21 May 2008

R is for Recreation

I am in dire need of a vacation. I just realized this on Monday. Let's backtrack and travel back in time...to last Friday. [Insert Wayne and Garth going-back-in-time squiggly noises here]

My company was to be a sponsor at a conference on Monday. On Friday, we were wrapping up the preparations. The boss was out of town, so we wanted to take care and not forget anything. We made a list. We checked it twice....

....gonna find out who's naughty or nice.... [sorry, I could not resist that one]

I delegated stuff. My staff finished it all with time to spare. My boss and Ally (one of the staff) would be going to the hotel on Sunday evening to set up our table in the conference room. The flower arrangement was picked up on schedule on Saturday. Things were going swell.

But no, it wasn't meant to last, this swell going. I got a call from Ally. "Boss wants to know why we laminated the brochure." "Um, because she asked us to?" "No, she said she only asked us to laminate the handout for the panel." "Uh, well what now then?" "She wants to talk to you. Hold on a sec."

"Eva? Do you know how much money we wasted on this? These are unusable and now we don't have brochures for the table."

The next call was an hour later. "Eva, we are the only table without a sign. Did we not request that the event planners make us a sign? Everyone else did." "No, I sent the logo in months ago for that." "Well, there's no sign. Fortunately, so-and-so says they can run to Kinko's and have one made for us in time for tomorrow morning." "Well that's a relief."

The next morning: "Eva, these handouts for the panel don't have our phone number or website URL on them. I am having a heart attack. How did this happen? This is not the version of the document that I approved. These handouts cost a fortune and nobody is going to know who we are now!" "Oh my God, I have no idea how that could have happened. I sent the corrections to the graphic designer and she sent the final version back to me. I checked the corrections and it looked good." "Well, this conference is turning into a total fiasco and it's all your fault."

Actually, that last part isn't what she said at all, but I basically decided that it was time to lose my marbles. You know how sometimes everything goes wrong? And since you're in charge of delegating everything, it's basically your responsibility? This is one of those times. But since I'm not a Quitter, I had to suck it up and just get through the day. With the help of a LOT of chocolate.

And after making it through the day and choking back some tears for a couple of minutes, I decided that I need a vacation where Boog and I actually GO somewhere. Not the lame vacation where you just stay home and do stuff that you usually do on weekends anyway. The kind where you pack a swim suit and sunscreen and maybe a guide book. And you reserve seats on an airplane. And you book a hotel room and when you land at your destination, you have to set your watch back three hours.

Unfortunately, the current state of my finances does not allow for such a destination until the fall, when I am hopefully getting a rather large sum of money for referring some business to an old colleague of mine. Cross your fingers, everyone!

In the meantime, this long weekend will involve a swim suit and sunscreen anyway. After all, I am in beautiful and sunny Southern California! Have a happy Memorial Day, everyone!

15 May 2008

Q is for Quitters

Yesterday was the most grueling training session at the gym EVER IN MY LIFE.

But I got through it! I survived the test of endurance! This experience with having a personal trainer is making me learn quite a bit about myself: something I never considered to be a part of the equation. And the more I think about it, the more I feel that I don't know myself very well anymore.

I'm one of those people that adapts easily to whatever situation or group I encounter. If I'm around a bunch of girls, I tend to act girly and showcase my girly side. If I'm around guys, I let my tomboy surface. At work, I'm professional, yet goofy to keep the office from getting too stuffy. With Boog, I am Mommy and we talk in words for two year olds, we play silly games and make each other laugh and I am constantly enforcing boundaries that need to be enforced. With my parents, I remain the fairly well-behaved girl that they've known forever. But with all these personas, who am I when I'm just with me and myself?

I'm figuring it out. My sense of self-worth is growing as my body gets stronger. I have a sense of pride in knowing that I did my best and pushed myself until I could go no further. My trainer Audrey is helping me realize just how far I am actually able to go if I just give it that extra push, or those last three reps, or those last ten seconds. Just groan a little louder and find that last ounce of energy somewhere deep inside yourself. I have started applying this "extra push" to other aspects of my life: my patience, my willpower, my approach to work, trying to think positive.

It's a work in progress, but hey, it's MY work in progress, and it feels really good to have a focused sense of personal direction again. And "quitting" is no longer in my vocabulary.

13 May 2008

P is for Poop

I tried to think of a better subject for this post, really I did. But after four days of taking care of a toddler with the stomach flu, it is quite impossible to think of anything else. Except for barf.

I am so sorry. My apologies to the childless readers of this blog. I hope you ate already.

11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Just taking a brief break from the alphabet routine to wish all you mommies out there a very Happy Mother's Day. I hope you all had some wonderful moments with your children.

07 May 2008

O is for Overbooked

For the past few days, I have been laboring over a major friend faux-pas that I committed on Sunday. I didn't realize that I had material for a post until I was doing the dishes tonight. Read on, fellow parents! I am sure you have lived through the same exact scenario (which may or not involve IKEA).

But first, a little history to make this post super long (the Norway post has me reminiscing about all sorts of stuff). I have a dear friendship that dates all the way back to high school, circa 1985. He, let's call him Chester, because that's his name! Haha! Chester! Tee hee. Ahem. Actually, everyone calls him Chet (you may begin your flashbacks to Weird Science now). He played trombone in the band, and I was a flag twirler in Colorguard. His best friend began dating one of my best friends. He developed a crush on me and asked me out. We went out. He was way too intellectual for boy-crazy Eva, let me tell you. I'll give you an example. He didn't like going to the movies with me because "we can't talk if we're watching a movie. I'd rather sit and talk with you." What? Are you insane? We're in high school, our hormones are raging OUT OF CONTROL and you don't want to sit in a dark place rubbing elbows with a cute girl who loves making out with boys?!?! I thought Chet was strange, to say the least.

But oddly enough, we stayed friends through the years. We tried dating again after high school and were quite fond of each other, but the chemistry was a bit off. He transferred to a university in northern California and we kept in touch. I visited him up there once, and we made it a habit to get together for a meal or a nice chat during the holidays. He moved to Japan to teach conversational English and we had the most wonderful correspondence. He was the best pen pal I have ever had. At one point, we even sent cassette tapes back and forth, with audio letters to each other. I wish I had saved them - I have no idea where they went. He was over there for years, returning to northern California to complete his Masters degree in English and then back to Japan again. He knocked up his long-term girlfriend and they got married. He became father to a beautiful baby girl.

A year or so later, he moved his little family back to the U.S. I was up north by then, living near Berkeley. We resumed our "visit while we're in town" routine and I acquainted myself with this new little person in his life. My little family moved down here to southern California in December of 2006. I thought it would be so great to reconnect and be close again, but alas, Chet was going through a rough patch in life and dropped out of sight. After countless attempts on my part to get together, I gave up and reluctantly wrote him off.

A few weeks after I left Rob, I was driving back to my parents' house following an afternoon of packing my things at the old apartment. I got a call from Chet and after hearing that his rough patch was over and being relieved that he called, I spilled my whole story about what my life was like at the time. And ever since then, we've spoken or seen each other at least once a week. Something about our separate difficulties has brought us closer, and I'm so grateful for his friendship.

So we had been playing phone tag last week, trying to nail down some time to meet and maybe share a meal with our kids. We decided that a Sunday morning breakfast would do nicely. We agreed to meet at 9:30 at the Seal Beach Pier. He called that morning to say he was running a bit late and could we postpone about an hour? So I said, "That's fine. How about we meet for lunch instead, and in the meantime I'll head to IKEA since I need to do that today anyway."

"Great," he said. "See you at 11:30. Let's meet at the entrance to the pier."

My mom tagged along to IKEA, and we let Boog try out all the mattresses and sit in all the chairs and hold the big rolling shade that I bought for his room, which was quite comical, the shade being 6 feet long and all. My phone apparently rang at 11:30, and I later heard the message that Chet left: "Hey, we're here! We'll wait another 5 minutes or so, and then head out to the end of the pier to the restaurant to get us all a table." My mom and I got to the car to load our purchases in the trunk when I noticed that it was five minutes to twelve. I called Chet. "Hi, I am so sorry, we are just leaving IKEA, and our time totally got away from us." He said no problem, that they were going to just go ahead and order and maybe we can try again some other time.

I felt just awful. I should not have gone to IKEA, I should have just spent the morning puttering around the house or going for walk with Boog, right? But I just have to squish every single errand and social event into my weekend, leaving no margin for error.

I called him two days later and left a voice mail apologizing profusely, admitting that I had made a big mistake thinking I could fit IKEA into my morning, and that I totally disrespected his valuable time. "I totally understand if you don't want to call me back right away, and that you just want to stew about my rudeness for a couple of weeks."

He returned my call that night. He was touched that I felt so bad, but told me that we are both parents and we have both been there. "No worries!"

Well, despite this ending on a good note, I really have scolded myself to not repeat that if at all possible. I will not overbook. I will not overbook. I will not overbook.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to do about ninety-five things before Boog wakes up from his nap.

06 May 2008

N is for Norway

Did you know I'm half Norwegian? I know the "sveedish" bit is self-explanatory, but my dad is an Oslo native. I've been there quite a few times in my life, and let me tell you, it is an amazing country. Behold:

I mean, seriously people. Fjords! Imagine standing there seeing it for yourself. The kind of beauty that makes you gasp in awe of nature.

When I was seven, my family moved to Sweden, to a city just west of Stockholm, called Vasteras. During the eighteen or so months that we lived there, we visited my grandparents in southern Sweden often, and we also drove over to Norway to visit his mom and spend time in my dad's cabin that he inherited from his family. It was a tiny rustic cabin with an outhouse and a wood-burning stove that heated the whole cabin. I remember my dad and brother digging a new hole for the outhouse every time we stayed there. I remember dad getting up at 5am to light a fire in the wood stove so that the cabin would be cozy and warm when we all got up later in the morning. I remember the poofy down comforters that we snuggled under when spending a winter vacation there, and I remember our day hikes around the surrounding mountainside picking buckets full of wild blueberries.

My brother and I had a ball at that cabin. Once during a winter visit, it snowed so much that we had to dig ourselves out of the cabin one morning. Cliff and I spent the day digging tunnels in the snow, and little "caves" in the tall snowdrifts against the cabin walls. Like snow forts!

And the buckets of wild blueberries? We would bring them back to the cabin and eat them with cream. Blueberries the size of marbles.

M is for Meme (more of a game, actually)

I was surfin' around, popping in on BeanieSue's site after she left a helpful comment on my L post (hi BeanieSue!). She had a cool game that involves Flickr.

Here’s the game:
- Go to Flickr
- Type your answer into the “search” box.
- Pick an image from the first page.
- Copy and paste answer into blog

[I actually picked the first picture in each search, and didn't realize you could pick from the first PAGE, but that's typical Eva, not following directions]

My name is:

My relationship status is:

My favorite color is:

My celebrity crush is (yowza!):

My favorite princess is:

My favorite adult beverage is:

My dream vacation:

When I grow up I want to be:

03 May 2008

L is for Loud

I live in a nice, quiet apartment building. My neighbors in the building are friendly, and keep to themselves for the most part. I have a one-bedroom apartment, with Boog sleeping in the bedroom in the back, and I sleep on the sofa bed in the living room. If I could afford it, I'd live in a two bedroom, believe me. And if Boog didn't snore so freakin' loud, I would share the bedroom with him.

The problem isn't the sleeping arrangements. It's the sonofabitch who lives in the building next door. About five feet from our back windows are the neighboring building's back windows. And in the apartment directly across from our back windows lives Mr. Gangsta Rap.


He is the kind of neighbor you wish you never have to be exposed to. The guy leaves his window open ALL THE TIME. So when he's hitting his bong and listening to foul mouthed [c]rap, I can both smell and hear the experience first hand. And when he's struck closing-time gold at the local dive bar, I get to hear his exploits with the Skank o' The Evening. He gets a call on his celly? He has the consideration to stand right up at the window to have his conversation as close to my window as possible so as to allow me to hear every word spoken.

One night, he was playing his music so loud that Boog was unable to fall asleep. I yelled out my window for him to turn it down. No response (probably because he couldn't hear me over the music). So I went over there and knocked on his door for five minutes. The coward never answered his door. He finally turned his music off and left the apartment around 10pm, and I put Boog back down in his crib where he promptly passed out. Thankfully.

I don't want Boog exposed to this foul human being, but there's nowhere to escape it unless we stay in the front room. I've considered calling the city, or the police, but I feel like there are worse issues that occupy the police department's time. Once the Boog is old enough to ask questions, I hope that this is no longer a problem.

Any advice?

02 May 2008

K is for Kodak Moment

I was looking at my profile picture and decided it's time for a change. That picture is from, like, FIVE years ago. But then I thought, it's actually a rather goofy picture, but nobody can tell because I cropped the hell out of it. A friend of mine up in Calgary asked me what I am doing in the photo, and I explained that I was rocking out next to my friend KCMO, who dj's at home for fun. And then I thought, well I'll just send her the whole picture so she can see herself.

So I think I'll keep the profile pic as is, and share the whole picture with you guys!

I guess this post stems from my feeling self-conscious about joking that I was an exotic dancer in my profile, and now wondering if that was a stupid idea. I'm not an exotic dancer, I'm an accountant. But that isn't quite as intriguing, somehow. Unless you think number crunching is hot.

J is for Joke

My favorite joke was told to my by one of my favorite people in the world. You are required to tell this joke in a game-show host voice, similar to that of Guy Smiley on Sesame Street.

What do you call a midget psychic that just robbed a bank?

~ A small medium at large!

Do you have a joke you'd like to share? And as a side note: blond jokes and dirty jokes do not offend me, so feel free.