Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet Luigi

You all are well familiar with Puck, Daisy, PDot and the Pucklettes...and familiar with my need to have some "creature" with me on trips to take random photos of.  I've lost some of my mojo with this when I lost Puck. It slowly came back when I got the Pucklettes. 

Turns out that I have a new travel companion for this trip.

Meet Luigi.

Luigi came to me from a couple of my crazy colleagues ... the Queen and Luigi's mother decided that Luigi needed to help find his long lost love. So today, the dropped of Luigi with this super special note.

Can you not read the note? Let me post it here for you.

Dear Jenn,
My name is Louie (henceforth known as Luigi). I need your help…last summer, when I was visiting my gret-granduck in Spain, NI fell in love. Her name was Quackita [pause for dramatic emphasis]. We met over sangrias, it was love at first sight!

Sadly, her padre did not approve. And now, 11 months, 5 days, 2 hours, and 42 minutes after our first sip of sangria, I want to bring my dear Quackita home to los Estados Unidos. I’d love to see more of Spain while we search for Quackita, but please, no running with the bulls. I’m already packed, I eat very little, and I’m travel size for you convenience.  Please don’t let me search and heart sickness interfere with your own adventures – and drink a lot, don’t worry I float.

Tengo ganas de nuestras adventuras juntos!

I am not sure the Queen and LM (Luigi's Mom) understand just how seriously I take this job.  But since they now have been made aware of this blog (Hey Guys!) they most likely now know.

So, I've added Luigi to my travel scavenger list...any of you want to readjust the number of photos you guessed?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stress is an interesting bird

I used to pride myself on not being a very stressed person. Oh sure, there'd be times when I'd get stressed, but by and large, I just didn't stress out that much. I happen to love my life and I'm 100% convinced I control the stress levels.

I know I'm a stress eater. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who isn't these days it seems. When stress comes knocking on my door, my first thought is, "What can I eat to make me feel better?" Big shock, but eating never alleviates the stress.

Yesterday I had one of the most stressful days at the killer new job.  It was two days before I leave on vacation. I had all my ducks in a nice, pretty row - behaving.  Then, as often happens, a risk you did not mitigate comes to life.  TWICE. Two different ducks. Who can plan for that?

The first duck misbehaving was relatively fixable. A sick voice talent means I had to adjust an already tight schedule even tighter...almost down to the hour. AND it meant that I'd be leaving something for the Queen (one of my new favorite colleagues at work) to do with my project. I was hoping I could leave without leaving much on my plate for others to do.

Anyhow, the Queen happily stepped up to take care of it for me next week.

Then the second duck, also a voice talent. Also a very tight schedule. Also gets sick. This particular duck is sensitive and demanding and is on a tight deadline. Because of unforeseen issues on their end the schedule got compacted drastically and another duck on the team leaving the team REALLY meant that this had to get done before that duck left. The voice talent getting sick rocked the project boat a lot. Her sickness coupled with the other duck leaving, me leaving, and then the voice talent having holiday in a week really caused an issue. And again, I'll be leaving something for another colleague to handle in my absence. Ugh.

Finally, an unhappy duck. Try as I might, sometimes you have unhappy ducks. Sometimes you can see it coming, and sometimes you can't. In this case I couldn't. The unhappy duck raised her unhappiness up the food chain and some executives got involved.  Thankfully, the best company in the world doesn't play the blame game, and is always more interested in making the duck happy first. Then figure out how to fix what might have went wrong in the process.

I was beside myself with worry yesterday. I just get full time and THIS happens. Ugh.

Again, thankfully, experience teaches me to not take it personally. I know I did my best. I know I'll learn something here. And I know the one's who are now responsible - namely the Queen - will make sure the duck is extremely happy. All will be good in the end.

All that combined with trying to get everything ready for the vacation - work related anyhow - caused some stress yesterday. I decided to try not to eat my way through it. So instead I stopped and bought some beer.  What? I only had one.

So this weekend, while trying to not worry about work, I need to hit the ground running. Barcelona / Cruise trip is just days away. Last year, when planning for Rome I wasn't working overly hard. This year is an entirely different beast. I feel like I'm behind and that just gets me more stressed.

On the bright side, in three sleeps I'll be on a plain with my SIL and we may or may not be drinking at 7am...but guaranteed we'll be having some drinks and tapas when in Spain...

Monday, March 23, 2015

7 days and counting...

A week from tomorrow SIL and I will be on a plane heading to Barcelona and our cruise.  Its during this period right before a trip that I usually kick into ubber planning mode. And for some reason this year, I have not. I feel a bit frantic because I haven't and yet, there's a small part of me that wants to just "go with it".

This past weekend was spent running errands for the trip, helping some friends, and visiting with the Nieces - and it didn't leave much time for helping the frantic planning side. Even with running all the errands, I still have a laundry list of things to do before the trip.

And I released the "Jenn Photo Scavenger Hunt" on Facebook. Last year I asked my friends to guess how many photos I would take on the trip. The numbers were all over the place, and some were complete outrageous - I mean I take a lot of photos...but the guess of 10,005 was a bit over the top. AND last year, for whatever reason, I didn't take nearly as many photos as I had in previous years. Last year I focused - pardon the pun - on taking GOOD photos and not just taking photos. That shift in my head really made a difference in how I approached the trip and how I wanted to capture it.

In 2007 I visited the UK. And prior to the trip I asked friends for a list of things to take photos of - random things.  It was fun to try to capture some of the items while wondering London. I didn't do a great job documenting it and can't really remember what, if any, were good photos.

THIS year is a whole new thing. I've combined the two. I've asked my friends not only for how many photos I'll take, but an idea of something interesting to take. And they have not disappointed. Some of them crack me up. Others will be interesting to try to take. But what I love about all of it is they aren't "normal" touristy things. Like no one said, "take a picture of a church". Well dah. I'll be in Europe...churchs there are like Starbucks on every corner.

So here's the list so far.

A pickpocketer
Selfies w/ Janet
Café's and desserts
nature within the city, like trees on a street, flower pots on a stoop, man carrying a bouquet
Travel companion in a compromising position

Someone in a hat sipping a coca cola
An interesting doorway
Picture of myself in a disco, dancing
Picture of someone named heather
Starbucks Sign
Spanish version of Lucy and Linus
Picture of a purple flower
A noteworthy mustache
An old padlock with a key

A crab
a pretty or an interesting bug perched on a bridge railing
An obviously American Tourist
a picture of a very pregnant women on a Vespa or in a bikini onboard.

I love some of these and can't wait to have some fun with them. This time, instead of relying on my memory (dumb I know) I'll print this off before I go and carry it in my camera bag.

7 days....just 7 days...I cannot wait.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A little bit of this...

Things have been, well, interesting of late. Linus boy has had me quite busy.

Last week about this time, the poor little guy starting having issues peeing. Turned out he has Feline Urinary Track Disease...which is pretty common. The At Home Vet came by last Wednesday and said "Watch him".

So I watched.

I came home on Thursday and watched him spend 1 1/2 hours sitting in the litter box and doing nothing. There were some very frustrated and painful yowls. I called the V.E.T. She said, "Bring him in."

So Bubba Boy and I left during rush hour traffic to the V.E.T. They immediately checked for any blockage, cuz with that we would have had to go to the emergency V.E.T. Boy am I glad it wasn't that.

They wanted to keep him over night to "watch him". So they did.

Then they kept him another night (Friday).

Then another night (Saturday)

And finally on Sunday I got to bring him home.

We get to go through the torture of feeding him a pill three times a day (uretha relaxer - sounds fun right? Not!) and antibotics in the morning via a syringe (it's liquid).  He was acting all calm and easy for a day or two. Then this morning, Ninja Cat came out. I could have sworn he had 6 legs.

Meanwhile, Lucy LOVED being the only cat in the house. She elevated herself from Princess to Queen in no time.  She barely noticed he was gone. She sat, worried about him, next to the litter box - then when he was gone, she took over.

THEN...when Linus came home all Lucy did was hiss at him. And hiss some more.

Finally today she seems to recognize him. Crazy cat.

In other news, Barcelona is just days away. Like two weeks from today! yay. I can't wait.

Now if you'll excuse me...I gotta go give a cat a pill. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Its funny how memories come to you. And memories are a funny thing to me.  Some things I can remember as if they happened yesterday - good and bad. Other things, I struggle to even recall.

Case in point. This Monday while at dinner club, Blueberry and I started talking about a place we lived in the past and she said something like, "remember the cats?"

And I was like, "Cats?"

And she went into great detail about these cats, their names, their habits, what they looked like etc.

All the while, there's a small, very small, memory of them. Why they don't stand out is anybody's guess.

Then there are those horrid memories that you will never forget. Those I go back and forth on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think it's mostly good, but I could have done without the horrid experience.

This morning I had a memory that drew a big wide smile on my face.

It's 2008 and BigBro, Blueberry and I are on day 3 of the 3 day. I was exhausted, cranky, hungry, and exhausted. Did I mention I was exhausted?

We were just outside of Greenlake at the crazy stop light by Kidd Valley.  There were hot, tired walkers on every corner. Then it started.

One side of the street yelled, "We've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit how 'bout you?"

They pointed to our direction and we responded in kind. "Our spirit is SKY HIGH"...

This went on for the duration of the light and we all walked on.

It certainly lifted my spirit and I'm certain it lifted other walkers spirits too. It was one of those memories I'll have forever.

The other thing that fascinates me about memories are the one's we chose to keep.  The MomUnit recently hooked back up with an old friend from high school. These two, apparently, pal'ed around together and got into all shades of trouble back then.

As they reminisced, the old friend said, "Remember when we did XYZ?" And the MomUnit hadn't remembered.  Surely they had done it, but the MomUnit didn't have a memory of it. The same was true for the MomUnit's memories versus the old friend's. It all sounded like something they'd do, but time had erased some of those memories.

I've often wondered if some of my old friends remember some of the things that I clearly think were important enough to remember. Then I wonder if I am remembering them correctly, or did I somehow make it up. It's hard to say.

They say the memory is the first thing to go as you age, and boy don't I believe it. I think one of the many reasons I blog is so I can remember. I KNOW it's one of the many reasons I'm a photo bug.  Photos trigger memories for me...that way I don't have to keep them locked up in the safe filing cabinet called my brain.

How about you? Got any random memories that you keep?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Breakfast at Jenn's

That really doesn't have as good of a ring to it as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" does. And the lot I had over for "breakfast" really aren't all that "Tiffany" type anyhow...

And I still love them.

This last Sunday was, of course, Sunday dinner. This month we went with a PJ's and Breakfast theme. Not too surprising we had a small, intimate group. I'm sure most my attendees probably don't even own PJs and sleep in the nude, and figured that may not be appropriate. I did put in the invite to come dressed in PJs not "what you wear to bed". I'm just sayin'. Had I left it open for this group, God only knows what would have showed up.

I mean, this showed up....

Eventually as the memosa's flowed, that little pillow showed us some nipplage...long story.

I kinda wish I would have left this photo in color. It would have showed SIL's Cat in the Hat Ones-ee way better. And yes, that's me with pig tails. I was going to buy curlers then decided I didn't need, nor want, curlers. And the thought of buying curlers at a thrift store totally grossed me out.

Again, hard to tell, but there is a stack of flap jacks there on that plate. Mr. Braspir is already licking his plate...and the rest of them covered themselves with bibs. It's getting real. Other breakfast items we had was quiche, bacon, muffins and fruit. At the end we decided we all like breakfast for dinner.

 Apparently breakfast for dinner makes you do crazy things.  The poor demons cats were all, "What the hell?".

Then since SIL had the Cat in the Hat hat, we figured we'd actually put a cat in the hat. Lucy was none too happy with us and really has the look of "LET ME GO" on her face.

In other news, I'm slowing gathering my travel items and putting them in one place to make packing easier. The packing list is printed, anything I need to purchase for the trip is purchased, travel notifications made and now I wait. Patiently. Or not so patiently as it seems.

Bubba Boy (aka Linus) is having some trouble with going #2. Guess who gets to go to the vet today? I'm really hoping it's not as serious as WebMD has made it sound. Did you know you can look up pet ailments on WebMD? Me neither. At any rate, the last thing I want to do is plunk down a good chunk of change right before the big trip, but if it'll help Bubba, then I have to do it. Poor wittle guy.

Now, anyone want breakfast?

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

8 Days a Week

Welcome to what has apparently become my weekly blog...I say this all the time and I'm constantly amazed with how fast time is whipping past.  In just a short - counts fingers - 17 days SPRING will be here.  For my East Coast friends, I swear, spring will get here. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've had some beautiful already spring-ish weather. Sparky has been topless for several days. It's weird and it kinda freaks me out because the other shoe is going to fall...rain is coming. I'm sure of it. Although, the allergy relief rain brings would be totally worth it.

In - counts fingers - 27 days SIL and I will be on a plane bound for Barcelona.  I am getting more and more excited every day. Olive the Suitcase if upstairs and has stuff in it already. I've done all my research regarding photography and only wish that half my photos turn out as cool as some I've found.

There's more that's going on and it's way more fun to share with this little "Currently" post. My buddy BeagleBabe (I really need a new name for her) does this every month and I find it inspiring. 


Listening to my neighbors drag in their garbage cans and suddenly realize TODAY was garbage day. Ugh. 

Also listening to Lucy meowing at the top of her lungs down by the garage door. She occasionally "gets lost" and wales like nobody's business. I'll call out, "Lucy! We're up here." And she'll race upstairs. It's a game for her I think and she's trained me well. 

Oh god now brother is "singing" along.


I'm supposed to be reading our book club book, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, but instead am still reading Half Assed - A Weight Loss Memoir and find I can relate to almost  90% of this book. All but the losing a significant amount of weight part. That part, still working on.


I've been doing very well this week NOT buying lunch through the subsidized lunches at work. That convenience makes it, well, too convenient. This week I was determined to bring my lunch every day, but maybe one. 

Yesterday I packed a frozen meal. A guy in the office was running to Ezell's Chicken, and I didn't cave. Try as he might to talk me into it. I stood my ground and heated up my frozen meal. Two bites into it, I decided it tasted funny. As in, "I wonder how long that's been in the freezer" funny.  Bummed that I now had nothing for lunch, another guy at the table said, "Let's call guy A. He'll pick up chicken for you." We called, but he didn't answer. Frowny face. Then I remembered I had soup in my drawer. Went and got my soup. Heated it...took a bite and decided it too was gross. Meanwhile, Guy A finally called back and I ordered chicken. 

So does that count as eating out? I mean I did try to eat two things I had brought for lunch.


The Nivea Shower Lotion. I am horrible about hydrating my skin. I get on kicks where I lather something on every night. Then weeks will go buy and only my hands get any lotion. Then I saw a commercial for this. Always willing to spend $$ on something that may be an easier way to hydrate my skin, I bought it. And frankly...I love it. Because I'm working out almost every day now (only one or two days a week I can't get a work out in) I find I'm showering a bit more. And since I'm doing that, my skin is extra dry. Enter Nivea Shower Lotion. It's perfect. You should try it.

This is not a paid announcement.

Working On

Photos from our recent trip to the Pompeii Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center. I'm a wee bit obsessed with the history behind Pompeii.  It fascinates me that a volcano wiped out an entire city. AND that city wasn't unearthed for 16 centuries. It was all but forgotten. How does that happen? 

At any rate, the exhibition was fantastic. Some of the artifacts on display I actually saw 20 something years ago when I was there as a senior in high school 

But by far the most amazing, and sad, part are the bodies. The plaster molds of voids they found in the ash that when created, turned out to have one been a body.

 I went with this group of nut balls...whom I love very much. Oh I should mention, this was a selfie of us with the Space Needle in the background. What? You don't see the Space Needle...huh.

Finally Meg-A-Roonie and I got it right.


My budget. I was assured that I'd be going Full Time with the Best Company this side of the Mississippi. And in fact was told today I'd be hearing about a salary package. I'm sure the day got away from HR because I didn't hear. But just knowing that I'll soon be making less $$ kinda puts me into a panic. 

I realize being an FTE is what I want. And is great for me in the long term. The short term, with not getting paid for 16 days in April, has me a little freaked out. So I have been spinning all day with working through the budget in my head, then on the spreadsheet, then in my head. And ultimately I decided I need to find that wealthy husband...STAT.

And that's that. What have you been up to lately?