Friday, March 23, 2007

Movin' on Up

Well, y'all, I did it. I managed ONE thing this week that doesn't suck. Actually, Emily managed most of it, but I'm totally going to take credit for it.

So. Come view my new digs at and say hi!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Believe the Term You're Looking for Is "Sucker Punch"

I am determined to have one good day this week, and I actually thought it would be today. Things were looking good, my work was progressing, if not at the speed I wanted, but least everything was under control and life was moving in the right direction.

Then I checked my e-mail and realized, no, actually, today we will continue our descent into the Land of Suck. The pair of tens I'd been holding suddenly looked pretty paltry compared to the full house the guy to my left had. Mother. Fucker.

It wouldn't be so bad, except that it's pretty bad, and yet, I know we haven't hit rock bottom yet. You see, I've visited the Land of Suck before, and there is plenty lower to go, my friend. The Land of Suck Visitors' Bureau does a lovely job making sure everyone gets a full tour of the place, and I've only just begun.

A visual representation for you:

where the solid blue line represents the last couple of weeks, the dashed blue line is where we have left to go, and the level at which I'd prefer to be functioning lies somewhere north of the chart, um, up near the title of this post.

Still, one good thing was going to happen today, if it killed me, dammit! And, lo, driving back from the pharmacy (because what else could salvage a crappy day like the chance to deal with a medical bureaucracy?) I noticed that the seatbelt alert light, the one that flashes at me constantly despite my being solidly buckled in and I have just gotten used to its presence because I'm not paying someone to open up the entire dashboard for a silly little light (though if it dinged at me constantly, that would be an entirely different matter), why, the light was magically off! And it stayed off, even when I unbuckled my seatbelt while the car was moving! There you have it: my one good thing today, and it really is gonna kill me.

I should know better than to have high hopes for the weekend, but, ever the optimist, I do. I'm headed to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, where there will be wine and beaches and wine and visiting with Danielle and wine and pretty scenery and wine and local vineyard tours where maybe they will serve us some wine. I'll let you know how their hospitality stacks up to that of the Land of Suck.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Natalie Merchant Wasn't Singing About These Days

I figured out the other night, sitting in yet another Junior League meeting out of which I got nothing, that 90% of my time is taken up by work and, try as I might, I cannot cram into the remaining 10% everything else -- running, skiing, blogging, relationships of all stripes, keeping the damn house clean -- and it frustrates me to no end to know that I cannot do it all. I started training for that half marathon last week, and how many days did I last until work interfered with a scheduled workout? Eight. Eight days, and that includes two weekends.

Work is crazy and all-consuming and there's no travel money so I'll be in DC again, like, never and even if I am, I will have no friends left and there are people with information who are not calling me and I am not allowed to call them and all I want to do right now is string them up by their toenails and beat them like a piƱata and I will be stuck in this shit hole forever and ever and, with Monday night's workout needing to be made up for tonight, all I wanted to do was go for a run and then it was raining, so I had to go to the gym but everyone wanted to get to the gym and all I really needed to do was get there five minutes ahead of other people and then I could have a treadmill, but noooo, stupid traffic in the stupid rain took stupid 45 minutes to travel what should have been a 20-25 minute route and all the treadmills were taken and I was relegated to this horrible treadclimber piece of crap that I just barely know how to work and, god, doesn't life just suck on sixteen different cylinders?

* * *

I had dinner with a friend from Junior League and we talked about life and work and what brought me to California in the first place, and at the end of the meal, we were served fortune cookies. Mine read, "Do it because you love it," and I laughed because, really? Am I not the last person on earth who needs to hear that message?

* * *

All of the past few days weeks of stress and angst bubbling just below the surface (ok, and sometimes above the surface, too) and the nettlesome, malcontent version of myself could fairly well have been predicted, as the calendar led up to today, Wednesday, March 21 -- the second anniversary of my tenure here. There will be no flowers, no chocolate cake, not even a raise awaiting me at the office today. But at least I can be certain that I do it because I love it, and that's something.

* * *

UPDATE: Oh, if wishes were horses... But, no. Today pretty much picked up where the last few weeks left off, which is to say, the seventeenth level of suckage. Something tells me my dinner tonight will consist of vodka and tonic and not much else.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's Tracy's Fault. I Swear.

Retail therapy isn't much fun if you don't find what you're looking for. And I am looking for just ONE DAMN PAIR of running shorts that don't ride up and leave my poor, defenseless thighs to rub together and create some disturbing heat-rash-and-tiny-blisters-combination. Sexy, huh? OK, now please stop picturing that.

Let me back up here a moment, as a number of events have conspired recently leading to this point. First, Daylight Saving Time has taken over the universe and now lasts 11 of the 12 months of the year. I find this highly annoying, as I prefer my "extra" hour of daylight in the morning, thankyouverymuch, so this move to spring forward three weeks ahead of normal left me nothing but grumpy. Last week I actually had to wait for the sun to come up before I went for a run. I filled my extra time with work. I'd like to avoid that scenario in the future. But, nooooooo. No, we have to have silly little Daylight Saving That Doesn't Actually Reduce Our Overall Energy Consumption Because We Spend More Time In Our Cars, Burning Gasoline, But Nobody Ever Talks About THAT, Now Do They? Time.

Where was I? Oh right. So, last week when I realized that the weather was nice enough for my morning runs to be conducted outdoors, but the sunlight thing was lacking (and would be even worse, once the clocks changed), I started tossing around the idea of working early in the day, while it's still dark out, and exercising at "night," when it's light.

Then. Then Tracy and I took a little road trip and she, all-casual-like said, "Hey, if you're still thinking about running a half marathon, there's one coming up in May. Cinco de Mayo, actually." Well shit. I hadn't been thinking about running one, as my mind was still firmly planted in ski season, but I do have that half marathon training program hanging on my bulletin board at work and I could just pull that out and actually put it to good use.

So, there you have it: I'm running a half marathon. On May 5. Because I am an idiot.

Also idiotic: the training program is a 12-week thing, with options to make it longer. Those of you with good calendar skills will notice that there are not 12 weeks between now and May 5. So, I'm starting in week 5 and just pretending those last four weeks don't really count anyway. The good news is, my mileage is already there -- at the Week 5 mark. The bad news is that I'm not exactly accustomed to working out six days a week and the thought of the 10-mile long run in a few weeks makes me want to curl up in the fetal position already. To say nothing of the actual 13.1 miles the race directors expect me to run.

And that explains why I have spent countless hours debating the relative merits of roughly 249,503 pairs of shorts, half of which are currently strewn about my bedroom, none of which have yet convinced me that they are the pair I'm searching for. I'd share with you all the gory details, but at last we have reached the limits of what I'm willing to discuss with the entire Internet, and lo, it is my thighs. And if any of you are currently tempted to make some crack about said thighs, well, a nasty look is headed your way, because Friday is the training plan's designated Rest Day and I sure as hell am not getting up off the couch in order to come do anything about it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sister Susie Sells Seashells by the Seashore

Oh, Internet! I have so much to say! But it's late and I'm a huge ball of stress and words aren't really going to work out so well, unless you like half-sentences and totally made-up words and lame, lame titles like the one above.

Instead, have some pretty pictures I took this weekend while galavanting around Northern California with Ms. Horrible Warning.

(See how lazy I am today? Didn't even center things for you. I should be fired.)

Point Reyes National Seashore

Uh, the seashore. Duh.



Lighthouse at the Point. I hear there's a spectacular view of the Pacific from here. I'll just take their word for it.

Three hundred steps to get there? Bah -- that's child's play!

This is what I imagine the moors of England look like. Heathcliiiiiifffffff...

All right, off to bed. View the whole set here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Post in Which I Still Manage to Say Nothing

Well hello, there! Don't you just love when I disappear for a week or two? Such absences typically indicate that (a) there's nothing exciting going on, (b) I'm too busy to write or (c) some combination thereof.

This time around, my absence can be blamed on two things. Firstly is the rather pedestrian excuse that work is kicking my ass. This leads to scenario (c) above, wherein there's nothing exciting happening and in the event that something noteworthy does occur, I'm far to busy/exhausted to tell you about it.

Exhibit A: Last Friday I got up at 4 AM to edit a memo. At 6:22 when I hit "send" on the associated e-mail, I thought to myself, "Perfect! Just enough time for me to shower and blow dry my hair before my 7 AM conference call." 7 AM call on a Friday -- these people secretly hate me. Or maybe not so secretly. A good day lately is one that doesn't start at 4 AM. A really good day is 8-6, without stopping for lunch.

Exhibit B: Lori left me a message last week stating, among other things, "I hope you're out on a date right now, or doing something else blog-worthy!" Sadly, no, I was working. But see how smart Lori is? Rather than equating being out on a date as doing something "fun and exciting," she instantly equated it with being blog-worthy. Much more apt.

Secondly, and this is one that I certainly could not have foreseen, Blogger suspects that this blog is a spam blog and has essentially locked me out of my account. Now, based on their definition, I understand how the confusion could occur ("spam blogs...can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text"), but really, people? Because I have nothing better to do with my time than create irrelevant text and spew it forth onto the worldwide web? Please. I have important drivel to spew forth, uninvited and repeatedly, on highly relevant topics like women's footwear, why TSA is the bane of my existence, and how I'd rather brand myself with a hot iron bearing the University of Michigan logo than date 99.999994% of the men I meet.

So, until I can convince the good people at Blogger that I am not a computer/robot/extra-terrestrial being, there can be no posting. Much to Lori's dismay, I have to admit that I'm not actually a fembot. I know! I'm bummed, too, as I suspect that the ability to fire high-powered artillery from my cleavage would be rather effective in convincing my colleagues not to schedule 7 AM conference calls.

The good news is that I managed to leave work at work for the entire weekend and instead spent two days skiing on some of the best snow all year. And, for the first time all season, I actually felt like I knew what I was doing. Woo! If I'm not careful, Northern California is going to suck me into its evil vortex of good weather (74 degrees today) and accessible mountains (2 hours or less) and comfortable standard of living (don't even ask)...if only I could do something about the time zone.