30 March 2009

My Bags Are Packed...

....and I'm ready to go....

I'm leavin' on a jet plane....so My Love and I can go explore part of "Europe's New Riviera" as Conde Nast Traveler declared it last month:




See y'all when I get back. If I manage to resist My Love's sweet talkin' ways. ;-)

27 March 2009

Silver

I love silver. Seriously. It is my favorite color (and jewelry). My favorite way to get dressed in the mornings is in black, perhaps with a splash of color, perhaps not, and lots of silver jewelry. Big dangly silver earrings, a sleek silver bangle (or several), and these days, a cutesy flower ring I picked up for $5. My apartment is decorated in black and white and silver with a few splashes of color. Just like in my clothing style, silver is the primary accent in my apartment. Silver is just my stand-by.

Granted, there are a few exceptions. Certain shades of yellow make me ridiculously happy. I'll never say no to real turquoise (which, naturally, looks best with silver). And I have a few treasured rings that are gold. Otherwise, it's silver.

Except when said silver is in.my.hair. Then I despise silver.

I've had a long silver strand erupting from the top of my head for a few years now. Yes, that's right, silver. I managed to bypass grey altogether for silver. With my dark brown hair, it is fairly obvious. *Grumble, grumble* Since it was one lone strand, I opted to ignore it and hope that to a less discerning eye, it looks like a highlight rather than the strand of silver it is.

This morning, I did a double-take. That lone silver strand prominently on the top of my head has been joined by another long silver strand. Two. At 24. They aren't even close enough to call it a 'streak.' Just two wayward silver strands at the top of my dark brown hair, refusing to tuck neatly under my hair when I part it. Sigh.

Even though I am okay with, and even embrace, wrinkles, grey hair is just a no-go. In my eyes, grey hair is old. Isn't it supposed to pop up in your 50s?!?

I have never colored my hair. I've never even highlighted it. Turns out, lemon juice really doesn't highlight hair as dark as mine. I like my pretty hair color. Thus, for as long as possible, I plan on avoiding hair dye. That said, what do I do about those stubborn strands?

Is it merely an old wives' tale or truth that if you pluck a grey hair, it will multiply? Should I pluck? Should I continue to not look closely in the mirror? Should I contemplate highlights? I thought 50 was the new 20. Does that mean that 20 is now the new 50? I sure as hell hope not.

24 March 2009

Everyone is Beautiful

Check out this awesome video I found:
By Katherine Center and Mary Swenson

Dichotomy

This week, I am torn.

On one hand, I want this week to disappear with a snap of my fingers. I am THAT excited about seeing My Love next week.

On the other hand, I keep coming back to a cartoon pulled from a Disney calendar when I was a kid. It was Eeyore asking, "Why rush? I'll just have to do it again tomorrow."


Monday started off as one of those days. Not quite an "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," but one where enough goes wrong to make you grumpy. One of those days has evolved into multiple those days.

I got into a fight with the curb on my way into work Monday morning. I lost. The end result was road rash, a swollen knee, and tights that will never see the light of another day. As I limped into work, I prayed it would only go uphill from there.

I was sadly mistaken.

A fairly pivotal action is being implemented right before I get back from vacation. Thus, I have been working hard to ensure all action on my end is completed before I leave. Yesterday, I found out that there's a few things I can't do before vacation, so today has been spent working to pass the work off on poor, unsuspecting minions.

A few of the interactions and decrees left me grumpy. As I limped home, I opted for a long soak in the tub, hoping that the heat would soothe my knee. The drain stopper refused to cooperate.
So I instead opted for icing my knee and trying to read. As I lay there on the couch, I became painfully aware that my jaw was hurting. Apparently, I was more stressed than I realized - I'd been clenching my jaw all day. Since I have TMJ, I'm well aware that a heat pack on the jaw is the best way to go.

As I microwaved the heat pack, I noticed it wasn't really heating. So I kept heating and testing and heating and testing, until that last fateful time when the heat pack decided to ooze. Oozing heat pack is not good. (It also smells really bad.)

So I said good night and crawled under the covers. At least the day was over. My luck would change when I woke up.

No go.

My alarm went off too early (as always). I tripped on my way to the shower. Every outfit I wanted to wear had at least one part in the wash or was vetoed because it'd involve showing my road rash (not attractive).

I've had to work hard at passing off work. So many little things need to be provided to stop-gap measures. My favorite (former) officemate has been temporarily replaced by a new girl. She's nice enough, but she smokes. As a non-smoker, this means my nose is burning. My jaw is still clenched. My knee still aches. And I can add a threatening cold sore, and a knot in my shoulder -comes from the awkward, non-ergonomically correct desk set-up - to my list of body woes.
Again, nothing so bad as to be a deal-breaker. Just a bit of bad luck accumulating into the grumpies. I need a nap. Or a drink. Or better yet, a drink and a nap.

Can I go home and crawl under the covers yet?
Perhaps the answer to my dichotomy is to wish for would be for this week to fly by while I sleep. Then I could wake up well-rested, packed, and already getting off the plane into My Love's arms.

23 March 2009

Old Soul or Just Old?

In both my office and my client's office, I am the youngest one by 25, 30 years. Given the seriousness of our respective workloads and being surrounded by an older workforce, I suppose it was only inevitable that I was going to wind up a young old bureaucrat.

Evidence:
- I wake up early and arrive in the office between 6:30 and 7 every morning. I also consider a 9 hour day a short day.
- I find myself hungry at ridiculously early times. Today, I was craving my lunch at 11 am. I managed to stretch it out past noon by eating slowly, but still.
- I pack healthy lunches and breakfasts almost every day.
- I carry a briefcase. A sexy briefcase, because I have to haul around so many papers between my company office and my client's office, but a briefcase nonetheless.
- I considered it a personal triumph when the office grump warmly wished me a good morning today.
- I spend my days doing bureaucratic things like "providing input on policy brief xyz," trying to scheme how to get the most authority behind an assignment so the minions do not resist completing the assignment,, and explaining, over the phone, how to use specific databases and computer programs to less technically-savvy colleagues.
- Apparently, the latest I am capable of sleeping in on weekends is 7:15 am.
- I can generally figure out how much power and influence someone has by the way they respond to my assignments and/or the way they record their voicemail messages.
- I rank tasks with a priority level by likelihood of a fast response from the minions.
- While I still prefer fashion over practicality, I find that practicality is creeping into my wardrobe. Heels I can walk 5 miles in? Check. Layers so I can adjust to horribly fickle office tempratures? Check. An umbrella smartly tucked into said briefcase? Check.
- During the week, I barely see 11:30 pm anymore.
- I can hold my own, and indeed, am considered an "expert" in meetings involving "valuation," "thresholds," "accountability," and "legacy systems." That comes solely from having developed and refined the bureaucratic speak, since my background is in policy rather than fiscal management.
- I just said "my background is in policy rather than fiscal management." Bureaucrat-ese if I ever heard it.
- I get excited by supporting documentation.
- Track changes is my best friend.
- I'm great at appeasing those who need to be appeased, kissing up to those who need it, and deferring to give an "official" opinion all while actually getting the things that need to get done done.

While all this is great for building a phenomenal resume, even more so when you consider that I'm only 24 years old, it also means my 24 year old soul is squawking its death screams.

Peeps, I don't think a vacation was ever more needed or better timed than this one is. I've got the right amount of adventure and hedonism planned with the perfect partner-in-crime to reassert my youth and rediscover my inner badass (or at least stave off the death screams of my soul for a bit longer).

In the meantime, I have to go scold someone for setting an arbitrary deadline by invoking the power and prestige of the rank of my office over theirs. My poor soul might never be the same again....

18 March 2009

True Words

My client, who has lived and traveled all over the world, turned to me today and said, "KtMac, when you get back, you will be the only person I know who has been to Albania."

17 March 2009

Excitement

For the first time in a long time, I am feeling excitement about "the future."


I don't know yet where it will lead me, or where I will go, or who will be there with me. I know who I hope to have by my side, where I want to wind up, and what I want to do. All that means is, for a change, that I feel like I'm getting closer to stepping back onto the right path and going where I need to go. There's nothing concrete and there have been no changes in my life. Just a hopeful feeling about my future.


And that, my friends, is a very powerful feeling.

15 March 2009

San Diego

Recovery from jet lag led to recovery from a cold. 2.5 boxes of Kleenex and one bottle of Benedryl later, here's the promised review:
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For a fairly last-minute business trip, San Diego was a good time. (You can view all the pictures in a larger format if you click on the picture itself.)

Downtown San Diego from Point Loma.

I've never been to California before. San Diego wasn't as typically "Californian" as I expected. Newport Beach definitely was as "Californian" as I expected. I can't really explain "Californian" other than it's a mental image I had of California and its inhabitants based on all I've heard and seen of California over the years.




My balcony "Harbor view" left a bit to be desired.



While I was out there, the weather was in a respectable 60s range. Warm enough for me to wear just a windbreaker, but not as warm as the 80s I'd been dreaming of. I was surprised to learn how varied the temperature zones are in San Diego. Someone told me that the San Diego weather report always involves four zones. I can't remember what they are, but the more I moved around the city, the more I believed that. Most mornings, it was awfully foggy. It's been quite a few years since I've seen fog like that, so I liked it.




On the drive to the office in the mornings.



I ate a lot. The best food was at Island Prime, which is on Harbor Island, and has a phenomenal view of downtown. Absolutely phenomenal. Dinner that night was Lobster Truffle Mac and Cheese. I swear, I'm STILL drooling thinking about it. The best dinner, however, was the night I drove up to Newport Beach to meet a friend at The Cannery. The food was delicious, but it was wonderful to see my friend Mimi again. She just recently moved out to the LA area for an interesting job, so it was an unexpected bonus to be able to see her again, and so soon! I also discovered how much I like the grocery store Fresh & Easy. Great deals, good food.



Want to impress a date in San Diego? Amazing food and stunning views to be had here...



One night I wandered around the Gaslamp District with a couple of the others who were also sent out to San Diego. If I were to ever move to San Diego (not happening), I totally would want a loft in the Gaslamp District. I loved all the activity and just how many of the restaurants had outdoor seating. Almost all the restaurants creatively had some kind of heating system, so that patrons could sit outside almost year-round. How utterly fabulous. I love dining al fresco at restaurants.





Sad but true. This is the only picture I took in the Gaslamp District.



I also discovered how close Coronado Island was to my hotel, and went to the beach in front of the famous (and fabulous) Hotel del Coronado in the mornings before my long work days started.



What the Hotel del Coronado looks like at 6 am.



Even though it was February, cool, and 6 AM, I still couldn't resist playing in the surf. I am probably the only person who can go to the beach in California and wonder if she got frostbite.





These tootsies have now been in the Atlantic and the Pacific.



I found some adorable tiny treasures on the beach. I can also strongly recommend that you not drop your cell phone in the surf. Pacific Ocean + sand + cell phone = no bueno.
Then I got welcomed home to this:





Brr. Stupid East Coast.


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I'm glad I got to go out to San Diego. There's some noise about a few repeat trips - we'll see. In the meantime, it was a good distraction from the countdown of days until I get to see My Love again (two weeks from Tuesday!).

01 March 2009

San Diego Snapshots


Just a few of the pictures I took of downtown San Diego from various spots. More pictures and a few stories will be up later this week, once I stop playing around with Picnik and Poladroid. Seriously, I may become dangerously addicted to both sites.

Wrinkles

My Love and I were talking yesterday. Par for the course, our conversation ran the gamut from silly to serious to sentimental.

We were talking about missing each other and how excited we both are for our upcoming adventures. Somehow, we started talking about all the little things we love (and miss) about the other person.

My Love said that I can always make him laugh....and then said he's going to wind up with big ole' wrinkles from all the laughter. It reminded me of a secret I once saw on Post Secret:


The truth is, I'll never curse another wrinkle for this very reason. And secretly, I hope that at the end of my life, I have lots and lots of laugh lines from My Love, because then maybe the world will be able to see a bit of all the happiness and love he brings me.