Sunday, August 31, 2008

What Part of Mandatory Do You Not Understand?

What are all the cliches?

Better safe than sorry.
I've learned my lesson.
Always prepared.

Well, they've obviously never heard the ever-beloved modern yet fictional Socrates known as Forrest Gump:  Stupid is as stupid does.  And they certainly haven't heard those cliches.

For crying out loud, why are people still sauntering down the streets of New Orleans or any coastal town instead of having already evacuated?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Baton Rouge for Me

We were on the road to Baton Rouge Thursday afternoon when we got the call telling us the Grand Opening and all the events had been cancelled, and that we should turn around and go home.  Gustav was coming.

We were bitterly disappointed after having spent a couple of weeks looking forward to the great cajun food and after-work imbibing that could be done.  

But had the GO not been cancelled, we'd be trying to leave Baton Rouge tomorrow night, stuck on the highway with the thousands and thousands of other people fleeing New Orleans following its mandatory evacuation.  

There are only 2 options to get out of NO:  I-10 East will take you along the Gulf Coast, so that's out of the question, and 1-10 West will take you over to Houston and also hooks up with I-49 that takes you north to Shreveport.  It's not like those traveling by car have a lot of choices.

And so I wish everyone the best of luck, and I hope that all are smart enough to get the hell out of Gustav's way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Have a Plan, a Delicious, Covetous Plan

The plan involves the ultimate attaining of this.  But there are many, many steps to take and things to accomplish before I can have it.

You see, I cannot play this while living in an apartment building.  So, I must buy a house.  A townhome or condo won't do, as I would still be sharing walls with other people, and even though I was an excellent player 15 years ago, I wouldn't start off that way now.  And what if I happen to live next to someone who doesn't like Mozart's horn concertos?  Gasp!  Besides, I would need that third bedroom as a music room/office and would need to install some sort of sound proofing/reduction material.

And I won't buy a house until I get promoted and also pay off my car.  One big item at a time, I think.  When I get promoted, I'll have to move somewhere else, and if I move somewhere else, I won't want to buy a house right off, because I won't know the area well yet.

So, I have to 1-Get promoted, 2-Pay off my car, 3-Buy a house, 4-Soundproof one of the rooms, so that I can eventually save up to buy 5-This.

It's beautiful, isn't it?  I played on a Holton in high school and some of college, though not this model, of course.  This model is gorgeous.  I covet it.  I can fairly feel its beauty.

But back to item number 1-Getting promoted.  Did I tell you I almost moved to Northern Maryland?  A couple of months ago I was approached to put my name in for a DM position in the Southern PA, Northern MD area.  This is a surprise to me, as I had just switched stores and thought it wouldn't even be possible for me to apply.  But they came to me, so that was great.  I was delighted at the possibility, but they offered the position to someone who already lives in that area.  My boss's boss called me to explain everything, and while I was disappointed, I'm actually ok with it.  I really really wanted the position, but I know my turn will come soon.  So, onward I go.  

But throughout that process, I was looking online at homes in that area, which led me to think of how I could finally buy a horn and play it whenever I wanted to...maybe even join a local community orchestra.  Some day I'd like to do that.

Ok, so....working towards step #1.  Every day working towards it. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Future Vacation

Some day, in a few years, and after I've saved up the $4,500+ that it costs, I want to do this.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Red Stick

Wow, two posts in ONE day, amazing!

Today I was asked by my boss if I could go to Baton Rouge this coming Friday-Sunday to work the Grand Opening of our new store there.  I had a blast last weekend in Allen, though I'm still thoroughly exhausted from it, so I said of course.  

I'm looking forward to at least one great meal of Cajun food while I'm there...if we have the time.  Oh man do I love me some jambalaya or blackened catfish or gator or shrimp or a po boy ...notsomuch with the gumbo though--slimey okra and all.

Little Thief

I went to SuperTarget today to get a couple of things.  Ok, I admit it...I went in search of a Wii, but of course they were sold out, something at which I was slightly relieved to learn because I really don't need to spend the money.

SuperTarget has a self-serve candy aisle, and I like to get a bit of a couple of different things from the hoppers whenever I'm in there.  Today I came around the corner and saw a little kid, probably 8 years old, pulling his hand out of one of the bins and putting a piece of candy in his mouth.  

He quickly turned from me and began to walk away.  I called after him and asked if he had paid for that candy in the tone that suggests I know he had not.  He just nodded his head yes and kept walking.  I followed him and asked where his mother was.  He pointed and then practically ran away from me.

Too bad, little kid, you're busted.  I'm not going to let you get away with stealing, no matter how small the item.  I maneuvered my cart out onto the big aisle and looked down the side aisles, finally spotting the kid with a lady whom I assumed was his mother.

I rolled right on up to her and said, "Excuse me, but I think you would want to know that...", at which point she shook her head and said "I'm sorry" and then something in Spanish which led me to believe she didn't understand any English.  Hey, no problem.  There are a great many people around here who don't speak English, and we usually can understand each other by using a few basic words and a lot of hand gestures.  I don't know much Spanish, something I need to work on, so I just said, "El Nino" (I don't know how to do the squiggly thing on top of the n), pointed at the kid, said, "Candy", and pretended to bite down on something.  

The mother got the message, squeezed open her son's mouth and found the candy, told me "thank you", and I was off.  That poor mom was just trying to buy some shampoo.  I don't think she had any idea her precious boy was a little thief.  

It also makes me wonder how many times a day that happens.  All that candy has got to be terribly tempting to a kid.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Favorite Show Is Cancelled

I just learned today that Stargate Atlantis is being cancelled.  This season is their last.  This disappoints me greatly as I really enjoyed the show.

I guess that's all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

So Tired

I worked....I think I counted...46 hours between Friday and Sunday.  

I have to go to bed now.  

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'll Be Here This Weekend

Most of you know the company I work for.  And most of you know that I love it.  So, I'm very excited to provide the link below to show you about the Grand Opening of our newest store in Allen, TX, which is just north of Dallas.  About 1/4 of the way down the linked page, click on the 'tour' link and watch the video.  

The store I am currently in is a test store for the concept store, and the new Allen store is a full concept store.  I know that sounds confusing, but just absorb it as information.  I'll be working in the new store Friday-Sunday to provide support and training for the new staff.  I just spent 3 hours reading up on all the digital center pieces the new store has that my current store does not.  Many are the same, but they do have several more products that I haven't played with yet.  

Very exciting times, very exciting indeed.  Wish us all luck.  The community has been anticipating the store opening for months now.  It looks absolutely fantastic and is going to knock their socks off!

Here's the link:  New Store

I should say that the photos and tour are of the store in Ann Arbor, so the building shape and size is all different, but the graphics and merchandising will be consistent.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Opening Ceremony

For a girl without cable or satellite TV, I seem to be able to find a way to watch the things I want to watch.  The Olympic opening ceremony tonight was just such a thing.

Did you see it?  If yes, then you'll completely understand what I'm about to say.  If not, then hasten thee to an iTunes near you and download it.

Pageantry and precision are the two words I would use to describe the opening ceremony.  Now, I'm not talking about the tiresome parade of countries/athletes, I'm talking about the show leading up to that.

I've always been disappointed in the production of the opening ceremonies in the past; they've focused on a few people engaged in some sort of activity while the bedecked masses around them swirl or dance or sway...stuff too tiny to be impactful.

This was not the case with the Beijing Opening Ceremony.  

What I saw was stunning visuals, excellent execution, very strong precision, and big bold statements when there needed to be big bold statements.  The finesse wasn't lost at all in the large impact of it.  The costumes were gorgeous and detailed and the contribution of the individual was celebrated...but in a way that stressed the individual's importance in cooperative working to achieve a goal of this spectacular show.  

Since I was in marching band and drum corps, I get the idea that you can't have 128 people all doing different things, no matter how lovely, and have any sort of impact.  Well, in Beijing, each movement had 2008 people, all synchronized or otherwise very specifically hitting their set exactly when they needed to.  It was blissful to this girl's bleary eyes.

The technology of the production was also stunning, and the creativity of it was astounding.  

And so I say 'thank you, China", for getting this one right.  You celebrated your cultural and state heritage in a mind-blowing way and did yourselves proud. 

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hell at Sea, Part 3 (at long last)

When we last left off, the Atlanticat catamaran had just pushed back from the dock, beginning my excursion to see whales and puffins off the Maine coast.  I had found a nice seat and table inside, knowing that the journey to Petit Manan (pictured above) was going to be cold and uncomfortable.  

My feeling of impending doom continued as the boat took up speed, traveling 45 mph across the very very choppy water.  Did I mention the water was choppy?  Perhaps I should call it swellish.    Now, I am perfectly comfortable in lakes, rivers, pools, bathtubs, and even the occasional water-filled pot hole, but 5-6 foot swells do not make for a comfortable ride.  I am a 'buck up little camper' sort of person, so I just took another dramamine and, well, bucked up.  

I could see the people outside hunker down and share their thin clothing with family and friends in a vain attempt to get warm.  Then, one by one, as we traveled across the water, they gave up and headed inside to get out of the wind.  

Have you ever ridden in a speed boat?  Ever gone water skiing or tubing behind a boat?  When you're skiing that 22 mph feels like 60, and the 14 mph tubing speed feels just as fast.  So you can imagine what it felt like standing on the second deck of a boat going 40+mph.

Though the ride was choppy, most folks were enduring it fairly well...until about 25 minutes into the ride.  Then all the kids began to get ill.  On each table were several airsickness bags, and the parents pulled those out for the kids.  My friend, ever so kind as she is, kept pointing out each person who was getting ill, while I firmly kept my back to them, feeling my own stomach churning and roiling.  Not being able to catch the big hint, I finally had to tell her flat out to quit talking about people puking.  I could hear them all quite well, thankyouverymuch.

I looked out the window almost exclusively, trying to focus on the line where the water meets the horizon, but the pitching of the boat had the deck guard rail crossing that horizon so often that it didn't really help.  The ship's crew worked their way through the cabin with large trashbags, picking up the clear plastic bags filled with that morning's breakfast, and handing out clean bags to those in need.

Finally we reached Petit Manan and I practically leapt from my seat to try to get a good spot at the railing to take pictures.  It's all about the pictures....the pictures....the god damn pictures.  There is such pressure to take fantastic pictures and bring them back to show family and friends.  It's almost an expectation.  Hell, I'm not at work; I don't need an expectation placed on me while on vacation!  

The leaping from the seat isn't a problem, and once I was at the rail on deck, it wasn't a problem...the problem with trying to walk on a tossy pitchy boat is getting from the cabin door TO the outside rail.  There is nothing to hold on to, and by golly, you're gonna go where that boat sends you.  I took one step over the threshold and then the boat bucked me into a poor lady about 5 feet away.  I squashed her foot on accident.  Um, sorry, lady.  Then the next movement thrust me against the rail, and at last I was in control of my own body again.  

Of course the wake that we had created caught up with us, and we were up and down and all over the place.  The fact that I took a picture of the island at all is great.  The lighthouse being perpendicular to the ground is amazing.  

Now, I saw puffins...lots of them...but they were all far away and sort of swarm flying.  They are funny birds and did a lot of swooping and diving, but we didn't get close enough for me to get any sort of picture that was recognizable of them.  Too bad.  My friend was highly satisfied.  I was, quite frankly, pissed.  What do you mean I'm braving nausea and anxiety just to see a tiny island with some kind of flying animal next to it?  Hmmm, those birds could have been anything and I wouldn't have known.

We puttered around the island for a bit, and I went back inside, really feeling quite nasty now.  After a while we departed Petit Manan for the whale feeding grounds.  Cool, whales!  Majestic beauty.  Intelligence and playfulness.  And I'd never seen one in the wild before.  Ahhhhh, almost enough to make me slightly less regret ever getting on that boat.  I'm not a quitter; I'm not a quitter; I'm not a quitter.

About this time I started doing the math:  It's roughly a 4 hour excursion.  It took 45 minutes to get to Petit Manan, another 15 of puttering around, another 25 to get to the first whale spot...ok, so...well shit!...we're not even halfway through this hellish experience.  Crap, damn, fuck, turd!  Ahem, ok, so let's try to think of ways to speed it up:  let's start a mutiny on board because so many people feel ill and want to take over the boat and go back.  Hmmm, one feels well enough to mutiny, and we wouldn't even know how to do it, anyway.  Ummm, maybe I could practice my psychic animal abilities and call the whales to us so that everyone can get their fill of whales and we can head home sooner.  Not likely....I'm not psychic, and I don't think we'd leave earlier if the whales stuck around.  Ok, ok, ok, I got it....I can simply will it into existence.  The power of positive thinking, the Secret, the power of intention, right?  I intend for us to head back to Bar Harbor.  I really intend it.  No, seriously, I really strongly enormously intend it.  Well, so's your mother, mister anti-Jenny universal karma jerk!

While I am highly influential and persuasive in my career, it apparently doesn't transfer over to whales and puffins tours.  And so I was stuck, feeling worse and worse and worse, and knowing, yes truly knowing, that I was going to be ill.  And oh, how I HATE to be ill.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why Are There So Many Songs About --------?

Look closely and tell me what you see.  I took this pic a few hours ago on my drive home from work.  I had to stop in the street and turn my hazards on to take it, but it was worth the risk of getting rear ended on a busy one-way Dallas street.