Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
And so it happened...
Driving from Iowa to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, I was passing someone in the interstate and ran over something big and dead in the road. I couldn't swerve to miss it - and thought my car would clear it no problem.
As soon as I drove over it I heard it hit-- Ka-klunk.
I waited for the thump-thump of a flat tire or something on the car's dash to tell me I totally screwed up my car, but nothing happened.
I then got really sick and forgot all about the "dead thing in the road". Fast forward a week and as I was walking out of work, I noticed something dangling from the bottom of my car. Upon further (really far actually) looking, I realized it was something DEAD under my car.
I went to the car wash (with an under carriage cleaning option) and tried to wash the "thing" off.
Yeah, not so much.
Dead thing 1, me 0.
I went to a local Honda dealer and they actually laughed me off the lot- they weren't gonna touch it.
Dead thing 2, me 0.
So I called MY dealer (about 15 miles away) and they told me to bring the car in this morning.
I was not so much worried about the dead animal part on my car; I was more worried about the damage it might have done when I hit it.
Ok, I was worried about the dead animal part too- It is 90 degrees here right now- I DID NOT want my car smelling like animal carcass! EW EW EW!
When I got to the dealership, we all had a good laugh and I asked them if I could take a picture of whatever it it when they get the car up on the lift.
When I walked out there, I saw THIS:
Yes- That is a
hanging out of my car frame!!! It was so wedged in there, the poor mechanic was pulling so hard, the whole car was moving.
I am serious.
You can't see how wrapped up the hide and bone is in the frame. Thank goodness it didn't puncture a tire or the oil line or something.
The cool thing is, no damage to the not-even-two-month-old car. It is fully removed and they even washed my car for me.
AND, my AWESOME dealership did not even charge me for the service call. I love them!!
SO SO SO glad it is off my car!
SO GLAD!! :-)
So that was my Saturday, how was yours?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
When I was little, I wasn’t much of a breakfast kind of gal. My mom still to this day makes the best toast*, hands down, but if I had to pick my favorite breakfast, it had to be a tie between two cereals.
Lucky Charms and Quaker Oats Crunchy Corn Bran (AKA QOCCB).
Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking.
Corn Bran? She, as a kid, loved Corn Bran? Just having the name “bran” in the name makes most kids run screaming the other direction. I can understand Lucky Charms, but CORN BRAN?!? No way.
But really, this cereal was amazing. Yummy pockets of sweet goodness in 2 percent milk**. They almost pop open in your mouth if you catch them at the right pre-soggy moment.
I haven’t had QOCCB in almost 10 years—not for lack of trying.
Each time I was in (add chain grocery store name here) I would search the cereal isle for it. Top row of “good for you” cereals. Middle/second row of “the most popular and sometimes the most expensive cereals” (cuz they are eye level for most people--really) and the bottom/middle row of “the most kid –friendly” cereals (yep, you guessed it, kid eye-level)
UNTIL TONIGHT. (!!!)
Who would guess that my ‘lil ‘ol local Publix would have EXACTLY what I have been searching for.
Is gonna be a good one.
*And popcorn. And cereal. We still laugh that I remember her “cooking” 3 things that take no effort at all, but not the 100’s of other great meals she slaved for hours over.
**It HAD to be 2%. Maaaaybe 1%. But none of that watery skim junk. Have you ever tried Lucky Charms with skim milk? If not, just…don’t. Ew.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Though I can’t say the same for some of my very very very good friends, I still have a job.
Today was a horrible day at work.
My boss was let go.
I listened to another colleague sob uncontrollably in her cube just down from mine. She has worked for my organization for 25 years and she was let go today.
Brutal. Just brutal.
It is very hard for me to be “happy” I still have a job when I see the devastation going on around me.
Tomorrow, 3 more departments go under the knife.
I just want to call in sick.
I have never been more uncertain of my professional future than I am today.
Prayers are needed from 9-12EST- I will learn if my role has been eliminated or if i have a job tomorrow. Most of my friends and colleagues will learn their fate around the same time.
Not a good day to be in the office.
5 people I know were let go yesterday—but today will be the worst of it.
I am scared.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Dear big behemoth company with a monopoly:
I am done with you.
Tomorrow, I will call your disconnect line and get rid of your DVR service, your On Demand service and your stupid box. Oh, and the phone service too. I wish I could get rid of the cable completely and my internet service, but alas, you are a MONOPOLY, and I can’t have any other service in my building.
And you know that. You are twirling your handlebar mustache and laughing behind my back right now, aren’t you??
I have spent COUNTLESS hours on the phone with your incompetent “customer service reps” and have had 5 techs in my home in the past 35 days.
None of them can figure out what the problems are. NONE OF THEM.
I have had my condo rewired.
I have been yelled at by a CSR.
I have stayed home from work 5 times for you to tell me you can’t fix my problem.
I have had 4 new cable boxes.
I have been given credits* and fake apologies.
I have been told (today) I am past due on my bill, though the 7 different CSR people I have talked to over the past 7 days have told me my bill was due on 7 different days and that they had given me so many credits I would not have to pay for another few weeks.
I am done with your shady business practices.
I miss the ease of use of TiVo (and it did SO much more than the DVR for Comcast). It only costs 3 bucks more for better service. I am going back to them as soon as I can.
I had DirectTV for 7 years in Chicago, and other than the few times we had issues during weather related outages, I never had a cable TV problem. NEVER.
Your company- nothing but problems, and outages and issues., Issues you can’t seem to fix.
Gee, do you think it was because they did not have a monopoly and they had to treat their customers with respect and dignity?
You are picking a BAD time to make your customers mad. The economy is bad; you don’t want all your customers to leave you do you?
Oh, that’s right, WE CAN’T! You have a MONOPOLY OVER US!!!!!!!!!
A former DVR/OnDemand customer
*that more than one mean CSR has told me I don’t deserve. GRRR
I have been a bit preoccupied with work and with life lately-- most of my time at work has been spent writing for my job (you know what I do) and since I have been writing for that, I haven't wanted to write personally. I submit my work to the designer today so it will be nice to be FINISHED with my project for a few days so I can get some other work done.
I have been a bit depressed- the organization I work for is laying off 15% of the workforce next week so it has been especially scary the past 2 weeks with everyone I work with speculating if they are going to be laid off (or not). I have no idea if I am one of the people to be laid off, but if I am, it will be especially hard since I just moved here less than 2 months ago and have no network to help me find another job. And bought a new car. And have a 2 year lease.
No matter if I stay or go I will still be sad-- a lot of people I think are extremely smart and talented are going to be let go.
It will not be a good week next week.
I am breathing and trying to just get through these next few days.
I got my bridesmaid dress for the May 30th wedding, and have to go buy the undergarments for it sometime in the next few days, then get it altered. I am excited to be back in the Midwest from May 22-June 2nd.
My cousin is graduating from college this weekend so I am traveling to see my family and see him graduate. I am proud he found his calling in life and am happy he was accepted into a great graduate program.
TBO has a vet appt on Friday-- he has 3 large and scary lumps on his back and has been crying a lot. I hope he is OK and not in pain. We shall know soon enough, I guess. 15 is a ripe old age for a cat. He is starting to have "grumpy old man" days where all he does is pout and sleep.
So all in all, kind of a crappy month and it is only May 6th.
Sorry I am such a Debbie Downer today!!
Monday, April 27, 2009
My photo from a few months ago while riding on the 147 bus in Chicago made it on ROCK on the CTA… (for those of you who can’t see the link/photo, it is a photo of a woman’s feet. She had fashioned white duct tape as sandals. The things you see while on the bus….
ROCK on the CTA is a website that people submit photos of crazy things they see while riding on the Chicago Transit.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I am exhausted, but the weekend, and the festival is over. I worked from 7a until 9p on Friday (at work and packing the truck), 6:30a-8:30p Saturday and 9a-8:30p today at the actual festival.
Yep, you read correctly—that is 6 1/3 days of work (8 hr days) in 3 days.
It was hot (on the mid 80’s) both days, but we had one of the most shadiest spots along the festival so that was helpful. We also were along the parade route, so that was something that was cool to watch from the comfort of our booth.
I am stupid exhausted, so I am not going to write very much- just know I am glad it is over. I will be in the office tomorrow but will take Tuesday off (waiting for Comcast to come fix my broken-since-Wednesday TV and home phone – thank goodness my internet is finally up and running!
I AM SOOOO TIRED!! AND SOOOO GLAD IT IS FINALLY OVER!!
I’m sorry did I already say that?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Yesterday was 30 days in the new city.
In the first 30 days I:
- moved across country/rode in a car for 15 hours
- unpacked over 75 boxes
- installed, reinstalled and installed again my wireless internet connection
- had 2 out of 4 Sunday AJC newspapers delivered correctly
- did untold loads of laundry
- (ditto for dishwasher use)
- researched, test drove and bought a new car (Fiiiiiiiiiit!)
- worked on, went with the flow with (when plans majorly changed 2 times) and planned logistics for a 2 day festival in ATL (happens this weekend)
- entertained 5 visitors in one week
- researched, bought and put together 2 leather barstools and a wooden TV stand
- organized my new closet
- took 4 car loads of clothing and other things to Goodwill
- bought a sleeper loveseat
- bought a new outdoor plant for my balcony
- joined the gym downstairs and worked out 10 times (wish it was more)
- received countless emails and phone calls from family and friends asking me how I was doing
- cried myself to sleep 10 times
- found my mailbox after 8 days (was not told the mailbox #)
- spent 2 “fun” days of Comcast installation
- did hatha yoga 6 times
- received 5 cards and notes in the mail from friends
- watched TBO sleep for hours and hours and hours
- went to the Dialog in the Dark Exhibit in Atlantic Station
- had a lot of trouble sleeping the first 3 weeks. Still having some issues, but am starting to get a little more sleep.
- spent more time than one person should at Target and WalMart (surprisingly, more time at the WalMart which is farther down the road than Target)
- only been to Starbucks 2 times in 30 days (and one of them was the day after I got here) I think I have broken my addiction to hot chocolate
- was put on anti-anxiety medication
- learned my way to and from work both by Marta train and car
- found the closest JCPenney's
- learned the pros and cons of both Kroger and Publix (I think I like Publix better, but I am not sure yet)
- made brownies, homemade mac and cheese and homemade freezer burritos…mmm…comfort food
I am sure there is a lot more that I have done that I am missing, but this is all I can think of right now. It has not been the worst month of my life, but it certainly has not been the best.
While change is a good thing most of the time, I am allowing myself to be unhappy and homesick for a little while longer.
A lot of people have told me the sooner I “own” my unhappiness, stop pretending I love it to people who live here and just grieve for what I have lost, the sooner I will come to terms with everything.
I miss my friends. I miss picking up the 147 outside my house and waking up to frost on the windows. I miss my morning starbucks and walking to Walgreens at lunchtime. I miss hearing sirens every ten minutes on Sheridan and walking along the lake on the bike path. I miss I Go car sharing and pool monitoring. I miss seeing Chase banks on every corner and the crazy lady in the wheelchair that used to think she was a car. I miss seeing the Chicago skyline as I ride into work.
I still feel like I am on vacation.
I miss home.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
While my friend N was REALLY my first real visitor, my first visitors other than my drive down buddy were here Monday.
While they were supposed to be here earlier in the day, but mother nature decided to have some fun and have crazy 60 mile an hour winds, 300,000 people in ATL left without power, crappy storms in Chicago and major delays at both airports.
NM and HD got in at 9 and we were all hungry for the famous (and first) Chick Fil A – The Dwarf House.
We ordered WAAAY too much amazing food
and went home full.
It was so great to catch up with my 2 good friends—though we were tired, TBO was nice to them, and we stayed up a long time catching up and gossiping. I had a blast. It was so nice to have a taste of home.
I am still homesick.
HD was so nice to help me pick up my rental car at the Marietta dealership after I bought my car on Tuesday, so I could drive my new car home.
They were in town for work, and they left waaaay too soon. I miss them already! :-(
Today was “work on all things festival day” at work.
For those of you that don’t know, my normal (and new) job has been put on hold to instead do all the logistics and implementation for a festival in Atlanta next week. In the last month, “we” (quotes meaning not me) have changed the plan of action about 4 times.
I am working very hard to make sure the festival goes off without a hitch.
I spent the early morning running around town gathering items to use at the festivals. All of the stores I needed to go to opened at 10, so from about 8-9, I worked on my for the day “to do” list then remembered that today is a day I had been trying to remember for the week.
Today is “get something expensive for really cheap” day at IKEA.
IKEA is in my backyard, and last week I was reading my new favorite in-town blog, Atlanta on the Cheap, and they mentioned that IKEA was having “Seize the Day” sales over this weekend.
Let me back up.
When I first arrived in Atlanta in February to look for a place to live, the place I ended up living in was available either with or without furniture.
The island in the kitchen had 2 barstools that made a cute seating area. I decided to take the place unfurnished (since I had furniture already) and knew at some point I would need to buy a few new pieces to make my house feel like home.
I had priced barstools at Target and IKEA recently, and was blown away at how expensive they are. I figured I could wait to have an eating area until I had more cash.
And now, back to the story at hand…
I noticed on the Atlanta on the Cheap blog that they were going to have barstools that were usually $99-$109.00 on deep discount- $39.99 each (limit 2). The ad said they had 2 sizes and that they were chocolate leather with black wood. They we only available at that price on Friday morning.
I figured I would be working (IKEA opens at 10am) so I put it in the back of my head.
This morning I realized I was home and would have time to run over there before I ran to the Container Store, Home Depot, and Office Depot.
At 9:30am, I pulled into the parking lot at IKEA (IN MY BRAND NEW CAR!!!), thinking I should probably be at the store when they opened for breakfast so I could wait in line for the barstools.
When I walked in the front door, there were my barstools, and 2 people handing out wristbands (yes, wristbands). Purple for short, grey for tall. Guess which ones I went for?
I felt like I was buying tickets for a super popular concert. There were about 10 other people there also getting wristbands. The wristbands guaranteed I would get 2 short (25inch) leather barstools for the cheap price.
I went up the escalator to see if I could get an OJ while I was waiting for the actual store to open, and WOW – people galore!!!
I was amazed – there were about 150 people in line for breakfast. I didn’t know that IKEA was that popular for breakfast.
And I don’t know if it IS usually this busy, because I lucked out again, IKEA was giving away free breakfast today! And it was a great breakfast! Eggs, bacon and potatoes.
It only cost me $1.29—for the 100 percent OJ I found.
I ate, then went back downstairs waiting for the store to open.
I was one of the first people to get my 2 chairs, and was out the door by 10:03am. They fit well in the Fit (pun totally intended) with the 60 part of the 60/40 seat folded down flat.
Have I mentioned yet how much I love my new car??
I had a crazy day at work, came home and made a turkey burger and sweet potato fries for dinner, then put together my new chairs. It only took about 15 minutes per chair.
So, TADA! Here they are!
How was your day?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Some (OK, most) of you know I am a HUGE weather buff. When I was in high school, I even job-shadowed the local weather guy(The Wonderful Weather of Woz. Seriously.) and wrote my “what I wanna do when I grow up” papers on becoming a meteorologist.
I applied and was accepted to University of Oklahoma (side note: does anyone else sing the song from the musical to spell the state?? Anybody??), one of the best schools in the nation for storm chasing and meteorology.
Then I found out that it would include lots of math and physics.
Yeah, I am not good at that stuff.
So, I decided to do Communications instead, hoping to become a weather bunny (ie: someone who reports the weather for the news, but not AMS-American Meteorological Society - certified).
I fight global poverty for a living. Not the same but still interesting work none the less.
I still take on the role of “weather announcer” at work, sending out watches and warnings to the staff and giving updates throughout the day.
Snow storm coming? Check your email- I sent you an update! Hailstorm headed our way? I will let you know and send you the latest radar images!
While I am fascinated by weather, I have a love/hate relationship with severe storms. They scare me to death, and I get a stomachache each time they are approaching (not to mention the horrible migraines I get from the barometric changes).
But for some reason, when I move to new places, I am initiated by bad weather.
Most of my spring and summer storm seasons as a child were spent in the bathtub with my (not wanting to cooperate) cat reading covered with a blanket.
I did that until I read somewhere that the bathtub is on of the worst places to be during a storm (you could be electrocuted if your house is hit by lightning) so I changed my venue to the internal hall closet.
was am kinda a freak.
One Mother’s Day when I was 7 or 8, I spent the course of 8 hours driving Interstate 80 home to Rock Island, IL from Montezuma, Iowa with my mom and her cousins hitting a new tornado warning every county we travelled through. The storms were following us.
I spent the whole hot car ride under a scratchy blanket scared to death. We even had to stop at the University of Iowa music building to ride out one particular bad cell.
When we got home, I drug my mattress out to the living room and hit under it while watching the radar and warnings on television.
But I digress.
When I first went to college (in Cedar Rapids), the first night I moved in we had a tornado warning. I spent my first night living away from home in the basement scared to death, getting to know my other freaked out neighbors.
Since today is a furlough day, I spent the day inside the house (other than a run to RiteAid and Wal-mart for supplies) then about 30 minutes ago I checked CNN.com and noticed one of the stories was about “live coverage of severe weather in Atlanta” so I quickly went to my favorite weather website NOAA (www.weather.gov).
There are tornado and thunderstorm warnings all around my house right now.
I stepped outside onto my balcony and snapped a few pictures of the fast moving clouds …
My pictures don’t do the cloud movement justice—the low clouds are moving one direction, and the top ones are moving another. The temperature is about 72 degrees – a perfect recipe severe weather.
Here is my welcome to Atlanta, I guess!
Well, it’s been 3 weeks in my new condo, my new job- my new life. Soon, I will be adding new car to the mix (probably a Honda Fit).
I wish I could say that I love it here and I feel like I am “home”, but I don’t and I’m not.
I am overwhelmed most of the time at work – it feels like I am starting at a whole new organization. No one in my department knows me, my work ethic or my reputation. I find myself inter-office instant messaging my work family in Chicago just to “hear” a friendly/familiar voice.
Don’t get me wrong – there are VERY nice people in the building who have taken me to lunch, ask me to eat with them, people who I bother on a daily basis (hi “M” and “C”!) with incessant questions and random thoughts, and others who I am meeting for the first time who are extremely inclusive. I appreciate every person who has taken the time to reach out and welcome me to HQ.
With that said, unless I see the person 15 times a day, I have a hard time remembering their name. That’s not anything that wouldn’t happen in Chicago though, but I just have to remember 10 times the names now.
I am sad.
I am lonely.
I am tired.
I am having panic/anxiety attacks (recently put on meds to help with that, thank you very much).
I am not sleeping (see aside above – yep more meds).
I am overwhelmed.
I am living in a sea of boxes.
I am not liking what I am doing at work right now.
I feel isolated.
I feel incomplete.
I am trying to be positive about….something. Anything.
So here are 6 things I like about the ATL:
- I am closer to my aunt and cousins
- I have a Washer and Dryer in my unit.
- I have a dishwasher in my unit
- I have covered parking for my car at home
- I like my new gym – and it happens to be in my building and only cost 5 bucks a month
- I finally get a security pass (after 7 years of visiting HQ) to KEEP
Pathetic that all (but one) of my “likes” are objects, right?
I hope in the next few weeks I will begin to get in a better groove and start to meet new people and begin to feel more like myself and more relaxed.
But right now, as my toddler friends might say, “I don’t yike it here”.
I just wish I were home. Anybody got a pair of ruby slippers?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
When I moved here, I promised myself I would see if there was an “ATL on the Cheap” type website or book to find interesting things to do, but not have to pay full price to go.
I noticed that in my neighborhood they have this exhibit/experience called “Dialog in the Dark”. This is how the website explains the experience:
The idea is simple: In completely darkened rooms blind people lead small groups of guests through an exhibition in which everyday situations are experienced altogether differently, without eyesight.
A role reversal takes place: sighted people are torn out of social routines and familiar acceptance. Blind people provide a sense of orientation and mobility and become ambassadors of a culture devoid of images. They prove that being blind is a different, interesting way to perceive and lead life and has nothing to do with thoughts of suicide and despair. Everybody shares an unforgettable experience. They feel their own limits, perceptions and gratitude for their eyesight; they come to understand the importance of empathy, communication and solidarity and develop respect for people who see the world through different eyes.
I was intrigued.
I went last Thursday night after work after finding a 40% off coupon online.
When you walk in, they measure you for a cane, then take you into a slightly darkened room where you sit on lighted boxes. As a recorded voice tells you about what you are about to experience, the lights slowly go down until you are in total darkness.
It is sort of scary, sitting in total darkness not knowing what is coming next.
For some reason I was freaked that they were going to all the sudden flash 2 headlights in my face as a joke.
Rest assured, it was nothing like that.
It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I went.
My leader, Roxanne, has only been visually impaired since 2002. She lost sight completely in one eye in 1996, then lost most of her sight in the other in 2002.
She was extremely interesting to talk to to hear about her life and how she copes with every day live as a visually-impaired person.
I won’t tell you what happens inside (incase you decide to go) but I will say that it is fun and interesting to get around obstacles in total darkness.
Let me know if you decide to go!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I have just been extremely tired and working my butt off the past few days. I am working on all the set up for a festival we are doing at work and it is taking a lot out of me!
I came home this evening and promptly fell asleep. A two hour nap. And it felt sooooo good.
I have 3 visitors coming next week to see me so I need to get myself in gear. I am really excited that my friends are coming to see me! Next Post: my fun time at dialog in the dark!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Is there anything you are DYING to hear about regarding my 48 month vacation in the ATL?
Want to see pictures of anything specific?
Want me to address something that I haven't thought of yet?
Want more picture of Mr More?
Let me know! leave me a comment below or email me.
I want to know what you think! ;-)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Another Monday, another day at work. I have Friday off as a vacation day as I need to really get a move on with this “unpacking box” thing.
I am still really tired; it will be nice to have a 3 day weekend and sleep-in a bit.
It finally stopped raining yesterday and it was nice though cloudy today. I took the Marta train for the first time today. It was a nice ride that got me there pretty quickly. It is a nice walk to and from the office too. On nice days, it will be really nice to take the train.
When it is bad out, it will probably be better to drive. It takes about the same time each way I go.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
It took me almost 5 days, but I found my mailbox!! :-)
You would think the mailbox number for my condo would be somewhat close to the number of my unit- nope.
I spent the first few days just trying random mailboxes, with no avail. I think there are 300 units here so it would have taken me a few weeks @ 3 or 4 a day or about 30 minutes if I tried them all at the same time.
I felt stupid trying all the mailboxes, especially since there are others down there getting their own mail.
On Thursday, I got a call from the landlord giving me the mailboc number – HUZAH!
When I opened he mailbox, I could barely get the mail out there was sooo much in there! Come to find out, it was the last tenant’s mail – from late November! Lots of stuff – W-2’s insurance cards, and medical bills. Lots of junk mail too.
I am going to forward it to her.
I got 2 postcards already (THANKS HD and JP!) and of course, some bills.
YEAAAAAAAH- Mail!! :-)
Friday, March 27, 2009
So what genius decided to make TV later on the East Coast??
I hate that some of my favorite shows (Law and Order:SVU, Medium, ER,) now come on at 10pm, and the news doesn’t start until 11pm (not to mention The Daily Show with John Stewart and Colbert)!
I am tired people! I need my rest. I can’t stay up until 11pm just to find out what the weather is gonna do!
Obviously, I am having a hard time acclimating to my new TV schedule.
I can’t find my healthy double daily dose of the Simpsons. I can’t even FIND the FOX channel, for goodness sakes!
There is something called Peachtree TV, and I think it just plays reruns of Cheers all day. I like Cheers, just not 12 hours worth at a time.
For some reason, the news starts at 4 and keeps going uninterrupted until 7. What is with that? I like the news, I just don’t LOVE the news. 30 minutes is enough. How many ways can you tell the same news story?
I can’t seem to catch the network news. I can’t figure out what time it comes on.
TiVo is still not installed, so I can’t watch Unsolved Mysteries or American Justice whenever I want. And I can’t pause live TV though I try to. Aaaaaall the time.
My boyfriend, Tom Skilling, is still available and while I really want to watch him, I can not seem to get it in my head that the WGN News at 9 is ACUALLY at 10pm here. I have only caught a glimpse of him a few times this week. He did tell me CHI is gonna get some snow this weekend.
Anyway, I need to get back at it. I have posted a bunch today- I am felling a bit homesick. I know it will pass (someday) but I am glad I am able to get out my frustrations without putting them on one single person…
Tomorrow, I will tell the tale of finding my mailbox…. ;-)
I found the BEST THING and had to share. Really- best thing.
Some of you know me as the “Market Maven” who tries all the new products and “have to share this with you because it is the BEST PRODUCT EVER” lady, and have become better people because you tried (and loved!)the OXO sink strainer and the pickle picker. I have tons more things I love… and some I didn’t like very much (ShamWOW is not so WOW. Just Meh.)
Well, I found another GOTTA HAVE IT product.
I now have Berber carpets and while they are cool, they don’t allow for easy furniture movement. While I was at Target picking up a wench for the new TV stand I was building… (pretty, seeeeeee)
…I found these things that had a “AS SEEN ON TV” (ASOTV) sticker on them.
Now we all know, it is about a 50/50 shot that ASOTV products are going to work (PedEgg and Magic Bullet- yes. Aforementioned ShamWOW and about 20 other things I have bought that I don’t want to mention- no.)
I picked up this product because I knew I was going to have alot of heavy lifting to do and I am not good at lifting. Or moving things. I hoped they would work but figured if they didn’t, I could always take them back.
They are called “Magic Sliders” and they are a godsend. You just stick them on the legs of your furniture (different sizes for how heavy or how thin the legs are) and that’s it! The furniture really does glide along the floor. I was using one hand to push the TV stand in place (if you look hard at the pictures of the stand above, you can see them on the legs.)
Living with just TBO, I have a hard time finding people to help me move stuff around the condo. Now, I can move heavy stuff myself and I don’t have to depend on anyone else!
Now run out and get them for yourself! Depending on size, they are like 6 bucks for a set of 4 (one for each leg).
It is very interesting: when you pack stuff up yourself (as I have done many, many many times in my life) you look at each item and say “Do I really need this in my new house?”
For me, 9 times out of 10 the answer is a big ol’ NO. It is how I do spring cleaning. Out with the old, in with the new.
Having packers was a new experience for me. They packed EVERYTHING: tiny slivers of soap from the shower, empty shampoo bottles, tiny stubby pencils with no lead left in them, everything.
Stuff I would never pack in a million years.
They also use about 35 tons of paper in between and around all the items so nothing breaks. And when I say 35 tons, I mean 35 tons.
I started looking around my place yesterday, and WOW. I have soooo much. See…
(this is a picture of 3 of the 4 jars of peanut butter I found in the boxes. Either I reallllly like PB or I realllllly hate it.)
I promise, I will post pics when I get the place all spiffed up. It may be 2010 before that happens, but it will happen. :-)
TBO LOOOOOVES the boxes and being able to weave in and out of them. I think he was afraid of the emptiness – lord knows he never had emptiness when living with me in Chicago. :-)
My goal: and I need you all to keep me to it, is too do 3 boxes a night M-F and 8+ boxes a day on the weekends. I have to set a goal, I will never get anything done.
I will also be washing clothes for about 3 years if I don’t start washing them now.
I am home this morning (Friday) waiting for the Comcast installer to arrive. They were supposed to be here at 8, it is now 9:46am. Ahhhh, service time + Southern time. Gotta love it.
It will be nice to stop stealing my neighbors unsecured internet connection and have my own—I am always paranoid that they on purpose left their network open so they can steal my personal information.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Good Morning everyone!
I woke up bight and early this morning –THE MOVERS ARE COMING! I will FINALLY be able to sleep on a REAL bed and not a blow up bed…
A bit off topic, but TBO LOOOOOOVES the blow up bed… he climbs on in with me (it is a twin) and snuggles up… then promptly gets out his claws and kneads the bed… Gah!
Anyway, I got everything picked up and out of the way (cat treats, tissue box, remote control) and the phone rings.
Not good to get a phone call at 10:45 when the movers are supposed to be here between 10-11, right?
Anyway, it was the driver (the guy that helped pack my house in Chicago) telling me the truck broke down outside of Kennesaw, GA, late last night and he had to tow it in to get it fixed. It was still not fixed, so he was going to have to try to get ANOTHER truck, move my stuff from the big truck to the small truck, then drive here. He hopes to be here by 3pm.
I feel bad for the driver, because it is not his fault the truck died, but I also feel bad for me- I am DONE sleeping on an air mattress! :-)
It is now 1:43EST and I got a lot done today… including becoming an actual GA driver!
After I heard from the movers, I decided to put on some real clothes and head over to get my GA Drivers license.
I drove over to the place, breaking like 10 motor vehicle laws in the process (apropos, don’t you think?) :-) It is located over by Turner Filed and Olympic Park, so it was a neat drive.
I got in line, got number F515, sat down and filled out the forms. It felt like forever, but I was called only about a 1/2 hour later. It was just like it is in Chicago – the workers were definitely DOT workers. I then got in line to pay and get my photo taken, then waited about 3 minutes for the license.
If I relinquished my IL license, I did not have to take the GA State test. I gave my IL DL to the lady, but she gave it back to me, no marks on it or anything.
Does this mean I have dual citizenship now?!? :-)
For contrast, here is my IL DL… picture is from 2002. I look a lot different, right? :-) (I think it is the glasses…)
After getting my license, I ran over to my “backyard neighbor,” IKEA, to get 99 cent Swedish Meatballs for lunch (gotta love a cheap meal) and while I was in there, the automatic emergency evacuation voice came on and told everyone to leave through emergency exits immediately. I had no idea what the muffled voice said, and no one around me eating did either. Some woman across from me said “I think they just told us to get out due to an emergency” and we all started to throw our food away and leave the store.
A store worker came over the loudspeaker then and told us the emergency system was malfunctioning so “stay, enjoy, shop!”.
Fingers crossed that the movers make it here before 5. I really want to sleep well tonight. I am still hacking up a lung and blowing my nose every 15 minutes. I fell a bit better each day. but I know I would feel MUCH better getting a good night’s sleep.
TBO is currently curled up on the air mattress snoring. Oh, to be a cat.
I am off now to join the gym downstairs! I need a treadmill break!
PS: for all you Midwesterners—it is rainy and 60 today. :-)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The past week was wonderful and awful- On Sunday, I was able to see the Godkids one last time before I left for Atlanta, and it was great. I got an amazing home cooked/grilled meal, lots of time with the kids, and had a great time.
I wasn’t feeling the best, and I hadn’t really slept for a few days, trying to get everything done for the move. Monday I woke up feeling like crap. Sore throat, ear pain, general lousiness… the whole shebang.
Tuesday, I had 2 dentist appts and a vet appt, and while I was driving the IGo car around, I decided to stop at a Minute Clinic inside of a CVS store since I could not get into my regular doctor and I was feeling horrible. I was in the exam room in under 5 minutes and had a diagnosis in under 15—double ear infection and strep throat.
Anyway, I got an antibiotic, finished my appts, and went home to get some sleep.
Wednesday, the movers arrived to pack. One of the guys (there were 3) asked me how long I had been living in the studio—I told him 7, but I had lost my voice and it was hard to understand me. 17? He asked.
I could totally understand why he would think I would have lived there 17 years. I have that much stuff. The boxes were stacked to the ceiling. It was so cool to see them set up the boxes and pack stuff in milliseconds.
Anyway, they packed from 10-3 then I did some work and slept again, still feeling horrible. my nose was running so much, I went through 2 boxes of tissues that day. Pretty.
Thursday, the same guys came back and packed the rest of my stuff and moved everything out of the apt. It was sad to see everything go, but it was amazing to see how much room I had in the place.
TBO had NO IDEA what are going on, though he was VERY GOOD the entire time the movers were there. He hung out on the bed the whole time sleeping or watching. Well, almost the whole time.
On Thursday, the movers had the door open to get everything out to the truck. I watched the door and the cat the whole time. TBO is not known for movement, and when he didn’t move for 2 1/2 hours of the door being open (not even to check it out or sniff the outside) I got lax in my watching role.
All the sudden, TBO wasn’t there anymore. Not on the bed, not at his litterbox, not at his food bowl. I quickly walked out the door and saw him in the hallway, sniffing the crated flatscreen tv.
He saw me and took a running stance, then took off down the hall.
Poor thing hadn’t ran in like 3 years and 10lbs. He waddled a bit, and I caught up to him before he got to my neighbor’s door. He was so tuckered out from running, he slept the rest of the afternoon.
Poor, chubby cat-child. :-)
I went into the office for the last time Thursday afternoon. It was sad and weird and strange and – I don’t know- just not a fun time. I made it until 5:15pm before I burst into tears saying my goodbyes.
Thursday night was spent cussing at the vacuum (as it died while I was trying to clean the carpet) and worrying about the drive down to Atlanta. We had decided to leave Chicago at 2AM.
At 11:45p I was still awake and decided that sleeping for just an hour would make me more tired. I relaxed and then at 1:15a I got up, got dressed, got the rest of the stuff in the car (A Saturn Vue) and wrangled the TBO in his pop-up carrier (the coolest thing ever buy the way—RUN and get one at Target if you have a pet).
TBO and I picked up my friend Noelle, who graciously rode/drove with, and we were on the rode at 2:28am—after the obligatory stop at the 24 hour Starbucks on North Ave.
I drove the first 4 hours – the drive was nice. We drove on the Skyway, then stopped in, gosh, I can’t remember where our first stop was, to stretch our legs and go potty. It was there I saw the funniest thing ever—a “fragrance stop” – 25 cents to get a scent of your choice in the women’s bathroom. Good times.
Once the sun came up, Noelle did the rest of the driving. After not sleeping for 3 nights and the sickness really kicking in, there was no reason I should be driving. After she started driving, I kept falling asleep with my mouth hanging open in mid-sentence. It was pretty, I am sure. :-)
We stopped at a few Starbucks to re-fuel on ice teas (and shaken ice-tea lemonades) and found out that (crap! I cannot remember names of places we stopped- but Noelle will remember!) is not cosmopolitan enough to have a Starbucks, but they did have a Sonic Drive In, which we ate breakfast and kept on truckin.
Poor Kentucky- it looked like a bomb had gone off through pretty much all of the state. After a few minutes, I remembered they had that horrible ice storm this winter—90 percent of the trees lost their tops. It was really sad. I am sure the state has not had the cash to clean up the mess so all the tops are just littering the sides of the roads. Sad.
Nashville we stopped (can you guess?!?) at a Starbucks after getting a bit lost and calling them to get directions. We saw this strange thing- I think it is part of some sort of civic center.
I don’t remember lunch- But I do remember stopping at a rest stop just over the Georgia border and seeing spring flowers and green grass. And it was the first time we had stopped I really didn’t need my coat and could walk around in short sleeves.
TBO was good the whole trip. He got treats and even used his letter box (GOOD BOY!) He got a bit restless by the end of the trip, but I would too after being in the car for 15 hours straight with no change to get up and stretch his legs. (picture is of the red carrier behind the front seats. I forgot to get a picture of him in his “cave”)
When we got close to ATL, we net my aunt and she brought us YUMMY soup, casserole and banana bread! It was nice to get something “real” to eat for a change!
We hit massive rush hour traffic on 75 but because of the HOV lanes, we were able to get through it pretty quickly (relatively).
We stopped by the real estate office (my landlord) to pay my rent and get the keys, then headed (FINALLY!!!!) off to the new condo. We arrived at 6:31pm at my new house, tired and ready to get out of the car and get some food. But there was one thing holding us back.
There was a car parked in my deeded parking spot. (AAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!)
I called the management company, who told me to tow the car. I did, and about 35 minutes later I had a parking spot to myself. FINALLY!!! !!!!! I was home!!
I took TBO in first, and he promptly threw up on the floor, found his litter box and peed, then curled up on the floor to take a nap. He was home. :-)
Noelle and I unpacked the car, then went to Target where I filled the cart with stuff like HVAC Filters and frozen food. I was overtired and LOST IT when we got into the car to go get dinner, so we ran for Wendy’s instead and went back to the empty house to relax and turn in.
I got a pretty good nights sleep and when we got up the next morning, we got ready and we went to the airport not only to return the Saturn Vue and pick up the Ford Focus, but to drop Noelle off for her flight home.
Since we had a bit before she had to get on her flight, I decided to take her to Chick-fil-a, since she had never been.
We ended up going to the closest one, and followed the signs from the highway. We ended up in Hapville, and low and behold, we ended up at the first ever Chick-fil-a, The Dwarf House!
It was cool- both a sit down and a fast food place. We decided on sit down, and had an adorable waitress, who, when I told her I wanted a waffle, said “Honey, you are gonna diiiiiiiie when you taste that waffle!” (think of a southern drawl when you read that last line…) :-)
I have to say: It was hands down the best waffle I have ever had in my life. Really. It was malted or something. Not Belgian like us Northerners usually order. So good, I got a second one! And Noelle got one too! :-)
I am gonna post this update now, then pull all the photos of my condo off the regular camera (as the photos above came from my cell phone). So stay tuned for pt 2!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
We made it in about 6:30pm yesterday after 15 hours in the car. Only a few minor hiccups (hit a bit of traffic; had to tow a car from my deeded parking spot) but am in the condo and relaxing. I will write tons more about the trip ( with pictures and everything!) later, but right now-- I need SLEEP! :-) Annnnnd... I am currently stealing a neighbors unsecured wireless connection and it could go at anytime. :-)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
5 things now and then I will write the looong update later...
- I WILL NOT be on the show (unless you catch a glimpse of my arm)... they had too many questions to answer :-( Almost 20 ladies were mic'ed and taped that DID NOT get on the show. None of the 6 girls in my dressing room got to ask their questions.
- they touched up/did my hair and makeup! ;-)
- The show will air on Monday, March 23rd.
- I had a blast, got to see Oprah's green room(s) and got a cool gift bag! Really, I had a ton of fun!
- They picked me up in a limo at home and drove me to work in a town car- I felt like a movie star!
I promise I will write more when I have time!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
It took me over an hour and 1/2 to get to work this morning... due to horrific traffic on Lake Shore Drive. I was riding on the bus, which helped my blood pressure. But it did make me CRAZY when I saw that the area sectioned off for construction was 2 of the 4 lanes on Lake Shore Drive --and it was not being worked on! :-( GRRR!
Can't wait to experience all that the ATL has to offer, traffic wise. I think today was bad...
In 24 hours I will be in Harpo Studios waiting to be taped... I can't wait! The producer called me yesterday afternoon and told me A CAR would be picking me up at home and driving me to the show... where my HAIR and MAKEUP will be touched up by the team.
I feel so fancy!
I guess they will be asking me questions while I am in the studio too.
I spent the night last night doing 2 loads of laundry (one clothing, one sheets/duvet cover), then fighting with the duvet and the cover trying to get the &*#$ thing inside. For some reason, the duvet was winning most of the time I was struggling with it.
Annnd, TBO would NOT get off the bed. I pushed, and prodded and promised treats, but NOPE. Do you know how hard it is to try to get a 26lb cat off a bed when he don't wanna? Yeah, it's that hard. Finally, he got down (to eat, of course) and I got the bed made. Then, of course, he didn't want to get ON the bed.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Well folks, my 15 minutes of fame are starting riiiiiiiiiiiiight about now.
I went and saw the Oprah Show last week and while there, the producers asked whether anyone was over 30 and single. As we all know, I fit the bill. :-)
After a quick conversation one on one with one of the producers about relationships, I left. When I got back to work, I got a call from the producer asking me more questions about relationships and wanting to know if I had any relationship questions I may want to ask Steve Harvey, who wrote a new book about dating for women, and who would be answering questions on an upcoming show.
After countless more conversations, I got a call yesterday asking me if I would be able to attend the show on Thursday this week AND if I would be able to tape a short segment of me asking the question for the show.
What do you think my answer was???? ;-)
An Oprah producer will be here in about 10 minutes, and we are going to find a good place downtown to do the short taping. I found a cute outfit at Land's End that is casual yet a bit trendy to wear, I got my hair straightened yesterday afternoon and I slept well last night (no dark circles under my eyes, I hope!)
Since the show is taped, I am not sure when it will air, but as soon as I know, I will let you know! :-)
Friday, March 6, 2009
I cannot believe it is already Friday!
I can't even remember Monday, but Tuesday was spent flat on my back after throwing it out. yep, I threw my back out. Perfect timing, right!?! I innocently went to move/shove a Rubbermaid tote out of my way late on Monday night, and I felt my back go. I spent the next 24hrs in pain and not doing much at all.
Wednesday, feeling a bit better, I went to see the Oprah Show with a good friend, It was so good seeing her and catching up. Not sure when the show will air, but when I know, I will let you know!
Thursday was "APN Live" day at work (if you don't know what that is, check out my organizations website- sorry I can't be more clear, I am trying to stay anonymous)-- the movie was SOLD OUT at the theatre I went to and we were very very very happy it was. it was a long work day, 12 hours, and I felt like I might have strep throat- super sore throat, big lymph node, a bit of a fever, white tonsils....I woke up today feeling just as crappy. I am supposed to go see the god-kids one last time on Sunday before I head to the ATL, but may have to postpone if I am sick. I am tired today and crabby. Not a good combination to be productive.
I spent the better part of yesterday actually working, but spent my lunch hour calling and canceling (or ordering) Cable, Internet, newspaper, telephone, electricity, and changing my address. while the relocation company has a service to help change everything over to the new place, the old stuff still requires you to call each thing and change it manually.
I have a tiny bit of excitement when I think about the new condo. Since I hadn't done any spring cleaning* at my old place for over 6 years, it will be nice to move and get rid of some things I don't need anymore.
My going away party extravaganza is next Friday, and I don't think I am ready for it yet. I have a party at work, and then a party with my Chicago friends/family that night. it will be an emotional and fun day, I am sure.
*this is the longest I have EVER lived in one place in my entire life. for many, many years of my life I moved every 12 months. that was my "spring cleaning"- getting rid of crap I didn't need each time I moved.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Now that the waiting game is over for the condo rental (which I will now just call "the condo"), I am in a holding pattern. I still need to sign the lease and pay my first month's rent (yes, I have to pay the WHOLE month up front, though I am only going to be living there for 10 days of the month. I get to pay less later in the year to make up for it. Strange Atlanta Rental Rules!) and then I will feel comfortable putting the cable, Internet and electricity in my name. The relocation company has this really cool "all-in-one" service that will change your address for the post office, tell you who your providers are for water, electric, cable, etc, pretty much giving you a one stop shop for all your needs. it really will save me time trying to track down who I need to call and what the best deal is- the relocation company will do it all for me.
I talked to TBO's vet yesterday about kitty valium for the drive down. She offered up a holistic version that we can try BEFORE the strong stuff, so I need to get over to the office and pick that and extra insulin up for the trip. I also need to make it to a Wal-mart or Target to get a new cat carrier for the trip - TBO DESTROYED his last one.
I re-reserved the elevators in my current apartment so I would not forget to do it in the next week or so. Now to get the non-refundable $150.00 deposit to the management office. Oof. Thank goodness today is payday!
I have been downing Gaviscon tablets the past few days for my ever-present heartburn. I know it is stress-related and I know once a lot of the pre-planning and planning is done I will feel better. Also, I am not sleeping very well right now. My brain is running all night long trying to make sure I remember to do everything.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I found this funny post on Strictly Southern, and I am reposting it here without asking. I hope that it is OK.
On Moving to The South
If you are from the northern states and planning on visiting or moving
to the South, there are a few things you should know that will help you
adapt to the difference in lifestyles:
The North has sun-dried toe-mah-toes, the South has 'mater samiches.
The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.
The North has dating services, the South has family reunions.
The North has switchblade knives, the South has Lee Press-on Nails.
The North has double last names, the South has double first names.
The North has Ted Kennedy, the South has Jesse Helms.
The North has an ambulance, the South has an amalance.
The North has Indy car races, the South has stock car races.
The North has Cream of Wheat, the South has grits.
The North has green salads, the South has collard greens.
The North has lobsters, the South has crawdads.
The North has the rust belt, the South has the Bible Belt.
If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store....Don't buy food at this store.
Remember, "y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural, and "all y'all's" is plural possessive.
Get used to hearing "You ain't from 'round here, are ya?"
You may hear a Southerner say "Ought!" to a dog or child. This is short for "Y'all ought not do that!" and is the equivalent of saying "No!"
Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either.
The first Southern statement to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective "big'ol," as in "big'ol truck or "big'ol boy". Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.
The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.
Be advised that "He needed killin" is a valid defense here.
If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this," you should stay out of the way.
These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.
If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow,
your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.
When you come up on a person driving 15 mph down the middle of the road, remember that most folks learn to drive on a John Deere, and that is the proper speed and position for that vehicle.
Do not be surprised to find that many 10-year-olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.
In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.
If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits!
Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Georgia.
There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Georgia, plus a couple no one has seen before.
If it grows, it sticks. If it crawls, it bites! .
It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy.
"Fixinto" is one word (I'm fixinto go to the store).
Sweet Tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're 2 years old.
"Jeet?" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"
I called the condo company again this morning and the woman (Jen) who answers the phone told me that the guy (Charlie) who makes all the decisions was out sick yesterday so he was not able to call me. She tole me everything looked reeeeeeally good on my application and my references were great so though she could not tell me what the final out come was, all signs pointed strongly toward I got the apartment.
Charlie is supposed to call me yet this morning to give me the good news.
Once I get the place, I can begin putting the utilities in my name. ordering Internet and cable and having my magazines re-routed. I feel like I can move forward at that point instead of standing still.
I got my hair cut on Tuesday night and Trisha straightened it. I always look like such a different "kid" when my hair is super straight.my "normal" Starbucks Barista didn't immediately recognize me when she saw me this morning - she commented on how much she loved it straight AND curly. :-)
Maybe I will post a picture later when I finally have some makeup on!
ETA: JUST GOT FINAL APPROVAL ON THE APPT!!!!!! They called and I my &^#$&% phone didn't ring so they left a message --- WHOOOOOOPPPPIIIIIEEEE!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
TheBigOne (AKA the big orange cat - you all know his name, and since it is so different, I am going to call him TBO for short instead of his real name --to protect the innocent) stretched his neck out to sniff her for a second, then went back to hanging out on the bed and napping.
An attack cat I do not have. :-)
It didn't take too long for the lady to look everything over and head out.
I spent the rest of the day working from home and freaking out about the fact that the new condo owner hasn't called me back yet to tell me if I got the new place in ATL. I called them 2 times and they weren't in the office. I wanted to leave a message, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Darnit, they told me I would know by today and I didn't know.
They have already called my landlord and my job references, WHY.NOT.ME?!?!
I am also suffering from some massive heartburn tonight. I chalk it up to 5 things:
- TONS O' Stress
- and eating: Milk, Tomatoes, OJ and Garlic today, not particularly in that order.
I am fixin to (oh jebus, the Southern words are starting to leech in to my lexicon, HELP!) head to the bathroom to swig some Pepto.
48MV (my new signoff- you like??)
PS: Why do cats love straws so much? TBO spent most of today destroying 3 straws he found randomly around the house. I think this is the most exercise he has had in a year.
Atlanta is just a detour, Chicago is my home.