Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I am sick of this place and I'm seriously missing our poochies. Lisa has been posting photos of the hounds on her blog and reading it has been the highlight of our week. If you want to see some cuteness, check this out.
But on a brighter note, this trip has put some things into perspective for me. As usual, travelling makes me appreciate home all that much more. This place is crazy. For instance, check out the prices of breakfast food here in this hotel:
Orange Juice . . . . $5.75
Assorted Cereal (this means those tiny boxes) . . . $7.50
Muffin . . . . $5.75
Toasted Bagel . . .$6.00
Pancakes . . . $14.00
Three Egg Omelet . . . $18.50
OK, you get the picture. Can you imagine? Insane!
Gas costs $3.35 and the best part is talking to the locals. Here I am stressed out that I'm turning our current amazingly stress-free 10 mile commute into an amazingly stress-free 20 mile commute. To me this is dreadful. Well, after talking to some folks out here, I realize that I'm nuts. Some of these folks have a 80 - 100 mile commute IN CALIFORNIA TRAFFIC which is one step above being in hell. I can honestly say that I'm going home with a changed attitude toward our new house in the middle of nowhere.
And I'll leave you with one last dreamy thought. We are staying at the Wilshire Grand Hotel, which is right up the road from the Staples Center - the place where the Grammys where held. Now you KNOW the entire downtown LA area was crawling with music celebs that night. So I'm wondering . . . . WHO slept in my room?? Maybe it was STING! Yeah, I'm going with that.
Monday, March 26, 2007
When I arrive to the show floor it looks something like this:
I have to use drawings like this to figure out what the heck goes where:
After over 8 long hours of hard manual labor, the booth looks something like this:
Then, after 2.5 days of working our tails off, the booth looks something like this:
At this point, I'm exhuasted and ready to go home, but no such luck. Now it's time to work the booth during the trade show for 9 hours a day for 4 days. And when the show is over, guess what we have to do next? That's right . . . . we gotta pack that whole booth back up into the 26 crates that it came in. A packing nightmare to say the least.
OK, we did manage to get out and see some sunshine. Karlo and I got to take a little trip to Santa Monica Beach on Sunday for some much needed time out away from the booth. But now it's back to work.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
But on the bright side, we WON'T have to pack . . . and we WILL get to eat. And we are getting really sick of non-stop packing and very little eating going on here at home. We are going to live it up and feast on the company tab for sure!
I'm bringing my camera and laptop and will try to post some blog postings when I can. We're leaving Thursday morning and coming back on the 30th. If anybody needs to reach me, I'll have my cell with me and actually turned on (I know that's rare) all the time. Sue, take advantage of the fact that I'm in your time zone!
Lisa, don't spoil the dogs too much! And thanks a million for watching them for us :-)
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
How Do You Get Holy Water?
You Boil The Hell Out Of It
What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall?
What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long?
What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work?
What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow?
What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire?
What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches?
A Nervous Wreck.
Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
Because It Scares The Dog.
What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?
Ok, maybe it wasn’t her first trip to the vet ever, but it was my first time taking her to our vet. Yesterday I had an appointment for Bentley to get his problem paw checked and I figured I would make the trip worthwhile and take Peanut for her yearly check up. I wasn’t quite sure how I would manage both of them at the same time, but it wasn’t bad at all.
First Peanut went in all by herself. Bentley is an old pro at going to the vet. That high maintenance dog has been there more times than I would care to discuss. Ask Lisa, she is still well known at my vet’s office! Anyway, this was a big exciting trip for Peanut. So many smells to sniff and new people to meet & greet. She is such a little trooper – so well behaved and such a good patient. I got the biggest kick out of watching her on the examining table that moves up and down. She totally freaked when the table started to go up . . . and then down. Too cute. She handled all her shots without even a whimper.
Then I left Peanut in the office while I ran out and got Bentley. It was Bentley’s turn to get on the mechanical table and Peanut just stood there on the floor looking up at her big brother with her big wondering eyes. She watched intently the whole time the doctor was playing was Bentley’s vet. I wonder what Peanut was thinking this whole time.
The good news is that Bentley’s paw is doing much better. The doctor said he no longer needs his toe amputated. Yeah!!! The bad news is that Peanut tested positive for Lyme disease. My poor little princess. So now she needs to go on meds and its terrible timing. I refuse to put poor Lisa through more of my dog’s medical problems, so we will start her treatments after we come back from our trip. Just in time to get sick on Dad’s carpet. Uuuugh!!!! Dogs, you gotta love them.
Monday, March 19, 2007
The house is officially unlivable now! Our pool table has been reduced to three naked pieces of slate that are stacked on top of the butcher block (in photo above). This was a very stressful operation. Who knew moving a pool table would be such an ordeal? I originally scheduled the professionals to do the whole job . . . come to Andover, take it apart, bring it to Eastford and put it back together. Well, that didn't work out. Apparently that would be an ALL day process (and that's IF they can do it all in one day). My window of when we could invade the house of the current owners in Eastford didn't allow for several hours in one afternoon. So we moved to Plan B.
Plan B was Karlo doing most of the work. Only problem - he never disassembled or reassembled a table before. So of course, I was a nervous wreck. But so far so good. We managed to get the felt off in one piece. That required removing about a thousand staples!! I was even able to help Karlo stack the very heavy slate pieces. Now we are arguing over what to do next. Karlo wants to strap the frame of the table to the top of our utility trailer and drive it over to Eastford ourselves. I think NOT. I want the table INSIDE the moving truck. We'll see who wins this argument and at this point we are running out of time to move it ourselves. Hopefully the movers will fit it on the truck and the professional pool table dudes can take over from there. I better really appreciate the next game of pool we play. My goodness.
Friday, March 16, 2007
I am in bad need of some extra knee cartilage. I’m pretty sure I have this depressing panic attack every spring, but this year I am convinced that I reached the end of my biking, running and hiking career. I don’t know . . . maybe I go through this Spring year and maybe this year will be no different. I guess I just live with constant pain all summer long and I get so used to it, I don’t even realize it’s there. But after loafing around all winter, not doing much exercise, the stark contrast between no pain and lots of pain is intense. I really don’t think I could do this every day . . . try to ignore the throbbing, shooting pains in my knee.
Since the New Year, I have been trying to do some sort of exercise a few times a week. I noticed that the elliptical trainer was making my knee sore so I switched to the Life Cycle – big mistake. That was much worse on my knee. I mean 5 miles on the Life Cycle was the equivalent pain to a 30 mile hill ride. So I moved to the treadmill and simply walked for my work-out. That seemed to work out OK for me, but this week I ventured out into the real world . . . outside the walls of our gym. I took a measly 2 mile walk (granted it was one mile up a big hill and then other mile down the big hill – which is much harder on the knees than walking on flat ground) and I have been in lots of pain ever since.
How depressing. How am I supposed to think that I can go back to 100 mile bike rides or occasional trail runs and rugged hikes? This is just not fair. Maybe my knee is the same and I’m just losing my tolerance for pain. Or maybe I finally used up all the cartilage in my knee (just like the doctors warned me would happen). All I know is that this sucks and I don’t like it. Does anybody know of a good sports medicine doctor?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Does anybody know anybody that might be interested in a fairly new hunter green leather couch and love seat for sale? We don't want to move them, but they are too nice to ditch. We would like about $450 for the pair. Ask around and let me know if you find somebody that wants them.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Ahhhh, the life of a retired racer . . . I'm so jealous of my dogs, well at least one of my dogs. Bentley is still a nervous nilly, but Peanut . . . she knows how to relax. I need to take some lessons from her. Lisa took the photo above during one of her dog sitting stints (there are so many of those, I can't possibly remember which one.) And next week there will be another. While I'm out in LA working my tail off, my dogs will be lounging and living it up . . . getting COMPLETELY spoiled by Auntie Lisa and Uncle Luke. Is this fair?
So a typical day for my dogs consists of napping, eating, drinking, playing with some toys and napping some more. My typical day this week consists of packing, making dozens of phone calls, arranging movers, service guys, closings, canceling utilities, begging insurance companies to insure our new home, hunting down my accountant who refuses to return my calls and finish our taxes, and packing some more. What I wouldn't do to switch places with my dogs. That's it. I'm sending Peanut to CA in my place. I'm staying home and lounging at the Gaumond residence instead.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I found a great new website for buying airline tickets. If you do any air travel at all, you have to check it out and bookmark the page. The address is www.farecast.com. I just used it to buy our tickets to LA and saved about $500. The site will show you the recent history of ticket prices and makes a guess (based on that history) if the prices will go up or down in the next few days. The site will give you a recommendation of whether you should "buy now" or "wait." I shopped all around for our tickets to LA and Farecast was, by far, the cheapest option. Expedia is now fired. Farecast is my new online source for air travel purchases. I give it a two thumbs up!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
On Friday night I told my agent that I would think about this counter, I couldn't get back to the buyers until Monday (because I needed to make some calls and get some quotes) and Karlo and I DO want to go ahead with our already scheduled open house on Sunday.
When I hung up the phone I positively could not breath. I felt as though my chest was caving in. If one could really die from stress, that would have been my night to simply drop dead. Karlo was just as irritated as I was, but on the other hand, he points out that we shouldn't lose the deal for $1,000. Uuuugh. He was also the one whole-heartedly for the open house. How on earth was I going to pack the house and still have an open house? I went to bed, laid there and cried.
The next morning I got the email from the buyers. It outlined the issues that they felt deserved the $1,000. Part of me was hearing Regina's advice in the back of my head. I knew that another grand wasn't going to kill me, but too bad. I wasn't going to back down this time! I spent an hour composing the best written letter I could muster up. I was strong, sarcastic, sincere, honest . . . all at the same time. I was done being pushed around damnit. And nothing made me feel better than sending that letter, putting the buyers in their place and acting like I really couldn't care less if they wanted my house or not. I was pretty confident there would be others out there that wouldn't quibble over ridiculous things.
Before my agent even got my email, she called to tell me that the buyers "slept on it" and changed their minds. Seems the minute they found out that we were going ahead with our open house the panicked that somebody else might make us a better offer. Yes! Finally something goes my way for a change :-) I was very proud of myself for 1) not dying from the stress and 2) being strong and standing my ground.
And so it begins. We are in the process of ripping our house apart. It has been nothing but packing and moving all weekend. Oh, and did I mention I have 5 new painful dots on my right hand? Great timing there! I'm tired, I'm sore and I'm already sick of packing!
Thursday, March 8, 2007
And to all you slackers out there that keep promising to send me pictures. I'll be waiting!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
So far we made two trips to Eastford with a loaded trailer and truck. The picture above was our first trip so I needed to document it. With every day that goes by I am gaining a better grasp at the scope of what it's like to move an entire house of belongings. This is no picnic.
This morning I got a cute email from Penni and I enjoyed it enough to want to share it. It helped me today. Maybe you will like it too:
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
Live simply and appreciate what you have.
Monday, March 5, 2007
If it wasn't for Tina just calling me to tell me she left a comment on my blog, I wouldn't even have found the time to visit it myself today. Sue, I'm sorry that I didn't post anything yesterday for you . . . but everybody . . . listen up . . . Yesterday was California Sue's birthday, so a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Sue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This time I'm showing off Sue on a day that she DID shower :-)
The chaos is starting in my life. I'm in the middle of trying to pack and move our belongings (while still keeping the house in show condition, in case our current deal falls through); dig through 2 years of paperwork for my accountant; sell stuff on CraigsList and have multiple people asking me tons of stupid questions that I don't have answers for; dealing with MORE problems in Maine, worrying about my father (who landed himself back in the hospital), trying to build a website for a freelance job (and 2 more unsolicited requests to build other sites), run my business and plan for my upcoming trip to LA, aside from other things. So let's make a pool to see who guesses how many days I'll survive this month before I have a nervous break down? I'm guessing I make it about another week. What's your guess?
Friday, March 2, 2007
So all of you that get tax REFUNDS . . . I do NOT want to hear about it. OK?????