Sunday, December 29, 2013

Return of the Belly Rub

Last Monday night, Blondie and I celebrated our own Xmas by heading up to Esca, Mario Batali's seafood restaurant. It started off funny - a family was there (2 kids, parents) and the kids were rating their meals quite loudly: "Mom! Your bass was a 10 but my cod was only a 3!" They were so annoying and I couldn't focus on anything but them, which made me annoying to Blondie. But about 15 minutes after we were seated, they left and the rest of the night was a blast. We ate so much food that night - I started with ahi carpacio (I could've made my whole meal this), and then we split baked clams with bacon and apples, and a big bowl of seafood soup; and then we split some spaghetti with mint and lobster, and then ended with blackfish for Blondie and a whole baked fish for me (I can't remember which kind) and a bunch of veg.

Tuesday I worked from home along with Blondie but really I just ran a bunch of errands. I started out with a trip down the street to buy stuff for a meat and cheese platter, and then it was over to our vet's to get some prescription cat food for Tigga, and then a stop at the bank. Then I hit up Amish Market to get some prosciutto to finish the meat and cheese platter. Then I noticed I had missed a text from Blondie and he was in the area also getting a haircut, so I went and sat with him until he finished. Then we did some white elephant gift shopping before hitting up Duane Reade for wrapping paper. Then a trip to Blondie's bank and a stop at the liquor store, before heading home to crash hard. It was about 3 miles of walking carrying a ton of bags - my workout for the day.

We spent the rest of Tuesday being lazy before meeting up with our local group on Tuesday night at the bar. It was good getting to see everyone, and we cranked some Xmas tunes on their jukebox - then I got bored with Xmas tunes so segued that into some metal music before we went home around 9 pm. We had been making a beef stew that wasn't going to be ready until almost midnight that night so we stopped at 7-11 for snacks before settling in and watching a bunch of TV.

And then it was Wednesday - we had been going to meet a couple of our bar friends for a movie and McDonald's for breakfast to start our day, but Blondie had an upset stomach and I didn't want to leave him on Xmas. Instead we chilled out, unwrapped gifts from my mom and sister, and generally had a quiet morning in. Xmas afternoon and evening was spent at one of our bar friend's apartments. He has a penthouse apartment overlooking, well, everything. It was pretty freaking amazing. His wife did all the cooking, and we brought chicken wings and meat and cheese platter. It was a day filled with friends and food. We ended the night by our white elephant swap (I got a giant flask and Blondie got a Budweiser stein and scratch-offs) and then playing a ton of Cards Against Humanity.

Thursday was spent all day at the animal hospital. I took Tigga in at 8 am and told them I just was going to stay the day until he was done. I wasn't the only one who stayed also - 8 to 9 am at the animal hospital is drop-off time (pets getting chemo, surgery, procedures, etc), and some others stayed until their pet was finished. I was so nervous about Tigga - scared of what they would find, etc. The vet technician talked to me first - walked me through what they were going to do that day and the cost (hint: not cheap), and then the vet came out before they started work. She told me that Tigga had actually gained a tiny bit of weight (!!!) And then she came out around 1:15 pm to tell me they were done - that Tigga was being held for a few more hours until he was completely out of sedation but that he did great with no complications. At that point, I knew I couldn't wait a few more hours - I'd be bugging them every 15 minutes to give me my cat back. So I headed a few blocks down the street for some margaritas and queso. I made it about 1 hour, 15 minutes, and then headed back and asked for him. To their credit, they gave him to me right away - he came out in his carrier just growling at everyone. It was so freaking funny! We find out in 5-7 days about the results - if cancer, we start chemo. If the results are not definite, we just start steroids.

Thurs night was spent monitoring Tigga - they had said to only give him half his food for the day so we started with just a little bit of food, but he was frantic, knocking his dish around in the kitchen so eventually we just fed him. They also said he might not poop for 2-3 days (they were messing around in his GI tract for his endoscopy so they had given him medication to slow his GI tract down), but I shit you not (hehe) - the next morning he had already pooped 5 times. He also looks pretty punk - he's been getting his fur shaved off in random places for all the procedures. His chest, his belly, his right front leg, half the bottom of his right foot - he looks bad ass.

Friday came and Blondie had packed up to head to the land of cheese for a few days. While he was saying goodbye, Tigga came out and did his "move". The move entails standing on all 4 paws (i.e. his butt not on the ground) and then slowly starting to turn his head over so eventually the top of his head is at the floor, and then flipping his entire body so his belly shows so you have to give him belly rubs. It hit me that it was the first time in months we had seen the move! This has to mean Tigga is feeling better - sooooo relieved. Hopefully between the deworming medication (he didn't have worms, they were just trying to kill any parasites in his system), anti-biotics, and B12 shots, he's starting to feel normal again!

Friday and Saturday were spent doing nothing - it was amazing. I went and got food when Blondie left on Friday and then didn't leave the apartment again. It was everything I dreamed it could be. Today I'm meeting my female bar friends for girls day. We are going to do lunch and then hit up a wine bar. Which means I've got to get up and get showered very soon.

Hope everyone had a great holiday, and an early happy new years!


Monday, December 23, 2013

A Whole Lot Of Nada

Last week was... weird? I spent the entire week in NJ, but with the exception of Tuesday night, I got to spend every night in my own bed. My week started off with a trip to my site to do some manual work in preparation for user training that was happening Tues-Fri. I went with 2 coworkers whom I really enjoy - got to the site around 8:30 am and was done by 4 pm, with a 1.5 hour lunch tossed into the mix. I was home that night by 6 pm which rocked.

Tuesday started training - it's always terrifying and stressful for me during trainings as that's the first time users get to start work on our product. Typically users don't see it beforehand as higher ups make the "buy decision", so you really really really want things to go smoothly. And they did. I caught a 6:00 am train out to the site (ugh 5 am wake up call) and then was so relieved when everything worked as it should. I did drinks and dinner with a bunch of coworkers that night - I went with the team from the site I was at. We had the team still working at the NJ/PA border site drive in also, and just had a blast. I ended up crashing Tuesday night in the city where we were at because a massive snow storm was blowing through and I just didn't have the energy to get home. Yay last minute $300 hotel room that I didn't get approved ahead of time - I'm sure that's going to bite me in the ass.

Wednesday was a good/bad day. Training was still going well, but I had gotten the call from the vet about the results of Tigga's tests. No liver cancer (!!!!) and his heart murmur is not an issue (!!!!) BUT (and you knew this was coming), his liver is inflamed and he is not absorbing B12 properly which is why he's losing weight. The reason his liver is inflamed and he's not absorbing B12 is either bowel disease or GI lymphoma. They gave us 3 options for next steps - 1) invasive surgery where they cut out a piece of his intestine (it's the only way to definitively diagnose cancer / bowel disease); 2) endoscopy of his upper intestine (sometimes they can diagnose from that, sometimes they can't); 3) do nothing - change his diet, put him on steroids, hope for the best. If it's bowel disease, steroids will heal him. If it's lymphoma, steroids will mask his symptoms and make it look like he's getting better when he's not - and diagnosing lymphoma after steroid usage is almost impossible.

Thurs and Fri were more of the same - 5 am wake up calls, 6 am trains, and some training. I was feeling less stressed each day and by the end, I was mostly just ready to be done. Friday night we drug ourselves to our local bar to celebrate one of our bar friends birthdays. We had many drinks and then wandered up the street for a nice dinner and more drinks. After dinner, I was so tired I could barely see straight so it was back home to crash out.

Saturday I decided to not do anything and Blondie was in. I was lazing in sweatpants and watching TV Saturday afternoon when my phone beeped - it was one of my besties from the office whom I hadn't seen since before Thanksgiving (simply b/c I haven't been in the office - 4 weeks of traveling, wat wat). He was having a small party and invited me and Blondie over. We talked it over and decided to go - made the trek out to Brooklyn Saturday night and had a blast. My friend mixed us some super strong drinks, and his friends were pretty cool. One of his friends even lives in our hood, so maybe we'll run into him sometime.

Yesterday was also cool. We finally made the decision to take Tigga in for an endoscopy. We also ordered his prescription cat food online and started him on anti-biotics. He goes in Thurs for the procedure. I'm taking the day off from work and I'm going to sit in the hospital until it's done and I can bring him home. If they can't diagnose definitively after the endoscopy, we've made the decision to put him on steroids and have no more procedures done. After we made the decision and got the appt set up, we walked up and met all of our bar friends (6 of them) to see Anchorman 2. OMG - FUNNY. SO FUNNY.

After the movie, it was back to Pony Bar where my old boss met up with us for lunch and many beers. My old boss is amazing - she brought me a bottle of Ron Burgundy Scotch (no joke) and a ton of gummy bears from Dylan's Candy Bar. We spent all afternoon just catching up and chatting, and then it was back to our local for beers to end the evening.

Today I went into work for a few hours - mostly to get them to approve my expense reports. They owed me quite a bit of money so I finally got them to look at and approve - as soon as that happened, I was like "day over". I then went to lunch with my coworkers and then headed home. Tonight Blondie and I are hitting up Esca for a nice dinner for our own Xmas celebration.

Hope everyone has a great holidays, and please keep Tigga in your thoughts.

Scotchy Scotch Scotch

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sick Kitty

Last week went pretty well. It started with a trip out to the NJ/PA border. We went out on Sunday night in the middle of a snow storm. My group left from the office and it took us awhile to get out there due to the weather. We woke up Monday morning to find out our 3rd party site had been closed due to the weather. We talked to the team anyway, and they said we could still get into the building. So my group headed over anyway and did a lot of little tasks we had left, before leaving around 3 pm for a hibachi / beer lunch.

Tuesday was pretty much the same - the site closed again due to weather. This time though the snow was falling pretty heavily (whereas the day before, the roads had been crap but no snow). We ended up taking my group to breakfast and then driving to another NJ site we have - we worked all day long there, and ended up finding a major issue that we had to resolve this weekend - so it was good we made the trip.

Wednesday our site was open - we went in to launch a few small projects, and then the team started leaving. We had planned a fall off in support because we were supposed to get the bulk of our work done on Monday and Tuesday. We moved everything we had planned to Friday instead, and then I split the remainder of the people up on Friday to support the small launches (I got stuck with one on my own which we try to never do). Anyway, on Wednesday night, I rode back to Newark with the group and picked up a car. I ended up driving for the first time in about 8 years this past week. The person that was left with me for Thurs and Fri is a native NY'er and does not have a license. So yeah, it was me.

I hate driving. I was never good at it, and I had a tendency to road rage at everything. I had terror sweats all week when I realized I was going to have to drive. I'll spare you the surprise and tell you that both my colleague and I are still alive, and the car was left in 1 piece.

Thursday was an extremely quiet day - the highlight being an awesome Irish bar we found about 5 minutes from our hotel. Seriously - I had a lamb stew that rocked my world. The lowlight being we got Tigga's test results back. At first it sounded good - everything she could test for with blood, she had tested and all looked good (no thyroid problems, no kidney problems, no diabetes). Then she said that she was pretty sure this was GI lymphoma - he has an elevated liver enzyme, and it turns out that's an indicator of this.

And Friday was insane - in addition to all the small project launches we had, I was still dealing with the fallout from the other NJ site. I had to carve bits of time all day long in order to get on phone calls with the other NJ site to walk them through what we had seen. They ended up having to do a pretty big upgrade on Friday night to resolve the issue.

On our way back to Newark Airport to drop the car off on Friday, I got us turned around and ended up in downtown Newark. On a Friday night. In rush hour. OMG - such a horrible driver. And then we dumped the car and I've never been so happy in my life. I ended up training back to the city and getting home around 6 pm. Blondie and I took it easy on Friday night because I was exhausted.

Saturday was nice - we had yet another massive snowstorm hit the city. We took advantage of it and walked up in the snow to our grocery, and then made a huge egg and vegetable fry up for the morning. I lazed around all day, and talked myself into and out of going to a friend's party at his apartment (simply because the roads were so bad). I did end up going (Blondie had a friend in town so he couldn't join me) and ended up having a total blast. My friend is from my old job, and he got engaged recently so it was their engagement party. I saw a ton of my old coworkers, drank my ass off (they hired a bartender), and before I realized it, it was 2 am and I was heading home.

Today was spent at a specialty vet clinic. We took Tigga in for an ultrasound of his GI tract. They noted a thickening in his intestine and found some spots on his liver that they need to test. Also, he has a heart murmur. He goes in tomorrow all day and is getting an ultrasound of his heart to see how bad his murmur is, as well as they are pulling out some of the cells they spotted on his liver. If this is lymphoma, his time left is not much. This is breaking my heart. He comes home with us tomorrow night regardless - and we'll know either Tues or Wed what his diagnosis is.

Tomorrow for me will be spent in my NJ site all day - but while I'll be physically there, my heart will be with my buddy in NY. The work I have to do is completely manual - which is the best case for having to be at a 3rd party site while I'm worried about my cat. Keep him in your thoughts.


Sunday, December 08, 2013

See Last Week's Title

I'm coming off a very busy, very emotional week. Yay you - you get to read about it.

I met my coworkers last Sunday night at the office to leave for NJ/PA border from there. We met around 6:30 pm and were out to where we were staying around 8 pm. We immediately went for dinner and started planning out our work days so that we wouldn't be fumbling on Monday. And went to the site on Monday - to find out that we had more than fumbled already. Details are work specific so I won't go into them, but Monday was the start of a horrible week.

We recovered slightly on Tuesday - we went in, did a demo which went well, and then dug back into the work we were there for. We had a small project launch to support on Tuesday also, so I split the team up and took the more senior members with me for that, and left the junior members on the other stuff. That went extremely well which was nice - so we left the site on Tuesday on a high. We also sent back half the team on Tuesday as we finished the bulk of the work we were there to do.

While at dinner on Tuesday night, an email got sent out from someone who had been at the site on Monday - again, work details. But it threw us into a complete tailspin. We debated about what to do with the email (as it had been sent to a really small group) and ended up forwarding it on - and asking our bosses to jump in. I got back to the hotel that night, and when I called Blondie, as soon as I heard his voice, the water works started. So much stuff has happened that I don't talk about on the blog in regards to work, and it all kind of came together on Tuesday night, and once I started crying, I couldn't stop. Poor Blondie - that guy had to listen to me for an hour; but I'm glad he did because I felt loads better when I hung up the phone.

Wednesday was a lot better - work was back on track, and the 3rd party company decided to hold a meeting on Friday which meant we didn't have to be onsite on Friday. And Thursday we went in, hauled ass through the day, and got out at a reasonable time. Traffic back to NYC was fairly light, and I was home by 4:15 pm.

Friday was my first office day in about 2 weeks - it went super fast, so much stuff to do. I have this project I'm on now, and a new one gearing up, so it was a go-go-go day. I ended up talking with my VP for a long time on Friday - I felt like I should've felt better after the meeting about what had gone on that week, but I didn't.

Yesterday I was up at 2:45 am and couldn't get back to sleep until 6:15 am. Awesome. Old people get insomnia. I'm old. Therefore I have insomnia. When I did wake back up, I started doing some research on vets. Tigga has gotten pretty thin over the past few months, and I have put off taking him to the vet, but decided on Saturday to bite the bullet. I didn't ever get the "warm and fuzzies" from his old vet, so I also decided to find him a new one.

Why do I love NYC so much? IN HOME VET SERVICE! I found a vet who is a cat person (she did cat rescue in Miami and that's when she decided to go to veterinary school) who does house calls. I sent her an email yesterday and she responded last night offering to come by today - fast service, in home service. I'm kicking my ass for not calling her sooner. Anyhow, she came by this morning - she had a real good touch with Tigga, a real way of getting him to do what she needed him to do without stressing him out. She told us she suspsects he's either diabetic, has a kidney problem, or has cancer - he's lost about 4.5 lbs since his biggest which is a concern. She pretty much ruled out diabetes by pulling his urine - said it didn't look like the urine of a cat with diabetes (I guess that urine is extremely watery looking and Tigga has normal urine). But she's pulled the blood and everything else to test for the rest of the issues. This was one of the best vet experiences we've had, and even if it turns out to be something major with Tigga, I'm so glad we did this visit and I'm so glad we did it in our house.

I side tracked myself - back to Saturday, we spent most of the day laying in bed. I took 2 naps to make up for my early 2:45 am rise time. And then we ordered in wine and Thai food last night for dinner while watching The Campaign <- great movie, if you like Will Farrell, you will love this.

Today, oh today. Maybe a Pony Bar run this afternoon. We're waiting for our groceries now. And I've got to pack. Yep, that's right - leaving again today for the NJ/PA border. I'm onsite all week this week, and then I'm onsite all week next week at one of our other NJ sites (should be close enough to come home most nights though). I said goodbye to my boss on Friday until 2014 - I'm not in need of a break from work, but I'm in need of a break from travel.

All right party people - keep Tigga in your thoughts, and hope he's healthy; we're not ready to go through the loss of a pet again.


Sunday, December 01, 2013

And away we go... part 259039(?)

So I ended up spending 36 hours in McAllen. It was kind of random. I got to LaGuardia last weekend and realized that *every single flight* to DFW was cancelled except for mine. And I almost cried a little - if mine had cancelled, I would've just gone home and hung out with Blondie. It turns out that checking the weather report is a good idea, and if I had done that, I would've seen that TX was getting nailed with a massive storm - a massive storm that was headed straight towards NYC. Anyway, my coworker showed up then and told me that our flight to McAllen was already cancelled out of DFW but we decided to go ahead and fly down and see what we could come up with when we got to DFW.

Flight was nice - very turbulent, but on time and fast-ish. When we got to DFW, we went to the rebooking desk and they put us on a flight to San Antonio, and we figured we could drive from there (4 hours). We plopped down at a mexican restaurant in the airport and then got pinged by 2 other coworkers who were flying in from FL. They had been on our McAllen flight too and then switched to a Corpus Christi flight- I ran back down to rebooking desk and got me and my NY coworker on the last 2 seats to Corpus. A shit ton of margaritas then ensued at the mexican restaurant (since I knew I wouldn't have to drive) before we all met up and got on our flight together. It was a 2.5 hour drive after we landed in Corpus, putting us into McAllen at 2 am (11 hours of traveling).

Work was okay - what we had gone down for had not been cleared by the "higher ups" with all appropriate parties - so while some people knew we were coming, others didn't - and the bulk of our work was cancelled. We did spend Monday doing what we could - and I also got my flight on Tuesday moved extremely early so that I would miss the bulk of the storm hitting NYC. Monday night we hit up an awesome restaurant for food before moving onto a bar and playing Jenga and drinking beers until midnight. And Tuesday it was a 6 am flight to DFW before catching my flight home to NYC. I got to my apartment at 2:30 pm ish, and just collapsed from exhaustion.

*** The good news is I fell in love with McAllen. I lived in TX for 8 years and I thought I knew border towns - I had been to enough of them - and I typically don't like them. But McAllen, something about it. My coworkers all agreed too - and as a matter of fact, some of them beg for the McAllen site when it's time to do work down there they love it so much.

Tuesday night I was asleep by 7:30 pm and Wednesday I got to WFH. I did some wine shopping in the morning and then stopped at the pet store for new cat food to try and keep our cat eating something (Fussie Kittie cat food FTW!) My bar friend and I were going to meet up for lunch and beers at 2 pm ish, but she had to bail so instead I walked up and met some coworkers for beers and burritos. After that, we started bar hopping our way around the area - hitting up a bar in Times Square, followed by Pony Bar, followed by a bourbon bar down the street from Pony, followed by dinner at a new food court area by my apartment, followed by my local bar. Ugh. Many shots ensued at my local bar...

Which leads to Thurs being BLAH. I was dozing/nauseous until about 3 pm, and then finally got in the shower. We then headed over to my bar friends' apartment where we started drinking and eating again. We were joined by their roommates along with one of the other regulars from the bar. We had a great night - the food was amazing, the company was excellent, the Cards Against Humanity was hysterical, and the dog was farty (their bulldog was eating everything he could get his teeth on which led to some horrible gas).

Friday we took it easy - I went and bought more cat food (my cat won't eat straight tuna anymore but give him tuna and shrimps with gravy cat food and he eats it like he's never eaten a meal before in his life) and some stuff to make bran muffins for Blondie. I actually baked the bran muffins on Friday and then we snacked on them all day. And we ended our night by hitting up our local bar, doing yet more shots with everyone, before heading home to order pizza, eat junk food and watch TV.

Yesterday we celebrated by doing NOTHING. Literally. I watched The Conjuring (good movie) and napped. Blondie worked and then played video games. And today we're headed to lunch soon and then I have to pack because I'm off to NJ/PA border for the rest of the week. I'm meeting some coworkers at 6 pm and we're driving out to spend the week there. The good news is I don't have to fly. The bad news is I'm tired.

What I'm thankful for this year:
1) Blondie and Tigga - a shout out to my family. Love them both so much. My favorite part of any day is when Blondie and I curl up in bed together and then the cat forces his way somewhere in between - my heart smiles when this happens.
2) NYC!!!!!! Always and forever.
3) Broadway!!! Always and forever and forever.
4) My extended family - KY, WI, AK, IN, WA, PA - love you all! Glad I got to see so many of you this year!
5) Travel - thank god I like to travel, because I've spent most of my year on the road.
6) My friends - from my bar friends to my work friends to my friend friends - glad you all are in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

And away we go

Really good, really busy week. It's holiday time, and that means my weeks are about to be jam packed. I love it - I hate holidays but I love having a lot of stuff to do.

Last Sunday, Blondie and I met up with one of our bar friends to watch the Saints / SF game - we hit up our "nacho bar" and spent an hour-ish there, before my SF friend called. She had landed and was ready to come out! We left the "nacho bar" - it's always super crowded and loud - and headed to our local, where we caught up with her for a bit. Then Blondie headed home, but her and I headed to poison bar to finish watching the SNF game - I think I got home around midnight. I hadn't seen this friend in a long time, so it was really good getting to catch up with her.

Monday I woke up with a massive headache - I went to work anyway, and it just got progressively worse throughout the morning. Around lunchtime, both eyes were teared up b/c my head hurt so bad, so I finally went home and doped myself up and went straight to bed for 3 hours. It was Tuesday afternoon though before my head finally felt 100% better.

Wednesday was an excellent day. Back in August, David Sedaris listed Carnegie Hall as one of his tour stops, so I bought me and Blondie tickets, and the show was that day. I was excited all day long for this - I've read his work for YEARS now, so getting to see him in person was fantastic. I decided to "pre-show" with some of my work friends, so Blondie came and joined us - it's freezing in NYC right now, but we decided to do a rooftop bar anyway and actually had a really good time. After drinks, Blondie and I walked up to Carnegie Hall and laughed our way through the show. David Sedaris talked for 1 hour, 45 minutes, but time went so fast that when he ended, I was a little pissed b/c I literally thought it had only been 30 minutes or so.

Thursday I met up with my old boss and 2 coworkers for dinner and drinks. I walked back over to my old side of town after work let out, and met them at a mexican restaurant for margaritas. Dinner was a lot of fun - there is massive upheaval at my old job (my old VP quit, and my old boss and my BFF from work were both in the running for the role) so listening to them talk about it all made me so happy I don't work there anymore. After a really long dinner, we hit up BXL for some beers and finishing up the night. I got home around 2 am, which is a super late night for me anymore.

And Friday... oh Friday. I had planned a team offsite, with my boss' permission, for Friday afternoon. We've had a bit of downtime lately at my job so I thought we could take advantage of it. So I got to work a little early so that I wouldn't feel guilty leaving early, but then my friends and I decided to hit up Momofuku Milk Bar for Thanksgiving croissants. Unfortunately they had sold out already, but that was an hour walking up, then getting coffee, and then walking back. Then I did lunch with some friends and was gone for another hour. And then I came back to find out that the downtime period had ended - we had gotten permission to go full force again (long story, won't bore with details). And to celebrate this news, they had scheduled an impromptu company happy hour at the same place I had scheduled our team offsite.

My team went ahead and went up early though to the bar - we got there about 1.5 hours before everyone else. And then the party started. It was just a lot of laughing and fun, a lot of relief to be honest. And then my boss popped by around 7 pm, and asked me to fly to McAllen, TX, for a few days to help assist with a project down there (not mine, but the PM on it is already on vacation). McAllen is on the TX / Mexico border so it is FAR SOUTH. I said I could do it, so I'm off this afternoon for 2 days (back on Tuesday). The party ended around 11 pm on Friday night and I headed home, ate dinner, said hi to Blondie and went straight to bed.

Yesterday was also an awesome day - I had to head back to work to pick up my laptop for my trip. Then I met Blondie and one of my bar friends to see "The Winslow Boy" on Broadway - she had gotten comped tickets, so we didn't have to pay. It was a really great play - it surrounds a young kid in 1914 England who gets kicked out of military academy for stealing - and the aftermath and how is family dealt with it. It was a serious play but with just enough funny one-liners to make it not feel like a drag. After the play, we headed back to our local and met up with all our friends for a few drinks to end our day.

Today I was up and at 'em early. I had to do a ton of laundry so I can actually take my work trip today and have clean clothes. I have to leave in a few hours for the airport (9 hours of traveling on planes ahead of me - joy). The good news is that my flight back is all 1st class. The bad news is I don't want to go anywhere today. It's cold here and the cat is curled up with me, and I just want to stay like that all day long.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

No excuses

Recap time!!! Going to try and cram 6 weeks worth of activity into 1 blog post. Wooty woot woot! In order of what has happened - Las Vegas, Atlantic City, my mom and sis visiting, my bday / BFF visiting, Raleigh, Raleigh. UGH.

Blondie and I decided to renew our vows for our 10 year wedding anniversary in Vegas - we got married in Vegas so it seemed appropriate to renew vows there. Our flight out was surprisingly dead - we actually got to spread out a bit which for a 6 hour flight was awesome! We stayed at Cosmopolitan - and when we walked into our room, we were blown away. Blondie had forked over the cash for a pretty sick suite - the place was far bigger than our apartment in the city. We had a wrap around terrace overlooking the fountains at Bellagio (3 doors led out of our suite onto the terrace, that's how "wrap aroundy" the terrace was), 2 bathrooms, a laundry room, a full kitchen, a living room and dining area, and the most massive master bedroom I've seen.

While we were tearing through our suite on the first night, we heard a knock at the door - we both kind of looked at each other and then we saw the doorknob start to turn so Blondie went and answered it - and it turns out that our 3 bar friends from NYC had gotten together and had a bottle of champagne sent to our room so we could celebrate! It was such a nice gesture - and the champagne was freaking awesome. We ended our first night by hitting up the "secret" pizza place in Cosmopolitan (no signs, not on any maps, just have to know about it) and then crashing out.

On Wednesday, our 2nd day in Vegas, we spent the whole day gambling - we played some Pai Gow (and bonded with the pit boss there because she had also gotten married at a drive-thru wedding chapel) before losing some money at BlackJack and Craps. We made our way to Planet Hollywood casino and got some fruity beverages, and gambled some there, and crashed out early.

Thursday was our 10 year anniversary - we started with coffee and were playing craps up until the limo picked us up. We went back to the same place we got married at, had an "only in Vegas" moment with our officiant for vow renewal, and I bawled my head off during the ceremony. Afterwards, we headed back to our casino and started gambling again - we got on a really fun BlackJack table and they were sad when we left to go to our lunch reservations - where Blondie discovered the best Bloody Mary he's ever had in his life. After lunch, we just kind of messed around the area before hitting up the chandelier bar in the casino for fancy cocktails (it's this GIANT chandelier - so giant they built a 3 story bar in the middle of it). We decided on mexican for dinner so we took off after fancy cocktails - and I managed to run straight into a glass wall. I totally DID NOT see it there and I made such a racket that half the casino turned and looked. It was like a cartoon - when they get hit on the head and huge lump appears, literally 15 seconds after running into the glass wall, I had a massive goose egg above my eye. I turned to Blondie and said "where did that come from?!?!?" and he started laughing and said "it was always there!"

On Friday, we decided to head down to Fremont Street for the day. We got a patio seat overlooking the downtown area and spent the afternoon people watching and drinking cheap beers. For the evening, we got on a BlackJack table ($5 hands FTW!) at Golden Nugget and had a blast for a few hours. We ended our night by watching the Fremont Street Experience - the last part of that show played Time Warp so I did the Time Warp dance, by myself, in the middle of the street. Blondie was a trooper though and stood by me while I did the entire dance.

And then it was Saturday and back to NYC - our flight back was slightly delayed, and way more crowded, but we paid extra money for bulkhead seats so we had a ton of space at least to stretch out in. The good news is that when we landed, I had officially made status this year on Delta. Give it up for work travel. Sunday we caught a car out to Meadowlands with all our bar friends - we ended up tail gating the day away with our bartender and the bar crowd - it was so much fun, especially when one of my bar friends inadvertently tossed a football over the fence into the practice field - uh, oops! And then we had Mon-Tues off still, so we ended up just relaxing the rest of our vacation away. It was great having a week off and renewing our vows!

I was only back at work 3 days (Wed-Fri) before I had to take another work trip - this time down to Atlantic City. I met a coworker the Monday morning after I was back and we caught an early Greyhound down to AC and met another coworker. We were down there to assist with my 3rd party project team - they had gone to do some demos for a few days, and we had gone down to ensure everything went well. The first day was pretty easy - we did a lot of testing, etc, in preparation for demos the following 2 days. After work, we headed to a really nice dinner before one of my coworkers and I hit up the casinos for several hours. It was the start of a really good run for me, earning me back half of what I lost in Vegas. I'm not joking, I literally walked up to a Roulette table and put $5 on Blondie's birth month and $5 on Blondie's birth day - and his birth day hit. It was one of those kinds of weeks at the casinos.

The 2nd day was a lot more stressful than the first - that was the "big" demo day so we were all on pins and needles hoping everything we had prepped the day before would actually be okay - and it was! We went to celebrate after the demo, and ended up celebrating until about 3 am. I had gone with some of the 3rd party project team towards the end of the night, and I'm glad I did - they really like us and the team, and just hanging out with them was a really good experience. This was the 2nd half of the really good run - for some reason, the casinos in AC liked me this time.

The last day was hard - it had been a really late night the night before, but we struggled through and ended our trip on a high note. My coworker and I caught an earlier bus back than planned, we had no traffic, and were back in NYC quickly. Yay for successful business trips!

Back 12 hours from AC when my mom and sis showed up. Neither of them had been to NYC before so we had quite an agenda planned. The first day, Thursday, we walked down to look at the Intrepid before heading to lunch at poison bar. Afterwards, we did a quick walk through Times Sq before heading down to ride the Staten Island ferry so they could see the Statue of Liberty. After the ride, it was wandering around Battery City Park and Wall Street (the bull and his ginormous balls) before we went into the 9/11 Memorial. That's always a very moving place - this time I happened to stop right by a panel that had the name of a firefighter from the fire station on my street. After 9/11 memorial, we wandered over to a little church that had survived 9/11 and looked at their memorials. Then it was trucking to Blondie's work and picking him up before walking to Nolita for pizza at Lombardi's. Everyone was *exhausted* at this point so we headed home after and crashed out.

Friday was another "go" day - we headed up early to Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs and whale. We spent several hours wandering around in there before heading for lunch at a mexican restaurant. After lunch, and several margaritas, it was into Central Park to poke around (bow bridge, etc). We probably spent an hour in Central Park before catching the subway down to Macy's - we did a bit of shopping and then stopped at a Pandora store for my sister to get a charm for her bracelet. And then it was a 10 block walk to see Kleinfeld's bridal store - my sis wanted a picture in front of it, so we stopped there. And finally a subway back, stopping at Little Pie Company and CVS for treats.

Dinner that night was at our local pub - my mom and sis got to meet all of our friends, and my sis even had a few cocktails and some shots! Everyone loved my mom and sis - and they even said my sis was "Mr Pooh with a wig on". Which made me laugh hysterically. We ended the night eating some snacks and watching When Harry Met Sally.

Saturday we started out around 11 am - we went over and I showed the fam my office building, and then we headed down the street to see Radio City. Some pictures in front of that, and we rounded the corner and decided to do Top of the Rock - the views were spectactular and the weather was beautiful, so we stayed up top for a long time. When we went down, we then went through Rockefeller Plaza, watched the ice skaters for a few minutes, and then made our way back to Broadway. We ran into a street fair on the way so we took our time, doing a bit of shopping. And then it was time to see Cinderella on Broadway!

Cinderella was pretty amazing - one of my bar friends on Friday night warned us that we would be blown away by the costume changes. And we totally were - Cinderella was standing there dressed in rags, with her hair a mess. And then she would flip her skirt and be completely in a party dress with her hair in a fancy updo. This was in the space of 2 seconds - we were all like "how the fuck did that happen?!?!?" My mom and sis loved the play and I'm glad we got to go see it with them.

After the play we did some more shopping for the nieces, and wandered through a pop-up market place. Then it was time for dinner at 5 Napkin Burger - everyone agreed the burgers were amazing, and the conversation was a lot of fun. Just talking about everything we had seen and done so far. Blondie left us after dinner - he wasn't feeling well, but I took mom and sis back up to Times Square - my sis wanted to see it at night. It was all lit up and really beautiful, and we got a good standing spot and just hung out for a bit taking everything in. Then it was back to our local pub, everyone wanted to see my mom and sis again, so we popped in there. My bar friend bought everyone a shot, including my mom - I told her "my mom won't drink because of her heart" and my bar friend said "that's okay, your sis will have to do 2 then". But both my mom and sis did the shots! The night ended after that - everyone was so tired all we could do was drag ourselves home and to bed.

And then it was Sunday - we said goodbye to Blondie early (he was off to SF for work for a few days), and then mom and sis and I headed down to Washington Sq Park. We wandered around in there for a bit, stopping to take pictures of the arch, before heading over to walk the High Line back to my hood. The High Line is my fav park and Washington Sq is Blondie's fav park - so I'm glad they got to see both. We stopped for lunch at Pony Bar and then did some shopping in my hood, and then the trip was over. Both my mom and I bawled like little bitches while my sis rolled her eyes at us, but I got them both in a cab and on their way to the airport. I'm so glad they came to visit, and I hope they had a blast.

The week after mom and sis left was super hard - it was my first full week in the office in about 2.5 months (boo hoo), I said goodbye to my fam which I hate doing, and my birthday was coming at me super fast. We ended up cancelling our SF tickets for my birthday - between Blondie's last minute work trip and all the travel I've been doing lately, I was fried. I needed a weekend to not go anywhere (spoiler alert - it didn't happen). Anyway, the week dragged on - every day felt like 30 fucking years. The only bright spot was Halloween - 2 of my besties from the office headed out with me and we met up with Blondie. Many drinks ensued, some cigarette smoking happened, and it was a nice break from the monotony of the week in general.

My bday was Saturday. I HATE MY BDAY - I want to stress that, but this one ended up being the best I've had in awhile, b/c my BFF TT came to visit. She was actually up in Boston visiting her brother, but they took a train down and met up with me and Blondie for the day. We picked them up at Penn Station around noon-ish and were comfortably ensconced at Trailer Park, drinking margaritas, eating awesome food and making friends with the bartender by 1 pm. We hung out there for a bit before heading to Pony Bar in my hood, and finally to our local for the rest of the evening. We played Cards Against Humanity, met up with my bar friends, and just generally had a great day. I even forgot it was my bday for awhile! Winning! Thanks to TT for making my bday such a great one!

And then... it was Sunday and I was getting ready to hop a plane again. My work had asked me to go down to our Raleigh site for a few days and assist down there, so I drug my hungover butt to JFK (on public transportation b/c the marathon was running and traffic was a bitch) and caught an afternoon flight down with another coworker. I was sooooo tired, running on fumes, but the week ended up being a good one. I worked from Mon-Wed, met a ton of cool people down there, had some great BBQ, had an excellent team and time, and generally my expectations were blown away on every turn. I came back on Wed night, upgraded to 1st class (status), and felt really good about everything.

And then on Thursday they asked me to go back to Raleigh the following week. I agreed to go - but had to go a day later than everyone else as I had a new project kicking off on Wednesday this past week. I spent the 4 days I was in the office (Thurs, Fri, Mon, Tues) getting ready for kick off, reviewing my presentation, making sure I was up to speed on everything - and then it was Go Go Go time.

I headed out Wed morning to Newark airport to meet a coworker who was flying in, and one who was driving in - I got there around 9:15 am and the driving coworker was already there so I hopped in her car. We got our flying coworker about 30 mins later, and then it was over to our project site (in NJ again) for our meeting. The planned 1.5 hour kick off turned into 2.75 hour kick off (it was awesome because everyone was so engaged and excited) and then I had to high tail it back to catch my flight. I had yet another coworker drop me off at PATH station in NJ, where I had just missed the train to the city, so I had another 15 min wait. Then I got to the city and hopped the subway, which got stopped twice on the way out to JFK - I went running into the terminal about 17 mins before my flight was supposed to board, already sick to my stomach that I was going to have to have TSA bump me up the line to go through security (I hate when people do that). But to my surprise, the line was extremely short - I got through it, peed, bought a water, and walked up to my gate just as they started to board.

The flight down was good - we had backed out of our spot at JFK and then pulled right back in; apparently "they" decided to change our flight plan and we needed to add more fuel, but about a minute after we pulled in, we backed out again - "they" changed our flight plan back. Even with all that, we still landed early. I caught a shuttle out to the project site, and met up with all my coworkers on Wed night. We went for half price beers and burgers - uh, yes, it was awesome and cheap.

Thurs was a mad house - we just went all day long, worked our asses off, but then all met for a Happy Hour to celebrate being almost done with everything. Dinner was at a fancy restaurant, I had a filet and spinach, and a Manhattan - and then headed back to the hotel to hang out in the lobby with everyone for a bit (lobby = bar). And Friday was amazing - we ended super early with work, so then a few of us went for chicken and waffles for lunch, before driving back to Raleigh from the project site. I had gotten upgraded to 1st class again, so when my flight finally left (delayed) I got to enjoy the ride back.


And there you go - I've been told to be prepared to be travelling starting Thanksgiving week for 2-3 weeks. I think I'm back to TX but will find out tomorrow. This week though, so far, is a dead one. I hope it stays that way, but I'm not sure it will. A good friend from SF is in town today so I'm meeting her later on for drinks and SNF. And we made plans for Thanksgiving with our bar friends - they will be cooking, we will be sous-chef'ing and bringing the wine people.

Yum. Wine.


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Viva Las Vegas

2200 miles from home and it still feels like home. We've missed you Las Vegas!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

On The Road Again

Hello! Let's catch up shall we?

Dallas trip went exceptionally well. My colleagues and I started out at one of our sites on Monday (we had 2 sites down there) and spent all day there. We had a few hiccups on Monday - but that was due to a massive code release that had gone out on Friday, which none of us were expecting. A bit frustrating on my company's part, but we managed to work through it without too many issues. We celebrated Monday night by hitting back up BW3's - my driving coworker dropped me and my other friend off, and we had many beers to start while watching football. When my driving coworker showed back up, we migrated out of the bar and into the dining room for dinner. It was really nice having a celebration night - and having the first day over with was a relief.

Tuesday we were back at the same site. We did a follow up round of monitoring to make sure everything was okay from Monday. It was a bit more boring than Monday, but I could live with that. For dinner, the 3 of us headed to Texas Roadhouse and then relaxed in our hotel bar, making fun of newscasters we were watching on the TV.

And Wednesday was our last day - we went to our second site finally and hung out there for the day. My 1 coworker left early as he had a 5:30 pm flight back. My other coworker and I left around 4 pm to head back to the airport and we made such great time that I came through security and my first colleague still hadn't left yet. I decided to fly on his flight and went up to pay the standby fee and my debit card got declined. I called Chase before we boarded and they had a hold on my card - it turns out someone somewhere had managed to get my number and had been trying to buy a bunch of crap with it. Chase is pretty awesome in that they caught it super fast, and then immediately credited what had gone through. But having to deal with it in the first place sucked hairy balls.

I landed on Wed night (Delta ran a special - travel from LGA to DFW during certain 3 week timespan and get 5000 bonus miles - I flew twice to DFW in that timespan, so 10000 bonus miles for the win!), and got home late - finished up with Chase finally, and then crashed out with Blondie. Thursday I decided to just work from home, as I needed to physically head to my bank to deal with the debit card scenario and get a new one. The day went super fast, and then before I knew it, it was 3 pm and time to head to the airport *again* for a flight to Arkansas.

We flew down b/c Blondie's bro MG was getting married. Our flight was pretty nice - on time and fast. The airport we flew to was "Northwest Arkansas Airport" which still makes me laugh because it's just so vague. Anyhoo, we landed and our BIL picked us up and dropped me at the hotel before Blondie and him headed to MG's bachelor party.

Friday was our fake 10 yr anniversary - I was up way before Blondie so I walked a little down the road to a Starbucks and just hung out and relaxed. Blondie called when he got up and then came down and met me. We enjoyed a few hours with some coffee, just chatting - Starbucks had a patio and the weather was beautiful so we took advantage of it (and also, yay, Pumpkin Spice Latte!) After coffee, we headed back to the hotel and ran immediately into one of Blondie's other brothers and his family. We chatted with them for a bit and made plans to meet for lunch, before heading back to our room to shower up and rest.

Lunch was with the entire family - we went to On the Border for some mexicany goodness - many margaritas were had to round out our lunch, and it was nice getting to chat with everyone. Afterwards, I went with my 2 SIL's to the hotel pool. We took the kids swimming (they took the kids swimming, I sat on the side with my feet in the pool) while everyone else headed for the rehearsal. We met up with the group again at the rehearsal dinner, and I got to meet MG's wife for the first time.

Saturday was the wedding - and it was also the day that most of the nieces decided they liked me. Most kids don't trust me - I'm not very comfortable around children, and I think most of them sense that. But on Saturday, it was like "woo hooo! Kerri!" - so strange, but it was pretty cool also. I had one of Blondie's nieces on my lap the entire time for the ceremony - and then when she had to pee, she made me take her. After the ceremony, it was back to the hotel to chug a few beers before heading to the reception. A lot of dancing happened, me with all the nieces (again, I don't know what it was) primarily, and then the wedding was over and we sent MG and his wife off into the night.

And then, it was time to celebrate one of Blondie's other brother's birthday! We left the kids with the grandparents, and took over the hotel bar - 4 hours of drinking and chatting and eating popcorn, and all of us were pretty hammered. Which led to an awful flight back on Sunday - I was so nauseous I couldn't deal, but at least the flight went on time, and fast.

This past week was pretty quiet. I'm in a downtime at work right now which was most definitely needed. All of my projects are launched, and while some new ones are gearing up, none are in-flight right now. I spent the week taking it easy, working on smaller tasks that I just hadn't had time for. Thursday my work threw a big happy hour - I wasn't going to go, but my BFF from work convinced me to come for "just 1 drink". And then it was 5 hours later, and I was happppppy heading home.

Friday I had off work and me and Blondie met up with an old coworker, and took the train up to Poughkeepsie for the day. We were headed to see a friend from my old job get married - we met at Grand Central and bought some beers for the train, and then spent the entire 2 hours chatting away. And the wedding was awesome! Poughkeepsie is beautiful and the people invited were my favorite people from my old job. It was so good seeing everyone, and Yippers looked so beautiful. Also, they had "appetizer hour" which was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. I ate so much I couldn't eat dinner. A slew of dancing followed, and then many drinks back at the hotel bar.

We caught the train back to NYC yesterday and spent the rest of the day relaxing. We finally finished Breaking Bad last night - at 2:30 am. Once we started, we couldn't stop - LOVE THAT SHOW. And today... I have to get a pedicure, and that's all that's on deck.

Plans - MORE TRAVEL. We leave Tuesday for Vegas for 5 day, and are going to renew our vows on our real anniversary day. We come back on Saturday and then have 3 more days to do nothing - we cancelled our Salem plans and instead are going to tailgate on Sunday with our bartender and his crew (maybe see the Jets game, maybe not). Monday and Tues will be spent just doing whatever we want. We also booked travel to SF for the first week in November - we got hot plans to hang with a couple of different people out on the west coast. It's a short trip - in on Friday, back on Monday. And after that, if I don't see a plane the rest of the year, I'm fine with that.


Sunday, September 22, 2013


Howdy y'all. I'm in the great state of TX right now. Back in my old stomping grounds, ready to launch my project tomorrow! I'm excited, I'm nervous, it's weird being here without Blondie... All of it, welling up.

Last week was good, short week but a good week. Blondie and I spent last Sunday watching some Breaking Bad episodes. What an amazing show right? I'm at the point where I hate Walter White, but then I love Walter White. I think Jesse is a big baby and I want to slap him, but he lends some humanity to the show. And Saul is just flat out heart for me.

I was only in the office last week on Monday and Tuesday - both were extremely busy days as I have 2 projects launching this week. I was heads down in a lot of manual labor on both days, and ended up having to work until almost 9 pm on Tuesday night to get things done for one of my projects. But then it was Wednesday morning and off to the airport to fly to Dallas for work from Wed - Fri. The trip down was nice as there was a group from my office flying to a different site on Wed and our gates were just 2 apart and the flights were only 15 mins difference. So I showed up at LaGuardia and it felt like a normal morning at work.

My flight to DFW was nice - empty plane and I literally slept the entire way down. We landed (I flew with a coworker) and then it was off for launch and a shower, before heading out to our site for a night with the team. It actually ended up being really funny because we were about halfway through what we had planned that night when one of the guys on the site team was like "oh hey, skunk in the building". I thought it was a weird joke, but they really had a skunk in the building. I got so tickled (not a rat? not a roach?) and ended up getting a good picture of it. They kicked us out early so animal control could come in (the skunk sprayed after we left), and then my coworker and I went for a nice dinner.

Thurs and Fri were a lot of manual labor - my back was so stiff and the top of my foot was completely bruised when everything was done. But the team is really nice here in DFW, so it made the days go so fast. Thurs night dinner was at a tex-mex place, where we imbibed in some margaritas and fajitas and then I crashed out in my hotel room watching football to end my night. And then Friday - ugh. The weather turned on Thurs night and it was pouring all day long on Friday - I had a flight back to NY that night and I had geared my attitude to be ready to stay in DFW for the weekend.

But the flight ended up going really well! It started weird - someone asked to switch seats with me as I was sitting by their friend. I said sure, and we went to switch and pissed the flight attendant off - she asked us to wait until everyone was seated. So we did. I did NOT want to get kicked off the flight so I made sure I was super polite. Then when she came through for drink service, she gave me a bourbon for free. AND THEN, the guy I had switched seats with sent me a whiskey to thank me! Seriously - one of the best flights. Ever.

Blondie and I took it easy on Saturday - we went to the gym, and then I got a pedicure before meeting Blondie for lunch at our local mexican restaurant. Afterwards, it was a trip to the pet store and then home to finish off the Breaking Bad eps we had. We ordered in dinner on Saturday night and then caught up on the new seasons of New Girl, Mindy Project and Sleepy Hollow, before watching Cloud Atlas to end the night.

Today it was an early flight back to DFW (36 hours in NYC - so worth it). My flight ended up being full but with an empty first class section so I got upgraded (woot!) A few whiskeys on the plane and then it was time to meet up with coworker who had flown in from CA. We spent the afternoon watching football, and I'm now in my hotel room watching TV and eating some gummies.

This week will be good - I'm in DFW until Wed night and then I'm back in NYC for less than 24 hrs before flying back to Arkansas for MG's wedding. I have 2 launches this week - I'm in DFW for both, but one of my launches is actually back in NYC. We had a conflict so a coworker has to cover my NYC launch for me. After this week - that's it. All of my projects are launched. BUT, I am ready for some new ones.

All right folks. Off to relax in my hotel bed and gear up for tomorrow. Hope everyone had a great week!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Well hello there. Where the hell have you been?

I'm back people. Put your party hats on and prepare for a recap. Of all the lame-o things I've been up to.

1) My Project - I left off my last blog post right before a trip out to my NJ site - I ended up having to do 3 days in a row there, but it was worth it as we cranked through a ton of manual stuff that needed to be done. When I left that Thurs, I felt super confident for the launch that was coming up 2 weeks later. And then I got back from my KY trip, and walked into a shit storm. We worked with a 3rd party vendor for some of the stuff we did - and they advised us to go in a certain route on a piece of the project. Which did not work out for us - and it was discovered the week after KY (the week before launch). Everything escalated out on that Wed, and we came up with a plan on Thurs morning that was an "impossible plan" - meaning none of us thought we could get done what we needed to get done in the short timeframe left (Tues launch, Labor Day weekend coming up). BUT WE DID IT. We moved mountains, and got shit done - things that normally take 2 weeks we did in 1.5 days. I had to actually labor on Labor Day - meaning I went out to NJ and worked all day at the project site; but it was worth it. As the following day we actually LAUNCHED MY PROJECT!!!!!!!!

I'm so happy and proud of everything that I did on this thing - the NJ site team sent several extremely nice emails to my boss about what a great job they thought I did; they kept saying I saved the project (while I definitely had a major hand in getting everything fixed, there were a lot of other people that had to help also). And the launch went really well - better than any other launch we've had at the company. And on the first full day of use of the product (that Wed after launch), someone stopped me on site and told me they had never had such an exciting day on the job.

I got back to NYC on that Wed late afternoon and headed straight to the bar - I have never been so tense about a project, starting that Wed before when everything blew up and up until Wed full day of use was over. I had slept maybe 3 hours a night, tossing and turning and worrying about everything. And it literally felt like a massive weight had been lifted. So I had my coworker drop me at my local bar and I spent a few hours in there celebrating before Blondie joined me.

I ended up going out to the NJ project one day last week also - just sitting with a couple of the teams there and working with them so they had a better understanding of everything we were doing. While I was there, I ended up talking to a few of the people actively using the product and was able to bring back a lot of suggestions on things we can do better / areas we need to ramp up more heavily on (while the launch went awesome, there are always things that you can change to make things better - this is true for anything. ever.)

In addition, I was actually stopped by the president and the CTO of the company after we did our launch and I was back in the office to thank me for everything, and telling me they had heard nothing but praise about how I dealt with everything. I'm hoping I don't jinx myself but I am really happy about this and I'm totally psyched to launch my next project in 8 days. :)

2) KY! Blondie and I flew out on the Thurs night after my first NJ trip to KY. Our flight was delayed so we didn't get in until almost 1 am, which meant we didn't get to see anyone until Friday. That was ok though because everyone showed up super early at my parental unit's house as we took a massive bus up to Kings Island to hang out for the day. It was SO GOOD seeing everyone - my uncle had even flown in for the trip which was a surprise to me. My nieces are super cute and super growing up fast. I got to ride a bunch of kiddie land rides with them - the youngest niece who has always been slightly terrified of me, actually seemed to take to me this year; she actually came up and took my hand at Kings Island and drug me with her to ride a ride.

That Saturday we were in KY, I went shopping early morning with my mom, sis, and Mr Pooh - and then we made a beer run and were drinking and playing cards by 11:30 am. My nieces stayed with Mrs Pooh's family that day which gave us an adult day - it mostly involved drinking heavily and playing cards / board games all afternoon. And eating. A LOT. And then Sunday we met up with BFF TT and her man for drunk Sunday - my whole family came and we all met up for mexican and margaritas, before taking the party back to Mr and Mrs Pooh's house. I made the nieces laugh by chasing them around the house and giving them raspberries (I'm guessing this is the last year I can do it to my oldest niece - after that, it might be just kind of gross). We ended up back at my sis's house, eating chicken wings and drinking beer - it was around midnight that I said goodbye to most of the family and TT.

Our flight back to NY had us getting up at 4:30 am on Monday - it was the worst, most hungover, flight I've ever been on - I'm not sure how I didn't throw up. And then traffic coming into NY was a major bitch, so we ended up walking across most of the island to get to the subway / office respectively. And then I walked into the shit storm with my NJ project. And that ended the fun.

3) 9/11 - Living in NYC on 9/11 is both the best and the worst. My street has a fire station which lost the *entire station* when 9/11 happened - every year they do a motorcycle run down to the WTC for the 9/11 ceremonies - they block off the street and take over with everyone coming to celebrate the lives of the men that died that day. I ended up having to go out to NJ that day, and coming back to the city that afternoon, we drove over the GWB - they have the biggest american flag hanging from the bridge right now and you can see Freedom Tower from the bridge, it was just a very powerful moment.

4) Upcoming travel - and here we go again. I'm off to Harlem on Monday morning, and then leave on Wed to go to DFW until Friday night. I'm back for 2 days before leaving for DFW again for 3 days. And then I'm back and off to Harlem for the day. Then ALL MY PROJECTS ARE LAUNCHED!

Toss into this mix a bunch of personal travel - Arkansas in 2 weeks for MG's wedding, Poughkeepsie in 3 weeks for Yippers wedding, Vegas in 4 weeks for our 10 year anniversary (giving me status for the year on my airline) followed by 3 days in Salem, then a down week, then mom and sis are in for the weekend, and then it's my birthday weekend.

And.... spent.

That's the highlights - certainly not everything that has happened, but the highlights. And back to our regularly scheduled blogging next week.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Today Can Bite It

Soooo tired today. I feel completely drained - totally worn out. I even wore glasses to work today instead of contacts which hardly ever happens. And then everyone commented on them because I hardly ever wear them. Which made me feel self-conscious that I had them on. There is no point. I'm just rambling.

My week was fairly low-key last week. The biggest thing I had to do was head up to Harlem on Thurs morning for my project. I met up with some of my coworkers around 6:45 am and we took a car up to the project site. We had just gotten set up when I realized that we had an issue with some of our stuff (fun to deal with at 7:15 am on no coffee). We were scheduled for an 8-12 meeting with the team, so it was a frantic 45 minutes before we got everything sorted out. We then dealt with minor issues throughout our meeting time, which is just draining. Blondie ended up texting during my meeting and asked how things were going - I had my typical response "ugh. need a drink". So he suggested meeting at a local bar for food and drinks on the patio that night.

I was in! WOO HOO! I was pretty excited because Blondie doesn't ask often for dates - I got all excited and thought "I'll leave early and secure us a good spot on the patio". Because I had come in at 6:45 am, I was determined to leave the office early that day. We took a cab back to the office on Thurs, getting there around 1 pm. And then because I was dying to be out of there by 3:30 pm, shit happened and I was stuck until almost 5 pm (seriously - I *have* to stop saying I'm leaving early b/c everytime I do, I get sucked into a massive problem. Every. Single. Time.)

It ended up okay though because I still got a good spot on the patio and was joined about 30 minutes later by Blondie. I filled him in on my morning and we got some food and beverages and hung out for a long time talking. We then trucked to Dunkin Donuts for a dessert before hitting up our real local bar to catch up with our bar friends and bartender. After our bar, I was pretty hungry again so we did a 7-11 run; and then went home to stuff our faces and konk out for the night.

Friday ended up being a good day. Me and some of my work friends ended up heading down to West Village and meeting up with Blondie at a bar down there. One of my friends even came in from Brooklyn to hang out (he had worked from home for the day but likes Blondie so much he made the trek in). We hung out way into the evening, and just had a blast. We did a 7-11 run again on Friday night, and the guy checking us out was like "oh hey, I checked you out last night!" Uhhhhhh. Well - that did it; no more 7-11 runs for awhile. OMG. We're in there so much the guy knows us. It's kind of cool though - how many people can say they are regulars at a 7-11?

Saturday was pretty lame - we watched TV most of the morning and then went out to dinner at our local mexican restaurant (full disclosure: we're regulars there also). Afterwards, we finished up Breaking Bad season 2 (finally. yes. we are wayyyyy behind). And Sunday we didn't do anything - I went and got myself a pedicure, and then we curled up in front of the TV for all of Breaking Bad season 3. The good news for the weekend though is that we settled on half of our anniversary plans. We booked our hotel and tickets out to Vegas in Oct - we're going out for 5 days and are planning on renewing our vows at the chapel we got married in. We'll fly back to NY on a Saturday and then we are trying to figure out what to do for the rest of our time off. I'm rooting Montreal; Blondie is rooting Salem. And holy shit - 10 years official. Where did the time go? How did I get so old?

Today was super duper fast - I had a billion and 1 meetings to go to, and now I'm not in the office anymore this week. My Tues and Thurs at my NJ project site got extended to Tues-Thurs, and when I leave on Thurs night, the car is taking me straight to the airport so I can head back to Land of Bourbon for the weekend.

A 1 day early HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the fabulous Mr Pooh!!!!! Have many beers tomorrow and we can celebrate this weekend!

Very tiredly,

Monday, August 12, 2013


First off, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Brother R and Sis!!!!! Hope you both had great days, with lots of bourbon (Brother R) and chips and salsa (Sis).

My last week was very tiring quite frankly. I was on the go every single day of the week, and it totally wore me out. My week started with a super early alarm on Tuesday because I had to do a bunch of laundry, before catching an early morning flight to DFW. I flew down to DFW for a project, and spent 3 hours in the airport after I landed (waiting for a coworker from CA). I worked for several hours, and then spent the last hour monitoring email while drinking a beer at one of the airport bars. When my coworker landed, we got our rental car and then drove out to north DFW burbs to crash for the night. Some totally good tex-mex food, and then a few beers back at the hotel while we prepared for our meeting the next day, and our day came to a close.

We were up extremely early on Wed and drove about an hour out to our project site. We spent all morning meeting with the team there, before I had to pull off and lead a call for one of my other projects. Afterwards, we drove straight back to the airport and grabbed a very quick lunch there, before flying back to NY.

I landed around 9 pm, and immediately caught a cab down to Chelsea area to a bar called Trailer Park (awesome kitschy bar with very very potent margaritas). I met up there with my bar friends, and my building friend. It was a happy / sad night as we were saying goodbye to my building friend. Him and his partner are moving back to CA permanently and Wednesday night was his last night in town. We ended up chatting for a long time, heading out around midnight.

Thursday I had another early start as I met up with several of my new coworkers - I was tasked with bringing them to my Harlem project and showing them several of the pieces of the project my team is responsible for. It was a very early start, but the actual work went well. We got back to our office around 11 am, which was nice. I took off around 5 pm that day and headed over to midtown east. I met up with a bunch of my old coworkers for many drinks into the night. It was SOOOO great seeing them, and getting to snark on everyone. Several of us stayed until almost midnight - I love my old work group, and I love that I'm still close to see them on a regular basis. The highlight of Thurs night though had to be the crazy text message conversation I had with Blondie - it was seriously one of the funniest things I've read in a long time - and makes me realize how much I love this guy and how boring my life would be without him in it.

Friday I was exhausted. I drug my ass into work just feeling completely worn down. The day felt like it took forever, and finally around 4:30 pm, I was like "I'm declaring this day done". I had just packed up to leave, when some coworkers swung by my desk and were like "woo hoo! drinks!" And then I was all "woo hoo! yes! drinks!" I fully intended to stay for 1 beer, but uh yeah. If you read this blog, you realize that's probably never going to happen. I think I finally left the bar around 9 pm to head home for the night.

Saturday... up and at 'em early for no reason at all. I finally went to the gym, which was the only healthy thing I had done in a week. I made myself some beans for lunch, and then Blondie and I finally went out and did some grocery shopping. We got home around 4:30 pm, and it was then I realized I had an email that contained some bad news. I won't give details - the bad news is not about me - but my heart is breaking for 2 people right now. As soon as I read that email, I cried a little bit. And then I got into my bottle of bourbon.

Blondie and I ended up having a good night in spite of it all. We cooked in and made salmon sandwiches, and then we popped in some good movies (ahem, well - a really crappy movie and then some good movies) to take our minds off everything. I finished my bourbon and then we had some wine to end the evening.

Sunday was a total disaster. My bourbon / wine party, while a blast while going on, was not so fun the next day. I lazed in front of the TV all morning, trying to not be sick (success). But then Blondie was like "oh hey, bar friend #3 is back from India and wants to meet up for drinks today". So we headed out to Pony - I didn't think I would be able to drink more than a beer, but see "Friday". It was very slow going, but gradually I felt better. Me and my female bar friend and bar friend #3 ended up staying out until almost 6 pm.

Also, I have a thing for... talismen maybe? I like to collect little statues / figurines / etc from around the world (usually from friends travelling to these places and bringing them back). I have a weeping yogi from Nepal (he's supposed to suck the bad energy from the room), a happy buddha from China, a fortune kitty from Japan, an evil eye from Turkey, and now my bar friend #3 brought me back Ganesh the elephant god from India. My collection ROCKS. LOVE.

So today was a super duper fast day at work. They had asked for volunteers to help out one of the NC projects (not mine) and I had put my name down, but my boss told me not to worry about it. Which was good because I'm super f'ing busy on my own projects right now. I literally felt like today it was 4:27 pm before I realized it had started.

Upcoming plans: off to Harlem on Thursday, NJ next Tuesday, NJ next Thursday, and then land of bourbon next Thursday night. So many trips, so little time!

Workouts: Well, pathetic. I worked out on Saturday and that was it. Insert embarrassed emoticon here.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Highs and the Lows

My week was mostly highs this week, but something happened that made me grateful I'm not in a low period of my life. I have depression, which is something I've known for a long time, but officially diagnosed by my therapist back in TX. Also, I saw a therapist in TX for a good while which I guess I should've started off with. I call my emotional status my roller coaster, because I know when I start going up (and I'm in for a few good weeks of sunshine) and I know when I start going down (and I'm in for a few bad weeks of rain). However, and this makes me lucky, no matter how bad my low weeks are, I've never considered suicide as an option - and this week made me grateful for this. This will make sense in a few paragraphs.

Last Sunday started out pretty well - after I got over my anger at my upstairs WOO HOO-ers, we met our bar friends around 10 am to start an early birthday celebration for one of them. The 5 of us walked about a mile down Riverside Park to Chelsea Piers and spent another hour whacking golf balls from the driving range out over the Hudson. It was actually a great time - because all of us sucked at one point, and all of us had some awesome drives at one point. After Chelsea Piers, it was a cab ride over to Katz Deli for massive sandwiches (Katz's Deli is where the orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally" was filmed). We stuffed ourselves, had some beers, and relaxed before grabbing some gelato down the street.

Then it was a mile walk back to West Village, where we stopped at a random bar for some drinks - and it turned out to be awesome. One of my bar friends is English and the bar we stopped at was called GMT. Perfect. We had many mixed drinks there, so tasty. All of us were so full from lunch that fruity punchy drinks were in order. Around 3 pm, we headed to me and Blondie's favorite bar in the area - which also had a full list of beers from England (not planned, not thought about - just totes worked out). And we spent the next 4 hours imbibing there before taking a cab back home. All in all, a great day.

Monday I took a car service out to the NJ/PA border where I spent the next 3 days. I got there before any of my coworkers, and spent an hour with the networking guy, touring the site, and running various tests. Afterwards, I met back up with one of my coworkers (who had arrived while I was running around), and we got to work on what we were really there to do. We got done early, but I had to join a 2 hour conference call, so we had to sit at the site while I took that. Then finally, it was back to the hotel to check-in and collapse for an hour.

Dinner that night was a German restaurant - it was really tasty, and it was good getting to see my coworker (who lives in DC) and just chat with her. While at the restaurant, my coworker from FL texted and he had just landed and was on his way. So I met up with him when he got in town, and we went to the bar for a bit. It was an early night though as we had 2 days ahead of us to be geared up for.

Now for why I wrote my first paragraph. I got texted very late on Monday night from one of my building friends, and I didn't receive the text until Tues morning. Someone jumped from the 29th fl of our building on Monday, off his balcony, directly above me and Blondie's apartment. He landed on the 2nd fl sundeck, 8 stories directly below our unit. Obviously, he is dead. Blondie saw part of his body - he didn't know anything had happened on Monday, and stepped out to enjoy the view early Monday evening, and thought some jackass kids in our building had tossed a mannequin as a prank (the body was covered with a sheet, but the wind had blown part of the sheet off the arm). The 2nd fl is now closed, and completely ripped up in the area where he landed. It turns out 2 women were hanging out on the sundeck when he landed - they had to go to the hospital because they saw it happen and couldn't cope.

Why I wrote my first paragraph - I can't even imagine what that kind of pain is like, when suicide becomes an option. As someone who has the (HIGH) highs and the (low) lows, I thought I could kind of empathize with what people go through when suicide starts to seem like a way out. But I can't - I got back to our apartment on Wed night, and leaned over our balcony to see the damage to the sundeck, and there is just no way I could bring myself to leap (in any situation). My heart goes out to the person who did jump and his family and friends - I don't see this as selfish (and again, I've not had a family member of friend commit suicide, so I don't know if my mind would be changed if that happened), but as a way to end pain that nobody can endure. And my heart goes out to the 2 women on the sundeck, and to Blondie and everyone else who happened to be looking down that day, and to anyone that saw it happen.

The rest of my week was excellent though - my project went off without a hitch. Tues and Wed were spent just marveling at how well everything worked. The team that met me there were amazing, and I'm just relieved that things went as well as they did. The team headed out to dinner on Tues - we went to this excellent beer house in the middle of nowhere NJ, and enjoyed some beverages to celebrate as well as tasty grub. And on Wed, I caught a ride back to the city with 2 coworkers who had come out for the day to NJ/PA to work with various members of the project site we were out. I couldn't have asked for a better project, both in terms of staff at the project site as well as staff from my office

Thursday I went into the office and saw some great emails - the project team from NJ/PA site had sent an email to me and my 2 coworkers telling us how happy they were with the project and with us, and asking us to forward onto our mgmt staff. My coworker had sent to his boss, and she forwarded it to my boss, who forwarded it up the chain. Everyone is so happy with how things went - I even have an email from the president thanking the team on everything. We just need to keep it up now - as a startup, we have to make things work well from the get go. So now the pressure is on.

Thursday night I went out with a few coworkers - it was a completely last minute idea. We started with some drinks in the Times Sq area, but then split up around 8. However, one of my coworkers wasn't quite ready to go head home, so we spent another few hours in my neighborhood - we got to talk personal life, etc, and I feel like I got to know this person really well. So a good night in all!

Saturday was a lazy day - it was completely overcast and gross, so I went to the gym and then laid in bed watching eps of House of Cards and reading. All day. We had some wine delivered on Saturday night (too lazy to walk 2 blocks to my wine store) and then watched silly movies all night (Napoleon Dynamite, Real Genius, etc). Today it was gorgeous, so we headed out for some food and then took it to the park and had a picnic. Then I came back home and collapsed for a few hours for a nap.

My week this week involves a flight to DFW on Tues, coming back on Wed night, and a trip to Harlem on Thurs. It's going to be fast and furious.

Workouts! Sucked! I was not motivated in NJ, and then was exhausted (it was draining worrying about my project) when I got back.
Monday-Friday: None. I'm sad but I'm not sad.
Saturday: 3.1 miles in 38:09; 5 min cooldown; weights
Sunday: 10 miles on bike in 36:09 (2 mins level 8, 4 mins level 13); 5 min cooldown


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ode to the Assholes Who Live Upstairs

Stop fucking having "WOOOOOOOO" parties at 5 am on Saturday and Sunday on your mother fucking balcony.

And now that that's out of the way...

My total project load at work is now 5. I was expecting a new project last week, taking my total to 4, but instead got 2 new projects. And my boss has asked me to mentor the 3 new people who are coming onto the team, as well as help the 1 person who will be doing a project beside me. Part of me is happy that my boss is happy with my work (really happy with it), but the other part of me is like "how in the world am I going to have time to do all this?"

My projects are also spread out around the country - and I have to be onsite for each one of them at various points in the project. I have my NJ/PA border one, one in Asheville, one in Harlem (I guess it really doesn't count b/c I don't even have to leave the island for that one), one in Raleigh, and one an hour out of DFW. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning to go to my NJ/PA project for the next 3 days - it's far enough out that it makes more sense to stay in a hotel as opposed to coming back to the city every night, so I will be doing that. So far it's looking like I will be travelling a few days each week for the next 6 weeks in a row.

Work was good this week - super busy again, but it's ok because it's making my days go fast again. It feels like it felt when I first started, where I would blink and the week would be over. On Tuesday I was at my NJ/PA project for the morning working with the networking team out there - it was a lot of fun (the team is awesome) and we found a big issue that they needed to resolve; so it was super useful that I went out there ahead of this week.

And then Friday happened. It kind of came up behind me, hit me in the head with a baseball bat, and then took off running. My Raleigh project was kicking off officially on Friday - everybody and their brother knew about this, between meetings I attend and emails I send, everyone knows when my projects are a go. My office found a bug on Thurs that they had to fix before Friday (so we could actually launch) but they didn't tell anyone they were going to release code to fix it; they just did it and then sent email after the fact (late at night).

I got up at 7 am on Friday to check on my project - and they were having an issue. It was an easy one to resolve, but it was also one that should've been resolved already. I sent an email to the team and told them to ping me when ready and we would get cracking, and then logged into our portal to get ready, and realized we had a massive issue - the portal shows status of what we have in the field, and my project was solid red. It was also at this point that I saw the email that there had been a release on Thurs night.

I immediately start pinging people left and right - wtf is going on???? In the meantime, I helped the project team on the ground get their first issue resolved. And then I took off to the office and spent the rest of the day in meetings - trying to replicate the issue as well as come up with steps to resolve it. What made it even more painful was we had a company offsite on Friday so everyone started taking off around 1:30 pm to go to that, except for the team involved in the issue (ahem).

I left on Friday night just feeling completely beat down, completely done with everything, completely ready to quit. And so I headed straight to the bar. And then spent the next 5 hours talking with friends, hanging with Blondie, and generally imbibing in some boozy goodness to get my head on straight.

In better, non-Debbie Downer news, Blondie got some excellent feedback this week about his performance! I'll let him fill people in on that, but the news he got shows that his company LOVES him and is willing to invest heavily in him and his future. GOOOO BLONDIE!

Yesterday I took it easy - actually decided to not leave bed the entire day (outside of the gym), but then an old coworker of mine texted - him and his girlfriend were in the neighborhood so I met them at the bar mid afternoon to catch up with them both. It was really good seeing them, and I ended up being glad I did get out of my apartment for a little bit.

Today we are off to Chelsea Piers and Katz Deli to celebrate a friends birthday. I'm already tired b/c of the giant fucking douche bags that live 1 floor above us - apparently it's fun to wake everyone up at 5 am by "WOOO HOOOO"'ing off the balcony, or by screaming FUCK every other minute. So awesome.

Sunday: Insanity Cardio Recovery
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2 miles on treadmill in 24:15, 5 min cooldown
Wednesday: 5 miles on bike in 19:38 (2 mins level 8, 4 mins level 13); 5 min cooldown; .5 miles on treadmill at 6.1 mph; 5 min cooldown; weights
Thursday: 2.5 miles on treadmill in 30:45 (suck); 5 min cooldown; weights
Friday: Rest
Saturday: .87 miles on treadmill and then mentally copped out; 10 miles on bike in 38:30 ish (2 mins level 8, 2 mins level 13); 5 min cooldown; P90X Stretching


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Heat Wave

First let's start with some amazing-ness that I left off my last blog post; on July 3rd, Blondie and our bar friends hit up a cabaret club in the lower east side to see a show done to Ziggy Stardust! We went for dinner and then stayed for the show, which featured all different variations of David Bowie songs and looks (not really cabaret-y but still awesome-y). There were some cabaret pieces of the show, but the highlight had to be the male pole dancer. It was honestly the most incredible display of athleticism I've seen - my female bar friend and I were like "oh holy hell that is *insane*", but Blondie and my male bar friend were blown away by the sax that blew flames. A great night all around!

And back to this past week... which was the grossest hottest week I've lived through.

Let's start with the fact that I love being able to walk to my job. I don't pay for subway, I don't pay for car, I don't pay for insurance. I just walk (and sweat). And then the temps exploded this week to where it would be 97 with 40% humidity. Every single day I came into the office today, I had sweat streaking down my arms and legs. Just running down them like I was in the shower. Ewww.

Work was pretty good overall this week - my projects are in full force go-mode, and I think I'm about to get a 4th one dropped on my plate so the week was fast to say the least. I got my performance review on Friday, and it went really well. The president of the company had sent out a note saying "this is the percentage of people who are going to get each rank" which I thought was weird. I have no doubts that companies ahead of time will say "x% of people get the lowest grade, and so on" but I had no idea that any company would ever send that out to employees. Anyway, because they sent that email, I know where I fit in terms of the company and I'm happy about it.

Blondie and I hit up our local bar on Wednesday night. It's literally been too hot to cook, so I kind of melted my way to the bar for cold beers followed closely by Blondie. We sat and chatted with our bar friends for a long time before we decided to eat at the bar so we didn't have to figure out what else to do for dinner. Then Blondie headed on home while I had a mini dance party at the bar with one of my friends. We left around 10:30 that night to head home and it was still disgusting out.

Yesterday Blondie and I both did a really long workout - we thought we would leave the house afterwards and wander, but again, the heat was intense. So we both just crashed out, ordered in some food, and took it easy all day. Today I've got to make a prescription run, do a workout, get our groceries, and get a pedicure. But the heat is starting to break, so hopefully it won't be too bad.

Workouts were as good as they could be this week - the a/c in our gym is busted, so they just have some standing fans in there right now. Every workout you do feels 20x harder than normal because of this.
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 mile run in 23:38; weights
Wednesday: brick - 5 miles on bike in 19:10 (2 mins level 8, 4 mins level 12); 5 min cooldown; .5 mile run at 6.0 mph; 5 min cooldown
Thursday: 2 mile run in 24:30; weights
Friday: 28 mins on Precor weight loss program; 5 min cooldown; weights
Saturday: 65 mins on treadmill - 5.02 miles total (way worse than last week - much less distance covered; felt awful - thanks no air conditioning!)
Today: Going to just lift some weights I believe.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

And here we are again...

I have no excuses. I simply have not felt like blogging come Sunday mornings. I start out every Sunday with the best intentions - I'm going to get up early and I'm going to write my blog before Pony Bar. Yet every Sunday, it turns out more like this - I'm going to get up at like 11:30 am, maybeeeeeeeeeee take a shower, and then go to Pony Bar. As I tell my cat (whenever he starts his "meow until the meow-er box runs out" habit) - dat's pa-te-tic.

So hopefully I'm back in the blogging world for good this time, and hopefully it's not a repeat of last time where I blogged and then went away again for 3 weeks.

Onto some form of recap. Wooty Woot!

1) Bowling!!!!
My work ended up renting out the private room of a bowling alley (4 lanes, it's own bar, big screen TVs, etc) and took everyone over for an afternoon of "not work". It was pretty awesome, and not just because the bowling alley was 1 block from my house. I actually really like to bowl - I'm not good at it by any means (any), I just think it's a fun way to spend a day. Top that with getting on a lane with my favorite coworkers, and the completely free open bar, and the day ended up a blast.

Afterwards, a smaller group of us decided to have an after-party, so I trucked over to my local bar and grabbed Blondie and my bar friend, and we headed up a few streets in the hood and hit up a vodka bar. It was the first time Blondie had met this specific group of coworkers and they LOVED him. As they told me - "Your husband is one of us!" meaning he speaks their language (coding, networking, etc). They also LOVED my bar friend - as we ended up taking over the dance stage in the bar and having a massive dance party. Top that off with the 3rd party company we work most closely with paid our whole bar bill - seriously one of the best Fridays I've had in a long time.

Blondie left the vodka bar a bit early to grab empanadas and go home and crash. But my bar friend and I stayed until about 1 am, and then stopped for nachos and margaritas on the way home. While sitting on the patio of the mexican restaurant, my BFF from work came walking by (he had just left the after-party) so we hollered at him and he helped us eat our nachos and drink our margs. The next day I realized I had texted Blondie at 1:30 am - and it said "I'm at mexican!" That's me - so excited for food that I text my husband, who I knew was sleeping, that I was eating mexican. Awesome.

2) Asheville!!!
Last week I got sent down to Asheville, NC, for a few days. It was insanely beautiful down there. As my plane was coming in for a landing, it was just solid green and mountains everywhere you looked. They had just came through a week of storms so everything was lush and bright - it blew my mind. A coworker and I drove up into the mountains and gave a presentation to some people there (the reason I had been sent down). We got there early, and they let us talk early, so we were down over an hour ahead of when we expected to be done which was nice (and the people we presented to were so friendly, just a really great group).

After our presentation, we drove back to Asheville and checked into our hotel - which was a boutique crazy ass hotel (still a Marriott though). The whole thing was like being in some hunting lodge crossed with some bohemian chic accessories. Like the purple velvet couches situated under the chandelier made from deer antlers. Or the gigantic see through fireplace (open on all 4 sides) with the stuffed warthog beside it. LOVE. Also, Asheville has their own creamery, so we checked in to our hotel and then grabbed a seat at the bar for a cheese plate from the creamery (amaze-balls) and some wine (first we had eaten all day as we had early early flights to get into Asheville).

The next day we took off and toured Biltmore House in the morning which also blew my mind. We hiked down to the house from the parking lot, and we were just chatting and not paying attention, and all of a sudden there was the great lawn with the most massive house I've ever seen at the end of it - my coworker went "Oh. My. God. I just got goose bumps". We made the ticket lady laugh with our running commentary as we bought our tickets - I offered to give my coworker an audio tour consisting of me just repeating "It's a big house. I mean BIG. Like really big". And ticket lady couldn't keep a huge grin off her face. Just a really great trip, and one I get to repeat in 2 months! :)

3) Hair!!!
Perhaps this should've been #1. But I went in a few weeks ago, and chopped 8" of hair off. My hair guy kept saying "there are a lot of women who would hate you for doing this"; but my reasoning is that I don't take care of it. It was constantly in braids or a ponytail. So yes, chop that shit off. It's way cooler, and it looks way better. Should've done this many months ago.

On my bucket list for NYC - and finally we went. The Book of Mormon in this situation refers to a play written by the creators of South Park. It has been SOLD OUT since it opened 3 years ago. And it has won every major Tony you can win for a musical. We finally bit the bullet and bought some tickets off stubhub. And went last Sunday. It was worth every penny we spent on the tickets - I laughed so hard I almost peed myself. The musical concerns 2 mormon missionaries who were sent to Africa to convert. One guy was the "good guy" who everyone thought would excel at converting people; the other guy was the "screw up" who ended up kicking ass at converting but only because he lied about everything. I was dying the entire time - so funny. Blondie even bought a show t-shirt he liked it so much (which for a musical is REALLY saying something).

5) 4th of July!!!
This is also a sad thing - but my building friend invited us up for 4th of July for one last chance to view fireworks from his balcony. Him and his partner are moving back to California next month so we won't get to do this next year. The fireworks rocked - again something Macys does really well. I love watching them, and then love people watching as millions stream out of the viewing areas and back up the streets while I drink beer on a patio already at home. And I love living in NYC and the fireworks every year remind me of how much that means to me.

6) World War Z!!!
Just go. Amazing. Swarming zombies FTW.

7) Exercise!!!
I'm on a mission. I have been kicking ass and taking names these past few weeks - from getting 2 miles in at 5.5 mph pace the entire time (that's my normal running pace and I've been having a horrible time trying to get back there); to my first full hour run yesterday in almost 2 years (it felt great, which made me realize that if I can do an hour and feel fine, I'm totes mcgoats not pushing myself hard enough on my 30 min runs during the week); to "bricks". For anyone that does triathalons, what I'm about to describe is not a brick workout - I'm not trying to make it sound better, just not sure what term to describe it with. But basically it's the bike for whatever amount (5 miles, 10 miles, 30 minutes, whatever) and then for me a .5 mile run at a steady pace. So today I did 10 miles on the bike in 38:43 between levels 8 and 12, and then .5 miles at a 5.8 mph pace. It doesn't sound like much I know but it's helping me kill my other workouts right now. I feel good, so I'm going with it. Endorphins bitches, it's what's for dinner.

8) Hooters!!!
Haha. I'm so lame. I've been craving some Hooters for a few weeks now. After my hour run yesterday, it's all I could think about. Luckily Blondie was in (he also did an hour run yesterday), so we walked 1.2 miles up to Hooters (in 90 degree heat with 1000000% humidity - we were soaked with sweat when we go to Hooters; also, does that count for 2 workouts for the day?) and split a bunch of wings and some beers. Afterwards, we hit up a street festival and wandered through there for a bit, before pulling off to go to House of Brews for some mid afternoon refreshments. Then it was home to peel off sweaty clothing, and collapse. And my Hooters craving is now gone.

9) 10 Year Anniversary!!!
Blondie and I have finally decided on our 10-year anniversary plans! We are going back to where it all started and hitting up Las Vegas in October. We are going to spend 4 days there - renew our vows at The Little White Wedding Chapel drive-thru (where we got married); relax by the pool; gamble; drink. And then it will be off to either Sedona or Havasu for 3 days to end our trip. So excited we are going to do this! I'm looking forward to a week off with my Blondie!

10) Upcoming Travel!!!
I have the following trips planned coming up - off the Jersey/PA border 4 times over the next 3 weeks; KY in August; Jersey/PA border beginning of Sept; Asheville twice in 2 weeks in beginning of Sept; AK at end of Sept for MG's wedding; Poughkeepsie (sp?) beginning of Oct for a former coworker's wedding; Vegas mid Oct for our 10 year anniversary; and then not moving for the last 2 months of the year. It's a LOT of travel, but I'm totally looking forward to it!

So that's it. Hopefully I will get my head out of my ass next weekend and not let this blog go 3 weeks in a row anymore. Go me for doing the bare minimum.