Friday, December 18, 2009

Recycle?

I went to an upscale movie theater last night located downtown. Upon leaving the movie with a plastic bottle in my hand, I was excited to see a hole on the counter that said "Recycle." Beside it was another hole that said "Trash." I go to drop my bottle in the "Recycle" hole only to notice that the "Recycle" and "Trash" holes go into the same bag! Are you kidding me?? It almost makes me wonder about other recycling receptacles. Are they really going to a place where they are recycled? Or are they going into the dumpster with other trash?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Superstitious

Sometimes I feel like I am superstitious...so I'm not going to ride my bike today! One year ago I broke my ankle riding my mountain bike. For those who know me, know the story, but those who don't, it was pretty severe. One year later and I still have limited movement in it, but, I am working hard to do stretches and push myself to do things I don't think I can do.

I have learned a lot about myself and others this past year. Many people were there for me. Some I knew would support me and some surprised me with their kindness. Many people were not there for me. A few people I thought would help because of all the help I have gave them, disappeared. I learned my lesson and let some people go.

On the physical side of things, I have done many things this past year that I would have never expected to do. Long bike rides, races, and just started my running back in the last few weeks. I am going to keep pushing myself to do more and more things.

I never would have thought something like this would have impacted my life the way it did, but it happened for lots of reasons and helped me become a better person!

That's it for now!

kt

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Duck, Duck, Goose

I saw some geese on my ride this afternoon. An unusually hot day considering it's October! Anyways, I never had an opinion on geese until my last job. After working in a closet for basically 5 months, I was moved to a HUGE office at the back of the school. It was seriously 4 times the size of my old office, with my own bathroom! Too bad I didn't stay there longer than a few months. To continue with the story; once my office was moved, I parked in the back of the building. Apparently some geese laid eggs back there by the door to the building. Several mornings, I would park my car, get out, walk towards the building, and get attacked by geese. When I say attacked, I mean wings flapping, hissing, and charging towards me. This happened about 3-4 times before I realized that if the geese were cruising around back there, I would have to park at the front of the building and walk about 10 minutes through the school to get to my office. Every morning I would drive to the back, see geese, and drive to the front. After about a month or so, I guess the baby geese were born and they relocated themselves. But, I may be scarred for life! I shiver every time I see geese or get near them!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the saga continues...

I have had a lot of things going on lately. Lots of ups and downs. I am still conflicted with some decisions I have made.

Despite everything else, I have finally gotten my riding/fitness back on track from a recent slump. I ventured to the mountains a few weeks ago with a friend. I had an amazing time riding my bike in the mountains. The climbing was right up my alley. Hammering uphill is easy for me and I enjoy it! We rode on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the majority of the day. Passer-bys were always friendly to us cyclists and the view was incredible (despite the rain!) We turned off of the BRP to climb Mt. Mitchell. I made it up 2 miles of straight climbing! At that point, it was the hardest thing I have ever done on my bicycle.

Here is a picture of me at the Visitor's Center
After that trip, I decided I was addicted to riding in the mountains. Another friend of mine contacted me about participating in a cookie ride called "Bridge to Bridge." It is a 105 mile ride that starts in Lenoir, NC and ends at the top of Grandfather mountain. After many discussions with friends, and sponsorship from my boss, I decided to sign up. We left at 7:30am, ride started at 10am. The first 55 miles were pretty straight forward; many rollers and flat areas. Once you hit 55 miles, you begin 12 miles of straight climbing, then hit the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then climb Grandfather mountain. It rained the entire day. Physically, the ride was a 7/8 out of 1o for me, but mostly mental. I was freezing and have never been more miserable in my life. I finished in 7 hours and 52 minutes. I was on the verge of tears climbing up Grandfather mountain. THAT was the hardest thing I have done to date. I had lots of support from friends and acquaintances too that I really appreciate. I was 207 out of 277 finishers, and one of 13 females that finished the ride. I also engaged in a lot of self talk to encourage myself to finish. I am not a quitter.

Here is a very serious picture of me on the ride

Prior to participating in the epic ride of Sunday, I raced in a criterium. I joined the Cat 4 women's race. There were 5 of us. This was my second crit. I learned a lot, and also worked a lot! I came in 4th place, but very close to 3rd. My excitement about racing was at an all time high after the race. I decided that if I work hard through the winter and train for crits, I will have much success next year!

Stay tuned for more happenings...big things are in the works!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Compression Confession

I have to admit...I am obsessed. I bought some compression socks from the medical supply store on Thursday. I wore them all day at work, in the car to and from Asheville on Friday, and then all day again at work today. My legs feel amazing, even after my 6 hour mountain ride on Friday! My ankle has also felt amazing since I started wearing them. It has been in bad shape for the last 2 months (due to me not doing my exercises), but for the last 48 hours I have not experienced any pain.

I definitely recommend giving them a try.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This is where I spent my day...



In Greenville on Paris Mountain. Drank beers, ate Colombian food, and cheered on the riders. As much fun as I had, I felt guilty for not riding my bike today...or riding much in general. I need to get back on the program and stop feeling so tired.

Remember this..."I used to be a triathlete, until I saw the aero of my ways!" Congratulations to my friends that finished Ironman Louisville today!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Expectations

I have been thinking about this concept recently.

In a relationship, friendship, or job, you are expected to do A and B. If you don't do A and B, you are dropped or fired. If you do A and B and sometimes C and D (just to be nice or help out), from that point on, are the expectations for you raised? Are people let down when you do not accomplish A, B, C, and D? Even though you are only supposed to do A and B? Is doing more work better, or should you just do what is expected of you?!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quote O' the Day

Sometimes I try and entertain myself when I am working or talking to customers...

Me: How tall is your son?
Mom: 6 feet...well 6'1" with sneakers on.
Me: How tall is he with high heels on?

The mom could not stop laughing. Even when I tried to get serious again.

kt

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tuesday was my birthday...I'm knocking on 30's door! It was a very uneventful day, but that was what I needed. Still trying to clear up residual stuff from booty. Here are some pics from my birthday... Thanks to my coworkers and Edible Art for this cute cake. It was very good too! Except when a cyclist decided to dig in it with his hands! I kept thinking assos all over my cake!

Here is a picture of some flowers I received at the shop from a mysterious cyclist..oooo the suspense!
And this picture isn't from my birthday, but it is a cool bracelet that was given to me by Sergio from Spoken' For. He makes bracelets out of spokes. Thanks to everyone who made my day great...including my family who took me out to dinner! I hope year 29 in the life of Katie O is great! Gotta be better than year 28, right?!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Week of Booty...

...wait I mean 24 hours of booty! And no it's not what you think it is. It's a 24 hour charity cycling event. We are the shop sponsor of the event. I spent all week preparing for our part in the event and working the event. Boy am I tired! I spent the large majority of today in the bed. Not good for morale!

Tuesday: Awoke at 6am to ride my bike on the news for the event. Wednesday: Well deserved day off and calm before the storm. Thursday: Packet pickup at the shop. I arrived at 7am and worked until 8 or 9pm. Long day with lots of people/commotion. Friday: Worked all day at the shop and then headed to the event to work our booth. Long, long night. I ended up crashing for a few hours in a VW bus wrapped up in a sleeping bag, sweating my ass off! Saturday: Woke up at 5:45am to find some of my coworkers passed out in the bus and some still awake. Ate breakfast and then rode with a couple of friends for support until I was kicked off the course for riding illegally. Went to work, ran around all day, no lunch, and then back to the booth to help with breakdown. Finally a night of rest!

The worst part of this week; not being able to ride my bike as much as I would have liked!

Funniest observation of the event: I was walking around with my boss and about a stone's throw from our setup was a million dollar RV where the founder of the event stayed. It was super cool looking with a rooftop patio area and a huge flat panel tv playing the Tour on the side. Here is a picture:
We were going to tour this monstrosity, but decided that the people in there were probably not awake yet. So...we turned around and headed back to our abode. I started laughing when I turned the corner only to find this...
We look super homeless and sketchy! But it was a lot of fun! Thanks to all of my coworkers that helped, friends of the shop, and my friends for stopping by and hanging out! Great cause for everyone who rode hard and pushed themselves!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Whoo Remembers Hootie?!

Remember that band from the 90s, Hootie and the Blowfish. Well the lead singer, always called "Hootie" but really his name is Darius Rucker, is now a country singer. Did you know that? Well anyways...I really like his country songs and much prefer him singing this genre.

Check him out here http://www.youtube.com/user/dariusrucker

I must warn you that if you don't like country music you probably won't like his songs, but I think they have a good message!

Friday, July 17, 2009

If You Can't Stand the Heat, get out of the Kitchen...

...err house! Going on day 3 or 4 of no air conditioning in the midst of July. Now I have two (2) oscillating fans in my room. One on each side of my bed. I am actually quite content. I haven't turned the AC on in my car all summer, so why do I need AC in my house? Oh yeah, hopefully there will be plenty of people walking through here and I need to make a good impression!

Another busy day at work...It was almost 5 o'clock before I realized it and had to sprint to the bank to deposit a couple of checks. Stayed late once again in hopes of selling another bike. Up early to ride with the women's!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It May Be a Simple Life, But it's Alright by Me

My air conditioner has been out maybe one or two days, or more! I don't care. I don't spend a lot of time here anyways. I actually kind of prefer this. The house is hot and quiet! I will get it fixed eventually, but not tonight.

I put my mountain bike shoes on for the first time today since people were threatening to cut them off. It was actually very eerie. I did it AND rode my mountain bike. Mainly paved areas, but some grass/dirt.

Good day today. Lots of help at work. Good times at dinner and off to bed. Early morning yoga tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Party is Over...

I have been housesitting for the last 10 days. I have really enjoyed it. I have spent probably 5 hours total at my house recently. I just breeze in, breeze out. It crazy how messy things get when I'm not there to clean constantly.

Staying away from my house has been the theme of my life for the past few months. It will be the theme for the upcoming few months. My belongings will be scattered and I will change residences several times. Hopefully for the better!

There is something to be said about not feeling comfortable at your own residence. It's sad when you feel more at home at a friend's house.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Haven't written in awhile...

Soooo...I haven't posted anything in awhile. I had a friend ask me the other day, "Katie what do you do all day?" Outside of work (which is extremely busy currently), I have a lot of tasks and activities that I am involved in. House sitting 2 houses, running errands, attempting to sell my house, riding my bike, eating my ass off, starting a second job, etc. Listing all of this off is making me tired!

Weird day today...good things and scary things and douchebag things. Good stuff...I had a pretty big sale today, I received several compliments, and downloaded these free broadway songs on itunes that I received last week. Good songs! Scary things...a creepy guy I know that also knows a friend of mine did some really weird stuff today. Douchebag things...a guy I know did something that is good for my life but in a douchebag way! I am stealing this quote from a friend who stole it from another friend, but "douchebag is the new black!"

AND a coworker of mine is having his daughter tomorrow!

Busy day off tomorrow! Time to get some sleep!

kt

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ride Your Bike!

I commonly hear this phrase from good friends of mine. Although it normally has some sort of explicative in there! That's what I did this week. After I got my ass kicked in the race last weekend, I decided that I just need to ride my bike! I rode everyday except Thursday. I rode with lots of different people and had many different experiences. I rode with regular cyclists (in your typical spandex and such) and with "hipsters." Every ride I had was great! I rode 60 miles today and hung on the entire ride. I am very proud of my performance this week. The rest of my day today was rough though. Very sore and had a headache. I will continue this trend next week. Hopefully I will have some sort of a schedule to follow to get me to a point where I am very strong and competitive.

Lots of changes are happening! Stay tuned!

night. kt

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Team BMC Presented by Ridgeline

My plan for the day was to wake up and travel with a friend to watch him race in a criterium. I took my bike and gear to get in a ride while I was up there. My friend and I loaded up our BMC's onto the Kuat rack on the Ridgeline and headed north. Something that I have learned about myself; it's pretty easy to talk me into doing something that I am curious about. I was talked into registering for the women's race. After much needed advice from more experienced riders, I was off. It was a 30 minute criterium. I led the second lap...that was my demise. I fell off the back after that and it was downhill. I talked myself out of quitting several times. I just wanted to finish my first race and I did. My friend was disappointed in his performance too. Team BMC presented by Ridgeline didn't have a good showing today. I learned lots, gained experience, and now my interest has been peaked!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Empty Hangers?

What do you do when you go to hang up clean clothes and you have no empty hangers? I think people commonly would problem solve by purchasing new hangers. Not this girl! I did a small sweep of my closet and came up with a handful of hangers. I am a big fan of donating to goodwill. Less than 6 months ago, I donated over 10 garbage bags of things from my house. It's that time again! I have motivation and a need to downsize my belongings in the upcoming weeks. More to come on that later!

Overall, I have had a better week this week than last week. I'm hoping the trend continues. This is who I spent my evening with...

Super cute 2 year old. We spent a large part of our time together swinging on the front porch swing and enjoying the perfect weather. Oh yeah, I LOVE front porch swings. Never had one, but my next house WILL have a front porch with room for a swing! Everytime the swing hit the house, I taught her to say "whoopsie daisy." Very cute. I am passing time with her again tomorrow night.

I have a job interview tomorrow morning...not changing jobs again, don't worry. It's for some possible part time temporary therapeutic work. I am definitely not ready to dive into therapy again, but a little won't hurt!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Canceled

I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday but I did all three of these things before 9am:

1) Canceled my cable
2) Canceled my YMCA membership
3) Downgraded my cell phone plan

All of these things will save me over 2 hundo a month! Very exciting! What else will I cancel...stay tuned!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

18 Years of School?

How did I do it?! As I am sitting here trying to study (yes that's right, study!), I am thinking about all the years of school I participated in. High School, College, and Graduate school. I know how I did it. I attended class (most of the time), listened (sort of), took notes (or passed notes), and took tests (I was usually one of the first to turn mine in). Studying has never been my strong suit. I can't do it. I have trouble concentrating big time.

I am 4 hours short of continuing education hours to renew my license for another 2 years. So here I sit, in the 24 hour bakery (Amelie's) reading about ethics and school violence. I had to do 4 hours of ethics. So I picked the cheapest internet class. I did fine the first 3 chapters, but each one after that I became too distracted. There are too many websites to visit and too many people to people watch. I will get through this at some point...

kt

Friday, June 12, 2009

3 Best Parts

Of my day today;

1. Finding out my dog was okay
2. Having my physical therapist tell me that the pleasure of working with me was all his
3. Canceling my cable service

The worst parts of my day; every other moment. It's been a rough week, but I am looking forward to a better one starting tomorrow!

kt

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Day (Act Two)

After the bakery, I went to Earf-fare and bought a few things. My drink spilled all over my pants in the car, but it was okay! Then I stopped by work. Be prepared for the best part of my day...my boss showed me a typed up letter that a customer wrote about me. No, it wasn't a bad one, it was actually very very complimentary. The customer mentioned how great my customer service and knowledge was. I guess that makes up for my complaint from a few weeks ago!

Few hours later, I arrived at my house to find my power was out! It came on about 20 minutes later, and once again another great thing happened, my internet worked! I am not banking on my power being on long since it is about to storm very badly. I think I am going to make sure my cell phone and computer are fully charged before it goes out again!

My Day

This is what my afternoon consisted of...

Bike riding, grocery store shopping, meetings, dessert, coffee, people watching, working (on my day off!), and reconnecting with previous coworkers. I have several good things in the works for the future. I hope it all works out in my favor. And despite all the possible hits on my credit in the past 8 months, I have a perfect credit score!

And more amazingly, I just found out this bakery is open 24 hours a day!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tired

That sums it up. I am tired at work and especially after. To the point where I don't think I am much fun to be around afterwards because my brain isn't functioning properly.

Good news of the day; I rode my bike twice and finally realized that I feel very strong right now. It is good to have my confidence back. I lost lots of power and muscle and I finally feel very confident.

No more words of wisdom tonight...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Razooooooooooos!

Wednesday night. Went to dinner with a bunch of friends. The "father" of the group picked the restaurant. Let me preface this by saying that we were in the Concord Mills vicinity at the time. Sooooo, not a lot of great restaurants to choose from. We ended up at this cajun place called, Razoos or something like that. Seven of us sat at a huge round table. I almost want to say it felt like there was an empty chair on either side of each of us. Anyways, after we perused the menu, "father" stated that we could go to the mexican restaurant next door but that the food would be really cheesy. One of my friends stated that he wouldn't mind going to a place where he could tell them to go light on the cheese instead of a place that has a lot of unhealthy, unecessary ingredients in their dishes. We ended up staying at the cajun place. I read every item description on the menu at least twice TRYING to find a somewhat healthy item. No such luck. I ordered baked catfish with rice and fried okra. I have a soft spot for fried okra. I figured baked was better than every other dish that was fried, blackened, or both. Several of my friends ordered the hamburger or "hamboiger" as it was printed on the menu. After we each received our platters, I noticed that no matter what you ordered, there was a huge helping of seasonings sprinkled (or dumped) on everything! I pictured the food prep line in the kitchen with one dude at the end of the line whose sole responsibility was to turn up the big jug of seasonings on every platter. Salads, seasonings. Soup, seasonings. Rice, seasonings. Even the hamboigler had seasongs. I bet the desserts even had seasonings! I picked at my food and ate some of what was on my plate just because it was sitting there. I felt sick the entire ride home and scrubbed my teeth immediately upon arrival of my bathroom. My stomach turned the next day when the place was mentioned. One of my friends noted that we should have just looked at the place before we walked in and realized we didn't belong. Applebee's (which I hate) would have probably been better.

Food is a very interesting topic. I have been exposed to very unhealthy eating habits lately. Entire chocolate creme pies, entire boxes of fried chicken, and entire watermelons in one sitting! Wow.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Robot

Quote o' the Day: "I'm gonna go to a shop where the employees make me feel like a human." Go right ahead jerk. You are right, I treat people like robots. If you are feeling less than human in any situation, you should probably check your batteries. Or better yet, I could sell you new batteries, but you will have to re-program your own computer!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Go-Getter

I spent a good portion of the afternoon at a coffeehouse with a friend. It was a chain unfortunately, but there is a bright spot. The man behind the counter. I'm not sure if he was the manager or what, but it doesn't matter. He worked there just like anyone else. When we walked to the counter, he immediately asked us what he could get started for us. We gave him our orders and then he asked my friend if he could refill her water bottle off her bike. She accepted. He fixed my drink and we paid. As we were sitting at the table conversing, I noticed the guy walking to our table with my friend's drink. I noted, "he sure is a go-getter!" He later came up to us and told us that he knew we had expensive bikes parked outside the shop, but next time we were more than welcome to bring them inside the shop. You rarely hear this statement as a cyclist. It was so comforting to see a real go-getter at this chain place. I hope he wasn't new and just had a really great attitude starting off. No matter what job you do, you should do it to the fullest, or not work there. I have been at a job where I didn't give it my all, and I subsequently quit. And I have worked with people who don't give it their all and it is miserable. Go do something you love.

On my ride from the coffeehouse I admired the smell of new construction near the shop. I'm not a big fan of new monstrous construction, but the smell is nice.

Speaking of monsters, I like the nickname a friend and I have given this 2 headed monster we know...enough for now!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Stories

Best feeling of the week; no customers asked me why I was limping! This makes me so excited coupled with "no PT for me!" I am now moving to every other week for physical therapy and I feel great about it! It has been a little more than 7 months since I broke my ankle. Crazy huh?

Funny story from yesterday - A customer called the store while I was the only one on the floor. He yelled at me for about 10 minutes. It was the type of conversation where he was so heated that I couldn't get in a word. He was complaining about how his son was in the store a week ago with his wife. Apparently he tripped on something and ripped his shoes. His wife told him that the employees at my store told her that she needs to watch her son and not let him run around the store. The man on the phone was so mad that he wanted to speak to the owner and he wanted compensation for his son's shoes. My boss happened to walk in during the middle of this convo, so I gladly handed him the phone. Mr. Angry Man continued to yell at my boss for another 10 minutes. My boss kept apologizing, asking the man what he could do to make it up to him, and asking for a meeting. The man kept saying he wanted compensation for his son's shoes. My boss said, "how much were the shoes?" $14.99. My boss said he would gladly give the man 15 bucks. Mr. Hot Head then said he would call back at exactly 3 o'clock. My boss asked all of us about the situation, but no one knew anything about it. The man called back about an hour later apologizing to my boss. Supposedly, the man ran into his neighbor who was with his wife when all of this happened. The truth comes out...the little boy tripped on his way up to the store and his wife subsequently lied to her husband about the whole situation. My boss accepted his apology and then fell to the floor laughing after he hung up. Damn. This makes me wonder about what kind of person wifey is and what kind of relationship they have. That brings up some trust issues I suppose.

Speaking of trust...I was let in on a situation the other day. It involves 2 friends/acquaintenaces. They both have different stories. One of them is lying. Great.

Funny story from today - I was invited to a friend's "naughty/nice" wedding shower. I was to bring a nice gift and a naughty gift. Nice gift, check. The naughty gift was bought after work today due to the fact that the adult store didn't open until my work opened. I flew into the parking lot (because I was already late to the party), and briskly walked into the shop. Both employees stated that they could tell I needed a gift in a hurry. I said "yes, I need a $5-$10 gift for a party and quick!" They handed me a toy that required a battery and sent me on my way. I exclaimed, "that was the easiest sale of the day!" Being in retail you have to love easy sales!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pet Lovers

I grew up with cats. I remember crying for a whole day when we put our first cat down after 18 years. My family has had 4 cats total. In college, I decided to get a dog. Who knows why, but I did it. I love my dog to death, (except when he barks constantly)! I like animals for the most part to preface my next statement.

So, a wise friend of mine once said, "What is even more mystifying is when people have animals, and they don’t have a real residence of their own." I completely agree with this statement. If you are transient so to speak, why would you subject an animal to that unstable life? Furthermore, if you can barely support yourself, then why on earth would you take on another living being to support? It's not fair to others, yourself, or the animal! Lastly, if you don't really like your animal, let your animal in your room, or care to spend time with your animal, then why do you have it?! There are loving people in the world that would love to take care of an uncared for pet.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Snap, Crackle, & Pop!

No, I'm not going to write about a bowl of Rice Krispies...although I used to love eating those as a kid with fresh peaches bought from a side of the road vendor on the way back from the deep south. Speaking of side of the road vendors, I always loved buying boiled peanuts this way too. Usually you will see a broken piece of ply-wood with the words "Boiled P-Nuts" spray painted with an arrow pointing the way.

On to more important things. When I first started PT, my therapist notified me that my ankle would pop from time to time. He said it would be very loud and may scare me, but it was a good thing. It meant that things were starting to work again. It did scare me in the beginning, but now it's kind of funny. It pops every morning when I wake up and start moving. It pops from time to time at work. It ALWAYS pops in PT, especially when I am lying on the table.

Let's just hope it doesn't snap again...



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Advocacy

I heard a story tonight of a person in my life who is unhappy in their job. This person has lots of ideas floating in their head about what to do in a new job. This makes me happy. I am always a big advocate of people leaving a job that makes them unhappy for one that makes them happy! I have seen people around me try to do what I do and fail. It's pretty hard to screw this one up, but I guess it's possible.

Almost one year ago, I left a professional job that required a master's degree AND a professional license for a job a little less professional...I wear shorts, tank tops, and tennis shoes to work! Anyways, it was pretty tough to see/hear people's reactions to my change. I got a lot of funny looks and comments. I knew it needed to be done before my life flashed before my eyes. I will have to say that I have made some mistakes this past year, but overall I am much happier. I am excited to wake up and go to my job in the morning. I feel appreciated and feel I have a purpose. I feel like I have conquered a challenge and still working on improving myself. There is ALWAYS room for improvement.

I will help anyone I know do what I did. It is now my passion. No more sitting in a cube, in a high rise, with a bucket over your head!

Super stoked about receiving a limited edition 1 of 2 tiny tank top from a friend today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flat Tire, Flat Affect

Day started very nice with a trip to yoga. The instructor told a story that really hit home. She mentioned how she had a job way back when that was fun, but that she didn't at the time think it was very meaningful. She tried out several jobs in between and ended up going back to the profession she mentioned earlier. She said something to the effect of "even if someone doesn't think your job is meaningful, it is."

This prompted me to visit some of my old coworkers in K-town. I was sad to hear one of them had called in sick. I think she was sick of "speed week." She used to always complain about the speedway because she lives very close to it. The vibe was very different at my old job. There wasn't a sense of camaraderie that used to flow through the hallways. Back when I worked there, it felt like a team effort and we all got along just fine. I encountered the "new Ms. Overcash." She thanked me (very sarcastically) for the bright yellow walls in her office. She then continued to complain about her job, salary, etc. This conversation ended with her throwing her tupperware furiously in the trash. I visited with a few more of the people I liked and then went about my way. My friend alerted me after I left that the "new Ms. Overcash" was upset about end of year testing and about me being there. I had never met her before in my life. My friend has already diagnosed her with a personality disorder. That explains it. I was also shocked to hear that an article was written in the paper today about the school closing down next year. The staff was disappointed to read it in the paper.

I ran some more errands, followed by a nap. Someone had a conversation with me about safety. This is where my flat affect appeared. It didn't seem to effect me whatsoever. I then decided to ride my bike. I popped a flat with less than 10 miles left in my ride. It wasn't in the greatest area of town, but that didn't effect me either. It took me about 20 minutes to change it, but in the meantime a lady named "Nan" approached me. She stated that she saw me as she was driving by and didn't think I would be safe sitting there changing my flat. It was very nice of her to sit with me. She even offered to drive me home or follow me home on my bike in case I got another flat. I thanked her several times and went about my way. Less than 2 minutes after a very kind gesture, a not so nice gesture happened. The bike lane ran out on this particular road and I was riding in the lane as I am supposed to. A lady in a minivan leaned her head out of the passenger window yelling something at me like, "get in the bike lane!" Everytime this happens to me I want to yell back so badly. I don't though.

I have been pretty "flat" about some other things in my life. I've let things happen that shouldn't happen. I'm over it. Done.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pondering

Should I stay or should I go? Isn't that a song? Yep. I need a change. Something different. I've been doing some research and want to make a decision. Impulsivity and independence. What to do, what to do? I think I will sleep on it and make my decision tomorrow...

Friday, May 15, 2009

A-Game

I slept fine, bedtime tea, window open. Woke up resisting physical therapy. I went anyways. I feel like my physical therapist knows me pretty well by now. He even knows things about my personal life. He continued to ask me today, "are you alright?" "What is going on with you today?" After 6 months of going to him and never complaining one time or "cheating" I did those things today. I don't know what it was. I did not want to be there. He let me leave early and asked if I was upset. I told him I was mad at myself for not performing up to par. I stated that I was not on my "a game." He responded with, "yeah, you are on your z game!"

I almost called in sick to work. I never call in sick to ANY job. I will go to work even if I am on my death bed. I hate letting people down. I went anyways. Bad day at work. I called it a "booger bear" day. My boss called it a "bullshit day." I wanted to leave several times and my coworker threatened to quit more than once. I had several customers comment on my flat affect/mood today. On the flip side, I had several customers thank me for my exceptional service/good humor I gave them today.

Weird, weird day. No explanation. Tomorrow is Saturday. I hope things flow more smoothly...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Better Day, Better Off

"Do you know what I needed today? I needed a stress-free fun day. And that's what I got. Thank you."

I went into work for a bit to settle some business, put my old bike back together (with a little help from my friends), and avoided getting sucked into work! Cleaning and reassembling my bike was a great feeling. Bikes are pretty complicated if you don't know what you are doing, but I had my hand held the entire time.

I had a great day filled with good food, good conversation, and a good ride! Just what I needed after a couple of stressful days earlier this week.

A few observations of mine from the day.

A) I ended up in this trendy-ish skate shop downtown. We needed to use the phone to alert a friend his business was left unlocked. I thought the store was pretty unique with it's wide array of skate shoes, jeans, and tiny t-shirts. The guy working at the front counter had on a vest-type holster with two huge guns in it! My friend asked if he worked security and his response was, "No, you can never be too safe." I guess you can never be too safe in downtown Charlotte, in the middle of the day, in a trendy skate shop, in a super nice condo high-rise. He also had this too fast too furious orange motorcycle outside of the shop. I kept picturing him in some sort of high speed chase with his guns blazing. Interesting character.

B) I ran into a girl that I have met once before. She updated us on her job status. Apparently she went from designing houses to manual labor. She is the owner of the company. I started to think how it really shows something about a company when you see the head honcho scrubbing baseboards with his employees, changing tubes on wall-mart bikes, or building a foundation on a house. I like it. It's also motivating for the employees to see their boss getting his or her fingernails dirty. I have always told people "underneath" me that I will never give you a job to do that I haven't done myself.

C) I like unique, interesting people. People that have their own story or do their own thing without worrying what others think.

D) I was notified about a change in a friend's life. It's for the better. This friend doesn't know the whole story about the change, but I do.

Off to work in a bit. I'm hoping for another great day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not One of my Favorite Days

Today wasn't the greatest day for me for many reasons. Still very frustrated.

Three things have made my day brighter; riding my bike after work (even if it was just around the loop), eating lentils+tomatoes+okra, and now being able to post my friend's website. The gift has been gifted, so I can direct you to this site
http://sofiakollstedt.typepad.com and this one too http://www.sofiak.etsy.com. You will see on her blog the artwork she created for me. I like her style, very unique. I have a thing for artwork created by people I know. It's so meaningful.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better, I do have the day off, so there you have it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Laser Fest

The juniors and I played laser tag tonight. It's probably been at least 10 or so years since I played. We ended up playing 3 rounds, with the last one being the "ironman" where you play double the time. First round, got my feet wet. Second round, dominated. Third round, filled with a bunch of weird people that play laser tag on a Saturday night. "Old man" scared me. Quote of the night, "Get away from us you creep!" The best part was trying to create code names that the staff would let us get away with. Apparently they have pretty strict rules on what they will allow. We were "necktie," "puto," "white chocolate," and "Hey Loser!"

I just realized that I had no down time today. Busy busy day at work. Made lots of money and had a good time. Time to relax...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not Me

I went to an event at a bar tonight to support a friend who is running a marathon for charity. I saw an ex of mine. Everytime I see him, I realize more and more how mismatched we were, and how I am better off now. Anyways, we met up with another friend of ours, and ended up at an event that I used to go to every Thursday in the summer. It has changed locations and it's formula. I realized it's not me anymore. Too many people, too much noise, too much alcohol. I felt super overwhelmed. I liked how it used to be where you could see everyone in attendance. My friend took some balloons from her event to try and get more money at the big event. She raised over 10 dollars in 5 minutes by giving people balloons. One guy ATE his balloon like a rabid animal. It was really scary, but he paid his money for his balloon!

I ran into a guy from my previous life. It was nice to ketchup. He asked about a former friend of mine. I explained why we were not friends anymore and gave him some advice; Focus on the people in your life that care about you and will be there for you. Forget the others.

One last thing; my physical therapist asked me to whistle today while I was "skipping" and I heard a song on the radio on my way home tonight that has lots of whistling. I can't whistle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two Day

I had the day off of work today, so naturally it started off great! I met my artist friend for breakfast. We had a nice conversation and then she gave me the artwork she created for me. I want to post what she gave me, but one is a gift that hasn't been gifted yet, so....wait on the edge of your seat for the pictures!

I then ventured down to gas-town to get sized for my bridesmaid dress. This has been a cluster from the beginning. All of the other dress orders were put on hold because I haven't had a chance to make it down there. The lady at the store showed me the dress then furiously searched for another dress in a smaller size for me to put on for fitting purposes. I told her that I would probably be a size 0 or 2. She didn't believe me. I was put in a size 8 dress! It fell completely off when it was zipped up. My measurements were taken and she notified me that a size 4 dress would be ordered for me. Then she happened to remember that she had a size 4 wedding dress in the shop that I could try on. That was too big also. She should have listened to me in the first place but oh well. While I was putting on the wedding dress, which was quite funny, I noticed this sign that made me laugh.



Size 2 was ordered. I knew it would be. I also told her that gaining weight between now and August wouldn't be an issue. If I haven't gained any weight in 6 years, I won't in 3 months.


I then headed to the mall to troubleshoot my mac at the apple store. A new charger was given to me. Next I got a manicure and pedicure. I believe this contradicts an earlier post about not being so girly, but I do like them. I choose a chocolate brown color. I'm really into brown right now.


When I arrived at work, I noticed my new bike was completely finished! This was a very nice surprise! I will post pictures when everything is dialed in.


Today was a great day except for one thing; I was lied to again. This is 2 times in 2 days, 2 different people. Word to the wise people that know me; I'm pretty intuitive and very observant. There isn't a whole lot of things that get past me and I can read people pretty well. In my previous life I was paid to listen to stories, analyze them, and read people. It comes natural.


Off to bed now, busy day tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Frustration Ensues

My frustration began Thursday, wait, no maybe before then. Who knows. Frustrated with a lot of things. I'm trying to get things done and help others. I've had some negative things said to me also which hasn't helped.

Here are some words that have been floating around in my head; laziness, ignorance, stubbornness, self-sabotage. I can't stand it when people are lazy. That also kind of ties in with self-sabotage. Is it easier to complain about the negatives in your life than actually do something about them?

{I wrote this last night but didn't get a chance to post it because my computer died and my charger broke. So I went to bed without dinner. To be continued later...}

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This time last year

Oftentimes, I think about where I was this time last year, what I was doing, who I was hanging out with, how I felt, etc. I did that tonight. My dad is having one of his annual parties tomorrow and that triggered my walk down last year's lane...here it goes!

-I was getting paid pretty good money to be unhappy in my job. Shortly thereafter I left my career for a change of scenery. I have to say, I am happier in that aspect. I feel like I have a purpose in what I am doing. This decision was hard for me last year, but looking back, I made the right decision. Lots of people looked down on me for what I wanted to do.

-My body was in a lot better physical shape than it is now. I was training pretty hard. I am rehabbing and trying to build back my strength and confidence. This situation definitely hit me hard.

-I have learned about my inner and physical strength this past year. I have cried more and felt down more this past year than any other year in my life. I am pretty strong physically. That makes me prouder than the prior.

-I am eating better now. Not that I have ever eaten unhealthy, but now I am more aware of what I am putting in my body.

-I was a bit more social last year. Things change. I have gotten a year older and realized that is not what I want to be doing right now.

-I was living with different people then. It's for the better.

-I was hanging out with different people. Friends have left my life; some on my accord, some on theirs. It makes me sad to think of friendships lost but once again, it's for the better.

-I have developed more intimate relationships with people this year. When you aren't brought down by others, you can thrive. I realize that now.

I am a huge believer in that everything happens for a reason. Good or bad. Last year more bad things occurred than good. Lots of people think I have changed...I think it's for the better...what do you think?

This is a picture of me this time last year...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Girly Girl

While I was watching the musical "Legally Blonde" over the weekend, I realized that I really enjoy not being so girly. Don't get me wrong, it's a cute musical/movie, but the characters are extremely girly. Lots of pink. I'm not a huge fan of pink either.

It starts back to when I was born; I truly believe my mother was so excited that she had a girl and that this girl would be exactly like her! Not so much. My mom is very prissy and she knows it. She always bought me dolls and paper dolls, put me in dresses, tried to style my hair (athough with the cowlick at the front of my head and extremely straight hair, it makes it nearly impossible), and put me in LOTS of dance classes. I was always the dancer that was looking at my fellow dancers during the recital to see the next move I was supposed to do. I also had the perfect body for dancing; skinny with long legs. Too bad I couldn't capitalize on that.

My parents signed me up for a softball team when I was nine. That was the beginning of it all. I was always happier playing sports. I was more successful in sports than anything else in my life, especially academics! I came down with mononucleosis when I was in 6th grade. I cried for over 2 hourse and wasted a whole box of tissues because I couldn't participate in P.E. and had to drop off of my softball team. I continued playing team sports through middle school and high school. Ran through college, and picked up various physical activities since then.

I get along really well with guys and several guys I have dated tell me that I act like the guy in the relationship. Not sure if that is good or bad, but it is what it is.

I observe girls around me and on tv, and listen to stories I hear about girls, and realize that I act almost the complete opposite. I'm glad for that.

There are some "girly" things I enjoy; shopping, laying out at the pool, fixing my hair (sometimes), and wearing makeup. Oh yeah, I was in a sorority too.

That's it, just an observation of myself.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Prince of Wales?

Work was very busy today. My boss left early and stated that I would receive a huge bonus if sales hit X amount. Not impossible, but difficult. After he left, sales were inching towards that amount.

A guy called several times throughout the day interested in a certain high dollar bicycle. He talked to me, talked to my boss, etc. Finally at closing time, he called back and stated that if he paid over the phone for high dollar bike, could his friend pick it up? I told him that if his friend could be at the store in 10-15 minutes, I would have the bike ready for him. I explained that I needed him to hurry because I had an engagement to get to. Phone guy paid for the bike and I asked one of our mechanics to stay late to check the bike over to make sure it was ready to go. As I am collecting information from phone guy, he explained that his friend lived in town and was going to bring high dollar bike to him on his airplane next week. He gave me his phone number and address. When I typed in his zip code, it didn't bring up his city as it normally does. I asked him what city he lived in. He said "Prince of Wales." I asked him where that was. He explained that it was right off the coast. I still didn't know what he was talking about, but I continued on with the sale. I hung up the phone and pulled up the daily report. So close to X amount that I could probably talk my boss into the bonus. The phone rang 10 minutes later. Phone guy reported that his friend showed up, knocked on the door, and no one answered. I told him that we were here waiting and to make sure his friend went to the correct store. Phone guy hung up and immediately called back. Turns out that he went to the bicycle website, typed in his friend's zip code, and it brought up "Zoom Bike Store," not my store. But the key part to the story is that the phone number for "Zoom Bike Store" was OUR phone number! The guy never caught any of the signs; the area code or the fact that we say the name of our store when we answer the phone. Guess where "Zoom Bike Store" is? Petersburg, Alaska! I returned the guy's money, left the store super bummed, and arrived at my engagement late. At least I had a funny excuse!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Opposite Earth Day?

Today is Earth Day. I set up a booth at an Earth Day event. It was outdoors so I was pretty excited. Except the fact that I was in a wind tunnel! Froze for 3 hours! Anyways, the group that put this festival on realized the people working the event were freezing, so they got the management company to drag propane heaters out. Probably 10. That's weird on Earth Day. Weird occurrence #2: Heading home after the event I saw a delivery truck with this bumper sticker; "Forget the environment, it will go away soon."

I will keep my eyes open for more irony...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Facebook Patheticism

Ok, so I just made up that "patheticism" word. In my world it means something along the lines of "the art of being pathetic." Anyways, I thought it fit nicely in this situation:

I received an inbox email on my facebook account from a guy named "Dan."

Dan: Katie? Damn, haven't heard from YOU in awhile!

My Reply: How do I know you?

Dan's Reply: Actually, you probably don't. You used to date a buddy of mine that lived up in Charlotte. I had been up there a couple times to visit and I knew a few people from his area so I was just browsing Charlotte people to see if I remembered anyone and that's when I saw your name. Actually, it didn't even fully register until I saw that you had went to Alabama, then I remembered who you were. Anyhow, I'm Dan and I live in Florida and we've never met but I remembered your name so just wanted to say hey!

His Reply #2 after I didn't reply: You do remember {insert name of ex-boyfriend here}, right?

My Short but Sweet Reply: Yes

His next step that I foresee; asking to be my friend. But I won't accept only because I am actually friends with my facebook friends. Am I being too critical? Maybe he is super bored, evidenced by him searching all the people in Charlotte!!!

Celebrate Earth Day tomorrow!

kt

Monday, April 20, 2009

To Live Without

I've been without something in my life for a few weeks now. It's like one of those puzzles you do in elementary school where you receive a bunch of clues and you try to guess what it is. I save time, I travel lighter, it makes my life and other's easier, it saves money and electricity, it simplifies life. Only one other person knows what I have been living without.

This has me thinking; what else can I live without? What can you live without? Is there something that you don't really need in your life? Will it save time, money, electricity? Will it improve your health, mental health, finances? Is there someone you can live without? Is this person bringing you down, making you unhappy, or encouraging you to do things you wouldn't normally do?

I've been reading this book by Gregory Johnson, Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned from Living in 140 Square Feet, where the author explains how he downsized his entire life. His house is 140 square feet, he has no electricity or running water, no car, no kitchen, no bathroom, etc. He is living without a lot! A little extreme, but it definitely makes me think what I could live without.

I know one thing I cannot live without currently. I haven't been to physical therapy in over a week, and I have had a lot of problems with my ankle over the past few days. Pain and stiffness. I walked on my tip toes the majority of today. I'm not ready for every other week appointments. I know that now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Family, Friends, Football, & Fun!

My grandmother that I wrote about in a previous blog, "Miss Lorene," notified my family that she was selling the house, moving to Tupelo, and putting herself in a retirement community. All within the next month. I quickly corralled the family, and we headed to Mississippi to visit her one last time at the house I grew up going to.

Mom, dad, and I
left on Thursday. My brother and his fiancee were to leave after work that day. We were headed to Birmingham to stay with my cousins. On the way down there, my father was craving a milkshake. He really wanted to go to the golden arches, but we couldn't find one, go figure. So we stopped at an exit to get gas. My mom noticed a place called "Pop's Chargrille" next door. She proclaimed, "they have the best milkshakes in the world according to Southern Living! You should get one there." So we drove over there. As we pulled up, the place didn't exactly look like a milkshake joint. We drove around the building looking for the drive-thru. Couldn't find it, but saw things in the window of the building such as fireworks and diapers. You would have thought we would have kept driving. My dad parked the car, and with much skepticism from my parents, I convinced them to just go inside and check it out. My mom opened my door on the way in and asked, "do you want chocolate or vanilla?" I waved her on and told her to get whatever. I knew at this point it wasn't what we thought it was. Once they walked in, they quickly turned around and headed back to the car laughing the entire way!

We arrived in Birmingham, met my cousins for dinner, and went to this hole-in-the wall bar my cousin had found. It was called "The Hangar" but I saw no signs...



We left the next morning and headed to Starkville. We had a good time visiting with my grandmother. We gave my brother's fiancee the grand tour of the house. It was nice to see all of the "junk" my grandfather collected over the years gone! We checked out the "bomb shelter" one last time. My grandfather wanted one in his house in case there ever was a nuclear war or something like that. We ate at our favorite restaurants; Oby's and Little Duey's. I ate a 3 pound bucket of crawfish that everyone complained about until they ate some! Crawfish reminds me of the Florabama, Spring Break. But more about that in another post...



Miss Lorene always checks all of the family's blood pressure, pulse, and blood sugar. It's kind of tradition. Everybody was on track. We got up the next morning to head to Tuscaloosa but not before we took some pics...



We pulled into town and headed straight to "The Houndstooth." It's our favorite sports bar that we always go to when we are in town. I pretty much lived there for several years in college. The tooth used to be a shit hole bar, but a year ago they tore it down and made it super nice. I will write about that place in another post also! I met up with several friends there and had lots of fun!


This is one of my good friends, Mary Ruth. It was a nice unexpected visit with her! We went to the game where of course Alabama won! It was rumored that 84,000 people showed up. Crazy. We drove to Birmingham after the game and took it easy.

On the way back today, I realized how hard it is to eat healthy while on the road. There are not a lot of wholesome places to eat advertised on the side of the road. I encouraged my family to eat sandwiches with me at lunch, except the restaurant only offered us "big gulp" cups to drink out of. I thought that was very unhealthy to encourage people to drink a huge cup of sugary soda! Oh well.

It was a nice trip overall. I give it an 8 out of 10. I will miss that my grandmother is no longer in Starkville though. I know she will enjoy her new place.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

3 Strikes and You're Out!

I made 3 mistakes at work today. My boss was frustrated. They weren't huge mistakes, just little ones. It happens. I told my boss, "well I guess that means 3 strikes and I'm out. See ya!" I am going in early tomorrow before I leave on vacation to make up for my mistakes...

The concept of honesty has been running through my head a good bit the last few days. I consider myself a very honest person. I can't remember the last time I lied to someone. I will tell you what's on my mind if you ask. I feel that being honest in any relationship is always the best policy, even if it hurts someone's feelings or ruins that relationship. I have been brutally honest and some relationships have suffered. I like it when people are honest and I can trust them. It's hard when you don't feel 100% about someone.

I will leave you with a quote that has also been in my head; "I'm not certain that we will continue to be friends in the future."

later,

katie

Friday, April 10, 2009

Regular Shoes

I watched a movie tonight and one part reminded me of a story in my past.

When I was younger, apparently my ankles turned in and I had to wear "special shoes." From what my mom has told me, I didn't like them because they didn't look as nice as "regular shoes."

I don't know any details of how long I wore them, what they looked like, how they felt, etc. The one detail of the story my mom has told me about is that when I was finally told that I didn't need to wear them anymore, she took me to buy "regular shoes." According to her, I was so excited about them, that I slept in my shoes that night!

I still get excited about new things to this day. Whenever I get something new, I like to use it or wear it straightaway. I can't wait. I haven't slept in my shoes since then, or have I?

Last Night

Two great things happened to me last night. First, I asked a friend to create something for me. She exceeded my expectations ten fold! She has been commissioned to create another for me. Pictures to follow.

Second, I asked a doctor friend of mine to "analyze" my blog. His affirmation was as follows, "that your writing is a cool way to capture the meaning of everyday meaningful experiences." I thought that was a cool way to sum up what I have written!

I am optimistic that today will be a great day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

There's No Grey


While eating dinner/catching up with a friend over the weekend, I ran into a family friend. She has known me since I was probably 2 or 3 years old. She lived across the street. We caught up for a minute and then she told my friend her favorite story about me. And so it goes...

I was two months shy of 4 years old when my brother was born. I stayed with this neighbor when my brother was born. She explained that she cooked me breakfast and that I sat by the window waiting on my ride to preschool without saying a word the entire time. She said that all of a sudden, I asked her if the baby was born yet. She replied that she did not think so. Then I inquired, "Is the baby going to be black or white?" She did not tell me how she replied because she was laughing so hard when she told the story.

I guess this shows how innocent young children are. They don't really understand the differences in people or maybe even care. Shortly thereafter, I met my new sibling and promptly told my parents that I did not want that baby because he didn't have any eyebrows. I believe this contradicts everything I just proclaimed...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

This is all I've got for ya...

I'm not feeling very inspired or creative tonight, so I will use the following as my post;

The other night, while looking at my feet, I exclaimed, "ugh, I have Walmart Feet!" My friend responded, "what's that?" I explained the definition as I learned from a friend in Alabama and mentioned that it was probably on urban dictionary. When I checked it out that night, it was not. Therefore, I published my first entry on that website. Mine is numero dos. Enjoy!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=walmart+feet

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Say What You Need To Say

But I can't. It takes a while before I let someone know how I feel about a situation. I usually keep things to myself and deal with them that way. Everybody has different ways of dealing with things. Oftentimes when I am upset with someone or something I just let it go. I don't feel like arguing with someone or acting shitty to them is great for any type of relationship. Some people may say that this way is letting someone run all over you. I have definitely let people run all over me in the past. I'm not a complete pushover, but a maybe a pushalittleover.



I have a lot of things in my head that I need to say but can't and probably won't. For now, my head and my blog get the best of my thoughts...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Victor-E


My friend Victor Ellis died one year ago today. He was 28. Died of a rare type of cancer, lots of suffering in the end. He had that type of personality where you were drawn to him. And I was. One year ago and so many things have happened since then...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mystery Email (The update)

Email guy came in the shop and guess what? I definitely up sold him. He left the store super stoked about the bike and had no idea he was up sold. Katie 1, Email Dude 0. Love it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mystery Email

My work email is posted on our website and I'm guessing that's where this email came from. Two days ago I received an email from a potential customer who originally wanted to purchase a road bike. Once I replied, he wrote back saying he would get bored on a road bike. Whatever. This is the latest email I received...

"If the weather holds up I would love to stop by this weekend. Now once I
get there you guys better not try to up sell me. I have experienced this
at other shops. I have already made up my mind; the differences between
a $350 bike and a $600 bike are the components and I can always upgrade
those in the future if I get hooked.

Hope to see you Saturday"

Am I being threatened? What happens if I try to upsell? I love ignorance! I will report back this weekend...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Boxed Mashed Potatoes

It all started when I was 12 or 13. My parents had season tickets to the Charlotte Hornets. They would go to games just about every week. My brother and I were left at home to take care of ourself. Being 8 and 12 respectively, we didn't have a whole lot of culinary skills. My brother would usually pop a Chef Boyardee cuppie in the microwave, and I usually ate a bowl of cereal or boxed mashed potatoes. It was good and easy, period. After a while, my mom taught us a couple of dishes that we could make with no problem. I would still eat boxed mashed potatoes from time to time.

During graduate school, I had several jobs, plus school stuff. I frequently didn't have a lot of spare time. Oftentimes I would change clothes in the car from job to job. With that being said, I didn't have a lot of time to cook good meals. When I worked at the tanning bed, I would not get home until 11pm. As a routine, I would get home and make a big bowl of boxed mashed potatoes as my dinner. It tasted good and it was quick.

I made a bowl of boxed mashed potatoes tonight. I don't know why I still eat them. I guess because they are a comfort food for me. Everytime I make them, I load up the bowl with salt and pepper. Sometimes I add cheese. Ever since I got Bailey, I let him lick the bowl when I'm done. I guess that means that I'm sharing my comfort food with him. I know they aren't the best food for me, but my justification is that they are better for me than grabbing a greasy hamburger at the golden arches when I need food quick.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brown Herbs

We have a customer at the store, a retired attorney, who began doing triathlons when he was in his mid-60s! Amazing! He is now in his mid-70s I believe, and completed his first Ironman competition in the fall. You can always spot him wheeling into the store; he has some teal car that looks like an old police car. He claims he has that car because he likes to put his bike IN the car, not on top, as opposed to other people who he has seen run their bikes into things. He has a few really nice bikes. Whenever he walks in, my boss always yells his name no matter where he is in the store. He usually comes in about once a week. He stopped coming in the past few months, so my boss gave him a ring to make sure he was alright. He claimed that everything was fine and he would stop by the store soon. He has come in about 3 times in the last 2 weeks. The first visit, he revealed to me that his mother was not doing well and he has been spending a lot of time with her. He told me that he hoped she would make it to her 100th birthday. He came in yesterday, with brownies in hand, like always, and did his normal rounds. When he came to the front counter to visit with me, I asked about his mother. He stated that she died that morning. I told him I was sorry that happened and inquired if she had made it to her 100th birthday. He told me she had and that her passing was for the best. He was in good spirits telling me about the funeral arrangements. He then went on to talk about this amazing turkey sandwich that he gets at this deli north of town. He claimed he would bring one for me and the owner next time he came to visit. I briefly saw him today when I was talking to a customer about a bike. He whispered to me that he had something in a bag in the back for me and the owner. I figured it was a brownie. I went to the back about 20 minutes later to find that he had brought me this sandwich he was raving about the previous day. He was right, it was amazing! My boss agreed. It really touched me that his mother died the previous day and for the past two days, he has brought goodies for me and my coworkers. What a kind man.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sponge Cake

Yesterday at work, 2 of my coworkers and myself decided to order a bunch of food from a restaurant across the street. It was a feast, to say the least! Hey that rhymes! Anyways, we all ordered an entree and several dessert goodies. One was a carrot cake and the other a blueberry cheesecake. After finishing my entree, I opened the two dessert boxes to decide which one I would eat. The carrot cake didn't look oh so appetizing, so on to the cheesecake. Well this one made the other look like a million dollars! This particular cheescake was a round shape with a lady finger draped across the top. It also had some gelatnous substance around it. The blueberry cheesecake looked more like a sponge you would clean your shower with actually. During my close inspection of this sponge cake thing, I noticed a massive hair beside the lady finger! Super gross! My coworker promptly called the restaurant (who we are friends with), and told the manager about our finding. She asked, "what kind of hair is it?" My coworker responded, "not a head hair." Super funny! I am still laughing about that. She quickly brought over another piece of cheesecake.

Today, while ordering food from the same restaurant, we all asked for our food with the same ending line; "I'll have the cheeseburger, with no hair, I want the grilled cheese, hairless, I want a greek salad, sans hair, I'll have the caesar salad, without any hair!" This was really silly, but it made me laugh today!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ain't Life Grand


In my recent clean-up of possessions, I ran across a small box with lots and lots of old tickets. Mostly tickets to sporting events and concerts, but a few to some musicals, ballets, etc. I found 3 tickets in particular that put a huge grin on my face. They brought back such great memories. I attended the concerts during my 6-year stint at the University of Alabama. I just noticed they were all from the year 2001. They must have been during my Junior/Senior year. I lived in the sorority house those 2 years and did a lot with this particular group of friends. More about those years at a later date...Anyways, the first concert was George Strait and friends at the Superdome in New Orleans. I remember being extremely excited about visiting New Orleans. I had these grand ideas of what the city would be like. Needless to say, I was disappointed. There are some cool things about this city; Pralines and Beignets. I remember leaving on a Friday and being super hungover for the ride. My roommate drove. We wheeled into the parking deck only to be freaked out by the valet with a gold tooth and a cracknail. We didn't stay at that dump of a hotel. We ended up staying at a nicer hotel and I vaguely remember volunteering to sleep on the floor. The first night there we ate some local cuisine and ended up at the Harrah's casino. Only one of us were legal to get in, and the rest used some other forms of identification. I only gambled with 10 bucks (which is what I always do at casinos). The next day we woke up and began our exploration of the city. I know we visited Pat O'Brians to partake in some hurricanes. I still laugh to this day remembering my roommate walk around the city. She was very freaked out by the pigeons, filth, and panties that were found all over the city. The concert was an entire day festival of country music artists. I remember seeing Alan Jackson, LeAnn Womack, Lonestar, and George Strait. We also donned our newly bought cowboy hats! Overall it was a great experience, with more greater experiences yet to come!

The next concert was Dave Matthews, early summer, Turner Field, Atlanta. The day before the concert, one of our friends bailed, leaving us with an extra ticket. This was the summer that my roommate and I partied every single night. We met a guy at one of our favorite bars, Cheap Shots. His name was Tommy and he was super excited to go to this concert with us. The next day, we left right after lunch and headed to Birmingham to pick up one of our friends and then to Atlanta. I called our friend right before we left to warn her that we were bringing a rando guy with us that we had met at the bar the previous night. She laughed it off. My roommate had on two different earrings (not out of the ordinary though). Off to Georgia we go! We got lost several times trying to find Turner field. I remember wheeling by a lady on the interstate and yelling across "how do we get to Turner field?" We finally arrived at our destination only to pay a couple of kids $20 to park in a field that wasn't theirs to take money for. Tommy was irrate! He kept walking around talking about how he wanted to find those kids and beat them up. All my friends were telling me to calm him down because he was my friend! Hardly. Anyways, as it turns out, this was a pretty intense guy. He loved his music and begged me to sneak onto Turner field (because our tickets were in the nosebleed) and dance with him down there. So I did, and it was an adventure to say the least. We arrived back in Tuscaloosa pretty late but it was worth every hour of lost sleep.

Last but not least, Widespread Panic. Oh how I loved Panic! This was their famous New Years Eve 3-night showcase in Atlanta, Georgia. My roommate and I bought tickets for ourself and an old ex-boyfriend of mine. My ex and I left Charlotte early on the 29th to head to Aiken, SC to pickup my roommate and then on to the Holiday Inn in Atlanta. My roommate's dad was less than pleased that we were staying in a "Holiday Dump." We arrived early afternoon, bought some beer, and headed to the hotel. We couldn't have stayed in a better establishment. Everyone, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone in the hotel was going to "the show." We encountered a few "spreadheads" in the elevator who let us know that there were several guys in room 6-oh-something that were making hemp necklaces as we speak, if we were interested. Well we forgot to eat dinner or lunch for that matter, and became very intoxicated, very quickly. We all did some crazy dancing that night, and my roommate "fell asleep" at the show. We ran back to the hotel after the show only to find out that we couldn't leave to get food because they would charge us another $30 to park. We tried to problem solve the best we could to get food. No delivery, no taxi, no vending machine. We decided to call rando rooms and ask for food. We talked to several very nice people who didn't have any food to offer us. Finally, I proclaimed that I was going to go out in the hall and ask the people out there for food. Guess what? They were more than happy to share their food with us. My roommate and I went to their room with a few bucks in hand, made some sandwiches, and grabbed some "Zapps" chips. Those were probably the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. The next day, we dropped my ex off with his friends at another hotel, and somewhere in that time frame, my roommate and I decided that another round of Panic was in order! We stopped back by the hotel to pickup her cell phone charger. While my roommate was retrieving that, I decided that it would be an excellent idea to buy 2 more tickets from a homeless guy on the street. I believe I spent a lot of money for those tickets. After about an hour, the reality set in that these 2 tickets might not get us in! Long story short, they worked, I did a jump for joy after the ticket was scanned, and the concert was a blast! No alcohol this time...one last thought...my ex lied to his girlfriend about where he was and who he was with the entire weekend. He married her years later and we no longer speak.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cheap Shower Curtain Liners

I'm not a bargain shopper or penny pincher by any means. I am quite the opposite. I will blow money like I'm a millionaire. I hardly purchase generic items, items on sale, or the cheapest version of a product. I usually don't pay attention to prices. In the past few years, I have spent a lot of money on shower curtain liners. Not massive amounts of money, but a good bit. I usually buy the high end, anti-mold, thick shower liner. It always ends up with mold and soap scum build-up after awhile. It doesn't even come off when you throw it in the washing machine. I went to the Bath Store the other day to buy a new liner. I decided that from now on I will buy the cheapest liner available because I will throw it out in a couple of months anyways.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Big Bad Wolf

I have become very frustrated at work lately. I know that everyone is feeling "the crunch" with the economy the way it is. I encounter this problem at least 3 times a day. A customer comes in, asks for my opinion on a product, asks to try on a product, or wants expert knowledge on a product. After I finish explaining the product, the customer asks the price. Then they are excited to tell me that they can get it on the internet cheaper. Of course you can! You will ALWAYS find things cheaper on the internet. All it takes is some jerk off sitting at a computer posting products and shipping them out. They don't provide the knowledge base or customer service that local businesses can. I explain this concept to the customer (not in the same lingo I just used) and they say it's all about getting something cheaper. I challenge them to think about my store closing and how their options would be limited in receiving good customer service and knowledge. Some customers have then agreed with me. Do people have a conscience? Some don't. I would feel horrible about trying on a pair of shoes at a store to see what size I wear, and then turning around and buying them on the internet.

Example: A customer walks in today and asks, "Do you have any sale saddles? If not, I will buy one on the internet." I showed him the saddles I had to offer and explained that he could definitely find one cheaper on the internet, but that I would do my best to help him find one that worked. We took several saddles out to his girlfriend, who needed the saddle. She explained her problem to me, I showed her the different saddles, and gave her my opinion on which one would work best for her. They decided to get the one I recommended. I offered to install the saddle for her. The customer then apologized for saying that he would buy one on the internet and stated that I exceeded his expectations today. Yay for me!

Don't get me wrong. The internet is great! I don't know what I did before I ever logged onto Prodigy with my modem. I just hope the internet does not put everyone out of business.

Some companies that we do business with even prohibit selling their product on the internet. I was disappointed tonight to find that a company we do the majority of our business with, is now selling their product straight from their website. I thought they prided themselves on their product not being available on the internet.

Big box stores also bother me. Customer service is always hit or miss. You will find employees at these places who really do care. More times that not, I have encountered the opposite. At my shop today, we ran into a situation where a customer brought in a bike that she bought at a chain store. One of our mechanics took a quick look at it and noticed several problems with the build of the bike. This could cause major problems when descending a hill at 30mph!

I recently had a very heated discussion with 2 friends of mine on this topic. Let me preface this with the information that they both work for local companies, as well as myself and my mother. My father even owns a local company. These two friends of mine were discussing how they would choose a big box over a local company if the box offered a lower price or better service! Really? That's absurd to me! If that's true, then my dad should probably be out of business. His rates for service are never the lowest. He gets the client because he has great customer service and unique ideas.

This concept is also explored in my favorite movie of all time, "You've Got Mail." The "big bad Fox Books" puts the cute little "Shop Around the Corner" out of business. It saddens me when the main character explains at the beginning of the movie that her mother opened the shop, she now runs it, and her daughter will own it one day. She doesn't even have a daughter, but she is confident that her shop will continue on with it's quaint decor and knowledgeable staff. Then the big bad wolf comes to town with it's cheap books and coffee selection.

I will continue to challenge people on internet/chain shopping vs. supporting local business!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Emotional Intelligence

What does this mean? According to Wikipedia (which is a funny word to me), it is defined as “the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions.” Observing others’ social/emotional reactions/actions is fascinating to me. I am often puzzled when I see people show the inability to pick up on social cues society has provided for them. Is it really hard to learn how to act in certain situations?!

My most recent occurrence with this observation is with this man. He is constantly hanging around the place where I work. Ok, so we work there so we have to be somewhat nice to him. It’s not that he is rude or mean to anyone at the store. He is an annoyance. We are nice to him to an extent, but then after awhile, he just gets ignored. We started out by simply ignoring him because we have our jobs to do, but now it has turned into blatant ignoring. I’m not sure why he hasn’t picked up on the social cues that everyone in the situation that he is in is ignoring him. When you are in a group and no one is talking to you and people are constantly redirecting your behavior, relocate yourself to a place where you are appreciated.

I have also noticed recently that some people have a difficult time communicating with others. Is it really hard to make small talk? "What have you been up to lately? I like your shirt. How is your ankle? What do you think about this weather?" Easy, easy, easy. Maybe because of the career paths I have taken, I have developed the ability to talk to ANYONE in ANY situation. Seriously. Someone, please prove me wrong on this one!

When is our emotional intelligence developed? Are we born with it? Is it like our IQ that is already determined when we are born? This is puzzling to me. Maybe because I realize that I am not the smartest person in a group and I can accept that. I know when conversations or situations are too intellectual for me to grasp. At this point I kindly bow out of the conversation, ask the person to explain their story on my level, or let them know that I do not understand. It’s easy. I’m not afraid to ask someone to define a word for me or explain something in simpler terms. We all have our faults, incompetencies, or unfavorable traits. When is it not okay to acknowledge them and move on?