Tuesday, September 30, 2008
To a de-lux cu-ube
On the third floor......
I had my last day in Radiology today. My last day as an admin assistant, information booth and Keeper of the Bosses. Speaking of the bosses, they surprised me. They ordered a very rich chocolate cake (with dark chocolate flowers) and even gave me a Habitude gift card (take note, present givers. You can never go wrong with a Habitude gift card. Never.)
I busy as all get out until 3:30pm, but then I started packing up and people started stopping in to say goodbye and well, it was surprisingly sad. I even got a little choked when I hugged my boss goodbye. I think it's familiarity that I'll miss the most. I'm a girl who loves routine. My route to work, stumble up the stairs to the 2nd floor, drop off my purse, log on, wash my coffee mug while I'm logging on, go get coffee, sit and read emails. I can do it in my sleep. I may have to actually think tomorrow. Huh.
I sent out an email last week, to a select group of people that I work with on a regular basis, giving them a heads up that I was leaving. My boss hadn't done that yet and I didn't want these people to be surprised when they emailed me on Oct 1 to schedule a meeting.
The replies I got back were so heartwarming. Some of these people I've never met face to face. And it's their comments that tell me I was doing a good job, even if some people couldn't see it or appreciate it.
Allow me to share........
Thanks so much for your good cheer and hard work over the past years! We have appreciated your help so much and please stay in touch.
Your new career path sounds exciting and they are lucky to have you.
Editor's Note: Good cheer and hard work? I had them all fooled! Fooled! [insert evil laugh]
It's been fun working with you, and best of luck with the new job. Maybe we can get a coffee sometime if you're ever at the hospital.
Editor's Note: He's always wanted me.
Wow - Congratulations!! What is she going to do!!!
You will be missed in Medical Imaging!!!!
I hope, however, that I will be able to work with you in your new role!
Thank you so much for ALL of your help over the last few years!
All the Best,
Editor's Note: Our GE rep is apparently very excited! that I'm leaving. He's a nice guy.
Congrats on the new job! I will miss seeing ya around radiology. I was going to complain that you did not come over and be my admin, but this new job sounds even better!
Editor's Note: Being his admin would have been fun, but there would have been chemistry involved. He's in Nuclear Medicine.
Although I haven’t worked with you closely I feel like losing a close acquaintance. I wish you much success and job satisfaction in your new career pursuit.
Editor's Note: Big ol' teddy bear from New York. Steve and I ran into him and his wife at house concert a long time ago. Random.
Raechelle—though we’ve never met I want to tell you I have appreciated your help and professionalism when working with your clinic. I wish you the very best as you pursue the new opportunity. Thank you for keeping us updated.
They will soon understand how big of a role you played and how much you actually did...as we both know...you should have been more than just a admin 1.
Editor's Note: Everyone got it except my boss. Huh.
Many thanks. I know I've made this clear, but you are really exceptional at what you do, and you will be sorely missed. Still, I hope your new position is all you want it to be.
Fine! But you are still drinking with us sometime!
Editor's Note: We admins love to get our happy hour on. I had to cancel on her last Thursday. Infection and all.
And finally, the best present of them all (next to the glass jar of chocolate). Alcohol.
Feel the love, baby. Feel the love.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday morning began with laying in bed until 9:30am. Because we could. Once up and put together, Kayleigh's friend Stormy showed up, ready to party. As much as a 11 year old can. Full of energy and dimples and 20 questions.
We headed down to Pike Place Market to browse and have lunch.
After Pike Place, back to the house to prepare for the par-tay. We made a trip to QFC for cake (Oreo), ice cream (vanilla), punch makings (non-alcoholic.......crap) and fruit to accompany the now infamous dutch babies.
Fortunately for me (unfortunately for Kayleigh) only two of her four guests showed up (two had cancelled earlier this week). I guess the Universe thought five girls might be a little too much at this point in my parent-ness. Thank you, Universe. I owe ya a cookie.
The girls played for a bit, we ordered pizza, Todd was banished to the bedroom with a beer and a paintbrush, we started to watch a movie, the bulb burned out in the projector, we had to call on Todd to hook up the back up projector, we had cake and ice cream, we opened presents, we finished watching the movie, the girls bedded down and I retreated to the big people's room. To snuggle with the cute dad.
At midnight we heard a few thuds and screams, so mean ol' dad had to go upstairs and put the kibosh on the fun. Poo. Apparently Kayleigh fell asleep first - the girls drew on her face. Lots of colors. Very pretty. Didn't get a picture. Sorry.
At 8am, I heard the pitter patter of little feet. Time to get up. Todd walked down to Westwood Village for his Sunday coffee date, and I headed upstairs make breakfast.
The dutch babies were edible, but not very pretty. Again, I forgot to take a picture. I'm really suckin' here, aren't I? Sorry. Anywho, I made a batch of 12 muffin dutch babies. The tops completely deflated, much like a souffle, but the girls took that opportunity to fill the crater with syrup or jam or powdered sugar or all three.
And no, I wasn't thinking ahead.
At 10:30, I was watching the front door, willing Todd to get back from coffee with his friend. I was walking that fine line of telling the girls to PLEASE JUST PICK UP THE MARKERS RIGHT NOW and just saying, Screw it, it's easier to do it myself. (I didn't pick up the markers. I win.)
Todd got home from coffee, I kissed him hello, and updated him on the morning. Then I, maybe a bit too quickly, changed clothes and took off to meet Kim for a walk. Tag! You're it!
To sum up:
I have more patience than I thought I did.
I know how to talk with 11 year olds.
11 year olds think I'm funny. It's oddly validating.
I have even more respect for Todd now. There is NO FREAKIN' WAY I could handle two kids by myself. Where's the relief? Where is that partner who is supposed to be home at 11am so I can get the hell out of here? Where are the hugs when you're ready to snap?
Props to you, baby.
And now, we are holed up in the boudoir, watching TV (I know, I know) and winding down from an eventful weekend. The room is painted, but the furniture is still "askew" so we'll take pictures once everything is back in place.
Tomorrow is my second to last day in my position, so I think a few of us will be heading down to Chandler's after work for a beverage or three. Since I'm the one who facilitates the going away potlucks, I don't believe there will a potluck in my honor......since I have not facilitated one.
Okay. 'Night 'night.
And, hey, GO 'SKINS!! GOOD JOB!!
Friday, September 26, 2008
ARIES (March 21-April 19): You are so hot you sizzle like bacon in a hot skillet. If you push determinedly to make your mark you will succeed. A significant other will be unable to resist your numerous charms later this evening.
This is very funny to me because I feel oh so far from charming right now. My hair is in a frizzy ponytail, I have my big pink cable knit sweater on to hide that fantastic PMS bloat, I'm rubbing my back as I sit here in my chair, squinting at the computer screen because my head hurts SO FREAKIN' BAD.
Yeah. I'm hawt.
Can't touch this.
Probably don't really want to, either.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I'd rather just train someone.
Adding to the pain (no pun intended) is a bladder/almost-to-my-kidneys infection. I've been "uncomfortable" for about a week, but I've always been prone to these because I don't drink enough water but I drink a shit load of coffee and wine. So, my kidneys and I have this love/hate relationship. We've never been close.
We were very close, however, in September of 1999 when I ended up in the emergency room at UW because I thought my appendix had exploded. Turned out it was just a kidney infection, but boy howdy, I'd never known pain like that before.
Luckily, I am not in that kind of pain right now. Just a little poke in my mid-back. I broke down and went to the doctor yesterday after downing bottle after bottle of cranberry juice for the past six days, to no avail. He praised me for my diluted urine (woohoo!) but said it was time for antibiotics.
So, I got the pills goin' on (which make me smell sulfur constantly) and I'm still downing cranberry juice (and a little coffee....gotta get my caffeine on....) and I'm using this ailment to refuse any heavy lifting or crawling on the floor (which is actually 7% of my job).
I'm hoping the pills do their job before Saturday because that's Kayleigh's birthday slumber party. Six 10 and 11 year old girls. All at once. All night. We bought party favors, we're decorating cupcakes and I'm making dutch babies on Sunday morning.
You thought the California vacation was a test? You might want to check on me Sunday. See if I'm still all there. I had planned on spiking my juice box with some wine, but that doesn't seem like such a good idea right now.
Pray for me.
Oh! Whadya know? I gotta pee.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It's been ages since I've watched SNL. I miss it alittle. Every now and then they have some really funny stuff. Tina Fey (Sarah) and Amy Pohler (Hillary) are dead on. I love watching Amy's face when she slips into complete hysteria, while Tina is completely clueless.
And to cleanse your pallet of politics, here's a skit close to MY heart.
Because I will be losing my office next week, and moving into a (GASP) cube!
I think they already have one designated for me, though. I don't think I'll have to fight for it.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Speaking of jinxed, how else do you explain the fact that we JUST SIGNED Koren Robinson, a wide receiver and former Seahawk, but he was inactive this week because of an injury? What kind of injury, you ask?
A knee injury.
Just like Sean Locklear, Deion Branch, and Mo Morris. Maybe someone should take a look at their brand new practice facility. Could be bad grass. Could be a curse. I'm just sayin'....
In any event, we beat the Rams (0-3) We're still in 3rd place in our division, but at least we won a game. Whew.
In addition to an exciting game of football on Sunday, we cleaned the shit out of Todd's dining room and family room. And afterwards, it occurred to me that I didn't take before and after photos. Sigh. But I'll remember when we make our second pass at his office.
It's the funniest thing, every time we clean a room, half of the stuff ends up in the office. If you remember, dear reader, we just cleaned the office a month ago. You would never know it now. So, it all comes full circle. We still have some boxes and bins out in the carport that I'm just itchin' to plow through, but I think the office may have to be sooner rather than later.
Other than that, I think we're out of piles!
What am I going to do now?!
Ooh, that top cabinet of the pantry is a mess. I think it needs a good organizin'.......
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I'm treating myself to a Dove Dark Chocolate square, stolen from my boss' closet.
(Ha. Treating myself. These things are my vitamins. One a day keeps me good.)
And, on the inside of the foil wrapper, there are these cutesy little sayings. A "promise", they call it. Normally, it's something uber nauseating like "Read a book under a tree" or "Find the beauty in your day".
Ack! Shut up and just gimme the friggin' chocolate!
But today, it was different. Today, it said: "Don't think about it so much."
Because I WAS thinking about it a lot. I was picking it apart and wondering, well, what does it mean if I feel THIS way? And, shouldn't I really feel THIS way if it were meant to be? And why don't I feel THIS way when he calls? Shouldn't I maybe feel THIS way if I don't see him for two days?
I'm so hellbent on making sure this is right. Making sure it is EXACTLY what I think it should be. But you know what? It's not. It is not a cookie cutter, pre-packaged, by-the-book relationship.
It's not a fairy tale.
But it has swept me off my feet and made my head spin. And I think I've been misinterpreting that as a bad thing.
And, man alive, school seems confusing these days! I don't know how the kids keep up with everything.
They have a piece of paper that they fill out each day for each 20 minute reading session, that answers questions they're supposed to think about when they read. I think they have to turn that in. Then they have this journal where they keep track of the assignments and the parents are expected to sign off on each page and the teacher looks at those pages every day. And the math book has hardly any pictures! It's all word and stats! And you do the questions on this page, then you flip to this page where you follow up or get the answers or something.
My job doesn't seem so bad right now.
At least I wasn't the shortest girl in the hallways. That was nice. I told Todd I wanted to smoke a cigarette or go make out in the bathroom. Something wild. Just cause I could.
I love being an adult.
Well......most of the time.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
First of all, thanks to my daughter's blog for keeping you (or most of you) posted about us during Ike. We did survive much better than most. As Bink said, roof will need to be replaced, all fences are down and will need to be replaced, and we both almost had heart attacks sitting here on Sat. night waiting for the roof to go blowing off - but we're okay! Lost all the food in the fridge and freezer, so will hit the grocery store this morning since WE GOT ELECTRICITY AT 2:00 A.M. THIS MORNING!!!! Yea! (So, come on Mary - we have lights and food.) Was able to get some gas in my car last night. Darren (neighbor) came by around 6:00 and had passed a gas station out in the boonies and told us it had just opened and there were no lines, so we hightailed it out there and only had 3 cars in front of us. The other places I had tried had lines at least 1-2 miles long. Can't handle sitting in that for gas.
Will spend the day shopping and cleaning up what we couldn't do without electricity, and head back to work tomorrow. I understand our building is open but has no AC and won't for probably another week or so, so we have been instructed that we are more than welcome to come to work, wearing shorts if we choose! Can you imagine that? I'll bet that's not going to be a very pretty picture!
Okay, I have one short day to get a bunch of stuff done, so must get busy. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers and will try to get in touch with each of you later. (And more than thanks to my daughter for being such a good blogger! - I love you.) (her blog address is: http://www.mynewlifeouthere.blogspot.com/ for those of you who would like a good laugh occasionally.)
Mama gives me good props.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I was told my last day at my current job will be September 30. I had planned to take the rest of that week off, then start my new job on October 6, but failed to realize that since it's with the same organization, I would need to use vacation time. Which I'm not willing to do. I'd rather just take it unpaid. Oh well. I'll live. Then I'll have vacation for the day after Turkey Day and a few days around Christmas.
In other news, I'm a little off today. I woke up mad and have had a short fuse all day. I hate it when that happens. Maybe I didn't sleep well, maybe it's because the moon is full, maybe I'm just stressed.
Looking forward to going out with Todd tonight to see Paul Benoit.
Really. I am.
I just can't muster the energy for exclamation points right now.
They still don't have electricity and from what I've read, it could be weeks. I've tried calling the power company but they can't give any information as to how long we're looking at. I texted mom yesterday and asked if I could get them a hotel room for a few nights, but she said no, they wanted to stay at the house. They're afraid of looters.
Their neighbor's family went back home, so mom and dad are using the generator outlets that are now free. They've got the fridge running (cold water and ice!) and the tv on. At least now, they can see some news and get information about their area.
A cold front came in last night, so they've cooled down a little. They've got the windows open and there's a nice breeze. I'm happy about that. The heat scares me more than anything.
Mom left a message this morning and she just sounds exhausted. People have emailed me and asked if they can do anything, but I don't think there's anything anyone can do at this point. Unless you can magically get the power back on. Since they didn't flood, they're not lacking in the basic supplies department. Kroger was open for a few hours on Sunday (as well as the Cracker Barrel) so food isn't too much of an issue. They just need AC.
As always, thanks for the good thoughts.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Mom called. Their power only stayed on for about an hour on Saturday, so they are again suffering in the heat. She said the roof is going to need to be replaced. There's a couple of "gaping holes". They got out and tried to clean up the yard a little, but it was harder work than they anticipated and, as of 5pm Houston time yesterday, mom was sore and tired and dad was drunk. He'd had enough.
They can pop over to their neighbors' occasionally to get some relief from the heat and charge their cell phone batteries, so that's comforting. I've already tried looking up plane tickets to go there, but from what I gather, they're not letting people in until Wednesday. It's times like these it's so hard to be so far away from them.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
"I am totally amazed that they got it back on so fast. Thank God for AC! We were beginning to not smell so good!
Love to all,
I guess, all things considered, a new roof isn't such a big deal. They didn't flood, the house still stands and they're okay. It's all good.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
They made it through fine. Their fence is gone, the tree in the front yard is gone and they lost a few shingles, but otherwise the house is in tact. They don't have power but there's really no flooding. Apparently I10 is underwater though.
Mom said it was horrible. Worse than Alicia. She said the wind just wouldn't stop and even now, she said it's pouring the rain and the sustained winds are around 60 miles an hour. Their neighbors have two generators going, so they had coffee and breakfast this morning. Goober and Miss Squeaky are fine, as well.
There are houses in the neighborhood that have windows out and roofs ripped off, so they're counting themselves lucky.
That's all for now.
"Long night. Can't get out. Will call when I can."
I'm hoping "can't get out" means they can't call out. Not that they're so flooded in they can't get out. Just have to wait and see.
I'll post again when I hear something new.
Thanks to everyone for your good juju.
It is very much appreciated.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Mom sent this to me today, forwarded from a friend of her's on the east coast. I thought it was from her firm. They're funny like that.
Office Procedures Concerning Storm and Office Closings
As we watch the progress of the storm, the following are the firm's guidelines based upon the hurricane's intensity:
Hurricane Category #1
No excuse for being late. Leave earlier to give extra time to avoid fallen trees and limbs.
Hurricane Category #2
Due to the horizontal rain, you may wear jeans.
Hurricane Category #3
Whereas most of the area will be flooded, we suggest you avoid wearing open toe sandals when coming to work. Canoes will be provided to get to the building safely without getting wet.
Hurricane Category #4
More than likely, there will be no electricity. Given that, we will have manual typewriters available to all staff members. Please take extra caution and wear waterproof makeup if Category 4 or above.
Hurricane Category #5
Velcro will be provided to keep you attached to your chairs when the windows blow out. For those who survive, we will have chocolate cake at 3:00 P.M. in the cafeteria.
For my Scotsman.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Oh, I remember this feeling well.
Let's settle in for a story, dear reader. Got a beverage? Comfy chair?
Katrina, a category 3 hurricane, had hit on August 29, 2005 and my parents, located in Baytown, Texas, had escaped unscathed. In the 27 years they've lived in Texas, they've never really been deterred by hurricanes, and they've never really gotten motivated to evacuate. Mom always welcomed the excitement. We had survived Hurricane Alicia (category 3) in 1983 just fine. That was the worse hurricane since 1961 to hit Houston. I remember going to the bathroom and mom going with me while dad was yelling, "Be careful of the window!" People worry about the wind, the tornados and the flooding during a hurricane. They don't expect patio chairs to come flying through windows. Gotta watch for flying objects.
So, mom and dad didn't evacuate during Katrina. The storm was far enough east that they were only going to get a lot of rain. No biggie.
But then, on September 18, as New Orleans was still reeling from Katrina, Rita formed. And it looked like it was going to follow the same exact path as Katrina. Rita hit a category 5 status, as did Katrina, but weakened to category 3 as it hit landfall, as did Katrina.
I didn't get much work done that week. And I made no attempt to hide it. I stayed glued to Houston's Channel 2's website (even emailed them afterwards to thank them for their coverage), and Steve and I emailed each other, and my parents, and his family, continuously. And I've saved all of those emails. They still have the power to bring me to tears.
The following emails have been edited a bit, for content.
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 11:14 AM
Subject: just dandy
Check out the Updated Tracking map. They're thinking it's a B-line to Houston. I asked mom how much nagging would it take to get them to evacuate when it came down to it? I fear hurricanes now. And it's been a loooong time since Houston has had a direct hit. I told mom to go to the hill country, stay in a bed and breakfast, it'll be like a second honeymoon....or a first!
And poor New Orleans. Even if it doesn't hit them, they're going to flood again. Crap.
How are you?
RE: just dandy
Crap. Nobody needs this. N.O. is going to be on the wrong side of the pinwheel this time. They're going to get wet. I suspect your parents will be okay.
RE: just dandy
"I'm not too worried just yet. We'll wait until it gets over in the Gulf. If it stays on the path it's on now, we'll be okay. However, if it moves north very much, then yeah, our butts are out of here! Probably not the hill country though - more like up north somewhere. Umh, let me find out where the casinos are . . . ."
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 11:04 AM
"We had planned to sit it out if it stayed a category 3, however, got up this morning and found out that it had progressed to a 4 and might possibly be a 5 by the time it makes landfall. And we're just a little too close for a 5 - we're just across the Bay from Galveston. We're planning on going home tomorrow evening (Thur) getting a few hours sleep and trying to get out around 3:00 a.m. - hopefully can miss some of the traffic (not much, but some). Probably won't be able to find a room anywhere, but that's okay. We have a fairly good little mattress on the futon, so we'll just pull it off and stick it in the back of the SUV, grab some pillows, a cooler of water, sodas, cheese, bologna and bread and head north (knowing Stephen, it will probably be Shreveport, LA -- casinos!). (ha). My biggest concern is looters, so we're taking the handguns with us. But don't worry, we'll be fine. Will try and call everyone sometime over the weekend and let everyone what's going on."
I've talked to Dad and he said they may leave earlier. His shop is closed tomorrow and Friday. Mom said her office put out a memo saying "If you need to skip work Thur and/or Friday, you will be given one extra vacation day." That's so nice of them. Maybe once Rita hits a 5 tonight, they'll think about closing for the rest of the week.
And Shreveport is up by Dallas - north LA. I freaked out too when she said Louisiana.
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 1:33 PM
"Okay - I think we're taking off in the morning. Voluntary evacuating in Baytown right now and mandatory at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow evening."
Then an hour later:"Okay -- just wanted you to know that if you don't hear from us, don't worry. Most cell phones are not working already, and get this -- the banks are cutting off the ATM machines. Sure am glad we hord cash! Don't have much but at least enough to last a few days and maybe ATM machines 4 or 5 hours away are working in case we get desperate, huh? If we don't talk, we'll call you after we get to wherever we're going!"
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2:14 PM
I just tried to call Dad's work and his cell and got the "We are unable to complete your call at this time". It has begun.
[que eerie, disaster movie music]
To: Mom&Dad; Don; Marcia; Ann; Mardie
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2:34 PM
Subject: FYI -- Raechelle's parents in the path of Rita
Thought I'd let y'all know that Raechelle's parents are evacuating Baytown TX tonight or tomorrow morning. The phones are already busy and she can't get them on the phone at this time, so having e-mail has been good. Following this message are the Marsh updates I've been hearing throughout the day.
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2:58 PM
Subject: Good luck, stay safe!
Hi Annette and Steve,
Everyone up here is thinking about you a whole lot, and we're on your side. We all think Rita is a bitch. Please be careful, be prepared, and stay safe. I bet Seattle doesn't look so bad right now, does it?
Hey, I'm the one who suggested heading west towards San Antonio to Raechelle, but now I think it might not be a good idea. It's a 7 hour drive in the best of times. Double that now? Quadruple that? It may still be the best way to go, but if you go that way and it sucks I just want to say it's not my fault. So there.
You're going to be fine. Just try to stay out of the wind and rain.
p.s from my sister Ann:
Thanks for keeping us in the loop. I'm sorry to hear that they even have to evacuate but I'm glad they are being safe and leaving. If they ever need a place to evacuate to we always have an open door for them!! (Ohio is a little closer than Washington) I do hope that it will miss their area! We will be thinking of them.
RE: Good luck, stay safe!
You make me cry. Ann makes me cry.
I've cried a lot today. This sucks.
But thanks :-)
RE: Good luck, stay safe!
Ann made my cry too. And now you just did. So we're even.
Except my parents are in Brier, so I know we're not really even.
Re: Good luck, stay safe!
Date sent: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 5:15:05
Thanks for the thoughts! I just wrote Bink and told her that my trip home was normal as usual, however, the traffic headed to S.A. and Austin (I-10 west) was WAY backed up, so no way I'm headed there! We're thinking I-10 east towards Louisiana (if we leave in the morning before anything happens) then cutting up and going north, towards Shreveport. So we'll see what happens. Might end up in WV - you never now. Oh, I think S.A. would only be about 4 hours normally, but earlier today it was a 8-10 hour trip to Huntsville - about a normal hour drive from Houston. Fun, huh? And yeah, Seattle doesn't sound TOO bad, but . . . . .
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 10:55 AM
Subject: How *you* doin'?
You probably already know there's cause for a little bit of optimism coming from the Gulf this morning, at least as far as your parents' house his concerned. They're now projecting Rita's path might move east, putting the bay on the weaker side of the pinwheel. And she's weakened a little.
Thoughts? How are you?
RE: How *you* doin'? [Here's where I started to panic a bit.]
The storm is now the least of my concerns. Wendy got through to mom. They left their house at 6am. Four hours later they were in Liberty - 25 miles away. They have less than a half a tank of gas, they're not using the air conditioning to save gas, and the heat index is 97 degrees.
Here's a good map.
If you hover your mouse down in the right corner, you get the little box that blows the picture up. Baytown is just east of 146. Liberty is not really "out of the woods".
I'm worried about mom and the heat and them running of gas right in the path of the storm, once it makes landfall. I don't know why they're in Liberty. They should have been in Louisiana by now.
That's how I am. I'm getting nothing done and I'm not hiding it.
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:01 PM
Wendy got through to mom again. She must just be laying on the phone hitting redial.
They're still in Liberty, on 90. There are blockades and police not letting them on 146 - we're not sure why. They still have a half a tank of gas because they just shut the car off when they're not moving. They have plenty of water and snacks. They're both in pretty good spirits, not annoyed, cranky or desperate. There are cops all over the place bringing gas and water to people, so if something does happen to mom, people are around. Wendy found them a room at the Marriott in Dallas, if they can make it there. Wendy's also talking about using frequent flyer miles and some cash to get them plane tickets out of Dallas to come here. If they could just go right, into Louisiana and up into Arkansas they'd be in the clear. Maybe fly them out of Little Rock....I don't know. I'll try and call them as well.
I feel a little better knowing they're not passing out in the car. I just wish they could get moving. 45 is moving north of Conroe - they finally got the southbound lanes open. I-10 seems to be moving a bit better west of Houston.
Possible hints to why they can't get on 146:
I wish I could do something for you or them. People here know I'm totally distracted and are starting to ask for updates. Ian, Matt, Allyson, and John send their best. Ian did an easy fix that I was supposed to do, but now I've got to put out a fire.
Thanks. No one here is asking me to do anything. John has popped his head in a few times and ask, how's traffic?
I just got through to dad. Nothing new. They're just sitting there, and he heard from his neighbor Mike (via cell phone) that they're not letting people back into Baytown. So people can't go anywhere. They can't get north and they can't turn around and go home. He said mom was doing okay. He made some jokes about not being about to get out and pee. It was good to hear his voice.
To: Don; Marcia; Mom&Dad; Mardie; Ann
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:47 PM
Subject: Update: stuck in Livingston TX
It has taken Annette and Steve 14+ hours to go 90 miles. They are in Livingston TX and they're out of gas.
Polk county has a (1) fuel truck that is rendering assistance, and they know the Marsh's situation and location thanks to Raechelle and Wendy. Calls to her parents are going straight to voice mail right now, so we can't speak with them directly. Maybe they're sleeping and turned the phones off, maybe they're saving battery power since they're out of gas and can't recharge them, who knows. Raechelle and I have sent text messages with important phone numbers and what we know about where to find shelters (in Lufkin TX, ~45mi up hiway 59). We hope they and their phones are equipped to receive them.
Rita's projected landfall has shifted east, putting Galveston Bay and the Marsh home on the less-dangerous side of the pinwheel. However, Baytown is not letting residents back in, so going back home is not an option at this time.
That's all for now.
Steve y Rae
p.s. I looked over Raechelle's shoulder right now and she's looking up the latest earthquakes in WA on the USGS website. It's Natural Disaster Night here at MarshMiller headquarters.
To: Don; Marcia; Mom&Dad; Mardie; Ann
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 7:07 AM
Subject: Update: kindness of strangers
We were just awakened by a call from Annette. They're alive and reasonably well, and were able to sleep in a bed last night. The gas truck wouldn't come to them unless they were on the side of the highway with the hood up. But yesterday that was impossible on highway 59. Ordinarily a two-lane highway, 59 became four lanes northbound including both shoulders. There was nowhere to stop the car, so they pulled off the highway to look for gas.
They stopped in the parking lot of a nightclub in Livingston, called J & C Supper Club. Steve went into the bar to ask if they could sleep in the parking lot, and the owner took them home for the night. He set them up on the floor in the living room, but when his wife found out she was almost livid. Annette: "We're not going to take your bed." Host lady: "You either sleep in our bed or you're not staying here."
What were these kind folks' names? STEVEN MARSH and his wife RITA. No kidding.
(Steve Marsh and Steve Marsh)
This morning they called us from I90 west, at a gas station with no gas. Annette told Rae last night was the worst night of her life. Considering what she went through in the hospital a couple of years ago, that's saying something. While Raechelle was talking with Annette, we heard Steve say in the background "You want to go home with them?" Annette, sounding a little surprised and tired said "I'll go home with anybody." Apparently some elderly couple who lives near that gas station was out looking for someone to help, offering to put people up. Annette said she'd call Rae back in a couple hours.
Steve y Rae
(Bitsy & Ron - Saviors)
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 12:32 PM
Re: I'm sure you would have told me already....
> ...but have you heard anything new?
Nope nothing new. Still waiting for mom to call. I did find mention of a list of refueling yards in the Chronical. I couldn't find the list on the website, so I called someone, got passed around, then someone asked for my fax number and said they would fax me a list of the places. Haven't received it yet.
> How are you?
I'm okay. Talking to mom was good. It will get me through today, knowing that they're (for moment) safe and indoors. Lisa emailed to see how things were. She offered up her cable tv if I wanted to come over and watch things develop tonight. I think I do. I may just get in my sweats and head over and crash on their couch. They're going to be packing to leave tomorrow for the weekend, but I may offer to cook dinner for them, if they want. I'll let you know the plan.
And I'm leaving here at 3pm, maybe a smidge before, just to get out of here.
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 2:09 PM
Re: Houston mayor
> sounds like an asshole. Are you watching channel 2?
No, I haven't been watching.
Mom just called. They're holed up with the older (not elderly) couple along with 2 other families in an office building in Livingston. The host works for a company that bought the building, so they live upstairs and have an office and more living quarters downstairs. It sounds like a very solid building - not a trailer, whew.
They've slept most of the day, and mom said she just finished a bowl of homemade vegetable soup and cornbread. She says they may just stay after the hurricane. She also says they are very, very blessed. Karma baby. She is very proud of dad who kept his cool all day yesterday. But she said he was really beat at the end of the day - physically and mentally.
That's it for the update. They are safe, in one spot and ready to take on Rita. We may not talk again - I'm sure the cell phone towers will be down after the storm moves on.
Okay, gotta go email a couple of mom's friends.
To: Mom&Dad; Don; Marcia; Ann; Mardie
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 2:00 PM
Subject: Update: alive and well
Raechelle just talked to Steve -- dialed up and got through on the first try. We were expecting cell towers to be down.
They're fine. They weathered the storm in Livingston and survived intact. They had generator power and have been watching TV coverage of the storm in air conditioned comfort. They're almost out of gas for the generator though, so they may have to rough it soon.
Steve is exhausted and Annette's back is giving her plenty of trouble, but they're hanging in there. Steve said Annette was upstairs watching a movie and laughing, which is a good sign. Steve is entertained by their hosts' 30-pound cat.
Power is out in Livingston, meaning the gas pumps aren't going to work even if there were gas to pump, so they're going to be there for another day or two. Steve went outside and looked at highway 59 and it's already packed with people coming home. He said there's no way he'd want to get back in that anyway. It's still blowing and raining pretty hard.
Reports from their neighbors at home in Baytown are that there was very little damage. A couple of boards blew off the fence. Still, despite a hellish Thursday Steve thinks they did the right thing by bugging out.
That's all for now.
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 9:51 AM
Subject: YEA! We're Home.
Hi everyone -- we made it back home late Sat. evening. Took us 1 1/2hours to return, whereas it took us over 14 hours to get to where we holed up. Is that not ridiculous?? I think there's a problem with this evacuation procedure that they need to look at just a little more closely.
We were extremely fortunate that we got picked up off the street (literally) by a very nice family who were just absolutely wonderful and I have no clue how we will ever repay them. Since Livingston, Tx is in a dry county, we will probably buy them each a case of beer and take to them in the next month or so (ha). The morning of the hurricane was very rough, but I did manage to get out when it was calm and take a short video which I will send out later once I get all the photos downloaded on the computer. We lost electricity around 2:00 in the morning, which brings me to the reason why we left so early to come home last night.
Yesterday evening, a neighor had talked with a guy from the electric compnay and had been told that it was going to be about a week and a half before they would have the electric back on up there. So of course that meant that they were going to have to go to their daugher's which was another 2-3 hours north. So we had to make a plan - and that was that they siphoned enough gas from all the vehicles sitting around and put it in our truck to get us home (are we lucky or what!). Plus the fact that they were going to open the gates on the Livingston Dam before it broke which meant that the 2 routes back home would be closed down because in one particular section, they would be under water. Therefore, we got our stuff together in about 15 minutes and hit the road. Traffic was very heavy coming south but was moving at 50-60 miles per hour, so we were home in 1 1/2 hours. We have electircity and water, however, the subdivision has called and advised that they're about to shut off the water - have no clue why or for how long, but of course we both got in the shower very fast - no showers since Thur!
This was something that was probably the most traumatic in my life and I pray to God that I never have to go thru it again. Maybe we'll be retired and in WV before the next one hits! But thanks to all who were thinking about us and were saying their God Blesses.
We were very, very lucky this time. Everyone take care and love to all.
I don't think I've ever been so worried about my folks. Mom's remove-a-lung surgery didn't even scare me this badly.
The evacuation process was so much worse than the actually hurricane. I remember seeing coverage of the parked freeways and hearing reports of people dying from the heat. I think Houston learned a great deal from Rita, so here's hoping their evacuations are going better this time around.
However, the Weather Channel now tells me that gas stations are already running out of gas.
It's going to be a long couple of days.
And in case you're curious, mom and dad aren't evacuating. As mom says, they're hunkering down.
Good juju, please. Send them some good juju.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
As said by one of my supervisors when I told her I was leaving.
Challenged? You can do this, you just have to believe you can! Everyone else does. Take it easy -- you've got more going on than you realize and if you don't slow down at some point, it could all crumble at once! A steady pace is the only way for you to make it through the day.
Challenged is a good word for it. Today, I am reminded of why I started looking for a new job in the first place. We'll see if I can find a "steady pace" at some point.
I am very much looking forward to sushi tonight with Jamie and her mom. Sushi makes it all better.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The Seahawks lost another receiver. Burleson is out for the season. Fantastic. We're also missing Branch and Engram. Plackemeier, our punter, was released today, but that one I'm okay with. He couldn't do squat on Sunday.
Bernard and Babineaux were suspended and didn't play Sunday. Not sure if they're coming back for this week's game. Morris has a sprained knee and will be out for a while.
I do not see the playoffs in our future.
And, okay, let's just forget about the Seahawks for a minute. WVU lost. Redskins lost. Huskies AND Cougars lost. WTF?
And Brady is out for the season? You're kidding me?
Hmmm, it's all very suspicious, all of this bad football juju.
It's a start.
I feel good about this.
At least I did.
I don't know when my last day will be. It depends on when my current supervisor feels she will able to "release me", seeing as how this is considered an internal transfer. And yes, that's according to The Policy.
Last night, I felt a weight had lifted and I was free.
Now, not so much. The wind has been sucked out of my sails.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and change is a good thing.
It's still fun to see the looks on people's faces when I tell them. Hee hee.
Monday, September 8, 2008
A whole year.
It still baffles me, everything that can happen in one year. All of the changes that can take place, the people who have come and gone in my life. I don't cry every day now. I have a new boyfriend. Hell, I almost have two children (but have somehow managed to keep my new, thinner figure!)
I thought all of the "firsts" were done, but I guess they never really are.
At least these are happier firsts.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
There was no time to work on Friday night - movies and pizza and friends.
And, Saturday morning, while Todd was taking the kids to meet Katherine, I was SUPPOSED to sleep in, but the excitement of cleaning made it impossible. So I was up at 7:30am, throwing laundry in, taking trash out, loading the dishwasher.
Todd got back, we went to breakfast, then on to Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond for bins and general shopping merriment.
And then. Oh.
And in case you were wondering what a real life blogger looks like, IN THE PROCESS, wala.
Not a pretty sight.....
Aside from bedroom news:
Jamie passed her boards (WAY TO GO, JAMIE!) Now she starts her Real Job. Yay!
Todd and I made three pies at the pie party last night. Two apple and a blackberry....with rum.
And the Seahawks sucked royally today. No amount of mimosa could ease the pain. Believe me, I tried.
Friday, September 5, 2008
He was hanging my towel rack above the toilet, and in the process of measuring and actually drilling, the towel rack moved alittle to the left. A full inch to the left. So, it wasn't centered over the toilet.
He asked if I wanted him to redrill the holes and fix it.
This is not why I love him. You would think.....but no.
After I said no, don't put more holes in the wall, it will be fine, really....we started talking about something else. Then a few minutes later, during a brief lull in the conversation, he said, "I'm going to fix it. Yes, I'm going to fix it. It will bug me."
THIS is why I love him. He's as detail oriented as I am.
Or neurotic. Take your pick.
Also, I'm feeling some forward momentum in the luv department. I'm taking my coffeemaker over to Todd's this weekend. And I may just leave it.
G A S P.
We're having a football brunch on Sunday for the 10am Seahawks game and Todd doesn't have a coffee maker. Which is why we're at Starbucks every weekend morning. He has a french press (that I bought him for Father's Day) but we've both proven that we have no idea how to make coffee in a french press. So, I'm hauling my swanky Cuisinart over there. And as I was loading it into my car this morning, I thought why don't I just leave it? I never make coffee during the week. Only on the weekends. And I'm at Todd's on the weekends. Duh.
First a toothbrush. Then a towelrack. Now a coffeemaker.
Look at me.....relate!
And this weekend is already shaping up to be uber busy. Jamie is taking her board exam tomorrow morning (everyone send good juju to Jamie around 9am! Go, Jamie, Go!) so I'll be meeting up with her for celebratory drinks tomorrow afternoon. And yes, we will be celebrating. I just know it!
Then there's my friend's annual pie party (what's your favorite number? PIE!) that I attended last year (and I will not be making a plum pie). This year it's BYOF. Bring your own fruit. Apparently, their fruit trees haven't produced much. I think I'll go with apples.
Then Sunday is the big football brunch, then finishing up the cleaning we started last weekend. Hopefully, there will be before and after pictures. They're good for my portfolio.
Ah, so much to do!
Now, if I can just make through today.....
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
My rent is going up as of October 1st.
Time to envision with me another pretty picture, dear reader.
We have in front of us a path. You know the path. We've been here before. It's a pretty path. Lots of trees and sunshine. This path is wide. Really wide. You can walk all over this path, side to side, in zigzags. You have options. But you're still moving in the same direction. Forward.
Now, picture the Universe (however she may look to you) putting up those red ropes you see at the movie theaters. She's making a little maze. She wants me to keep moving, but she wants me on the left side of the path rather than on the right side. Or maybe the right side rather than the left. She she puts one of these ropes in my way and it gently guides me over.
She's a sneaky one, that Universe. She knows where she wants me. Oh, sure, I could duck under the rope and run off the path like a screaming lunatic. Or I can trust in her. Keep my hand on the velvet and just let her guide me along. I still have to do the walking. I'm still the one moving forward. But, lets face it, I get distracted easily and before I know it, I could be off in the trees, lost.
The Universe has my back. She won't let me get lost.
(Photo courtesy of Slight Clutter.
Beautiful photographs. Thanks, Katya.)
Had a football party at Todd's. Go 'Hawks! The margaritas and good company definitely helped my crappy day.
Rough day. No one in the Downing household slept very well on Friday night, for a variety of reasons, so we were all pretty pooped on Saturday.
Todd and I began the day by looking at a house that is owned by Steve's girlfriend.
Weird, you say? Nah. Not really. It's only weird because it's not weird. Know what I mean?
We met both her and Steve at her house then walked around the corner to the house that was for sale. It was very cute and in some ways perfect. But in a few ways, not so much. So we chatted with them for a bit afterward and had some good laughs standing out on the sidewalk in the sun. Steve and Todd have a few similarities so they banter back and forth pretty well. It was nice to see.
That afternoon, we went to Doug & Ann's engagement party. This was supposed to be at a park, but weather wasn't looking too stable, so they moved it to a restaurant/game room/pool hall. The kids were in game heaven and I kicked butt at pool. Apparently I don't need jack-n-cokes to win four games in a row!
After the party, we ran some errands, which included swinging by my apartment to pick up some more clothes. I had every intention (once again) of planting my heels in and staying at my apartment Saturday night, then going back to West Seattle on Sunday. But, as we know, I tend to get all caught up in the hugs and the fun, so I decided to stay with Todd Saturday night as well.
And the kids were going to their uncle's to play games so that left me and Todd....alone. For hours. Hee hee.
We went out to dinner and then swung by the Corner Pocket to play some more pool and watch football on the big screens. And I declared that the Corner Pocket could very well become my next Lock-n-Keel. Except I won't throw up in the Corner Pocket. Promise.
I took a giant step in the relationship. I left Todd's to go have lunch with a friend at Greenlake. Then went back to Todd's. Just like it was an average day. Like I was living there.
And I didn't panic once. NOT ONCE!
After lunch, Todd, Kayleigh and I went school shopping. Bought some supplies and some clothes. And boy howdy, did the mom in me ooze out! I was holding the pants up to her to see if they'd fit. I made her put on a button down over her t-shirt because she hates going into dressing rooms. I bit my tongue when she held a pair of jeans up and exclaimed that she loved them, even though my first thought was, "We wore those in the 80's and they were ugly then and please don't have them in her size." No, no. If she likes them, she likes them and I am not going to be one of those moms who gives their kids a hard time about what they wear. Within reason. No g-strings sticking up out of the jeans. I mean, really.
After shopping, back to the house for MORE CLEANING!
Today's task: Todd's room.
This time, I took before pics. But we're not entirely finished, so you'll have to wait until next weekend for the before/after pics. We didn't get started until around 5, so Todd worked one corner while I worked on the closet.
His waist size has decreased by a few numbers in the last year, so I got rid of his big pants and tidied up what was left over. I may have even consolidated things in order to maybe, um, make room. You know, in case new stuff needs to be put in there. Somewhere down the line. One of these days.
Where was I?
Right! We worked into the wee hours (7pm) then re-heated some pizza and watched some movies. Of course! Cars (by Pixar) and Raising Arizona ("I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!"), which Todd and I both fell asleep during. Pooped we were.
Up somewhat early to look at houses. But first, Home Depot.
Ah, the smell of lumber in the morning. Love Home Depot!
We picked up a towel rack for the half bath (because the towel just gets thrown on the countertop and you KNOW Rae-rae can't handle a towel just thrown on the countertop) and a second towel rack for Todd's bathroom. Because some chick has been hanging out there a lot and she's leaving her towels over the shower curtain rod and they're just in the way. So, now she has her own towel rack.
Not panicking. Not at all.
After Home Depot, the houses. Ack. The seemingly-perfect-but-oh-my-gawd-what-were-they-thinking-with-that houses. It is amazing what people will do to a house to get you to buy it. Yes, the marble countertops are pretty and yes, it's a brand new front door, but do you really think I can't smell the smoke in here? Are you going to knock off money so that I can get the carpet replaced? And what are you thinking with that fake wainscoting? You simply glued wood to the drywall. That doesn't count. And by the way, I know you just painted a piece of wood and nailed it above the fireplace. That is not a mantle. You couldn't even sand down the end of the board? Sheesh.
So, the houses sucked.
Back to the homestead for more cleaning. Five hours of cleaning. It was a smidge painful at times for Todd, running across mementos and keepsakes, but he was strong and determined and stated more than once that it was time to move on. I kept the piles separated (Goodwill, give to someone, trash), loaded up my car with donations and provided lots of hugs. We ended up clearing off one whole wall of boxes, and although we declared ourselves done for the day, I strayed to the other wall. I just couldn't stop. Just one more box. One more! But Todd's stomach told us it was time to get some food so we headed out for dinner.
And it was then I made the comment that I needed to go to Target to buy something to wear to work on Tuesday. Because I just didn't want to go home.
Luckily, I had a t-shirt with me that would go well enough with the skirt I had worn on Friday so no run to Target was necessary. Which is good because then we wouldn't gotten home in time for the season premiere of Gossip Girl!
Jessica doesn't stay with me anymore. I can blog about Gossip Girl all I want.
After laughing at and mocking Gossip Girl, the very productive Downings (and Marsh) went to bed.
Are you as tired as I am?
And here we are, another week. Ah, but a short week! And you know...I don't think I have anything planned for the evenings. Well, laundry tonight, but that's about it.
Whatever will I do with myself?