Category Archives: Export1

All the letters of the alphabet

My life has turned into a never-ending string of acronyms.  At work, it has been all about an RFP, an SOW, and SLAs.  Then I go see a neurologist about the arm/hand problems that have been plaguing me over the last few months and he sends me on my merry way to have an MRI followed by an EMG.  I was stressed about the MRI, afraid I would flip out and be all kinds of claustrophobic.  Turns out, that was nothing compared to having a bunch of needles stuck in my arm during the EMG.  I was all OMG, WTF. 

I’m supposed to call the doctor in the morning to find out the results.  I just hope he has some answers as to the cause of all these problems.  From the EMG, he is pretty convinced this is not carpal tunnel, so now we wait to see what the MRI shows….he suspects there is some sort of nerve issue with my neck that is causing all the problems.  We shall see.  In the meantime, TTFN and TGI(almost)F!

It’s nothing like you see on tv.

Alrighty.  Where was I?  Duckie and Forensics were both on their way to my house…

And they both showed up at almost the same time.  The forensics lady walked in with her kit and started dusting for prints and taking pictures of everything.  Duckie and I stood outside for a minute while she was in the living room, then we went in and started looking around.

Clearly, my TV was gone.  There was no doubt about that.  It would be hard to misplace 56” of Samsung glory.  I didn’t really notice anything else missing.  The cabinet doors to the tv cabinet were all open, but there hadn’t been anything much in them to begin with.  My Pee Wee Herman dvds were still there.  😛

After forensics was done in my office, Duckie and I went in there so I could start looking in my files for serial numbers for the tv and computer.  It was such a mess in there already that it was hard to be sure what had been moved and what hadn’t.  I knew my BAMF camera, Samuel L, had been sitting on the desk in front of my monitor when I left that morning.  Earlier, when I discovered that the computer and monitor were gone, I automatically KNEW Samuel L was, too.  While Duckie and I were looking around the room, I noticed the burglars had shoved a bunch of stuff over on my desk, presumably to get the monitor off easier.  I was in complete and utter SHOCK to see my camera shoved to the side with all the other clutter.  THEY DIDN’T TAKE MY BABY!!!  It was a Christmas miracle!  In September.

I had to move some things out of the way on the floor to get to my files.  When I did, I saw a small black rectangle on the floor.  Again, being the crime-show-watching-fool that I am, I didn’t dare touch it.  Instead, I flipped it over with the end of a piece of paper.  It was the USB part of my wireless mouse and keyboard…which was normally inserted into the front of the computer.  Immediately Duckie and I became all excited, knowing that they had to have touched it to pull it out of the computer!  We got the forensics lady to come back in and dust it, but she didn’t seem the slightest bit convinced that she’d find anything.

Apparently she didn’t.  Not there.  Not on the doors, or closets, or any other place that she dusted.  If she did, she didn’t say so, and we never saw her lifting any prints either….assuming we would recognize that if we saw it.  She left shortly afterwards.

I had told the officer about my comings and goings that day…what time I left the house and what time I returned home.  And that there was a tree-cutting truck parked behind my house that morning.  And about the 3 guys that were standing around outside of it.  And that I had to ask them to move when, 30 minutes later, they were still standing around doing nothing and blocking my driveway.  And about the fact that I never leave Loki in his crate while I’m gone…he’s almost always outside in the back yard.  I gave her a description of the truck guys as best I could, but it was pretty generic. 

She got all my information and said a detective would be contacting me within the next day or two.  She said “this area has been getting hit pretty hard lately.  But we’re doing the best we can.”  She told me my best bet was if I could find the serial numbers and hope that the burglars tried to pawn something.  Then she left.  Duckie and I were both pretty disappointed that they didn’t do more.  I was expecting them to take MY fingerprints for comparison.  And to have dusted some of the other items that had clearly been touched.  And to go talk to my neighbors to see if anyone saw or heard anything.  But they didn’t.

Throughout this whole time, my cell phone had been ringing off the wall.  I guess Mom had the best intentions when she posted about my plight on facebook, but I was really not in any position or state of mind to be answering calls from everyone I know checking to see if I was alright.  THANK YOU, all, though for your concern!

Once the police were all gone, another neighbor came over to check on me and find out what happened.  I finally answered a call from my brother, Red Baron, and filled him in on what was happening.  And mostly just tried to calm down.  Duckie kept saying, “It’s just stuff.  At least you’re ok.  The house is fine.  Everything else can be replaced.”  I knew he was right, but I couldn’t stop crying.  Mostly I was just extremely PISSED off (and like my mother, I cry when I’m mad).  I was just so upset that my HOME, the one place where I feel completely comfortable, had been violated.  It didn’t feel like “home” at all anymore. 

Duckie and I started inspecting the back door and pretty much determined that it had been kicked in, near the doorknob.  There was about a 2 foot long split in the wood on the inside frame of the door below that.  He managed to get the door to stay closed with the deadbolt locked.  So at least I could close the house up.  When he got ready to leave, he said I could come stay at his house that night, but I wanted to go through the house more and start trying to clean up the mess.  I was trying to convince myself that I would sleep there, that these fools weren’t going to run me out of my house.  And I figured that, later, if I felt uncomfortable, I’d give V a call, since she lives close by, and see if I could crash at her house.

So Duckie left and I began the process of going through the house and checking to see if anything else was missing.  I started in the office, mainly because I was still trying to find serial numbers.  I cleared off a spot on my desk and started sorting through papers.  I had my work laptop with me and luckily my internet modem was still there and functioning, so I was able to get online and let everyone know I was ok.  And to distract myself from reality for a little while! 

As it started getting dark outside, I started getting less and less comfortable being there.  I had let Loki out and had a minor anxiety attack when I went to open the back door to let him back inside.  Shortly after that, I got a text from Jen, offering me and Loki a room at her hotel.  Apparently she had sent it earlier but to the wrong person.  So I decided I would go ahead and do that.  As I was getting a few things together to take with me, I noticed that one of my small, older digital cameras (aka the little green machine) wasn’t sitting on the shelf of my desk where it normally would be.  I checked all around and couldn’t find it anywhere.  That immediately made me think of my other small (and NEW) camera, Ruby, that was in one of my purses that I had just switched from.  I ran into the living room and found the purse in the chair…empty.  Bastards.  Add two digital cameras to the list.

By this point, around 11pm, I was in almost panic mode trying to get out of the house.  I grabbed my bag and Loki, got in the car, and headed to the hotel…

This used to be a funhouse. Not it’s full of evil clowns.

I finally have a new computer, so I figured now was as good a time as any to fill in some gaps on my blog. 

Most recently, I came home from work to find my home had been burglarized.  Not a good feeling, to say the least.  Since my garage remote has been working intermittently, I have been coming in through my back door.  Last Wednesday, having just gotten home from work and receiving some Netflix dvds in the mail, I was looking forward to coming in, kicking back, and watching one of those movies.

When I went to put the key in the lock of my door, I realized the door was not shut all the way.  Me being the absent-minded fool I have been of late, am racking my brain thinking, “Oh crap.  Did I leave the door open this morning?”  I pushed the door open with one fingertip and immediately saw the brass plate from around the door latch laying on the floor.  To the right of that, Loki was peering up at me from inside his crate with, what I then took to be a guilty expression.  Again, my addled brain is trying to figure out just how in the hell Loki managed to tear up the door from INSIDE his crate.  It was less than a second later that I looked up from Loki to see a big blank wall where my darling 56” Samsung DLP HDTV had previously been.  This is just too much for my mind to process.  Now I’m wondering if, for some unknown reason, perhaps one of my brothers had borrowed my tv for the day.  I know, it makes no sense, but these are the thoughts that flashed in my mind that evening.

While talking loudly to myself (and perhaps, subconsciously, to let anyone who might be in my house hear me), I began to walk towards the hallway to inspect the rest of the house.  The hall closets are both open and contents are spilling out onto the floor.  My guest room door is also open.  As I walk past, I glance into my office and find it to be a cluttered mess…although, it looked like that when I left the house that morning! 

In the guest room, I see the mattress shoved off the bed, the sheets and comforter pulled back, the closet door open, and items scattered all over the floor.  The small 19” tv and dvd player are still there.  I have yet to make sense of all of this.

Then I turn towards my bedroom and see every drawer on my dresser pulled open and items pulled out of the drawers in disarray.  Here, I also find the mattress shoved off and the bedding pulled back.  The light is on in my closet and I turn to take a look.  The door is open, my shoe rack that hangs over the door is falling apart, shoes are scattered everywhere.  I walk into the closet and find stored purses all over the floor, clothes shoved to the sides of the rods.

It is not until this point that my brain finally clicks and I realize someone has broken into my house!  I ran back into the living room and grabbed the phone to call the police.  No dial tone.  My mind is firing on all cylinders now and I immediately realize, if my Vonage phone line is not working, my computer is probably gone also.  So I run back into my office to look more closely.  Sure enough, no monitor and no computer. 

I ended up calling the police from my cell phone.  I held it together just long enough to give them my address and confirm that they were sending someone over.  Then I called my parents.  By the time Mom answered the phone, I was a babbling, hysterical mess.  I had to repeat myself a few times before she was able to make any sense of what I was saying.  I think she said she was going to try and get ahold of my brothers that live near me.  I hung up the phone with her and walked over to one of my neighbors’ houses to see if they had seen or heard anything.  No one answered.  So then I called another neighbor that lives a couple of houses down.  He came over and said he had not seen or heard anything other than the tree-trimming truck that had been in the alley that morning.

My oldest brother, Dilbert, called about that time.  He said he was in Austin, otherwise he would be on his way.  But that he had talked to Duckie, who was half-way home from work and turned around and was currently on his way to my house.

A policewoman showed up shortly after that.  I had to walk her through the house and explain what was missing, what had been moved, etc.  Being the good little crime-show-watching girl that I am, I hadn’t touched anything.  Not even a lightswitch to turn on the lights (I later learned that they are rarely able to get a good print off a lightswitch).  My house was such a cluttered mess already, it was a little embarrassing to have to explain that, “Oh, no, that pile of clothes was already there on the floor.”  But, we got through it.

I explained to her about the Asplundh truck that had been sitting behind my house that morning.  And how I thought it was odd that they were just sitting there for at least 30 minutes not doing anything.  And that I had to wave them down to ask them to move so I could get out of my driveway to go to work.  I also explained that I NEVER leave Loki inside in his crate.  Normally he’s in the backyard, but on this particular day, when I was about to leave for work, Loki went and laid down in his crate.  I didn’t have time to argue, so I figured he wanted to stay in, so I let him.

The forensics person and my brother were now both en route…Stay tuned for:  It’s nothing like you see on tv.

Family Jewels

  • I’ve now been sucked into watching Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels. What is wrong with me?! #
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Seriously addicted to this show!  For someone of super-celebrity status, like Gene Simmons, his family is surprisingly loving, fun, and stable.  They all seem to genuinely care for each other and the brother/sister dynamic between the kids is hysterical!  Oh, and call me a dirty old woman, but Nick Simmons is a little (ok, tall…very tall) hottie!

This is one of the first shows I’ve added to my DVR to record EVERY episode.  I love it!!!

Photography Weekend

This past weekend, Flirt and I went to a “digital chicks” weekend workshop in Salado, Texas.  There is a guy who teaches photography at one of the local colleges and I’ve been on his mailing list for awhile because he offers several workshops a year and I kept saying I was going to do one of them.  So when a short weekend version became available within driving distance, I bit the bullet and decided to go.  My friend, Flirt, decided to go, too, so I was glad to have the company.

The workshop took place at the Rose Mansion, a charming little bed & breakfast in Salado with a variety of rooms available, some in their own seperate houses/homesteads.  Many are actual restorations of homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s.  It was a beautiful place…despite the summer temperatures.

      

The workshop had its highs and lows, but I couldn’t get past the fact that the instructor seems to think it’s ok to take a shitty picture because, “you can fix that later in photoshop!”  It should be stated here that I, up to this point, have not used ANY manipulation software on my photos.  The extreme of what I have done with an image on the computer is to crop it or the rare exposure adjustment by simply brightening the image a tad.  And I am a firm believer that there should remain a line between what is considered photography and what crosses over into computer-generated art.

Nevertheless, it was a dedicated time to reconnect with my cameras, some good tips on metering, and an opportunity to stay up late and unwind with a bottle of wine and conversation.  So, all in all, I’m glad I went.  :)

Peaceful, easy feeling

It’s an overcast, breezy Sunday morning and I am sitting on the patio, drinking my coffee, and playing a little fetch with Loki.  The past 3 weeks have been utter hell.  We have an OFCCP audit at work next week and so I have been working 12-18 hour days, including weekends, to make sure all of our ducks are in a row.  I have been the living dead for 3 weeks now.

Friday afternoon, we were able to finish up the most urgent of our work and I actually left the office by 5pm.  It was a tiny miracle so I felt I needed to take the opportunity to unwind a little and talked a coworker into going to the dive bar near work for a couple of drinks.  After that, I met my friend V at one of our fave little neighborhood bars for more drinks and to catch up. 

I just have to say that it was the perfect slice of heaven at that particular moment.  I was finally able to relax, laugh, and just generally feel human again.  And the added bonus is that I was able to sleep that night!  No insomnia, just crashing from sheer exhaustion!  The weeks of little to no sleep had finally caught up with me and the drinks managed to shut my brain off enough to allow me to finally get some much needed rest.

After getting to bed around 2am, I was up letting Loki out around 8…but then laid back down on the couch and slept until…SIX PM!!!  I would’ve felt guilty except for the fact that I KNEW I needed it!

Today, rather than stressing out over the audit and whatever else this week will throw at me, for this moment, this peaceful moment on my patio with my dog, I am relaxing and it feels great.

Before I forget…

Friday night, Barbie and I managed to get out of the house for a bit.  We went to a small local bar not far from where I live for a few (ok, more than a few) drinks. 

Within 15 minutes of being there, an older man walked up to Barbie and said, “You’re hotter than Georgia asphalt!”  Now, I have never been to Georgia, so I can’t attest to the level of heat of said asphalt there, but that didn’t keep us from falling out of our chairs with laughter.

Good times.

A Blue Ribbon Kind of Day

On My Own Time (OMOT) is a region-wide competition organized by North Texas Business for the Culture of the Arts (NTBCA) to exhibit the talent of member companies’ employees. There are categories for a variety of arts in both amateur and professional divisions:  ceramics, fabric, jewelry, works on canvas, works on paper, woodworking, and of course, photography.  My company participates religiously. 

This year, I entered two of my photographs in the Color Photography category.  The definition they used for “professional” was that you earn money for your work.  They had left out the word “regularly,”which was part of the definition last year, so I decided to be brave and enter the professional division.

There are 3 outside judges from the art community in North Texas who judge all of the entries and select 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each category and division.  Photos of all of the entries are also placed online on our intranet for employees to vote.  During this time, the art is also on display at one of the main campuses for my company for employees to view and vote.  The employee vote determines the People’s Choice award.  First place in each category as well as the People’s Choice award from all member companies are invited to display their artwork at Northpark Center in late Septemer.

So today was the Artists’ Reception at work, where they serve us cookies and punch and announce all of the winners.  The peanut butter cookies were fantastic, by the way.  But even better than the cookies was the fact that one of MY photos, Down to the Wire, won FIRST PLACE in the Professional Color Photography category.  Me = ELATED!

I am so proud I could burst.  I am now an award-winning photographer.  Woooohoo!

winner!

Ju-NOT

Thanks to the wonder of Netflix, I finally got around to watching Juno this past weekend.  What a bunch of hype over a very average film. 

Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable enough.  Who could help but laugh at little nuggets like “That ain’t no etch-a-sketch.  This is one doodle that can’t be undid, homeskillet.”  Or a girl screaming, “Thundercats are go!!” to announce her labor.  Quirky fun, right?

Honestly, I think the film tries too hard to be smart and witty. And I seriously don’t get the love for Ellen Page in this film. The few characters I’ve seen her play are all some variant on the same theme.  At least her delivery of them is. Duuuulllllll.

Luckily, there is some humor, and Allison Janney, to be found amidst the monotonous dialogue, one-liners, and mostly socially inept characters in uncomfortable situations.

It’s Playoff Time!!!

Playoff hockey for my Stars started tonight.  And we are, again, facing the Ducks in the first round.  Stupid Ducks.

I’m hoping this is the year we finally break the one-and-done cycle.  The Stars haven’t made it out of the first round of the playoffs since 2003!  I said I wasn’t even going to watch the first round because it was just a tease. 

Obviously, that was a lie because here I sit, cheering the boys on in their currently 3-0 lead towards the end of the 2nd period.  And hoping that they don’t blow it in the 3rd like they’ve been known to do in recent games.  I’m outwardly not getting my hopes up, but inside I just know we can beat these pesky Ducks.  And a game one win on the road would be  a big boost for the Stars.

SWEEEET!  It’s now 4-0. 

Bring on the 3rd.  And LEHTS GO STARS!!!

Time keeps on slipping…

I don’t know how people do it. Have a life after work, that is. Every day I have big plans of things I am going to accomplish after work. Errands to run, stuff around the house, exercise, etc. But the fact of the matter is, by the time I leave work, I am just wiped out. All I want to do is go home and crash. And by crash, I mean collapse and veg, not sleep….because I’m definitely still having issues with that part. I’ve got to break this cycle somehow. Because trying to catch up on everything on the weekends sucks.

I’m beginning to think you have to be a morning person to get things done. The day is just not long enough. Although, my fleeting experience as a morning person simply meant that I got to work earlier, but still left just as late and just as exhausted. Maybe I need better vitamins. And less coffee. And more exercise.

On a happy note, did I mention my dad sold my Mazda?! For about $500 more than I ever thought I would get for it. I’m convinced part of that is the difference between Dallas and Beaumont. The other part? Tax refund season. The only downside is, they financed it. So here’s hoping they pay it off. At least I’ve gotten their downpayment applied to my balance on the Acura. Hooray for less debt!

Me and my big mouth.

Not too long ago, my friend, V, got summoned for jury duty. I told her about the time I was summoned and had to sit around the entire day, got selected for a jury in the last hour, had to go back the next day and wait some more, only for them to end up settling before we were brought into the courtroom. I told her to bring a book or something else to keep herself entertained.

And of course, I just had to point out that it was the only time I’d ever had to go in all the years I’ve been in “eligible.”

Guess what I got in the mail today.

Stinky Pants

I’ve been dog-sitting my sis-in-law’s little furball and I have yet another reason why I don’t want a long-haired pet.After going outside to do his business, Duffy had some poop clinging to his butt fur, which of course I didn’t see until he carried it back into the house with him. Of course, when I yell, he proceeds to SIT. And then drag his butt across the floor. Yeah, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

With the aid of an old towel, some scissors, and a booty-rub in grass wet from the rain, I managed to get him cleaned up enough to allow him back in the house.

We were not friends for awhile.

Musings in the Waiting Room

I’ve been having headaches for two weeks straight. Two of which were migraines. It has not been fun. I went to the doctor this week and he said the headache that just won’t let go is likely a tension headache. Me? Tense? Ha. Ok, so I’m working on that. Meanwhile, I’ve got pain pills and muscle relaxers to help me recover.

While I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, a lady and her two young children came in and joined me in waiting. I was staring at the ground or my lap mostly because the light was hurting my eyes. I heard the little girl yell what I misunderstood to be an inappropriate word. I looked to her mother and saw no response. Then the little girl, who was standing at the aquarium in the waiting room, yelled again.

“Hey Biisssh!!”

Ah, fish. Ok. Cute.

She repeated this a number of times until the fish swam behind one of the large rocks. Then, the glass-tapping began. I was about to crawl out of my skin as this was all doing a number on my headache.

When she turned away from the glass and then quickly turned back and yelled, “RAWWRR!” I didn’t know whether to cry or order a round of shots! It was like she was channeling my girl. Red!

Note to self: must have drinks soon

Addedendum to note to self: Oh yeah, having drinks for V’s bday tomorrow!

Addedendum II: Don’t take the vicodin or muscle relaxers tomorrow.

Going wading?

 

The dress at my new job is slightly more business than casual, so I’ve been dusting off some selections in my closet and doing a bit of shopping. The biggest problem I’m having is the length of my pants. For those that know me IRL, you know I have a fondness for the big chunky heels. I just don’t own flats…or even low-heeled shoes, with the exception of tennis shoes and some sandals. I just like my big heels, what can I say?

The problem is, most of my dress slacks are too short when paired with my “regular” shoes. I have a hard time finding pants that fit well that come in Long, so I end up with regular length that look more like high-waters once I’ve got shoes on.

Rather than throw them all out and start a fresh search for longs (I do have some, just not all), I thought perhaps I should go buy some flat-heeled shoes and then those pants would probably look ok. So before heading back to Duckie’s on Saturday, I stopped by DSW in search of a black pair and a brown pair, figuring those would be the most coordinating choices. I am just drawn to the bigger heels, I can’t help it. But I didn’t let myself stray into that area of the store and limited my browsing to the lower-heeled and flats section, where I really don’t like most of what I find.

Long story short, I leave the store with what? FOUR pairs of shoes, none of which are flats. However, they do all have less than a 2- inch heel. That’s progress right??

My pants are still too short though.

You’re in my heart.

 

I can’t begin to describe my feelings when I saw this picture.

I have been carrying around a couple of Lomolitos disposable cameras for a (long) while and finally finished off a roll. I took it, along with several others to be developed last week.

I was beside myself when I saw this picture when I picked up my prints. I had completely forgotten about it! I was leaving Mazzy with my parents in Beaumont after Thanksgiving last year since I would be travelling the first two weeks of December. The plan was I would get her back when I went down again for Christmas.

Mazzy had a tumor removed earlier in the summer and, while she did well initially after the surgery, she was becoming less and less mobile. So I was concerned with leaving her, but knew she was in good hands with my parents. That didn’t stop me from crying my eyes out when I had to head back to Dallas. We played and cuddled and hugged and I took two pictures of us before I left.

It was the last time I saw her. The cancer had returned and had spread. She had to be put to sleep a week later while I was in Tucson.

Miss you, baby girl.

The Man in the Box

Wheeee! The first of my 3 ebay-purchased cameras arrived today (Kodak Duaflex II)! It looks to be in very good condition and the film advance, shutter release, and lenses all look to be in good working order. It’s a box camera produced in the 1950s with a large reflex finder with hood, fixed-focus lens, and single speed shutter (plus bulb exposure). I’m only bummed because I thought I had a roll of 620 film around here somewhere but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I’ll have to get online and order some from B&H this week so that, hopefully, I’ll have it in time for the girls weekend with my high school friends. Surely there are some scenes that would lend themselves nicely to this format in Spicewood.