Showing posts from 2018

Board Game Tuesday - My Final Chapter

Back in January of 2017, my friend and colleague Kyle polled our department to see who would like to participate in playing board games once a week during lunch. We started at the end of that month and the group soon settled into the "regulars" - Kyle, Lenny, Brian and me. Occasionally, one of us would be out and someone else would drop in for the week but then it would be back to our gang.

At one point during our RIF process, I was considering leaving at the end of May so Kyle suggested that I get to pick whatever games I wanted to play for that month. I ended up staying for June and we let Brian pick those since he was also leaving. I lucked out on the math since I got five weeks to pick and he only got four proving, once again, that I am the Princess.

I immediately knew which game I wanted to play first. World's Fair 1893 is my game. There's something about that allows me to dominate. (Unless Lenny is a Jerk to me.) The guys don't really dig it so were happy …

PMP, Baby!

Don't you love it when people use acronyms and expect everyone to know what they mean? Me neither. It's just easier to say PMP instead of Project Management Professional because even the long description doesn't help people figure it out what it means if they don't already know.

Basically, it's like a CPA for Project Managers. You are awarded the designation by a combination of experience, specific education and passing an arduous (200 multiple choice questions with a four hour time limit and it's super secret how many questions you need to get right but everyone seems to say try for 80%) exam. Just as you don't need a CPA to be an Accountant, you don't need a PMP to be a Project Manager but it adds a level of credibility and legitimacy that was certainly appealing to me for my upcoming employment change.

The short story is that, as of yesterday morning, I am one!

The long story follows (I always have a long story, don't I?). Also, scroll to the bot…

Change or So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Every year, our CEO picks a theme for the company and presents it at our annual staff meeting. This year's theme is "Change" and it's overwhelmingly accurate. The company sold off some of our core business and has plans to sell another division, too.

What does that mean? Well, a large chunk of our salespeople and a few operations peeps moved to the company that bought our business. Their last day with us was May 11. Because the support requirements of the overall business will be much smaller, another contingent of operations personnel left on May 25. A few people are staying a little longer for clean up before they, too, depart.

I'm in that last group.

My absolutely last day will be June 29. I would suggest "surreal" may be another theme as I've been here for over 19 years and it's so strange to think I won't be driving through the gates every day and settling in at my tchotchke filled desk. (I've already taken home two bags of stuff an…

Memories Of A Hoarder

I'm slowly cleaning out my desk at work taking an hour here and an hour there. While I know I'm a packrat, I still surprise myself with how long I keep things so this could be a very long process.

For an example of how ridiculous I am, last week I found printed emails from 1999. No lie. This week's find was one that took me on a journey to the past. Yes, turn of the century past. (Am I the only one who hears "turn of the century" and think it refers to 1900?)

While these planners did go into the garbage, it was not until after I read through them. What did I learn?

I used to go to a lot of meetings. I go to even more now.

Man, that Mark Mulligan must be one heck of a great performer because I saw him dozens and dozens of time. Not only on weekends but on lots of school nights. Probably when my poor sleeping habits started. That guy owes me.

My range of establishments I frequented used to be pretty vast: Tropicana, Lantana Grill, Parrot Bay, Callaloo, O'Brien&…

Alexa, play the Bee Gees

It took me two work charity golf tournaments to succeed but I won an Amazon Echo and a Dot on Friday. Sweet!

While I couldn't justify flat out buying them, I could justify buying raffle tickets for the chance to win them. It's all for the kids, after all.

For those that know me well, it's probably surprising that I didn't win these last year. Frankly, I should have but here's what happened. I had put all my raffle tickets into the bowl for the Echo and Dot. While there was a lull in the action between morning and afternoon golf, apparently the raffle people were bored and decided to do some "practice" draws. Draw one:  Kathy. "What a surprise. Not." Draw two:  Kathy. "Again?" I don't know how many more they may have done but when it came time for the final draw it went like this:

"The winner of the Echo and Dot is....Tina!"


I was very clear this year. "No practice shenanigans!" I also said something alon…

Washy Washy

I came back from my Mexican Vacation to find these all over our workplace. And, I mean all over. There are free standing ones and wall mounted ones and I have several within 100 paces of my desk.

I can only assume we're concerned about the Norwalk Virus because of my conditioning from my Norwegian Bliss cruise. 

When you hear this song repeated multiple times a day, it sticks with you.


I'm Still a Chef

My Weight Watchers posse and I have been sharing recipes that we've tried and love. One of them told us about a two ingredient pizza dough. With crust, sauce and cheese, a single size pizza totals 6 Points.

That's incredible!

One slice of regular veggie pizza starts at 8 points so I was all about this one.

The two ingredients are self-rising flour and non-fat Greek yogurt (my new favoritest thing).  You can find the recipe here. It's super easy and makes enough for two pies. You can store the second ball of dough for at least several days in an airtight container.

My first was Picasso inspired in shape, for sure. I used jar spaghetti sauce, low-fat mozzarella and sliced onions and peppers. The edges got a little crispy (but were still edible) and the veggies were a bit too al dente.

I sauteed the veggies with some garlic first on my next try and managed a shape that was more square than paramecium. I also managed a smaller surface of crispy bits. Who says old people can…

Thanks a lot, Obama!

I'm not sure why I continue to participate in NCAA Men's Tournament picks since I rarely pay attention to college ball anymore. Sure, I was all over Arizona State University at the beginning of the season (we were #3!) but then they started being unable to come back from giving away big leads to their opponents and...squirrel!

Perhaps only because it's tradition, I started up the Arizona Parrot Head Brackets again this year and promised myself every day that I would start putting thought to my selections. Before I knew it, it was the night before the brackets were closing and I hadn't done a thing. In fact, I went out to dinner, watched ASU tank to Syracuse and said out loud, "I guess I should fill out my bracket soon." The reply I got was, "Yeah, because you're pretty much out of time!"

I got home and jumped into bed deciding I could continue to procrastinate until the next morning. But, scanning through email on my phone before I headed to the…

The Year of Firsts

Tomorrow will be one year since we lost my Mom. For the most part, we’ve settled into our “new normal” but not without some painful moments along the way.

Not only are there random thoughts that bring the tears and/or sorrow, there are things I see that can trigger them as well. Putting on a piece of my Mom’s jewelry, spotting one of the crime dramas she incessantly watched and finding a salad dressing years past its expiration date (so my Mom) are just some of the triggers.

Shutterfly and Facebook with their “Your memories from X years ago” are also a constant threat to my composure. It’s nice because the moments were happy but not as nice when you realize that you won’t be creating new moments.

I know the sadness from those moments is a testament to the quality of the person my Mom was and those moments are going to continue to happen. However, some moments won’t be repeated as they’re part of what I call the “Year of Firsts”.

First Holiday - Easter 

Easter was the first holiday and i…

Down 50

I've been overweight since birth. No lie, I was a 9 pound plus baby. I've dealt with the discomfort, the mocking, the health hazards, the lack of cool clothing and the cringing at pictures my entire life.

About 20 years ago, I lost a significant amount of weight on what I call the "depression" diet. I got treated very poorly (not that I was perfect) and my heart broken and I just couldn't find it in myself to eat. I'd heat up a Healthy Choice dinner and barely put down half of it. I didn't even want to drink alcohol. Those were the days!

However, I found the will and desire for food and drink on the road to recovery. As the years went by I fell into a pattern of gaining ten pounds each year for several years then diet down part of it (never all) then go back to gaining again. Eventually, I hit my peak high weight and settled in. For several years, I lost and gained about the same 8-10 pounds but the key to that story is that I always gained them back.

In …

Farewell, Old Friend

I had to say a sad goodbye to my most faithful traveling companion of the last 15ish years. One who's been with me to several countries, two continents, many states and countless trips. One who never complained about being abused, being forced to squish into small spaces, getting rained on, being used as a pillow nor having to carry lots and lots of stuff including my jacket, purse and computer.

I bought this classic to replace an almost exact same one that was stolen out of my residence four places ago. Someone broke in, dumped its items then used it to carry out the contents of my ring drawer and my rock CD's from A through K. Jerks. The only difference between the two was that the first was a green plaid. I loved that one but I grew to love this one, too.

With only three pockets, there was plenty of space for all of my gear while allowing it to be crammed under the airplane seat in front of me while retaining plenty of foot room for me. I carried it over my right shoulder f…

I'm A Chef Now

Last Saturday, I had some long-time friends over for late lunch and shenanigans. To prepare for the event, I decided to make a passel of food from scratch. Three soups, a couple of dips and a dessert. My backup plan if it all sucked was to order Spinato's Pizza so we weren't going to starve.

It was nearly three hours total of chopping, dicing (which is different than chopping for you non-chefs), mixing, heating, spicing and tasting. It was also two loads of dishes, three pans, one crockpot, a micro-plain, a Spiralizer and too many mixing bowls to count. I really could have used a kitchen assistant.

All for four people.

Definitely one of my crazier ideas and a lot of kitchen time. But, I wore an apron the whole time so that's the thing that tips me into professional Chef status now, right?

Everything I made was a low or 0 Weight Watcher's Freestyle point food and I don't think it was readily apparent. As in, it didn't come across as "diet" food.


I'm An Athlete Now

So, I did a 5K race event. Totally makes me an athlete now, right?

Our company sponsored participation in the Rock 'n' Roll race events last weekend by paying the full entry fees for employees and partially for their friends and family. In all, we had 191 participants. Much to the shock of many, I chose to be one those 191 and signed up for the 5K.

When I told people about it, their natural response was to ask, "Are you going to run it?" My reply was consistent, "I'm not even sure I know how to run anymore." I literally can't remember the last time I ran so walking was my plan.

While I did walk a 5K in November in the Walk To End Alzheimer's, I knew this was going to take more effort than that leisurely stroll so I did some prep work. I didn't want to let anything be an excuse for not successfully completing the task.

First up was getting some decent shoes as I was pretty sure my Sketchers weren't going to be adequate. I headed over to R…