Saturday, March 31, 2007

Aah, Rested

Got home yesterday a bit out of sorts, but a quick dinner accompanied by a wickedly cold bottle of Corona hit the spot...and a quick talk to Yummy before he went to bed.

More of a fresh start today. Woke up at norm time so I could take care of the dog and be on time for Saturday morning skype with Yummy at 5am. What a lovely way to wake up and start the day! Yummy and a tall cup of hot jasmine green tea...

Felt like a short nap mid-morning and just spent some time catching up on the innernet. Almost logged into work to do some, but thought better of it. Might wait until tomorrow so I can hook up a second monitor for easier maneuvering of screens. Why didn't I get the who-gives-a-frig gene? It must be a mental disease to be this conscientious of work. Must look into it.

Spent the evening taking care of Nan while my aunt and uncle enjoyed the rare evening out. I always enjoy spending time with the old gal. She is extra sweet. To my surprise during my Nan visit, I received a cell call from Yummy after he enjoyed an evening out with his best friend Anton to see Alice Russell perform locally. They called me on the way to a pub. Even got to talk to Anton for the first time who seemed really fun and introduced himself as the "nice one".

Nan and I ate dinner together and I regaled her with some funny stories that had her howling with laughter. At 93, maybe it is not a good idea for me to make her laugh so hard. Wouldn't want "she died from laughter" to have a whole new meaning. I managed to stifle myself for the rest of the meal when guilt kicked in.

Had a nice IM with Yummy when he got home. Had to keep an eye on Nan while we talked. As sweet as she is, she can be sneaky and fast on her walker. Zooming about before you realize what she's up to. I answer her questions patiently and reassure her. She tends to ask the same questions at least thrice in the evening. I just smile and make sure she's okay.

I hope I have someone like me when I am her age if I make it. My goddaughter knows she is my retirement plan. She already knows the specifics of what I require which are extensive. Rather agreeable to everything, but then again she's only turning 15 this year. Still time to mold. Ha!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Agnes Gooch

Most times I am Auntie Mame, but today I feel "bleak" so I am Agnes Gooch...

From Auntie Mame (Rosalynd Russell version of course!):

[Pouring Agnes a drink]
Mame: This will calm you down.
Agnes Gooch: Oh, no! Spirits do the most horrible thing to me. I'm not the same person!
Mame: What's wrong with that?
Agnes Gooch: Will it mix with Dr. Pepper?
Mame: He'll love it! Drink!

....going home now from work to have a "Dr. Pepper".

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Invoices Are Not My Thoughts

AGOL is the last person to come to when it comes to working anything fiscal. I'd rather do something sacrificial like to go without make-up or eat something vile like Spaghetti-Os or anything Chef Boyardee...or better yet, have chips and dip out for enjoyment at a gathering. I need to stop thinking these horrible things or I will have nightmares tonight.

Spent the whole day researching old invoices and purchase orders. I was suddenly dragged into an afternoon meeting where my boss let me drive the conversation which I basically led by the seat of my pants. Unbelievable. I ended up saving us money and making the vendor work for us by re-submitting invoices that we corrected over the phone.

IM'ed with Yummy late at work which cheered me completely until I found myself staying another hour waiting for a new Senior VP to get off the phone to approve something by using my laptop to log into the application. His own machine was missing some sort of protocol and would not accept the e-mail approvals he was trying to send.

I've never really spoken to him before, but I liked his vibe well enough. Watching him use Binaca behind me, his reflection appearing on front my cube panel, was a little creepy, but I dashed the thoughts and settled for him being considerate.

On the way home, I spoke to Myrna who is seeing her mother tonight at her uncle's home. She's been visiting a few days from Ohio. I also chatted with my forever autumn friend Kathy who is such a nice gal. Told her two bee jokes from Yummy which she enjoyed. She likes that kind of humor.

Grooved to this earlier at work thanks to Mr. Y:
Alice Russell singing "Hurry On Now"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Veni, Vidi but No Vici

I came, I saw but I didn't conquer Wednesday. Here is the Cliff Notes version:

1) I worked like a mutha in the morning.
2) I worked like a mutha in the afternoon.
3) My boss is hiring another one of me (See 1 & 2 above) PLUS someone needs to share the joy while I am on vacation.
4) I did hear from my childhood friend Val. She is busy being an accountant. It is tax season in the US after all.
5) Suckathon at work was also in full effect with Yummy. He got to sleep early. I just need any sleep.

...That's all folks!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gomer's Surprise...Gol-ly!

Felt a bit like Gomer Pyle today. The part where he used to say "Surprise, surprise, surprise!". My brain has weird associations so I can't really map it for you except that I had little surprises today.

I checked my Yahoo e-mail early this morning and found a note connected to myspace account. My very first true American best friend Valerie found me somehow. I came to the States to finish out the 4th grade and ended up skipping the 5th grade to go into 6th the next year where I met Val.

We were both tall at 5'4" for being around 11-12 years old. (She maybe grew another inch while I grew four more inches.) We both loved make-up and just struck a friendship. The first thing I noticed about her room was a picture of these huge cartoon lips with a tongue sticking out of it. This was the friend who introduced me to The Rolling Stones and later Motley Crue. We had one more year together in 7th grade until I moved away.

History would have us meeting up again my first year of college in Orlando. Can you believe we went to a Milli Vanilli concert together? I ended up in her wedding later, too. Not sure how we lost touch before I ended up moving to Chicago. Here we are again. Haven't heard from her as of today after replying to her e-mail, but I have added her as my friend on myspace so I can keep in touch. I saw her pics on myspace and she is still an incredibly beautiful person...and an accountant? Glam girls go wild with their careers they say. Ha!

I re-signed my lease today on my apartment, the vultures! They were a little too happy to hear from me I think. Almost a creepy kind of way. Okay, not really but they were happy.

Another surprise was Yummy saying something on his blog about gaining some weight before I see him next month and about resembling Jabba the Hut by the time I arrive. I took offense to that since he is incredible. Let's just say your AGOL left him a long comment and outed him as "Yummy"! Not exactly the most manly name, but it is apropos. He didn't mind me telling the world thank God. Also, IM'ed him late since he got home really late and I did, too. That was a very nice surprise...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Make Me Snappy

Snapped right out of bed remembering that I had a job to go to and took Cabal out at dark-thirty to wake up. I even snapped a couple of pics on my camera phone to send to Yummy since I was experiencing a surprising Good Hair Day before I walked out the door. Too bad I was not experiencing good face day...

A little OCD behavior and having to style my own hair since I was 11 years old ensures 90% Good Hair Days even with the southern humidity. Today the hair was a little fluffier or as Yummy put it, "looking free and slightly windswept". That's why having a poet in your life totally rocks!

Meanwhile not too far from Shallowville was Workville (aka The Bowels of Corporate Culture Thanks to The Man). Did I get anything I really wanted to get done done? No, sirree! My temp was having the worst of it thanks to interruptions and everyone singing their own self-produced, self-directed and self-written opera, "Me-me-me ME". My most fun thing (work related) was creating a flowchart for my boss...add pretty boxes...connect pretty boxes.

I called cousin Ida on the drive home to see if her ISP was set-up and she was happily on the Net. Somehow I knew I would also talk to my aunt. She called me later to Nan-sit on Saturday night which I did agree to after I snapped at her for beating around the bush. If you wanna go out, just let me know. Don't ask me what I'm doing on Saturday, etc. Sheesh! The answer would've been yes no matter how tired I was or other plans I could get out of or postpone. I get that my aunt and uncle need a spell away from home, a date night if possible.

Ate some egg drop soup with crunchy noodles for dinner. Crunchies in soup is an AGOL rule, you know. Slurped the soup and then got a call from Jill-from-work to talk about her recent pseudo date with an older man and our love lives in general. She is a good person to talk to about these things since she is essentially single (separated a long time and her court date for divorce around the corner). We always end up laughing loudly and talking serious smack. GIRHfrenz are good to have!


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Estou Bem, Obrigada

My Sunday did get better. I even learned a few words in Portuguese so I could reply to a comment on the previous entry. Close to Spanish and French but still no cigar.

I updated all my e-mails and another Internet site that has been needing attention which made me feel much better and connected again. The weeks have been passing by so quickly that some people haven't been updated unless they already have a link to this blog...

My toes and nails match color today thanks to a very nice and relaxing salon visit. I used to think that getting my nails done was a necessary evil for overall grooming, but now it is a good way to get pampered. I give all week and it's nice to be waited on even if it is every two weeks. What color? Cheri Melon (bright watermelon red). If you gals opt for a French mani, your toes should always be some kind of bright red or pink. It is an AGOL rule.

Stopped at the Chinese restaurant next door from the salon and then promptly to the gas station to fill up for the week. My tank was reaching vapor levels. I remember in Wyoming when gasoline was $0.76/gal. Currently it is $2.55/gal at the Trampa station I visited. Yes, it could be worse in Europe and in places like California (hello Angie!). Still.

Yummy heard me enjoying some of my Chinese food while he told me about his afternoon in London visiting an old friend. It was one of those where you're not excited to go, but you go anyway since your friend asked you and you're already hooked for the invite. I don't like those myself, but you do it anyway. What are friends for?

We talked for a bit until it was time for him to go to bed. He had asked how my salon visit went, but I had to go and take it to the Drag Queen Level of conversation. I tortured the poor man with a dissertation on the greatness of my new mascara and how I can now start applying it again on the bottom lashes after 'a decade of no bottom mascara application'. Laughter and resignation. Yup, that's what Yummy had to add. Soon after it was time for some serious shuteye or Mr. Grumpy shows up. I can't wait to meet Mr. Grumpy or was that Mr. Crabby? Either one will be a pleasure to chat with, I'm sure. Wink.

PS For clarification: I am not a real Drag Queen, but I play one on TV. Ha!

Portuguese: Estou Bem, Obrigada (I'm okay, thank you)

DST: Taketh and Giveth Away

The UK officially started their own Daylight Saving Time today which means Yummy and I are five hours apart again instead of four. He says it is not a lot of time, but to me it is. Trying not get remotely depressed, but how can I not?

For two weeks I got used to him being four hours apart which means I had an extra hour at night I could talk to him to hear his voice if I got home early in time and if wasn't too tired or just getting home.

You never really know the meaning of how if you had an extra hour to do anything, what would you do? I bet Cinderella understands. Lucky for her she left one of her damn medieval Manolos so her Prince Yummy could find her sorry self. Of course, that was just a part of it. She had a Fairy Godmother and some mice to help her.

Maybe I can Drunk Dial my own Fairy Drag Queen and really talk to Cabal?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day of Yummy

This is one of the best days ever especially with a day like yesterday. I spent the whole day essentially talking to Yummy and really nothing else of import. It was heaven.

What is it like talking to Yummy? Imagine this incredible male voice with an English accent telling you things that make you feel all warm and melty. He also makes me laugh out loud. Every time I hear his voice I find myself smiling really big every time.

What an incredibly great man! He has to be to put up with the real me. It's not easy having the AGOL as your girl. You have to made of sterner stuff....or be absolutely mad! Okay, maybe a little bit of both.

We were learning Filipino related things today like food and language. It was a treat for me to teach him more stuff. I hope he took notes. We're having a quiz tomorrow.

I am flying this flag today on the AGOL site as my salute to His Royal Yummyness:

Courtesy of
God Save the Yummy!


Friday, March 23, 2007

Lay Down & Relax...

Started out peppy but ended up pooped. Amazing what three-and-a-half hours of sleep will do to you not to mention all the other hours you've missed the rest of the week. Nodding off..zzz

Is it me or is manual faxing turning out to be old school? I can send and receive faxes from my e-mail at work, but today I had to send out manually because the fax number I was dialing was having some sort of technical difficulties. Felt conscpicuous in the hallway...What a rather plebeian activity. Ha!

Meetings you forgot you accepted and then ka-plow! ambush you in the afternoon of rushing around with your head cut off are the worst. That's two hours I will never recover. I needed them today, too. Yes, it was another day in paradise.

My drive home became dangerous and not because of other drivers. I was falling asleep at the wheel in rush hour traffic and the sun was still shining brightly around six-ish. The nausea I was starting to feel warned me that I needed some real sleep.

I walked, fed and played with Cabal when I got home. Two muscle relaxants on an empty stomach was my guarantee of beddy-byes. I woke up near midnight. What the hell is the matter with me? That was only four-and-a-half hours of sleep. I sent Yummy an offline IM. Poor thing sent me several that I didn't pick up until then. After working my laptop on my bed, I promptly went back for some more z's.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Transient Thursday

Today's Poll: It is one day closer to Friday. (Small Yippee!)

Wisteria-colored chiffon ribbon, one-and-a-half inches wide, won over the quarter-inch white grosgrain ribbon. That's what I chose to embellish the clear plastic container of petit fours I gave my temp this morning along with a cheery card. She loved the surprise and was thankful.

My carpal tunnel was working overtime in the afternoon. I had to cease typing to massage and to exercise my wrists. Too many clicking motions on the mouse and too many click-clacks of my nails on the keyboard. Sigh. I took several mini-breaks to alleviate some of the pain. I even dragged my hard-working temp downstairs to accompany me in my mailing sunshine to someone. The envelope was a bright goldenrod color that made me smile.

Yummy IM'ed me and we continued our conversation on skype when I arrived home. I even worked on my faux English accent. He had the nerve to say that now I was speaking English and how much more intelligent I sounded. All teasing of course. Not sure if I could keep talking like that for a long time since different facial muscles are used; it is tiring. Maybe that's why the Brits "appear" reserved. They are not really reserved, just tired of speaking English with a funny accent. Ha!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


My days in paradise are so much fun I don't know if I can stand anymore of it...Well, this part of Florida used to be paradise until humans decided to build and inhabit this area in the name of progress. Progress. Now that is a nice word especially if I could apply it to work (aka paradies).

Users worked my nerve a little, but that is part of my deal with the devil, The Man. I am but a cog in his fine toothed wheel. Round and round we go...

I texted Yummy with a naughty message which he is used to getting just not in the middle of a work day. He got me back good, too. Spice is always nice!

OMG - I got caught dancing at the lunch table (not on!) by my boss as he passed by the wall of windows overlooking the break room (akin to fishbowl effect). My regular lunchroom buddies were there and I decided to torment them again with my new ring tones so I asked Jeff to text me. The designated text song came on and Michelle and I shook our heads and moved our bodies when it played. Yeah, my boss, passed by...stared in shock...and proceeded to laugh his ass off.

Yup...professionalism at its best. You can take the AGOL out of the disco lounge, but you can't take the disco lounge out of the AGOL. It wouldn't have been so bad, but I am dressed very professionally (requisite pearls and flower pin, etc.) and to see me spazzing out being silly is just so contradictory to the image. I did get to relive the humiliation in my staff meeting. My boss often thanks me in an Elvis tone so I am not that embarrassed. That's my story and I am sticking with it.

I didn't realize I had become a trainer for our accounting application. The latter part of my afternoon was spent walking someone through a process. It is not easy and too many variables to populate. My Patience Hat came on let's just say...

For the first time in a while, I left work early and was home and had Cabal taken care of by 7pm. It was nice to just decompress and surf the net for stupid info. No real destination, just emptying my mind of the day. It was heavenly.

My temp has been working her butt off so I decided to go out again after 9:30pm to the grocery store and buy her a thank you card and the last six pieces of petit fours. The dainty cakes were placed in a clear plastic clam shell tray. I will find the coordinating French wire ribbon in the morning to dress the tray up...She did freak me out today. I complimented her on looking really nice and she said she was trying to look like me. Good grief -- not another "mini-me wannabe".

The best part of today was seeing the moon's nice smile line bright against the dark sky on my way to and from the store. The moon's curvy smile hinted at a secret. It apparently knows something I don't yet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Just Checking

Gotten into the ritual of checking in with my amiable cube aisle buddy Joe on what kind of what kind of day it is. Almost like a mini poll just to see if we concur. On his way back to his cube, his redhead usually pops over my cube wall with a hello and the question, "Is today better?". Sometimes the discussion is long and other times it is just simply a look. Today we were glad it was Tuesday and we both agreed it was an improvement from yesterday. Another mystery of the world solved...hooray!

My disco destiny groove continued with nonstop strobe music all day thanks to satellite radio. My God, I am getting old! "The Wanderer" by Donna Summer played. I used to dig that song something fierce...

My UK vacation to visit His Royal Yummyness is around the corner, next month. I asked my boss during our meeting today if he was hiring someone new to do my job while I am away. Time is ticking by. Tick. Tick. Certainly not taking a laptop to remote in during my trip. There is an office branch nearby -- oh heeeellllll no! My boss has HR making an offer now. Just have to wait for the acceptance and the background check. Cross your fingers and toes for me!

IM'ed with Yummy before I left work and had fun talking about how my visit will go...sounds, uh, verrah intahressin'. Ha! He also sent me another pic which I e-mailed to my phone for DOP (drooling over purposes). While he didn't like it, I loved it. He's just gorgeous. That's how he is...blessed with sah'in-sah'in.

I need some shuteye so night-night termite. It's only Tuesday right?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mirrored Ball Musings

"The Hustle" was playing all day at work, figuratively speaking, of course. No mirrored balls except for a picture of one in front of a birthday card tacked onto my cube wall from Kristey. No lit dancefloor, no Travolta hairdos on guys, no feathered hair on chicks, no tube tops, no gold chains showing from open butterfly collars, and no line dance from Soul Train - in short, no fun.

It was Monday and I was doped on caffeine and herbal/homeopathic happy pills. My 'cope cocktail' worked like a charm. No one had to be maimed for bothering me, interrupting me or for just being a total pain in the butt while I tried to get work done. Happy places...we love our happy places. Okay, so I am exaggerating the effects of the happy pills, but they did help.

My disco theme really started with Yummy IM'ing me this link and me telling him of another song that I gladly found the link to add tonight:

Yummy's choice:
"Crying at the Discotheque" by Alcazar

AGOL's choice:
"Murder on the Dancefloor" by Sophie Ellis Bextor

We talked about loving disco which is infinitely better than talking about work today. My mind wandered all over, following the lights on the wall from the mirrored ball.

My self-appointed theme song is "Le Freak" by Chic. (Suspend your disbelief!)
My song selection for Yummy that he will be finding out when he reads this is "He's the Greatest Dancer" by Sister Sledge. (Inside joke)

It's 11-ish and I am still dreaming of mirrored balls. I remember in my early 20s, I was visiting from Chicago to Trampa. My cousin Angie and I went to Pleasure Island during a weekend in Orlando and I danced by myself at one of the many clubs that was once called 8 Tracks. They only played disco and I was in heaven. It was still early in the evening and the clubs hadn't filled up yet; the dancefloor was all mine. I didn't have a care in the world while I got my groove on. I can dance when I allow myself.

Did I ever tell you I choreographed a dance when I was 12 years old for my elementary school's Spring Fling program? There were three or four couples on stage dancing to "Rock Around the Clock". I was still so new to this country that the styles I incorporated for this song were eclectic: disco moves with The Charleston, etc. It was great fun...At my current age and time, I still have some mirrored balls left in my closet to use up. Just not any time soon and probably in private only!

PS Yummy, please click here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bistro and Beauty

Happy Sunday! It was indeed a very happy one filled with people I care about and a lot of laughter even a little driving around the extended city of Trampa.

Picked up Tawny at her home at 11am and stopped for coffee to get us started before we made our way to my cousin Ida's on the other side of town. She needed some IT expertise; her Internet connection was not working properly.

It is not often I get my family and friends together. I am very protective of my family. Tawny is like a sister to me so I didn't mind finally introducing her to my cousin and her family. This was the first opportunity to do so. The twins also enjoyed meeting someone new.

Tawny was able to diagnose the technical problem much better than I ever could. Ida needs the tech to come back and properly connect their cable modem. We called and made the appointment the next day for her before leaving to pick up my aunt.

My aunt decided to take her own trip before we left her front of her house, falling on the grass, thank God. I nearly had a heart attack watching her fall, but she didn't fall on the pavement. After making sure she was okay and didn't sprain an ankle or break a hip, Tawny and I helped her up and cleaned her clothes from the leaves on the ground. (I received an update this evening and she is still okay. Whew!)

Lunch was enjoyed at the Gallery Eclectic Bistro in the Bay Street section of International Plaza. The food and the company were great. We giggled and told stories. My aunt hasn't seen Tawny in a while so they enjoyed catching up when they were not tormenting me.

The doors gleamed a bright welcome when we arrived at Sephora. My aunt was soon hooked up with her own BareMinerals kit and a new blush as well as nail polish and this scary yet fascinating mascara called Lash Injection by Too Faced that promises extreme volume. All were presents from her daughter Angie and me. Tawny and I didn't come away empty-handed either. Are you kidding?

All this decision-making required a little treat so I took the girls on the other side of town at La Casa Dolce for gelato. We spent an extra 15 minutes trying to find it since I forgot the street it was on, but managed a hard turn into the parking lot at the back. Sigh. The girls tormented me some more. It is after all their favorite activity...wenches.

We brought my aunt home, picked some calamondin (Filipino lime) from the bush at the back of her house and made our way back to Trampa proper where I dropped Tawny back home around 6:40pm. I hustled home to let Cabal out, feed him and make it on time for my call with Yummy. It was great to hear his voice and end my weekend with him.

(As a side note, I saw that Yummy updated his blog and mentioned me coming over to England to visit him. I can't wait!)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pinching and Petit Fours

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

Woke up on time with a little Irish luck so I could walk Cabal and be on time with Yummy (he's 1/4 Irish!) on skype. We have only managed snippets of conversation the last few days so talking for a few hours got us caught up before he had to get going for a weekend visit at his mother's home...

Today is the casual dinner I have organized for my aunt's 62nd birthday. Her Filipina genes have erased a decade and half off her face so she doesn't look her age which she freely tells anyone who is curious enough to ask.

Cracker Barrel was our restaurant of choice. It is very homey and has enough for everyone to choose from no matter the picky tastes. My aunt, uncle and Nan met my cousin Dave's family and me at the restaurant. The girls were late getting back from the hair salon so my uncle called to let us know they were 30 minutes behind.

Dave did the drive around town to burn time since he was already on his way and I took my time at the grocery store to get three Mylar balloons and a pound of petit fours in lieu of cake. My thinking is we didn't have to slice a cake at the table nor did we have to feel pressure to commit to a big slice. Everyone received at least two pieces after dinner.

Normally, we go to my apartment for cake and ice cream, but because of my busy schedule, my place was not available for viewing. I haven't had the time to properly decorate and entertain. Can't do it half-assed; have my street cred to protect, you know.

Lack of the color green on your person during St. Patty's Day began a wave of pinching around our table of eight. I did have green on my bra, but that didn't count because no one could see it and I wasn't willing to prove it. My cousin Dave's son Carter enjoyed this part of dinner best, the little five-year old ghoul!

Carter and I then began our own game of pinching: hams (behind the thighs), marshmallows (tummies, but sometimes in his exuberance he misses and gets boobies - ouch!) and pies (cheeks). This was a short game since he and I grew tired from laughing too hard.

It was thankfully an early evening and I wound down from the activities of today and the night before. I received a text message from Yummy during my evening nap and texted back 15 minutes after. It was a great feeling to know he arrived at his mother's okay. Received one more before he retired for the evening.

I'm going to bed early, too. Tomorrow will require all the mental clarity I can muster. Having a girlie outing tomorrow with Tawnyia and my aunt which should be as funny and crazy as a bawdy limerick. We roll like that.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Art Night in Trampa

Fast and furious Fridays make for intense moments. Today fit that bill perfectly. In the midst of the chaos with cellphone in hand, I made my way to Tawnyia's office to torment her a bit just to break up my morning.

Tawny call me now! I want you to hear my new cellphone ring. Annoyed at the interruption, but still willing to indulge, she found her crackberry phone and dialed. She rolled her eyes when "The Look of Love" came on. Michelle, also in her office, just watched us in amusement.

Now text me -- now now now! She yelled at me for being obnoxious. Who could blame her? "Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes came on to alert me of the message. Michelle and I proceeded to dance quite fiercely while the song played much to Tawnyia's horror. My work here is now done. I must have had it out for her today because we were caught bickering by someone in HR who commented that we were like an old married couple. We told him that we've been close friends for nine years so he was right.

Spoke to Yummy via cellphone while he was on The Tube, but kept cutting out when it tunneled. We were still able to make a skype date for tomorrow morning...

I rushed home to take care of Cabal and freshen up before Tawnyia' son picked me up to take me to the Oliva Cigar Factory, a 116-year old cigar factory building in downtown Tampa in the Ybor City section, where they were having the last night of a play, art show and where Tawnyia and Jeff also have studio space.

(Art in any form makes me happy because it is an expression of the person inside which may not be what is projected to the public. Face it, art just rocks!)

We arrived and walked up to the entrance where we were greeted by a live band complete with conga drums. It set a fun tone and vibe to the evening. People were moving around the building like termites in wood. The factory had sculptures with differing mediums, paintings, three-dimensional art 'settings' and some really compelling photography.

Everyone in our circle were in Jeff and Tawnyia's studio space drinking mixed drinks that Jeff made and nibbling on a variety of snacks Tawnyia put out for everyone to enjoy. The mix of people were great: IT, artists and artists who worked in IT. We were a happenin' joint.

After the play, we walked around to enjoy more art and ended the evening at the factory with someone spewing fire in the dark front lot using turpentine as an incendiary medium. It was a perfect punctuation to a fun evening.

My friends Kathy and Jaime gave me a ride home, but on our way to their vehicle parked in the garage a few blocks away, we saw this piece of class, Girls Gone Wild tour bus. Oh for the love of God. Will Trampa ever be just Tampa? This is the kind of crap that just digs the grooves of the moniker deeper into stone. Give me a break!

It was a great night spent after a long and exhaustive week. Friends, art and double-shot apple martinis were just what the doctor ordered. Cheers!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm Stamped!

Mental exhaustion teased me during my drive to work. I need some time now! I was ready to call off any plans this weekend just to be alone including my art show plans that Tawnyia told me I was attending tomorrow night. No ducking out since she and her husband are partially hosting the event. Stinkin' thinkin' all the way to work...

Vendors are akin to lawyers I've decided. Bloodsucking leeches with superpowers to work any one's nerve. One worked my nerve immediately about 15 minutes after I sat down at my desk and fired up my laptop. He didn't like my response since I ended up making him do homework and to call me back with his results. Gladly didn't hear from him the rest of the day.

My PO screw up yesterday did get resolved no thanks to the bastard I wanted to avoid. The points were in my corner when I hounded him at noon for a lack of response to my update. Two e-mails later and an update on the ticket online, he was responsive. I am sure he enjoyed my vague answers, a taste of his own medicine. It's like mental ping pong I was set on winning.

I need to stop spreading evilness but my workload and interruptions compel me...

My boss showed his angry side today during a call to one of our vendors. Let's just say, I am glad I am one of his favorite people. I will do anything to avoid that being directed at me. Nice boss...There there. Want me to get you a gourmet meal for lunch? It is NO problem!

How sad must your life be when the things that cheer you up are some lame new personalized stamps with your name emblazoned on them like these:

Tawnyia in her evilness egged me on to scan them and add to my blog. It was a genius idea that I didn't think of first. Hate her...not really. She just enjoys me being a pathetic geek. (Like how I changed my cellphone ring tonight from Benny Hill theme to "The Look of Love" as sung by Diana Krall.)

The rest of the day was jam packed with vendor communication, answering user questions and creating purchase orders. We are definitely hustling all day with almost no time for bathroom breaks...

Barely any Yummy-ness today. Me no likee...Hmpf! I've been spoiled -- what can I say?

Talked to Angie tonight on her way home. We always have a good laugh. I needed the comic relief. Now for another late dinner before I go beddy-byes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Smooth Operator

I'd probably rather like the smell of napalm in the morning better than being dragged into a meeting with my boss first thing and continuing with a conference call in his office he thought I should attend. Coffee? I need coffee first, Mr. Boss! You won't like it if I don't have coffee.

To top that I somehow screwed up a purchase order in the system so Accounting will not have their additional equipment FedEx'd tomorrow. The PO was stuck in Oracle Space. I called three different experts and of course: Oh, Sarah, I've never had that problem before. Not sure how you handle that. Maybe you should open a ticket. That was an internal trouble ticket I didn't enjoy creating because I do not want a certain bastard to work it and have to suffer communicating with him to resolve my issue. Aargh.

With so much fun before noon, I decided to try and eat a solitary lunch. Yeah, that worked like a charm. I was soon swarmed with people and chatter. This is one of the hazards of having an extra sociable demeanor, you can't get away when you want. I decided to think about my staff meeting at 2:30pm since I was in for a pound. (Passed the pennies in the morning.)

I received an e-mail later in the day from Accounting about another item being audited and they needed the information that day. Words like urgent and imperative were bandied about. Well, God bless America! They couldn't ask yesterday?

Benny Hill theme starting playing late in the afternoon. It was my cellphone with the name 1Yummy identifying the caller. Talk about the nicest surprise! Yummy was walking in London on his way to The Tube. I heard the announcements blaring once he boarded. He's called that kind of call an aural postcard because it is just not him calling, but also the sounds of where he is filtering in the background. We continued our conversation at home through skype. Our voices sound a little different (cellphones vs. microphones)...

Talked to Angie for a bit and she reminded me to call her mother to make plans for her birthday. I ended up finalizing plans for my aunt's birthday breakfast for Saturday that turned into a birthday dinner. My uncle was golfing the first half of the day and my aunt had Filipino food orders to fulfill by noon.

My aunt foiled my plans of breakfast and kidnapping her to Sephora so I can assist her in picking out the proper shades for her own BareEscentuals starter kit, a present from her daughter. So now Sunday will be used for that part of the gift. Swirl, Tap and Buff -- it is catching on!

I was still keyed up so I called Tawnyia to check up on her and she was okay but showing her husband some craft thing online. Hung up with her and talked to my friend from work, Jill. Why was I dialing all these people? We yapped for a long time until my stomach rumbled from lack of dinner. It was 10pm.

Sour soup for me again which I just love so no sacrifice there then to bed after blogging. Not a good step, but I was spent. Tomorrow will be another delightful day, I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It Takes an Act of God

Getting things done at work lately feels like it could take an act of God. If I could just stem the extra mini projects and inquiry calls, I might be able to do my job instead of getting items to vendors by the skin of my teeth.

Breaks have become a luxury, but I do not compromise on lunch often since the mental break from work is essential in keeping the efficiency sustained in the afternoon. Today, I enjoyed lunch with Tawnyia, Jeff and their son. Having parents like T&J make for son who is an independent thinker with an evil-fun sense of humor. I sat in the back of the vehicle with their son and had a ball with off-color jokes. Tawnyia did have to shut us up...killjoy. Ha!

IMs with Yummy in the last hour of work cheered me completely. He's been experiencing the same fun at work as I have so we bemoaned our respective jobs to each other. It is quite nice to be able to unload the day's woes on someone who cares about you. I am delighted to be able to extended the same back.

A call to my sister at the hospital yielded positive news that she is on the mend and has to spend one more day in the hospital before she can go home. My niece and nephew were anxious to have their mother home. Her twin has been visiting twice a day which is great. Although they are identical twins, they are quite different in temperament and often don't get along since they are busy trying to outdo one another, more like trying to be unique. It's difficult living in the same area; they get mistaken for each other even now in their 40s that their physical differences are more pronounced...

I did get to eat the sour soup (using a tamarind mix) I made the night before over jasmine rice. The baby bok choy, eggplant and green beans were divine along with the bits of pork riblets I bought at the Asian store to flavor it. Other people have 'macaroni and cheese' for comfort food, I have Filipino soup. Sometimes being half Filipino just really rocks and it was definitely an act of God to get me that way. Yay God!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Zoom

And we were off! Off to the first day without my colleague, first day doing the better part of my job description full-time and first day for my temp coming back to help me. We were all fortunate for a lot of work accumulating; kept us busy all day.

I did receive a 9:30am call from my niece Treaess (pron. TREE-ess) to let me know that her mother came out of her early morning surgery well. She hadn't seen her yet since she was still in recovery but it was good so far. I called my niece back in the evening and her mother was doing great despite the pain she was experiencing. Made a mental note to call my sister tomorrow when she's more coherent...

IM'ed with Yummy which was my very special treat for the day's end. I earned it, too! Not much today in AGOL's world since it was hectic. Went home and finished my greenie beanies and second half of fish from Asian store. It is quite nice slowing down at night with more of my Thai tea. Aaah..

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's Only an Hour

It was indeed a Happy Sunday today as the US moved their clocks forward one hour later for Daylight Saving Time. The legislature elected to pass a bill to move observing DST three weeks earlier to conserve energy or so they say. Spring forward. I sprung up from bed with a little zing and became obsessed with switching all the clocks...

The roads were empty when I took an early drive to the bank to get cash for my nail appointment later in the day. I even stopped at the Dunkin' Donut's drive-thru for some killer coffee and a buttermilk donut. Got home in time to watch the CBS's Sunday magazine for a potpourri of art, news, science and human interest. Gotta love Bill Geist segments!

My nail salon was also near empty. I walked in and was waited on right away. I kept my French manicure even though I yearned for this Cherri Melon color. Good thing I didn't go yesterday, it was a madhouse.

I made a pilgrimage to Wal-Mart for sundry items. Don't know about you, but I can troll around this joint for an hour and fill up my cart. Yes, I did do that. It was less crowded, too. This time change must be really working people's nerves, losing an hour and all.

My trip to the Asian store was saved for last. I had a secret wish to buy an already cooked fish from their deli counter. Lucky me, they had two left and I pointed to it and bought one nicely prepared whole tilapia. There is something empowering about buying a whole fish. This one had been pan-fried and seasoned with ginger, scallions, green and red peppers, and some sauce that was not sweet this time around. It was enough for two indulgent mini feasts.

Taking in my treasures made for a few trips to and from the car. Had a snack while I watched 'Hometeam' where they give homes to deserving families. It was an 8 in the feelgood scale...I got back online and talked to Yummy. He took himself to a David Lynch movie playing in his town, but it creeped him out on the way home.

I didn't feel the normal disorientation with springing forward one hour for DST. Not sure why. I was glad because the day was sunny and gorgeous, the temperature on the cool side of warm. Smiles all day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Source and Intention

Found myself waking up early as if it were a weekday since I crept into bed earlier than normal the night before. I walked Cabal, fed him and was online before 5am. Yummy wasn't on yet so I surfed the net and caught up on some things until he did sign on and we skyped. We were on for about an hour before he had to leave and impromptu babysit for his best friend.

It was still dark out after our call so I hurried quickly to dress properly for a quick drive down the road to get breakfast and some stronger coffee. I brought it home and ended up taking a little nap while watching PBS.

Part of watching PBS is having to watch the special promotional guests when they raising money for the running of the station. Today, they reran Dr. Wayne Dyer's presentation guided by his book, "The Power of Intention". As part of my marble gathering activity, this was a perfect reminder on getting mentally organized.

He talked about being connected to Source, or God and how when everything we do is in alignment and feels great and comes easily is when we recognize our true connection to Source. The idea that our connection to Source without our ego produces our intention. With ego, we meet resistance and we end up not connected to Source and things fall apart. He also mentioned something about 'comptemplate the conditions and surroundings in which you would like to see yourself in' so that anything you intend will materialize.

As part of my intention for a recent gift in my life, I shared some information via e-mail with my dad and stepmother. It was received well, but with a hint of caution which was okay with me since they didn't know firsthand the true value of my gift.

I found a treasure of Filipino food in my freezer which was nice, something made from green mung bean. I nuked it in the microwave and ate a late lunch before I got online again and skyped with Yummy. He is quite adorable and funny. Just can't enough of that man. Luckily, he feels the same way about me.

Talked with Angie, too, whose landlord is getting the house she is renting rewired. She and her roommate were also moving things around the garage so they could have more room for storage. The homeowners, also their friends, have the garage stuffed with their own belongings that didn't fit in their new home. By the time I talked to her, Angie was exhausted from all the activity.

Had marinated artichokes for a snack, wrote this and now watching some TV before resetting all the clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Spring forward and lose an hour, but to my nice surprise, I am gaining an hour with Yummy for two weeks until the UK switches to their own DST. It's all good.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Sigh of Relief


That's pretty much how it has been since Saturday.

It is Friday night and I am home relaxing with a cup of jasmine green tea. I got off work early so I could talk to Yummy for a while. He is recovering nicely, too. Talking to him made me feel a whole lot more on an even keel since my AGOL ship was rocking so much this week.

My colleague was very surprised at her going away cake this morning. We had a good turnout, but it could have been better. The break room was crowded and we cheered and applauded her for her work and new opportunities up north. She left around 1pm. Shortly after the vultures came and went "cube shopping". There were a lot of cool electronic goodies at her desk. The equipment manager let me take the 19" flat screen home so I could have dual monitors with my laptop for those days I work from home. Her desk is now ready for my temp to come back on Monday.

Taking a lunch late is never good for me; I had to wait until matters were settled with the colleague. I suffered from 'slim pickins' at the downstairs cafe and from 'food coma' right after eating. The caffeine from the coffee couldn't clear the fog to function more efficiently the rest of the afternoon which was probably a good thing when I met with my boss for my yearly review.

Our company did such a campaign with our yearly reviews in January even providing a time line of submissions and reviews by management, etc. It had a good start but fizzled to be never heard from again. I shouldn't be surprised then at my "common merit increase". I was told when switching managers at the beginning of the year that I would receive a better increase, but those promises were not honored. Once again, I shouldn't be surprised. It is disheartening but I do understand the state of our business and the transition pains it is going through. As an employee, it still just sucks.

Today was full of high emotions. I am still processing the phone call I received from my oldest sister last night regarding the recent health issues she has experienced and another operation she is set to have on Monday morning. All these news a surprise to me since she didn't want to worry me. Now, mind you, she lives on the west coast of Florida, about two and half hours away. We are not close like sisters should be because of numerous factors I won't go into, but we do try to keep in touch if not to each other then through our dad. I have the same relationship with two of my other sisters...and they have the same relationship with each other. I don't even communicate with my stepbrother and my stepsister. We just put the 'fun' in dysfunction.

I called my dad and stepmother after talking to my sister. On a unique note, I spoke to my stepmother for 30 minutes and my dad for only 10 minutes which is a switch since I am not close to her. It is starting to sound like I am not close to anyone, but I am very close to my cousins, my aunt and uncle here, my girlfriends who are like sisters to me and more recently to the amazing Yummy.

Part of being close to me is you have to be there, you have to be present more often than an occasional call. I understand people are busy, but in the past, I have not received a lot of response back from trying. Then they tend to get offended because I become closer to people other than they. I know I am not the only one with these kinds of issues which makes me feel a bit more normal. Sigh.

Regaining focus is my goal this weekend. I have too many things to get back in order. My marbles have been falling out of my hands and it is time let go of some of them and to pick the ones I need back up so I can reorganize them. It is much easier to play the Game of Life when your marbles are organized and you're playing with the correct ones.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cootieville Update: Baby Aspirin, RIP

Time to bring in the big OTC guns, the "unique bi-layer tablet" with "immediate/extended" release. I've held the fort down with baby aspirin for a few days and as the Sheriff of Cootieville, USA, I had to concede and bring in reinforcements. Life has gotten rough in Cootieville...

On Thursday, armed with baby aspirin and herbal lozenges, I arrived at work ready to dispel the joke of working remotely on Wednesday. Even without any better drugs, my head was still foggy. I sniffled, coughed and was generally miserable. I even had to open a small can of whoopass on someone who didn't care that I was feeling ill and who wanted something that didn't fall under emergency in any book. His reply after me getting what he wanted was, "I wasn't trying to piss you off, Sarah". Like hell! To his credit, he apologized sincerely at his behavior before he left for the day.

Friday was a beaut. Our network was acting up and people were generally moaning about things. I was such a zombie that I would grunt answers at whatever people would ask me. Tawnyia was back at work for the second day and was good enough to get me lunch when she and her husband went out. I was still pretending to get better with baby aspirin and herbal lozenges. How pathetic. At around 5pm, the network went down and I took that as a sign to make like a bat out of hell so I could go home and listen to Yummy's voice which made me feel better than the sucky baby aspirin. (FYI: I originally bought the baby aspirin for Cabal's arthritis and have been too busy to go to the pharmacy...and being Queen of Denial.)

The worst part about being sick is being alone and this time I didn't have to be. Yummy was sick at home, too. He contracted a really bad virus that has wiped him out for a whole week. We IM'ed and skyped and still found humor in being ill. This morning was no different. He has been manly about his illness despite a touch of hypochondria which means with his universal health care opportunities in a more forward country like England, he didn't go to the doctor's. He sorted everything on the phone. He's a writer so he can describe things better. I'll stick to that story. Ha!

I still honored my hair appointment this morning's really important. It made me feel better especially after the caffeine I quaffed down to make it there started to wear off. I was pampered, got told how pretty my hair was looking and had a generally shallow pity party moment. Everyone should try it!

Geeky Girl, was also in full effect after the haircut. My cousin Ida needed help with setting up her ISP and printing new pictures she'd taken. The bribe was her making this Filipino sour soup with tamarind base. It had pork, Chinese long beans, Japanese eggplant and bok choy. We served it over rice and seasoned with a Filipino soy sauce flavored with calamondin or Filipino lime. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was worth the drive over.

Ida also called our cousin Hilda in the Philippines. She woke her up at 3 o'clock in the morning! Hilda and I haven't spoken in at least 25 years. She knew I was coming over and didn't mind. What a treat!

A better treat was seeing the kids. They were busy learning prayers and teaching their big brother them too in preparation for the first communion and confirmation next month. I am glad that they are having this experience which can be beautiful. My worry is that they take everything to heart without later having their own questions and self-formulated view of God and religion. Only time will tell, but in the meantime, this experience is appropriate for them.

On the way home, I stopped at McDonald's for a caramel sundae and almost made it past the pharmacy when I had a coughing fit. So I made a Huey, Duey and Luey around the median to get to corner building. I retired my baby aspirin with 12-hour release adult dosage pills and also bought some cherry flavored lozenges. In my worst Yosemite Sam voice, "Take that, you Cootieville varmints! No one messes with this Sheriff for long and gets out alive."