Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yes, I am still Alive

I have been told by several people that I have not been blogging enough and have been instructed to get back to it as soon as possible. So here I am. August was quite the busy month for us. With Camille's exciting birthday weekend - fancy dinner, movie, and day at Knott's Berry Farm - followed by fun 6 day trip to Gen Con, and now happily the expected arrival of my sister, Kristy, tomorrow morning for a fun filled weekend it has definitely been an exciting month. Squeezing into that a combination of strange allergies/colds that Don and I have been suffering from (more so Don) and thankfully a job that is finally picking up the pace a bit, I haven't had as much time to spend blogging as I did the first couple laxidaisical months here.

With the start of September things should be slowing down a bit - at least on the social front. So far we don't have any other traveling plans scheduled likely until at least the holiday. With Kristy here this weekend, we will finally get the chance to do a little bit of touristing around town that we have wanted to do but haven't made the time too. Kristy gets the honor of being the first family member to come and visit us in our new home. Any takers for second place????? Actually, Don's Mom, Grandma, Sister, Dad and Step-Mom have all talked about planning a trip out sometime in the fall but nobody has settled on specific dates or bought plane tickets yet. Of course we are excited to see people and share with them our lovely home and life here.

The weather has definitely kicked into high gear here the last couple of days - in the 100s and upper 90s. I had to move my basil plants over to the shade this morning because they were starting to suffer. The dogs don't seem to mind the heat. Even when it is 100 degrees outside, the first thing Cordy does when I let her out in the evenings is, well obviously go to the bathroom, but the second thing she does is find herself a nice spot in the grass to stretch out on and sunbathe her little bare belly. Seumas on the other hand spends his time inspecting the perimeter of the yard and hunting for insects in the grass. Between the heat and the allergies we have been working through, we have definitely suffered on our training routines with the dogs. I am hoping that while Kristy is here we will be able to be more consistent with walking them in the evening since I will be excited to show off our neighborhood anyway.

Don put up some posts about our trip to Knotts Berry Farm and our week at Gen Con so you can read the updates on his blog. However, the one thing he did not mention was that we got to meet and spend time with the accomplished actor Jason Marsden in the new upcoming animated Dragonlance Animated Feature to be appearing on the SCI FI Channel. Jason Marsden has an IMDB list about a mile long and if you check it out you will see that a good majority of it is Voice Acting on many well known shows (my personal favorite - the Gummi Bears!). Well, when we met him we realized why. Because the guy is about 4 feet tall. I am taller than Jason Marsden and I'm not taller than anyone! Anyway, he was a really neat guy. He came to our showing of Dorkness Rising and absolutely loved it and said he would be thrilled to work with us someday. Apparently his wife and he own a Yoga Studio in Burbank which he invited us to come and check out sometime.

So tonight is gaming night. Everyone is on diets now so it makes it more difficult to just run home and order pizza for everyone. I actually have to put a little more planning into it. Don put out a couple of steaks to thaw this morning (I think he forgot we would be feeding 6) so I am going to pick up some chicken from Costco on the way home and we will BBQ Steaks and Chicken and people can decide which they want. I will probably just pick up a ready made marinade also or something. And maybe even a bagged salad. Don said he has a bit of prep work to do for the session when he gets home as he has been working very long days this week, leaving the house around 5 am and working to about 5 pm. So it looks like I will probably be Grill Master tonight.

Well, I've got some more work to do and want to get my desk cleaned up before Kristy gets here tomorrow so it looks nice when she comes to visit me at work. I'm sure by the end of the weekend we will have lots of pictures to post from her visit. Have a nice Labor Day everyone if I don't talk to you before then.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Get a Grip!

O.K. So today work was CRAZY. And I don't just mean crazy as in so busy I couldn't keep my head on straight. I mean crazy as in literally PSYCHOTIC. So apparently the owner of the company is a difficult man to work for. He is the guy that pays me but who I never actually work with because I have the one job in the actual company that he knows absolutely nothing about. For the most part he leaves us alone down here (where we have been delegated to the basement dungeon) and lets Steve and I run our little operation and basically trusts us to do it right. Well, Mr. Moneybanks insisted several months back that we do a loan for his "friend" against the advice of our credit department. And of course, as we suggested in the first place, now the loan is in default. We have been working with the guy along the way collecting small payments at a time and trying to drag it out while he gets his act together, as the owner instructed us to. Well, all of a sudden he is done waiting and he wants this taken care of NOW!

So my poor boss Steve is running back and forth upstairs and downstairs all day being called into his office and chewed out and demanding that this be immediately rectified while I am racing through internet adds and calling collection agencies all day long to find out who can get us what he is asking for and save Steve's head from the chopping block. Apparantly, we were not the only ones to receive this happy treatment today. It sounds like the whole company was getting chewed out for one reason or another all because Grumpy broke his bleeping Blackberry and was in a bad mood. So of course while everyone else in the company was getting chewed out, lucky me stayed down in my little hidey hole and did my best to help save Steve's skin.

Anyway, it's not so bad, since again, the man doesn't know anything about equipment financing therefore he can't micromanage and basically leaves us alone to do our thing down here. And even when he does go bezerko it doesn't effect me that much directly. But it sure makes for a high strung environment being around such insane stress levels. While it hasn't sent me fleeing exactly, it has helped me to clinch what I was already suspecting before, that this is not a place that I see myself long term and has given me enough license to start at least looking at and entertaining other opportunities. I would hate to leave my boss to fend for himself and in an ideal world I would like to be here until we had grown enough for me to get all of our procedures running smoothly and have trained some really good replacement staff. Even if we never make it strong as a business, I could still get another 6 months to a year out of this job on a really nice income. Which is actually the perfect opportunity to comfortably start looking and marketing myself out there with enough patience to wait for that perfect job.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Last night I woke up around 1:00 a.m. to a shaking bed, rolled over to Don and said, "Well, I suppose that was our first earthquake." News reports this morning said it was magnitude 4.5 centered in Chatsworth. Pretty light from where we felt it. Didn't even wake the dogs. Welcome to California.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I have to say, I am a little ashamed at myself. It's 64 degrees outside and I'm actually cold. I've only been living in California for two months and now I need a sweater to go outside in 60 degree weather! But I am quite pleased with the forecast this week. Highs in the low 80s for the next 5 days. Now that is quite a treat. I am especially pleased about the weather report because I recently made a commitment to myself to forego using Airconditioning in my car unless absolutely necessary. And it's really not as hard as you think it would be. I don't have to drive really long distances so I just roll the windows down and bring a bottle of water and voila - save some money on gas and reduce my carbon footprint.

Don and I are going to have to finally bite the bullet and get another car sometime in the next year. It has been so nice not having a car payment for the last four years but alas, our cars are getting older and it is not so practical to drive a truck in the city. We will keep the truck for now but get a commuter car for Don. The problem is we are at total odds as to what kind of car to get and how much money to spend. This when we are trying to save for a house. It is hard to think of forking over 10/20/or 25K that could have gone towards a down payment and bought a lot more house. Well, the good news is we still have at least 6 months to a year to decide as we pay off the rest of the debt from our move and save for the car.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What day is it???

Last night husband arrives home around 5:30. Walks in through the front door emanating vicious aura. Goes straight to bed and collapses face first on pillowtop.

Wife tiptoes into bedroom, "Babe are you o.k.?"

Husband turns head, peels open one eyelid, gets out "horrible headache."

"Did you take anything?"

Shakes head 'no'.

Wife goes to medicine cabinet. Brings back Advil. Gets husband to sit up long enough to administer three little candy-coated promises of relief. Husband falls back into bed and straight into deep REM coma.

Wife walks past bedroom doorway a few times. Deep sleep, slow heavy breaths, no movement. Wife decides to entertain herself by watching movie and eating Dorritos. Dogs cuddle. Evening twilight sets in. 7:30 p.m. timed evening lamp turns on.

Floor creaks. Dogs' ears perk up. Husband appears in Living Room hallway squinty-eyed and barely conscious. A look of utter confusion, eyebrows perplexed in the shape of a question mark, husband performs the mighty act of willing vocal cords to ask in groggy voice, "Do you have the day off?"

Wife stops crunching mid-dorito, looks up at husband with own question mark on her face, "Honey, do you think today is Friday? It's still Thursday night. You just woke up from a nap and I haven't been to bed yet."

Husband tries hard to process information through foggy brain. Looks like wife just told him the year is 2022 and we are Republicans now. After long careful thought process responds, "Are you serious? I was sure it was Friday morning and starting to panic because I was late for work."

"Yes, honey, I'm sure."

Shoulders relax a bit. Looks relieved but still barely conscious.

"I'm sure this is all very disorienting from where your standing. But from where I'm standing this whole thing is really quite adorable, you understand?"

Husband releases a slow squinty eyed grin.

Every once in a while it's fun to see your partner in a new light, and be reminded why you love them.


The other day I turned the calendar. I can't believe it's already August. As of tomorrow, Don and I will have been at our new jobs for two full months now. So far we are finding that we are quite happy with our new lives in California. The "honeymoon" phase has not yet warn off as we continue to enjoy our new home, our new opportunities both professionally and recreationally, and the new and renewed friendships we have made here. I have become very comfortable with the pace of our lives here. Time and space feels different here to me. I find myself living much more in the moment day to day. Weeks go by faster than weekends. Evenings feel longer than days. Sleep feels plentiful. As we have sought to achieve better balance for our dogs by walking them every day, I think we are achieving more balance for ourselves too. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with living on our own and feeling more in control of our lives - physically and financially. But I also can't help but thinking that this state - California - is having more of a positive impact on me than I ever expected it. If you ever would have told me that I was going to love California, I never would have believed you. Maybe I'm the opposite of what happens when you take a person who struggles with depression and puts them in a rainy cloudy environment and they become even more depressed. What happens when you take a happy person and put them in a sunny environment, do they get even more happy? I could get used to this.