Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Shortest Lived Cat Toy - EVER

Greetings from Chesterfield, Missouri :) Pat and I took a drive down here this evening to go to a Quality Council meeting tomorrow morning. How romantic - a work trip! We had a great dinner with some friends, and are now settling down in our hotel room, ready for a good nights sleep. I thought maybe we'd hit a casino, but dinner ran a bit longer than expected, and I'm lame now too, so we just decided to stick around the hotel.

Before dinner, we decided to go to the PetsMart across the street, because we've been meaning to buy some kitty hairball treats and some more food for Milo & Thalia. Yes, I realize most people don't go pet shopping 250 miles away, but its *RIGHT* across the street, and that is closer than waiting to go when we get home. Anyway, so we're killin' some time, and I decide the kitties need a new door hanging mousie, because Thalia pretty much wore the other one out. The problem being the ones I like I can only find at Meijer.......but I digress.

So, I'm looking for a suitable replacement, and find a cute, grey mousie that hangs from a door. Not lifelike at all like the old one, but still cute enough. AND - it made life like squeaky noises. Just little ones :) Seriously, they were really tiny. Barely audible. Pat gave me "the look" when I shook it to show him as if saying "Yes, that is a great idea. That won't be annoying at all at 3:00AM when she decides to play with it across the hall". I ignored him and we walked out of PetsMart with all our goodies in hand.

I got the look again about three minutes later when we hit a bump in the parking lot and we heard a faint little squeak coming from the back. And again. And again.

Yeah, that won't be annoying at all on the 5 hour drive home tomorrow!!!

Needless to day, the mousie toy was promptly returned to PetsMart after dinner. Hmmm...maybe I should start listening to this Pat O'Brien guy in the first place!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Post Memorial Day Weekend :)

YAY! We did get some grilled meat this weekend :)

I was thinking to myself that really, we didn't have any big plans - but now that the weekend is over, I suppose we were rather busy. A quick breakdown for you:

Friday - shopping and Pirates of The Carribean. Pirates was pretty good, although about a half an hour too long. But, still worth the price of our admission and popcorn goodies!

Saturday - crip crappity crap crappy day! All rainy and gloomy :( But, we grabbed our umbrellas and managed to get out for a nice long walk down to our friend's store The Wooden Spoon so I could purchase a muddler. Being that I have been sooooo into virgin Mojitos lately, I figured I really needed one. And, it works famously I tell you! On the way back home we stopped at the Hopleaf bar for a drink, and I tried another new non-alcoholic brew....that I can't think of the name of right now....Claust-something...from Germany. It was pretty good - very hoppy.

The evening brought celebrations for my cousin Will's 29th birthday! We went to dinner with Will, Amber and two other couple friends of their's for a night of Tapas at Cafe Babareeba - it was a great choice! All the food, drink and desserts were so yummy!!! Of course, the company makes the dinner, and that wasn't too shabby either :) To those of you who say dates wrapped up in bacon sounds horrible, you would be terribly terribly mistaken! It was a fantastic flavor explosion - and everyone should try it!!!!

Sunday - after Bike The Drive was finished at 10AM, we headed down Lakeshore drive to visit our favorite O'Brien's for a day. It was crappy when we arrived in Indiana, but it cleared up and actually turned out to be a great day! We played some catch, lounged in Mike's fabulous new hammock, and ate hot dogs and brats on the grill! YUMMY :) Then, we watched both the Tigers and the Piston's lose, and headed to bed.

Monday - after a fabulously prepared pancake and sausage breakfast, we left Mike & Kristen's and headed back home. I had a nice afternoon nap, and then we took advantage of the nice day and went for a walk. I kind of wanted to hit The Chicago Botanic Gardens, but Pat didn't really want to drive anywere, so instead of our normal walk we decided to head to The Rosehill Cemetary. Before you get all wierded out and think we are crazy - They had a Memorial Day parade earlier that morning, and we figured Memorial day is as good a day as any to walk through a cemetary. Folks, this cemetary is HUGE, old and the entrance looks so cool. It was designed by the same dude who did the Water Tower downtown. Its the largest cemetary in Chicago, and turns out, 3rd largest in the world....something like 350 acres. Really, it was quite pretty. They had tons of flags out, and some incredibly ornate monuments. I'm glad we walked through.....and we might just do it again.

That brings us to today....just working from home today, I've got a billion things to catch up on - which I should start right. about. NOW!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

If you don't know....

What keeping score looks like in baseball - here's an example I found on Wikipedia from a game in 2000.....

Sweet :)

Crosstown classic. Cubbies took two, Sox took one. Seemed a bit strange, having a NL & AL team duke it out this early in the season - but I suppose that is the point of interleague play. It was pretty awesome to have been a part of the opening game of the series on Friday afternoon - there was so much energy in that stadium! There were probably just as much noise made by the Sox fans as the Cubbies fans - so it was equal amounts of boos and cheers each change of the inning. Quite interesting actually.

And, I learned that it is apparently not cool to keep score during the game. Everyone made fun of me and said only 80 year old men keep track of that stuff. I personally think they were just jealous of my skilz. I've always thought it was rather fun. I'm not sure who taught me to do it, probably my dad......the skills were honed when I would keep the books on occasion for our softball during high school, or as an umpire during the summer kids leagues. I've let myself get rusty though - I hadn't done it in a while. I got 6 innings done (1 - 3 and 7 - 9) - I missed three because we left our seats to go hang out on the Patio in the middle of the game.

The day was beautiful - it was sunny at 70 ish. We decided to take the bus this time instead of the Red line. A good decision I think. Its about a mile to the Red Line station - but a little less than half that to the bus stop on Clark, and it drops you off right in front of Wrigley Field. Bus people are a different breed than train people though - it was interesting to see.

Pat and I had a great lunch with our customer outside on the patio at Tuscany, and then headed over to the ballpark. It was a bit chilly in the shade (luckily I brought a jacket) because the wind was coming right off the lake, but it was a nice day overall.

Instead of taking the bus we opted for a leisurely walk home (three miles or so?). It took forever because I was in sandals and walk kinda slow....but it was perfect for a stop at 7-11 to grab a coke slurpee :)

*sigh* I love a day at the ball park! Sure beats working any day! Oh wait - I was working :) I love my job!

What else this weekend......oh, we went to the Field Museum for the annual banquet for the American Concrete Institute Illinois Chapter - we had a great dinner, and I LOOOOOVE the museum....overall, very cool! Here's an oversharpened picture of Pat and I in front of Sue - the famed T-Rex. Notice my ever expanding belly and boobs.......they just won't stop growing!!!

And we also finally took our bikes out for a spin on the Lakshore - there were about a million people out! OH! And we bought a new mattress - it comes tomorrow. Today was less exciting - cleaning the condo in the morning and watching the Red Wings lose in overtime during the afternoon, capped off with a bit of Sopranos and Entourage.

And now folks, tis time for me to sleep. Ta ta!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Big Ol' Mean Customer Man

I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were coming into this sales position. As a matter of fact, my weaknesses are the reasons why I was slightly afraid to persue a career in sales. Those weaknesses, you might ask?

Basically being sensitive and taking everything personally.

I think that may be the death of someone in sales - its not always a happy go lucky touchy feely position. I've done a great job so far, learning to separate the customers' anger and frustration from feelings directed at me - but its not always easy for me to make that separation. So, in times when I am unable to (for whatever reason) we end up in a situation like today. I talked to a customer (who didn't remember who I was - not shocking, I was warned people wouldn't associate me with the position for at least three meetings - so I'm not taking that personally) and had some important issues to discuss - and instead of being a smooth resolution of a small problem, it became a tirade on how my company is a big greedy monster that makes it difficult to accomplish what is in effect best for its most loyal customers.

Point taken.

There is truth to that statement - because of my company's size and breadth its often easier and more efficient to take the long way around of things as opposed to trying to fight the long giant red tape in order to get it done the "right" way. His response to my proposed solution was "If you need to disguise it or hide it in order to get it done, I'll play along". Ouch. I was able to continue the conversation professionally...but when I hung up the phone I just started bawling. Of course I called Pat because the big ol' mean customer made me cry, but after a few minutes I realized how silly it was.

I couldn't even really say why I was crying, but now in trying to analyze the situation I understand (I think) the reason - I mean, the reason besides the fact that my body is all hopped up on crazy, uncontrollable, pregnancy hormones. The customer's last comment I took personally, and the way he phrased it made it seem as if I was doing something less than ethical, or basically being a slimeball sales person. And if there is one thing I pride myself on, it is my ethics - and if there is one thing I despise its slimeball sales people. And I hate being thrown into that group. Its not the first time I've felt that, and I suppose it comes with the territory, but it still sucks. And I knew it would suck, but I'm doing my best to try to fight those stereotypes and not let it get to me. I think maybe being a woman, and being with child makes me a little more sensitive than most, but I'm learning how to cope and deal and take it with stride like all those seasoned vets out there.

On the flip side, I've got a great day planned tomorrow. Its the first day of the Crosstown Showdown (not as much panache as the Subway Series, is it?) and Pat and I are taking a customer into enemy territory (the customer's a Sox fan) for a nice lunch and a fabulous afternoon Spring Ball Game at Wrigley Field. I guess I'll be wearing my Sox hat.....or I could be completely non-commital and wear the Sox hat with a Cubs shirt :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I've returned from my travels, greatful to be back in the Midwest after a few days cooking in the hot Sonoran Desert of Tucson. We had a great time - I've got a lot of photos to share, but I'm too lazy and tired to go through them right it will have to wait.

What I will do right now, however, is share a photo. A while back I wrote about a cute picture of my cousins and Karli at her first Tiger game at Old Tiger Stadium. Here it is!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Whoa, been a while, eh?

OK - I had no idea it had been that long since I posted!

We spent a few days in San Diego on a honeymoon, then promptly returned to Chicagoland only to turn around and head to Lake Geneva Wisconsin for a work meeting. Here's a Lay Out I did of it.....if you click on it you can see it much better.

This weekend was a Round The Clock scrap-a-thon - 52 hours straight for National Scrapbook Weekend! It went well, but I'm sooooo tired! Here are two magnets I made for a challenge I lead - the kitties are so precious!

Also got to see my cousin Will & his wifey Amber on Saturday evening - they came over for some dinner, to watch the Pistons kick the Bulls butts & for some Wii action :) It was great seeing them - they are pretty stinkin' fun peeps! And, they bring cheesy poofs with them, which makes them A-OK in my book!

We have a two day work week this week, then on Wednesday we head to Tucson to see Pat's mom graduate. So basically you won't see another post for another week or so. But I promise I'll be back eventually!