May 30, 2013

Gigi's Travel Agency...May I help you?

For the love of Mike!  What is it about a short week that makes them the most impossible weeks of all??

Yesterday afternoon, the Big Boss asked me to arrange for him to travel to a certain city on the 19th and return to another city on the 20th; where he would then drive back to our fair city after his meeting.

Fine.  No problem.

Done and done in about ten minutes.

This morning I walked in to discover that now I should completely cancel the entire trip before the twenty-four hour grace period ran out because he needed to be in the first city on the 18th.

Fine.  No problem.

I canceled the entire trip without penalty; thank God.  Like a smart girl, I held off on re-scheduling the trip.  Why was this smart?  Because this afternoon I was informed that now the meeting that was to take place on the 18th will take place on the 5th (which totally screwed up another trip) instead.  Oh, and that the trip for the 19th - needed to replicated and re-booked because that was still on.  Seriously?

After I re-arranged the trip for the 5th to accommodate the new meeting and re-booked the trip for the 19th I was then asked; "Why are these tickets so expensive?"

I'm thinking that our travel software has caught on to the fact that this man changes plans more than he does his underwear and has just started adding change fees to all his flights, as a matter of course.

I'm also thinking that I should just start holding off on scheduling ANY of his commercial flights until the night would probably save the company a boatload of money in change fees, despite the exorbitant plane fare, and my sanity.

Now excuse me, while I go pour myself a glass of wine and pray that Friday doesn't bring anymore surprises in the travel department.

May 28, 2013

Today my heart hurts...a lot.

There are so many other things I'd like to be sharing today.  Like how I have just re-read the Harry Potter series one after another and love those darn books to pieces.  Or how I'm worried that Man-Child may accidentally kill Hubby in his quest to help him lose weight and fit; apparently the boy doesn't recognize that Hubby isn't 18 anymore.  Or how they both seem to have some kind of electro-magnetic thing going on that causes at least one of the windows in the cars they drive to fail in some kind of spectacular way (I have now forbidden either one of them to drive my car, by the way, since I like my windows to go up and down at my command).  But instead, you are getting this post.

The first day back to work after a four day weekend is ALWAYS hard. Always.  This morning was particularly difficult because for some odd reason I had severe indigestion.  As in, I found myself awake at 4:00 am chomping on Tums before falling back into bed, in what was, apparently, a coma since I found myself being woken up by Hubby shaking me violently on the shoulder a few short hours later telling me it was late.

And I still had heartburn.  Which pretty much meant that I had to mostly forgo my caffeine this morning - I had about half a cup before I realized I couldn't take much more.  This, of course, meant that I was very sluggish this morning.

This, coupled with all the "catch-up" work and "surprises" (i.e., did anyone think to order lunch for this meeting that was scheduled over a month ago?  Ummm, no.) that kept popping up all morning made for a very off-balanced Gigi.

So when Man-Child called and asked if I wanted to grab some lunch (at this point, at least the heartburn was gone), I decided to forgo the packed lunch I had and dine with one of my most favorite persons in the world.

As soon as we sat down, he looked at me and said, "Well, I got some bad news last night while I was hanging out with the guys."  When I asked what had happened, he informed me that one of his high school classmates had died.  The guys apparently found out about it last night via Facebook.

He had no idea what had happened only that the boy had been found in his bed.  By his parents, I assume.

And I cried.  I don't personally know this boy, but Man-Child does.  He wasn't one of MC's usual crowd, but despite the fact that they were one of the largest freshmen classes the school had ever had it was still a small class - there was maybe 150 kids, if that, in the graduating class of 2012.  They all knew each other pretty well.  MC had him in his homeroom class and maybe a few others.  They talked every day.

And this has haunted me for the remainder of the day.  Imagining what might have happened.  Imagining the pain and horror that his parents are dealing with right now.  Knowing that this kid had just finished his first year of college - and that there is no future for him.  That he will not graduate.  That he will not find his passion in life.  That he will never find his soul-mate.  That these poor parents have to bury their only (I think) child.

Bad things happen every day.  We witness it on the news, online, hear about it from people and it hurts and we mourn.  But then it hits that close to home and it really, really becomes real.

So today, my heart does hurt.  A lot.  For the family and friends of this boy; particularly the parents.  For the life that won't be fulfilled.  My heart hurts for his classmates who are now reeling in shock - because to most of them this is a new experience.  Their friends aren't supposed to die - at this age they are invincible.  They are supposed to come home and meet up at parties - like the one they had last weekend - to talk about all their new experiences and dreams for the future.  They aren't supposed to be discussing memorials.

May 18, 2013

You could say I'm persistent....or maybe just stubborn. One of those.

The guys headed out to Asheville this morning.  As soon as they left, I donned my painting clothes and pulled out my gear.

It's not that I wanted to spend my Saturday painting the teeny-tiny downstairs bathroom - but it had to be done.

Someone bought the paint oh, about two years ago(!) and never got any further.  Despite the promises and the recent proclamations that "we" need to get some of these projects done around here since we are "supposed" to be selling the house. (I say "supposed to" because someone still hasn't even bought the sign)

Well, as you can imagine, he hasn't begun one project yet but still points out every single week that we need to get these things done.

I realize that painting is one of his least favorite things to do and, usually, I don't mind painting.  Unless it's a teeny-tiny bathroom that has lots of trim and molding that has to be taped off and cut in.  I have even offered SEVERAL times that if he would do the prep work, I would do the painting.

And still that paint just sat in the closet.

Until today, when I took it upon myself to get at least one project done around here while they are gone; because whether or not we sell, that bathroom needed to be painted.

Everything was going fine until I realized that I couldn't reach the ceiling trim with the step ladder to tape it off.  So I went and found the ladder.  Only to discover that the ladder is too big for the teeny-tiny room.

Undaunted, I decided to go ahead and paint what I could reach and make him finish the rest when he got home.

After I had done all I could do, I was sitting back congratulating myself on a job well done, when I realized that a couple of walls in the kitchen also needed painting.  And that it is the same color as the teeny-tiny bathroom.  The only problem?  The kitchen is painted with flat paint.  The bathroom paint is eggshell.  If I were going to paint those two small walls I would either need to go out and buy flat paint or use the remaining paint from the bathroom project to paint the WHOLE kitchen.

(As a side note, someone remind me to NEVER again let someone (i.e. builder/designer) talk me into using flat paint.  Because guess what?  Despite the promises that flat paint "has come a long way" and "can be cleaned" the sad fact is that it hasn't and it can't).

In a moment of insanity, I decided to go for it.  I figured I had 3/4ths of the gallon left and that there aren't any "full" walls in the kitchen (which meant there was a lot of taping off and cutting in to be done) so I should have plenty of paint.  And it worked out perfectly.

And for the second time today, I found myself sitting back and congratulating myself.  Until I began to get that nagging feeling in my brain.  The one that was telling me that there had to be a way for me to reach the top portions of those bathroom walls.

I found myself eyeballing the swivel stools at the kitchen island.  I could hear you all screaming "DON'T DO IT, YOU IDIOT!!!!"

You will be happy to learn that I listened to you.

Instead I found a stationery stool that was just a bit higher than the step ladder.  I brought it in and climbed up, but I was still just a few inches shy.

I again considered those swivel stools - which are about two inches higher than the stationery stool.  And again, I heard you all screaming, "ARE YOU CRAZY?! DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BREAK EVERY BONE IN YOUR BODY?"

And again, I listened to you.  Mainly, because I didn't want to spend my weekend in a puddle of broken bones in that teeny-tiny bathroom waiting for the boys to come home and find me.

So I turned my sights back to the ladder.  I figured there had to be a way to get that thing to fit in there and get the job done.

And after much maneuvering, I discovered that I could open the ladder just enough to wedge it between the two walls - so it wouldn't go anywhere even though it wasn't locked into position.  And then all I had to do was somehow wedge myself between the wall and the ladder enough to get up four steps.

So with much maneuvering and wedging I was able to finish the bathroom.  And now I'm exhausted, sore in that kind of way that I know means I won't be able to move tomorrow and very proud of myself.

And when the boys come rolling in on Monday, I will be able to show them the results of all my hard work.  And with THAT I think I will be able to guilt someone into cleaning out the flower beds without my assistance next weekend.

May 17, 2013

The husband, intersections, how to unfollow blogs and some pretty....just because we all need a little pretty

The husband:  He's annoying the hell out of me.  Why?  Because he's breathing.  Why is this worthy of announcement?  Because I'm not PMSing; as far as I know.

But really?  Does he have to breathe so often?  Or so loud?  Ugh.

Intersections:  There was an article in the local paper this morning about our "most dangerous intersections" and what the plan is for making them less dangerous.  (As a side note:  apparently, we have 450 intersections with traffic lights - somehow I would have thought there were more.  But then, I'm probably factoring in the outlying areas.)

At any rate, their "plan" for some of these intersections includes using flashing yellow arrows for turn lanes rather than the standard green (or as they are better known "it's your turn to go now, idiot") arrows.  Naturally, I am against this.

Particularly when you take into account that these people are used to waiting for the green arrow.  I, myself, narrowly escaped disaster when they changed the system - sans announcement - at one intersection I frequent quite often.

No, I think the better option would be for the DOT to find a way to get people to actually pay attention while they are driving.  And, while they are at it, get rid of all these damn concrete medians they've put up all over the city.  The ones that force you to go out of your way to get where you are going.

If anything, they need to put up GIGANTIC signs on the lights that say, "Hey, moron! This is a turn ONLY lane" to keep them from trying to move over into the going straight lane at the last minute, while NOT using their turn signal...but I digress...

Unfollowing:  Ever since Google got rid of Google Friends, or whatever it was called, I have been trying to figure out how to unfollow some blogs.  I don't generally follow any blogs unless I'm sure it's one that I want popping up on my dashboard but, occasionally, a few slip in or the blogger just stops blogging for no apparent reason - note to self:  if you ever decide to stop blogging, TELL people - and you feel the need to "spring clean."  With Friends being gone (although, from my research, the widget seems to be alive and well), I couldn't easily unfollow.

As any of you who have been around for a while can imagine; this drove me insane.

But I've finally figured it out (after spending hours of looking).  According to one website, there is a way to do so via the widget - don't ask me about the website, I couldn't find it again if my life depended on it.

BUT, if you happen to have a Google+ account, which I do (why?  I have no idea; I never use it) you can go to your Account settings; scroll down and find the Friend Connect area and stop following from there.

The pretty:  Because after listening to all this random, ranting you (and I) deserve something pretty to round it all out.

Pretty - right?  AND they smell like heaven, I assume.

May 12, 2013

My (long) weekend in pictures....because I'm really too tired for words

As most of you know, I sent my one and only baby off to college last August with many tears.

And now he's back.  With a vengeance, one might say....

Let the chaos and mayhem begin!
And it all began on Thursday, when I went to pick him up.  Hubby begged me to let him rent me a van for all Man-Child's gear.  I declined.  I knew he hadn't taken that much with him.  So I figured I could stuff it all into my car.

And stuff it in I did....

There's no real need to see out the back window...right?
But I persevered and shoved it all into that teeny, tiny car (Luckily, his roommate agreed to take the microwave with him, since they'll be rooming together again next year.  Otherwise, Man-Child would have caught the bus home since that would have taken his seat in the car had it come with us).  Needless to say it was a quiet ride, since he was exhausted from all the exams and slept for a majority of the drive.

Upon arriving home, he dumped all the stuff in the living area of the house.

And there it stayed until I had a conniption fit last night and told my husband that the ONLY thing I wanted for Mother's Day was for this crap to be out of our living area.

And this morning, magically, it was.  Of course, I dare not enter Man-Child's bedroom now....

So today came along - Mother's Day.  The day when mothers everywhere are showered with love.  I, of course, feel nothing but pressure.  Not that my guys don't shower me with love - because they do.  But because all day long I am pounded with "What do you want to do today?  It's YOUR day.  Where do you want to eat?  Seriously mom, I'm hungry!"

One of these days I'll realize that I must be the one to plan out my entire day and then the pressure will be off.

So, in addition to feeding the boy, today we ended up going on a walk in the local bog garden; hoping to spot the most recent local celebrity.

Can you see him...or her? 
Of course, I had to remind the guys that they had to be good role models for all the children in the area....they didn't listen.

The sign CLEARLY stated that they should stay on the path.  Did they listen?

And about the time I uploaded these pictures, I realized that my camera, the one I haven't used in forever, is obviously stuck in September 2012.  I need to get around to fixing that...maybe in 2014.

And to all my dear friends, I hope you had a wonderful, stress-free Mother's Day.

And to those who have wondered.  The credit issue with Man-Child isn't actually "fixed."  He has been able to manipulate the schedule next year so that he has enough hours to be considered a full time student - thus ensuring he can stay on campus.  It will take him approximately a semester to catch up.  But we can breathe a little easier now.  And we have informed him that he will catch it up because he will graduate in four years and not six.

How it happened?  Who knows.  Human error, I suppose.  He didn't realize that his physical education class only offered one credit and somehow this sailed completely over his counselor's head.  Whatever.  This is what I consider a "life lesson" for him.

May 8, 2013

This pretty much sums it up perfectly.....

As I mentioned, in passing, SIX days ago - it has been raining.  And seemingly hasn't stopped.

As you can imagine, if you've been hanging around here for any length of time, this has put me in a mood.  To say the least.  And we won't even discuss the state of my hair.

The weatherman is promising that the next two days will be sunny and gorgeous (at this point, I'm not sure that he can be trusted); followed by *sigh* more rain.

Luckily, my boy is coming home tomorrow for the summer!  If that can't rouse a smile out of this grumpy, old cuss then nothing will.  Can you believe he's finished his first year of college?  Yeah, me either.  He promised he will be packed and ready to go when I get there - but we shall see.

It's apparent that the upcoming weekend will find me frizzy-haired and knee-deep in stinky, boy laundry.

Send help.  And wine.  Oh, and an ark.

May 3, 2013

I'm beginning to get a complex....

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that some people at the office are avoiding my phone calls and messages.

Sure, I can understand why the folks in IT hide from me.  It's because I usually call with some random, crazy computer issue that is impossible to fix.  Or, I'm asking them to explain how this lone Statement of Work - that doesn't seem to be tied to any of the frustratingly, complex contracts that comes out of their department, fits into the scheme of things. That I get.  I'd hide from me too.

But this one guy from our sales department?  I don't get it.  Before I continue with my tirade, let me just say that he is a really, really nice guy.  Which is great, because I was worried when the  guy who used to have that job was promoted and moved to another state, that I'd end up with a jerk.

The previous guy - let's call him Joe - and I got along like peaches and cream.  We worked really well together.  He always responded to my calls or emails immediately.  He understood that I when I needed something  from him, I needed it now for a case.  In addition, to his professionalism and expediency, he was a good person.  We had the perfect work  relationship.

When Joe was promoted and moved to another office, I was extremely happy for him - but worried about who would replace him and whether or not I would get someone else so easy to work with.

Eventually, the new guy showed up - we shall call him Bill.  And he is a nice, easygoing kind of guy; which is great.

Until I need something.  And then that easygoing personality irritates the hell out of me.

Before I go any further let me explain.  I am the type of person that responds to emails, phone calls and requests immediately; even if it's only to say, "I'm sorry I can't get to this right now, but I will have it for you by xxx."

This guy is not like that.  AT ALL.  I recall one conversation with his assistant where she told me he had said early on that he wasn't going to be like Joe - "jumping through hoops."  I must admit this ticked me off.  But I talked myself down, thinking that I shouldn't take this off the cuff comment personally.

But after the events of the last few days, coupled with other events?  Now, I'm taking it personally.

I received a request for a document from outside counsel on Wednesday afternoon - a document that Bill would need to provide.  I called him and left a message - because, for some reason, Bill is NEVER at his desk and waited.

On Thursday morning, I emailed Bill.

On Thursday afternoon, I called.  His assistant answered and told me that he wasn't in the office but - get this - she didn't know where he was, only that he wasn't on vacation.  Turns out he was doing a community service thing which was sanctioned by the company - which is fabulous - but how come he didn't bother telling her this?  Or even better, knowing he had this on his calendar, why didn't he respond to me on Wednesday?

This morning found me too busy to think about Bill - and his blatant disregard of me.  But this afternoon I was going through my email to make sure I'd taken care of everything I needed to take care of I came across outside counsel's outstanding request.  The one that I'd responded to on Thursday morning - telling him that I'd have his information "as soon as possible."

So I called Bill again.  His assistant informed me that he was gone for the day.  Apparently, he'd been in that morning and left at lunch - without a thought to what I needed.

I was beside myself with fury.  How rude, disrespectful and unprofessional.  He knows that the majority of the requests I make are for pending cases and that time is of the essence most of the time.

I calmly asked her who else could possibly get me the information I needed today and she told me that Jim, his boss, could probably do so and offered to connect me.  I readily accepted.  Jim and I have worked together before and have no issues.

When I told Jim what I needed, he asked if I had talked to Bill.  I explained, without pointing fingers or throwing anyone under the bus, that I had but, apparently, Jim has been out of the office and outside counsel was waiting.  Jim said that he'd take care of it.

And less than ten minutes later, Jim handed me the information I needed. LESS THAN TEN MINUTES!

So, obviously the task of obtaining what I needed wasn't arduous by any means - which I knew it wasn't since I'd once worked in that department.  All that was necessary was a phone call or an email to the field.  The folks in the field ALWAYS respond immediately to any request from Corporate and when it's a request from the Legal Department they respond even quicker.

Which begs the question - what the hell is wrong with Bill?

And Bill?  Despite being a "nice" guy - he has been relegated to the "other" list; the one most people who know me try to avoid.

May 2, 2013

FYI....Monday is now "Pajama Day"'re welcome ('s hoping I hit the lottery so I don't have to go to work in my pajamas...)

Since I have been on a "dead-serious, do not buy it unless you absolutely, no doubt about it, NEED it" kind of budget for about the last three years; I'm beginning to feel just a little frumpy over here.

This coupled with the nasty, cold, rainy weather (which TOTALLY wreaks havoc on my hair and, as we ALL know, if my hair is giving me fits, then it's all downhill from there) we've been having has me seriously reevaluating my closet.

As I've mentioned previously, I've been slowly weeding out my closet.  Well, apparently, that isn't good enough.  After today, it has been determined that I need to go in there and be RUTHLESS!


Because today found me at work with crazy hair, ill-fitting pants, a bra that kept riding up in the back, a shirt that irritated me beyond belief and a pair of shoes which, while still cute, are quickly losing the right to be in my closet; mainly because for some reason they make me walk funny.  Don't ask me to explain - I can't.  They just do - which explains why they were buried in the back of my closet in the first place.

Why was I wearing such a horrible, self-esteem destroying, soul-sucking outfit in the first place?  Because I was trying something different, i.e "shopping my closet" to try to mix things up.  Which reminded me why I never wear the majority of what's in that closet in the first place.

So here is my* plan for the upcoming weekend - to go through that closet and get rid of every darn thing that doesn't fit right, I despise, that is over a year old and hasn't been worn, or has even given me a hint of attitude, etc. and get rid of it.

Which means that come Monday morning I REALLY won't have anything to wear.  But so be it.  It's time to break out of the rut, even if I have to declare Monday as "Pajama Day" - for which the majority of the company will applaud; while HR hastily scribbles out a company-wide memo about "proper work attire."

*sigh* Some days, I just can't win.

*Since I've actually formulated a plan, wrote it down and shared it for all the world to see this definitely means that something else will come along and ruin that plan.

And?  Mother Nature?  Cut us some slack already.  It's been nothing but solid rain for the last FIVE AND A HALF days.  Sure, the weatherman promises sun tomorrow....but he's also promising more rain for the weekend and into next week.  Really, Mother Nature?  What did I ever do to you?