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September 2007
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November 2007

Happy Halloween!

This should be an interesting day at work.  Halloween is pretty much our lowest productivity day of the year.  I've been listening to saws, power drills, the distinctive sound of someone undoing a roll of duct tape and the occassional Oingo Boingo on the radio for the last two days.  Our developers are building a spook alley a few rows down.  When asked in our daily stand-up meeting what projects they were working on, the answer was "spook alley."  When someone mentioned that they had a question, the answer was "about the spook alley?"  These guys are awesome.  There are orange lights and spider webs all over the lobbies and lots of people in costume.  I'm wearing the jambiya on a belt that Nicole brought me from Yemen along with a halo and angel wings.  I'm the angel of death. :D The kids come in to trick-or-treat later this afternoon, so we still have to finish hanging ghosts and cutting out skeletons for our little kid friendly setup.  My goal for today?  Keep my hands out of the candy bowl and do something work related.  lol.

So apparently, there's supposed to be an obligatory "it's my birthday" blog post and I slacked.  Yesterday was, in fact, my birthday.  Thank you so much to everyone who called, wrote, sang to me (I think I had a record breaking number of times I was sung to), took me to lunch and brought cake.  It made my day.  When I came into work yesterday the ladies in my row had decorated my cube - it was so sweet!  Then a group from our department took me to lunch.  I chose Shoots - a chinese restaurant just down the street.  So yummy.  Later in the afternoon, they broke out a cake!  I was totally surprised that they had done that for me.

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So work was a fun day.  Then I got to go home and open presents!  Thank you to my family for everything that you sent.  I loved all of it!  The new running shoes are especially appreciated.  And I'm sure I'll appreciate them much more after they're broken in and the blisters turn to calluses.  lol.

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LOL... now the developers are playing a demented version of "It's a Small World" in their spook alley.  Apparently it includes doll heads with glow in the dark eyes and parts of Poltrageist playing on TVs.  This is going to be a fun day :D.  I'm going to have that song stuck in my head ALL DAY!!!


It's time to play dress-up!

I haven't had a chance to go out and take a class of any kind in a while.  Melody and I decided that we should sign up for a scrapbook class together, so today we went to Snapshots of Life taught by Making Memories at our LSS.  It was so much fun!  We were learning to use their tag-maker tool, which I got essentially for free well over a year ago and hadn't really used.  I LOVE it now!  I'll definitely be using it more after this class.  We did 4 layouts in class but I didn't feel like I would use the 4th one so I saved the supplies; I'll make something else up later.  Here's the layout we did in class today that actually has pictures on it:

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I promise it's not crooked in real life.  Seriously, if you know me, you know how anal I am about my scrapbooking ;).  I added the background border, title and journaling after I got home.  This is from my last trip to San Francisco with my family.  Love Pier 39!

And now, how crazy is it that Halloween is just a few days away?  Tonight was Jason and Candice's annual Halloween party.  I dressed up in my favorite fairy wings and met Mel and her family to head over to their place.  Mel's family dressed as members of the Justice League and they all looked great!  Logan was just darling in his little Superman outfit - loved the cape.

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And Mel and I...

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Dustin, funny and original as usual, came as a hula girl.  Yes, you read that right.  Hula GIRL.

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(What you can't see is the plastic bare butt hiding under the grass skirt.  lol.  We got mooned a few times during charades.)

I think the funniest part of the night, however, came after Jason requested 3 brave volunteers.  The next time he does that Vic and Dustin are probably going to run the other way instead.  lol.  The non-volunteers numbered off and after we were in teams, we were each handed a package of stage make-up and told to make our volunteer as hideous as possible.  Poor Dustin.  lol.  Jason, Candice and I all chipped in to make him as ugly as possible.  He actually won the prize!  Vic, on the other hand, had Mel working on him and he was nearly as bad... lol.  I think it took them each a good 10 minutes to get the grease paint off after it was all over.

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I think there was mention of bribery to keep these pictures off the internet.  I could probably be persuaded to take these down if the right offer comes along ;)

Now to figure out what to wear to our office party next week.  I think the wings are out... but I might wear my jambiya.  Despite the fact that the one I'm thinking of wearing probably couldn't even cut butter, maybe I should check the policy on wearing weapons to work.  lol. 

The rest of the pictures from tonight's party are here.


Allow me to rant for a moment.

Let me preface.  I remember driving with my family down 95 to Florida or someplace around there for vacation one summer.  As we crossed into South Carolina, amid the many bright and somewhat gaudy signs for South of the Border was one that has stood out in my mind ever since.  It was a friendly billboard reminder about the speed limit.  Along with this... "This means you too Northern Virginians!"

I am a true Northern Virginian.  I was taught to drive by a true Northern Virginian.  So, with that in mind, I'm going to make a sweeping (and highly stereotypical) statement.  Utah Country drivers CANNOT DRIVE!!!  Now, I like Utah.  I've been here over a year now and I knew what I was getting into when I moved here, including the driving.  I mean, I lived here for 6 1/2 years during college and grad school; I know how it is.  So in an effort to be brief in my ranting, I won't go into how the drivers get worse headed towards Provo and better headed away, about how people can't seem to maintain a constant speed on a straightaway with no traffic, or how they'll suddenly brake in the middle of the freeway for no reason, or how people have no concept of common road etiquette or how taking advantage of an opening to change lanes is COMPLETELY beyond the capability of most drivers.  And I definitely won't discuss the people who sanctimoniously feel the need to self-police the fast lane.  Going into all of that would take far too long.  (Obviously I had a great commute this morning.  An extra 25 minutes to get to work because of a 1-car accident on the side of the road.  Seriously.) 

So I'll just sum the entire thing up with a little anecdote from my drive home last week.  I'm driving along in the fast lane, no problems, when all of the sudden everyone is slamming on their brakes and as I creep past, I see that some idiot just came to a dead stop in the HOV lane, no accident, no one in front of him and funny enough, no one else in his car.  lol.  There was a cop behind him shouting through a bull horn to start driving and move before he caused a huge accident.  He slowly started driving again and the cop escorted him to the other side of the highway where, hopefully, he received a huge ticket.  True story.

Okay.  It's out.  Rant over.  I love Utah, I really do, and I usually even enjoy my drive to and from work - it's beautiful!  But sometimes the Northern Virginian in me comes out stronger than others.  Whew.  I feel better. 


Another anniversary, a project and new inspiration

So today is another one-year milestone.  One year ago today, I went out to Macaroni Grill with my co-workers at AOL and then I went back to the office, finished up a few things and turned in my badge and laptop and left my job.  I went home, threw a few last things into my jam packed car, locked my condo (and carefully didn't look back), and Nicole and I took off for the drive out to Utah.  At the time, I felt very strongly that I was doing the right thing, but I had no idea why.  Now, it's nice to look back and see confirmation that I made the right choice at the right time.  Sadly, this last week, almost all of my old friends and co-workers who were still at AOL were laid off.  My old department is completely gone.  Part of me is sad for those friends (who are all amazing and will get new jobs immediately, I'm sure), and part of me is just glad to see that following my feelings and inspiration were right.  So often that doesn't really happen, you know?  The validation is so helpful.

On to other more fun things :)  At my new job, where I will have been working for a year next week (I still can't believe that!) I'm doing another fun new project that our general manager and our VP suggested I help take on.  It's been fun!  Although I'm sure Steph is already tired of me talking to her about Facebook apps.  lol.

More fun... I started this "little" project 2 weeks ago at Mel's house.  I had bought these Doodlebug house thingies a while ago and they were just sitting in their packages in my scraproom.  I thought it would be fun to make them into Halloween houses.  So I finally finished it tonight.  lol.  I think there will only be one house for now.  They're deceptively complicated!  Or am I just a little too OCD?  Both?

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My favorite parts are the ghosts in the windows and the bats flying out of the chimney :)

Last thing... after work I ran over to the mall.  I got an ad letting me know that it was Estée Lauder free gift time at Nordstrom's.  Since I've been out of moisturizer for 6 weeks and living off of sample jars, I figured this was a good time to go get another bottle and grab a sweet gift :)  While I was there, I stopped into Archivers to pick something up for a Christmas present I'm going to start and happened to look at the new idea books.  I had no intention of buying anything, but I flipped through this book and I loved it.  I had a little wiggle room in the budget this paycheck, so I endulged.  (Early birthday present for me.  Yay! :D).

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I went through it the first time while watching the hockey game tonight... note all the tabs.  lol.  It's Ali's new book and while I don't buy 100% into her Life Artist concept, there were still lots of great thoughts and suggestions and aside from that, it was worth it just for the layout and mini album ideas!  I'm totally inspired to scrap something.  Unfortunately, I've spent a few weeks training myself to be in bed by 10:30 and I'm now completely wiped out.  Maybe tomorrow. :)


A year ago today.

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We were at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.  I can't believe the time has gone so quickly!  Last night the four of us were sitting around Mel and Vic's kitchen table.  Mel and I were scrapbooking, Vic and Dustin were painting War Hammer figures.  I don't think we've hung out together, just the four of us like that, since we were in France last year.  It was a blast.  We got to laughing over the things we did on that trip, reminiscing a bit.  Mostly, though, Mel and I worked on our pages in amused silence (well, I was more amused, I think) as the guys went into their usual banter.  Dustin's rendition of "Chic chica boom" (and the encore later on), were the definite highlight of the evening, however.

So seriously.  How does time manage to go so fast?  I'd love to go back and do that trip again... I think all of us would, actually.  One of the best times of my life.


Random Posting

I've seen this on a few blogs, and I'm currently bored enough that I decided it was high time I did it myself.  So here goes...

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) -
Snowball Saturn

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) -
Pistacio Russian Tea Cakes (Okay, in all honesty, I don't *have* a favorite cookie.  I mean, that's like trying to pick your favorite child or something!  I love them all.  Equally.)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) -
G-Laf

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) -
Blue Lion

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) -
Jeanne Denver

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) -
Lafgw

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) -
The Green Mountain Dew (or would that be "The Green Dew?"  Maybe I should pick another beverage.)

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) -
Thomas Hector / Hector Thomas (although, my grandpa L. doesn't go by his first name.  He goes by his middle name.  Does that make a difference?)

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy) -
Pleasures Cherry Nibs (okay, they aren't really my favorite, but they made the best name :D  I don't have a favorite candy either.  Am I just weird or something?  I considered "Pleasures Hershey's Kisses" as well.  lol).

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) -
Blank Keith.  None Keith? (My mom doesn't have a middle name.  This question is discriminatory).

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) -
Sullivan Sacramento

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) -
Autumn Gerbera Daisy

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) -
Cherry Pashminay

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) -
V8 Maple

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) -
The Scrapbooking Thunder Tour (is it just me, or does that sound more like a monster truck show?).

Post your own.  Good times.

AND... because I thought this was too cute... my nephew was pillaging my CD rack last weekend during conference.

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I'm convinced that, despite the extremely high probability that he would pull a Depeche Mode CD off the rack, this is conclusive evidence that he's already developing a rather refined and excellent taste in music.


Another Goodbye

Apparently after poor little Beeter was gone, Casper went into a quick decline.  So very Where the Red Fern Grows, isn't it?  I found out last night that Casper and Beethoven were reunited on Saturday.  At least they're together again, right?  I was hoping to see him at Christmas, but at least I know he's happy now.  Nicole sent me a few pictures that she took of him in the last two months.  I'll miss the little guy.

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Why stop with a double?

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Don't ask why I thought this was so funny.  It just was :D (Although it still doesn't beat this.)

P.S. Here's today's light reading.  lol.  I'm working on a giant project proposal for 2008 and this is part of my research.  Kind of fun, actually, but then we all know I'm a bit of a nerd ;)