Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Go Figure...

Daytime Alka Seltzer Flu/Cold - 6 tablets
Nightime Alka Seltzer Flu/Cold - 2 tablets
Robitussin Cough & Congestion - 2 capfuls
Tylenol Sore Throat - 1 capful
Advil - 8 pills
Having the flu on new years eve..... not so priceless

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kentucky Fried Lies

I’m not much of a fast food person. Usually McDonald’s will make me feel worse than I felt when I was starving enough to actually stomach it. The same is applicable for any other fast food nightmare including but not limited to Wendy’s, Burger King, Hardees or even Taco Bell. Reluctantly, I will admit to this one thing. KFC is my guilty pleasure. The thought of eating the chicken makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little, but the mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and heaven in the form of a biscuit is enough to over rule any bad thoughts of ingesting genetically engineered chicken. I just can’t resist the chicken strips dipped in honey. I’ve been a honey dipping chicken lover my whole life. I would even eat McNuggies from McDonalds if it meant being able to dip it in honey. Really, I don’t even need the chicken, just the honey. The chicken is but merely an accessory for my honey crazed appetite.

So, it was on this KFC lunch run today that I was so blissfully and obliviously eating my genetically engineered chicken dipped in honey when I happened to glance over my half torn packet of honey like goodness. 11% REAL HONEY! Seriously? 11%?? And then it didn’t even list what the other 89% of the ingredients were. 11% is hardly enough of a percentage to call something what it clearly is not. I’m sure glad the chicken doesn’t come in its own sealed packaging; otherwise I may have had to read 11% chicken.

I left what would usually have been a very gratifying lunch feeling empty inside. With the holidays I can’t help but feel as though I had just found out Santa isn’t real. This leaves me to wonder.. What have I been dipping my fake chicken in all these years?

I guess I will just stick to my homemade lunches consisting of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Using honey purchased from the farmers market of course. Au natural.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolution Revolution

In deep pondering over the last few days it has occurred to me that i have unintentionally accomplished my new years resolutions over the last three years.

2006- The year i I resolved to not have a resolution. So i suppose this was an easy one to complete. I'm not sure if it was lack of originality, or just being fed up with being a failure in all my past resolutions. Check!

2007- The year i resolved to quit smoking. I may have checked it off on December 27th of that year, coming in at the last minute and milking every minute as a smoker up until that moment, but nonetheless. Check!

2008- The year i resolved to figure school out. December 22nd, 2008 - Tuition paid in full. Check!

I procrastinate my new years resolutions, but I'll be damned if i haven't actually completed every last three years now that i have come to think of it... err... I guess two years since that first one was kind of a mockery. I have my health in control, i have great friends, greater family, and finally, after putting my life on pause for the last five years i have my future. What is left to resolve for 2009? What I've learned from the past three years is how great it feels to set a goal and finish it, no matter how long it takes.

So without further ado..

2009- I resolve to fully commit. The way i figure, resolutions are nothing short of commitments.

As a chronological experiment, for all of 2009 i will take one picture a day, whatver i feel the day entailed in terms of commitment, and will post to my blog. Should be interesting!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Personality Page Disaster

So, i have been seeing a career counselor. It's a service provided for free through GG since we're losing our jobs. I think it's great. She sends along job postings, completely rewrites your resume and practically writes your cover letters for you, and of course tries to guide you along a career path. Get you through that, "Well what now?" phase. Well, this annoyed me from the beginning because the moment i met her she looked at me like this crazy girl. "You want to go back to school?" "Oh, you want to go back for radiation therapy?" She can't comprehend why someone on my career path in Merchandising would want to give that up and randomly return back to school. I don't fault her for questioning my motives and making sure I'm not taking crazy pills, and in time she did grow to understand me and the fact that the office setting I'm in now is off the beaten path for me from before.

Now from the moment she started with me she wanted me to go to this and take my personality test. It was because "she" wanted to get a good feel for the kind of person i am and therefore what work setting would work better for me and all that goodness. I was strongly opposed to this in the beginning. I know the type of results those type of tests kick out. Half of it yeah, it usually nails it on the spot, then about a quarter of it is questionable, leaving that last quarter to be completely falsified information! So i see her again and she asks, did you ever go take the personality test. Which clearly was no. In her polite little ways she summed it up to being required. I was opposed because i feared for what inevitably happened. Turns out i am an ESTP-The Doer. Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving.

ESTPs are outgoing, straight-shooting types. Enthusiastic and excitable, ESTPs are "doers" who live in the world of action. Blunt, straight-forward risk-takers, they are willing to plunge right into things and get their hands dirty. They live in the here-and-now, and place little importance on introspection or theory. The look at the facts of a situation, quickly decide what should be done, execute the action, and move on to the next thing.

ESTPs have an uncanny ability to perceive people's attitudes and motivations. They pick up on little cues which go completely unnoticed by most other types, such as facial expressions and stance. They're typically a couple of steps ahead of the person they're interacting with. ESTPs use this ability to get what they want out of a situation. Rules and laws are seen as guidelines for behavior, rather than mandates. If the ESTP has decided that something needs to be done, then their "do it and get on with it" attitude takes precendence over the rules. However, the ESTP tends to have their own strong belief in what's right and what's wrong, and will doggedly stick to their principles. The Rules of the Establishment may hold little value to the ESTP, but their own integrity mandates that they will not under any circumstances do something which they feel to be wrong.
ESTPs have a strong flair for drama and style. They're fast-moving, fast-talking people who have an appreciation for the finer things in life. They may be gamblers or spendthrifts. They're usually very good at story telling and improvising. They typically makes things up as they go along, rather than following a plan. They love to have fun, and are fun people to be around. They can sometimes be hurtful to others without being aware of it, as they generally do not know and may not care about the effect their words have on others. It's not that they don't care about people, it's that their decision-making process does not involve taking people's feelings into account. They make decisions based on facts and logic

That all flowed pretty well. Some things nailed me quite perfectly, while other things i had to sit and think. Nonetheless your standard personality test results UNTIL the inevitable, which i had so notably feared. Ready for that last quarter of what i consider falsified info..

The ESTP often has trouble in school, especially higher education which moves into realms where theory is more important. The ESTP gets bored with classes in which they feel they gain no useful material which can be used to get things done. The ESTP may be brilliantly intelligent, but school will be a difficult chore for them.

Oh, well isn't that fanfuckingtastic. BS if you ask me.. Why would these Freudians or whoever concocted this (online let me remind you) standardized personality test even feel the urge to add this in there. Simply to kick one while down? Isn't that just what the career counselor wants to see. Keep in mind this career counselor is the gateway to my future. She can approve or deny my training proposal to request funding from the state to go to school based on losing my job. Not that i wouldn't go if i can't get funded, but it sure would make it that much more easy. A bit peeved if i do say so myself. But then there was this, again, very blackmailing type information for my career counselor...

Possible Career Paths for the ESTP:
Sales Representatives
Marketing Personnel
Police / Detective Work
Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician
PC Technicians or Network Cablers
Computer Technical Support

Sales, Marketing.. this is the path that I'm on. Coincident? Probably. Considering I've been doing that the last five years so of course I'm going to answer questions in relation to those jobs, it's all i know right now. What i was hoping for was something like doctor, caretaker, something that would scream "This girls personality is telling her she's meant to go to school and work in the medical field!!!!"

In the spirit of "doing" i therefore decide to go DO something about it. So, shamefully.... Yes, i flipped through the other profiles until i found the one that best fit what i needed it to be for my career goals. Don't you judge me! No other profiles got low balled the way i did. It doesn't matter anyways as I'm not a very good liar and fell through on telling her which one i tested towards truthfully.

ick. darn morals.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Office

I find the office workplace oddly entertaining. Since I am a fan of people watching, I love observing office interactions. I don’t however love being a part of those interactions. I’m not one to fake an expressed interest in the Stitch & Bitch lunch club, put on a happy face when I’m in a horrible mood, or pretend to ignore what is blatantly obvious. Here are a few of those obvious things that make my office interactions highly amusing:

Exhibit A: The Long Hallway Stride
What are you supposed to do during this? It doesn’t get much more awkward then playing chicken with one of your office mates while walking towards each other down a long straight hallway. I feel like a gun slinger. You both acknowledge each other; you can clearly see each other. But what yardage is it not creepy to nod, wave, or say hello too prematurely? 50 yards, 10 yards.. 5 feet? It’s just weird and I hate it. Then there is the rude split second paths crossing conversation. The one that is like, “Hey, how are you” and before you can answer they’re already around the corner. Thanks for asking! I’ve taken habit to grabbing a print off before walking down any stretch of hallway so I can pretend that I’m looking over my report instead of having to make eye contact for that creepily weird 30 seconds until you’re within reach of each other.

Exhibit B: The Long Goodbye
This pleasurable encounter comes with every last day, which there have been numerous in the recent months. What I love the most is that you can hear your soon to be non co-worker going from cube to cube, row to row, saying their goodbyes. And it’s the same conversation over and over again. Keep in touch. We’ll miss you. Nice working with you. See you at next week’s happy hour. Or if you’re me and take no interest whatsoever in faking relationships it’s more along the lines of “Oh, you’re leaving?" It’s not the typical goodbye banter that gets to me. It’s the how can you tell when the goodbye is over? And how do you end it? There is that brief graceless moment where you don’t know if a hug is appropriate, followed by the straightforward handshake goodbye where you’re worried you might get shaking baby syndrome because they just won’t stop shaking and let go of you. I wish there was a button on my keyboard that I could program to make my phone ring. The Esc button would work! Then before that moment comes, or in the case of today when that moment doesn’t come soon enough, your phone can ring and the encounter abruptly ends right there on the spot.

Exhibit C: The Holiday Potluck
One sentence warrants this explanation. “LAY OFF ME I’M STARVING!” (Great SNL skit with Chris Farley). No, I didn’t bring anything to make and yes, the rules clearly communicated that even though it’s a potluck bringing a dish to pass is not required to participate in the feast. And don’t give me that dirty look when I go back for seconds. I have a thyroid disease and metabolize food rather quickly.

Exhibit D: The Bathroom Exchange
Quite possibly my highest ranked office interaction grievance… Just because we walk in at the same time doesn’t mean you need to talk to me through the stall while I’m releasing the 10 gallons of coffee it took for me to make it through the morning. The same is applicable for while I’m washing my hands. It’s not a pow wow. Let me do my business and be on my way and if you still feel the urge, pop over to my cube to chat. There is a time and place people!

Exhibit E: The Reply All Addict
Your Mailbox Is Over It’s Size Limit! Or so it is now in the time it took for me to go to the bathroom and come back to my desk to find 75 new unopened emails all containing the same subject line. Now I have to admit, I am an abuser of the reply all function. When it is work related! Not so much when a Thank You goes out to all who participated in the holiday potluck and all 80 employees feel the need to chime in with a reply all of some witty remark that outdoes the prior. These crazed maniacs are already starting to plan the next event, via the storage space in my inbox. Join the employee committee if you feel like a taco bar would be the next great thing. But at least let me digest my multiple servings from the potluck before I go thinking about the next free food event I will inevitably raid.

To be quite honest, the list could go on. These are all just a few that I have already experienced today, in that order. Let me add that it’s only 1pm. I leave you with this. If I have to be in one more group picture for the company newsletter, I may throw up in my mouth. I tried really hard this time to play the role of Where’s Waldo, and to my surprise it was a success! I managed to be the only one who managed to stay hidden!!
Happy Friday!!

My Hall Of Fame

So Ive been a bit down and out over my under confidence as a blogger. Today I've been reading so many amazingly written and interesting blogs that i feel like i will never be on par. I have even taken it as far as googling blogging tips. Among my many findings is to try to post something everyday to keep your readers interested and checking back for more. Now, you may notice that this is my second post in one day, so i may be a bit over ambitious with this advice, but that was earlier in the day while i was hard at work (err....hardly working).

I also found that readers enjoy viewing pictures. AHA! In an attempt to boost my confidence I have decided to share with you some of what i consider my best work with my aspiring photography hobby.

[ Farmers Market- Minneapolis, MN]

[Engagement Portraits- St. Paul, MN]

~I hope you enjoyed these as much as i enjoyed taking them~

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Contemplation & Revelations

I have always taken pride in knowing exactly who I am. From an early age I had a sense of self awareness and never had to go through that awkward stage of finding yourself. I never understood that. Why would I need to look for myself, I’m right here! I remember Jon saying to me early on that he loves how I’m not afraid to be myself. My response to him was who else would I be?

Why then can I not seem to find myself in this strange world of blogging? I try to be charming and amusing. I know I can count my readers on one hand, but I hope to someday have the type of interesting content to attract strange, a.k.a. randoms. Lord knows I was great at attracting double digit strange back in my younger self destructive years! I know my life now is not the type of life one may strive to live vicariously through, but it’s my life and I’m quite fond of it and all of its idiosyncrasies. In trying to compose my last couple of blogs I have struggled with even amusing myself. Entertainment doesn’t flow naturally out of me onto the keyboard. What does come natural to me though is observation, contemplation and revelations. Maybe I’ll take a “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy” approach.

Nonetheless, I’m not sure what my goal was when starting this blog. At first I thought it may be a way to provide an update on our daily life to my friends or even a diary type thing to look back and reflect upon, but I’ve found myself more often than not drafting up a post only to delete it because I didn’t think it would be amusing enough for anyone to read. Maybe my personal contemplations will lead others to seek out the answers to their own questions in life. Regardless, I hope what few readers I have will bear with me during my path of inner blogness. Whether it is a quick update, funny story, or epiphany type entry, someday this blog will have a recurring feel to it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Change Gonna come

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will
-Sam Cooke-

I can't say it any better than Sam Cooke's legendary lyrics. A change is gonna come. I've always sought a bit of solace in the unknown and unpredictable. Let me remind you of course that this is coming from the girl who decided to run away 500 plus miles with a boy she'd known for 2 months. CRAZY, i know (after the fact). Life doesn't get much more incredibly unpredictable than that.

The daunting thing is that finally, after 5 years, it feels like home here. We've made a tight circle of friends, know our way around, and have done good at exploring the endless possibilities of things to do around here. I know i will have to leave this all behind once i start my clinical training the summer of 2010. I guess 15% isn't entirely bad odds. That's the 15% chance i have of being placed in Minnesota. The other 85% odds have us ending up in Georgia or Alaska, or maybe Texas. I think about packing up and moving out and that excitement is back. I know i will never be able to survive far from family, but if I'm really doing something with my life and have purpose in it, i think that it would make it easier. I can't say now what things will work out to be, and i enjoy that. I enjoy not knowing again.

There've been times that I've thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come
-Sam Cooke-

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Giving Of Thanks

So, here goes nothing with the Thanksgiving blog! Megan flew in and was here in what took a short 1 1/2 hours. Mom and Bridget drove for 9 hours. There is a huge amount of injustice in those two numbers. Those 9 hours were filled with phone calls that went something of this sort.

Birdo: Are there literally only county roads through Wisconsin?
Me: Yes, it's Wisconsin! What did you expect?
Mom: (Hollering in the background) Rocky & I never took these roads, I think we're going the wrong way.
Me: What does your GPS say?
Birdo: It says to stay on this road.

Poor Birdo, she can’t figure out how to follow a GPS. Flash forward 6 or 7 hours later while they're still driving and in that time that they've driven Megan & I have done some shopping, drank a little, watched the SNL skit of JT & Beyonce dancing to “Single Ladies” probably 20 times and even took R-rated pictures with our turkey. They were getting closer and so I decided to call for a check in. Now, before they embarked on their trip I gave Bridget our address to punch into "Garmina", her GPS. Apparently Garmina couldn't locate Stratton Ave., which is fine because that is only our address because that is where our mailbox is. We actually live on Rolling Hills Rd. Many a pizza delivery guy has been had by this tomfoolery. So I told her to punch in Rolling Hills Rd. and it had her coming in on the back way so I said when you get close call me and I’ll just tell you how to get here, its super easy. So the time was now and this is a snippet of what proved for Bridget to be too difficult of a conversation. Apparently the ability for her to think and drive is like her walking and chewing bubble gum.. Poor Vertigo!

Me: Ok, so all you have to do is instead of taking that last left on Prairie Lakes Dr., go through the light and take the very next Left onto Rolling Hills.
Birdo: Just wait until I’m off my exit and tell me then, I’m not going to remember. You're going to get me all screwed up.
Me: It's not that hard.. Just don't take the last left. Instead go straight and take the very next left.
Birdo: I can't talk right now, this is confusing me.

She still took that first left and came around the back way and got a little lost amongst the townhomes. But in about 9 1/2 hours they made it!

Thanksgiving Day was a huge success. We spent the morning preparing our Happy Appy’s while Jon played Tiger Woods Golf. We had quite the spread and feasted on everything the remainder of the day. Those little sliders Bridget made were a cosmic piece of heaven.

After the app’s were made and the Turkey was in we opened the wine and let the drinking begin. We must have gotten a bit too comfortable with the wine because sooner than we knew it the oven was dinging and the turkey was ready but we had forgotten to prepare anything else! While Jon took the turkey out and made a half-a**ed attempt to carve it using what was practically a butter knife, Megan scrambled to put the green bean casserole together, Mom started boiling the potatoes (yes, we even forgot to start the potatoes), and I got the Sweet Potatoes ready. Now at this point one might want to flash back to last years episode of Thanksgiving featuring Danielle and I with her frantically yelling “RYAN, THERE’S A FIRE IN THE OVEN!” I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because the marshmallows puffed over the edge. Although there was no official fire like last year, it did make a smoky gooey mess all over our oven and pot holders.

By the time the turkey was carved our dishes were heated up, potatoes mashed, and vegetables were nuked and it was time to eat! Within 5 minutes we were legitimate candidates for over eaters anonymous and victims of the tryptophan. We sat around the table ready to burst, almost falling asleep and played with our food some. Too bad we were too full to eat the two pies I baked.. Ok, they were frozen, but nonetheless.

Hooray for my first successful hosted Turkey dinner!!

I think the best part of Thanksgiving was later that night when we broke out the WII-Fit. Mom schooled Birdo in almost every game, although again she can’t be faulted because it’s the vertigo! And in the background of all the WII madness Stella spent like 10 minutes trying to puke up the abundance of turkey she had managed to beg out of everyone and Megan can be heard gagging in the background. I have video footage supporting this scene, it is quite hilarious.

Black Friday was spent shopping. Megan being the ambitious excited Black Friday shopper that she is woke up at 5am, WALKED across the street to the mall for the one holiday item that is on sale at every single retail store for the same price, a $99 Tom Tom GPS. Why she felt compelled to do this and thought the sale might run out at a random Radio Shack located inside a mall is beyond me. 6 hours later they still had racks full of them at Best Buy. Poor Meg Meg’s just wanted to be a part of the mystique that is black Friday shopping, those 5am door buster deals. I wish I had been awake to witness the blessed event. Her describing walking back down the hill to our house with the morning frost setting in and almost falling on her arse was quite the funny story. One lesson learned from the shopping day extravaganza is to never go to an Ikea with Bridget. This doesn’t even merit an explanation. Just imagine the most annoying shopper who has to take her time and look at EVERYTHING and put her in a massive 50,000 or so square foot store. Enough said.

For now I think this blog is lengthy enough. I will leave you with this. Sunday on their departure Bridget needed gas and stressing out about veering off route to get gas, even though she knows Garmina will re-route her, i so kindly lead them out in my car. She still ended up going the wrong way even with me leading her and a GPS navigation telling her which way to go! Stay tuned for the continuation with a guest appearance by Bonny, “Let the planning begin."

Happy Holidays! Love ~Jon, Heather and Stella~

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

vous comprenez le français

Pendant notre voyage plus récent vers la France j'ai pris un peu de la langue maternelle. Ne comprenez-vous pas le français?

While there is much to be blogged about in regards to Thanksgiving weekend, i felt as though i should share some pictures from Jon and I's most recent rendezvous. Call it a destination wedding, our honeymoon, or even delusional. I call it fun had with my Siswa's and mom after a successful day of wedding dress shopping!

Bonjour from the Eiffel Tower!

Streets of France

Villa Canopy