28 June 2018

10 Things Thursday|Cedar Rapids Edition

  1. Our annual company meeting was this week. Last year it was held at a resort in Lake Geneva, WI. This year? It was held in one of our vendor's meeting rooms in Cedar Rapids, IA. A bit of a difference.
  2. Monday was my travel day - I left Las Vegas at 5:29 AM and got into Cedar Rapids at 3:00 PM. It was a long travel day that included a flight in a 52-passenger plane that required I duck to walk down the aisle ... and then I had to attend a 6:00 PM dinner.
  3. Did I mention I was at the gate directly across from Garrett popcorn but couldn't wait in line to enjoy all that is Garrett??
  4. In between checking into my hotel, and dinner, son texted me asking if he and his girlfriend could temporarily move into the apartment. He has said that they will take care of their own expenses (food,etc.) so I agreed to let them move in on July 3rd. We'll see how this goes.
  5. Meetings on Tuesday were productive, and then we got to have dinner here
  6. Although I have ZERO desire to move back to the midwest, I have to admit that this storm - and subsequent double rainbow - did make me reconsider
  7. Wednesday was another travel day. When I got to the Cedar Rapids airport, my mom called to let me know her new (to her) vehicle had died. This is the second time in 60 days.
  8. My return trip to Vegas included a layover at DFW. Skylink is both a blessing and a curse!
  9. While waiting for my luggage at McCarran, I got a call from son telling me he was in an accident. There were no injuries, but there will be an insurance claim
  10. And then I couldn't remember where I parked. I'm never leaving home again!

24 June 2018

Sunday Stealing | Cricket's Drivel

(from Cricket's Drivel via Sunday Stealing)

1. When was the last time you went to the doctor? Do you like your doctor?
I was at the doctor (actually a Walgreen's Healthcare Clinic) about 6 weeks ago, and had to return THREE times before the issue was resolved. That's about two visits more than I average in a year.
As far as my fondness for my doctor? I do not have a primary care physician. My doctor visits are mostly to urgent care centers or Walgreen's Healthcare Clinics - I get a different healthcare provider every time.
2. My back is itching, will you scratch it for me?
*scratch*scratch*scratch* Of course I will! Anytime!!
3. Do you have nice handwriting?
I have excellent printing. I am often told my printing looks like it's typewritten. I can't remember the last time I wrote anything in cursive other than my signature, but back in the day I got good penmanship grades ... like 45 years ago. That counts for something, right?
4. We are sending you to either New Zealand or Canada, which one do you choose?
I choose New Zealand! I've been to Canada several times, but never to New Zealand. Hold on ... would I be traveling after October 17th?? If so? Canada it is!!
5. Do you sing in the shower?
Nope! I think in the shower.
6. Have you ever been streaking? If so, how far did you streak and did anyone see you?
Does running naked through the house count? If not, I've never been streaking.
7. How soon is too soon for Christmas decorations and music playing in the stores?
Anytime before Thanksgiving is too early for me. I am one of those weird people who prefer to get through one holiday before even thinking about the next holiday.
8. If you celebrated Halloween as a kid what was the costume you wore at 5?
Well? I definitely celebrated Halloween as a kid, but remembering what costume I wore 49 years ago? Not going to happen.
9. How many cavities have you had in your life?
Seriously? Do people keep track of these things? Let's go with more than two, less than 20.
10.  Is there anyone you regret meeting.
Regrets are something I try really hard not to have. I can think of a handful of people I've met where our interactions were not positive, but I've learned something from each of those people. No ... no one I regret meeting.

21 June 2018

10 Things Thursday

  1. *sings* ♫♬Ohhhh Canada♫♬ If you haven't heard, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set an official date for making cannabis legal countrywide. What do you suppose the chances are that Trump will do the same here in the U.S.? Yeah ... I'd go with slim to none ...
  2. I thought the sex-blogger had all but died, but in visiting the blogs of many of those who comment on my TMI Tuesday posts, it appears I made an erroneous assumption. The sex blogger is alive and well!!
  3. For some reason I found this way too amusing ...
  4. According to CNN, IQ scores are falling and have been for decades. Pfffttt ... who needs a study to figure that out. The good news? The study indicates this isn't due to dumb people having more kids than smart people. Anyway I think that's good news???
  5. I stumbled upon Johnny Lists (now defunct) blog not too long ago. Every post is a list of something. Although there haven't been any new posts since 2016, the archives are kind of fun to browse.
  6. I got to meet the internet yesterday! I've known Jana for at least 8 years. We first met when we were both worked on the Band Back Together project years ago and have stayed in touch through other social media platforms over the years. She happened to be visiting Las Vegas with her husband and we met up for some shenanigans. There is nothing much better than meeting the internet!
  7. I have lived my entire life believing that I have a significant allergy to penicillin. Then I read this article and learned that I'm probably not allergic to penicillin. Too bad the allergy test is so expensive. I wouldn't mind being able to add the penicillin family back into my antibiotic options.
  8. Did you know that nearly 63% of Instagram users report being miserable? According to this study, that is a higher share than any other social media platform. *NOTE TO SELF* Stay off Instagram!
  9. Do any of you have $1.2 Million you'd like to gift to me?? I've always been a HUGE Frank Lloyd Write worshiper fan and this house is for sale!!!
  10. I recently learned about the Blink Roadside Assistance app. I do have AAA currently, but I'm wondering if this isn't a better (i.e. more economical) option.

19 June 2018

TMI Tuesday|Take a Look at Me Now

(Via TMI Tuesday Blog)

1. What was your biggest worry five years ago, do you still have that same worry or feel the same about it at this minute?
*CONFESSION* Thank goodness for this blog because I otherwise would have had NO IDEA what was going on 5 years ago. Once you get this old, the years just smoosh together.
Based solely on my blog posts from 2013, it looks like there were two significant life events going on (1) Trying to keep Cam at his home high school for his senior year, and (2) Starting the final process for the divorce and selling the "family" home.
Are those worries/feelings still the same? Definitely not - Cam did stay at his home high school for his senior year. It took a lot of advocating and the hiring of a special education attorney (a bill I am still paying 4 years later), but it was worth it, and husband and I were finally divorced on October 30th 2014.
2. Do you have a positive or negative body image? What factors contribute to your self body image?
a. advertisements
b. media and social media
c. comments from others
d. introspection and analysis of self
I definitely have a very negative body image, and it stems from comments made by both of my parents while I was growing up. Now, you'd think I'd just get over it, but I have never been able to quiet that internal dialog that tells me I'm not good enough - not pretty enough - not thin enough.
3. How confident are you as a person?
a. no confidence at all
b. confident around friends and family
c. confident at work, and in my job
d. very confident in my surroundings–work, social settings, with strangers
This is the closest to being accurate. I am generally confident at work and in my job, but that is because I am confident (generally) in my knowledge, experience, and intelligence. That confidence is not limited to the work environment - it encompasses much of my life.
4. How creative a person are you? Why?
a. not creative
b. average creativity
c. creative in some situations
d. very creative
I have always been very creative - in the arts and in my thinking. When I ignore my creative side, I get quite out of sorts. It's been one of the things I've revived since Mike and I split, and I've really been enjoying it.
5. Do you resent things being uncertain and unpredictable? Why?
a. agree
b. undecided or Don’t Know
c. disagree
If I'm honest with myself, I do resent things being uncertain and unpredictable. In my perfect world things would make logical sense - I would know, without a doubt, that if I did A, B would be the result. I get frustrated when that doesn't happen. Obviously I am in a constant state of frustration.
Bonus: What do you wish you had invented?
Ohhhhh ... this is an easy one! Any guesses??? POST-IT NOTES!!!! Most of you know they are my secret obsession. If you're ever really bored, you can read about the history of Post-It notes HERE.

17 June 2018

Sunday Stealing | Runway

(Sunday Stealing)
1. Five ways to win your heart

  • Be truthful, even when lying is easier and makes you look better
  • Be thoughtful
  • Make me feel special
  • Take out the trash without being asked
  • Love me even when I'm not lovable

2. Something you feel strongly about
Just one thing? Hmmmm ... social injustice and systemic racism. Fine, that's two things, but they are related so that makes them one in my rule book.
3. A book you love
Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Funny story about this book. Mike bought two copies when it was released in July 2015. The plan was that we would read the book together, kind of like our own little book club. Although it sounds romantic, it never happened. I just recently picked the book up again and am loving it. That said? This isn't an easy read, but it is an insightful read. 
4. Five pet peeves

  • Chewing with your mouth open
  • People who are chronically late
  • People who snap their chewing gum
  • Saying “literally” when what is meant is not literal
  • Saying "[insert time] PM in the evening" or "[insert time] AM in the morning"

5. What you ate today

  • Coffee (yes, coffee is food!)
  • Two prepackaged bacon and spinach salads (lunch and dinner)
  • Tempura shrimp
  • A Cracker Barrel cheese dip and pretzels snack pack
  • Vodka (and yes, Vodka is also food!) 

6. How important do you think education is?
I think being educated to the high school graduate level is extremely important, but beyond that? Move to as many places as you can. Experience all that you can. Make yourself uncomfortable. Push your boundaries. In my opinion, these things are far more valuable than a college education.
7. Five people you find attractive
  • James Smith (LL Cool J)
  • Serena Williams
  • George Clooney
  • Dana Owens (Queen Latifah)
  • Will Smith
8. What you wore today
Thank goodness I'm writing this on Saturday since Saturday is usually the only day that I wear anything other than "baller" shorts and a tank top sans bra. Today I wore a sundress!
9. Something you always think “what if” about
GAHHHHH! I hate what if's! I can easily get stuck (and sometimes do) in what if's and then I stop living in the now. So, rather than focus on the answer to this question, I'm going to remind myself that life isn't like writing code - it isn't an if--> then statement. If a what if actually happened, it might negate a good thing that happened in my life, and that would suck. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
10. Something you’re proud of
I have answered this question so many times on this blog I'm not sure I have anything unique left to be proud of. Let's see ... I'm proud of my accepting attitude and my willingness to advocate for the underdog. That's kind of a corny answer, but? It's what you're going to get! 
11. Five items you lust after

  • Financial security
  • Unconditional love
  • Unlimited ability to travel
  • A lifelong (what's left of it anyway) romantic relationship
  • A lifetime supply of Grey Goose Vodka - look, I needed to lighten this up a little bit

12. Five words/phrases that make you laugh

  • Mollycoddle
  • Snollygoster
  • Hemidemisemiquaver 
  • Discombobulate
  • Kerfuffle

13. A quote you try to live by
I'm not a fan (understatement) of "traditional" inspirational quotes. I find them to be ... I don't know ... trite? But this quote? I can get behind this quote.
14. Something you like and dislike about yourself.
The something I dislike about myself list is long, and that is probably the one thing that I dislike most about myself - my lack of self-acceptance. Something I like about myself?? Hmmmm ... my ability to overcome some significant challenges in life and knowing that I have the skill set to continue to do so.

15. A problem that you have had
I'm not sure how to answer this prompt. I mean, life if jam-packed with problems daily. Some of them are minor, like how am I going to manage my work day, and once-in-a-while you get a doozy, like how am I going to wrap up the affairs of my deceased dad. I don't know - life isn't about the problems, it's about being able to address the problems in a way that doesn't make them worse.

14 June 2018

10 Things Thursday

  1. As I continue to navigate the "cutting cable" lifestyle, I'm always looking for MORE FREE TV so 24 Places to Watch Movies Online for Free was a welcome resource. No, you're not going to get the latest greatest movies, but hello??? It's FREE!
  2. Lifehacker recently published a list of their staff's favorite pens, and I was THRILLED to learn that my favorite pen (Pilot G-2 0.7mm) made their list. Look ... pens are important dammit!!
  3. I don't know why Instagram thinks this is a current design trend - we've had this sculpture just outside of Las Vegas for 2 years.
  4. You guys!! You guys!! My favorite homegoods store (IKEA), and my favorite toy (LEGO), just announced a collaboration! This could be the best thing EVER!!!
  5. Did you know that Walmart carries Mid-Century Modern furniture? Yeah ... who'd have thunk it, but it's true!
  6. I normally have a "MEHHH" reaction to celebrity deaths. Kate Spade? Mehhhh ... unfortunate. Anthony Bourdain? YIKES! That one hit me kind of hard. With two celebrity suicides in one week, there has been much (mostly opinion) on the internet. I came across How to Live, According to Anthony Bourdain and it made me *swoon* It's a good read.
  7. After learning of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide, I wrote a stream of consciousness post about suicide. It's in my drafts - not sure it will ever get posted.
  8. I always tell people that if it's free? You're not the customer, you are the product 
    (via xkcd)
  9. Ohhhh IHob ... errrrr ... IHOP. You created such a serious controversy this week. Quite frankly, I think this was marketing GENIUS! What do you think of when you think of IHOP? Pancakes? Breakfast? Yeah ... now they are making you think of something else. 
  10. Did you know there are fake phone numbers you can give out to men who you don't want bothering you? I sure didn't - and my preference would be to just ignore their requests -but here is the list.

12 June 2018

TMI Tuesday | You

(via TMI Tuesday Blog)

1. If you were an ice-cream flavor, what would you be and why?
I would be Unicorn Magic ice cream. Yes, that is a real thing and you can purchase it at Target. Why? Because anyone who has followed me in the past year knows the significance of the unicorn flavor. The real question is, "Would you eat me if I were Unicorn Magic ice cream?" Wait ... what??? *snicker* 

2. What are the best sexy skills you bring to a sexual relationship?
Hmmmmm ... let's go with the fact that I have very few sexual boundaries ... very few. I will try just about anything and as I've discussed before, I don't have a prefered gender, which certainly expands the sexual boundaries quite a bit more.
3. What is the single largest problem causing you angst in your romantic relationship (current or most recent relationship)?
*sigh* I think, ultimately, the root causes of many of the problems Mike and I had were Mike's odd work schedule and my working from home. These two things impacted our communication, our intimacy, our time spent together, our finances - just about every aspect of our relationship. That said, I would bet Mike would tell you a very different story ...
4. What is the best part about being in a relationship with you?
There are lots of good parts to being in a relationship with me, right?? RIGHT??? Top three (in no particular order)? (1) I honor my partners' privacy. I'm not going to open your mail, demand your phone password, go through your personal space ... unless you give me a really good reason to. (2) I am independent financially. Although I do expect an equitable split of/for expenses, you won't have to be responsible for all of them. (3) See the answer to question number 2 *BIG GRIN*
5. What is the biggest misconception that people have about you?
If I had to guess - based solely on feedback I've gotten through the years - I'd say that I am intimidating/unapproachable and unemotional. Neither of these are true ... at all ...
Bonus:  When you look at old photos of yourself, do you like what you see?
Yeah ... ummmmm ... NOOOOO! There have been a few short periods of time when I felt I was physically acceptable, but for ... I don't know ... probably 49 of my 53 years? I've felt physically unacceptable and have done everything I could to not be in photos and not look into mirrors. 

10 June 2018

07 June 2018

10 Things Thursday (Late Edition)

  1. I am a bit of a Pinterest slut. I go on pinning binges, then leave her (yes ... Pinterest is definitely female) high and dry for weeks without letting her know why. Then when I need more of her, I just show up and use her until I'm satisfied. Anyway, THIS is one of the projects that I recently pinned and will likely NEVER be done.
  2. Speaking of binges, this happened yesterday. It's the Seattle skyline with the exact longitude and latitude of my childhood home. I've gotten three tattoos in 7 months. It's probably time to stop for a while or get an intervention.
  3. Did you know that in Japan, many hot springs, public pools, sports clubs and hotels will not allow guests with tattoos? It's true! I read it on the internet. Actually, I did fact check that before posting it. So, if you have tattoos, are visiting Japan, and have a burning desire to go to a public pool, here's a list of tattoo friendly spots.
  4. I loved reading I Will Never be a Well-Behaved Woman written by Janne Robinson. It is filled with morsels of wisdom like, "I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church." It was posted on the ElephantJournal - a must-read for me now.
  5. If I was willing to shovel snow and freeze my ass off for long periods of the year, I might actually consider moving to Vermont where the Governor recently signed a bill into law that pays newcomers a $10,000 grant as a reward for moving to Vermont and working remotely for an out-of-state employer. If it were $25,000? I'd freeze my ass off all year!
  6. Planning a staycation? Here's a list of the best (and worst) cities for a staycations. I guess I'm on a permanent staycation - Las Vegas is number seven.
  7. I am quite the sports fan - I even listen to a significant amount of sports talk radio - so the (FAKE NEWS) story that Fox reported implying the Eagles knelt during the national anthem was a major topic of discussion this week. I am still amazed that 45 *using his name makes me throw up a little in my mouth* believes Fox News is the only news that isn't fake!
  8. The resulting responses from Philly players and Mayor kept me entertained for hours.
  9. So the Miss America pageant is scrapping it's swimsuit competition and claims they, "... will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance." I call BULLSHIT! Let me know when a 5'-6" overweight (and not 5 pounds overweight) woman is crowned Miss America. Then I'll admit I was wrong.
  10. Hey Mike! Did you notice there was no Vanessa Marin content this week?? I'll get back on that next week *wink*

05 June 2018

TMI Tuesday | What kind of person are you?

(via TMI Tuesday Blog)

1. Are you addicted to any social media (twitter, instagram, snapchat, etc.)?
Addicted? Like can't go without visiting [insert your favorite social media platform] for a few days? No! Definitely not, however I do enjoy the connection I feel/get from the internet. I do visit tumblr, twitter, my blog, Kik, and *GASP* Facebook regularly, but I would be (and have been) just fine going "cold turkey" for a few days.
2. You know a secret about someone. What do you do with that information?
a. I keep it to myself
b. I tell my best friend
c. I wait until they hurt me and use it as ammunition
d. I tell everyone I can, I don’t mean to, I just cannot keep a secret
If you need to get a secret off your chest - you need to share it with someone or you'll explode and you want to ensure that no one will ever learn your secret? I am your girl!! I share my own secrets freely. I do not share the secrets of others!
3. You see someone breaking the rules at work, what do you do?
a. Pretend not to see what is going on
b. Inform upper management
c. Advise the co-worker that their actions are frowned upon and can lead to job loss
d. Tell everyone else in the office what you saw
I'm not thrilled with this answer - I wouldn't pretend I wasn't seeing it, but I'm not the work police. It's not my job to be a tattle tale. You want to break the rules at work? Go right on ahead - the risk is yours!
4. A friend has a new hairstyle that is un-becoming, and not really age-appropriate on them. They ask you how they look. What is your reply?
a. You look just fine.
b. You look much better this way.
c. OMG, you look a bit ridiculous.
d. *Silence*
*crickets* And I would really hope they didn't ask me because I don't lie well.
5. How helpful are you at home?
a. I come home and immediately veg out on the couch/bed.
b. I cook and clean a few times a week.
c. I am extremely helpful.
d. I do what I am asked and nothing more.
I am the help at home. I do what needs to be done when it needs to be done (usually) because my knight in shining armour hasn't found me yet.
Bonus: In your opinion, what is the best city in the world? Why?
I just can't with this question. I've lived in MANY cities - west coast - east coast - north - south - out of the country. Nowhere has been perfect, but I can certainly tell you many positive things about every city I've lived in. I don't believe there is a "perfect" city - I believe it is an individual's responsibility to make the city as "perfect" as possible.