Thursday, June 24, 2010

Picture This

While I do try to include at least a few pictures with my was difficult finding some for today after promising to leave the bachelorette weekend film in the box...

I did find a few niblets though - the rest, you'll just have to imagine.  

So this was my first weekend as a grown-up (she says with air-quotes) on a girls' weekend.  Sure, I've heard of groups doing it...even been invited to a few...but have always found ways around it.  The thought of spend a whole 48 hours with the same people crammed into a hotel room was just something I never thought I could survive.

Okay.  I can say it.  I was wrong.  

Or maybe it was just that this particular group of people was the right one to give it a go with....

The occasion was to send Lori off in style to get married next month - one last trip to visit her Raleigh crew, although we took the party down to the shore.  We ate like we would never be fed again.  We drank enough to make sure we wouldn't risk dehydration (hey, it was VERY hot out).  We did fashion shows, traded shoes, curled each other's hair and had pillow fights in our lingerie.  

Some of that's not true.

We did go on a two hour kayak tour - here's my thoughts on that...DO IT.  If you are ever in the Wrightsville Beach area, call up Hook, Line & Paddle and ask for a tour by Michael.  You won't regret it.  Michael knew he was getting a bachelorette party.  He didn't know we weren't 20-year-old hungover girls.  He was happily surprised.

I really wish we'd had cameras on the kayaking - but of course, this was a purposefully undocumented weekend...

Because here's what happens when you mix cameras with start pretending you are in pictures with people you don't know...and then two seconds later when you ask them to take YOUR remember that the one you just took where you were pretending to know him is on the LCD screen from where you and your friends were laughing at how funny it was.

I'm just saying.

If you want to feel young again - go to a college town, like Wilmington.  They card everyone - it's really fantastic.  It wasn't that fantastic for the gal in our group that forgot her i.d. because surely we wouldn't get carded...but then again, it was easy to swap i.d.'s...because maybe they weren't really that concerned with us.

Some of my favorite things from my first girls' weekend?
1.  Kayaking.  It was amazing to do something like that in a group - we were all so inspired.
2.  Bruschetta.  When I had my 'alone' time, I was put on Bruschetta duty.  It's easy to make.  And a great excuse for 'me' time.
3.  Crossfit rocks.  Apparently there was some kind of training thing going we were lucky enough to be seated by a whole gaggle of well-toned Crossfit dudes. 

Things I learned?
1.  Eventually you don't care who tries on your clothes.
2.  The beach is creepy at 3am.
3.  Trying to make sure a whole group is happy 100% of the time is impossible...but it's still fun to try.

And the ultimate sign of success?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There's Lazy...and then there's Lazy

I like being lazy.  I like sleeping in late on Saturdays, moving to the couch and drinking coffee before settling in for a mid-morning nap.  If I don't get a weekly allotted span of lazy time during the week, I feel a bit overwhelmed.  (Some people call this 'me-time'....let's not fool ourselves, people).

And although I'm not a regular at church (although God and I have regular conversations....which He might actually consider irregular), I do try to abide by one rule - the one that says you should for sure do nothing on Sundays.  I'm not even sure I can count that as being lazy, though - I mean, it's in the bible.

I do feel like there is a huge difference between lazing around laziness and just rude laziness. Or just nasty laziness.  Or I think I'm the only one on the planet laziness.

I love when I stop at a crosswalk to let someone across and they can't even muster a wave of 'thanks.'  Yes, I know it's a crosswalk, so theoretically, I have to stop.  But is your hand really that heavy that you can't throw up the tiniest of princess waves? 

The worst part is (remember, it truly IS difficult for me to maintain this level of perfection) that I think I am actually training people to be even lazier in some parts of my life.  It's a huge catch-22...

Here's an example:
How do you handle this?  If I leave it alone, I'm forced to cook my lunch with the risk of old food dripping off the top of the microwave into my macaroni & cheese. 

If I clean it...then aren't I just encouraging people not to worry about the mess they leave behind?  ("Weird, when I put this spaghetti IN the microwave, it had red sauce on it...where'd it all go??"  Oh well...")

Yes, I cleaned it.

Same thing here:
Everyday I get to gander at a bowl of crusting oatmeal.  This day, as a bonus, there was some kind of white mini-nugget farm as well.

Yes, I cleaned it up.

And this - this is a regular occurrence, actually:
Someone comes in, uses the last of whatever...and then leaves the container like a badge of honor for finishing it off.  Really?  How about I leave a Sharpie in the kitchen so you can write your name on the rotting carcass for all to see?

Yes....I threw it away...

When I worked over at Time Warner - my co-workers played the most evil joke on me.  It was the perfect storm of pranks...I have this fear of pregnant ladies (only once they pass the 8th month or so)...and we had a pregnant lady working there.

So one day - she goes strolling by my office and I hear this super strange noise...I look at her face - see a look of horror, realize the noise was the sound of water hitting the floor and totally freak out...this lady's water had just broken two feet away from me!!! 

After a few choice swear words (I'm not good in crisis...I think I've mentioned that)...the thought flashes through my mind that I don't even know if we have any Spot Shot.  Because really, who else is going to clean it up.

Fortunately it was a prank - one of the best ever.

So there you go - you leave a mess, I'll clean it up. 

I don't even blame our office manager for not grabbing this stuff - she never uses the microwave, doesn't drink coffee - so she's never in the break room to notice. 

And she's a tough cookie - I'm pretty sure if she did notice...heads would be rolling.

Into a dirty pile.  That I'd have to clean up.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear Microsoft...Can't You Invent "Grammar Check?"

Ah...the of my most inexpensive (if not free!) joys in life. 

Here are some random definitions of a typo ~
1. A mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind.
2. Part of a statement that is not correct.
3. An error (as of spelling) in typed or typeset material

Or, my favorite definition of all ~
4.  S*** that makes me laugh.  At the expense of others. 

I am one of those fairly anal people who will re-read an email I've written over and over just to make sure I haven't said something completely stupid.  Or even with this blog, I will post and re-post until I feel like there are no strange word combinations.  So, in fairness, maybe that's why it makes me cringe so much when someone else zips out an email full of fault.  And, also in fairness, why that cringing is generally followed up by hysterical, ongoing laughter. 

One such email just arrived in my box - full of excellent tid-bits, such as, 'Then aging nothing is full proof.'

A co-worker of mine and I keep whispering this back and forth to each other as if we've discovered the secret meaning of life.  Yes...aging nothing...full proof...

If I were nicer I'd tell you what the sentence was supposed to say - but this is more fun, right?

One of my favorite typo explanations was someone realizing (too late) how close the 't' was to the 'g' on her keyboard.  After sending a company-wide email that should have closed with 'Regards,"

And now, if my father ever reads this blog....he is wondering if I will include my *ahem* best typo career move.  So, yes...I will.  Just to prove that I know I'm not perfect. 

When I graduated from college, I took a job at the Daily Local Newspaper writing classified ads.  It was a glorious career - I thought I was loaded at $18k per year and had things that I actually did appearing in the paper each day. 

One of my responsibilities was to take down the obits. The funeral homes would call in and we'd sit for nearly an hour while they recited what each obit should include.  These were the days prior to email or websites - nowadays, they probably just fax in the body or something.

So, after a few weeks on the job, one of the funeral directors calls.  I pick up the phone, "Classifieds, this is Jyl."  He says, "Yes, I was there a new person working there?" 

Knowing immediately he was talking about me I answer, "Well, what do you mean?"

And he says..."Well, all of my obits are printing wrong - they say 'Massive Christian Burial'...and it's actually a Mass of Christian Burial."

Awesome.  Needless to say my career as an obit writer was short lived. 

In most cases, I do think typos are funny.  What makes them funny is the completely unintentional flaw. 

I once worked with a gal in radio who, when typing in the length for a commercial, went crazy on her zero key.  The ad was 10 seconds long and she must have took a nap on her keyboard or something because when it came into the queue it showed up as 10,000 seconds. 

What I don't understand is flat out lazy email writing - emails that exclude basic punctuation and include incorrectly spelled words.  It doesn't really take that much time to scan an email quickly before sending it out to the world, right?

There have been plenty of panicked moments where I've hit 'send' on an email - only to immediately rush to the Sent Box, find the email, open the email, go to Actions, and recalled the message...because for some reason it wasn't until I hit the 'Send' button that I noticed something glaring.

They are like mini-wake-up calls. 
Then aging, nothing is full proof.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This installation has no calories.

Last Friday, my buddy called to say that she was on the way to the outlets...and did I want to join her?  Surprisingly, I said yes.  This is surprising because A: I'm not spontaneous; B: The list of people I like to shop with is very short; C: I had already planned on a trip to the gym (okay, that may be a stretch).  I'm just not that great of a shopper - I pretty much have a four store limit.  Or maybe it's that people in stores annoy me. 

But I went - and ended up having a great time.  First stop was the Coach Outlet.  A place I'd never been nor would have been had it not been for my friend.  Here's what happened....I walked in, smelled the leather and a dormant piece of female DNA awakened.  And while there is currently a Coach Tote at my will probably be going back as I eventually came to my senses (of course, I was already home by then).

Second stop?  Cracker Barrel.  Because evidently after one store, we needed nourishment.  Now, here's something I didn't know.  And was thrilled to learn.  According to the very folks who work there - there are no calories at the Outlet Mall.  There are many such vortexes in the world, I know, but at the Outlet Malls?  I had no idea!  So it was with great joy that I sat down and ordered the meal-I-need-no-menu for:

There we go....delicious.
For those non-Cracker Barrellians,
that's Eggs-in-a-Basket.
A meal I have tried several times
to mimic at home, with no luck.

So, these no-calorie zones?  Big fan.  And I think we all know of at least one.  There are the obvious ones - like any holiday at all.  Why would anyone invent Fourth of July and then let it be laden with calories?  It just doesn't make sense.  Or Easter and Thanksgiving - both holidays centered around obviously reason why any calories consumed on those dates are magically zeroed out.

And then there are vacations.  No calories when you are on vacation.  Just look at Disneyworld ~ not possible to lay claim to "The Most Magical Place on Earth" and follow that up with "just try not overeat..."  I mean, have you noticed Mickey & Minnie?  Still wearing the same size they started with?

Then, of course, there is Costco (or any warehouse store I suppose).  Any given day you can walk through and sample a wide variety of treats.  But they are kind enough to cut them into such tiny morsels - well, there's no way the bits could even hold a calorie. 
Oh yes - when I was a Sam's Club over the weekend, I saw this - yes, that does say six pounds of Nacho Cheese sauce.  Imagine running into this when you're PMS-ing.  I will give my friends credit for some brilliant ideas on what I could do with six pounds of Nacho Cheese sauce.  They ranged from logical (splitting it into snack size bags and freezing...) to dreamy (filling the tub with it and diving in...) to oh-that-could-work (finding an 18 pound bag of chips).

Back to the no-zone.  My favorite non-calorie eatery is actually my mom's house (or motor home).  And here's the thing - I'm actually almost convinced that moms have managed to cook calorie free.  How else can you explain the Freshman Fifteen?  Don't you see how odd it is that as soon as a graduate moves away from his/her mom's kitchen...the weight piles on?  It makes total sense!

Eventually, we did finish our rounds at the Outlets - including a stop in Le Gourmet Chef...doing what 90% of their patrons do...pretending to browse while sampling dozens of sauces, dips and crackers.  I mean we did have to make it back to the car, after all.  And there were no calories.