"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In a Fog

There are so many days when I think longingly of Paris, but there are many days when I feel the same about San Francisco. I lived in the Bay Area for four years, and it was such an exciting time in my life and an important time in my career.
I made the decision to move out to California almost at the drop of a hat, and everyone thought I was nuts. I hadn't mentioned even considering moving there, but a job opportunity happened, and I went out for a few days to interview (without telling anyone) and they hired me, and two weeks later, I was driving cross country. The job I took ended up being such a stepping stone--a career-building decision for me. I still can't believe I took such a risk (it's not like me), but I am ever so thankful that I did.
I took for granted living in such a magical place, though. I can understand looking back, because I was focused on my career. And, I did enjoy living there and I explored and saw everything. But, I just didn't really realize how fortunate I was to live there, and really soak that in when I was there. I also thought I would always live there. And then, 9-11 happened.
The dot com bust was already beginning, but when 9-11 happened, the layoffs really started. When I finally got laid off, I was devastated, but thought somehow, I would be OK. I stayed in California for another 4 months before I was completely broke and had to come back to NC and live with my parents and recover financially. (and then moved to DC for 4 years and now back to NC!)
But, when I see certain pictures of San Francisco, or the areas I lived there, I will actually feel my stomach drop--it is almost a physical pain of missing that area... that place... that time. The air there is almost always heavy, almost damp--living by the bay does that-- but I loved it. It never got HOT there like it does here in the south and there was something sweet to me about the air.
I worked in Berkeley when I first moved there, and that was such a treat. Walking out the door every day was like an adventure. Every imaginable variety of food was available in one of 100 (or so it seemed) restaurants within walking distance of my office...and I think I tried them all. One of every type of person was also walking around, and it was all part of the crazy quilt pattern that was Berkeley.
But, most of all, you were never more than an hour's drive away from some amazing hidden gem of beauty--Half Moon Bay, Inverness, Sausalito, Capitola...and the drive to get there was breathtaking.
I think I start dreaming of other places when I am having hard days at work, or when I am just longing to wander...but even in my most content moments, I long for two places...Paris, of course, and San Francisco.

-Kim >^..^<


Saturday, February 23, 2008

By Request

Several of my friends have requested updated pictures of Baxter, as I have commented lately on how gorgeous he has become. I hate that my camera can't capture just how adorable I think he is. His personality is so unique. I always say he is the happiest little animal I have ever seen. He romps around the house and just enjoys every minute. Unlike any other cat that I have EVER known, he NEVER hisses or spits, even when he is playing rough with Lilly. It's like he is just too happy!

I thought this morning as he pounced my head at 7:00am sharp, his morning wake-up ritual, that I cannot remember when he wasn't a part of our little family. I am quite sure Lucy can! She has never warmed to him.

Lilly is back to her old self, we are doing fluid treatments at the vet, and she is going to get an ultrasound in late March. Then, she will probably have to have surgery, but she is doing just fine. Her favorite activity (besides torturing Baxter) is chasing my toes under the covers at night.

We are all currently snuggled on the couch--the purring times three is so loud it makes me laugh.

Life is good.

-Kim >^..^<


Friday, February 22, 2008

The Tell-Tale Smoke Alarm

Well, it has been a fun adventure with my household safety appliances over the last few days. On Monday night, after taking my wonderful sleeping magic pill Sonata, I was woken up by a sharp beeping at 2am. It wasn't the piercing beeping of trouble, but a lonesome random beep of my smoke alarm telling me the battery was out. It was then I learned two things: 1) If you get up after three hours asleep via Sonata, you walk like a drunk (and tend to trip and run into things), and 2) you cannot go back to sleep.

The most infuriating thing was that once I came downstairs, the stupid thing beeped once more and stopped.

OK, so a smart person would have gone out the next day and bought batteries, JUST in case. But, no. So, tonight, the beeping started in force about 11pm, and it was driving me bonkers. Even the cats were going nuts. Baxter was pacing, and looking at me like, "are you going to do something about that?"

So, at 1am, I snatched my coat from the coat rack and stomped to my car, drove to the 24 hour CVS and bought TWO 9 volt batteries, huffing and puffing all the while.

I got home, climbed on top of the kitchen counter, put the battery in, and closed the little compartment. There.

I walked back into the den and sat down and then....


I ran over to the smoke alarm and looked up in disbelief only to then discover that the beeping was coming from...my carbon monoxide detector. (about 2 feet to the right of the smoke alarm).

Now, of course, it doesn't take the same kind of batteries. But, thank GOD I had 3 AA batteries. And yes, I know that means I wouldn't have had to venture out in the first place.


-Kim >^..^<


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

They're Baaaack

It's that time of year again. Girl Scout cookie time! If you aren't married, and don't have kids (like me), the Girl Scouts still find you through the office, where all the dads or moms are competing for you to buy THEIR child's cookies.
I have NO problem helping them out. The thin mints, in particular, are a weakness of mine. I bought more than a few boxes, and I am ashamed to say, that within the last week, I have consumed the better part of them. Good Lord.
I was shocked tonight to see how much my stash had depleted, and I tried to blame the cats, or thought maybe I had misplaced a box or two, but no such luck.
Oh well, at least I know I am supporting my community. I encourage you all to do the same!

-Kim >^..^<


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Shared Laughter

What better antidote for stressful workdays than a day with a friend who makes you laugh? And I am not talking about a few giggles...I am talking laughing until your sides hurt.
I spent yesterday shopping with my friend Cassandra. We have known each other since high school. It is a bit of a long story, but I actually lived with her and her family for awhile. I was a quasi-exchange student attending a high school in another district about an hour and a half away from my dinky hometown. I was REALLY into theater in high school, and our county dropped its drama program, and I transferred schools.
Now, seeing as I have not become that famous actress I once planned on being, the best thing that came out of that whole arrangement was my friendship with Cassandra. Her whole family is hilarious. Cassandra and I lost touch for awhile, but once we picked back up, it was like we had never stopped talking.
Anyway, I thought several times yesterday when we were together that we regress a bit (in the best way) when we are together--we are right back in high school---finding the smallest things SO funny. I turn into a complete goofball, and we laugh nonstop. It is just too much fun. We have so many inside jokes that I am sure if anyone else was with us, we would drive them crazy.
I think my favorite moment yesterday was when, early in the shopping day, Cassandra got in line at Old Navy. We were at the Concord Mills Outlet Mall. Being a shopping veteran there, I know if you are planning on shopping for a long day there, you are going to need a cart. Suddenly, outside the store, I saw that someone had abandoned a very large blue shopping cart. I went to grab it and came rushing back in the store, very proud. Cassandra immediately said, "that's great-- why don't you wait for me outside the store with that?"

Now, let me pause here to tell you that embarrassing Cassandra is one of my most favorite things to do.

I did walk out of the store, but I was NOT going to let that little comment go. So, having brought my camera, I stood outside of the Old Navy glass window behind the cash registers and started zooming in on her when she got to the register, I let the flash pop, and started taking pictures. It got A LOT of attention. More than my big blue cart would have, I might add. I was laughing so hard, I could hardly hold the camera.
When she came out of the store, avoiding me for as long as possible, she was laughing, telling me that the cashier actually asked her. "Are you somebody?" (they thought she was famous--and that I was a "fan" taking a picture). I will laugh about that for weeks. (She was later very grateful for the big blue cart, by the way).
The possum pic would take too long to explain, but that is also an inside joke. The other picture was us enjoying lots of alcohol...I mean yummy Mexican food.
Last night after we got home I wondered how I survived through the times we were out of touch, because now there would be such a hole in my life without this friendship that brings me so much laughter and comfort.

-Kim >^..^<


Saturday, February 16, 2008

That's Why They Call it "Work"

I alluded to a high level of stress at work in my last blog entry...and that was an understatement. The past three weeks have tested my people skills, my patience, and my temper. It is amazing how otherwise smart, capable people get into a workplace or corporate environment, and can turn into kindergarteners. And the sad fact is, before I realize it, I can get sucked into that behavior.
I always remind the people I manage on my team not to take things personally, but it is one of my weaknesses. But when someone...anyone in an office situation or a personal situation gets nasty or is mean to you, it is hard not to take it personally. Even if they are criticizing your work, it crosses a line somewhere and becomes personal.
What I have learned, the hard way, is that there is some of this, on some level, everywhere, at every job. You have to decide if it is more horrible than normal, or just like everywhere else.
It's all a learning experience, right? What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?
Uggghhh. I am buying lottery tickets this week. Lots of them. I always hear people say, "If I won the lottery, I would still work..." NOT ME.
If I win the lottery, it's off to Paris with me!

-Kim >^..^<


Sunday, February 10, 2008

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

For the past two weeks, I have been struggling with insomnia--even worse than my usual night owl habits. I have NOT been able to sleep. I know I am notorious for staying up late, but this has been different. I am talking NO sleep--being up until 5am, and dragging myself into work, late, late, late, and feeling horrible.
It didn't help that the past two weeks at work have been two of the most stressful since I started at the company a year ago. It has been nuts, and my nerves have been shot.
My doctor had called in a prescription, and my insurance company denied it. It took over a week for my doc to get that cleared up. I honestly didn't have much hope for it working, as I haven't had luck with any sleep medications before.
But, on Friday, I picked up the prescription, and took the first dose on Friday night. And finally-- I got a full night's sleep and woke up Saturday morning actually rested! It was amazing, I felt like a new person. I had so much energy, it was wonderful! So, thank goodness for Sonata--which is what I am taking.
Anyway, for those of you that thought I had dropped off the face of the earth lately, I have just been too tired or grumpy or busy at work to be social. Hopefully this week will be better!

-Kim >^..^<


Saturday, February 2, 2008


Thanks to my friend Cassandra, I am now a frequent visitor and quasi-addict of a quirky website: http://icanhascheezburger.com/. It all started with her sending some pictures along from this site, and then I started checking it out, and that was it. I think you have to have a certain sense of humor to enjoy this as much as I do, and Cassandra and I defintely have the same funny bone!
Anyway, this site has a huge global following, and most of the pictures are of cats being funny, entertaining....cats. And the people who post are all animal lovers. There is a certain weird "language" they post in--and you have to get used to that, too. But it is all a crack up. I have spent way too much time on this site this weekend...but, hey, it's better than working, right?
I have posted three of my favorites from the site. The blinker one kills me. I have been laughing at that one all day today.

-Kim >^..^<



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