Monday, April 28, 2014

Detroit; Land of Whiskey, Tobacco, Horses, Detroit; Detroit

Ugh. That is all.

Don't you wish that was all? Because it's not all. I lied to you.

2 weeks ago, post walk back to hood from Central Park, I met back up with my female bar friends. The one had just finished a super freaking fast half marathon (making me realize I have a true desire to start running again) so we wanted to celebrate with her. We headed up a few blocks for a brunch with plenty of wine - and then shopped our way back to our area. And finished our day with cocktails at a favorite restaurant - they have great food and great bourbon apple cocktails. Heart. Squee!

And then came Monday and my flight back to Detroit. I actually like Detroit / Michigan in general. I also really like the fact that if I fly direct, it's only 1 hour, 15 min flight. So yep, back to Detroit. We started out at one site on Monday afternoon and realized immediately that they hadn't done something they said they had done. I knew just by looking at the room they wanted to deploy in that we would not be able to deploy without some work being done. And then we went to the 2nd site, and ran into alllllll kinds of fun issues.

The good part of the day was that my BFF from the office got permission to come help me for my Tues-Wed work, so I got to pick her up on Monday night at the airport. We gossiped in the car all the way back to the city where we were staying, before popping into a Buffalo Wild Wings for a late dinner. Here is yet another reason I love Michigan - Michigan prices. We paid $3 for a "late night appetizer" of queso at BWs, and it was a HUGE portion. Our entire bill was $26. Again, Heart! Squee!

Tuesday was no better in terms of work - we went into to start prepping the product and immediately ran into yet more issues; some took all morning to resolve, some weren't resolved when I flew out on Wednesday. Dinner that night involved a very long, loud conversation about "tips of stylus pens" which turned into a "just the tip" conversation (wine, 2 good girlfriends from work, enough said). And Wednesday, wash, rinse and repeat. We flew out on Wednesday afternoon but I had a connecting flight through Baltimore. I got to Baltimore just fine but then high winds were causing havoc at JFK so it was a multi-hour wait at Baltimore, including an announcement that because we had waited so long, the flight crew might have to go off work hours. But we ended up getting out in the nick of time.

Thursday was multiple loads of laundry before packing up and catching our flight to the Land of Whiskey, Tobacco and Horses. I finally flew my first flight to my parents hometown from NY *that went on time*. No shit. The night was an early/late one - meaning it was late when we landed but we went straight to bed when we got to my parents house. Friday was amazing - we started it off by working out a bit, and then got to see Mr Pooh, sis and my parents for a breakfast. Afterwards, we stopped at Mr Pooh's to get Mrs Pooh and then it was off to the races!

Where only sis won any $. Still though - Keeneland is gorgeous and it was beautiful weather. Just getting to hang out, watch horses, and drink beer in the sun made it worthwhile. We were joined at Keeneland for a bit by my BFF TT; and completely randomly had a friend from IN (whom we met in TX and SF, and who visited us in NY) be at Keeneland that day also. All in all - just a blast. And it got better because it was then back to the parents house for dinner followed by everyone rallying and going bowling. There was a bowl off between Blondie and Mr Pooh (ending in a straight up tie) and then a late night Taco Bell run followed by cards at Mr Pooh's house.

I won't embarrass sis but do want to call out that the funniest thing I ever heard/saw her do was her imitation of mom on Friday night. Those who were there know all about it. Seriously. Funniest thing I've seen her do.

Saturday it was off to watch little kids play soccer - which honestly. So much fun. I got to see my nieces (THEY ARE SOOOOO FREAKING ADORABLE!!!!) - the first game was the little kids and they played in a giant pack but my little niece scored 2 goals. And then it was to the older kids game where my big niece ROCKED OUT the goalie position!

It was also exciting b/c when we were waiting for my big niece's soccer game, Mr Pooh goes "Oh, look who's here!" and we all turned around to see my uncle who had flown in randomly for the weekend! It was a real nice surprise - I like when everyone shows up when I'm back for a visit. Narcissism is spelled Kerri. After soccer, it was time for a giant drunken mexican brunch - the highlight of which was Blondie's steak fajitas served in a giant pineapple. My BFF TT joined us again for this, and we spent a few hours drinking and talking with everyone.

And then back to sis' house for a bit - hanging out there and talking, before hitting back up the Pooh's for way too much food and drinking. I wish I would've had room to try nachos but if I had, I might've spent all night "imitating mom". Sunday was nice - I got up early with Blondie and we got to meet up with Brother R and Shugs for some breakfast. Afterwards Brother R came back to the house and we spent the afternoon with the whole family playing cards and just hanging out.

Sunday night Blondie convinced me to buy tics to meet up with the family in July in PA (land of oil?) so we all got excited for that trip. There will be middle aged men roller skating (completely true), a baseball game between Pittsburgh and Philly, fireworks, getting to see my uncle's girlfriend for the first time in ages. Just a lot to look forward to!

We flew back bright and early Monday morning, and I turned my phone on when I landed to hear from the 3rd party company in Detroit. They had gotten a timeline for the fixes they needed and had planned for tentatively Wed. I ended up working somewhat on Monday even though I officially had vacation - I was trying to nail down exact dates for their work and for the stuff my company needed to fix. But it wasn't sorted out on Monday so into the office I went on Tuesday.

To my boss telling me to go home and pack because I was needed in Detroit on Wednesday. My company had "surprised" fixed the stuff I had found and the 3rd party company called back and 100% confirmed Wednesday. So yep, last minute $1400 plane ticket, last minute packing, last minute saying hi and bye to my cat, and Michigan it was.

I was in Michigan Wed-Fri this past week - the issue my company was working on got totally resolved and we got the issues with the 3rd party company 95% resolved. So that was a good step in the right direction. I enjoyed some good food at a mexican restaurant while I was here last week too - got a 12 oz imported mexican beer for $1.90; with a total bill of $16.66 for 2 beers, queso, taco and beans. Michigan. How I love thee.

Friday I got home mid afternoon and then met up with Blondie at our local bar. While I was chatting with him there, he mentioned he wanted to go to Key West for his birthday so a quick lookup of plane tickets... and Key West it is. We're flying in a few days before his birthday, renting a car and driving out to Key West, vacationing for 3 days, and then driving/flying back to NY. CAN NOT WAIT. And Saturday was another great day - I met up with my female bar friend for late afternoon bites and drinks, before we bar hopped our way back to our hood (margaritas at a mexican restaurant, bourbon at a whiskey bar) and met back up with Blondie for dinner.

I spent Sunday feeling like total shit - I didn't leave my bed except to pick up a prescription. And then I moaned all day long <- I've totally turned into my mother. And this morning, a 6 am flight back to Detroit. I'm here all week - flying home Friday night. We launch this week so it's my scary and exciting week. Keeping fingers crossed it goes well! I'm supposed to be in CA next week - all tickets are purchased, but now there's a possibility that project might get put on hold. I'll be sad if it does because I wanted to see my SF friends, but happy if it does because YAY NO LEAVING NY!!!!!

That's all. I'm now starving so it's foraging time in the big D (or is that Dallas?).


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Never say never

I got my wish (almost) and have just spent the past 2 weeks in NYC (almost). It was brilliant (almost). And now I really can't wait for another break from travelling. Which will now be the end of May. Fuck (all of it).

Last Sunday I started my day with a pedicure - I hadn't had one in almost 3 months because of our "winter that won't end" so the pedicure was really needed - my toes look fabulous now. Afterwards I headed home and debated with Blondie about lunch. While we were debating, our bar friend texted that she was going to Pony so that's where we ended up. It was really nice because our musician friend, whom we haven't seen in forever, was also there. He had brought in cupcakes for the bartender so we all ended up eating lunch, drinking many beers, and splitting cupcakes - not a bad way to spend a beautiful Sunday.

Monday was a "normal" day - into the office for the day but not a whole lot going on. I finally got to chat in person with my BFF who had quit - he's super excited about his transition and it makes me really happy for him that he's taking on a new challenge.

On Tuesday, I had a "scary" day. From the day we moved to NYC (Feb 2010), I've sworn I'll never drive a car in the city. And this past Tuesday, I broke that promise to myself. I had to go out to my NJ/PA site for a demo and I was the only one going from the city (I was meeting a coworker there who works full time not from the office). I usually take a car service but decided this time to just bite the bullet and drive out. I picked up my car, made my way terrifiedly (not a word I know) through the city and spit out into NJ feeling solid relief.

The demo went really well - they are looking to expand use of our product so this demo was to people who haven't been actively involved with us so far. It also ran over by almost an hour which is always a good sign - if they don't like what they are seeing, they try to get you out as soon as possible. And then I got in my car and made my way back to the city where I proceeded to get honked at like a billion times trying to get my car dropped off at the car rental garage. Fuck driving in the city.

Wed I took a train out to my other NJ site and spent the day out there - things have calmed down tremendously and the mood at the site is pretty positive. It's always nice to see that type of thing. Thurs was also a good day - the VP I have the most respect for asked me to present to his team on "the goods", "the bads", and "what we don't do but should do" at our sites. I was pretty hesitant about this as it can feel like an attack - whenever you present on "the bads", you have to be so careful about how you phrase things in order not to hurt feelings. But the meeting went really well. They were receptive to what I had to say and asked if we could have these meetings more often.

After work on Thurs, I went out with a coworker that I haven't gone out with before. We went to my local bar and spent a couple of hours just getting to know each other and ragging on work things. After she left, I stayed with my bar friends and we threw ourselves a dance party. Which made Friday suck. I spent all day just nursing my head and my stomach - awful.

It was beautiful in the city on Saturday so we opened the door to the patio and let the place air out. And we went out for snacky foods for dinner (fruit, potato chips) and then hung out watching tv into the evening. A very low-key night but exactly what I needed. And today it was up early - my bar friends and I went to cheer on one of our friends who was running a half-marathon today. We met up in Central Park and cheered our friend onto a 1:50 half (holy shit - I was so proud of my 2:35 half. I can't even imagine 1:50). And then we slowly walked our way back to the neighborhood. The weather is insane today. It was so nice to be out in it!

A week of traveling is upon me again - tomorrow morning it's off to Detroit bright and early. Thank god I've already been upgraded to first class - it makes flying that much better. I'm back on Wed night late, doing laundry and packing on Thurs, and then off to the land of whiskey, horses and tobacco on Thurs night. I've got another trip to Detroit in April and 2 to CA in May, and I've been put on a site in Brooklyn in addition to all this mess. Woo mother fucking hoo.

Cheers. I hate driving.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Insert Witty Title Here

A week of nothing. It was wonderful.

Last Sunday was what I imagined it being - I binged on Gossip Girl re-runs all day while laying in bed. It was pretty gross weather last weekend, all weekend, and it felt pretty awesome doing nothing and not feeling guilty about doing nothing.

My week was supposed to be low-key but did get away from me a bit. Monday and Tuesday were pretty good - I was in the office both days, and got to catch up with my friends. I did find out that one of my besties had given his notice which was like a sucker punch - expected, but it still hurt. I found out at lunch, and had an immediate text message back-and-forth conversation with him (he wasn't with me when I found out) and then never got a chance at the office to get to actually talk to him.

On Tuesday night, I went out for drinks with a coworker who works full-time not from the office - there are actually about 15 people who do this for my work. She happened to be in town that day, so I met her by work, along with her sister (who lives with another coworker of mine who also works full-time not from the office), and we started out there. Her sister and I live across the street from each other, so we eventually bar hopped our way back to my hood and split a bottle of wine at her sister's apartment. Her sister's boyfriend showed up late at the apartment and when he saw me sitting there, the look on his face was complete shock. Understandably so - because if I walked into my apartment ever and saw him, I'd probably shit myself. It made my night though.

On Wednesday I went out to my NJ site feeling like ass from the night before. It was supposed to be a "boring" day - just finishing up meetings and getting the last tiny bits of the project sorted out (all the crap that's not important so it drops to the very end of things but it still has to be worked on - that crap). However, when I was out there, we realized we had yet another issue, so in breaks between meetings, it was tearing around my site working on getting everything resolved. I can't go to that site without something like that happening - every. single. time.

After the day ended, I rode with another coworker over to another office for the site and met with some of the higher ups about a few things. It was a very low key meeting, and we ended up mostly talking about one of their wives (in a good way) the entire time. It was a nice meeting to end with, but I was so exhausted at that point it took all my willpower not to just yawn in their faces the entire time. A very long ride back to the city followed - tunnel traffic, holla - before a walk back to my apartment to collapse for the night.

I woke up on Thursday and just felt like I had been hit in the head by a hammer - I told Blondie I was going to take a mental health day, and logged into work and sent my boss "I need a mental health day" email. Then I made the mistake of checking email - and have never been so glad I did. My Detroit site was in training mode, and my boss and boss' boss had said I shouldn't go because they would put other people on site to support it. In checking email, I realized that everyone had gotten pulled and the only person left was an extremely new person. I immediately wrote my boss that it was no longer a "mental health day" but instead a "work from home" day because of what happened. He went into an uproar and escalated it around the office (removing people without telling me, and without putting someone else in their place = NO FUCKING NO). I spent the day doing remote support for this and feeling totally ragey that I wasn't there.

After training mode ended for the day, Blondie and I trucked out for an extremely late lunch - 4 pm ish. We decided salads and a patio were in order - because hold the fort you guys - it finally felt like spring!!!! We plopped down at poison bar and had salads, while I chased my lunch with many beers. I needed some Vitamin D I guess, and some food, because I felt mentally stable after lunch for the first time all day.

And Friday - I woke up and it was raining and cold again. I went to work late, talked to my boss about what had happened with training, took an "out of office" lunch (ate out, didn't come back and eat at my desk) and then had a super long meeting with a good friend to end my day. I had several people ask me to go get drinks but I shot them all down and instead met up with my female bar friends for a wine night.

We started out at a wine bar in our hood. I had several glasses of good red, and we split some small plates - cauliflower and spinach salad. It started to get a bit crowded though, so we eventually headed back down the street to a gay bar in my hood for beers and some really bad dancing (on my part) and some really incredible dancing (on my bar friend's part). There was even a strut off between my bar friend and another patron set to the music. We left around 11 pm and I went home and straight to bed.

Yesterday I yet again didn't leave my house. I did a bit of a workout and then watched Gossip Girl all afternoon, before finally showering, and watching TV with Blondie. The KY/WI game was a bit of a shit show - both of us rooting for opposite teams, but we were happy to see KY go onto the final game.

Today it's gorgeous out. Not sure what's on tap - maybe some Pony Bar. Travel this week is NJ travel - I'm out at the NJ/PA site all day Tuesday and have to be in my other NJ site either Wed or Thurs. Other than that, nothing going on.