it for fitting into a 4th grader's uniform!), and I am a smarty-pants. Or smartass, depending on how I am feeling about things. But more importantly, I get to wear a "Bite Me" shirt to work today. And that makes it ALL worth it.
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Next Great Invention

The greatest TV inventions of the last few decades would obviously be the VCR, followed by the DVD player, followed by flat screen TV's and high def, and the most important of them all, the DVR (or TiVo). Let me tell you what the next great TV invention will be. It came to me tonight as I was watching TiVo on my not-so-high-def-non-flat-screen TV. I love TiVo (DVR) and all of the freedom and options it gives me. The next great thing will be an extension of TiVo, and I guarantee you it will happen. When watching "digital television" you will soon be able to see a commercial for an upcoming show and click a magic little button that will record the show. You will no longer have to sort through the online guide to find a show. You will soon be able to see a commercial and select it automatically. Trust me. I'm always right about these things.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

How to Beat a Bad Mood

So I've had a headache, fever, and bad mood for several days now. I've been trying very hard for the last 24 hours to shake the mood off. I've done everything- retail therapy (can you believe i couldn't find ANYTHING to buy unnecessarily at Target??), Halloween party, shameless flirting, sunshine, physical exercise, trashy novels, and indulging in any food that struck my fancy. I even knitted and watched movies. And after 24 hours of intense mood rehab all I can say is I'm getting there. I'm far from Pollyanna, but I don't hate as many things today as I did yesterday, and that's gotta be worth something.

I did manage to find a Halloween costume. But I should preface that it fits my attitude problem. I will share what the costume is after I wear it to work on Monday.

In the meantime, I have another rant to share. (and then maybe a second one) There's a new TV commercial out there for Direct TV. It starts with a dad sitting on the couch, and his little boy jumping into his lap holding a book. When the boy sees that dad is watching football he immediately understands that no one will be reading to him now. But then- ta da- digital DVR to the rescue- and dad can pause his game to read. Except that he doesn't read to the boy. Instead the commercial continues with the magic loving feeling that comes from dad and son sharing the remote and the DVR. AAAGGH! What a great message being sent to the world! It is a cute commercial, but it drives me crazy that the message is not "turn off the tv and read with your kids." Instead the message is "our remote brings families together." GRRRRRRR!

Second rant. Men. (And I only do this because apparently people like it when I do.) Guy #1 knows its been a very rough week for me. He doesn't know everything that has happened, but that is because he hasn't asked. Part of me is irritated that he knows I could use a friend but instead he's choosing to be afraid of things like EMOTIONS. I suppose I get what I have coming on that one. I know he's absolutely terrified of those awful evil emotions, but still... Its just driving me crazy that I know he's worried about me, but he just doesn't want to ask cause he's afraid of opening Pandora's box. And you can't really blame him. But still... Does he get credit for letting me know in his own "special" way that he's worried about me and my bad attitude, or does he move back 3 steps for not having enough guts to approach me about it?

And thank you to the special few of you who have allowed me to rant, rave, and vent out my frustrations this week!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Saying Goodbye to Maggie May

Maybe it doesn't make sense to some how it is I have become so emotionally attached to a little girl I have never met. But it doesn't have to make sense to you, as long as it always makes sense to me. I feel for her parents, her young mother, and her big wonderful family that loved her so much to keep up a website about her sweet little life. I can't think of any way to say goodbye to this little angel other than to post the lyrics to the song she was named for.


Wake up maggie I think I got something to say to you
It’s late september and I really should be back at school
I know I keep you amused but I feel I’m being used
Oh maggie I couldn’t have tried any more
You lured me away from home just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that’s what really hurt
The morning sun when it’s in your face really shows your age
But that don’t worry me none in my eyes you’re everything
I laughed at all of your jokes my love you didn’t need to coax
Oh, maggie I couldn’t have tried any more
You lured me away from home, just to save you from being alone
You stole my soul and that’s a pain I can do without
All I needed was a friend to lend a guiding hand
But you turned into a lover and Mother what a lover, you wore me out
All you did was wreck my bed
And in the morning kick me in the head
Oh maggie I couldn’t have tried anymore
You lured me away from home ’cause you didn’t want to be alone
You stole my heart I couldn’t leave you if I tried
I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school
Or steal my daddy’s cue and make a living out of playing pool
Or find myself a rock and roll band that needs a helpin’ hand
Oh maggie I wish I’d never seen your face
You made a first-class fool out of me
But I’m as blind as a fool can be
You stole my heart but I love you anyway
Maggie I wish I’d never seen your face
I’ll get on back home one of these days

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tired of Being Tired of Everything, or Why Do I have to be the Good Guy?

Do you ever just reach the point where you just can't take it anymore? You are tired of being tired of everything? You just don't want to be the good guy anymore? You just need to yell and complain and have people understand that you just don't care about their quirks, needs, egos, and petty little problems anymore? Welcome to exactly how I am feeling at this moment.

Things I am Tired of at this Very Moment (not that I think you should care, because you shouldn't. if i did expect you to care i would be a complete hypocrite. but this is my blog and well, quite frankly, if i can't vent it out here, where can i vent it out? my blog, my world. get over it.)
1. Tiptoe-ing (my blog, my spelling) around egos. Get over it and just let people do their jobs.
2. Girls with massive jealousy issues. Guess what girls?! Sometimes ex-boyfriends are just that! EX-boyfriends. You can be friends. It is possible. (maybe I should clarify this one- girls- it is possible for some of us to be friends, and just friends, with our ex-boyfriends. it does not mean we are out to jeopardize the chance you may think you have with him. get over it.)
3. I am most tired of playing the good girl. Being the nice one. Being the one that gets dumped on, pushed around, and expected to do everything because other people have issues that preclude them from being a decent human being. I'm just tired of being the "girl who can."
4. Understanding. Compassion. Etc.
5. Hangnails.
6. Men with seriously complicated egos. (this would be an entirely seperate issue from #1)
7. Expectations. I need a little room for failure. Please lower your expectations. I need to just be me for a while.
8. Having a butt big enough that my past can come back and bite it. I accept that I have no choice in having a past. I just wish it would stop biting me in the butt.
9. The fever and headache and sore throat I have had for 6 days now.
10. Being nice to people that drive me up the wall.
11. Zealots or the overly pious people who read my column and think I actually care about their holier than thou responses.

Speaking of that little column I write and holier than thou zealots who expect me to care about their responses... If you jump on over to the column (see link on left) this week you will notice I rant about the "guys on the list." You will also notice that my comments about them don't match up with what I have said on this blog. The blog is true, the column has a lot of filler. Get over it. The part that annoys me this week [regarding the zealots] is what people have said in response to the comments we ran this week. The comments section were contributions from other readers and friends (and who are we kidding- most of those people are reading this blog now). But nearly all of the zealots who have responded this week have accused me of having those thoughts. (not that i disagree with them) But its the fact that the zealots are well, zealots and pious and snotty and rude and apparently can't figure out what humor is.

That's enough for one night. Give me some space people because I am about ready to explode and let you know how I really feel. Oh, and I can't stand it when people say sarcastically, "tell me how you really feel!" after you have just expressed your opinion. Its just annoying. If you don't want me to tell you what I really think about you in 2 seconds, don't say that to me.

And yes, I do know that this is a lot angrier than what most people have ever seen in me. I'm passive aggressive, so sue me. But really, if people can't tell when I have reached my threshold for tolerance and patience its not my fault.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Unexpected Emotional Surprises

You never know when life is suddenly going to flip your world upside down and change the course of tomorrow. Just when you think each day will greatly resemble the last will probably be just about the time that life will choose to play one of its cruel tricks on you. Without going into much detail, something that I thought was hidden and buried deeply in the past came back to bite me in the butt. I've been very upset and emotional over this little event. I could write for hours about this dark event from my past and how much I have learned and grown from it. But I'd rather tell you about the more valuable lesson I learned tonight. No matter how difficult life is, how hard things are, dismal, dark, gray, and sad, there will always be someone who has it worse. A few hours ago, maybe even just a few minutes ago, I would have told you that I take the prize for worst emotional experiences in a day. But I've learned my lesson now.
Every day I read through my "blog roll" on the left, from top to bottom, Mike to Maggie May. I end my routine with Rebekah and Maggie May each day on purpose, because reading about these two little darlings, who are both suffering from rare forms of cancer, somehow puts my day and life into perspective. Its hard to take yourself too seriously when you read about the pain and suffering that a little 3 yr old is enduring with a smile. Both little girls live in Oregon and are complete strangers to me, but I have become very attached to both of them over the past few months. The one thing I had to come to accept when I first began reading about them was that some day they may succumb to their horrible diseases. As of right now Rebekah is holding strong, but still a very sick little girl. Maggie May had a bone marrow transplant a few months ago, but her body has rejected it. Medically she has done her best, but her options have now ended. As of the last posting on her blog today they have removed her from all medications except her pain pump, an indication that she will soon be freed from her earthly struggles.
Just when I think that my life is difficult, hard, or trying, I can't even imagine what it must take for her young parents (having seen their pictures on her blog, I know they can't be any older than me) to have to make such emotionally difficult decisions and watch their first born child die from such an awful disease.
I don't want to have to relive what I sorted through today, but realizing that while it may be hard, things can always be much much worse.
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Single Life Never Looked So Pathetic

Okay, I have a confession to make. I had the most boring single woman's weekend ever. A lot of that was due to cold medicine that knocked me out. I slept 12 straight hours on Friday night and Saturday night. I did manage to get up and do a few small things both afternoons, followed by 3 hour naps both days, which is always nice. So basically, most boring weekend ever.
And then tonight, feeling a little stir crazy, I went to a fireside for singles. (For the non-mormons reading this a fireside is basically a lecture on a religious topic.) The speaker related his experiences as a volunteer in Sri Lanka following the tsunami. It was an interesting fireside. But looking around the room was absolutely depressing. (Our firesides have pretty pathetic turnout, but we're working on that.) There was maybe 25 people in the room, of which 5 of us were the McLean Stake council, so deduct us from the equation (the only 5 of us under the age of 40). So that leaves us with 20, of which 5 were men. Four of the five men (if there were that many) were over the age of 50 most likely. The fifth one was 40ish. And none of them really screamed, "Ladies Man." They all sort of screamed, "Socially Incompetent!" (Not that I would ever say something so rude.) But then there were the 20 or so women in the room. And oh my gosh. If that is my future I'd rather be drowned in the Hudson tomorrow. Every last woman in that room (okay, maybe that is a tiny exaggeration, but maybe its not) you could just glance at and know why these women were single. Is there something about forty that makes women lose their ability to dress smartly and turn into the old lady with the apple in the woods from "Snow White?" Knowing that tonight was their one big social outing for the week, I seriously have to also wonder when it is they lost their common sense. If it had been my only social adventure for the week I probably would have at least touched up my roots and worn a cute outfit. But for reasons that can only explain their marital status, I was sitting in a room full of what appeared to be old hags. I need someone to give me the expiration date when you go from being "single" to "old maid" or "hag." Because seriously, I'm drowning myself in the Hudson (or maybe just the Potomac) before that happens.
So next weekend, in spite of how sick I may or may not be, I am going out and finding me a man.
Oh, and if I have reached the point where you can just look at me and see why it is I am still single, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share your knowledge with me. But not in the comments section, cause that might be a little embarrassing.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Red Arrow Wants to Probe Me??

Sick Story
What do you do when you are sick? Do you have your own little routine for muddling through? My method is similar to most I think- DVD's, couch, blanket, force others to wait on me hand and foot. But tonight I have no servants, so I'm forced to watch my Indian films AND fetch my own ice cream and fluids. My thing is Indian films when I am sick, but I don't know why. I did get out of the cooking thing by ordering Dr Delivery- Indian food of course. I figure the curry just might decongest me if I am lucky. And as everyone knows it is important to have just the right blanket and clothing when you are sick. For me it is a discontinued long sleeve Beretta t-shirt I can't believe we ever sold. But its big and comfy, and works perfectly when looks don't matter. And my favorite sweatpants- obviously. And for some reason I don't like my regular blanket when I am sick. It has to be my special "sick day" blanket.
So I'm in the ugliest outfit I own, watching Bollywood chick flicks, overdosing on alka-seltzer, cuddled with a cat that despises me, waiting for the delivery man, and dodging the probes Red Arrow wants to stick in me! Do I have a life or what?

List Update
I made an interesting discovery today about Guy #1. He can't live with me and he can't live without me, and I'm afraid its the same for me. We're completely used to each other and are in this warped world where we talk every day, rely on each other for every stupid thing, and yet, that's it. Can't live with him, can't live without him. But I don't want to live this way with him. So what do you do next? He knows I'm home sick tonight, and he knows I would have loved some company. (I make it very easy for him and speak in direct sentences. I wasted way too much time with him hinting at such things.) But you'll notice I am still home alone tonight wanting company. But in two days from now I will bet you anything he'll be complaining that we never get to see each other alone. Yeah well... had your chance!
Which is all my lead up to saying that absolutely nothing happened on the list today. Boys are dumb. Status quo.

Time to Strike

OK..The Official OWNER of this blog is down with a temporary case, of a fatal disease.

The Bird Flu. Only 98 percent of those who have the Bird Flu actually die, so lets all wish EA a speedy recovery. Hopefully since she is the first case of the actual Bird Flu in the United States, we will see more of her on the news. I personally enjoy the thought of Miss. EA as some kind of a test case for all kinds of experiments and probing.

Her sacrifice will result in good for all mankind.

Now having said all that...I am going to offer up a service here.....The guys that read this Blog at times are subjected to numerous beatings at the hands of very nice lady's, who because of major surges of misplaced estrogen, attack men for no reason. I mean come on....the guy sent a smiley face! I have a duty here.

Also, I won a bet that if something did not happen, then I could be a guest blogger for a session. I have one shot at posting a Guest Article. Well I had issues with that, so I actually need 2 shots at posting. So stay tuned.

Part One. Why Women Give Bad Dating Advise.
Part Two. How to NOT date a Nice Girl.

As a warning, if the term vaginamony (a hybrid term for Alimony) offends, then my writings, while Pulitzer Quality, will not be for you.


Redarrow

Thursday, October 20, 2005

i think i have the avian bird flu

the avian bird flu and you
i got up doing just fine this morning. at lunch i was doing just fine. i left work feeling a little haggard, but doing fine. by dinnertime i was miserable and exhausted. by 8 pm i had fallen asleep fully dressed and completely sick. this is the fastest acting sick i have ever had. it usually takes days to build up to this kind of misery. this was not the start to the weekend i was hoping for.


List Updates (who knew people cared so much for my non-existant love life?)
I continue to think men are not worth listing or labeling. Two days and counting. That may be a record for me. But in other news, someone has compared me to Charlotte from "Sex and the City." A Mormon Charlotte, or Charlotte without the sins. Interesting. Its funny though. I think she's way too romantic to for me.


Wow, I've been awake for 40 minutes and I'm already exhausted again. Back to bed for bonzo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Musings

As Seen at the DMV
-Man in blue running suit and t-shirt carrying a "man bag." A lovely, black leather, with little silver clasps, man bag. Clearly NOT a briefcase. At least he was carrying it with the long strap, and not hooking it over his shoulder with the little two straps.
-Nice looking woman with her 5 teenagers who were clearly old enough to be home alone. And they behaved as if they really wanted to be at home. Who drags teenagers around against their will??
-Haggard looking younger woman with her 3 children. Why do people take so many children to a place where it is expected you will sit in line for HOURS? Say it with me- BABYSITTER. Become friends with the lady and the 5 teenagers. Do each other a favor.


Update on the "List"
It was a simple day for me. I remove them all from the list. Tomorrow I start all anew with guys. I invite the world to bring it on and impress me with decent guys!

Random Musings
I have not had carbs since Saturday night. I miss carbs. Carbs are evil, but I love them.

I updated the links page. I added a few new people who have been commenting or linking me. Check them out!

Hey, Blake STILL hasn't posted anything. What's up with that?

random pictures found on my computer

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Things About Guys That Make No Sense

Once upon a time Jules and I wrote a column called "A Single Girl's List." Since then I have had a few requests for updates, or at least further developments. So today, I bring you, "A Single Girl's List as of 9:29 pm on Oct 18."

Guy #1 (blogged about below in "a blog of luv") was his usual almost charming self. We flirt, we laugh, we annoy the hell out of each other. In other words, no progress was made in any direction. But he went out of his way yet again to get my attention, and then does nothing with it.

Guy #2 is asking for a place on my list. He hasn't really earned a place yet, but he's trying. And guys do get points for trying. But so far, I just don't know him very well, so no place yet. (except that i gave him a number) But he lost big points today. I was in a stinky mood most of yesterday, which he knew, and so today he sent me an email with just a happy face and the words, "Hope this makes you happy today." Now, if I actually liked this guy, or we were dating, that would have been kind of cute, but only because it would send the message that he was at least thinking of me. But when it comes from someone you hardly know, its just sort of lame. I'm really not the "send me cutesy smiles and friendship quotes" kind of girl. So when a guy I hardly know sends me an emoticon, he just loses points. And lose them he did. But he is a nice guy. He just needs to make some different moves if he wants to get somewhere.

Guy #3- Continues to be the nicest guy in town. Impresses me every time we talk. I'm enjoying getting to know him better, but am mostly expecting that this will pitter off into "just friends" where all the greatest guys end up. I'm not sure what his deal is. He's a great guy, with plenty of girls after him. But he just doesn't seem to show much interest in any girl. I have seen some great girls completely throw themselves at him, and he just hasn't seemed to care. He's become very good friends with all of them, so much in fact that those same girls have moved on to other guys, but have remained very close friends with him. So my plan of attack is the exactly not that. I don't plan to attack. Play it by the rules, make him come to me. Enjoy talking to him when I see him, respond warmly and simply to emails. But without playing hard to get. He knows me well enough to know that I'm not. (which only irritates me that he knows i'm not hard to get, and yes he hasn't tried to get me)

I just don't get guys sometimes. A guy wants to be seen as manly, tough, a big deal, and yet sends smiley face emails. A guy talks about wanting to get married, starting a family, but yet never goes on dates. A guy compliments you, watches your every move, protects you almost to a fault, and yet every time he gets himself close enough to touch, he forces himself to run away instead.

Fifteen years of dating, and approximately 20 years of being painfully aware of boys, and I am nowhere near closer to figuring out this game.

Cooking for One

I came to my own personal epiphany today regarding cooking for one. I actually like cooking, but when it comes to cooking for myself, I have NO interest. In fact, I just don't do it. I really can't stand it. And today I think I figured out why. In the "other world" (where people are married or live with families) someone either has the job of being the person who works in an office, off-site, all day long, fighting the traffic, and coming home. And the other person has the job of working at home all day and preparing the meals. (Please note the ever PC way of making it clear that BOTH parties are doing equal amounts of work.) But back to my point. Its been engrained in us since our first day of kindergarten when we came home to a snack prepared by mom, that when we leave the house to work, someone will be at home to feed us. But now all of a sudden, here in the world where no one prepared us for life as a singleton, nobody cooks for us. Nobody told us the day we graduated from "dependent" to "Singleton" that part of that transition requires doing it all by yourself. Of course, we subconciously knew all of this. We knew that we had to pay the bills, clean the bathroom, buy the groceries, etc all by ourselves. But somehow, here at age nearly 31, its very different from when I was 24. When I was 24 I was still willing to think that Ramen noodles mixed with cooked frozen peas was actually a decent dinner. And I ate it out of the pot, naturally. But now at nearly 31, I have become slightly Ramen adverse. And frozen peas hold even less appeal now than they did then. I actually want real meals. But years of sensitizing have taught me that if I have worked hard away from home, someone is supposed to cook me a good meal when I get home! And now as I grow up and work harder and harder, the more I need that good meal at home. Ramen and peas are not going to fuel my current lifestyle. I need real food. But I have to cook it myself. And that just sucks.

Monday, October 17, 2005

An Amazing Race





Saturday was the long awaited "Amazing Race." Ashburn and McLean Stake Mid-Singles got together for a BBQ and Amazing Race around Washington DC.

2:30- Arrive Stake Center for team dividing. Each team is assigned a "Phil." (I got to be a Phil!)


2:31- Off to the Metro to find "the world's largest collection of Shakespeare" where the teams had to act out Caesar. Larry made an excellent Caesar, falling to the ground and everything.


After stunning tourists everywhere with our dramatics, we had to find a tourist at the Capitol Building to explain "How a Bill Becomes a Law." I don't know how well we did at explaining, but we did have a lot of fun listening to our tourist explain to us why Cheney should be impeached.
(Sidenote- all of these activities were being video taped. I can only post the pictures from the day, and not the videos unfortunately. I'm trying to find a server to host my videos.) (I should also explain that as "Phil" I did not participate or contribute in the task completing. I only handed out tasks and took pictures!)


Next we had a choice between assembling and flying a kite or taking a detour to the "place where the elephants live." We stayed at the Capitol to do the kite task.



Funny thing about flying kites at the Capitol. Turns out its a federal offense. A very nice Capitol Police Officer let us know about that one.
After the fun at the Capitol building we had a "roadblock" where we had to stop and delegate one person to eat a fully loaded hot dog. Larry managed to down it in less than 60 seconds! (when i figure out how to load video- there's a great shot of this)

Next- off to the WWII Memorial to find the bas-statue entitled "Pearl Harbor." Sounds easy enough, right? Well, funny thing about that- the bas-statues are not labeled! But, as always, we succeeded!


Next it was off to the "memorial of the 32nd President" to find a certain quote. Here's my team at FDR!


And what do you do after the FDR? Go to the Vietnam Wall and find the Virginians having a birthday, of course. Unless of course time is getting short... Do you walk all the way back across the Mall? Or take a cab? The pictures below should clarify what we did!



At the Wall we ran into 2 of the other teams- just behind us! It was literally a race to see which team could get to the Metro first. Our team beat them on to the train by literally seconds. The other team wasn't completely there yet, so they missed the train, and therefore- LOST! We won! Ha ha!

Friday, October 14, 2005

I Heart Visual Organizers


Only a true event planner can get excited by a new calendar. The 2005 show calendar is on the left, and the beautiful 2006 calendar on the right just waiting for me to fill it all up!

But before I can fill it all up I have to get through this lovely pile of work. Behold the inbox-

Thursday, October 13, 2005

From the Baby Sisty Ugler's Blog

I was perusing the Baby Sisty Ugler's personal website today and found something rather amusing on it. Something that would describe me perfectly, but instead, my sister has used it to describe herself. I'm greatly amused by the fact that something could be used to describe me at 30ish, that also describes her at 16. I would never have been described like this at age 16. I was far too insecure and not "me" yet back then. I love that Steph's got the guts to be herself so young. (Sorry, I won't be linking her website to this one since she is under 18 and I prefer to keep the creeps away from her. And I get the distinct feeling that some of you are a little creepy at times!)

Steph on Steph--

I Want A Guy Who...-Makes me laugh.-Opens doors for me.-Walks on the outside of a sidewalk so he can kill the the bad guys that try to steal me.-Isn't always too busy to drive across town to see me.-Treats me like a princess.-Hugs me when i'm sad.-Calls to make sure I get home safe.-A guy that actually listened.
Where are you boy???I am definately not your average chick. I enjoy activities in which most people find painful, gross, unethical, or risky. Actually most of it is but I have a high pain tolerance so I can't tell. I am by far the most random person you'll ever know. My randomness becomes somewhat predictable once you get to know me better. I get along with everyone unless they have a problem with me, then they end-up dying...


And in case you don't get the whole "Sisty Ugler" lingo, too bad. Its the McBride Sister code. Steph is Baby Sisty Ugler, Nats is Little Sisty Ugler, and I'm just the Big Sisty Ugler. I always felt we were being too nice to Steph when we stopped calling her Little Stink...

Responsible Me Bores Me

I was reading on another blog (Hardy's) his feelings on being responsible, etc. It struck a chord in me. The last few weeks I have had to put the fun aside and just be the Responsible Me. Responsible Me is not very fun. She works long hours and goes home on Friday nights to sleep and do laundry and other responsible things. She doesn't get out much during show season. You would think the Real Me would get to bust loose on the weekends, but she doesn't. Real Me is far too closely related to Responsible Me which means her outside of the office life she has responsibilities too.
Something else I have noticed is that when Responsibile Me is done taking over, Real Me has an uphill battle getting back into the social swing of things. The singles social scene around here moves so fast that just 3 or 4 weeks out of the loop is a death sentance. Five weeks ago I was busy every single night. Life was very very social. But just a few weeks of being forced to act like an adult and suddenly no one knows my name, the invites have stopped coming in, and Real Me has to start hunting for friends again.
The lifecycle of a friendship in the singles world is very complex. Some people you meet and you just know you will be friends. Your social circle quickly involves the other person, and you do tons together. I call these people Real Friends. Other people just happen into your social circle because they are friends of your Real Friends. I call these Cousin-like Friends. (Which are not the same as Cousin Friends, because Cousin Friends are friends that are also real cousins. Cousin-like Friends come and go quickly, but you invite them places and they invite you. And then there's...

Hmm... I think I will stop here. I think I feel a column coming on out of this little rant. Jules, what do you think?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Comments Section

It has been brought to my attention that not everyone knows about the comments section. Everyone is welcome to leave comments. And everyone can read the comments other people make.

And everyone should be wondering what happened to guest blogger Blake. Where did he go? Why has he not blogged??

A Blog of Luv

It has been brought to my attention multiple times recently that I don't blog about my love life. There are reasons for this, primarily being that pretty much most of the guys I have been interested in this year may have been reading the blog. So I couldn't exactly same something about them now could I? I run into the same problem with my column. I would LOVE to entertain the masses with stories of my present love life, but the problem is that most people that the stories would involve (and as we all know my stories tend to involve large amounts of mocking) read the column. This creates a problem for me. Entertain the masses? Or keep my friends? Hmm... Dilemmas, dilemmas. But today I will throw caution to the wind. Even if the man in question does read the blog (which i don't think he does), I seriously doubt he would recognize my side of the story.

To come clean on the story, I've been harboring a horrible crush on this guy for a year now. I did everything to hide it from him and the rest of the world. I knew throughout that time though that he was harboring a little crush on me too. A while ago he decided to start coming clean on that with me, and has really unhidden his little crush. And that has been fun for me! I actually get to flirt with him publicly now and enjoy it. It used to be something that rarely happened and only when no one was watching. But now he's moved us out into the open, and I have to say, its a lot more fun.

But here's the problem. He's not making good on his flirting, and this drives me crazy. Nothing is more annoying than a guy who flirts and makes little advances, but never asks you out, or makes a really definitive move. I like the guy. He likes me. So why the hell doesn't he do something about it? Honestly! The guy may very well lose all points with me shortly if he doesn't do something about it. I can only play this little game with him so long.

I have nothing more to say on this subject. Just needed to vent!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cousin Katrina's Wedding


Saturday was another big family wedding for the extended McBride clan. Katrina Skeen married JC Rice. My cousin Jonathan McBride was the wedding photographer, and trust me, he's good! You can check out J's amazing photography and Katrina's insanely photogenic portraits by clicking on the title to this entry, or by clicking here
http://jckm.smugmug.com/ . And be sure to see the cute picture of me making friends with baby cousin Annalisa (cousin Aprilanne's baby) here- http://jckm.smugmug.com/gallery/874364/6/39522122 . And my brilliance with decorating the getaway car unanticipated with chocolate frosting and mini marshmallows http://jckm.smugmug.com/gallery/874364/11/39547339 .

To my count there are now 34 1st cousins, 7 cousin in-laws, and 11 great-grandchildren in the McBride Clan of my generation. (It is highly likely that I am off by a person or two.) The oldest first cousin is Tamigene (we're excluding the in-laws here since I have no clue what their ages are), at age 32, and the youngest first cousin is Alexis Nicole at a mere four months. The youngest great-grandchild is Daniel Joseph, Tamigene's second boy, a mere few weeks. Its a big family, what can I say?
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technical difficulties


so i have been suffering massive technical difficulties over the last 2 weeks. my laptop gave up the ghost the day i arrived in miami. and then it took IT several attempts to decide it couldn't be fixed. so ask of 2 hours ago, i finally have been reunited with my hard drive installed into a newer laptop.

here's what you've missed in my non-blogging while we all suffered from my technical difficulties.

ausa finally ended with considerably less drama than it began. (more to come on that subject.)

i cleaned out my closet. its amazing the things we will resort to doing when we don't have internet at home.

my cousin katrina's wedding. see pic below.


more thoughts on mormon weddings and festivities to follow soon. and lots of pics of the extended family.

the foo-eezer concert. foo fighters, weezer, and kaiser chiefs all in one beautiful concert during which i discovered the joys of puking in a public restroom during a rock concert. after the plague came out of me the thought of what i was doing made me so sick that i did it all over again. but the company was fabulous- kelli, joy, jason, heretofore to be known collectively as j2k.

and a little deal i made with blake that if i didn't get my laptop back by noon today i would let him be a guest blogger.

Monday, October 03, 2005

you know its a bad day when...

Another day, another trade show. Possibly the worst trade show experience ever. The kind of bad day that makes you want to quit this line of work and become a waitress.

Yes, it was that bad.

First, when we got to our booth there was nothing there. There was a carpet (which means they had to have received our order forms) and a sign with out name on it. No boxes, no chairs, no tables. Nothing else. Just a blue carpet.

We were in aisle 800. I had to schlep it all the way down to aisle 4700 to talk to exhibitor services. They, of course, apologized profusely, sent someone over to our booth to confirm that I was telling the truth, and promised immediate attention. 10 mins pass. 20 mins pass. 30 mins pass. 45 mins pass!! At this point I decide to pay them another visit. Miraculously 2 tables appear at our booth. Not the tables we ordered, but hey, its a start. We are no longer just standing there in a 10x20 space with gun cases. We couldn't even open the cases because we had no place to put the guns. The show has opened by this point of course, and we are literally just standing there looking stupid.

Not fun.

So I wait another 30 mins, thinking that sooner or later the correct tables will show up, plus the other items I ordered and my boxes that had been shipped in.

Nothing.

So I go walking it down to aisle 4700 again (this takes a good ten minutes just to walk it- it is the equivalent of 3 city blocks mind you). I raise a very proper but pointed fuss. A very nice young woman apologizes profusely and promises to fix the situation immediately. A nice young man promises that he had just seen our boxes and would have them to the booth immediately. I go walking it back the 3 blocks to our booth.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

After another hour I give up and go back over to the service desk. The nice young lady is gone, so I talk to someone else. Somehow the nice young lady has been fired since my last visit to them. And then the new lady actually has the nerve to ask for more payment. I very nicely let her know "over my dead body." She promises everything will be fixed in a few minutes. I go back again to the booth, and happen to run into the show manager. He's a very nice man and so I very nicely let him know everything that had been screwed up. He promises action immediately, but mumbles something about lunch time. I go to the booth certain that this is the last time.

Yeah right.

Again another 45 minutes later I finally resort to doing the unthinkable. I call the service company's headquarters in Las Vegas and very politely explained that I am an exhibitor and that I am about ready to blow a gasket if they don't fix my situation. I also demanded to speak to the highest level person available. (It was probably an intern, but we won't go there.) They PROMISE me something will be done immediately. And I reminded them that I wasn't going to be paying for any of this after the very bad day they have put me through. They agreed, of course.

Twenty minutes later (just about how long it took for me to plan a hostage situation until I got my tables and chairs) the tables and chairs finally arrived. I nearly kissed the booth man, but restrained myself appropriately. Ten minutes later another man showed up with tables. And ten minutes after that another man with more tables. Keep in mind this is 30 minutes to the end of the first day of this show. But at least we finally got tables and chairs.

Now, where are my boxes? Hmm... Fed Ex says they are there. Exhibitor Services says they are there. But no one can tell me where "there" is. I made it perfectly clear (without showing my more venomous side) that my boxes will miraculously appear in my booth in the morning, no questions asked and no more threats made. But somehow I have no faith that it will happen.

Needless to say, it was a long cranky day. I wasn't happy. My booth partner wasn't happy. No one was happy, except for the JROTC kids who like to pick up the guns and point them at each other. And that doesn't make the rest of us very happy.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Before and After Shots





One of my favorite parts about trade shows is the evolution of the trade show floor. It is amazing to me what can be built and torn down overnight.









Here are some before shots, and the after shots. I'm standing in the same place for both shots, just 24 hours apart. Sorry about the bad lighting, but that is just another one of the side effects of trade show life. There is precious little lighting the day of set up and tear down, and even less a/c. Needless to say we were melting in Miami.













Just for fun, here's some of our show staff on the top floor of the booth. From left to right we have Blake, Ed, Ann, Mike, me, Craig, Len and Jay. Chris, Laurel, Kelli, Glenn, Scott, Van and Charlie had not yet arrived.

Pictures with little explanation

Blake makes a new friend.
Laurel discovers wasabi at the Japanese Peruvian Brazilian restaurant we went to.

The closest I could come to getting a picture of Scott.
We had a "no blackberries in the booth rule." Please note how Kelli and Laurel are not technically in the booth.

4

Attempting to get the pictures all up

When I have my laptop I have a lovely program called Picasa to post pictures with and make blogging easier. But right now I am sans laptop, and trying pathetically to blog on someone else's computer. I can't begin to explain how and why all of yesterday's blogs went up in reverse order. But they did. When I am reunited with my laptop I will correct those mistakes. In the meantime, enjoy all of these pictures from Miami in reverse order as well.

Celebrity Sightings in Miami





The first celebrity that I spotted in Miami was Michael Weiss. Michael who? Michael Weiss. You know, "Jarod from the Pretender." Still means nothing to you? Try this-
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0919117/

He drove a very nice Ferrari and was also staying in our hotel. I ran into him every day we were there. According to the hotel staff that I talked to he was very nice and tipped well. He also always looks very sleepy.

The next celebrity sighting was in our booth. Blake apparently saw him first, and somehow managed to get up to him and invite him into our booth and even showed him our products!

Shaq is freaking huge. He's also a volunteer police officer in Miami, hence is appearance at the show. Rumor has it he is also a celebrity endorser for one of our major competitors.

But with Blake doing the sales pitch here, I'm sure we'll convert him soon enough. (But of course Chris will close the deal, seeing as Miami is his territory, and not Blake's.)


Please note how Shaq makes Blake look downright petite in comparison!



The third celebrity sighting was late Sunday night. We discovered that our hotel is a major South Beach hot spot for the rich, famous, and plastic on Sunday evenings. I had never seen anything like it before. Back in the pool area there was music, dancing, drinking, and schmoozing that until now I had only seen in movies and CSI: Miami. The women were in the tiniest bathing suits ever seen (did I mention it was about 11 pm?), with more lipo and "work" done than can be considered reasonable. Quite frankly, everyone back there looked like they were 'someone.' There were even professional dancers up on a stage with spotlights and fans on them. But the only truly famous face I saw was Jamie Foxx (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004937/), who is filming Miami Vice at our hotel right now. When we first walked back there I was completely intimidated by the women. I believe my words were, "I'm a huge nasty cow." But after a while, I started to realize how fake and not pretty these "beauties" were. From a distance they were amazing to look at- pictures from a magazine. But up close (or at least as soon as you could hear their conversations), you couldn't help but notice how unnatural they were. Or in some cases, almost freakish to look at. Michael Jackson apparently is not alone in his love for plastic surgery. I think I am happy with me just the way I am.

More of the Players

There's nothing wrong with this picture of Chris. But my favorite part of it is the guy in the background yawning. I know his name, but since I don't have his permission to mock him, I won't use it here. Apparently he doesn't find trade show life very interesting.
On the other hand, I do have Ann's permission to use this one picture of her. Thank you, Ann.
This was Glenn's first show. From what I understand it will also be his last. He wasn't so fond of trade show life either. But I do have to thank him for loaning me his camera for the week!

Do these look like the same color to you? Didn't think so!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Booth Surprises

So after the surprises and non-upgrade at the hotel (honestly, you ALWAYS upgrade the planner's room! everyone knows this!! what were they thinking!?), I went over to the convention center. Happily it was only 2 blocks away, which is so much better than we had it in New Orleans and Los Angeles. (But not as close as it was in Vegas.) Set up of a trade show can be a) completely disastrous (see last year's experiences in Vegas when the booth fell on our heads- not the 2 story one thankfully), b) nearly disastrous (see last year's experience in LA when I lost my cool with show management over stupid rules), c) hard work, and d) completely done by someone else so that I never have to know if a, b, or c happened. This year was a combination of c and d.

When I got to the booth our install company was happily on site doing their thing. Much to my surprise though, they didn't look happy, and were pulling up the carpet. We (and by we, I mean mostly me and a few superiors that agreed with my logic) had decided to save a few dollars and use an outside company to provide our carpet for the booth. This theoretically saved us $3,000. We had guarantees from the outside vendor that they would match dye lots and there would be no way to know we weren't using the same carpet as everyone else. Ha. Yeah right. Lesson #1- shortcuts can be very expensive. This is a 2-story booth. We only needed new carpet for the first floor where there is a lot more foot traffic. The top floor was going to use last year's carpet. See the pics to find my surprise.

Needless to say, the dye lots didn't exactly match. So we (and by we, I mean the lovely men who are paid to do the install, and not me), had to pull the carpet up, and make some last minute changes. Not a good surprise, but not a massive disaster. (I should probably point out here that this trip was great only because there were no massive disasters. Which just may mean I am starting to get slightly more competent and capable at my job, and a little less calamity prone!) Next it was on to the gun lock up. The main reason for me to fly in a day early was so I could pick up the shipped in guns from the floor of the show (where things tend to get stolen), and take them over to exhibitor weapons lock up (we are not the only weapons company at this show, and therefore a room and guard is provided for such things). Now, last year, this was a huge problem for me. We were required to pay for a security guard to sit in our booth over night (not cheap), AND take all of our guns to lock up every night. No one had told me about the lock up business. (Still a slightly touchy subject with me.) I was seriously stressed at this point last year, and when I was told about lock up, I pretty much lost my cool. So I was a little nervous about going to this year's lock up alone. What if they had black listed me or something? But thankfully, the Miami PD didn't know anything about my screaming fit last year, and weapons registration went fine. There was one little surprise when the finest Miami PD had to offer for the gun registration didn't know how to disassemble a pistol, and I had to show him how to see that the firing pin had been removed. There was great humor in this only because I completely acted like I knew what I was doing, having only been taught how to do this the day before when we packed the guns. The officer claimed it was because he wasn't familiar with Berettas. So I had him show me his Sig and I showed it to him on his pistol too. Sometimes its fun for people to have such low expectations of me just because I am female and blonde. It makes it easier for me to rise above their expectations!
For a few hundred dollars a night you would think the hotel could afford a real closet, or at least a dresser. But no, instead I got some sort of Ikea shoe rack instead. I guess when they were decorating the rooms they figured people would want a flat screen tv more than a dresser??
I have to admit that this was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on. Lots of sweet dreams for me all week! But of what, I cannot tell you!

More from Miami

I left for Miami on Friday, to be the one man advance team for show setup. The general idea is to get there before everyone else and make sure there are no surprises in store. My first big surprise was when I arrived at the hotel. My reservation was for a double/double non-smoking room. And because I am the group coordinator booking out the bulk of a hotel, I'm expecting an upgrade on the side. So when I checked into my king smoking wheelchair accessible room with no closet or dresser, I was a bit annoyed. Please see pics below.

I went down to the front desk to "kindly" inform them that I am the group coordinator that booked out their hotel, and they messed up my reservation, and maybe they have a room available for me in the corner on a higher floor. They kindly let me know that they didn't mess up my reservation, and that they put me in a nice room. Strike 1. Strike 2 and 3 came when they messed up my bosses' reservation and another group member's reservation, and still charged MY credit card for it. (All money has since been returned to my card, but it was not fun to find a $700 unexpected charge on my DEBIT card!)

Still No Laptop

Honestly, one whole week without my lifeline. The withdrawal pains are nearly crippling I tell you! I do finally have a dinosaur of a computer to use at work in the meantime, with absolutely no threat of becoming temporarily attached to it. It still runs Win 98, and weighs about 10 lbs I think. When did I become such a techno-geek?

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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