Flashback circa 2006 – Florida

It isn’t so much that I was a literary genius back when I was rambling on-live without focus,  before I knew it was called blogging.  But like any form of journal writing it is nice to see where you were, what ya thought and how those things looked back then.

This was one of the 4 week trips I took to Florida for work.  I usually am part of a team that will travel for 4-6 weeks to train a company we have purchased on the new software system and procedures for our company.  We spend 2 weeks training them one on one with the new software and then FLIP DA SWITCH “Go-Live” and support them for 2 weeks walking them through the actual application of all that training.  I remember this branch in Rockledge, Florida having a very positive attitude with a small crew of 5-6 to train.  One of  my New Hire training stories I use to this day, I experienced at this branch post Go-Live.

The Florida adventure:

It has been quite the LONG adventure to Florida for the last 7 weeks for work.  But the final outcome was more than I could have hoped for.  The branch I was working with had a fantastic Go-Live day and there was so many things that made that possible.  The great co-trainer I had, Katrina; the open to the important suggestions Branch Manager, Chris; and finally myself keeping enough checklists that I remembered to cover and recover almost EVERYTHING.  It was a great experience and I am truly blessed because the Branch Manager actually called my boss and asked me to stay an extra two weeks.  I didn’t end up staying, but I would have because this crew was such a good one to work with.

It was a long time away from my friends and psuedo family, but when I came home it was just as sweet.  The only down side was realizing I had left my own space in total chaos, so there is a lot of organizing and sorting to do.  Goodness I hope I get out from under all this mess soon.

So how am I doing… I think things are good.  I have at least four major work projects coming up and I am hoping and praying I don’t screw them up.  I am getting really good with my lists and lists.  I am trying to cut back on the caffeine, at least the mochas and the Dew.  Since my stay in Florida I am now drinking more water daily than I have most of my life.  I am gonna try to keep up the habit.  And I have pledged to be more thrifty in the next few months in an attempt to get a better handle on my finances.  I know its possible… just need to focus my attention.

Today’s Reflection: 

I have since sworn off Mochas in my daily life, am practicing a sugar-free life in my drinks (no more Mt. Dew), but I am back to struggling with the water.  For some reason I just can’t seem to get that part of my lifestyle into place.  I have DEFINITELY made progress on the financial front.  Come December of this year 2013, I will be FREE of my stupid Debt and only have my Student Loan (although HUGE) left to pay off.

Flashback circa 2003

I created my first website in 2003, only to discover it was still OUT THERE this week.  So I decided to do some cut and paste to bring some of those fun reflections into my current media space.  No edits, no alterations:

My New England Adventure

I was jotting down some notes about life and progress and stuff and thought I would pass it along. It is very helpful to journal this way, I just wish I would do it more often. Please let me know how you are doing, especially some of you I haven’t heard from in a while. I’m beginning to think you have evaporated or SOMETHING.

CURRENT TRAVEL PLANS: I fly back to Seattle…Dec 20th Sat night. I’m soooooooooo ready to come back. It’s not the traveling or the hotel rooms or the being away from home. It’s just been a very stressful six weeks. I will be in Seattle: Sunday 21st, Monday 22nd Morning, and then drive down to Portland around noonish…I will be in Portland Tuesday night Dec 23rd for my birthday through Jan 2 (Unless I get sick or tired or stressed beyond measure). It will also depend upon who has time to visit or not and who has time for adventures. BUT MOST DEFINITELY give me a call at any time to talk or get together. ( I will have my cell, as always). I know holidays can be hectic, but I’d really like to connect with more of those of you in Portland that I have not be able to see the last couple of trips down.

TRAVELLING TOURIST UPDATE: For work, I have been working with a branch in Cranston, Rhode Island–About 20 minutes South of Providence, Rhode Island and 1 hour south of Boston, Massachusetts. This trip the weather interfered a little here and there. I wasn’t able to make it out to “THE CAPE” (in Massachusetts) as I wanted for the Christmas festivities due to my first ever “Nor’easter”. Then the pouring rain was called a “Sout’easter”, the rain I’m use to. It has been a trip and a half watching things quickly shift from fall/autumn colors to the “DRASTIC SHADES OF WINTER”. But I learned a lot and found New England quite charming on many different levels, but must confess there is A LOT more out here than just Martha Stewart should’s and suppose to’s.

TRAVELLING TOURIST UPDATE–THANKSGIVING: I did make it to Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock for Thanksgiving day. It was an AMAZING history lesson on the day of Thanksgiving, and I got stuck walking in the middle of a protest by our Native American friends. It’s good to hear the voice of the minority even if its shouting at you through a bull horn and surrounded by dozens of Massachusetts finest ( i.e. Police Officers).

TRAVELLING TOURIST UPDATE–BOSTON: My Dad came to visit for that weekend and it was tourist mania. We had dinner at the oldest restaurant–Union Oyster House. Then wandered around Downtown Boston for a while enjoying the lights and the INSANE roads that Boston has right now. Its CRAZY just CRAZY with all the construction down there. Its called THE BIG DIG a 20 yr highway project…What can I say, my Dad is a Discovery Channel nut so he shares with me ALL the knowledge. Also, in Boston we did the Fen way Park Tour which was definitely a Baseball fans dream tour. The absolute pinnacle was my Dad’s trip to the USS Constitution, where we got to go on board of the ship itself and then wander through the museum. Then I made him stay until they shot off the canon at the end of day.

TRAVELLING TOURIST UPDATE–CONNECTICUT: On the Friday after Thanksgiving we got out of dodge to Connecticut…Mystic Seaport. Which is a great place. A couple of boats, a lighthouse, great little stores of old trades blacksmith, clam shack, time pieces, pub, etc. Course we also found my Dad’s nirvana…The Supermodel shack–Dozens of Tall Ship models put together over hours and hours of some of the most famous ships that have ever sailed. Then the dangerous wandering took place through the gift shop. We hit the all to East Coast FAMOUS “Foxwoods Casino” which definitely would have fit RIGHT in on the Vegas Strip.

TRAVELLING TOURIST UPDATE–NEWPORT: We rounded out Sunday with a drive down to Newport, Rhode Island the Land of the richie riches–mansions that cost $35-45 just for a walking tour or to even drive through the circle driveway. The coast line is gorgeous, my dad and I got out of the car and wandered around the rocks and watched the waves crash and it was truly AMAZING to watch. I can really see WHY they are so proud of the coast, but I don’t know if I would go so far as to think that Rhode Island should be called “The Ocean State.” Now California, there is a state of 1/2 ocean. So who ever was handing out titles didn’t think too clearly about Rhode Island. The ocean is a blue sea and beautiful waves here in Newport and I can see how that would make me want to have a house here. But until I marry a “Gates, Trump, or Diesel” I won’t be seeing THAT kinda money anywhere but television. We also saw where the America’s Cup enthusiasts wander the streets and where the boats take up miles of space.

THE FOOD AROUND HERE: Every other block is an Italian restaurant almost as common as the Taco Bell’s in the NW. There is lots of seafood, steak, and variety, but Italian was definitely a dominating factor. Their pizza isn’t bad here ( I hate New York Pizza) but I’ve only had a slice or two from “THE PIZZA KING” gotta love the name. Also, there are actually hot dog restaurants you know WHOLE joints dedicated to JUST the sale of hot dogs, not hamburgers AND hot dogs, just hot dogs. It’s similar to how we have teriyaki fast food restaurants where there seems to be a little teriyaki joint in every strip mall. It’s truly amazing.
Did I mention the plague that is Dunkin’ Donuts around here? If I didn’t, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. Imagine all the McDonalds Locations and Starbucks locations in Seattle, you know how frequent they are, how their locations just seem to poke a dot the map? Well that’s how it is here with Dunkin Donuts, Honey Dew Donuts, Krispee Kreme, and Ma/Pa Donut shops…THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. In the Northwest it seems that Donut Shops are a dying breed, that you only go there if you are desperate for a cheap cup of coffee and don’t care about taste OR if you have that random gotta have a donut (Homer Simpson craving) in the middle of the night. NOPE not HERE. In New England and most of the East coast, Dunkin Donuts is rivaling Starbucks for the shear VOLUME of LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Not just the where, but the how many blocks between. I begin to believe that people give out directions based upon how many Dunkin Donuts you pass to get somewhere.
Next food revelation, I have fallen in love with Sushi all over again. I found a place here in Warwick, RI–Haruki Inn–that is just a great Japanese and Sushi restaurant. I’ve had sushi in the past but it either wasn’t fresh or wasn’t a flavor I like or the texture was just eh, no biggie. I am glad its near the hotel because whenever I feel like a certain type of light dinner, the sushi sounds great and always feels good going down and I feel healthy after eating it. Who would have thought that Sushi is a good comfort food.

DATING LIFE: No Comment – But seriously, there is no activity on the dating front. I don’t mean no prospects, I mean No activity. Still asking for direction on the best place to go socialize and meet people in my own age group, with similar ideas on life, and compatible life goals, etc but until I figure that out there won’t be any activity that I forecast.

It’s Everything and Nothing ALL in one Post

So what does one write about when there is too much and not enough to write about all at the same time?  I have over 2 dozen half posts started, but not certain I have the energy or time to sort through the emotions and deep thought it takes to masterfully craft a creative post.  Then I was reminded of a friend of mine who says that a blog is supposed to be an account of what is happening now.  What are the things I am thinking now in the moment, kicking around the corners of the mind at this particular time.  And THEN I start to get overwhelmed with all the different things that are kicking around my mind.  So maybe in an attempt to find clarity and cohesive thought a list might be in order (yes I am a list maker, it has served me well over the years, so I do it often):

I am in Sacramento on a work trip, so there are all the TO DO’s wrapped around work, plus the stress of my boss arriving on Tuesday, Go-Live (where we change software systems), Political hub-bub that comes with Regional People on-site.  Being put on the spot for all challenges and issues and questions and hoping upon hoping I did a good enough job with the training that it KINDA sticks enough for the people to do their jobs… YEAH NO PRESSURE.

I am visiting friends and their 2 kids, which is fun but at times I feel I’m in the way, not knowing if I’m contributing enough or spending enough time with them since there are parts of my vacation that I like nothing more than truly being lazy and brain dead.  It has almost become a thanksgiving tradition to do nothing and accomplish nothing; but I don’t know if that is a throw back from my student days where I would half believe I would catch up on school work during these four days… all the while being pressured to just HAVE FUN or veg.

Financially, I made a serious boo boo and paid my bills, sounds harmless, but lets just say my reimbursement check may have been “processed” but my bank hasn’t seen it yet so it might as well not exist.  OOOPS Silly Dave Ramsey, getting me ALL excited about paying my bills.

Food is always a fun topic, but for some reason I just can’t quite get my emotions to tell me the truth.  One minute I’m in complete control and the next moment all I want is 5 kinds of fast food RIGHT NOW!!! I thought I survived Thanksgiving fine, because I didn’t do sweets and I thought I kept my portions relatively in check; but the scale corrected me and it was a heart wrenching, depressing blow to my ego.  As a result Friday sucked and Saturday isn’t looking much better.  Dang it why does food have to taste so good… all the wrong kinds.

Positive health note: I went for a 1.5 mile walk today and it was easy.  I used my rain coat because it decided to be a GLORIOUSLY rainy Oregon Day in Elk Grove.  But it made walking easy and I had lovely time and it wasn’t hard and I really TRULY enjoyed the time with the iPod and my “driving” mix.  Thank you Lisa for the INCREDIBLE idea of finding songs that make the body MOOOOOOVE!!! So for the record that would be 3 times I have exercised on this trip, which is more than I have done in over 5 months.  SO THERE TURKEY DAY!!! 😛

I have been doing my bible reading just about every day and even though it is not quite the emotional high I want it to be, I am doing it.  I have been reading my Divine Mentor book and keeping on track with the meetings and discussions.  I have been praying and taking quiet time with God and not letting the television run all my quiet time.  Although I have had to fight my chatty Kathy tendencies to make that quiet time exist also.

I am away from my new community and they are having all these fantastic events that I get to hear about through email, yet I am a whole state away.  I miss the interactions and laughter that spending time with them generates.  I am hoping that I will not be forgotten (insert fake sniffle here) and that when I return it will all be the same but different.

Finally, I have been conversing with my X (yes that would be an ex-boyfriend from over a ZILLION years ago).  It’s been a roller coaster of sorts, but for some reason I’m still engaged in conversations.  Some how some way were are bringing out the best and worst of each other during our conversations.  But the more we talk the better it gets, and just when I think this is it.  This is one more chance around the merry-go-round and I AM DONE, something cool happens and it changes.  Hmmm interesting.  Yet I think we have finally reached a more grounded friendship conversation style more focused around life and God and less about US and relationships.  THANK GOODNESS.

So there it is a post about everything and nothing all at the same time.  Enjoy!

Its just a Little Exercise

So in my travelling madness, I have learned a few things about the intimidating public that I have maneuvered to my advantage.  Real business travellers have the privilege of flying/going home on Fridays.  Sometimes it is mid day and sometimes it is just as the work day winds to a close.  In addition to this, the faithful few who are forced to remain on location over weekend are usually so distraught by having to spend one more night in a sub par or less than stellar hotel room escape to the bars in hopes of a blissful alcoholic euphoria or engage in witty banter with some other tortured soul who is “here on business”.  Alas, I find comfort in neither thing, so I hit the gym. 

Yes you heard me right, I put on my workout tennis shoes (for those of you east coasters – sneakers), grabbed my iPod, headphones, OH YEAH KEY CARD, and made my way to the work out room.  As I inserted my key card into a space about half the size of my room (1 bedroom suite at an extended stay style establishment), with 2 treadmills, 1 recumbent bike, and what I think was an elliptical (they are ALL the rage these days).  But not a single soul inside, *deep sigh of relief* AWESOME!  A room to myself, mirrors behind me and off the beaten path so that EVERY new checking in resident can walk by and admire how much MORE I should be in the gym than I obviously visit.  So headphones in ears-dang it there is nothing to make a girl feel deformed than to not have the standard cute iPod head phones REFUSE TO STAY IN MY EARS. 

Alrighty, hit the quick start button, don’t think too much, just start walking.  Oh and I of course chose the treadmill the farthest from the door, so even if another non-alcoholic individual were to wander in, I would  not have to look nor be distracted by the potentially judgmental glances at my obvious infrequency of gym attendance.  As I began to walk, I figured the 2Driving Mix would be the best choice.  I developed this mix to assist with my race car like drives into places unknown that seem to calm my spirit and refresh my mind.  (Hmmm sounds like I might have to take a trip to Tahoe, just for the drive… Sorry I saw something shiny.)  So the mix is selected and my quick start is in effect. 

It is only after the music starts to take hold of my inner dancing diva that I realize this treadmill pace is just too slow.  So I kick it up a few more notches and increase the incline just for fun.  Not bad.  2.0 without even thinking.  I think I can do more.  Sooo up to 2.9 which I do believe 11 months ago was my absolute max.. hmmm interesting.  So then I bump it up a touch more.  Incline 3.5, speed 3.4 when the music seems to grab hold and there I am eyes closed hands gripping the bars and I’m in a completely different space.  I have heard of such things, but never even come close to relaxing enough to think it existed let ALONE felt it fill me. 

Maybe… just MAYBE my running friends might have something in this.  Now somewhere around minute 15 minute of my 30 minute commitment, I thought: I wonder if I could run a smidge?  NOW before we get all WHOA GIRL think about what you are saying.  I have to remind myself of a day I spent at the track with my best friend where I just told myself to RUN.  Now the purpose of this RUN exercise was because I wanted to know I could make myself run the bases for the Fall Softball league I had joined.  Talk about horse-cart.  Sign up pay the money, then see if you can actually do it. 😀  But I did.  And I ran that day at the track, I relearned how to jog in between my sprints, and I ran to first base several times during the fall ball season. 

So here I am on a treadmill in my musical happy place, in the privacy of a hotel gym closet and I gradually increase the speed.  Now I’m comfortably pushing the 3.7 speed and there is just this SONG in the midst of my mix that makes me want to dance and some how instead of dance (because I have been told that could lead to a very tragic treadmill accident) I started a pretty decent jog.  It seemed just fine, so I increased the treadmill speed and truly launched into a decent paced run.  Now this lasted for maybe half a song and I think if I looked at the minutes 1.30 in total, but I did something I have never done.  Run on a treadmill.  Not so bad, no witnesses so I don’t have to apologize for my “abuse” of the equipment with my not so tiny frame; but it wasn’t so bad. 

All told I went 1.60 miles (according the measuring thingy), for 35 minutes, and I ran.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday night if I don’t say so myself.  Who needs music thumping bars, socially questionable hotel meeting places, or a night experiencing the wild city nightlife.  I worked out.  How is it I feel more proud of this accomplishment than my latest debt snowball accomplishment?  Maybe just maybe my running friends MIGHT have something.  The brain is still processing… I mean 26 miles is a LONG ways from 1.60 and I can’t even imagine a 5K walk, but at least for the first time I can honestly say I don’t think its hell on earth.  But with 91 less pounds of me, maybe I am just feeling more spring in my step than usual. 

2Driving Mix:
So Help Me God
How we Roll
The Good Life
Live Life Loud
Born Again

I only got through 10 songs… working out use to seem like it took soooooooo long, but this went by in a meer minutes.

I’m back…… In a way.

Hello Blog Readers – It’s been 11 days and 5 hours since my last confession,  I mean blog post. With as many half thoughts as I have floating around the drafts folder I just couldn’t seem to find the brain cells to put them together into postable material.  So for that I apologize.  I do not know if there is a specific form of blog etiquette that requires me to with stand 50 lashings with a wet noodle or just pick up where I am right now and WRITE already. 

I am in Sacramento California for work for the rest of November and a part of December (3.5 weeks total).  And even though I was completely distracted driving into town on Wednesday night, when I awoke on Thursday and arrived at my Sacramento branch location I felt as if I was floating on air.  There was something about being back into an area where I have such fond memories.  It is kind of hard to explain why I enjoy Sacramento so much, the city isn’t all that spectacular, the people drive crazy, the streets are shaped funny, and the traffic is annoying during commute times.  But still I have this smile on my face just being back in town. 

Today, I had the pleasure of sleeping until when ever.  A past time I have acquired a love for when I hit total and complete exhaustion.  Usually because I cannot make myself go to sleep at a reasonable hour during the work week, so by Saturday morning my body is screaming… SLEEP, NEED more SLEEP.  In addition to the need for 8-10 hours of sleep, I LOVE those non-commitment Saturdays.  Where I have things I COULD do, but I don’t HAVE to do anything.  So as I awoke I was beginning to think of the things I could do, the things I wanted to do, and by all means compiled the list of things we would NOT think about or do.  I will not make plans that will make me watch the clock, I will NOT call a certain X person back, I will NOT go off plan today, and I will NOT spend more money than I should.  (Okay the last one I am still struggling with – the day isn’t over yet.) 

So with those limits in place I rolled out of bed at my friend’s old cozy home in Elk Grove, CA.  I wandered back and forth through the house for a good 20 minutes with dazed and confused my expression, until I settled on a shower, massage, shopping for bottled water, and then Starbucks to blog and work.  So far so good.  It’s 5:23pm and I have accomplished all but one.  Amazingly enough I still haven’t opened any of the work files to address. 😀 

I worked in the Sacramento location I started in 13 months ago, and it just fills me with energy.  The combination of people just inspire me to smile and laugh all day long.  They tease me and challenge me and encourage me ALL at the same time.  If I could bottle up this feeling and take it home with me, I would get drunk on it EVERY DAY.  Okay maybe just when the Portland area clouds depressed me.  This is part of what led me to contemplating a big move to Northern California a year ago.  But with the new discovery of a church that fills me and friends that touch me; I’m staying put until further notice. 

There is something about being in this place, area, city that seems to open up my senses.  I feel the most vulnerable and sensitive to my emotions and surroundings than almost any other place I have been.  Now this could be a new development because I have only become a BIG BALL OF EMOTIONS since last year and I have only been to Northern California since then.  Regardless, I like how I feel when I am here and this time is no different.  Just in the last 2 days God has shown me some insight for a friend, given be strength and fortitude about a decision, shown me sunshine in my heart and in the world, and I have a peace and contentment that is filling my whole soul. 

It is so nice to just sit and take in a deep breath and exhale feeling that all is right in the world… even though nothing in the world has changed.  It is just as messed up and filled with stupid people as ever; I’m sure I will be thinking that on Monday. Oh no I think the positive energy of the day is beginning to wear off… Sun must be going down.

Don’t Drive Angry – But Remember to Vote!!

Oh Yeah... Me Today!!!

So I have heard when you are angry that you are supposed to write the email, journal your thoughts, write a letter and THEN save to drafts folder, bury it in the deep dark corners of your private space, or hold onto it for a day.  All of this to protect you from saying things that you will later regret.  Does this keep true for blogging?  Is it ill-advised to blog while angry?  I know its been stated many times Friends don’t let friends Drive Angry, but I am unsure if this is actually a THING or just some funny one liner that my friends threw together late one night when we were movie quoting.  And some how some way the phrase Don’t Drive Angry was born. 

So what is one to do when confronted with those forms of things you simply cannot control?  Those things that fly in your face and kind of wave in sarcastic joy with that mocking voice of you can’t stop me sort of way.  I know life is uncontrollable and I have suffered some serious consequences for trying to control it. 

I have bruises and welts like EVERYBODY else for trying to control an uncontrollable force.  Its kind of what I imagine bull riders must look like underneath all their rough and tumble gear.  Because they are holding on for dear life and that bull is whipping them here and there and everywhere.  Not to mention the guys that get knocked off, thrown to the ground and trampled on. 

Now I don’t feel trampled but I am sitting here thinking… WAIT A MINUTE… I thought we had tamed this bull, or at least I had gotten to know it enough to recognize its habits and tendencies.  I had found those areas of weakness and areas of strength and was prepared.  You know that whole preventative maintainance thingy?  If you can anticipate what is going to happen you can better protect yourself from the beating you are about to get. But I had just realized I had a blind spot.  And just like the movie title implies I didn’t see it coming. 

I guess there are parts of this that just go to my pride as well.  I spent a chunk of time (say 6 hours on one day with countless other 1 hour pieces here and there) figuring out my vacation days, where to stay with people I knew, holiday time, and flights to and from a friend’s wedding.  All scheduling out where to stay and how to do things so that I could have a little fun and enjoyment on my personal time.  Of course, I shouldn’t mention that this is also saying the company about $3000.00 but HEY that is not what is important.  I had spent all that time and I WAS proud of my success.  I had made my Frequent Flyer miles work FOR ME… I had paid $125 for an $800 ticket.  AWESOMENESS!!! I had coordinated visits with at least 5 friends along the sides of this work trip with little conflict in schedule and I was PROUD of my communication skills, patience, and flexibility. 

BUT NOW THINGS WERE SET… I even posted it on facebook as a sign of VICTORIOUS accomplishment.  Until today.  When one fateful phone call destroyed all pride in my fantastic maneuvering of flight, funds, and friends.  One phone call from a specific power that be that all man tremble and all women weep when this one speak.  Only to inform me that my dates were changing at the end of my trip and I didn’t need to stay for the extra 2 days.  Normally, no big deal.  But as detailed above I had booked my flight to Alaska out of the Sacramento AREA… now I am supposed to be returning home to Northern Oregon 4 days before my flight.  Now that would just be silly…. So stay down there. 

But But BUT… Did I not mention I just coordinated a major impossible feat of details less than 2 work days ago?  Have you EVER tried to change a flight you have booked using frequent flyer miles?  Has anyone noticed that all the fine print says $150 change fee will apply (to each leg of the trip)?  So change flight = $300 or stay in hotel for those 4 nights $400.  How can being so organized, researched, focused, and detailed result in such a financial penalty.  I mean REALLY… I was TRYING to do this RIGHT? 

I am reminded once again how much of an illusion control is.  And how common courtesy, the care of others work and effort is no longer a commodity of value in the professional work environment.  *deep sigh* is my only reply.