Friday, October 30, 2009

The Procrastinating Packer

For any of you who have been blessed with the privilege of living with me at any time, you know very well my ability to procrastinate packing for a work trip for as long as I can. I will leave the suitcase open and will think about what I need to pack for days on end, but it’s not really until the 11th hour that I pull it all together. I hate the process. I hate having to think out days in advance what I might need or what I’m going to wear to each day event and each evening event. It’s just too much for me to wrap my head around and I’m always afraid I’m going to forget something really important. I also have the fear that my luggage will be lost and I’ll be stuck in a country where only skinny people live and I’ll have to make a dress out of the drapes from the hotel or something. All these things and more run through my mind as I pack my suitcase. So, now as I prepare for my upcoming adventure to Berlin, I once again have my suitcase open in my bedroom and for the next few days I will have an uneasy feeling each time I walk by it as I figure out what the hell to pack.

Now, it doesn’t get any better when I come back. I still have some stuff in my suitcase from my recent trip to New Orleans. My trip to DC last week? Forget about it, the bag is still practically full. I have the amazing ability to keep a full suitcase untouched for weeks on end but the upside is that it feels like I went shopping when I finally open it back up and find all the clothes I forgot I had.

I also decided this year to be really vigilant about the gym so I have to pack a bag for that every day and I can’t really figure out if the pain of packing or the pain of exercising is more challenging for me.

Oh well, I can’t stop traveling and I can’t stop packing so I’m going to just have to figure out how to live with this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Sister Act Just For Me

So, something happened to me earlier this year and I haven't quite found the vehicle to truly share what it was and what it meant to me until now with my blog. This year marked my 10 year anniversary at my company. Now, I can't believe I'm old enough to be anywhere for 10 years, but this was the big one for me. In the midst of our company's national meeting there were countless details to keep track of, presentations to plan and deliver, people to get around, and just and endless list of things to do. Regardless of how "in touch" I thought I was with every detail of this meeting, there was one thing I didn't know and something very special that was kept until a surprise until the very end. During the final awards ceremony and really the end of our meeting, I was suddenly pulled onstage in front of hundreds of long time colleagues and friends and it was announced that it was my 10 year anniversary. I was touched and honored to be recognized and after a wave to the audience, I exited the stage. I was then mandhandled over to a seat in the audience and told to sit back and take it all in. Moments later, the lights dimmed, the music started, and a line of nuns walked in from the back of the theatre. After a second look, I noticed that most of these nuns were my friends from our management team. They took the stage along with some professional actresses and singers and proceeded to give me a live tribute through the songs of Sister Act. Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some Sister Act. Well, they rewrote the lyrics to several songs from this movie and delivered a performance I will never forget. I was simply in awe of so many things in that moment. I couldn't believe what they were willing to put themselves through, I couldn't believe that they had clearly found time to put so much work into this and I couldn't believe they pulled this all off without me knowing anything about it! I was laughing and crying and having the time of my life. Between numbers they gave me a Sister Act poster signed by all the people in attendance at our national meeting, something I will treasure forever. They brought it home with a rousing rendition of "We Will Follow Her" and I've never been so humbled and honored in my entire life. I went back to my hotel room and simply wept and called each of them to say thank you because I was blown away by the generosity and creativity of my friends and was touched so deeply by the gift they had given me. Thank you Dave, Susan, Sam, Annette, Katie and everyone who made that special moment possible and for giving me a gift I will never forget.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is My Car A Bad Luck Charm???

What a morning I had today. I pressed my snooze button just one extra time, knowing that I would still have enough time to get out the door by 8:15am and make it to work on time. However, little did I know what fate had in store for me this morning. And by "fate", I mean the Cambridge police and Pat's Towing Company. Yes, I miscalculated the street cleaning schedule last night and parked on the wrong side of the street. I looked out my front window and saw my car on a flatbed about to be carted away. As I ran outside to see what I had done so wrong to deserve this, I was informed it was street cleaning day and I was out of luck. However, they said I could pay them $90 right then and there and they would release my car instead of me having to go down to the tow yard to get it for $113. I said fine but I didn't have $90 on me so guess what kids? I hopped in the tow truck and he drove me to the local ATM with my car behind us. I gave him the money and PRESTO my car was given back to me. Now, the humility doesn't stop there. I had stand there and wait while passersby judged me and wondered "I wonder what she did" as they saw me with a wad of cash and wearing a bizarre combination of clothes that i threw on to get out to the truck to save my car!!! He released my car from the million hooks and chains keeping it to the flatbed and I returned home, embarassed, angry, and $90 less in my account. And then the best part is that I also have a $30 ticket to pay now. All I have to say is that my street better be sparkling when I get home tonight and I hope that the $120 I lost today will give me some points out there in the universe to avoid another annoying morning like this any time soon. I know this has nothing to do with my car, but it's just one more sign to me that it's time to make a change. If I had a new car, i would have parked it in my driveway and avoided this whole thing. I think this car is becoming a bit of bad luck for me, last winter it was spinout palooza and already this fall I've been pulled over for speeding (got out of that one though) and now ticketed and towed. Argh!!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Working My Body, My Mind & My Mortgage

Well, today was another adventure for your dear author. After an exhausting weekend with the niece and nephew (is Caden not just adorable!?!?!), I returned to work but did my obligatory visit to the gym this morning before I got there. I am as committed as ever but my body is beginning to let me down. A couple of weeks ago it felt like my left kneecap had kind of moved to the wrong place, yuck! But after some icing and Advil it seemed to pop back in. Now my knee is acting up again and I can tell it's filled with fluid and couldn't be more uncomfortable. So, I'm trying to get some direction from my doctor and we'll see what we can do to fix this. The problem is that this comes just as I'm on a roll with my fitness routine! So, we're now focusing on exercises that don't aggravate my knee, but unfortunately, they are aggravating the rest of me. This morning during our session my trainer called my grunts and groans a "soundtrack" to our workout. I was working so hard and grunting my way through it that other people in the gym were wondering what medieval torture she was imposing on me. It doesn't look that hard, but it felt like hell. Basically one of the little gems she had me do was to lay down with both legs straight out. Then she slowly counts to ten while I lift one leg up at a time and then she even more slowly counts back down again to one as I lower it. Now, i can't touch the floor again, oh NO! Just as the foot is shaking it's way down to the floor, we lift ourselves back up again! Fun, fun, fun until that was done done done. Then, after my exhausting session where we did that a bunch of times and some other super fun exercises, I went to work. I forgot that over the weekend we had moved offices and so I walked into my new digs and had the unfortunate task of having to unpack nine massive crates of binders, paperwork, and all the shit I've accumulated over 10 years. So, then I decided tonight would be a good night to work out my brain after I had killed myself at the gym, thrown my back out unpacking, now I should work out my brain with some refinancing discussion with my mortgage guy. First of all, while I am hearing impaired and do appreciate a nice robust voice, my mortgage guy is so loud I'm surprised none of YOU heard him during our meeting. He said alot of big words, wrote down a bunch of numbers and now I think I'm closing in less than 20 days about 1.5% lower in my mortgage rate. So, today was exhausting but productive as I worked out my body, my mind, and my mortgage!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Maddie!

While I'm not a mommy yet, I feel like the arrival of my beautiful niece Maddie and now my handsome nephew Caden has introduced me to a whole new world just the same. It's amazing how these little beautiful munchkins can change your world in an instant. You don't have to be a parent to know that your life will never be the same again. I can still remember the first time I met little Maddie with her tiny little fingers and all wrapped up in her hospital blanket. I remember thinking she was so delicate and fragile and I immediately thought of all the things I couldn't wait to show her. I dreamed of taking her to her first broadway show and playing dress up together and I just couldn't wait to hear what she would have to say. Now, three years later she's talking up a storm and has so much personality. I look back now in her baby pictures and can see that beautiful little face as it plumped up over time, those eyes get more and more blue, and that hair that grown women would pay thousands of dollars to even come close to is growing faster than her mommy can cut it. She has grown up so much in the past 3 years and now she's a big sister. She has so much to teach her baby brother. She's a heck of a swimmer, not a bad singer (we'll work on her American Idol audition piece eventually), and she's a precious little angel to me. Happy Birthday Maddie, Auntie Nat loves you so much!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's "Chunking" Outside

So, yesterday I was hanging out with my friend and her adorable twins (to the left is my FAVORITE photo of one of the twins, Ned) and I looked outside and I didn't see rain, I didn't see sleet, I saw chunks. That's right, it was chunking outside. Now, I have to put it this way because it's the only way I can adequately describe what was happening. Big chunks of wet, snowy, crap were falling down everywhere and accumulating. My little buddy Ned and I laid on the floor watching the chunks come down on the skylight and he was mesmerized. I started to think the kids of MA might have a snow day given the lack of preparation of the great state of Massachusetts this early in the season. I carefully drove home last night so as to avoid the infamous spinouts I experienced last winter and made it safely. By the time I left my house this morning, the chunks had melted, the sun was shining and it was a brisk fall day. Which leaves me asking one question, what the hell is going on here? I thought global warming was taking effect, not global chunking! I thought it was supposed to be fall, not winter! I think that the buyers at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods have gotten together with Mother Nature in a conspiracy to speed up the holiday decoration season!!! I am not ready to shovel, I am not ready to pay a high heating bill, I am protesting the winter season starting already, who's with me!?!? And for all of my friends south of D.C., don't you even dare weigh in and tell me how "chilly" it feels now that your weather is in the 60s. Cry me a river!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No matter where you go, there you are

A lot of people tell me that they are envious of all the travel that I do as part of my job. I get that, it sounds exciting, but the reality is that even though I’ve been to some amazing places, most of the time I get to see the inside of the hotel more than I get to see the sites. This trip to New Orleans is certainly no exception. So, I end up making my own fun. Like, for instance on Sunday evening I went to dinner with my very fun, very fabulous and very gay boss (this will be relevant in just one moment). We went to The Gumbo Shop, a lovely establishment right off of Chartres street in the French Quarter. I drank my first Hurricane and let me tell you something, that drink packs a major punch!!! Well, after a second one, he and I begin singing show tunes. We were in Act II of Avenue Q when a bunch of people sat down in the table next to us. One of the women heard us singing and leaned over and said “Y’all, is he serenading you?” Before I could say anything, my boss says “well, yes. I just proposed.” Well, that’s all it took for the table to erupt with excitement, applause, and high fives all around. Then she announced to the entire restaurant, “Y’all, they just got engaged!!!” Now, the best part is that my boss is gay and we were SINGING SHOWTUNES and not Endless Love when we announced our commitment to each other. Well, then he takes a ring from my right hand and places it upon my left to make it official, tells everyone that we need to go back to the hotel to “celebrate” and off we went. I was both mortified and laughing hysterically all at the same time. As we stumbled home I thought, “so this is that magical feeling when you get engaged.” Just another day at work…

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nobody "Nose" I Snore

Okay, so sometimes I wake up in the morning and my throat is a bit scratchy and my nose is a little sore and I figure it’s just allergies. That is until I go on a trip like I am on at the moment and look over the other side of the room to see my roommate with a pillow over her head in the middle of the night. Now, she claims it’s because she was “cold” but I know the truth…the ugly truth…the painful truth…that I snore. I do it loudly and not so proudly. What’s worse is that I then spend the rest of the night tossing and turning because I don’t want to disturb my friend.

Now, I live alone so really the only one I might bother is my cat, but let’s be honest, based on my earlier post, she can handle a little discomfort herself now and then. And of course when I travel with my friends no one is really volunteering to be my roommate unless they come equipped with a noise machine, earplugs, and a lot of patience.

One day I’m hoping this will go away, but for now, I’m just hoping that my good friends will keep my little secret so no one else “nose.”