Friday, May 30, 2008

Weekly Recap

I had a relatively dull week. I suppose if you ring in the week by going out on Sunday night it makes sense if the rest of your week is pretty slow. Even though the week has been dull I have been productive.

On Tuesday I got my haircut and hit up Angie for tips on how to style my hair for the 70s party on Saturday night. I am now the master of the back comb. I finally finished lobster mitten #3. I couldn't tell you the last time I picked up my knitting before that. After the excitement of mitten finishing I made artichoke risotto. I know that doesn't sound like a very exciting day, but trust me, it was just what I needed.

On Wednesday I taught spin class. I rode my bike to class. It was the first time I'd been on my bike in a week. I feel like such a slacker. Next week will be better, as a co-worker and I have committed to biking to work every day next week. I love biking to work, but I hate getting up before six. If I am biking by myself I'll often hit snooze enough times that I end up taking the bus or driving. I don't know biking co-worker well enough to stand him up, so I guess I'll be up early next week.

Yesterday I had Econ. It goes from six to ten on Monday and Thursday for five weeks. After I'm done with Econ I have a month and a half off until my next class starts. I plan on doing a lot of reading for fun over the break. In actuality I'll probably end up going to happy hour or dinner every night to get caught up with everyone I loose contact with when I'm in class.

I know that in the end getting my MBA will be worth it, but at about 8:30 on Thursday night the last place I wanted to be was in school. On a ten minuted break from class I talked with some of my friends about how we've pretty much stopped caring. We just want to be done. Hopefully nobody overheard us. If they did, we'll never get asked to be in a case study group again.

Tonight was just about the craziest Friday night ever: I cleaned my house for about two hours. I have a small house, so that should give you some idea of how dirty it was. The night is still young, so I might head out for a few, should the opportunity arise. It certainly won't be a crazy night, as I teach spin in the morning and I need to rest up for the 70s party.

Tomorrow Sarah and I are going to a 70s costume party. I need to wash my dress and polish my boots. My look is really more 60s, but I like the shoes better, so I'm going with it. I've never been what you would call fashion forward, so it would make sense that my look would be slightly outdated. I plan on taking lots of pictures and busting out some disco moves. Oh, how I hope they play The Hustle.

Monday, May 26, 2008

AK O'Connors

Last night was a fun night at AK's. I was able to truly relax, having turned in my take home final late in the afternoon. After spending most of my weekend thinking about school I was ready to think about anything other than product management.

Upon arriving at AK's I noticed a poster for the band playing that night; Brother Trucker, one of my favorite bands was playing. I knew I was in for a treat. Stimmel, Todd, Todd's roommate Justin, and I ordered some food and enjoyed the band. After a while Todd and Justin decided to head to the Saddle. Stimmel and I weren't about to leave Brother Trucker, so we stuck around.

It's a good thing we stuck around, because about a half hour after Todd and Justin left Nate and Mark showed up. As you can see from the photo of them below, there really isn't anything quite as intimidating and gangsta as a couple of programmers at an insurance company.

Mark and Nate were in rare form. Nate is by far the most conservative person I know. It was enjoyable listening to Stimmel and Nate discuss politics. Mark and I spent our time talking about other, more important things, like beer.

It has been a relaxing, long weekend. I wish all weekends were three days long.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Carnahan!

My friend Carnahan officially entered her 30s yesterday. To celebrate the big 31 we head out on the town. We started off at Taki for some sushi. The waiter brought us special bomb pop drinks because we were celebrating a birthday. We also had a drink called a flirtini. It was very tasty, but incredibly embarrassing to order. Asking the bartender for a flirtini sort of feels like ordering a vodka kool-aid; it's delicious, but it makes you feel like an underage drinker.

After Taki we headed over to Cooney's to see Ellen, Justin, and Ellen's roommate from Detroit. Cooney's is the other Irish bar in Beaverdale. I included a picture of one of the signs. It makes me want to be an Irish diplomat. Tomorrow we're meeting at AK's for un-happy hour. I'm pretty impressed that we will have hit up every Irish bar in the neighborhood in one weekend.

After that we headed to Dubays. There were lots of current and former CABCo people there. It was sort of like a flashback to my mid-twenties when I spent every weekend there. Carnahan was finally able to meet and thank Robert for giving me some dance tips. I told Carnahan Robert's two rules of dance: don't move your arms much and dance at half the speed you think you should. Those rules improved her skills enough she was able to dance at a wedding last summer without being mocked.

After sharing the story of her date with the most popular guy in my high school class with Stimmel we decided to call it a night.
It was a great night out. I am excited that we have a three day weekend for Memorial Day. I could go for a few more nights like this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh Yeah! OBAMA!!!

I had an amazing night. Most people have the weekend. I have Tuesday nights.

Tonight Barack Obama came to speak in Des Moines. I went to go see him speak. It left me speechless (insert comment about me never shutting up here).

I caucused for Obama. When I saw Obama speak at the 2004 convention I decided that I would caucus for him if he ever ran for president. I somehow missed out on him when he was in Des Moines before the caucuses in January.

If you live in Des Moines during caucus season it is hard not to see the candidates. I saw several of the canidates at work. I went to see Tommy Thompson, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee speak. I even shook Mike Huckabee's hand. He looked me in the eye and asked for my vote. I considered it*. Mike Huckabee impresses me. I think he's a good man. He really cares about people. I am sure that is shocking to many of my readers. It is probably confusing for you to hear of me chatting up the republican candidates. Let me remind you: I work at a large insurance company. Large insurance companies are not traditionally known as liberal strongholds.

I'm on the committee that invites the candidates to speak. We invited all of the candidates; only the republicans accepted. For some reason the democrats declined to speak at a HUGE insurance company. Go figure. I think it's because they don't know the difference between P&C insurance and Health Insurance. But I digress.......

Tonight was amazing. Barack Obama makes me love this country even more. I don't think I've ever clapped or yelled as hard in my life.....and that includes the New Kids on the Block concert I went to (as well as the time Annie, Claire, Megan, and I saw Jordan perform at a bowling alley in Sioux City). He is inspiring on a level I've never seen before. His speech made me clap and tear up. He is an amazing man. I hope I will be able to vote for him in November. I hope you will vote for him too.

No matter what your political preferences are, be they tiny old candidates, Ron Paul, independent candidates, Green Party candidates, Hillary, or Barack, I hope that you can find inspiration in your candidate. I hope that you will hear him (or her) speak and want to take action to make the world a better place. I hope we can work together as a country to be a better place, not fight each other over petty issues. At the core of us all, we are so similar. When it comes to political races we just focus on our differences. Let's shift the focus to what makes us the same.

What do we all agree on? What really matters to us? I think we each need to figure it out and think about that when we vote. Are we voting based on what we are told to vote for, or are we voting on what is really important. Do you vote democrat because your parent's were democrat? Do you vote republican because your friends are republican? Don't vote for others, vote for yourself.

God bless America.

* After considering it I remembered that I love equal rights for all. Call me kookie, but I can't help it.

For all of the Christian voters that check out my blog I recommend

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cooper's haircut

Cooper got his haircut yesterday. He now has a poofy white head and a tiny body. He looks ridiculous, but he sure does smell better. I wish I had some before pictures to show, but he was so gross I was embarrassed to take a picture of him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Cubs Day

Max and T-Cal enjoy the game.

Girls like baseball too! Sarah, Me, Stacey (AKA the Stacenator), Allyson

Al, the Stacenator, Max, and me

And now we're at Shorty's and know everyone at the bar. A wee bit odd.

Platt, Max, me, Sarah, Scott

Today was I Cubs Day! Every year my friends and I get together to watch the I Cubs. Today was even better than last year. We took a half day and met at El Bait Shop. EBS has the best beer selection and fish tacos in town, so we each partook.

After lunch we went to the game. The I Cubs won. They won by a lot. The even won by enough for us to ignore the jr. high kids at the game. It was a good time.

After the game we hit up the High Life, Johnny's, and Shorty's. Some of us may have had too much to drink (I'm not naming names here). Luckily it is bike to work week, so the few people that had cars gave the people that had too much to drink got rides home.

It was a great afternoon. I was able to catch up with friends and have a fun afternoon out. The group and I decided to bump up our bi-annual get together to a quarterly get together. It was decided that our summer get together would be to go to Prairie Meadows and watch the horses run. I'm not a fan of playing the pony's, but with friend like these, I can't wait to watch the race.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekend Update

I continue to work on the unscheduled life.

Last night the Stacenator and I decided that we would go out. This might not sound like big news, but it is the first time we've done anything other than happy hour or brunch together in over a year. We started at CABCo. We both love CABCo and it was martini night. It seemed perfect.

I ordered a martini, she ordered a glass of wine. We found a table. We sat down. We started to chat. Then a bachelorette party came in. They were about as fun as a bachelorette party can be...that is to say, they had penis shot glasses. The Stacenator and I continued our conversation and decided that it was quite unlikely that they would come sit by us. The Stacenator and I were wrong. The bachelorette party decided that the table next to ours would be the best table to sit at. That is where the fun began.

The bachelorette party had barely sat down when a guy (who will be referred to as jerkface) started to yell "PENIS" over and over again at the party. The Stacenator and I were appalled (after all, we are classy broads). The bachelorette party was delighted. They could not get enough of Jerkface. Jerkface decided that what the ladies would love is to see his full back tattoo. He took off his jacket, shirt, and undershirt to show the bachelorette party the angel wings he had tattooed all over his back. At that point, the Stacinator and I decided to head to the East Village to check out the Contential.

The Conetential was great. We couldn't complain about the noise, lighting, or the smokiness. That left us tired, so we decided to head home. We were out until a whopping 11 PM. Big stuff for us.

Tonight I spent my Sunday evening the way I intend to: I went to AK's with Ellen to drink beer. After a few beers Ellen found out that her volleyball game was cancelled. We did the responsible thing. We called the people we thought would drink with us. Todd and Justin arrived a few minutes later. Todd met Justin and Ellen, Justin met Todd, and we decided that Un-Happy hour was our new tradition. You've got to love people who will agree to meet you once a week for a drink. I don't like to think of it as planning, that goes against the no schedule idea. I like to think of it as coping: we all have annoying corporate lives to get back to.

After a full weekend of living without a routine, I have to say that I love it. I'm not really excited about getting up at 5 AM to bike to work tomorrow. I know that getting up early to go to a good job after hanging out with wicked awesome friends isn't something to bitch about, but I sure am going to do it tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 9, 2008

No Structure for You!

I am an overly scheduled person. It started when I accepted my first job at Allied. After taking two months off from work I needed to reintroduce structure in my life. I found that I got more done if it was planned out in advance.

After starting my MBA it got progressively worse. My life is mostly routine. For the past year I have done the same things week after week. I write my plans for the week down every Sunday, but there really isn't a need. If you do the same thing every week you start to remember what you do. Even co-workers picked up on it. A few weeks ago Heidi asked what I was doing that night, then interrupted herself to tell me that she forgot that it was Monday so of course I would be teaching cycle.

Routine has even seeped into my wardrobe. On Thursday one of the first graders in the class I volunteer in said to another student "Why does she always wear the same dress?" Without realizing it I had a pair of Thursday pants. Once it was brought to my attention I started to look at other areas of my life. What had I started doing without purpose, just out of routine?

It turns out, most of what I do is due to routine. I am sick of it. I am branching out. I am removing some of the structure from my life.

I am back to drinking WAY too much coffee. I gave up my daily coffee back in January. I was pretty addicted to caffeine and felt it was best to stop cold turkey. I didn't like that I was so dependent on something that I needed to make time to have it everyday - just think of all I could do with that extra five minutes a day. Here's the thing about giving up your daily coffee - it's not fun. Even when the headaches are gone. Coffee is great. Why give something that wonderful up? I like coffee, but what I really love is the social aspect of it. I love going to get coffee with my friends. It's a lovely way to break up the structure of my work day. If I didn't go get coffee at work the only time I would get up is to go to lunch.

I stopped running with a watch. When I wear a watch it's structured, I look at how long I've been running and how far I've gone. It isn't much fun that way. Running and doing math at the same time? That is work. I do enough work at school and at work. Running is a lot more fun when I'm rocking out to music and checking out the scenery.

I am staying out later. I don't have to be at home by 8 every night. In fact, I can even stay out until midnight and go to work the next day. Sure, I'm tired that day, but it can be done.

I am going out more. I have gone out more in the past month than I have in the past year. I love it. I have seen dozens of people that I only see when I'm out. It has been great catching up with them.

Don't get me wrong, I still have too many plans, they just aren't as structured. I am having a great time. I have freed myself from being tied to routine, and I'm not going back.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

PIF Winners

If you were one of the people to respond to my PIF contest, please e mail me your address. Even if I should have your address, chances are it was lost in the great palm pilot death of '07. Even if you were not one of the first five to respond I'll be sending you something.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Yesterday was a great day. It didn't start off great, mind you. It started off with class. But by 3 PM class was over for the day. I'm now halfway done with my intersession, which means that I AM HALFWAY THROUGH MY MBA! Words cannot express how happy I am to type that.

I had to mow my yard yesterday. I hate mowing. I don't find it relaxing. I usually spend the whole time thinking about how it sucks, and how I let my lawn get too long. Yesterday I thought about Kirk J while mowing. He is the lawn care guy that my friend uses. I decided when filling the mower up with gas I would call him after mowing. So I mowed, thinking that this might be the last time I mow my lawn. I called Kirk. He looked at my yard. I hired him. I never have to mow my yard again. I never have to rake my leaves again. Maybe now I'll find gardening relaxing instead of a reason to swear under my breath as I shove plants around.

After I made the best purchase of my life I headed to Ankeny. I had a great time hanging out with my family. Even if my sisters wouldn't dance along to High School Musical.