Runnin’ on Empty

T.G.I.F.F. (I’ll let you fill in whatever you want for the extra F).

This has been a very long week. Not a bad week mind you, just long.

The CEO of an organization I am on the Board of Directors for was in town this week. Since I am the local President, it was up to me to organize her visit, take her out for meals, etc. Tuesday night I picked her up from the hotel and we went to dinner. That was my fist time meeting her and she was really great. You always wonder if someone in that position will be arrogant or uppity or uptight but she was none of those things. She was very personable and I really like her a lot. Wednesday night she gave a presentation to our organization. I had to be there as the overseer and emcee. Thursday she came to the company where I work and met with some of us. Then I took her out to lunch with the rest of the B.o.D. All in all, I’d say her trip was a huge success and I’m very glad she came.

There were a couple downsides to her visit though. For one thing, I had to dress up all week. I HATE dressing up and being that way all day. I don’t mind getting dolled up for a night on the town or a special occasion, but having to wear heels and dress pants and suits all day every day is loathsome. I suppose I’m an oxymoron (or maybe just a moron?) because I like to be fashionable and always try to look nice for work, I just want to do it in jeans.

When I was young and ready to conquer the world, I was all about being dressed up and stylish, regardless of comfort. Not anymore. As Patrick Henry once said, “Give me comfort or give me death.” Or something like that. I’ve learned that for me, coziness is akin to productiveness. The more relaxed and comfortable I am, the more work I will get done. Case in point, the 3 days that I had to be dressed up this week were my least productive days. Today I was back to wearing jeans and I kicked major ass!

CJ and I have debated this over the years. He is one of those people who would love a job where he had to wear suits all day. He says it’s because of his finishing school background and being taught that to present well you had to be dressed up. I think it’s because he worked in construction most of his life wearing jeans and “dirty” clothes so the idea of dressing up sounds exciting. I’m the opposite. I had to be business professional for so many years that I abhor it now. It used to be that when I got home from work, I’d head straight to our bedroom, rip off my work clothes and change immediately in to pajamas. CJ pointed out that this wasn’t very sexy of me. Apparently it’s not “hot” to be shuffling around the house in flannel p.j.s, slippers, and my hair thrown back in a ponytail. For better or for worse mister, that’s all I gotta say.

But I do see his point so I make more of an effort now and resist the urge to dive head first in to my jammies until at least Isabella goes to bed or I know there is no chance of any baby making happening that night.

The other downside to the CEO visit was that I was away from the family a lot and didn’t get a lot of sleep. Tuesday I wasn’t home until 7:30. Wednesday it was 7:45. Both of those days I got to see Munchkin for maybe 15 minutes at the most. I hate it when we don’t get time together. I feel like she starts to forget me or loses that closeness. Thank God we had some extra time on Thursday before volleyball and again tonight, for our girl’s night.

Because of all the stress and running around, and going to bed later than usual, my knees were really achy this week. They were doing their fire dance every single night. I tell ya, I’ve popped more Ibuprofen this week than I did all last month (when I went back and reread that sentence, I thought it said “I POOPED more this week…” Ha! As if anyone wants to read about my bowel issues…). 

Now for a couple oddities. On Monday, Bubbles sent me a photo from the Annex. Just when you thought things had returned to status quo (if there is such a thing there), we discover this in the middle of the hallway:

beware bucket

First of all – really? A piece of paper taped to an upside down trash can? Really?! Secondly, what exactly does this mean? Is the tile going to jump out of the ceiling and start chasing me down the halls of the mall? Maybe that’s what happened to cause Scooter his injury. Or perhaps it means that the tiles are loose and could start raining down upon us at any moment, like the biblical locusts. I suppose the more likely scenario is that there is another leak. If that were the case, wouldn’t it make more sense to have the garbage can turned right side up? Phffft…that’s CRAZY talk!

The other oddity of the week – snow. Yes, 3” of snow at the end of March. My grandma’s birthday is tomorrow and she used to always joke about there being snow on her birthday. Well, this is the first birthday where we will not be celebrating with her as she passed away last September. So perhaps it’s only fitting for the universe to give us some white stuff in her honor. At least that’s how I choose to think of it.

It really was breathtakingly beautiful on my drive to work this morning. I snagged a few pics at home before I left.

snow street

snow tree2

snow tree3

snow grass

Time for me to head upstairs and let myself be sucked in the couch. I need a night of brain numbing television (and extra PJ time!) to counter all the thinking I had to do this week.

Tomorrow night, the gang from the Annex is heading out on the town. Barry is playing in a slots tournament at the casino (yes, they actually have these) so we’re all (Bubbles, Bob and his wife, The Brit and her hubby, and me and CJ) going to meet down there, at the 360 Steakhouse, for drinks and dinner. Should be a good time and don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share all the good stories with you!

So what’s your verdict – are you a lover or a hater of dressing up? Please leave comments – I love hearing what you have to say!

Hey – have you checked out my art work  yet? If not, head on over there. I’m selling it and all must go!

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You Capture: Cold

The You Capture theme for this week was “cold”. Gee, I’m not sure we’ve got enough of that around here…let’s just say the average high over the last week was like 15 degrees. Yeah, I’d say we had our fair share of cold!

Although, the concept of cold isn’t as easy to capture as one might think. I really wanted to get a pic of actual coldness, like that droplets of condensation on a glass of soda or someone’s breath as they’re standing in the frigid air but I didn’t really get the chance (nor do I have the right equipment to do it justice). So, I stuck with “cold” in my everyday life, because there was plenty of that!

cold ice_snow

This was the ice and snow on our deck Saturday morning as the sun was rising. I must have captured the “cold” of it because I’m getting a chill just looking at this pic!

Copyright TTM 2011

Samson loves to destroy things. So we give him designated things to destroy, which saves our shoes and pillows  from his jaws. Here, CJ stuffed treats and peanut butter inside an old plastic milk jug. Samson didn’t seem to mind the cold as he chewed on it though!

cold snowplay

Snow play! This was Isabella’s second time playing out in the snow and she seemed to be enjoying herself. Of course our goal was to keep her from getting cold but let’s face it, snow, by it’s very nature is in fact, cold! I don’t think she minded too much!

cold samson

Samson came out and played with us too. He definitely channeled his inner puppy as he ran round and round the yard, jumping and leaping through snow drifts!

cold cj_munch

“Ok, daddy, I’m ready to go inside now!” Actually, ironically enough, she was saying the word “cold” when I snapped this one. I got another one of her smiling but I actually  like this picture better because the look on her face is so darn cute!

That’s it for this week! Looking forward to next week’s assignment. I hope it’s something like “tropical” because then I’ll have an excuse to hop a plane and head to an island somewhere away from all this cold!!

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A Day in the Life of TTM – Weekend Edition

The OCp: Winter Woes

Welcome to another edition of The OCp! This week was all about the weather. Snow, cold, ice, water, and all that comes with it!


The week started off with the threat of horrible weather. Monday itself wasn’t so bad in the morning but began to turn as the day went on. Mist and rain were coming down and when this happens in subzero temperatures, it tends to freeze. See how smart I am? Getting to work wasn’t too bad, it was getting in to the building that was the problem. I stepped out of my car and almost landed flat on my bootie. Guess it wasn’t in the budget to spread sand over the parking lot. I slowly started to make my way across the icy lot and in to the building. I got about half way when I noticed all the cars had their windshield wipers pulled up. I started to wonder if that was some sort of weird cult thing when I realized they were probably doing that because of the snow forecasted to come. And it seemed like a darn good idea. So I turned around and made the icy walk back to my car. Only, when I got there I discovered that my windshield wipers aren’t made to pull up like that. They are built so that it’s impossible to pull them out and have them “stand up.” Swell. Not only would my wipers be buried in snow when I came out later, but I would be the uncool kid who couldn’t pull up their wipers. And who wants to be known as “that girl?” Still, there was nothing I could do about it so I turned around once again and slip-slided my way in to the building.

Once inside and unpacked at my desk, I thought, you know what would brighten up my morning? Some fresh flowers. But where can I find fresh flowers in the office in the middle of winter? A ha! Why, the bathroom of course! I trotted over to the women’s restroom only to discover that the flowers had been removed. Apparently they were only there while the big wigs were in town and now that they had flown the coop, the flowers were pulled from our grasp. Sigh.

Around 3 p.m., we were all told to head home in an effort to get there before the storm blew in. I bundled up, grabbed my laptop and headed outside only to find my car glazed over with about 1/4” of ice. I started the car and blasted the defrosters then sucked it up and started scraping. And scraping. And scraping. I mean this stuff wasn’t budging and it took some creative maneuvers to make a dent in it. Oh and did I mention that it was frickin’ cold out? So cold in fact that I had to take shelter in my car every few minutes to warm my hands up. There was a gal in the car next to me doing the same thing and we had a lovely little dance going. She would scrape her car while I huddled inside trying to get feeling back in my fingers. Then, she would dive in to her car while I continued scraping mine. During the few times that there was overlap of us both being outside, we’d commiserate on just how horrid it was. Finally I got enough scraped off to see for driving and called it good. Sayonara sister!


The storm came over night and by Tuesday morning we were covered in snow. I contemplated working from home but didn’t really want to because it’s hard for me to concentrate here. So I made up my mind to go in. I have an SUV and am comfortable driving in wintery conditions so my mind was made up. Then I turned on the news and they said, in not so many words, that anyone who ventured out was crazy. Hmm, so do you think maybe I shouldn’t go in? Ok, I’ll stay home.

But, it was Samson’s day for Doggie Day Camp. I didn’t want to jip him out of play time. Ok, so we’d go in.

But, was that really the best idea?

I kid you not, I debated this in my head for nearly 30 minutes. I finally woke CJ up and asked his opinion. He said to stay home. I still wasn’t sure. He said, fine go in. Ok, good idea.

And off we went!

I gave Samson a stern lecture as we headed out that he must stay seated in the back so I could concentrate. He nodded. The roads weren’t as bad as I’d anticipated and we moved along pretty well. As soon as I turned onto the street that leads to PetSmart, Samson started whining. Uh oh. Then he started “dancing.”

“Samson, sit!” He sat, for all of 2 seconds and then was right back up. “Samson, sit!”

You guys, I then said something that I swore I’d never say to my children. I looked him square in the eyes through the rearview mirror and in my most serious voice said, “Samson, if you don’t sit and stay, I’m going to turn this car around Mister!”

He looked at me and then tried to jump in the front seat.

We made it there fine and I got him checked in and settled. I headed in to work and found the parking lot like this when I arrived.

parking lot

Normally the lot is full all the way along the sides and to the back. Though, this was actually more cars than I thought there would be. It was pretty much the contractors and call center type people there so it was definitely quiet. One of the Indian contractors brought in red velvet mini cupcakes to share with everyone. Well, everyone turned out to be me and one other guy. So it was up to us to eat all this:

red velvet cupcakes

I was more than happy to oblige. I mean, they were tiny. I could eat one in a single bite. And I did. And then I had another one. And another. That’s when I started to feel sick and figured I should stop. They did make great subjects for my You Capture this week though.

Around 1:00 I decided I’d done all I could do and that the smart thing to do was head home. Samson and I made it home safe and sound. He wasn’t too happy I picked him up early though. As one of the employees said, “The ‘Mayor’ won’t be thrilled about this. He’ll think you’re doing a recall or something.”


I didn’t have to debate it with myself. I was more than ready to stay home and not go out in the crappy weather again. You can read all about my day at home here.


Back to work we went and pretty much everyone was there. I was feeling good and ready to tackle anything that came my way and I actually did get a lot done.

Around 9 in the morning, I got this notice from The Mall Security Team:

“A car with the license plate OOOHBOY has left their car running in the North parking lot with no keys in it. If this is your car, please come out and turn it off.”

My first thought was, ok, that person has a remote car starter. But then I wondered why they’d be starting their car up after having just arrived at work. Then I thought perhaps it was the getaway car for someone planning to rob the mall. I mean, think of all the cool things they could get there! Oh boy! In the end, I figure it was probably an accident and someone had simply taken the key out and forgot to turn off the car. I mean, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another right? Or, maybe not. 


The crazy day from hell. I literally had back to back meetings all day and a gajillion things to get done in between times. Yes, that’s right, a gajillion. So while my day was consumed with actual work, Barry, Bob and The Brit were down at The Mall doing other stuff – like investigative reporting for me!

Around 10:30 a.m., I had the following Instant Message conversation with The Brit:

  • The Brit: “At The Mall.”
  • Me: “Oh joy. Anything exciting?”
  • Me: “WHAT!?!?”
  • Me (always thinking of you, dear readers): “Pictures!!!!”

So if you’re just catching up, basically, Facilities decided the best way to fix the leak in the Annex was to put tarp ceiling tiles in, with hoses running from them to trash cans on the floor. Which means it now looks like this down there:

tarp tile





Let’s take a moment to admire this handiwork, shall we? I mean, what a hose! [That’s what she said…] And I think it really livens up the office. It’s also important to note that the two hose shots above are from different leaking points than we originally found several weeks ago, which means the problem is getting worse. Come spring, when everything melts, it’ll be a regular swimming pool in there!

Oh and don’t think the irony of that last picture is lost on me. “Wow them”? Oh yes indeed!

While there, The Brit decided to investigate her old cube (which she refused to sit in today) to see how it was holding up. She found…

A lovely stain under the monitor:


Another one on the wall, behind where the trash can was that they were using for water collection:

stain on wall

(sort of hard to see but it’s there on the left side)

And the ceiling tiles were still askew (again, let’s point out that this was the original leak and yet there is no hose coming down from that tile).

cube roof

You really want to work from here now don’t you? Can’t you feel the mold and asbestos entering your lungs just by reading this?

The Brit also mentioned that the front door to the Annex, through which you need a keycard/badge to enter, is broken. “They have a little old security guard in the little “porch” area reading a book
[letting people in I suppose] and a guy on his knees making squeaking noises with something or other as he tries to fix it.”

So. many. innuendos. It’s too easy. I’ll just leave you all to come up with your own. 

When you’re at The Mall and you can’t do anything else, you go to John’s for lunch! And that’s just what the gang did.


That’s Barry in the red sweater (4 shirts today?) and Bob in the striped shirt. Anyone wanna guess who the gentleman sitting at the table to their left is?

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Yep, that’s SCOOTER!!

It’s the perfect way to end the day, don’t you think?

Thanks for tuning in! Come back next week for another edition of…



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Snow Play!

Way back in November, as the weather was starting to show signs of the coming winter months, I bought Munchkin a winter coat and snow pants. I hesitated on the snow pants because I was being cheap and they cost an extra $9. But, my practical mind won out and told me that she would need those some day and probably on a day when the streets were too crappy to drive out and buy some.

I was right!

Yesterday was just such a day. I was home working and kept promising myself that when I was done, I would take Munchkin outside for her first adventure playing in the snow. I was really looking forward to it.

At precisely 4:19 p.m., I logged off my computer and marched upstairs, determined to start having fun, dammit! Munchkin was napping so I stuffed my face with popcorn and watched Jenny McCarthy tell Oprah about her first Playboy shoot. It was fascinating (insert Star Trek Spock voice here).  Eventually Munch woke up and I immediately changed her diaper (after she looked at me and said, “Diapa, poo poos.” I think she might be ready for potty training sooner than we thought). Then we started suiting her up in her snow gear.

First the snow pants, then the boots, the gloves and hat.

That look on her face kills me! It’s like, “Oh my God what is going on? Is the end of the world near? Is this my HAZMAT suit?”

Then we put on the coat and were ready to go!

I started out slowly because I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. The first few times she was exposed to grass she freaked out and cried, refusing to put her feet on the ground…figured snow would be similar. But she actually took right to it!

I set her down on the deck and let her get used to it. She just sat there and looked at me. Gee mom, this is great fun. I showed her that you can kick it and run your hands through it and stuff. She eventually started getting brave and trying things.

After a few minutes, I took her down in to the yard. This time she stayed standing and tried to walk in it. However, the snow was up to her knees so she was unable to go anywhere. I suppose it would be hard for anyone to walk in that. I showed her how to lay back and make snow angels and she did! Sort of.

I love that she is laughing and enjoying herself. I remember being a kid and playing in the snow with my sister. We would pile it up along the side of the driveway and climb up, pretending it was Everest or something. And of course building forts and throwing snowballs. She’s too young for that yet but we got her started!

We went back in after about 10 minutes. I didn’t want her getting too cold since her gloves were wet and her face was exposed. Ok, fine, I was getting cold. Anyway, we headed in to get out of our wet clothes, take a nice hot bath and bundle up in warm jammies.

I’m so glad I took her out to play. Sometimes I hesitate to do that stuff because it feels like too much work. Or I’m afraid she’ll hate it and be fussy. But I do it anyway and am always surprised at how well she does and how much fun we have!

Happy snow days to everyone!

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