You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we celebrated Gamma’s 90th birthday this weekend.  We had a party for her in New Braunfels and she had to “limit” the invite list to about 60!  She knows more people than I will probably ever meet in my entire life.  What a piece of work!  And I couldn’t be prouder to be that piece of work’s granddaughter.  She amazes me everyday! 

The outpouring of love from her friends all over the country was pretty remarkable.  In fact, two teachers from Concordia got word of the party and both drove down from Kansas just for the weekend just to see her.  My grandfather, the superintendent, had hired them when they were fresh out of school, about 30 years ago.  Gamma and Pop made such an impression on them, which doesn’t surprise me, and it was obvious by the excitement they felt coming down to Texas to see Gamma.  In fact, when I was introduced to one of them, she told me that she remembered the day I was born.  I asked if it was because she remembers Pop handing out Snicker’s bars to everyone, and she tells me she remembers the actual day… October 7, 1981!  I have friends and family members who most likely can’t tell me the actual day I was born.  How touching this all was.   

Gamma is a perfect example of how one should embrace life and live it to the fullest.  She’s done so many things during the course of her lifetime and I don’t think for one minute has she ever taken herself seriously.  One secret to her longevity is her homemade Raisin Jack.  She fills a mason jar with raisins and Jack Daniels, lets it marinate for 10 days and takes a hit off it every morning. 

And also let’s not forget… everday at 5 o’clock it’s happy hour and time for a drink.

gamma3

In typical Gamma fashion, we all had to give a toast/performance at the birthday party.  For example, many years ago my sister and I changed the lyrics to Salt ‘n Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex” to “Let’s Talk About Gamma and Pop”.  I decided to take a little bit more grownup approach this year and I redid a Dr. Seuss poem, one of her favorite authors,  to be about Gamma’s life.  I’m not going to lie… my rhyming skills are pretty good. 

gamma4

Oh, the Places You’ve Been!
Congratulations!
Today is your day.
To celebrate with Many Faces!
From both here and away!

Let’s look back at Gamma’s life just to see,
How much fun 90 years can be!

You were born in Barnard, Kansas
To both Eliza Jane and Hugh.
“Margaret Caroline Whipkey”
Is the name they named you.
From the day you were born, You just somehow knew.
That life was to be enjoyed. And that’s just what you’d do!

As a little girl with blonde hair. You loved to play on your father’s train.
Until he’d say “Margaret Caroline, be careful and use your brain”.
Enterprise, Kansas was the next stop. And the school principal you knew.
This put a chip on your shoulder. But he soon schooled you!

Then it was high school in Peabody. Where making new friends was high on your list.
You called yourselves the TLD’s. And the meaning was a secret to exist
Until the year 2000. When it was time to say
You were the “Trade Last Doll’s” back in your heyday!

With a diploma in hand. It was off-off to college
To fill your head full of knowledge.
Emporia State was your new home,
And you quickly set the tone.

As Delta Sig President,
You made fun evident!
Between sorority parties and studying books,
You were busy toying the boys with your good looks!

Until one handsome jock
Stood at your door and knocked.
Harold was his name,
And you knew life would never be the same!

School was soon over, and a career in Cottonwood awaited.
Although the war had begun, the words “I Do” made you elated.
A simple wedding at home, brought your eye to a tear.
Did you know the fellow in uniform would be yours for almost 65 years?!

While he was off in the Pacific, you roamed the United States once over!
From Tom’s River to Staten Island, to Miami Beach and Key West,
Seattle Tacoma to Long Beach, then home to Witchita to rest!

Soon the war was over and it was time to celebrate.
Little did you know, you’d have an upcoming due date!
Exactly 9 months later, Peggy Ann was born.
Excitement was all around. You had to toot your own horn!

Life with a baby was just so much fun.
You couldn’t help but want another one!
A quick two years later, out popped Thomas Hugh.
And what a sweet little boy was blessed upon you!

Life in Emporia couldn’t have been sweeter.
Parties, football games and friends. What could be neater?
You loved being a teacher, education was key.
Think of the all lives you’ve touched, including me!

After years of hard work, retirement was rewarded.
A country club in Concordia was soon afforded!
You played golf with your friends, but more important to you
Were the happy hours and hat talks, nothing new!

A person like you, could never know too many people.
So, you decided to visit Texas during the winters just to mingle!
A Rowdy group you were, always gathering for a laugh.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that you brought your Raisin Jack!

It wasn’t before long, that grandkids and warmer weather,
Forced you to trade your Kansas red carpet for something better!
To New Braunfels you moved without looking back.
And new friends you met at the drop of a hat!

Between Austin and the White House
You stayed busy, without a doubt!
From the Presby Church to Bridge Club,
Socializing was your thing, not being a flub-bub!

In good times you’ve laughed, in tough times you’ve cried.
Things happen in life. We’ll never understand why.
But you always “stay in the buggy” and you keep your faith dear.
For Peggy and Pop are forever in our hearts. They are always near.

From the Great Depression to September 11th. You’ve lived through many things.
It’s hard to believe just one lifetime could see almost everything!
From the friends you’ve met. To the memories you’ve made.
Why, I don’t think you’ve spent more than a minute in the shade!
You’ve done it right, kid, with a smile on your face and a giggle to your grin,
You’re one lucky duck, Gam. To have been all the places you’ve been!

So…
be your name Margaret or Mags
or Gamma or Gam,
you’re still off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your Raisin Jack is waiting.
So… get on your way!

Gamma probably regrets allowing us all to do toasts, because ESM revealed a very personal secret about G!  About 4 years ago the two of them took a trip to NYC (stopping in DC for a night while I was working there) and Gamma told ESM there was one thing she wanted to do before she died.  Curious as to what it was Gamma hadn’t done, she asked her.  It was to visit a gentleman’s club.  How many 86 year old women out there have gone to a gentleman’s club?!?!?  It was quite a tale and I think Gamma was surprised that ESM brought that little story out of hiding.

Although Halle wasn’t assigned the task of giving a toast, she still wanted to contribute.  The whole night she paraded around the room, talking and dancing.  And when my Dad was giving his toast, she wanted to chime in with a “Hi GG”.  It was adorable.  Once the party was over and we were cleaning up, she wanted to spend some more time on the mic and would pick it up and say “Everybody get up!” and then she would set it down on the ground and clap her hands three times.  And then repeat.  Too funny!

gamma1  gamma7

All in all it was a fun celebration.  My only regret is that Pop and Peg couldn’t be there for the occasion.  Had Peg been there, she probably would have been able to veto the plastic tablecloths and the boxed wine 🙂  Gamma always brings her own booze, so bad wine was the last of her worries!

Advertisements

I think it’s safe to say that on Saturday, I was the wind beneath my sister’s wings.  We had gone down to New Braunfels early in the day to start setting up for Gamma’s 90th birthday party.  Since we’d be climbing ladders, untangling balloons and playing with asbestos, we deemed it appropriate to wear sweats down there and change into our party clothes once the work was done.  Which was a great idea in theory, until Crystal realizes, an hour before party time, that she forgot her skirt.  Never mind that she brought two pair of underwear and multiple outfits for Halle, she still forgot a missing ingredient in her attire. 

Dad suggested she wear the extra pair of velour pants that happened to be laying around, but I knew that with a sweater and boots, she wasn’t going to have any of that.  Being the supergirl that I am, I volunteered to run out and get her an outfit since it only takes me 5 minutes to get ready.

Walmart and Ross were my options and I had all of 25 minutes to get there, get something and get back.  I managed to find a ghetto skirt and a semi-cute dress.  Of all the times a Ross could actually be picked over, this was the time.  She liked the dress when we got back and with her black knee high boots we thought we were good to go. 

That is until we each go into our respective stalls in the bathroom to put our dresses on.  About 30 seconds later I hear… “FFFFFFF*********CCCCCCCCKKKKK”.

“F*CK.”

“F*CK.”

“F*CK.”

Obviously, something was wrong.  Turns out, the zipper on one of her boots was gone.  The train was not on the track.  Therefore the flaps of the boot hung agape like my Dad’s mouth does when he’s catching flies on an airplane.

Being the eternal optimist (at least for one day) I told her there was no mountain we couldn’t climb.  Tape!  Bobby pins!  Safety pins!  We could make this boot work.  Turns out no one had any of those, nor were they going to work. 

Light bulb!  Let me get out every single hair rubber band I have and we can wrap them around the boot.  I even used the large head rubber band I have for working out to keep my bangs back.  Of course it was still sweaty from my workout that morning.  Glorious.  But, it worked!  And no one seemed to notice the new style.  Well, maybe they did when she got up in front of everyone to give Gamma a toast.

gamma

Maybe it’s me
Maybe I bore you
I know-know it’s my fault
‘Cause I can’t afford you
Maybe, baby, Puffy, Jay-Z
Would be better for you
‘Cause all I could do was love you

Holla Holla Hollaaaaaaaa!

Last night was the John Legend concert and was it good!  Aside from being the minority, we had a great time.  And the people watching couldn’t have been better.  I only wish Jamila had been there to introduce me to some new names and phrases for the way some of those clowns were dressed. 

Exhibit A being the white linen suit pimp.  I tried to capture the whole outfit in one shot, but I had to break it in two.  Look at those old school Nike’s!

legend1  legend2

John sang pretty much all of his songs and there was only one I didn’t know.  Sha-zam!  However, the section we sat in was rather awkward.  The lady to my right, who was wearing the deepest plunging v-neck shirt ever, brought her 10 year old daughter to the show and proceeded to yell “WE LOVE YOU JOHN” every time the crowd was quiet.  We were near the balcony… really?  Before John came out she kept talking to me about how relieved she was that it wasn’t freezing cold outside.  Not because she hates the cold and we have to walk a mile to our cars, but because if it were cold, everyone would be in here with huge puffy jackets and we would be even more crowded in our seats.  Of course, I was holding my coat in my arms the entire time.

She also walked out when the show was over only to come back 3 minutes later.  I was still standing in the same spot I had been standing in all night when she says to me, “yeah, they say he’s going to come back out for another 2 songs”.  Good to know.  Have you ever BEEN to a concert before?

There was also a Jamaican lady behind us who sang along to every song out of key.  Perhaps it was due to her accent… “Wee jut odinay peeple, dis dime we shud ta eh slow“.  Ya, mon.

legend3

It was a great show and let me just say… it was great to watch him for that hour and a half.  He knows how to work the crowd.

First off, lets look at who is the head of their class in Bible Study.  What a diligent student!

biblestudy

Second, I learned last night that every time Suz sees a Post-It note, she says a prayer for me.  Aww, shucks.  Cue Bette Midler…

“Cause you gotta have frrrrriiiiieeeeeennnnnds…”

Just when I was having second thoughts (maybe two of them) about leaving the world of accounting, this week slapped me right back into reality. 

I. Am. So. Over. My. Job.

Checked. Out.

You get?

Every single accrual entry I have turned in in the last week has come back with corrections.  I think I seriously had a higher accuracy rate in Astronomy class.  And we all know I failed that sucker.  I mean, come on.  I’ve been here two years, I should be able to do things darn near perfect by now.  Granted I did just switch to a new fund, so some things are new, but not that much.  Or maybe its that fund accounting is miserable.  Which is definitely a valid point.

Every time I see a shadow appear on my computer screen, I know my assistant controller is leaning over the back of my cube, ready to hand back comments.  Which requires me to remove the earbuds from my ears to listen.  Which is really annoying, especially after you’ve received at least 15 comments so far that day.  I smile, a weak smile, and nod along like I give a rat’s you know what, accept the comments and plop them back onto my desk.  At which point I decide to take an Internet break to blow off my anger and annoyance. 

And today I think I have tyed out the internet.  I’ve looked at all my blogs multiple times.  The news on Yahoo doesn’t seem to change as often as I’d like.  Maybe I should resort to taking those ridiculous quizzes we used to take in college to waste time.  “Which Character From Full House Are You?”.  Today I am Stephanie Tanner.  I keep getting crapped on.

I’m going to come up with a survival guide that will get me to May.  Look forward to upcoming tips of inspiration not to go postal on your job.

Well, maybe not today seeing as it is that I have to work.  And not only on a national holiday, but a holiday that my office actually recognizes.  Whoever said it was FUN(d) accounting was smoking something I’d like to take a hit off of right about now.

So, yes, I am in a sour mood.  They brought in breakfast tacos and bagels for breakfast and are ordering in pizza for lunch.  So, let me work on my holiday AND gain 5 lbs!  That makes is all better!  Thanks you guys!

Jerks. 

The one nice thing about today is that I get to wear a t-shirt and fleece.  I was tempted to wear sweats or scrubs, but didn’t want to be that person who takes the casual liberties a bit too far.

This weekend was Mary’s birthday and I decided to keep my cake decorating tradition right on a-rollin’.  Being the crazy Britney Spears fan that she is, I decided to make it a Brit-Brit cake.  I dyed the cake batter pink and did my own drawing on the top.  My inspiration was a picture of bald Britney beating a car window in from an umbrella.  The detail was a bit of a daunting task, but after about 3 hours of total cake building time, I created another ERC masterpiece.

britney

The original…
britneyumbrella

Of course I had to write in my favorite Britney lyrics.  I’m sure the waiters at La Familia didn’t mind seeing as I bleeped out the bad word. 

It’s Britney, B*tch.

The birthday celebration was fun, especially when we finally got to eat.  FYI if you are an idiot and you like to tell lies, Gloria’s is currently accepting applications.

Well, it looks like a year’s worth of my hard work was all for nothing.  Shocking.  A company that I worked for on an EY project recently threw in the bankruptcy towel.  I probably shouldn’t disclose names, so for the sake of protecting the “innocent”, we’ll call them Rotel. 

I made some of my very best friends on this project, so at least there was something to smile about.  And I did find an amazing, yet simple, salad that I got to eat almost everyday for those 12 months.  But, beyond that… I’m not sure what else to say.

It was on my second round of Project Rotel when things really started getting absurd.  Our team was small and the client was stressed and they kept asking us to move mountains in no time.  Jamila and I were going CRAZY.  In fact, not an hour would go by without one of us singing out loud, “does that make me CRAZY?”.  We worked until 10 or 11pm most nights, ordering in food from Jason’s Deli.  It’s probably the only time I’ll ever in my life order a SALAD and have it served with NO LETTUCE.  Come on, Jason’s. 

Once the rest of our 4 person team would leave for the evening, Jamila and I would just work along singing to each other.  It was entertaining and while the work was MISERABLE, I still enjoyed the time.  We had a lot of laughs.  Until one week when they asked us to get like a couple MONTH’S worth of work done by EOW.  End of week.  Asphinctersayswhat?  So, I took the liberty of rewriting the lyrics to the Dixie Chick’s “Not Ready To Make Nice” song to reflect our situation.  In honor of Rotel…

This week, sounds good.
All done? I’m not sure I could.
They say we’ll help with everything,
But I’m still waiting.

I’m through with my part,
There’s nothing left for me to sort out.
I’ve sent the emails,
And I’ll keep sending.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel.
I’m not ready to back down.
I’m still frazzled as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round.
It’s too late to make your deadline I probably wouldn’t if I could,
‘Cause I’m frazzled as hell and I
Can’t bring myself to work 24/7 even if you think I should.

I know you said
Can’t you just get it done?
It turned my whole week around
And I didn’t like it.

I bring my sweats and change after hours,
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a client will teach her staff to get hated by a perfect stranger.
And how in the world can the questions I asked
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me an email
Sayin’ if a tree fell and nobody heard
Would my life still be over?

We used to have to email employees at Rotel and request information from them. Due to the nature of their business and that most everyone there was loony, they didn’t really appreciate these requests. Even if we were helping them in the long run. One day I got an email back from a guy telling me that the information I was requesting wasn’t really necessary to what I was doing and that “if a tree fell in the middle of the woods and nobody heard it, would it matter?”.  Thanks jack@ss! Is it surprising your company is now toast?

So… best of luck to all you Rotel tomatoes out there.  Thanks for the memories!  Oceanaire and The Mansion were quite nice.  Thanks and Gig’em!

It’s been a rough start to the working week.  I’ve been helping out another team book journal entries for a couple of new investments and I swear, these entries keep multiplying.  It’s like some kind of insect that mates at rapid speed… producing hundreds of offspring in the course of a day.  The only thing I did at work yesterday was book the same journal entry over and over and over again.  One entry, 6-7 different numbers (all at least a million) per entry, 50 entries per fund, 4 funds.  That means that I typed in closed to 10,000 numbers yesterday. 

[Sip of coffee] Ahhhh… all in a day’s work. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t finish all the entries yesterday.  So, it’s no surprise that when my alarm went off this morning, it felt like Groundhog Day.  And unfortunately, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so it looks like another day of creating entries on repeat.

groundhog-day

This is really making the whole career change thing seem all the more delightful.  I’m going to do some research on that now… I have to have something to look forward to when winter is finally over.

It was another enjoyable weekend in the neighborhood.  In fact, any day that does not involve work can be deemed enjoyable in my book.  I did accomplish some shopping, a couple of good workouts and I even got a haircut.  Which I was in need of BADLY. 

I really wish Abel could style my hair everyday.   In fact, as I sat in his chair Saturday I pondered the thought that if he and I were to date, would he style my hair everyday?  Or at least on the weekends?  But, then I thought a little more (surprising, huh?) and realized that if he and I didn’t work out, I’d have to find a new hair stylist.  Which would be like the ends of the Earth.  So, I decided to just continue seeing him every couple of months and keep it strictly platonic.

Saturday night was dinner and hanging out with the crew.  We all met at MJ’s since she’s sorta in the middle.  I managed to get myself arrested once I got to their apartment.  Don’t worry, I arrested myself with John’s handcuffs… just for kicks.  Luckily, he had the key because those suckers hurt!  Note to self: don’t get arrested on the real. 

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant and lucky for us, we got to sit by the kitchen door.  I think I still smell like fajitas today.  And I’ve had 3 showers since then.  After dinner, was more hanging out and some of your, you know,  run-of-the-mill leg wrestling.

legwesting

Sunday was filled with Church, coffee, shopping, working out, cleaning and cooking for the week.  I’m good on lunches and dinners to Friday.  Hooty hoo!