Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hooray for Vacation

On Friday night I met some new people and some recently formed friends at my sister's house. She and her fiance hosted a grilling/Wii Rock Band party. SO MUCH FUN!!! I loved playing Rock Band. I was great on bass, drums, and vocals. I didn't get to play the guitar parts at all. A great time was had by all.

After 5 hours of sleep I got up and went to drum corps rehearsal yesterday. It was so very very windy that when we were doing our visual block outside, we couldn't march backwards in straight lines because the wind kept pushing us around. Sad but funny.

The visual caption head, who is the US champion brisket smoker, make smoked brisket and smoked turkey for us for lunch. There was only so much to go around, and apparently some of the teenagers took several helpings (the rest of us had one helping). The guy who made the meal didn't even get to eat any of it because the little piggies took all of it and took all the beverages, too. He was telling us this happened last night at dinner after rehearsal, how he got up at 4am to get everything together to bring, then he didn't get to eat anything for 14 hours because people were taking several helpings. Several others also didn't get to eat because of this. So, at the dinner table I posted a comment on the Facebook wall of the kid that was named, saying that I heard he had taken 5 helpings of food and that I felt he needed to buy lunch for the other guy. I read what I wrote to the entire table full of people, we all felt it was appropriate for someone so greedy to be publicly called out on it, so I posted it.

Well, this morning I wake up to a message from this guy's mom, who does a lot of volunteer work for the corps. She was hopping mad that I dared correct her kid in public. I understand her being mad, because I'm sure both she and the kid are embarrassed, but I stand by what I said and the forum I chose to say it in. It's drum corps, baby, and you get called out it you do stupid greedy stuff that negatively affects people.

I completely understand why she thinks what I did was out of line, but she said she would make amends to the brisket man, which is a better ending that what would have happened had any of us tried to talk to her in person. She told me I needed to speak directly to her if I have a problem with her kids' behavior, but what she doesn't see is that we've done so in the past, and nothing has been corrected. At least the public posting is getting the desired result.

So she can be mad at me all she wants and stomp around and tell me it's not my job to correct her kids. I disagree. I'm not going to run find anyone's mommy if I see or hear about them doing something that is harming someone else or depriving someone else. I'm going to address it in a manner that I know will get some results. If others are too chicken to do that, then I'll play the 'bad guy'. Teachers correct kids publicly all the time, our drum corps instructors correct people all the time, the corps members correct people on their behavior all the time, and it's obvious that kids respond to what is posted on Facebook. I feel I chose correctly.

Discuss.....I already have assumptions on what the moms in the group will say, but I'd like to see if I am right about what you're thinking.

I'm going camping in a little bit. I'm not sure if I'll have cell phone coverage out there, but if I do I'll try to keep up with things here.

Hooray for camping!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dog the Bounty Hunter at 4 of my stores

Apparently WalMart cancelled all of the events they had scheduled with Dog the Bounty Hunter, so I ended up with 4 events with him in my district this week. Two were on Tuesday and two were on Wednesday. Two of the events we only had 2 or 3 days' notice to handle. That's a verrrrry short turnaround time.

I was at the events in Rogers, AR and Tulsa, OK, and there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people at each.

His wife is a prima donna drama queen who needs to decide either to stfu and follow book signing etiquette, or never get off the tour bus.

Dog himself was very gracious and engaging with the fans. He stayed at every event until he met each person and everyone got their book signed. He was doing radio interviews in the morning, then events at noon, 4pm and 8/9pm each day, so I appreciate that he stayed at each venue until every last person was taken care of.

The crowd was so diverse that it surprised me. There were people of all ages, economic groups, cultures, and so on. I would have to say that a large portion of them were from the underprivileged class. Most of them had probably never seen the inside of a bookstore, so the entire experience is something they'll remember for a long time.

I need to get some work done now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One Week til Vacation

And I can't wait!

Last vacation I ended up working, on conference calls, or being interviewed every day, so I'm looking forward to this one. On Friday night I'm going to my sister's house where she is hosting a Rock Band gathering. I've never played before, but I know I'll be good at it, so therefore it will be fun.

Saturday I have rehearsal, then Sunday after the family Sunday dinner I am driving to a state park to go camping for a few days. I am going to turn off my Blackberry and not crack open my laptop while on this vacation. I need to truly be away and unwired for a while.

I'm sick again...I probably never really fully recovered from the flu thing last week. On Thursday night I noticed I was coughing, but it was different from a normal cough. It reminded me of how I coughed when I had pneumonia a couple of years ago, so I made a mental note to watch it. Friday was a tiring day between getting up at 5am, all the driving I did (though the weather was gorgeous) and the store visits and the visit to the pub afterward.

I slept horribly Friday night because I was coughing all night and running a fever. I was staying at a friend's house, which I usually do after we go to the pub, because it's quite a drive back to my apartment, and he lives so close. No hanky panky happening, folks...sorry.

Saturday I drove home and took a multi-hour nap. When I got up I was still running a fever. I can always tell because my skin looks great. It doesn't have that shiny skin oil look, and I don't feel dirty like I do after sleeping and waking up. I also know exactly what 'fever and chills' feels like. So, I chilled for a while, took my temp, it said 100 degrees, so I decided to go to the doc in a box.

They told me it was allergy-driven but that I also probably had something viral. They gave me prescriptions for Nasonex for the allergies and some hard core cough medication with hydrocodone. I took the hydrocodone last night and expected to be knocked on my ass, but that didn't happen. I couldn't tell any effect with it. I still coughed throughout the night, though it certainly wasn't as bad as Friday night. I don't want to be taking a so-called powerful drug if it's not going to help me, so I'll have to re-evaluate daily to see if I actually need to take it.

So, now I'm up and at 'em. I still have a fever, though it's not as high as it got last night (101 at its highest), and I feel decent except for when I cough. My head is completely clear, and while I don't feel particularly energetic, I am looking forward to getting a lot of things done today.

I hope you all have happy Sundays.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Was So Sick

I was so horridly horribly sick on Thursday. I'm still getting over it. I was touring stores with my boss this week. I started feeling extremely tired and needing to sleep when I was driving us from Tulsa to Rogers, AR (2 hours). That evening I had to close down my computer in the hotel room and go to bed. I just couldn't stay awake any more.

Then it all hit me about 2am, and I was so so sick. Somehow, probably because I was out of my mind, I got up, showered, dressed, packed, and went downstairs at 7am Thursday morning. I told my boss I was sick. He told me to go check back in to the hotel and stay until I felt better. He would rent a car and continue the store visits without me. He told me to keep him posted on how I was doing. I'm sure I looked like death warmed over. Poor guy. I grabbed some toast and a Sprite on the way back up to my room, and I stayed there in agony all day, barely able to take care of myself.

It's scary to be that sick and be alone. I started thinking that some people ought to know where I am in case I fell unconscious and dropped off the face of the earth, and the only thing I could think of was to post something on Facebook. I know that sounds ridiculous now, but it made perfect sense to my fever-addled brain then. Then I thought I'd call my Dad to see if he could come fly to Arkansas the next day and drive me home if I wasn't better. So I did both, I called Dad and I posted something on Facebook. So ridiculous. But at least now I knew there were a lot of people out there who could somehow help me if I needed it.

On Friday morning I still felt wretched, but compared to Thursday I felt fantastic...everything is relative. I started to drive myself home, but should have waited a bit for the Gatorade to even me out, because I was having some problems thinking straight. After a while, I was feeling better, and I finally made it home.

This morning I'm still very weak and I hurt all over, but I no longer have a fever, so I'm going to try to go to rehearsal today. We're not marching outside yet, so rehearsal is not that demanding except for visual (marching) basics. It hurts to play my horn because I pulled every muscle in my torso on Thursday, but I think I can suck it up and just deal with it. Plus, I get severely pissed when others miss rehearsal when they're 'not feeling well', so I figure I need to show up so they will stfu and get to rehearsal every time.

I gotta go now and get ready. Have a good Saturday.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Off I Go Again

I'm leaving in a few minutes to go to Tulsa. One of my stores has their inventory tonight, and I really need to be at this one in particular.

Then my boss flies in to OKC on Tuesday and I take him on the grand tour of my Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri stores. Hopefully I'll make it home late Thursday night and make a short day of it on Friday (short means 8 hours).

Things are going really really well in my position. With our changes at the highest levels, my job is, dare I say it, easier than it was 3 months ago, even with double the store count.

I'm exhausted still, though, and I cannot wait til my vacation starts in 3 weeks. Even at home on the weekends I'm going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 7:30 or 8am.

The housing development I looked at yesterday was fine. The pool and lazy river area were small, and I didn't see the hours of operation posted there, so I need to go back during a time when their sales office is open. It's about a mile from a lake, so I could buy a kayak and and jet ski or two (maybe even a boat!) and invite friends to frolic in the lake with me. The houses look fantastic from the outside. It's amazing that I can get a house with real brick and stone built in Ft. Worth but would pay tens of thousands of dollars more were I to build that anywhere near Dallas.

But it is looking less and less like I'll get my own pool. Very sad. If that is the saddest thing in my life right now, I am one fortunate lady!

I'm starting to get concerned over what to wear to my sister's wedding in May. I know, May is far off, but it'll be here soon. I would like to wear a dress, but I am really not comfortable in heels, and I'm fat, so I would need something that would still look nice. I could wear flowing pants, but it seems like I should wear a dress. And the wedding is formal, even though it is at 3pm. My sister says the ceremony will last about 10 minutes, then we're all going to the pub for the reception. So I need something that will translate well to both.

I'm sure I'm overthinking it. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Them Darn Barn Swallows

I spent a portion of my day dealing with barn swallows...or rather dealing with how to deal with them. Barn swallows nested over the doorways and in the eaves of one of my Oklahoma stores last year.

The birds are protected by state law, and once they start building their nest, you cannot touch it, knock it down, or do anything to the nest (or the birds) until they leave the nests in the Autumn. In the meantime they shit everywhere and make a mess.

So, we're taking some measures to prevent the birds from nesting in the first place. Fascinating stuff, I tell ya.

In other news: I don't get to see Guy this week. He's working Thurs Fri (tonight) Sat this week and I'm off to Oklahoma Sunday afternoon through Friday, so maybe we can meet up a week from today if I'm back in town early and he doesn't work. We seem to do a lot of sitting around and watching movies and going to the pub. This is all fine and dandy, but it's getting to be Springtime (finally!) and I want to get outside and do some things, so next time we meet up, if it's daytime, I'm going to suggest we go do something outside.

House Stuff: Tomorrow I'm going to check out a new housing development near Eagle Mountain Lake north of Ft. Worth. It's only 20-ish minutes or so from downtown FW, and the homes are much less expensive than the exact same floor plans just 10 minutes from there. Plus, the property taxes will be less because it's a different school district. I know it sounds crazy, but I thin it will actually be less expensive and take less of my time to have a new home built than try to house hunt. I might even be willing to overlook the pool thing, because one will be in the community. I'd damn well better be able to swim at 6am and midnight if I want too, though. I still really really really want my own pool and hot tub, but I'm learning that building one would be about $40,000. I can't do that on top of buying a house. So, either I find an existing home with pool, or I build in a planned community.

I'm taking a week of vacation the last week of March/first few days of April. I did not get any rest during my vacation at the end of January because I worked every day due to big company changes. I need to go camping for a few days and be completely unreachable via blackberry or laptop.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Simple Taxes

Not married, no kids, no house....yet. So it took me 10 minutes to do my taxes online just now. I'd forgotten that I had changed my withholding to 1 this year, so my refund is not as big as in the past, but at least I had all that money instead of the government using my money for a whole year and not paying me interest on it.

I made chili last night but realized I forgot to get crushed tomatoes at the store, so it's a bit soupy. Still tastes good, though.

Tomorrow I'm off to Tulsa again until Friday. It's only a 4 hour drive, but there are a lot of little towns to go through, and that bugs me to have to break my cruise. The upside to all this driving is that I get mileage until my company car gets all set up. I'm told we use the Ford Fusion now. Anyone have any opinions on it? I really disliked the Chrysler 300 that I used this past year. I had to give that one back to its original owner/borrower when she came back to her position. I'm hoping the Ford Fusion is much better.

In the land of Guy, things are going very very slowly. Too slowly, but oh well.

That's all for now.