Monday, October 29


Holy bump on a log - the President & CEO of Nike just (unexpectedly) came into our office. Holy bump on a log!!!!!

Don't worry, I didn't choke. I said "Hello" very nice and perky-like. Luckily he was far enough away that he didn't smell my honey mustard breath from my Quizno's salad. And no, I did not fling a resume or anything at him. . .Oh yeah, kind of forgot I don't need to try and get a job anymore.

And a big "I told you so" goes out to my group when they told me not to clean the room today because why would MP ever come into our area????

Sunday, October 28

Labri Dirske

Earth lost and Heaven gained an angel this weekend.

Thursday, October 25

Men (& Women) at Work

At the rate of sounding like a broken record, I must once again let the world know (or the 4 people reading this blog entry) how much I love my job and the people I work with. I can't get over how extremely blessed and fortunate I am. These are people that I not only like to work with but I would actually be friends with them and hang out with them beyond the 8-5 daily grind. Oh wait, I already do that. Friends with co-workers. . .what a concept. Why didn't I try this sooner? Oh wait, it's because people were mean to me and 20 years older than me with kids. (You can blame the extreme over-use of the phrase "oh wait" and "oh by the way" on my boss. He extremely over-uses it during the day and in e-mails.)

And to think, I had doubts about taking the dang thing because it was in an "off campus" building. (Hello, snob?) Back in "the day", "off campus" was a derragatory term. It basically meant you weren't in a department that was important enough to the company to warrant a space by the lake. It meant that someone thought it was OK for you to trek half a mile if you wanted to see anyone else in the company. It meant playing Frogger with your life as you try to cross one of 2 major roads. So let's recap, if you were off campus you were an unimportant, overweight peon that the company didn't care about if you were to get run over on your way to a meeting.

Oh how the tides have turned. I'm not saying that it's now uncool to be on campus. That is definitely not the case. 4th floorers are still more important than 3rd floorers (in the eyes of the 4th floorers) but in my case - our case - we're off campus because we need to be away from people. If people want to meet with us, then they must trek the half mile, avoid semis & soccer moms and meet one of us at the door because you need a badge and key to get to us. It kind of makes me feel like Princess Daisy in the old school Super Mario Bros. The rest of the world must get by Bowser and the lake of fire to come to our conference room.

Even if I hand-picked my group, I would not change a thing. . .OK, maybe one thing, but then again, no, maybe not. (That's why I could never be a director. Can't make a decision to save my life - not even when it comes to rhetorical questions.) Not only do I work with the hardest-working, funniest, creative, loving people but I have the best seat in the room! I've never had that. I've always sat in the "temp" seat which is always out by the front since it's like a a yearly revolving doors for admins. But now I'm right smack dab in the middle. If I could have planned the seating chart, I would have drawn it up exactly how it is now. I would not change a thing. Which begs the question again: how the heck am I so freakin' lucky? Seriously. I'm already dreading when I have to leave. I'm going to cry like. . .well, like me. Now whether that's in June or August, that's up to God (and the admission counselors.) I really feel like someone said: here is a million dollars, and oh, because I'm so generous or because you're so cool, I'm going to give you ten million more. Except, no one really said that, otherwise I'd be blogging about the beaches of Maldives while sitting in a hammock in Maldives. (Did you know a plane ticket there starts at $3500? Let's see, if I put away $20 a week, I'll have a ticket saved up by. . .no sense in calculating that one. I plan on marrying into money anyway, so it's really not an issue.)

It's amazing how your entire attitude and heart change when you genuinely care for people and are part of a group that wants to succeed. (or have been told, "succeed or get fired".) I don't mind being the coffee person (as long as it's not everyday). Heck, I can even tell you everybody's "usuals": Grande non-fat latte, Venti non-fat white mocha, Venti regular coffee w/half & half and a little bit of brown sugar, Grande americano w/a 1.5 second pour of non-fat milk & 3 sugars, Venti regular coffee w/lots of room for half & half and 1 splenda, 16 oz Diet Mt. Dew and another 16 oz Diet Mt. Dew. Who thought I would ever not mind making copies? I tell you, a genuine thank you goes a long way. Tomorrow will definitely be a bonding day for us. Everyone is coming in their scrubs so we can pimp out our place for the President's walk thru on Monday. That's fine with me because I know there will be loud music, way too much laughing and some of my favorite peeps present.

Wednesday, October 24

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Wanted: my life back
Last seen: Sept. 23, the night before Oregon Public Colleges & Universities began school
Reward: HUGE!

Hi. I seem to have lost my life. If you find it, will you tell it that I miss it and that I wish it would come back?

Tuesday, October 23

Online suitor who e-mailed me but has a better chance of walking into a room and meeting Elvis & Puff the Magic Dragon than a date with me - take 1

Stats: 50-year-old man
Job status: mail sorter during graveyard shift for USPS
He seeks: 18-35 year-old women
Picture resembles: child predator mug shot
Just happens to: have a large movie poster of Casablanca in his bedroom

I wish I could make this stuff up people!

Sunday, October 21

Words heard in the Treehouse today

Teacher B: "When are some times that you should have respected someone but you didn't?"
Kid #1: "One time. After I locked my brother out in the snow. He pushed me down to the ground and held a knife over me."
Teacher B: "Wow. That really scares me."

Teacher B: "King Saul was really jealous & angry."
Kid #2: "No, he was mad."

Saturday, October 20

The Rub Down

So today I did something I've only done once before in my life. No, not jumping out of a plane. No, not jumping off a bridge. Not jumping over or off of anything really. I got a massage. I got my first professional massage 3 years ago courtesy of my entire department who left me for the Athens Olympics for a month. Not quite an equal trade but a nice attempt. I told myself that after the marathon I would get a massage and I can think of no better week to get one - what with all the skunks, tests & flying cyclists I've had to deal with. Since I'm still quite the newbie at the whole massage thing, I forgot how much effort it takes to prepare for one.

1. Shaving - you have to shave your entire leg, not just up to the knee. This is unfamiliar territory for me, seeing as how it's winter now and there will be no need for my pasty whites to be exposed to sunlight until next July and it's been approximately 8 years since someone touched my legs on purpose. Creepy Spanish guys in techno clubs do NOT count.
2. Shampoo - you can't use the weekend, intensive dandruff control, I-can-smell-that-odor-from-across-the-room-and-are-you-sure-the-skunk-hasn't-returned-to-spray-our-house-again shampoo. Luckily at the last minute, I remembered this and changed to the celebrity endorsed, mango smelling stuff - disposing of a quarter-sized lump of orange Head & Shoulders. $1.27 washed down the drain. . .literately.
3. Digits - Your fingers and toes are going to be massaged so they have to be in good shape as well. Luckily, I am a pro at slapping on nail polish at the last second because I have a gene in me that makes me late for everything except soccer games. I only had to open my top bathroom drawer and there was the go-to pink & clear polishes for the toes & fingers, respectively.
4. Under garments - Have to be cute, none of this plain color boring stuff. I don't want a stranger to think I'm boring or too conservative, (because I'm not) nor do I want them thinking I will be going home with Big Joe tonight after a couple of rounds at Dante's. (because I won't)

This is hard work! I probably won't go to this much hard work again until my wedding day. I can handle this every 3 years.

A massage is a very interesting thing. In a nutshell, I am paying someone to grease me up and rub me down. Yeah, put like that, it definitely doesn't sound appealing. I'm just lying there on a table, with one article of clothing on and someone is digging into my lower back and neck. Only a handful of people have seen me with one article of clothing on and for most of those viewings, that article was a diaper. And this is legal?

But once you're in the middle of the massage - it's so worth it. Except that you have about an hour to think to yourself. But first you have to drown out the annoying background music before you can do any thinking. Now I'm a fan of instrumental music but I simply don't enjoy New Age or sounds from nature. If I want to hear the birds, I will open my window thank you very much. A little Jim Brickman or William Joseph will make my week but anything with a sitar and you might as well have Marion Carpet commercials running in the background on a continuous loop. (FYI - Carpet Carl bugs the heck out of me for no particular reason.) So once we've tuned out the music, we can tune into our thoughts. That actually could be quite scary so maybe the monk chanting would be good for me after all.

Hmmmm, what can I think about while a stranger is rubbing my lower hip with oil? So I start making my to-do list for when I get home: make lab flashcards, read 30 pages in my book, study the flashcards I made, watch a movie I have from the library. . .but that totally defeats the purpose of the massage and relaxing. I try really hard not to think about the totally and completely messed up dream I had last night that included my premie baby whose head was separated from its body but was still alive (I know!) I can think about my lines for Treehouse tomorrow - nope, haven't memorized those yet. And then you start playing the "what if" game. And unless all your questions involve winning the lottery, marrying John Krasinski, or traveling around the world (all three of which I fully intend to do at some point in my life) that game can get out of hand FAST! So I tell my mind to go dark. Just go black. Game over. The end. Hasta luego. Nope can't do that either. By now, the music really is playing instrumental music with piano. Yea! I think I recognize this song. Is it from a movie? Is it from church? Did I ever sing this at school? OK, time to go dark again. No more thinking.

And before you know it, it's over! If you're ever looking for a way to pass the day because it's going too slow, a message will put you through a black hole of sorts. Time passes way too quickly. And in another 3 years, I get to go through it all over again.

Whomever argument

This scene was a little longer on Thursday's show but it is still one of THE BEST scenes of any Office.

Andy's New Song

OK - had to throw this one on too. I've loved the character Andy from the start and, let's face it, I would basically kill to have this happen to me.

Thursday, October 18

Riding to Work

So there I was. . .

trying to leave my neighborhood this morning when a car hit a cyclist who then landed on the hood & front of my car.

This has been a very weird week.

Tuesday, October 16

Dr. Doolittle

At approximately 9:52pm, the following happened at the Ware House:

D: "N, Laura, come here a second."

M and I give up our fire side seats and walk to the front door. D opens the front door and a horrible nasty smell waffles in.

Me: "Gross!"

M: "Is that a skunk?!"

D: "Yes."

M: "Well then shut the door!"

Yes, D couldn't simply tell us he saw a skunk outside or that the motion detector lights went off. He had to open the door, and prove to us BY THE SMELL that a skunk had attacked our house. The past 10 minutes have consisted of repeatedly yelling at D and questioning his intellect, (because moments before he insisted that, despite speaking with the airlines who told him a flight was sold out, he was determined to find a seat somewhere on the internet) closing all windows, futilely spraying vanilla Febreeze everywhere and anywhere, and then questioning D's intellect some more.

I know we all have smelled a skunk. We have passed by them and their scents at over 60 mph. But this is a little different. The skunk smell is actually in the house, on my clothes and up my nose. And now, I'm eating a really poor imitation of vanilla smell (yes, it does seem possible to eat a smell.)


Update, 10:14pm ~ D is now wanting to prepare a skunk trap.

Update, 11:15pm ~ M: "It stinks in my house! Oh my god it stinks in my house!"

Update, 11:50pm ~ M: cough, cough "I think I'm choking. I think I'm going to die." Me, laughing: "That just earned you another spot on the blog." M: "Laura, please no!"

Monday, October 15

Here we go again!

Situation: 39 days until Thanksgiving. Impending threat of post-marathon, personal winter insulation growth.

Solution: It's time for a little "Lenting"!

That's right. I've taken the great pre-Easter tradition and verbed it. (Or is that adverbed it? Please don't let my mother, the famous Gaston English teacher, and superior editor of all papers, read this.)

I decided to be a little crazy earlier this year and Lented (verbed it again!), seriously, for the first time ever. What did I give up? Only my biggest vise, only the best thing ever: sugar. Refined sugar. Day 3 almost killed me. But I made it. All 40 days - which is a miracle in itself. Does that means I am halfway to becoming a saint? I better start working on the paperwork. Now if I could only bring someone back to life by starying at them cross-eyed. . .I have got to work on that. But I almost killed myself on Easter. FYI - it's a really bad idea to have a mocha, donut AND Cadbury Egg for breakfast - really bad. Just take it from me. Oh sure, you're singing and talking and walking around (all at warp speed) and the world is great. It's the happiest day of the year because there's more to celebrate on Easter than any other day. Sugar just heightens the experience. Your singing voice is louder. Your hugs are stronger. Your greetings are friendlier. The jokes you tell are funnier. Everyone around you is better off because of the sugar you have ingested. The sugar that should be spread out over several weeks is now headed straight to your brain.

And that's when you crash.

First comes the headache. So you pop some Advil. You attribute it to maybe getting up really early. Then comes the stomach ache. Yeah, I probably did eat too much of Aunt J's potatoes. Then comes the nausea. And once you're here, there ain't no going back. You find yourself in the fetal position hoping that you'll pass out or black out. But you can't do either because you're pretty sure you're going to lose your lunch at any second. And you think, I might as well undo my top button on my pants because I am going to be laying on this couch for quite some time. The final step is to swear off sugar forever. And then break that promise sometime between 7 & 9am the next morning when you have a leftover, homemade Bearclaw for breakfast; proving once again that I learn nothing from my mistakes.

So you are all on notice world. No refined sugar for 39 days.

To quote the critically acclaimed artist, Gnarls Barkley:

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind. . .
Maybe I'm crazy

Saturday, October 13

Proof I really did it!

In case there was any doubt - below is proof I really did run the marathon!
Me and Rachel in our matching t-shirts at mile 25. So cute!

After 26 miles, I'm coming down the .2 home stretch. Pretty sure I'm smiling at the "Rachel & Laura Fan Club" with their signs and cheers.


Friday, October 12

Friday Fun Day! 1st ed.

I couldn't figure out how to post this directly into the blog so you'll have to travel to the web site. Scroll down until you find the song "Peter the Meter Reader." Sit back. Listen. Enjoy!

This song is hysterical and I would like to dedicate it to my deskmate, Pete.

Thursday, October 11

Home is where the. . .where is home?

Try to define the word "home". Go ahead. I'll wait. . . . . .have your definition? Does it include something about feeling comfortable & relaxed, a place of love, where you spend the night? I'm not really sure where my home is these days. Sounds crazy? Not really, ask anyone that knows me, I've said crazier and made more sense doing it. Sound crazy? Seriously, I could do this all day.

Home: a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household I realize that there is a very cute house with a cute porch with equally cute rocking chairs on that porch that holds a lot of my stuff. (or crap as my mom lovingly calls it because, let's face it, I simply can't throw away that pencil I bought at the Alamo during spring break my sophomore year in college.) But there is also a very white, very plain storage unit that is doing the same thing (holding my fans, summer clothes, "fun" glasses & more crap.) M&D and mostly my puppies (past & future) make me feel at home. (DUH, I know this is my home. Please no hate mail about how I'm unappreciate of my parents' sacrifices. But a girl has to fill a double blog entry somehow rambling about something!)

Home: The place where something is discovered, founded, developed, or promoted But where is home, really? As the work load ramps up and as the school year marches on, I am spending more and more time in locations where I can work on both. For 9 hours a day I am just beyond the walls of "The Berm". That is more than a third of my day and half of my waking life. That's a heck of a lot of time! Good thing I love my co-workers. We eat together, sing together, laugh together, throw squishy stress balls and not-so-soft-soccer balls at each other. We have an authority figure making sure we don't get into trouble, we have to play nicely together, we even get bills and paychecks delivered to us every day. I can eat 3 meals here if I wanted. I can do my laundry here if I wanted. I can work out, get a perm, repair a broken nail, and shower here. Sounds like a home to me! The Crack Team of Rejects have welcomed me into their home.

Home: where you live at a particular time Then there's school - which is kind of like a stereotypical divorced family setting in a Lifetime or Oxygen movie. You have the library & the classroom. The library would be like mom's house where you spend most of your time. It's always warm. People are always very friendly & willing to help you find whatever you need. There's big oversize cozy chairs, The classroom is dad's pad. You're not there very long at all - only a couple hours a week. The furniture is old & ugly, you don't know any of the other kids, it's hard to be there because you don't understand anything that the guy's teaching you (he's old & doesn't get you at all). And you're basically thrilled when you get out of there because you'd rather be anywhere than in there. Looks like I split my time between 2 homes.

Home: (in games) the destination or goal: Ever tried to run 26.2 miles in one straight shot? Yeah, I didn't think so. Only the coolest of cool and the strongest of strong have done it. (which is quite ironic because I am neither cool nor strong.) If you ever do try - and I HIGHLY suggest that you do - you will be spending a lot of time on deserted backroads and congested city streets. Lots of gravel, lots of grass, lots of bike lanes and lots of shout outs to my guardian angel for his/her protection from semis & snakes. I used to think there was nothing better than riding my bicycle just after the sun came up on the weekends and the cows were the only other creatures awake. Now that I firmly hate bicycles and the danger the present to everyday people, I can say there's nothing better than running under the same circumstances. I love having the house to myself in the mornings.

Heaven: a place or state of supreme happiness Or what about that place that you spend the least amount of time but it's the place you feel most alive? What if there's a certain room, location, building that makes you feel that the REAL you is coming out? Or what if the location isn't important but the people that surround you are? Is it the E-pod? Brick room? Or the zoo because you're with the same people - especially The One VIP - that are always with you in the E-pod & Brick Room? Yes, I go home every Sunday morning. It's quite possibly my favorite home. (if only we could can the dang A.C. to work!) I travel with my family members: B & K. Heck, even I have kids in this home!

To quote the song whose lyrics I have taped up on my computer screen to keep me in check at at work:

'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

Tuesday, October 9

I heart my job

It is now 12:17pm and I just finished the best part of my day. Rather than explain, let me give you some clues and you can fill in the gaps on your own:

*team of girls
*team of boys
*squishy stress balls
*no boss
*big open conference room
*an invisible center line

But seriously, we're stressed around here. Really, even the temp can't take a lunch break. Believe me, we have tons to do.

Monday, October 8


Scenario: a man runs as fast as he possibly can back to his home town to update everyone on the war his town is currently involved in. This distance happens to be 26.2 miles. The man dies upon arrival.

Genius idea: Let's recreate a run that killed the first man who did it. And because he was such a pathetic athlete, (hello - he didn't survive) let's not name it after him but the name of his town. AND, let's make people pay money to run the same distance and tell them its actually fun! We'll throw in a shirt just to seal the deal.

Well, I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. I shelled out money for the race, making race day shirts, gas for driving to long run locations, a certain mp3 player, a Nike+ system. . .good gravy, no wonder I'm broke!

Who cares if my time isn't very good? Who cares if my knee is in a bit of pain? Who cares if it took until mile 6 to pass the guy lugging his own oxygen tanks behind him? I ran up "the wall". I ran the last 2.2 miles. I mastered the art of grabbing cups full of liquid without stopping. I mastered the art of blocking out pain. There are just a handful of things I've ever done in my life that are more emotional than those last .2 miles up Salmon Street with "The Fat Lady" singing, hearing strangers cheer & applaud you, seeing familiar faces holding signs with your name on them. And don't forget the best part - all the free Starbucks mud pies you can eat!

Saturday, October 6


The definition of today, Saturday, October 6, 2007: sublime