Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas! May you be richly blessed this holiday season, and may all of your Christmases be white. :-)

To help you get in the mood, I thought that I would include a link to a stand-out online version of White Christmas. It's worth it, I promise.

Alternatively, here's a grainy version of White Christmas to watch right here. :-)

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Surviving the Seattle Storms

Okay, so it's true, the storm in Seattle was pretty epic. I stand corrected. We were without power from midnight Friday (12/15) to 2 AM Sunday (12/17), it was very cold (40 degrees in my living room Saturday night, brrr), but I feel very fortunate. I don't know of many people who had trees land on their houses, and thankfully I don't know of anyone who was hurt. While plenty of people are still without power, and it was scary listening to the winds and cracking trees outside, I'm very much counting my blessings.

To everyone who survived the storms, I'm glad that you are safe and sound. To those who lost parts of their homes and more, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Seattle Sunshine... err, Rain

So for the past few days, we've had some stormy weather in Seattle. To listen to or read the news reports, we're having wind storms and rains of epic proportions. While I wouldn't go that far, I will say that our building was rocking and rolling all day yesterday in the winds... I think I was starting to get sea sick! :-|

Alas, that's not the point of my post. I have discovered a new dimension in my people watching: umbrella watching. Yep, I have a new appreciation for umbrellas and all of the cool bumbershoots that are on the market. My current favorite is the super-over sized golf umbrella. I keep thinking that I should get one for myself (after all, not only does it keep you dry, but it could keep three of your friends dry too), but then I realize that the practicality of carrying it around when you're not using it (say, while you're on the bus), is not so great.

Understand, however, that my new appreciation for umbrellas goes against my Seattle grain. We used to joke that you could pick the tourists out in Seattle because they were the ones using the umbrellas. However, I'd have to say that I've turned over a new leaf... or I'm now a tourist... because I appreciate the good old fashioned bumbershoot given the "epic" weather that we're having.

Here's to staying dry! :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Get Ready To Dance!

Alright, so we've chosen our DJ, and I'm really excited about it. He's a really cool guy, and I think that he'll definitely get our wedding party going. Can't wait to test out my dancin' shoes!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Wedding Update :-)

So, we've been busy with wedding planning, and have made great progress. We've got a wedding location, a pastor, bridal party, reception site, wedding dress, wedding Web site, gift registries started, and photographers.

Now it's time to find a baker, a DJ, and a florist. Have any ideas for us? Do tell... I love referrals! :-)

Out of town friends and family: if you haven't done so already, be sure to book your hotel rooms early. This is going to be one great wedding! (If I do say so myself...)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Hello everyone,
Just a note to say Happy Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life -- I can't say thank you enough for all of the ways that you help me throughout the year.

Are you looking for something to be thankful for this holiday season? Here is a helpful how to primer on being thankful.

Best wishes everyone -- enjoy your turkey today!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bad News Beaver Lovers

I'm sad to report that my friend, Buddy Beaver, has passed away today. I have been looking for him every morning since I saw him waddling across the street two weeks ago. Today, I'm sad to report that he has passed away on the side of Lake Washington Blvd. May Buddy rest in peace. (And may the car that hit him not have too much damage, he was a big dude...)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints Day Treat

Happy All Saints Day!

As a little treat this morning, I had the pleasure of stopping traffic outside of my condominium complex for a super-cute beaver. Yes, that's right, a beaver. I sat for a minute or two as he slowly waddled across the street from the wetlands to our grounds with a big ol' stick in his mouth. I wonder if he's starting to make a dam near our drainage ditches. Hopefully I'll see him again and I can ask him for more details (name, where he lives, etc.). :-) We'll see. It was a nice treat to see him waddling along at 6:45 in the morning (a freezing morning at that). Go nature!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween! (And Happy Anniversary!)

Today is a great day. Not only is is Halloween (so we get to see a whole bunch of ghosts and goblins running around), but today is the one-year anniversary of Lennie & I dating. Yep, that's right: one year ago today, we had our first date at Red Robin. That was a really good day. No, that was a really great day.

So, Lennie, Happy Anniversary. I love you!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Spread Thin?

Seems that I've been suffering from "Can't Say No To Anything And Now Have An Over Stuffed Schedule" Syndrome. The result: I'm exhausted, I don't know which way is up, and I just want to go home and do some laundry (the laundry basket is just about at DEF-CON Two status). If someone out there has invented a time machine, or other mechanism to make the day a whole heck of a lot longer, I'm all ears! :-)


... I'm not really sure where I'm going to go with this post, so bare with me.

A Helping Hand
The church group that I'm active in has put together small bags of food (cup o' noodle, granola bars, etc.) for homeless people, and we hand them out as the spirit moves us throughout our travels. Seeing as I work downtown, I tend to see a lot of homeless people in my daily travels. So, I've started carrying a bag with me every day to work and handing it out as I walk to and from the bus, etc. Within the last week, I would say that I have handed out 5 or so bags to homeless/needy people. The last two hand outs, however, have left me feeling a little more cynical than I would like.

Here's a scenario: I'm waiting for the bus on Monday afternoon, and a clearly homeless person comes up to me and waggles a fast food cup in front of me
Spare some change?
they ask me.

I reply, "Are you hungry?"

They say, "I don't want to take your food from you... but if you could spare some change..."

Meanwhile, I'm digging in my bag and pulling out the Ziplock full of goodies.
"No," I reply, "This is especially for you. Enjoy."

The person takes the bag, says thank you, and turns to walk away. (And here's the kicker...)

They turn back around and say "Yeah, but can you spare some change?"

How is one supposed to respond to that?

Flash to this morning... I walk out of my standard morning Starbucks stop, coffee in hand, and see a homeless person seeking shelter in the doorway of the Banana Republic. I cross the street, pull out my bag, and ask him if he would like something to eat. I failed to notice the other homeless man asleep under the blanket.
He hears me giving food to the first person and says, "Can I have one of those too?"
I only have one bag with me, so I politely back pedal. That's all fine and dandy.
But then the first person says, "You know, I could really use some money instead. Can't you give me money instead?"

So here's the question: how do I respond to something like this? I feel like these people are ungrateful for what I am giving them, and are wanting to take advantage of me. I don't expect them to throw a ticker tape parade for me (after all, it is "just" a bag of food), but it certainly doesn't make me want to help people out if they're just going to brush aside what I've done for them already and expect more out of me. It's not like money grows on trees, and I feel like I work pretty hard for what I have. (It's the old debate: why can't these people go out and get jobs too, instead of asking me for my money...) Anyhow, I don't want to stop doing good works, but I just want to figure out how to not walk away from these encounters feeling cynical and bitter. Any thoughts?

Random sidebar comment: I was told by my out-of-town coworkers (one from Texas and another from Minnesota) that Seattle seems to have an inordinately high population of homeless people. I wonder how true this comment/observation is... when I was in junior high school (back in the dark ages, right?), I did a report on homelessness in Seattle, and there was a theory that because many (most?) homeless people are mentally ill, they tend to follow the sun -- which rises in the east and sets in the west -- therefore, they start to migrate to the West coast, and ultimately end up in places like Seattle and Santa Monica because there's no point further west.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I think that I found the place that I want to bake my wedding cake. :-) See today's article from Reuters. Diamonds are a girl's best friend, you know...

... now if only I could find that $20 million that I had scraped up to pay for the cake. {Grin}

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Shake My Fist At You Sprint!

So I must say, today is the first day in just over a week that I have not received a marketing call from Sprint on my cell phone. It was a blissfully quiet day for me on the phone front, which was refreshing after what I went through last week.

Seems that Sprint has decided that my cell phone can be called by their automatic dialers to offer me an additional phone line. Now, they started calling on a Sunday night... yes, that made me really happy. Then they called on Monday, but didn't leave a message. On Tuesday, I called the number back (I was intrigued as to why this 866 number was stalking me) and I spoke with a representative directly. He made me the offer, I declined, and thought that I was done with them. But noooooooooooo, seems that Sprint didn't think that I really know what I meant when I declined their offer. Yep, that's right, they kept calling... Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So, I decided to strike back. As a marketer, I knew that the National Do Not Call registration 1. prohibited them from calling my cell phone to market to me and 2. that they were legally bound to honor my request to be removed from their marketing lists. So, I called Sprint Customer Care -- actually, they should rename it to Customer SCARE. Seems that the first person that I talked to said that I had to call the US Government, or more precisely, the National Do Not Call Registry, as that was the only way that I could remove my phone from their calling lists. Riiiighhhhttt. (Just for the record, Sprint, you're messing with the wrong customer. I know my rights.) For my troubles, I was "rewarded" with 100 free text messages (whoopppeee!) for this next billing cycle. Have I mentioned that my billing cycle ends in 6 days?

Thursday -- I called Customer Scare again... was given a different answer. "Did I go online..." was the question this time. Yet, I wonder, why aren't the Sprint Customer Scare agents empowered to do the right thing for their customers? Ponder that one and let me know, would ya?

Fast forward to Friday afternoon. Another lovely call from the Promotions Department at Sprint. Hey, do I want another phone line yet? Nope. Still don't. Now I'm mad. And now we begin the third call to Customer Scare. After twenty minutes of stop-and-go customer "service," the lady assures me that I will never get another marketing call from Sprint again. (HA!) In fact, she has gone through "every screen" in the system and made sure that I was marked as "do not market to." I was once again "rewarded" with another 300 free text messages in my billing cycle, and as a bonus, 100 free minutes. Woo. My fingers should be tired from all of the text messaging I'm doing, huh? Not so.

Saturday -- for once, my phone didn't ring from Sprint. Ahhhh, I think that her magic finally worked. Wait for it...

Sunday -- is that my phone ringing again? Yep, it is. I cut the Promotions person off mid-sentence and said "I really don't want your offer, and frankly, I don't like that this is the sixth time in five days that I've had to tell you this." Do you know what she said to me? (This one got me steamed!) "I didn't make those last five calls, so it's not my problem. {click}" Yep, that's a happy Sprint employee, isn't it? Now I'm mad. So, I called Customer SCARE once again. (Note: this is the fifth or sixth time that I've talked to a Sprint representative in seven days, I'm kind of tired of them...) I asked (wisely?) for a supervisor this time, thinking that would help. Not so much. Here's the gist of the conversation:
Me: "I'm a single woman who does not need another phone line. I've asked repeatedly to be removed from your marketing list THIS WEEK, how hard is this to do?"

Him: "Hmmmm... I can see how you say that." STARTS LAUGHING AT ME.

Yes, laughing. I officially don't like him. I am assured that he has once again gone through every screen (and he claims that he doesn't see any of the other markings for my do not mail requests) and marked in "big red letters" that I will cancel my account if they ever call me again. He doesn't know how right he is. Oh baby. I think that I may start personally calling these people if they should choose to contact me via cell phone ever again. In fact, I'm going to take their personal cell numbers and call them at odd hours of the day. I think that's fitting, don't you?

So here's the moral of the story:
  • Don't mess with your customers. (This is a tough one, but I think you can do it.)

  • When your customer says, SIX TIMES, that they don't want your offer, they probably mean it.

  • And when they say "do not market to me," multiple times, your customer scare agents should be empowered to do it. After all, it's the law.

Don't believe me that it's the law, then here's a quote from the National Do Not Call web site:

Yes, you may place your personal cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry has accepted cell phone numbers since it opened for registrations in June 2003. There is no deadline to register a home or cell phone number on the Registry.

You may have received an email telling you that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database; however, that is not the case. FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their consent.

So, Sprint, I shake my fist at you. Please don't be surprised when I pull my account from you, and go to a company (I don't know which one, btw) that actually treats it's customers with respect. A novel concept, I know...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

United Kingdom Adventures

Hello and greetings from Birmingham, UK!

It's been an adventure exploring Birmingham over the past few days, and I've learned a lot -- about myself, the UK, and tradeshows abroad. A few random observations:

Smoking. Those of us from the West coast of the United States, and more precisely from Washington State, don't know how good we have it. Seems that those smoke-free public areas aren't something tha we should take for granted. Fresh air is good. (Not that there isn't fresh air here, it's just that smoking is a lot more sociable here, which is not so grand for people like me who are allergic to it...)

Pure green beauty. The English countryside is beautiful. I can't say enough about the great green stretches of land that I've observed, and the beautiful flowers in Birmingham and Solihull. I could only wish for such lush flower gardens!

Trains rule. I definitely have an appreciation for the public transit set-up here, and love that I can hop a train between the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) and downtown at any given time. Convenience is a wonderful thing!

Tradeshows are definitely different here. It's a different atmosphere on the tradeshow floor than in the States. I'm not used to having hired beauties walking around giving out handbills, nor am I used to having performers dancing down the aisles to get people to go to a vendor's stand. I can't completely put my finger on it, but it's different than I'm used to, that's for sure.

Starbucks. Current sighting count = 6. Current number of times I've gone in and purchased anything = 0. Yep, so far, I've gone Starbucks free. Don't worry, I will breakdown before long! :-)

I'm having fun. But don't worry, friends and family, not too much fun. I'll be home soon, I promise. :-)


Friday, September 29, 2006

"God Bless You"

So, I've noticed lately that I'm very inclined to say "God bless you" or "Bless you" after someone sneezes, and yet, people don't say it to me very often. I ask you this: is this something personal, or is it a sign of the decline in our society -- with less and less people thinking of others and more of us simply having tunnel vision?

I dunno, you be the judge.

We Set the Date...

... now what? :-) Wedding planning (so far) has been interesting -- everyone has an opinion (which is great), and everyone has a vision for our wedding... which is also cool. But it seems that there's now a mountain of things to do between now and July 14th... where to begin? The reception location (I'm working on it, but seem to be finding a lot of dead ends...)? The dress? (Am I really ready to go try those on?) A photographer? Wow... that's just the tip of the iceberg... either way, this is going to be an adventure... stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

By Popular Request...

... here are a few photos from the big night (thanks Katie & Crystal!):

It was a great night, and I can't thank Lennie, my friends, and my family enough for pulling it off... even if I can be a brat sometimes...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I said "Yes!"

Curious as to what the title of this post means? Then you had better e-mail me for details, because tonight I said yes to the man that I love.

(Sorry boys, that means that I'm permanently off the market!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Things I Like To Forget...

... seems that as a tradeshow/event planner, I always look forward to shows and the frenzy that leads up to the big event. And yet, I always seem to forget a few things along the way.

(I suspect that events can be a little like birth: expectant mothers dread the actual delivery, but then after birth, they talk about how beautiful it was and gloss over the horrifying pain. Does the lapse of time really make you forget?)

Anyhow, I've just finished our biggest tradeshow of the year, ACCE, here in Seattle. It was a fine show, and the booth looked fabulous (if I do say so myself). But there's one thing that I'm constantly reminded of: how thankful I am for a desk job. Seems that two full days, and one evening on my feet for hours at a time have taken their toll on my body. And my feet & legs are really screaming at me right now! ;-) And I'm exhausted. (In fact, my whole team is exhausted... smiling so much can really take it out of you!)

Oh, and it seems that every show I assume that the keys to my booth are in the booth shipment. Note to self: they aren't. Another note to self: it's a rare key and I should remember to bring it with me... You'd think that I would have learned by now! Heh heh.

Either way, I love my job. Seriously, I love my job.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tired Jollies or Really Funny?

For many, many years, I've been laughing out loud when this song came on during Marty Riemer's 5:20 Funny segment on 103.7 The Mountain. I stumbled upon it tonight, and now I feel compelled to share it with you, as it still makes me laugh:

Bad cow pun...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

Ahhh... what a weekend. It's with a big smile that I write that I haven't checked my e-mail since 4 PM on Friday. That's a sign of a good weekend, no?

Xs + Os = Ws
On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to witness the first Husky football win of the 2006/2007 season.
Maybe it is a meager 1-0, but that's a record the Huskies haven't enjoyed since 2001. And nobody around Montlake is taking this momentary joy for granted.

"For me," coach Tyrone Willingham said, "that is priceless."
- King County Journal, 09/03/2006

While the plays were sloppy, and the refereeing was even sloppier, I'm happy with the outcome. In a season where fans are being warned by commentators to "lower their expectations," I would counter that our expectations couldn't get any lower. My hope (prediction?) is for three wins. We're a third of the way there boys, now go get 'em!

The Gorge in George
Sunday included the long drive to the Gorge to see the Dave Matthews Band. I can't say that I'm a super Dave fan, with stickers in my window and signs advertising that I'm making the trek over to the Gorge, but I can say that L.O. and I enjoyed the day, and definitely enjoyed the band jamming on stage. As an added bonus, I got to hear another favorite of mine, O.A.R.. A friend of mine had said some months back that I would appreciate O.A.R. more when I heard them in concert. I have to say, I totally agree. They were really good.

The only downside of the concert would be the weird mix of fans that you get at a Dave concert. I wonder if my experience would be different if we were sitting in an auditorium somewhere. Seems that the drug culture is alive and well at the Gorge, and the contact high that you get just sitting at the event is not always welcome. Guess that's what you get when you mix diverse populations. I'm all for diversity, I just wish that I didn't have to endure the second hand smoke.

All in all, though, I'd say it was a great weekend. I got to hear Dave jam live, I got to hear O.A.R. in person, and I got to see the Huskies pull out a win. What more could you ask for in a weekend?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh What a Night...

Go Mariners! That was the cry of the night for me & LO as we sat in the Jamie Moyer Suite at the M's game. While the Mariners lost to the Angels, the yellow hydroplane lost AGAIN on the big screen in the outfield, the field crew did dance. That was enough for me. Well, that and the beautiful view from the suite, and the fact that I won the drawing for an autographed Jamie Moyer jersey. My life is sweet.

Here's a sample of the dance that they did... it always makes me smile when the crew dances...

I'm happy that Soriano was reportedly watching the game tonight (after a line drive to the head nearly killed him the night before) and doing well. Seems that we take for granted the dangers of the game. I think that KT put it really well in her entry about the August 29th game. Read more about it here.

Seems that I'm not really a baseball fan... or a Seahawks fan... or a hockey fan... or a Sonics fan... but I can certainly identify with the fair-weather fan feelings of Nathan and Mike. Seriously, when are we going to get a good professional team in Seattle? (Notice how I said "professional..." I'm still a die-hard UW Husky football fan... we're going to better our record from last year, I swear!)

Anywho, I had yet another great night at the ballpark, even if the Seattle Mariners didn't prevail. At least LO was happy that his "hometown" team won for once...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekend Wanderings

Man, I had another great weekend! I can't believe how much we packed in this weekend.

We trekked over to the Kirkland waterfront to watch a boatload of sailing friends prepare for their final Friday night race. While waiting on the dock and watching the boats jockey for positions, we got to watch the Northwest University students in their "people" scavenger hunt. I struck up a conversation with two of the people that they were searching for and gave them the idea of getting the contestants to perform songs and stunts to get "extra" points. (Sorry new NU students!) We waited long enough to see one group do a human pyramid on the dock before we walked downtown to dinner at Hector's. Yum. Then we walked back to the dock and watched a beautiful sunset. Ahh, life in the Northwest, huh?

Yeah, I got up at the crack of early (actually, a little before the crack of early) and went up to the Special Olympics state softball tournament. I'll readily admit that I was less than useful, but that I had fun and got a great tan. We went that evening to the always-fun Hawaiian Luau held by our friends in West Seattle. Was great to sit and relax and jabber with friends late in to the night.

Finally! I get to sleep in! Yessssss!!!!!! It was great to have a lazy morning at home, I don't get those often enough, I have to say. We took the afternoon to go up to the Evergreen State Fair. This is one of my favorite fairs, as it's smaller and not too crowded. You still get to go and see the baby chicks and the pig races without having to walk a million miles to get there, or to battle a million and a half people on the way to anything. We got to hit all of the highlights -- including the All-Alaskan Pig races, which were definitely funny.

We concluded our afternoon at the fair at the Jars of Clay concert. I definitely like these guys, and they have a great (if not entertaining) stage presence. Turns out that I knew only 55% or so of the songs that they sang, but for the small admission fee, it was worth it. T'was a great summertime activity, I tell ya.

Funny side note: Spirit 105.3 reports that there were 4,000 people at the concert. (Here's some photos for you too.) Not sure if I believe that there were 4,000 people there, but it was a pretty good crowd... especially since my friends and I were there. ;-)

Well, I hope y'all had a great weekend too... and that your weekend wanderings were wonderful. :-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So that's what I've been doing wrong...

... seems that researchers have found a correlation between marriage and mental health:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lonely? Feeling low? Try taking a walk -- down the aisle. Getting married enhances mental health, especially if you're depressed, according to a new U.S. study.

The benefits of marriage for the depressed are particularly dramatic, a finding that surprised the professor-student team behind the study.

"We actually found the opposite of what we expected," said Adrianne Frech, a PhD sociology student at Ohio State University who conducted the study with Kristi Williams, an assistant professor of sociology. Read more here.

Huh, who knew that marriage could be such a good option for your mental health?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

An Open Note to My True Friends (You Know Who You Are...)

To my dear friends, young and old:
Just a note to say thank you for being you. Thank you for being my friend and confidant. I appreciate you for who you are, who you want to be, and who you were.

I love that I can come to you all with my thoughts, fears, emotions, tears, jokes, questions, stories, and more, and you will still call me your friend at the end of the day. You are my rocks, you are my buoys in rough waters, and I appreciate you.

Thank you for allowing me to have weird nicknames, or one-liners that only we would understand (while the rest of the world gives us really funny looks). The fact that you will let me be me means the world to me.

I don't think that we tell people enough these days what we're thinking or where we stand in life. So, here I am being real to each and every one of you, saying: thank you, I appreciate you, and keep being you.

You all rock.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Anti-stupidity Pill -- Seriously Folks!

This is just about one of the dumbest things that I've heard about lately: "A German scientist has been researching an A German scientist has been testing an "anti-stupidity" pill with encouraging results on mice and fruit flies, Bild newspaper reported Saturday."

So a few thoughts and questions for you to ponder:
  • How does one test the short-term memory of a fruit fly? Seriously, do they have memories?

  • How is short-term memory related to stupidity? Isn't it the long-term memory that counts on this front?

  • Along the same lines: how does attentiveness relate to stupidity?

This is just craziness... sometimes I wonder about the scientific research community...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why I Love Working in Downtown Seattle

In no particular order...

Reason #122: The Blue Angels roaring over the city every summer.
There's nothing better than the rumble of the jets as they pass overhead on the city. And, there's nothing better than when your colleagues have to say on a conference call "No, we're not under attack, that's just the Blue Angels buzzing the city!" Heh heh.

Reason #29: You get to know the panhandlers/homeless people.
Yep, I know the panhandlers by sight now. While I don't know them by name or stop and have in-depth conversations with them, I certainly have made up their own stories for them in my head. There's the box guy who hangs out by the T-Mobile store on 6th (he shoves the box in front of you daily, it's fun). There's the scowling hat guy that I see every morning outside of the Roxy store. He has a new ball cap every day that he holds at his side. He's also always alarmingly clean for a homeless person, I think that maybe he lives in a nice house outside of town, and funds his mortgage with his hat panhandling skills...(I have decided that the day that this guy returns my smile is the day that I'm going to give in and give him money.)

And then there's my all-time favorite guys (I don't know if they're homeless, but they've made this category any way...): "Shoe shine, Miss? Shoe shine!" Regardless of whether or not I'm wearing leather shoes, they bellow out at all of us as we pass that we need our shoes shined. And, I have to say, they do a pretty good job on my shoes.

Reason #63: The Doormen & Security Dudes
Here at my office building, we have a good crew of doormen who are always smiling and always emitting positive energy. No matter how hot or cold it is outside, they are there in the morning to open the door and shoot me a warm greeting. It makes getting to work in the morning very pleasant, and makes me want to spread a little love (only a little, let's face it: I'm not really a morning person...) to the rest of the world at 8 a.m. And, it makes it a lot easier to juggle my yummy mocha (see reason #4 below), my iPod, and personal effects as I trudge in to work each day.

Reason #98: Bike Messengers
Outside of my office building is one of the few local mom & pop coffee type stands where apparently the whole bike messenger community hangs out. No matter what time of day it is, you can find this motley crew of bike messengers hanging out with their coffee and snacks doing tricks on their bikes and generally making merriment. I love it because it's a community that I'm not necessarily exposed to in other parts of my life, but I feel like I get to appreciate them from afar as I'm going about my daily routine. And really, it kind of makes me want to be a bike messenger. (Well, maybe not really, since I don't own a bike, and can't see myself careening through traffic to deliver a package to random businesses...)

Reason #4: Starbucks
This one's very important. There are no less than 20 Starbucks within a 5 mile radius of my office. More importantly, the Starbucks kiosk (a mere 500 feet from a full store) that I frequent every morning knows my drink order by heart. No matter how groggy or checked-out I am in the morning, I know that the kiosk staff will serve me my grande non-fat, extra stirred, no whip mocha the way that I like it. And I love them for it. :-)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Drive Safely...

You know, I don't always like driving at night. It's not because I'm a single woman alone in a car, or because I think that someone is going to get me. Nope, it's that I don't like the glare of other people's headlights and what it does to my vision.

Alas, one company thinks that women don't like to drive at night because they're single and alone in their cars. And here is their answer: the blow-up man. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Some marketer did a survey of (scared) women, and came up with the blow-up man as a solution? Get real... Ladies: feel empowered on your own: drive at night without the blow-up man. You can do it! (Heck, we've all been doing it for years before this...)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

As I write this, it's approximately 95 degrees in my condo. It's approximately 80 degrees outside. Something's wrong with this picture. Every year at this time (or at the time that it hits unreasonably hot in the Seattle area), I start thinking that I need to buy an air conditioner. And then I look at the price tag ($300!?!? Are you kidding me?) and I think that I can withstand the heat for the 5 days a year that it hits above 80 degrees. Maybe, just maybe, I can't, though. Or maybe that's just the heat and sunburn talking right now... who knows?

Either way, it's been a great summer here in Seattle, and I'm digging the sunshine. The heat, no, the sunshine, yes. Keep it coming, God. I'm loving the sunshine!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ladies: Learn to Drink Properly

You know, I was really wondering what I should wear out for a night of drinking... or what the proper ettiquette was for falling down drunk in the streets. This news article has all of the answers! "Wear nice pants" -- Police Tell Women Drinkers.

Guess that solves that problem... now if only I knew where I left my nice pants... :-)

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Ultimate Weekend

So, I'm sitting here at my desk trying to gear up for a somewhat busy work day, but I haven't found my muse yet. Seems that I had the ultimate weekend. And by ultimate weekend, I mean I completely lost myself in enjoying the moment, relaxing, and generally not thinking about work. It was fabulous.

I came home on Friday night and was greeted by red roses and a picnic dinner at Snoqualmie Falls. Hello weekend!

Saturday included a lazy drive up to Oak Harbor to see friends, enjoy sunset at the city beach, and a trip to the mall where my boyfriend and I were told that we look "natural" together (says the jewelry saleslady...) In fact, we were told three times in a 24 hour span that we looked "natural together," or some variation on "you look like you two are happily married." Hmmm...

OH! And we got good news! My good friend from Whitworth College is pregnant! Congratulations... I'm so excited for the two of you! :-)

Sunday included a drive through Whidbey Island and a ferry ride, and a BBQ to boot. Could it get any better than this? Sunshine, good company, and the wind whipping through your hair. Fun.

So, here I sit, having just had the Ultimate Weekend, and now I'm geared up for a full day of work (oh, when will it end?) and then a great day off with friends and family. Does it get any better than this?

Happy (and safe!) Fourth of July, everyone!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Seattle Sunshine - Wahoo! Bring it!

Ahhh, what a weekend. So, it's dang hot (by Seattle standards anyway) out this weekend. I'm not complaining, I'm just telling you that I'm enjoying it by getting the first sunburn of the season. Seems that walking in the sunshine to the beach, sitting at the beach, and then going home a few hours later warrants a little sunscreen. Bah, why not live on the edge? Heh heh, ow.

Sunday included an early morning 3 mile stroll on the annual Shore Run/Walk benefiting Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. My good friend HoneyBee finished 180th overall in the 5k run "without even trying." Phew, that's 4.95k more than I can run! :-)

Once again, I joined Team Torch of Life in carrying the names of friends, family, and aquaintences who have been affected by cancer. What a great way to honor these couragous people while helping to find a cure.

We also sat by my parent's community pool, along with a few dozen small children splashing in the water, on Sunday. Ahh, the good life, I tell ya.

I had to laugh today because the Yahoo weather report on my RSS feed was reporting that Seattle had a "severe weather" alert -- seems that hitting 90 degrees in Seattle is "severe." I'm a weather weenie, so I guess it is kind of severe... but it kind of makes us look like pansies to the rest of the country... I'm here to say that for the most part, we can take the heat. And unlike the rest of the country, air conditioning doesn't come standard with anything, so we're really roasting here!

Don't blink Seattle -- we're experiencing summer a week early. (Normally the sun shines on July 5th...) Enjoy it while you can!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Oh! The Irony!

So earlier this week I wrote in my blog about American Express' lack of thinking about credit card security and their marketing promotion requirements. What should land in my inbox this morning but this:

Subject: SecuritySnapshots: Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Dear KermitFan,

American Express is committed to educating you on ways to protect yourself against fraudulent activity. Did you know that you can get a free copy of your credit report every year? Information on credit reports, along with other helpful ways to manage your credit, can be found below.

  • The Free Annual Credit Report Program

  • Stay on top of your American Express Card accounts

  • CreditSecure® from American Express

  • Seriously folks, you can't make this stuff up. First they want me to provide all of my account information -- including the "security code" from my card to register for a promotion (how do I really know that the e-mail isn't a phishing scam?), and now they want me to believe that they're committed to protecting me against fradulent activity? Hmmm... seems like they should be a little better coordinated in their messages over there...

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Shame on You AMEX!

    So, I'm a Delta SkyMiles AMEX card holder. I get double miles on a lot of things when I use my card, which is cool. But I have a beef with AMEX that I'm taking public (I've already lodged a complaint with AMEX). In an age where Internet security, privacy, and phishing scams are of the utmost importance, a credit card company should NOT be sending out promotions that require you to go to their web site and register for double miles using your FULL account number, card identification number, and e-mail address.

    Seriously folks, as a marketer, I can tell you that there are safer ways for AMEX to go about signing me up for their promotion. I should be asked by a credit card company to potentially compromise my security with my account information... information that they already have if they simply cross-check their sophisticated (and hopefully secure) systems.

    Do I really want double miles all summer that badly? Get real, AMEX.

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Girl Power!

    Got this in my inbox this morning, and I thought that it was a great way to start the day:
    “Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.” —Faith Whittlesey

    “Women are like tea bags; put them in hot water and they get stronger.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

    “I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.” —Clara Barton

    “The work of educating the world to peace is the woman’s job, because men have a natural fear of being classed as cowards if they oppose war.” —Dr. Aletta Jacobs, (1851-1929) Holland’s first female doctor and founder of the Dutch suffrage movement

    “If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” —Margaret Thatcher

    Read the whole story: Women Take Over At Last!

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006

    Things Overheard at a Backyard BBQ

    Phew, what a weekend! I hope that y'all had a great Memorial Day weekend too... mine was quite busy with parties and merriment (despite the rain). I thought that I would share a few highlights:
    • Shots and singing at Chopstix. (Yay for the bride!)
    • Sleeping in (a little)
    • Dining and dancing (ahem, two stepping?) in Seattle. (Yay for the birthday girl!)
    • Darts and drinks (and a few "professional," albeit wierd, karaoke singers)
    • Sleeping in (a little more)
    • Talking to friends (always worth it!)
    • Croquet and "horseback riding." (Silliness with friends rules.)

    Phew, that was a busy weekend! I love it -- can we have a few more long weekends like that?

    And now for a few of my favorite quotes from the weekend:
    • "Oh, and you have to grunt a little too!" (From a backyard sporting demonstration.)
    • "My Zachary is going to the bathroom! Come quick!" (From a small child.)
    • "Girl! Girl! Come over here!" (Another small child quote.)
    • "How do you play croquet?" (From many of us on the field...)

    Thank God for good friends!

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Mahna Mahna

    So, in true Kermit Fan style, I've been watching the first season of the Muppet Show on DVD. Turns out, I don't remember a lot of the guest stars (Juliette Prowse? Connie Stevens?)... Okay, so I've only watched two episodes so far... However, I do LOVE the Mahna Mahna bit, and I feel the need to share it with you now.

    As I was watching this scene at the gym the other day, I think that the other people working out must've thought I was crazy -- grooving along with my headphones on and laughing out loud. At least they knew that I could still breathe during my workout, I guess. :-)


    I think that my body decided to tell me something this weekend: must sleep more. Yep. It's a simple message, and yet, I don't listen to it. As a result my Sunday looked like this: awoke around 10 (an acceptable hour, for the weekend), got out of bed, padded out to the living room in my jammies, had some "brunch," put some laundry in the washer, talked to a friend, watched some television, slept. Woke up. Fell back asleep. Woke up. Was confused for a minute, put the laundry in the dryer, slept. And yet, I can't figure out why I'm still tired. Go figure. :-) Maybe I should slow down a little bit. I'll pencil that in to my schedule... August is looking like a promising time to get that in... maybe. :-)

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Things Learned at a Black Eyed Peas Concert

    So, I went to the BEP concert last night, with an opening act from the Pussycat Dolls. ("Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?") Here are a few tidbits that I learned from the experience:
    1. Apparently, humping the speakers/monitors on stage is "art."
    2. Wearing your underwear, and only your underwear on stage is "fashion."
    3. There's a lot of talent on the stage, but it's being overshadowed by questionable dance moves.
    4. I'm too old to go to these kinds of concerts without being a chaperone for a screaming 12-year old.

    With all of that said, I think that the "Evolution of Dance" MUST be shared:

    This makes me feel totally better! (And I laughed a little too...)

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Happy Mother's Day!

    Love you Mom, hope you have a great day and thanks for raising me. :-)

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Oh no, I'm a Frappacino...

    I don't think I can handle this! :-)
    You Are a Frappacino

    At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

    At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

    You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet

    Your caffeine addiction level: low

    Aren't Friends Fabulous?

    So I just had an amazing weekend with my friends. We went on a retreat for church, and it was so much fun. I think that I laughed harder as the weekend progressed. It was great, and I feel so blessed to have such fabulous friends.

    I also got to 'commune' with nature a little bit. Went on a hike on Saturday afternoon and we came across the most beautiful fields of wild flowers. I took my new favorite photo while on the hike -- this was along a downed barbed wire fence line. That's not something that you see everyday, now is it? What fun. And even better: I kept up on the hike for far longer than I thought I would. I'll take every little win that I can get, ya know?

    So, to my friends: thanks for being as fabulous as you are. I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you. :-)

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Thanks For Hopping By!

    Welcome to my blog. Hopefully you'll be hopping over to my pad regularly. (I promise that I won't be this cheesy every time... really!)

    I'm on my way to a church retreat this weekend... t-minus four hours until I get to hang out with my friends at a beautiful chalet. Could it get any better than this? :-)