Procrastination (But I Digress)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A detailed analysis yields results

My goal was to lose 2 pounds a week. I have been at a plateau for what feels like forever, but a detailed analysis reveals that I am directly on target. That's nice. My coat fits too. It is really cold here. Last year I almost got rid of my long coat, because it was just too small, but not anymore.

We are decorating the Boy Scout auditorium tonight--putting up our tree and the lights and maybe some of the ornaments. We will be having the Kiwanis Jefferson Elementary Christmas Party tomorrow at lunch and then the Boy Scouts will carry the tree back across the street to our house. I was in charge of buying all the presents this year and I was told that the ages were eight and nine--so I was going to get games, but they were a little too expensive and a little too big for the bags. So I got play dough with really cool cookie cutters and slinkies (the old fashion wire ones). Good thing, because now I find out that it is five to eight year olds. The games for nine year olds would not have worked for the five year olds, but play dough and slinkies are universal.

Thursday is the debt seminar that I am giving. I just finished reading the other persons part--I sure hope she shows up, because I never deal with that stuff. My part is all geared toward attorneys and now I find out that the audience may not be all attorneys. Yuck. Life in the fast lane as usual.

Well it dipped below freezing last night--the dog was barking like crazy last night and we noticed some litter on the front lawn. I went to pick it up this morning and it was frozen to the grass--the grass was frozen and crunched when I stepped on it. Our heater is $800 broken, but it's not so cold in the house now that we have the insulation, so maybe it will stay broken for a while. We'll see. (Melody wants to go home and I might have to pick Adam up at practice, so I'm off.)

Monday, November 29, 2004

So I was listening to the news

And they said that Osama had a new tape on the Arab station which basically said that they will continue to fight the Americans until Washington changes its' policies. (and I thought, could they be a little more specific) So I switched the channel and I heard about the 17 year old kid who was the youngest person in the US to be sentenced to life in prison for killing a girl when he was twelve--he said he was doing a wrestling move he saw on tv. So I switched the channel again and heard about the murder of a woman and her baby by the estranged husband who then hijacked two cars, eventually crashing and rushing police who shot him dead. And I thought I want to get away from this horrible news, so I changed the channel again and I heard that a study was done and the true love's bill for the Twelve Days of Christmas is $115,000. The commentators went on to analyse how the estimate was achieved--did the maids a milking get eight hours a day--did they change cows or just milk one cow dry--did they figure the return on selling the milk. Where the lords a leaping paid scale for an appearance or were they paid union hourly. It went on for about five minutes. Be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

It is Cold In California

Our temp. is down below 50 degrees--we don't like that Mother Nature--we like sunny California, warm weather. We had rain on Saturday night out of the blue--we weren't even on Storm Watch. The gutter outside my bedroom makes a lot of noise and it is eerily silent, so it's time to go up on the roof again. Last time we (Adam and I) went on the roof, I crushed my big toe in the ladder, so we'll be practicing ladder safety this time around. My big toe stopped hurting about two days later, but every now and then I get a sharp twinge--it's not done being hurt.

This is the quiet week before the storm (so to speak)--I have no meetings this week because of Thanksgiving, but starting next week, I'm am busy, busy, busy right up to the week before Christmas. I'm trying to get prepared and get those Christmas cards going, but I have to clean the kitchen before I can put up the card table and we really need to get that good will stuff out of the hallway, and I should vacuum before I put up the card table, I mean it has been like over six weeks since Berna vacuumed and probably three years since I did. And I want to finish Bailey's shower gift that I'm cross stitching--her shower was a month ago. And another friend's daughter had a baby, so I'm contemplating another project. It's very deceptive, this not being busy.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Christmas Cards--It's time

It is time to start my Christmas cards--six weeks until Christmas just snuck up on me this year. I was so smug that all my Christmas shopping was done that I clean forgot to get going on my cards. I finished my Christmas letter and I have the cards and I can print the labels today, but I don't have much room for the table in my sitting room anymore. One year the table was up the whole six weeks until Christmas and then some because it just got so full of stuff that I couldn't move it. It seems a shame to set up a table that will only get full of junk, but I can't exactly get out over 200 cards on my lap.

Adam and I went out in search of the last gifts that I needed to pick up for the Kiwanis Christmas party--slinkies. Burbank Toys R Us had one (I needed 15 more). Burbank KB Toys had zero and the Sunland KB Toys had zero, but they had the playdough that I had wanted to buy all the same, so we picked that up. Now I had extra playdough (which Adam obligingly offered to take off my hands) and not enough slinkies. Adrienne was going to K-Mart, so I asked her to look for them there. Not only did she find them there, they cost $1 less each. So now I am set.

In walking news, Marcella and I went walking today, but it was only .7 miles--we'll have to pick a longer route. Melody came with us and Jen wants to next time. Peter said that I should be walking 10,000 steps a day, but yesterday (even with all the running around to all the stores looking for slinkies) I only walked 8,346. On the other hand, boy my jeans are loose.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Window of Inspiration

Since I don't have a Jackson to inspire my blogs, but want to be every bit as diligent as Erika in keeping up this blog, I often start by looking out my window as I sit at the keyboard. We have the hills, the parking lot (with all the gray, black and white new cars from the local Ford dealer) and Alex Theater with cute little palm trees in the courtyard. On the corner is the Jewelry mart, but I think they have two locations on Brand now because I saw that they took over the old Glendale Fed building, a very unusual and striking building. I could just see some real estate guy telling the Jewelry mart that they should rent the "jewel" of Brand Boulevard for their store.

But I digress, so I shall digress some more. I'm moving downward on the scale again (it's about time), but Curves has holiday hours that look pretty anorexic. And I am craving bacon. I was thinking that I would get the precooked kind and have a miserly two slices on tomato on one slice of bread, but then Adam suggested that we have "BREAKFAST" the day after Thanksgiving and I immediately pictured a heaping plate of two pounds of bacon--both Adrienne and Marisa will be gone--so that's a lot of bacon for Melody, Adam and I. I am so looking forward to it. I don't think you can gain seventeen pounds from eating one pound, can you?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Busy Day

No cute babies learning to go down stairs for me--just a real busy day to get ready for a real lazy week next week. This morning was court, so it was get up early to go to the gym and shower then race off to take Mel to work early and jump on the parking lot, I mean freeway. Find a parking place downtown and try not to go the wrong way on one way streets. Find an elevator because they closed my regular entrance to the court and the new entrance is on the 4th floor. Yell at the guy in court (because he's hard of hearing, not because I was mad at him) and get continued. Race back to the office just in case some work materialized on my desk.

Look at Jackson video, miss Jackson, miss Michigan, miss Mom, miss everyone else, write blog. Next I get to have lunch (after I try to find some work to bill out), go to Kiwanis, get them to vote to pay me back $50 that District 3 conned me out of at the DCM meeting, get them to buy District 3 pins (I have to sell 25), get them to buy raffle tickets for the Rose Float, get them to agree to come and help put up the Christmas tree for the Jefferson Elementary School party, try to come up with a fund raising idea because I spent too much on the Jefferson Elementary School party, encourage them to bring toys for YWCA DV project, etc.

Then go out to Mary's and take her to the doctor--she thinks they might want to put her in the hospital, but she's not sure. She's been having a lot of trouble breathing for two weeks or more now, but she only called on Monday. They suggested that she go into the hospital on Monday (right away), but she declined. We'll see. If she goes into the hospital, I have my cross stitch (that was supposed to be done for a baby shower two weeks ago). If she doesn't, then tonight I have ABWA.

This month we are meeting in Burbank, but not the close part of Burbank, the farthest part North so that it's out of the way no matter how I go. We're giving a report on the Fashion Show (I'm co-chair) and I've started lots of new things this year that have to be presented in just the right way or they'll say, but we always do it this way, why fix it if it ain't broke, etc. We also want to have teams donate gift baskets and that will require a certain amount of enthusiasm. And we're getting ready to order suits for 2006 convention--they are a lot more expensive than I thought they would be so that will be a hard sell to the members. And the Sees candy is not coming until Friday, so I have to arrange the times for people to pick up.

Let's see what else can I heap onto today. Oh yeah, last night Adrienne and I went to see the house we'll be chairing for Tour of Homes (the day after Adrienne gets back) and I have a lot of work to do to come up with a script for the kids giving the tour. There was so much cool stuff in the house, but I don't know anything about architecture and design so I have no clue how to write this up. Oh well, I'll think of something in the next two weeks. And I'm preparing for the seminar on Collections that I'm giving on December 2nd--I'm getting kind of excited about it. The books all done and I talked to the other presenter who seems really nice. Life is busy, but life is good.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Blue Skys

Marcella (in our office) and I went on what can only be described (by out of shape people desperate for key words to give hope and inspiration) as a power walk at lunch today. We walked for just about a half an hour at a pretty good clip, so I'm thinking it was at least a mile. (I'll have to remember my pedometer tomorrow). She's reading the 7 keys now--she wants to lose 1/2 of the 50 lbs she wants to lose by the time she turns 50 next March. Me, I'll be happy to just keep losing. This weekend was a Girl Scout conference and there was chocolate in every seminar. I had about six pieces of chocolate. Then I ate 12 graham crackers. At 59 calories a pop, that really adds up. Apparently my metabolism believes in tough love, because I gained weight this weekend to punish me for these indiscretions. If I had stayed the same, I might think a little chocolate and a few (ok, a dozen) graham crackers are not so bad. But no.

Well the christmas shopping may be done, but birthday shopping for Jackson has begun in earnest. Poor adorable child--so many toys, so little time. I thought that I might send Erika money to buy what she wanted but that's just silly, because we all know the best toy is the big cardboard box it gets shipped in. So I am in search of the big cardboard box and I'm sure the toy that gets shipped will take care of itself.

Friday, November 12, 2004

So I looked in the Backseat

Why is my briefcase in the backseat (it's 8:05 a.m.--I'm getting ready to clean out the car, planning what I need to pack for my trip to San Diego this weekend for my Girl Scout seminar and I look in the backseat). It slowly (because my life screached to a halt and everything started going in slow motion) dawned on me that I was supposed to be in court this morning at 8:30 for a debtor's examination where if you are late, the other side gets to leave and you have to wait six months to bring the examination again. I'm in my sweats and Melody is still in bed, but we actually leave by 8:15. I'm stuck behind the slowest cars on the planet, but I drop Mel off and get to court and the closest parking space to the court house is open and there is an hour and seventeen minutes on the meter. I enter the courtroom at 8:30 exactly, ask to see the bailiff's calender to know the number I am and she was very rude. The last time I was in court, we waited until the end of the calender and the judge yelled as me saying we should have asked the clerk to move our exam to the beginning. So I asked the rude bailiff if the clerk would move us to the beginning and she ignored me. We waited until the end of the calender and listened while the judge ripped every attorney and party that stood up. Such an unhappy courtroom. Our case was called, the judge did not yell at me (yea) and I got what I needed just fine. It's a good think I looked in the backseat.

My girl scout weekend is training for trainers--I'm going to learn about new programs and meet other trainers from all over southern california. My roomy is someone I've roomed with at Conventions and it will be nice seeing her again.

Play dough is heavy. I bought 35 packages of play dough and physically could not carry it to my car. Adrienne had to bring it into the house. I am the toy purchaser for our Kiwanis elementary school christmas party for 35 kids (who are on the free lunch program at school). I am getting slinkies, play dough, fun pack books from Oriental Trading Company, cards, pencils, stuffed animals (all different though, bummer, but free, yea) and a Dare bag to put it all in. And candy--still figuring that part out--candy at school (we have this party at their lunch time) probably not a good idea--candy as a fun gift, great idea. Last year they got free toys from blockbuster. I wanted to go bigger, but we can't afford as big as I wanted to go. I still need 19 slinkies, but I think I'll be able to pull it off.

I'm thinking there's a few too many balls in the air, but the universe is doing its part. (The premier parking space with time on the meter--that is very fancy work universe.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Christmas Time By Golly, huh.

Well I have the tree, but it's still in the box. I'm all done Christmas shopping, but they're not wrapped. I haven't got out the christmas music, but only because I want to savor it more on the day after Thanksgiving. I haven't started my christmas cards, but they're purchased and just waiting for the labels. All dressed up waiting for the party to start looking at my watch in great anticipation. Open, open, open.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Sitting in a Chair

Sitting in a chair has become my new favorite passtime. I'm thinking this might be a bad thing, but I don't know why. It's much more fun than standing. The other day, I just turned off the tv and stayed sitting in the chair and didn't move. I was just thinking and planning, sitting in the chair. I realize as I write this that that is what I do at work all day, sit in a chair. Sure, sometimes I play solitare and occasionally I write a letter or read stuff, but most of my time in life I think is spent just sitting in a chair. Don't get me wrong, this realization does nothing to make me want to do anything other than continue sitting in a chair.

Last night, my chair was so comfy that I didn't get up and go to the PTA meeting. I didn't bring canned goods, I didn't pay my annual membership, I didn't pick up tickets for tour of homes and I didn't meet with the other volunteers from my house to arrange a time to walk through. Sitting in a chair--yes, there is a downside.

This morning, I was sitting in a chair to take off my shoes and Marisa asked if I was going to take a shower because she was waiting for me. Yes, I guess I was sitting in a chair a little too long this morning too.

My chair is the site where I used to eat a bag full of chips whenever I wanted to. I'm thinking that the fond memories of eating a bag full of chips is giving my chair a subliminal attaction. My chair is also pink--I really like dusty pink--another plus for the chair. And this past weekend, I finally cleaned the hallway and arranged my sitting room just right. The view from my chair now includes a magnet with Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue--another plus for the chair. Sitting in my chair--I can hardly wait.

P.S. One of the plans hatched in my chair is what pictures I want to hang in my sitting room. I am in need of an 8 by 10 of Melody's graduation picture and of Jackson. Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 05, 2004


I had to spell it phonetically, it's just that kind of day. My secretary has taken a leave of absence, but no one told me. Is that a sign? Am I dispensible and irrelevant? The plumber described exactly what I needed for the sewer caps--"gem" or "gym" caps. I went to Home Depot after Taj said the plumbers there never heard of them and I couldn't find them. I went to Virgils and the guy only has one (I have two sewer clean out lines, what ever that means) and it doesn't look anything like what the plumber described. Since I've just finished paying the plumber over $200 to unclog my kitchen sink (twice), I'm a little hesitant to call them out to go to the store to buy a "gem" cap. I wonder if this is something I can look up in the library? I think I'll try that first. I bought the gem cap that Virgils had, because it was only $2.99. I'm sure I can stuff it into the drawer full of junk if it doesn't fit.

Last but not least, I found the best christmas present in the world, but I've already finished my christmas shopping. I hate when that happens.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Week Goes So Fast

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday already. I didn't get anything done this week and I'll be out again tomorrow. Last week I was looking for stuff to fill my desk--I found it, but now my desk is so full. Be careful what you wish for.

On Holloween I ate a few pieces of candy and on Election day I ate a few more, but I still lost weight this week--woo hoo. People (ok one person) are starting to comment that my clothes look big on me--woo hoo. Curves does a monthly measurement check and I lost a total of 9.75 inches (spread out between waist, hips, arms, etc.)--woo hoo. That's all the good news. The bad news is that I'm reading the "Zone" and I don't eat any of the good food. All the food I eat is bad food. All the pundits say just counting calories won't do it in the long run, you have to change your eating habits, but apparently I only have bad habits. I can smush the bad habits into a box for a while, but the experts say, they will come out of the box. I'm just going to keep doing the best I can with the stuff I like. Sirapi, our office manager, said that she weighs in the 140's--I can't hardly believe it, because she looks so skinny. If I look that skinny in my 140's, I'll be done. The book says I have to go down to 125. I only remember being 125 once in college for about 10 minutes when I forgot to eat for a long time. (I used to forget a lot and they said memory gets bad in your old age--I don't forget to eat anymore.)

Well back to my desk.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

O Captain, My Captain

I've missed my calling--I am a natural born election clerk/inspector. I had so much fun working at the election poll yesterday (but too little time to bask, since Kerry conceded by 8:30 this morning). I got there about five minutes late at 6:35 a.m. and it was chaos. I got out my paperwork to make sure I was in the right place and wondered what those 15 other people were going to do when the most it really takes is six. "Am I going to get to go home" fleeted deliciously in my brain. It turns out that there were two precincts at one location, but the other inspector with all their supplies had not yet arrived. My inspector for the Green precinct (a very quiet guy, obviously uncomfortable with the mantle of power) had arrived at 6:00 a.m. and had completely set up using the entire room (Green 1, Orange 0). The Orange inspector showed up and with a flourish had all his equipment in the room with no place to put it. A young gal with an official looking badge said that she was from the election board and that she was there to make sure everything went ok since we had two precincts at the same location. I figured, she's getting paid more than me, let her figure out how to fix the room and get Orange set up. That lasted about 10 seconds as she was also completely incompetent and it was by now 6:45 a.m.. A very officious older woman was scolding the Orange inspector and critizing loudly that this was terrible--the voters are coming in at 7:00 and nothing's done--we can't open. Well that was the end of my 10 seconds worth of patience, so I took over--move this table over there, the booths go here, lets get this stuff moved--go, go, go. In the absense of leadership, power goes to the person willing to take it. I came, I saw, I conquered. Shortly thereafter every person came to me for answers--what position should I take, how do I do this, when is my break, etc., etc. By the end of the night, they were all (including the inspectors) calling me boss (and a few times Captain).

We opened on time to a long line of voters (mostly for Orange as it turned out) and soon my officious old lady was handily dispensed to the door and not letting more than ten people in at a time. We had two high school kids working and I soon had them busy giving people their breaks. The least competent were put on the easy jobs (that they made seem very difficult) and the most competent were put in flexible positions. I expected it to get busy between 12 and 2 so I scheduled the lunches before and after. It didn't get busy. I expected it to get really busy from 6 to 8, so all the dinner breaks had to be done before 6. It never got busy. There was a fairly steady stream of two or three at the table and the booths were full once in a while (there were a lot of propositions to read if you weren't prepared--some people were in the booth for almost an hour), but it never got really busy. The biggest hold up was the chatty lady checking people in, so I started devising methods to move people away from her like asking her a question or physically removing the book from her hand to take the next person myself. At 7:30 p.m., I told the high school boys they could go home (we had one voter from 7:30 to 8) and then I said, oh, I guess the inspector has to tell you it's ok to go. The Orange inspector went to dinner at 5 and got back at 7:45 (he had car trouble).

At 8, we closed up and our inspector disappeared taking all the signs down, so we took down all the booths and started the reports without him. When he came back I made him walk through the steps and sign where indicated and then we opened the ballot box to organize the cards. I had everyone working on counting the signatures and ballots and organizing and I looked over at Orange--they hadn't even started their report, so I went to their table and got them started--told their inspector to sign where indicated and got their ballot box opened and assigned their workers to counting. Once they were underway, I went back to my crew--our count was off, so I had them recount. Long story short, Orange finished first (after I helped them) and their count came out right, while we were still off. (Orange wins).

Everyone was so nice and grateful to me for being there and taking charge. It was fun. And I saw a lot of people I knew at the polls. I even saw one of my girl scouts, who had been one of my first juniors. I don't think she recognized me, but I knew her. Later her Mom came in and we commisserated at how those kids had the audacity to get older. It was a really nice day. Boy my feet hurt.