Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Therapy Couch

Blogging gives me a chance to air my grievances with the world at large. Let me crawl up on my therapy couch and let loose upon the online world.

1) Why do people answer their phones just to tell you "I'm busy, can you call me back?" or "I'm with a client, now is not a good time."

Umm, did you just forget the last 20 seconds-you answered your phone. I can leave you a perfectly good voicemail and you may call me back at your leisure. I promise, that's fine.

2) Closely related to #1...Why do people whom I don't interact with regularly, call me and simply say "Hi Erin, it's Bob."

Note to population-there are many Bobs in the world. Not just you. Let alone Rob, Robert, Bobby, and Bobby Joe. It is a courtesy to identify yourself and the company you're with. Give me some context people. Try as I might to know everyone, I will be able to focus on what you're telling me rather than racking my brain simultaneously to figure out which Bob you are.

3) For the love of Father Time, please don't talk to just to hear your own voice. Take a note from Gwen and the boys, and simply, "Don't Speak."

My hour is up kiddos. Until next time, may you find the glass half full, as I do every other hour of the day except therapy time!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Confessions

I secretly wish to be in Chicago on Broadway.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grandma by the Dinosaurs

My grandma has been staying at my parent's house for a few months and wanted to spend some one-on-one time with her eldest grandchild (moi) before she went back to Sacramento, and of course I obliged.

To differentiate between my maternal grandparents who lived 3 miles from home, this set of grandparents has always been known as Grandma and Grandpa by the Dinosaurs for this reason:
They lived in Joshua Tree and we always passed through Cabazon, home of the famous T-Rex and Brontosaurus that hang out by the freeway, to get there.

Last weekend Grandma and I enjoyed a great afternoon chat. She is one of the nicest, gentlest, and goodhearted souls that walk this earth. I am glad we have been able to spend time together while she's been down, and I think upon her farewell dinner in a week or two, I'll have to find the ingredients to make her favorite drink, a Pink Squirrel.


Not receipts.
Not cheese.
But fat.

I am a devoted reader of WeddingBee even almost a year after being married. Boys calls this wedding porn for women, and I completely agree. I love the essence of weddings and with two of my girls getting married and coordinating one for a third friend, I need to research these things anyway.

Moving on, most brides want to look their best on the big day and swear by Jillian Michaels' "The Shred." I follow a few of the bees on Twitter and last week local lovely Mrs. Meatball posted that it was just $6 on Amazon. Well I hurried my derriere over there to make a contribution to the economy.

The workout is based on the 3-2-1 method: 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs, done 3 times, for a 20 minute workout. Normally each week I swim or run 4-5 days and consider myself in pretty good shape, but needed a little extra oomph as I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. This video had over 1000 comments of women raving about it, so I was certain it would work. Well level one could have been level 10! I was sweating in the warm up! Good golly miss Molly my muscles were screaming at me. Jillian doesn't let you take breaks either. She is very much a drill seargeant/nazi leader/fat camp counselor--it's fitting seeing she is the trainer on the Biggest Loser. Her principles ring true though-stick to the workout for 30 days and I can only imagine you'll see results. My day one results: rock solid calves. Note to self: self-stretching required for those muscles.

I had thought about doing a photo series of my body as it lost weight but I am both too vain (assuming I end up looking like a Brazilian supermodel) and too private, though it would hold me accountable. I know, how can you hold two opposite thoughts of that nature-I am a woman. If I see crazy dramatic results before and after the 30 days, I'll do two of those photos. We'll see how far I've come in the toning department come August 24!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Steady Gal

Abbie and I have a ritual. We go to Javier's, order a few margaritas, down copious amounts of chips and salsa, and split the chicken fajitas-she gets corn tortillas, I take flour. We spend a few hours updating each other with various aspects of our lives, laughing a great deal, and some might say, building each other up. However we beg to differ! And though she is family by marriage, I consider her and her sister friends first.

Now this is one saucy catch of a friend and girl!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lessons on the Green

I'm pretty much a golf prodigy. Watch out Ms. Wie.

This was a fashion challenge. I do not own golf wear, and I had to go through the work day with the same ensemble, different shoes. I think it worked, but I took away my style points for the combination. And please excuse the sorry excuse for a ponytail-where did my perkiness go?

Photos taken by the fabulous, Cristal Drake

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Buzz Shout Outs

My one or two visitors (Scott or Dad) may or may not notice (like a haircut) that this blog is looking FABULOUS! I was going to wait to do a major self-promotion blast, as I will be reverting this domain name over to in the next week or so, however before that happens, I want to give a major thank you and shout out to a certain 'Bug at Rainy Day Design Templates, for the chic makeover. I could not be happier, and it could not have been easier working with her!

Thank you so much Ellie, I could not be happier! If your blog needs a fresh new look, scootch your browser over to her site and just try to pick a template. I dare you.

This blog received the "fashion" tag, as it falls in the category of fashion, blog fashion. A very real part of the fashion industry.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bridal Showering & Delicious Dinners

My dear friend Kerilynn is finally marrying her high school boyfriend of 8 years, Cory. Yesterday, her sisters and family gave a bridal shower in her honor and I am pretty certain she loved every second of it. It also was a great afternoon for catching up with old friends and the Jex sisters!
Katie, KL the Bride, Rebecca, and me

Later that evening, Scott and I had a much-anticipated ahi dinner that was about 4 nights in the making. And man was it worth the wait.

The perfect bite

I confess I did not eat my broccoli.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Thoughts on Potter

As anyone who has seen the post below this, you can identify me as a self-proclaimed Potter-Head. I have read the series six times, yes six times, consecutively, with the exception of the 7th, which I will read on its own out of sheer literary love.

You can bet I bought my tickets to the July 15 midnight showing a week in advance and did a countdown each day. Also note that I drove past the theater on my way home from work at 5:30, then drove back again at 7:30 inspecting crowd size, finally beginning to hold our place in line, at 8:30. I have waited in line longer than 3.5 hours. Last November for our first tv, Scott did it across the way at Best Buy. I am no stranger to sidewalk-derriere. But I digress, or mostly want you to read through that veiled claim at my dedication.

I was ready for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. What I was not ready for was feeling like a lost reader hung out to dry. I don’t want to list a litany of spoilers for those who have any desire to see the movie, other than point out they are only spoilers for those who read the books. Don’t expect to see truth. Don’t expect to see accurate representations of stories, accounts, and accusations, though there will be scrambled, notable one-liners. Don’t imagine to witness two of the most described, envisioned, and emotional scenes on screen. And don’t look forward to Hagrid, who makes a brief two appearances in the movie, and that’s including full camera and focus time on screen.

Look forward to your next reading of the story and slip back into your own imagination. I can only hope that production seeks a new director next time otherwise your theatres won’t be full of Hogwarts’ greatest fans.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Day Has Come

90 degrees outside today, and I will wear my Gryffindor scarf. I think I have officially crossed the threshold from cool to dork. And I am ok with it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

...or cat on a cool humidor.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Belated Birthday Greetings

My dear friend Courtney celebrated her quarter of a century the same day as Scott, so we postponed our celebrations until the luckiest day of July, today! I am very happy to have had this wonderful girl by my side in high school, college, and now working a parallel position in the professional world. Cheers Corinthia! Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Oh Yeah...

Please cue the thematic Ferris Bueller's Day Off music:

7 tickets. 7 books. 7 Horcruxes. You do the math.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Confessions

I need to start going back to church. First step-finding one that I gel with.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Invoking the Internet

I have just finished my first post-BA course this week, an online programming course with this description:

Focuses on developing World Wide Web pages for the Internet using HTML. Covers writing HTML code, creating hypertext links, working with design elements, creating text and graphic tables, and coding frames and forms.

I can tell you I pretty much received none of that. I think I learned more by formatting my MySpace page a few years ago and obviously with the help of my better half coaching me through this 1990s era course.

For some background, I decided to take the course, which my job ever so kindly paid for, because I am enjoying blogging and would like to learn how to convert this blog to a website and the design aspects behind it. Watching Scott working on Web sites and helping Ashley out with the design and planning of her business, really intrigued me to learn more.

The course was six weeks long, roughly from Memorial Day to the 4th of July. We had one orientation meeting where the prof went over the syllabus and I kid you not, explained how to open a web browser with the words "invoke the internet." For a fleeting moment, I thought I might have needed a more advanced class. It was also one of those moments (which I swear happen a lot) where I look around to see if anyone else thought that was a rather special statement to make. Because this was an online course, I pictured more professionals like myself at the orientation but was pretty surprised to find many college students doing it on the side with a few older moms and one advanced child there with his own mom. If he could do it, I could.

The foundational problem with the course is that it is all purely theoretical web development. Students are graded on quizzes (which can be taken multiple times, with no time limit) based on material presented in the textbook and PowerPoint lectures. Projects are optional. WTF? How on earth am I going to learn to do this by theory? Clearly I planned to attempt the projects with Scott's help, so that I may actually gain something from this. With my job paying for it, I felt especially accountable to get their money's worth as well.

I did a fairly good job with Scott's assistance in building two quasi-websites with content provided to me. However, the projects were flawed by the instructor's poor planning. Because I am still new to the terminology and overall construction of website design, I can tell you in layman's (my own) terms, that the pages were not fitting the browser as it was resized and were utilizing out of date HTML code such as the font tag and framing, which I still can't wrap my brain around it's so archaic. Additionally, he would switch from CSS to HTML on the assumption that a beginner-level student knew the difference. Remember, this is coming from the man who said "invoke the Internet."

The grading rubric was also flawed. I am an over-achiever, always will be, and with the job paying for the course, I wanted to do well, just to well, say so. As I stated above, projects were optional and if the grade was higher than that of the final, would replace that final exam. I only completed 2/4 projects when I realized how much of a waste of time it was for me, and Scott who was coaching me through. I had prepared myself for a scary final full of code to decipher but was again met with theory and out of date questions that even the W3C would balk at. It was not until after I submitted the exam that I noticed the grading rubric INCLUDED the 4 projects in the total along with the exam. Again, WTF? It clearly states they are optional, so I have no idea what this guy is smoking. He's in his 60s, do the math.

So now I am left with maybe an ounce of gained HTML knoweldge and no real understanding of how to apply it. I definitely want to continue to pursue it-I set out hoping to further my skill set and still plan to. I will probably take another course offered by a work colleague and even have Scott help me with some work projects.

One thing I did learn was how truly hard it can be to be working full time and then having to devote time and attention to another need. Having finished school in December 2006 it has been almost 3 years since I've had to find time for academic work-I do not miss that. This experience also gave me some insight into working moms who go back to school, and what they must balance. Definitely an appreciation for their hard work and determination to succeed both professionally and at home.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wish List

I hope I am not alone in having secret wish lists year round of things that I would love to buy, though at this time I feel slightly guilty coveting things when people are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. I can't necessarily justify spending the money to buy these things nor necessarily afford all of them, but sometimes it helps by putting things on paper (or HTML) to really understand if they are just wants or actually needs. If anything else, maybe in a few months I can help stimulate the economy myself!

1. A Schwinn Cruiser, preferably in a super sweet color like eggplant or aqua
2. An organized workspace
This would entail a new desk, shelves, drawers with files, etc.
Note: I am pretty traditional in my design needs-a roadie box turned into a desk is not my style, I just got lazy searching on Google images for something and this one kept popping up.

3. A dresser/chest of drawers and someone to decorate my current home and future home. I am not talented in this area!
I definitely don't need a $1700 dresser either, imposters are fine. Al's Woodcraft anyone?

4. A new camera
I have loved my CanonPowershot that has been all over the world, literally. Twice to Africa and London with Scott, and New York, Boston, and Fiji with the two of us. He is old, tired, and a little fatigued.
Sadly, he is ready for retirement after a good 6 years serving.

5. To meet Stacy London and Clinton Kelly and go on a shopping spree!
I am pretty sure they'd be open to me as a friend!

This list is always subject to additions and subtractions (though at this time I am thinking more of the former.) That bike is definitely number one for me!