Mar 31

For the first time in a long time, Howard and I both find ourselves standing in front of many opportunities laid out before us.

Lots of good opportunities.

Just this past week, I’ve received a nice bonus check and a good evaluation from my boss.  Only last week, I received two separate emails, one from the president of the company I work for and another from a VP.  Both were giving us big pats on the back for the way we are running the business at our branch.

I’m taking it that the VP isn’t upset with us for turning down that offer made last month.

Just when I really want to start hating my job, they do this.  Go figure.

Howard and I are about to make some big real-life grown-up decisions about our future.  For the first time in a long time, it looks like our dreams are going to be a reality.

Also in this past week, things have happened in the universe, and things seem to be falling in to place.  That doesn’t usually happen.  Especially to me.

And I’m not sure how to take it.

I sure as hell can’t get excited about it because you all know how I feel about getting too happy about something.  I really wish I wasn’t like that.  Usually the only thing in my life I could feel really content about was my marriage.  I knew I did that right.  But somehow my life seems to be really coming together lately….throwing my psychy into overdrive.

Where’s the catch?

What’s going to go wrong?

When is the other shoe going to fall out of the sky and knock me back into reality?

…..and just how much was that Chanel summer hobo bag I was looking at?  Because I seem to able to afford it without guilt now.

Mar 28

-Ya’ll. If HBO doesn’t stop teasing us with these brilliant series’ then taking them away after only a few seasons, I’m going to…to….well, I don’t know honestly know what I’m going to do.. but I’m going to do something, even if it’s kick and scream and whine!
Rome is now over after a beautiful, amazing, series finale on Sunday. In which, I cried over the friendship and brotherly love of Vorenus and Pullo. My God. And when Vorenus’s daughter came in and showed her ultimate forgiveness? Ugly cried.

And when Attia told off her empty-headed, pretentious little daughter in law? I was all “you go girl!” Attia, a bewitching and sometimes evil temptress with a sense of humor and quick wit…definitely someone to strive to be, don’t you think? (cue the eyeroll and sarcasm police) I loved that crazy bitch.
And was I surprised at Cleopatra’s little scheme to save herself after Antony bit the dust? Not at all. Little nappy headed Trollup.

But the best was the final scene of Pullo and Cesarean walking into the city when Pullo says in reply to Cesarean’s vow to avenge his father’s death…

“About your father….”

THAT? Is good television. Adult television absolutely but still good television. And Lord knows that’s hard to come by these days.

By the way, does anyone know when/if Carnivale is coming back?

Mar 28

So I know you all have been tossing and turning and gnashing your teeth over the fact that I haven’t posted in a few days (and you have, haven’t you?), so I thought I’d let you all know that this week, here my village?  It’s been well above zero everyday so far.  And with all the daylight we now have (okay okay, I give on the whole goddamn daylight savings time…at least for now), Howard and I want to do little else but take the dogs outside and bask.  We love walking on the frozen river marveling at how it’s actually Spring and we’re standing on a good six feet of ice.  Still.

The air is crisp and my face has a rosey glow of a “snowtan”.  And in just a couple of months, that very place where I walked on ice will be flowing water.  Water that is just itching to have my boat break its surface (that sounded dirty didn’t it?).

My boat. Ahh, the boat that is sitting in my backyard all lonely and waiting for the snow to go away and the ice to move out.

But for now, I’m enjoying my favorite season even though it really isn’t winter anymore.  This is the kind of weather I really love.  Sunny, snowy, and just warm enough to be able to pack in your hand to make a snowball.

Oh God.  I sound like a student essay don’t I?

Mar 23

Happy Birthday Christopher!  Chris is Howard’s second youngest brother.  Yes, I know.  It absolutely is confusing at holidays when we’re actually all together in a room.  Throw in a lot a little bit of alcohol and it’s all about “wrong legs” and and a million different “Chris’” answering back when you say the name.

It’s one of the reasons why Howard calls me “Chrissy”.

Anywho.  He’s one year older today.  I won’t say his age.  BUT I will post this picture:

That’s Chris dressed as “FlavorFlav” at Jason’s Halloween party this past year.  We weren’t there of course, and that’s a shame.  But thank God, Jason sent me some pictures.

As his favorite sister-in-law (and I am, aren’t I Christopher? A-hem), I reserve the right to embarass him as much as I can.  I mean, I’m married to his big brother.  That should count for something.

Happy Birthday Chris.  Don’t be thinkin’ you’re better than us just because you get to eat peanuts and drink iced tea at the Sagebrush, ya hear?

Mar 21

Her hair is blonde, my hair is dark brown.

Her eyes are light blue, mine are a mixture of gray, blue, and green, and very dark.

She loves all sorts of American foods, I love all the crazy, ethnic stuff.

Her style is practical and sensible, my style just makes less sense.

The only thing we have in common is the nearsightedness we inherited from our mom, and our love of animals.

But she still put her arms around me in a restaurant just a few weeks ago and immediately decided that I was running a fever and began making a fuss over me.  She still hugs me tight and doesn’t let go first.  When tragedies have happened in my life, it breaks her heart if she can’t get to me to give me a hug and tell me everything’s going to be alright.  She still insisted on driving me the airport when we were back in NC last, in spite of having a very busy life.  She loves being a big sister to me and has great maternal instincts.  She also insists on being right about everything which drives me up a damn wall.  She’s also the only sister I’ve got.

We’re as different as night and day but are happy that we share the same genes.

I couldn’t be any more proud to have a sister like her.

Happy Birthday Kimberly Diane!  I love you!  (But you’ll still be 40 before me!)

Mar 18

Of all the cheesy “Personality” tests out there, this one is one of the best I’ve taken. (If you’re not counting the real tests by Jung) Pretty much is a dead ringer too. Enjoy!

Mar 17

Once upon a time, I was a 20 year old.

*sigh* Boy, that was a long time ago.

Somehow I’d stumbled upon a job working in the auto parts industry. (It really is a funny story, but kind of a lengthy one that I’ll tell some other day) In no time, I’d tripped my way up to supervisory status and was fielding offers from other employers in the same industry for management positions. I’d become a hot commodity. Well not so hot but a young girl in that industry who does well, especially, in an industry full of men…was hard to come by. By the age of 21, I’d backed into a management slot that paid me more than I’d ever made in my short life and promised a bright future.

In that line of work anyway.

Sometime during all of this, I came to work for “A”. Well, I didn’t work for him but he was my immediate supervisor. He actually came to work for the company after I did but he had a good 25 years on me and obviously brought more experience. I looked forward to having a “mentor”, someone who would “nuture” me to the next level in my accidental career. We had a really great phone rapport before he actually accepted the position. He would call and ask me things about the company and I’m sure, tried to “feel out” who this young woman was he would be working directly with. At the risk of sounding a bit sexist, I found that “working what I had” brought great business and kept sound relationships with co-workers and clients. I am a flirt by nature and in this line of work, it certainly didn’t hurt. I was doing it for the business. It’s a sad and misogynistic fact. At least it was back then. Especially for a 21 year old girl. “A” and I seemed to hit it off and I really looked forward to meeting him and working with him.

It was a “honeymoon” at first. We were extremely nice and polite to each other. We worked together in a very small office and tried not to get in each other’s way. Once in a while, I would notice his lack of phone etiquette when talking on the phone to clients and other co-workers, and he sometimes seemed to be a bit “harsh” to our employees. The inner alarms went off but not too loudly. I mean, it sounded selfish but he wasn’t an asshole to me. I was bringing home a respectable paycheck and it wasn’t affecting me directly, so what did I care?
Of course the “honeymoon” was very short lived.

It began with small things. Like, the way I did something that wasn’t to his liking, or if I made a mistake. He would get more upset than he really should over something that really was trivial. I stood up to him at times and it seemed to calm him down.

However, it would only get worse once the storm starting brewing in his brain again.

I would have to sit and listen to him for hours, bitching and moaning about how everyone in the company was stupid with the exception of himself, and he expected me to chime in agreement and most of the time I indulged him just to keep him happy. But God forbid I actually speak my mind.

God forbid I actually have an opinion that didn’t match his. He actually told me one time to: “Never EVER take that tone with me young lady, do you understand me?”

I drew the line there and busted his chops and told him he was NOT my father and I would not tolerate being talked down to that way, simply because I had a different opinion.

There was never a happy medium with “A”. He was either sickeningly nice to me or absolutely horrible. I began to walk on egg shells and pray for him to call in sick or at least be in a good mood. I also became the person who made his hair appointments, picked up his lunch, and ran a lot of his personal errands. Things that had nothing to do with my job. At the time I was young and eager to please. I also wanted to be able to pay the rent. I was completely job scared and made the mistake of letting him know that.

The “A” I met over the phone, flirted harmlessly with, and joked around with was long gone.

The final straw was when at a time when he was feeling nice, he invited me to run an errand with him and while sitting in the car at Kinko’s, he told me that his wife had left him and began to tell me way more than I needed to know about his current dating life. He stared straight into my eyes and kept looking at me, and leaned toward me, as if he wanted to kiss me. I would imagine if I had not looked away and suggested we get back to work, he would have tried to make a move on me. It creeped me the fuck out and less than a month later, I tendered my resignation. Luckily, the last month there, he had to travel out of town quite a bit which made it a lot easier than actually having to say goodbye to him.

Howard always said “A”’s aggression probably had to do with the fact that he was attracted to me and I wasn’t reciprocal but I never picked up on it until that day in the truck.

Perhaps if “A” had voiced this to me, I could have verbalized that my feelings were not in fact mutual, in spite of the initial harmless flirtation and maybe things would have been better jobwise, but not likely.

It was the year from hell for me and nearly wrecked my marriage because I was so stressed out all the time. I don’t miss working for him and never will.

I learned a lot from that experience though. I made a vow never to be a “doormat” simply because I’m afraid of losing my job. Whoever, my boss in the future would know how I felt about things.   Also, flirting for the sake of anything other than having fun, was wrong.  In fact, I left that line of work all together and never looked back.  But most importantly, I knew that communication in the workplace would never be an issue for me again.

And for the most part it hasn’t been. I do try to please my boss as much as I can without coming off as some sort of sychophant. I believe in giving 110% because that’s just the way I am. But if I don’t agree with something or if I feel as if I’m being treated unfairly, I express that. As a manager I also expect it from my employees but I do have an open door policy with them as well. They can never say they left my employ due to lack of communication, that’s for sure. They are open to speak their mind to me as long as they do it respectfully and sincerely. I give them the same courtesy and I try never to hold a grudge over them for revealing their feelings to me.

And I sure as hell don’t take out my bad moods on them and I DEFINITELY don’t make them run my personal errands.

Though….don’t think I haven’t thought about bribing them into it.

I’m definitely not above that.

Mar 17

During my layover in London a few weeks ago, I finally bought the book “The Devil Wears Prada”.  I wanted something easy to read on my 8 hour flight back to the states and I’ll admit, I’ve been wanting to buy it for some time but I have so many damn books at home that I haven’t read, I kept resisting.  So many of my unread books are “chick-lit” that it kind of nauseates me.  But.  I finished the only book I brought with me to Marrakech and wasn’t about to rely on movies and god forbid, sleep, to keep me occupied on the long flight.

So I bought the book on sale (6 pounds!) in paperback and dove in, finishing it before we landed back in Charlotte.  I ended up loving it.  As soon as we got back home, I put the movie at the top of my Netflix queue and we received it yesterday in the mail.
I was about to open a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when the plot kind of sucked me in and I felt guilty about eating the ice cream.

Then I had the realization that, I think everyone who has read the book or seen the movie probably has had:  Dude, I’ve so been there!

I’ve had the boss from hell.  Except he was a male boss from hell.  I’ll tell you all the sleazy story when I return from work.  I’m going in for just a couple of hours to get a jump start on next week.

You’ll be waiting with anticipation, won’t you?

Mar 14

I’m working on a whole vacation recap thingy but I just had to tell you all that….

*takes a big deep breath*

I was in North Carolina for nearly two weeks and did not once, I mean not even once, eat a Krispy Kreme Doughnut.

I didn’t even buy the day old ones you find in the convenience stores.

I suck.  Zoot would be so ashamed of me.  I can’t believe I let it slip my mind.  Please forgive me.

That is all.

Mar 13

At 8:08pm tonight Lance Mackey crossed the finish line into Nome winning the 35th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Emotions ran high. He cried, his family cried, Governer Sarah Palin’s voice cracked over the phone congratulating him. Howard and I teared up watching it live from our living room.

In 2001, Lance was diagnosed with throat Cancer and he stared death in the face and eventually beat it into remission. Made Cancer his bitch. Which made him my hero.

Anyone who knows me and the grief I feel over the loss of my grandfather knows how I feel about the big “C”. Anyone who overcomes it is a hero in my eyes.

Just 20 days ago, he won the Yukon Quest. No one in the history of the race has won both races in the same year, let alone with the same team of dogs. The dogs he lovingly cared for and the first place he went when his sled slid under the arch. “Let me talk to my boys, let me talk to my boys”…he yelled. He dropped to his knees and they covered him with licks, nudges, and made yaps and howls. They were just as happy as he was. They shared his excitement and happiness. Then of course his other family descended upon him and he cried openly.

It’s times like these that make me so happy to live in this state. Alaska is really the last frontier. The last wild, untamed part of this country. The place where women moose hunt during the day or endure a bumpy snowmachine ride, or a bumpy dogsled ride and then get dressed up and go out to dinner at night. I love that this state allows all the ruggedness that not everyone is exactly comfortable with and the hedonistic pleasures of the modern world too.

People in other states might not consider the Iditarod Race a big deal but my fellow Alaskans and I are damned proud to be a part of it.

Congratulations Team Mackey!

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