office expressions.

musings from my experience at the home/office.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm a Mac

Since January 17th, I have been patiently waiting for my new computer to arrive. Then, we learned that Apple was  coming out with their next generation of Macbooks, so we decided to wait until they were released at the end of February to place the order. Ok, a few more weeks on a crappy Dell 'loaner' laptop...fine. It is now March 31st...and my co.werkers, it was WORTH THE WAIT! (Even though that makes me sound like a spokesperson for a Sexual Abstinence organization...).

My 15" MacBook Pro and all of it's lovely accessories are finally in my possession, and while I have a decent learning curve ahead of me using things like my Time Capsule and Magic Mouse...not to mention learning how to become a part of the Mac Tribe, I'm not *too* intimidated.

I feel more like a kid at Christmas who just opened the present from Santa that she wanted so badly, never thought she'd get, and will probably need some help putting it together. (Kind of like the pair of stilts I got one year for Christmas. Who in the world asks for stilts, and who in the world actually walks on them around the neighborhood? Oh, that would be the.home.werker in 5th grade. Probably still had my poodle perm too. Yuck.)

The screen on this laptop is so shiny I can actually see myself in it. Maybe that's just a continuation of Apple's genius branding, trying to make me believe I really AM a MAC.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Indulgence.

I have an indulgent personality. I tend to enjoy many things, and surround myself with things that I enjoy. At times, this can be a vicious cycle.

Here, in my Minneapolis Skyline Starbucks mug, we have a freshly brewed stove-top Lavazza Espresso, infused with cinnamon, and combined with steamed non-fat milk with a drop of almond extract, a drop of vanilla extract, and two teaspoons of sugar.

To complement this pre-lunch treat, we have three squares of dark cadbury chocolate (courtesy of my leftovers from the Saturday evening Wine & Cheese party).

Thank you Lavazza, Bialetti, AeroLatte, and Cadbury for making this mid-morning indulgence possible.

Facebook

Rewind to the year 2004, and you will find me glued to my most uncomfortable wooden-rocking-study chair, feet propped up on the dorm room desk, staring into an email from this thing call Facebook. Click.
Why in the world does this site want to know if I'm 'single/looking for a relationship' and who are all of these people poking me? What IS a poke? Sounds dirty.

As soon as Facebook was opened up to Bethel's campus, it didn't take long for it to become the procrastination tool of choice. It QUICKLY replaced the coveted, cherished, pen-and-ink 'Roster' on Bethel's campus. The Roster used to be the only way you could find out who that adorable guy was in your Ethics class, or in the library, or the one you saw walking away from you in the buildings. Yeah, that guy!

When I first joined facebook, it was a place for me to connect with friends at my school, and friends in colleges across the country. A great way to keep in touch with my high school friends in the northeast who didn't dare venture across the Ohio/Pennsyvania state line for higher education...unless of course they were headed for California. I'll be honest, I had Minnesota and Wisconsin quite confused when looking at a map for at least the duration of my freshman year. Oops.

Now I find Facebook is a part of my daily life, it's still one of the primary ways to keep in touch with friends from college and high school, since we are literally scattered across the globe. But ever since Facebook opened up to people without a '.edu' email address, I have developed a slight paranoia and a fairly definitive approach to who I am friends with in this social netwerking mecca.

I just read a super interesting article about social media in the werkplace, and the importance of making a decision about combining your personal and professional lives on Facebook...or not. I do go through and regularly de-friend people, especially if you: a) post skanky or trashy stuff that I simply don't need in my life, especially if we haven't seen each other in years. b) all you do is play farmville and fill up my feed with your gaming addiction. c) I never knew you well enough to have you hang around my social media space indefinitely.

Is that harsh? You might also think I have equally harsh criterion for accepting friend requests (if you are able to find my profile in the first place). Unless I am genuinely friends with you outside of werk, I will not consider becoming your Facebook friend until we are no longer co.werkers. I don't want to be bombarded with any snarky werk related status updates or know a little too much about what you look like in a bathing suit when after all, our relationship is strictly professional.

Another excellent reason to steer clear of co.werker's on Facebook is: SPAM. My former boss had her account hacked into while on Facebook at werk (faux paux #1), and she inadvertantly distributed porn to all 300 of her closest co.werkers. Including the CEO. Of a christian organization. Oops. Not so professional now, are we?

For me, social netwerk sites like facebook are strictly personal. If you want to connect with me in a professional way, I have also been on LinkedIn for quite a while now, or better yet, shoot me an email. Isn't it ironic... how some 'social netwerking' sites seem to bring out the more lazy, impersonal, and voyeuristic side of us? Dontcha think?
Funny Cry For Help Ecard: I'm hoping for a Facebook application that helps me relearn conversation skills.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Too much fun?

Spring Break Hangover...this occurs when one or more members of your household has a significantly unusual amount of time off and you collaborate on how to capitalize on every spare 'non.werking' moment...to the point of utter exhaustion.

Welcome Monday morning, post-Jake's-Spring-Break! I find myself rolling out of bed a little later than usual, to the ground looking a little whiter than usual, and drinking way more coffee than usual.

Why is it that it can be so painful and exhausting to return to werk after a little break from the daily grind? Sometimes it feels like my body is physcially rejecting sitting in my desk chair for extended periods of time, and my mind would rather be engaged in meaningful personal conversations than developing strategies and plans in a surprise 9am conference call with 15 of my closest co.werkers. Ugh.

I have been a little slower in accomplishing the basics of teeth brushing, eating breakfast, and getting into my werk.out clothes today. Let's just say all of these things barely happened before noon, and partly because I was too busy sucking down coffee in between emails to think about much else. As my MN co.werkers would say, Uffda!

Perhaps I had too much fun packed into my free time: like shopping with girlfriends, a RO-TIC (romantic without the 'man') evening with some great women, a weekend celebrating in Canon City, a lazy Sunday of brunch/BS/Boulder...and breaking out the self-tanning lotion for the first time in 6 months! It seems as though the only thing I've missed along the way, according to 'the Situation's GTL routine from the Jersey Shore is...laundry.

These guys need to take my advice and start using Jergen's Sunless Tanning lotion, apparently.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Peep Hole

It was about 7:30pm last night, I had just resigned myself to the couch for the evening after saying my goodbyes to Jake and Lexi, as they were headed off on a Spring Break camping trip with a good friend. I was exploring my feelings about being totally alone (Which resulted in me taking this personality test this morning: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFJ.html), and totally bored, when there was some super loud banging on my front door.

Now, I have become accustomed to always having at least Jake or Lexi around as my protectors. With both of them gone, I was feeling rather vulnerable about being alone for the night...without even my uber-friendly golden retriever around to 'protect' me from the unknown thumps and bumps in the night.

To make matters worse, the peep-hole on our front door is definitely taller than me, so even if I wanted to 'peep' at the person banging on my door, I couldn't. Jake always says I am a snoopy person. I like to think I am 'perceptive', always aware of anything out of the ordinary in our neighborhood. Fifty years from now, I will be the overly informed elderly neighbor who notices when the mail-person is late or if you've been gone for 4-5 days more than usual. Like a good neighbor, the.home.werker's there! (please sing to the tune of the State Farm Insurance Jingle).

So I reluctantly got up from the couch, battling these thoughts, "Well, if it's that serial killer from Criminal Minds, at least the BAU from the FBI will find me" and "Maybe someone crashed into my car and they are coming to swap insurance info", plus "Dang peephole, why aren't you where I need you to be!!!???".

Sorry for the awkward picture, but I definitely have not showered yet today. I DID want to show you how hopeless my height:peephole ratio is. This is me standing on my tip-toes, longing for a view out my front door.

Why the aggressive door-banging at 7:30pm on a Thursday evening? Well, we don't have a doorbell. AND the UPS man was delivering my new printer! I quickly lugged the new machine into the house (already a good sign that THIS printer will be a keeper). Now if only my patient-problem-solving husband were here to help me hook it up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interview

As the cheesy electric rock plays the background to my pre-conference call life, I would like to share from a gold mine that was shared with me yesterday. I will periodically post some of these cartoons on here as appropriate, since they are simply hilarious and right up the.home.werker's ally.
Funny Workplace Ecard: Please try to schedule meetings around my job interviews 

Have you ever said this, at least in your head, to anyone? A few years ago when I was werking for the newspaper, I was interviewing for jobs, well...like it was my job. Several of the positions I interviewed for took me out of the office on multiple occassions as the interview process went further along.

What's a girl to do when she's got a killer job interview awaiting her amidst the hum-drum of the every-day-boring? Here was what may or may not have been my strategy:

1) Discreetly let a few people, including your supervisor, know that you have an appointment and that you'll be gone for an hour or two but it shouldn't keep you from werk the rest of the day.
2) A little more obviously, make sure to get said 'appointment' on the wall calendar and email calendar at werk. (For example, you are interviewing at a medical foundation, so your interview is appropriately labeled: Dr.'s Appt.  Or, the calendar would simply read 'Lunch/Coffee with 'name of interviewer')
3) Perfect the professional but not 'slap-you-in-the face' obvious collared shirt with suit pants/skirt. Have nicely pressed jacket hanging in the car, to be donned only once you've escaped view of your current place of employment.
4) If your interview is out of state, use some of your PTO, call it a mental health day, and voila! You are flown out to Colorado and back on a Wednesday, and no one knows the difference until you turn in your 2 weeks notice the following Monday.

Keep in mind, I claim none of the 4 items above to be true about myself..., but desperate times can call for desperate measures. When I was werking at the newspaper, and I had survived 4 rounds of lay-offs with no promise of promotion or even replacements for my 3 co-werkers who had seen the writing on the wall and left...I.was.desperate. Like gain 20 pounds and grind your teeth through 2 mouthguards at night, desperate.

Since then, I have been on the opposite side of the interview process, dutifully grilling hopeful candidates for jobs, and secretly wanting to ask the obvious question: Where exactly does your boss think you are right now? (Who knows, they might even score points for creativity, honesty, or just bomb the interview all together).

Who knows, maybe next time I find myself in the 'job applicant' seat, I might be grown up enough to be as candid as the cheeky woman in the cartoon above. Maybe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do I Smell Funny?

There have been a few rather disgusting times during my life in the Land of Cubicles that someone has asked me, "Do I smell funny?". Not a question you EVER want to have asked of you by someone at werk, for multiple awkward reasons.

1) If I say yes, does this impact my performance review? Do you want an honest answer or will you get mad and hold it against me in a professional outlet of some sort?
2) Do I want to even know why you are asking this question, and if so, what do YOU think you smell like? When in doubt, don't ask, just make the situation better.
3)Traditionally, there are 4 things you should never discuss with co.werkers: religion, politics, money, and body odor.

If you went tanning on your lunch break and are afraid you smell like gym socks and fake coconut, you PROBABLY do. Don't ask me to smell you.

If you went jogging on your lunch break and are worried you messed up your hair and probably smell like you were just sweating for the past hour, you PROBABLY do. Don't ask me to smell you.

I can remember one time in the history of my werk life that I have asked someone to smell me, and it was the day I switched to an organic shampoo that smelled so strongly of pitchouli I was afraid my boss could smell my hippie hair from across the room. She actually offered to smell my hair, and said it just smelled 'herbal'. On this particular day, I was thankful to werk in a place where 95% of my co.werkers don't know the true smell behind the description of 'herbal'. You just don't get a lot of exposure to that growing up at Michael W. Smith Concerts...

Recently I have been making it a habit of going to the gym for an hour a day. Usually I go in the middle of the day so that I don't have to be anxious about jockeying for equipment usage with the after-werk crowd. I wake up, werk a few hours, roll into my werk-out clothes, and head to the gym. Typically I shower after my werk-out, but the nicest part is, I don't have to be worried about whether or not I smell like a gym-rat when I get back to my home office.

Do I smell funny? Guess what, even if I do, I'm pretty sure Jake and Lexi don't really care, and the people on my conference calls can't even see me let alone smell me. One more perk of being the home.werker.
Consider ordering these clever "Notices" from Etsy if you think you can get away with it at your office...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break

I've got a candle burning, Ray LaMontagne singing, and sun shining through my window. Not a bad start to the werk day! For all of my co.werkers in the upper Midwest, I am truly sorry to hear about the nasty weather pounding down on you today. I am 99% certain we have seen the last of our messy spring snow storms in Denver, but I know I would be huddled under the covers grumbling if I saw a weather forecast of 6-10 inches of freezing rain and snow...hang in there! This will just make everything more green when the sun decides to return for good!

So it's definitely spring break for Jake: We began the morning drinking coffee and debating whether or not the song "Baby I Like It" is sung by Katy Perry or Enrique Iglesias...

While I'm not on spring break, I also realized that I can't remember the last time I checked my Paid Time Off balance for available # of vacation days. As I began to realize this, I came up with a few reasons as to 'why' this might be:
1) I haven't taken a vacation day since Christmas Break, that's over three months ago...but a lot has happened in those three months to prevent me from wanting a mental health day or extended weekend.
2) I am more free to get things done around the house, and that means I'm more free to put down roots in our new community. Denver feels more like 'home' to me than Colorado Springs EVER did, so maybe I just don't have the itch to leave as much.
3) The weather has been gorgeous, so when a lot of people like to fly south for the winter months to escape the frozen tundra...I am eating lunch outside and walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. Not bad!

Maybe this means I'll actually have like 2-3 weeks worth of PTO accrued by the time Jake is free to take a real vacation (post Nursing School). Italy? Ireland? Australia? Instead of consciously saving vacation time, I should probably start saving up some money for our next big adventure.

I think this blog post was a bad idea, I am pretty sure my travel bug just came out of hiding. Oops.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Werk Out

"I basically do what I want, when I want, all the time. I do my work, for the most part, when it is convenient for me. Since I always get my work done I can enjoy life to the fullest while working for a great company." (pg. 86)

"I'm never NOT accomplishing anything. I always do what is expected of me." (pg. 85)

These are just two semi-mind-blowing quotes from the book, "Why Work Sucks and How to Fix it". I referred to this book in an earlier post, after attending an all day conference of sorts with the authors and my peers. This book and the philosophies inside are what I've been asked to adopt and act upon as a regional employee (i.e. The home.werker!) for my company. My boss holds this book in high regard and even asked me to familiarize myself with it during the interview process for my current position.

Well, as I start this day with two things on the calendar and realize that none of them are werk meetings...I am conflicted! I have a short list of werk projects to start brainstorming, which quite frankly, will receive more focussed attention from me while I'm pounding out 4 miles at the gym this morning. Then I've got little things like giving the dog a bath, a quick run to the grocery store, and giving myself enough time to get ready before meeting up with some friends for HH tonight. And according to this book, as long as I am producing results related to my job and the task at hand, it doesn't matter if I do that during the traditional 8-5 werkday...or at 2am. As long as I'm producing outcomes and doing my job, I'm good.

This doesn't mean I can blow off my co.werkers who need to meet during the hours of 8-5, or skip out on phone calls and meetings. The only thing that matters is that I am doing werk that produces results, and a lot of those things do still tend to fall within the hours of 8-5 because I werk with people who are still operating within this framewerk.

I haven't completely figured out this philosophy, but let's call today a "ROWE" day (Results Oriented Werk Environment), and head to the gym for a brainstorming session...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So long, farewell!

Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye!

In the words of the Von Trapp family children, I finally said goodbye to my 117lb. office resident, the giant HP printer that was ordered for me by my work...and promptly returned 30 days later by the.homewerker. Note to the folks in the Land of Cubicles: when recommending printers for people who werk from their home, usually we are not looking for something that can support a team of 15 people printing, scanning, and faxing 50 hours a week. Nor are we looking for something that weighs as much we did in high school. Rather, I'm looking for something that can print, scan and fax wireslessly throughout my home, can fit comfortably on a desk top or cabinet, and weighs as much as a a small one year old child (they're what, like 20 lbs??)

Here's where the entertainment of the day started: how to move this beast out of our house and to the UPS store for shipping?! We have thrown away the massive box and styrofoam that came with it, and have scattered the instructions and cords in various hiding places around the house. Oops. Thankfully, we found all of the various parts and pieces...now for loading it into Pedro the Laredo.

Tapping into my right brain and creative problem solving abilities, I suggested we use my Herman Miller wheely chair as a 'dolly' to get the printer from the office to our front door. At least that way Jake, myself, and our marriage could attempt to escape this task unscathed. It worked! (Aside from instilling even MORE fear of the Herman Miller chair into Lexi by wheeling it through the house with a large piece of machinery on top...sigh).

We made it to the UPS store where two really eager employees unloaded the printer, charged me an arm and a leg for packaging it up, and sent us on our way within 10 minutes. Phew! 

Up next:
-pick out a new, more appropriate printer (which will cost the same amount to purchase as it did to package my old one up...gross. At least we are purchasing it with company points, so it's actually 'free' for us!)
-Figure out what else gets to take residence in Jake's office now that his roommate is gone. Perhaps a nice leather recliner?

I'm off to physically inspect my options at Office Max before diving into my next 'printer dillema'...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ON HOLD

video
I have been listening to this horrible music for the past 6 minutes and counting. Dear God, please help my co.werkers in the Land of Cubicles to remember that I am hanging on for dear life on this conference line.

Whose job is it to select the 'on hold' music? How do you get that job, and why can't I create a playlist of my own to be used whenever I'm holding on my company's conference line?

Tough questions for today, I know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Casa Bonita

After visiting the beacon of West Colfax, AKA, Casa Bonita, Colorado's version of a Mexican Disneyland...I can confidently report a few things:

1) Everyone should go there at least once. There are cliff divers, mariachi bands, dangerous gun fights, and puppet shows. Something for everyone in a completely tacky and overstimulating environment.

2) Because you are required to purchase a meal to get into Casa Bonita, the food is a)overpriced and b)rancid.

Working for an organization that focusses on issues of starvation and poverty, I had to at least try to eat my chicken taco salad that cost me $14.00. Aside from the chicken looking and smelling like catfood (which I didn't touch), I did my best to at least eat the recognizable portion of my meal, i.e. tomatoes, kidney beans, and a little ice berg lettuce. This was Saturday evening, a 'fun' outing with my out of town guests and catching up with my cousin who also lives in Denver. (We definitely made a memory!)

Come 12:30am on Sunday morning, I could be heard pounding through the house, sprinting to reach the toilet, just in the nick of time. I never knew it was possible to get so gut wrenchingly sick from a $14.00 salad. Then again, the sopapilla I might have been a little optimistic in consuming probably didn't help the gut bomb that exploded out of me about every 30 minutes in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Hello Daylight Savings Time, I'm Jill, and I will definitely not be making it to the 8:30am church service as planned. Ugh.

After about 72 hours of consuming nothing but water and a piece or two of toast, I ventured into the land of solid foods today. A granola bar, more toast, and some oatmeal are about all I can handle..and even now, I'm nauseous just thinking about the words "Casa Bonita" or "Chicken Taco Salad".

Why the post about my weekend wanderings? Well, I thought I'd just let you in on why I have little to talk about in the land of the homewerker today. I have been down for the count, but who knows, maybe tomorrow, I might be able to venture beyond bland carbohydrates!?
My cousin, pretending to take a bite of the 'chicken'.
For any of you who are SouthPark fans, here's an episode about their trip to Casa Bonita: http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s07e11-casa-bonita

Monday, March 14, 2011

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Just a little bit...

I am concluding 4 glorious days of family time with my sister and nephew. I just got back from taking them to the airport, where I definitely started crying when Ethan asked if I was coming on the train to the terminal, too. No, buddy, this is where our Denver adventure ends...for now!

While Jake and I have kept busy with rearing our 2.5 year old puppy, nothing quite compares to the feat of rearing an almost three year old boy! As the homewerker, I have so much respect for all of you incredible moms/dads who labor in love every day to see your kids develop and grow into interesting little people. The werk you do from home is life altering and world changing!
After wading through 18 children's books, two kiddo DVD's, a mountain of really good questions that start with 'why??', and a handful of much-needed-nap-melt-downs, I can only begin to wonder where all the good parents in the world get their stamina and energy. Ethan is a creative, sensitive, musical, and active little guy, and I am just incredibly blessed that my sister would travel 1,000 miles with him to spend some quality time with Auntie Beans and Uncle Jake (and Lexi, too!).

Realization of the weekend: There's a very good chance that if/when God blesses us with kids, Lexi will need to go through classes about 'bringing a new baby into the home'. Then again, I'm sure I will too!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the office stalker

Miss Lexi, wanting desperately to join me in my office, has not got up the nerve since the day I got my Herman Miller swivel chair. This is as close as she'll come to joining me, for fear of the movable-spider-legged-giant that has invaded her happy place under the desk. Everything Lexi does in life is motivated by her love of people...so in this picture, her peeking around the corner is actually a moment of bravery. But until she joins me in my office, on the rug under the desk that is rightfully hers to claim, she will be 'the office stalker'.

Sorry Lex, that's what you get for being a weanie.

Now come and lay on my feet, it's cold in here!


That's more like it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Say Something

After beginning my day with yet another conference call, I am beginning to wonder what the best way is to prove you are actively listening to the conversation, especially when you can't get a word in edgewise. My last conversation ended with, "Jill are you still there or did we totally put you to sleep?".

I wanted to say, "Well, I couldn't get a word in edgewise, and even if I could, I would be taking the conversation in a different direction". I hate interrupting people and I hate being interrupted. I guess that's why face to face conversations are easier because you can tell when someone is about to speak or has something to say by merely reading body language or making eye contact. I have relied heavily on this interpersonal communication for the past couple of years, so moving into the blind communication style of voice-to-voice dialogue has made me realize a few things:

1) Some people are really skilled at talking, and not letting a moment of silence occur.
2) Other people, are active listeners who process things internally before they process them verbally. (this would be me).
3) I am going to have to develop a strategy or new approach for conference calls with talkative people, so that everyone knows I am clued in and on the same page, or maybe even a few pages ahead!

I am thankful that talkative people exist in my life, because I know I do rely on them to carry some of the conversational weight while I am processing things.  But I am also thankful for people who are just as talkative, as they are aware that others might have something to contribute. I'll never forget the day one of my theology professors pulled me aside after class and said, " Jill, you approach this class in a really interesting way and if half of what came out in your papers would make it into the class discussion, I think everyone around you could benefit from you sharing your thoughts more regularly."

I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, but merely trying to remind myself to speak up and ask good questions, even when I might be intimidated or even if I haven't fully formed my thoughts on something yet. If you ever find yourself feeling this way, I hope your first instinct is to speak up with confidence and respect, and let the talkative people spend a little time listening to you. They just might be surprised at what you have to say!
for today, I leave you with this interesting challenge...:)

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Ears Are Burning

Well, the pace of my new job has finally picked up and I am very energized and excited about that! However, my new telephony devices (telephony is a fun word, go ahead, say it out loud), have definitely taken a beating today.

I had 5 and half hours of back to back phone meetings, and I opted for the trusty old land line, not wanting to wear down my iphone's battery needlessly. At first, I just used the handset on speakerphone/mute, but after the first two hours I thought to myself "Isn't this why you bought a phone system with a wireless headset??".

So I hooked up the headset which has a huge 'on/off' button, as well as a very accessible mute button. However, none of these things matter if your co.werkers cannot understand a word you are saying. Comments like "it sounds like you're talking into a drinking straw" or "are you talking through a paper bag?" are the most notable reasons why, after today, I will rarely use the wireless headset. Not to mention my lovely 2-3 minute explanation of a marketing campaign strategy to a room full of 10 people that not one person could understand...until I hung up, dialed back in, and repeated my rant a second time.

While it wasn't quite as embarassing as having Lexi growling into the call, I hung up wondering if people could hear the embarassment in my voice. Is an email to all 10 people apologizing for technical difficulties overkill? Probably, so I'll just opt for making sure it NEVER happens again. Oops.

On another technology note, I have graciously offered to give up my 117 lb. printer to the needs of a more worthy team within our marketing group. The inky behemoth taking up residency in our house has worn out his welcome, and we are ready to trade him in for a slimmer, sleeker, more practical piece of machinery. We're keeping our fingers crossed that he finds a good home sooner rather than later!

And today I will leave you with an appropriate homage to Napolean Dynamite & one of the best songs ever written about technology:


Friday, March 4, 2011

Storm Clouds.

I knew the weather was going to be bad on my drive back from Colorado Springs this afternoon, but man, there sure is nothing like winter weather in March along the Front Range in Colorado. I felt like I was driving under snow cloud #1, snow pellet cloud #2, then freezing rain cloud #3, then damp roads...and the cycle repeated itself until I was about 15 miles from home and there was nothing in front of me but blue sunny skies...and nothing behind me but grey angry clouds.
Leaving Colorado Springs.

Entering Denver...

Thank goodness for Pedro the Laredo, and his sele-trac 4WD. No scary slips or slides for me, just one minor freakout when a semi passed and the backsplash from him blinded me for a good 5-10 seconds. Listen to me, it's like I never lived in MN for 6 years of long winters! Living along the Front Range in Colorado will definitely do that to you!

While the drive home was less than amazing, I made it safe and sound and it was definitely worth the trip. I am about to embark on one of the biggest and highest profile projects I've tackled to date and it's an incredible way to end this week!
 
Now if only those gas prices would go back down...the lowest I've seen today is $3.15, which I guess is pretty good compared to the national average.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tipping Point

Malcom Gladwell defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point."[

Well my dear co.werkers, I have reached a tipping point concerning my sedentary lifestyle. Now that I find myself in the position of the.homewerker, I have realized that walking from my desk to the bathroom (7 steps), from my desk to the kitchen and back (maybe 20 steps) and to the front door to get the mail (10 steps?) is not the definition of an active lifestyle. I have been doing my best to get out and take Lexi on walks a couple of times a week, which is really to keep both of us sane and breathing some fresh air. However, these walks are not quite enough for me to achieve 'fitness' or a 'healthy lifestyle'.

Marching to and from meetings, up and down four flights of stairs while carrying my 10 lb. laptop and balancing on 4 inch heels, definitely kept me more active during my time in the Land of Cubicles. Sad but true.

I have a great friend who found out I was considering joining a gym and she signed me up for a free 4 week trial at her gym. A friendly 'membership manager' called me up yesterday and invited me down for an intro/tour of the place, and I am nervous/excited/and ready to make some new habits. I'm a little nervous, do I wear my gym clothes and stay and work out afterwards? Do I show up in street clothes, play it cool, and come back later for my workout when I'm feeling a little less conspicuous about being there? Meh. Guess we'll have to see what happens!

As the.homewerker, I have no doubt that this will be a positive change and good decision for me to join a gym. While I love werking from home, it doesn't really give me that cardio or muscle stimulation I'm looking for...no sir. This will get me out of the house (yay for the extrovert in me!), and 'werking out' on a regular basis, which will hopefully lead to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Don't worry, Lexi will definitely still get her walks in. Fresh air is still important:).


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pain IN THE

You know what? After missing a delivery window of 10am-1pm, and showing up at 1:45 pm with my Herman Miller chair, I don't even really care that the delivery guy was late.


Because I am finally 99% set up in my new home office! The most recent addtions are the file cabinet (lower left), desk & hutch, and my new chair! Adios, folding chair that goes with our card table! The picture below is a rare glimpse into a fairly organized werk space. No piles of papers, samples, and meeting agendas to sift through here! Now if you'll excuse me, it's 62 degrees outside and I believe Lexi needs a walk.