The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Two Feet, Eight Paws on the Ground

Just a quick check in since this is, gasp, dial up.

We all arrived safely on Saturday night. I got in about 3 1/2 hours before the dogs, so we had a chance to drop off my luggage (good thing since once we picked up the dogs we had two extra large crates to haul) and get a bite to eat.

It was a stressful few hours prior to departure as LAX was packed, there were lines every where, I was this.close to a panic attack. I did get upgraded to first class, and everything got better. I did burst into tears about half way through the flight, for no other reason than it suddenly hit me I was really gone.

Don was there to meet me -- what a site for sore eyes! The dogs settled nicely into the hotel room for the night. We took them to their new kennel on Sunday morning and I spent the day tooling around while Don covered the Vikings' game. Today was spent spending, spending and more spending as I bought a king mattress, linens and a washer & dryer. I still need bedroom & office furniture and will spend tomorrow going to several other stores to check out their wares.

That's it from here. The weather has been warmer than expected, but I know that won't last. I did take some good photos of the leaves changing and will post when I'm up on DSL.

Until later....

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Shooting Star

Once again I am up before the sun. All that I really have left is packing my stuff that is coming to Minneapolis with me on the plane. In a few hours I take the dogs to the kennel. I won't see them until they land on Saturday. I then go into work for a few hours to wrap up any loose ends.

I went outside at about 5:45 this morning. It was still dark, cold and damp. Because of the rain, the sky was clear and I could see the two constellations that I know -- the big dipper and the little dipper. As I was star gazing, I saw a shooting star -- a good omen. Yes, I did make a wish, but I'm not going to tell you until it happens!

I'm emotinally numb right now and maybe that's a good thing. I really can't afford to be breaking down or losing it. I kind of need to keep it together. There will be time to let the emotions be felt.

This may be my last post for awhile, depending on if I can connect at the hotel. I'm not sure how quickly, once we move in, we'll get our DSL set up, but I'll try to get the word out that we arrived safely.

The ending always comes at last
Endings always come to fast
They come to fast
But they pass too slow

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Wrapping It All Up

Final conference call. Final client meeting. Wrapping up training. Final cleaning of my desk. Saving files. Cleaning out my e-mail. That's just work.

At home -- pack the dog stuff for the kennel. Go through the house one more time to clear any trash. Start packing. Get CDs out of the car. Clean out the fridge. Mark the items that are staying. Pick up the laptop from the repair shop.

Is there any wonder why I'm waking up at 4:00 AM?

I did try to get some of my feelings down in my journal last night. I was contemplating trashing it. I started it in June of 1994 right before I moved to NYC. I figured it had run its cycle and I needed a new start to parallel my new start in Minnesota. I've been thinking about this for awhile. But, as I went back to read how I felt before my last move, I came across a lot of stuff that I didn't remember writing. Stuff about Don and my early feelings about him. Stuff I had to laugh about, stuff I didn't even remember. In the end, I decided to keep it and continue writing in it. It's a great journal, and I've never found another that could really replace it. It's big -- I don't know how many pages, but it's about 2 inches thick, it has a light brown (think: brown bag), hard cover with a drawing of Atlas on it. It was marketed as a sketch book, so the pages are not lined. That's helpful since I like to turn it and write which every way is most comfortable. It's been with me too long to discard it. It holds too many memories. It's about 3/4 full, so, depending on how often I write (there can be months between entries), it should last awhile longer.

Tonight is going to be a little emotional as it's the last night in the house with the dogs. Once they are gone tomorrow morning, it will just be me in there for Thursday night. Since my going away party is Thursday night across the street from my house, and the truck is going to be there at 7:00 AM on Friday, it doesn't make sense for me not to sleep in my house Thursday night. Maybe the margs I plan on drinking will make it easier.

Or, maybe not.....

Monday, October 18, 2004

Rain, Rain, Go Away

We got a ton of rain over the weekend. Granted, we needed it, but I would have loved a nice, sunny last weekend here in SoCal. Anyway, I did get a bunch of stuff done, including paying all my upcoming bills, laundry, culling my Tupperware collection, voting and meeting Denise!

Denise and I have been internet buddies for well over a year, meeting on In fact, it was because of her blog that I decided to start one. I love my blogging buddies and the community we're in. We had a wonderful time talking about who we read, my upcoming move, politics, the weather -- good coffeehouse conversation that just flowed so naturally. She talks just like she writes -- witty, funny, introspective. Thanks, Denise, for the inspiration.

More rain is expected today and tomorrow, which really bums me out. Usually I love rain, but I could really use some balmy weather while we pack and load the house. I have a few things to wrap up, a few more conference calls, a client meeting or two, but I'm finding I can beg out of most especially since I will be training my "replacement." The person who will be doing part of my job won't have the same job title -- essentially it's an agent who will still be expected to do his duties on top of my "non-leadership" tasks. The sad part -- no salary increase until next April. We also found out there is yet another internal reorg and V.P.s and Presidents all have to reapply for their jobs. I'm so glad this is almost over. It's getting depressing around here.

Of course, I still have the following to do before Thursday:

1) Clean my office closet out
2) Start packing what will go on the plane with me
3) Make a final cull of my closet & drawers
4) Bag everything for Salvation Army
5) Get dog food & price 2 crates
6) Pick up my lap top
7) Pick up my dry cleaning
8) Send in my expense report
9) Hit the ATM
10) Cancel my two wine clubs
11) File my insurance claim for the dogs

And that's just the short list.....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Cupboards Are Bare

The movers won't pack open food items, foods in glass containers or food that needs to be refridgerated. Dad came over yesterday and took a lot and the rest will go to Mom's tonight. I tend to think of myself as a gourmet cook, so I had a lot of somewhat expensive ingredients like sun dried tomatoes, white truffle oil and champange vinegar that I had to give away. At least they are going to good homes....

I worked from home yesterday -- OK, not really. I had already finished what I was supposed to be working on so I used the day to clean out more stuff and get my hair done. I still have one closet to clean out, a vase to bust up (Mom made it, and it's not my favorite piece. It's been in my closet for 3 years.), and Tupperware to go through. The house gets cleaned tomorrow for the last time. I'm going to have to start thinking about what I'm going to pack to take with me. I started to put shorts on the list but realized that it's in the mid-50s in Minneapolis, so shorts probably aren't an option.

I'm waiting for my absentee ballot to arrive. If it doesn't, I do have the option of voting early at one of the "touch screen" locations, although those don't open until next Wednesday. It will be weird to vote on the plethora of propositions that won't really affect me.

The house stuff is slowly coming together. I got a great insurance quote, which is really the last thing I have to provide before we close. The paperwork is just amazing. It's now two weeks before we close on the LA house. I still am nervous that something will affect the timing and we will have a truck loaded with all of our stuff waiting outside our new home and we won't have the keys. If anyone has some extra good thoughts, toss them my way -- please.....

Tomorrow is Jager's birthday. She'll be 4. I read on Michele's blog about how she found her cat. It reminded me that we don't always choose the animals that are in our lives -- they choose us. Don and I decided not to get a second dog until the first one was fully trained (ha, ha, ha). We were at the dog park in March of 2002 and they were having their monthly adoption fair. As we left the park, I stopped by and saw this beautiful dog with golden eyes and a tail that just wouldn't stop. I guessed she was a staff terrier puppy. I remembered what Don and I had agreed to, and got into the car. I don't even think I mentioned her to Don. The following month, we were back and so was the adoption fair. This time, I stopped by on our way in. Don took Baja and I looked at all the cute dogs. It was puppy season, and there were some really cute 8-week old pups. I turned around, and there she was with this look on her face I couldn't resist. I knelt down and she licked my fingers and wiggled. The rescue organization woman asked if I wanted to take her into the park. She said her name was Zena, she was 2 1/2 years old and that she was found on the streets of South Central LA with a broken shoulder and elbow in Nov. 2001 and had been in rehab since. Zena had actually been adopted the previous month, but returned after a few weeks when the woman realized that taking care of a dog was harder than caring for a cat. I took her into the park and went to find Don and Baja. They were under a tree, Baja playing with another dog and Don talking to the owner explaining I was looking at the available dogs, but only looking.

I don't know what it was, but I knew I had to adopt Zena. There was something in the way she looked at me, with such expectation and longing. I really had not planned on getting another dog so soon. Baja was enough of a handful. I'm not even sure how I talked Don into it, but when we left the park that day, we had two dogs. I have always said, and Don agrees, that Jager adopted us that day.

Of course, now, I don't think either of us could imagine what life would be like without these two. Don has been living for 6 1/2 weeks without puppy companionship. Not too much longer, though!

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Long Goodbyes

So, it's officially started. On Friday, I packed up most of my desk and cleaned it out so it would be ready for the next occupant. As I was taking my stuff to my car, it amazed me that I culled 9 years of files, swag, office supplies, and personal items down to 3 boxes. Once I got home, I said goodbye to my long-time house cleaner. On Saturday, I took my car for its final wash and on Sunday I had my last pedi/mani from the salon I've been going to for over 12 years.

Other goodbye are coming -- clients, co-workers, neighbors, friends and finally family. I will have my final dinner with my Mom this week since she's off to Florida for a week of vacation. The office is throwing me a farewell party on my last day in the office (next Thursday)at Paco's Tacos. Next Friday will be my last dinner with my Dad.

It's weird knowing that I only have 10 more nights in my house. It would seem a cause for getting drunk and singing sad songs, but I'm too busy for that right now. About all I have time for is sighing heavily with melancholy when I take the dogs out on a beautiful night.

The weekend was actually very relaxing -- just what I needed. I watched football and baseball, did some general cleaning (why didn't I do this before we had to move -- I freed up so much space!), and caught up on my TiVo (anyone else see the season finale of Nip/Tuck? WOW!). I also downloaded some new tunes to my iPod. I still have space for 900, but I wanted to toss some in there that I didn't already have on CD.

Only 7 1/2 more working days -- and at least one of those will be "working from home" to write my staff reviews. To be honest, I have a hair appointment at noon and my Dad will be stopping by to clean out my fridge, freezer and pantry. My To Do list is getting shorter, but it doesn't list all the emotional baggage I need to deal with.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Burning Bridges

After a morning like today, I don't think I am going to miss this place as much as I thought. I know I'm a short-timer here, but that does not mean you can continue to dump your work on me while you "work from home" (I know you're at your sister's in San Diego). I also don't appreciate my former boss asking me to do work that does not need to be done. How can I write a Business Continuation Plan for a client? And why is that our responsibility anyway? Ahhh, and a topper. A rep is coming in today that you "forgot" about and need me to be your sit in. Just what I have -- an extra hour to B.S. about an account I know nothing about. Thanks.

Needless to say, counting down days just became counting down hours. Don't mean to be bitter, but I'm tired of hearing sentences starting with, "Can you do me this one favor?" because it's never just ONE favor. It's, like, one favor a day, and sometimes two or three! I have my own work to do, my own team to manage, my own clients to deal with.

OK, that's off my chest. It's been a hell of a morning -- service issues, deadlines on top of deadlines, staffing changes. The good news is that I plan on taking next Wednesday off and I have to take a client out to lunch next Friday (OK, not really, and this is something that I would usually beg off, but it will get me out of the office for 3-4 hours).

The good thing to report is that I have gotten a lot of my To Do list done as far as stopping and starting services (utilities, newspaper, etc.). The only snag was cancelling my phone and DSL service with SBC. They want to charge us $200.00 for breaking our DSL contract. Sorry, but it's not my fault you don't service Minneapolis. The other good bit of news is that the family that is buying our house does want to keep the basketball hoop in the back yard. That is going to save me trying to figure out how to dispose of it. And, Salvation Army picked up everything I left.

I still have a lot to do, and it still doesn't seem real. But, I have 2 weeks left at work (9 days, 5 hours) and only 2 weeks and 1 day in my house. Hey, anyone want to meet me in Minneapolis to help me unpack?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Counting The Days

It's weird knowing that in just 2 weeks I will no longer be coming to this office. There is a sense of relief, guilt, trepidation, and melancholy.

Relief because of all the changes I know this division will be going through over the next few months. The powers that be are looking at merging and closing offices, cutting benefits (this was announced earlier this year), doing more with less, hiring "pauses" (a euphemism if there ever was one), etc. Also relief from the fact I won't have to deal with staffing, reviews, discipline, etc.

Guilt because I know I'm leaving a team in the hands of a new leader who will be a lot more busy than I ever was and who will not have the time to help develop talent. Also, because off all the changes, the new leader is going to be so busy and so not familiar with how things are done. I am expecting major burn out from her and the rest of the office.

Trepidation because I have been here 9 years. I know what my job is, how to get things done and answers to almost all questions thrown at me. I will be going into an office where I don't even know where the copier or the bathrooms are.

Melancholy because this has been my home for 9 years. As much as I bitch and moan about my job, I do love my team (most of the time) and will really miss all the friends and support I've enjoyed.

It hasn't even really hit me that this chapter of my life is all over. I'm caught between trying to wrap things up, working new projects since the new leader is so busy, not wanted to overstep my boundaries because I think it's important that she sets them now. I do have a few tasks to complete between now and when I leave and I'm trying to get them done, but at the same time I resent when she dumps her stuff on me knowing that I do feel guilty and will do it.

In the meantime, I'm excited and scared about my new position. I know I won't have all the answers and will feel a bit like a fish out of water in so many ways. Here, I know where I can grab a bit to eat in 60 minutes, how to fix the phones when they go down, how to unjam the copier, where to thump the printer when it sticks. I'm a big fish in a small pond here. In Minneapolis, and maybe somewhat apropos with 12,000 lakes and all, I will be a small fish in a very large lake.

Today will be spent trying to finish up at least two projects that should take the better part of the day. Plus, we're supposed to have a client meeting, but I hope I just need to make a cameo appearance and turn the relationship over to the new leader. Tonight I think I am going to try and tackle cleaning out my craft closet. Because I make candles, soaps and incense, at least the job will smell good.

Monday, October 04, 2004

What's That on the Horizon?

Maybe a weekend of not totally running around? As it stands, Friday night I'm going to Staples Center with my mom to see the tribute to Ray Charles. On Saturday, I'm getting my house cleaned, taking the dogs to the groomers (mostly to get them out from underfoot) and getting my own nails done. On Sunday, my calendar is actually clear.

I mean, I will have things to do. Most of the big stuff is done -- escrow papers signed, garage sale was held, Salvation Army pick up scheduled, etc. I do still need to cull through some stuff, including my closet and my dresser to see if I can toss anything else on the pile to be picked up tomorrow, but for the most part I envision myself sitting on the deck, soaking in some rays and just vegging out.

The weekend was great. Seeing Don again with the dogs and in our house again felt very good. I think I'm a little less stressed because we actually have an end point to all of this. And I'm starting to get excited about the new house. It looks like my mom will be able to come and join me for the unloading weekend and help get me a little organized before I have to go into work. My plan is to unpack the bathroom stuff, followed by the kitchen stuff and the rest can be done as needed.

I'm trying to get stuff at work wrapped up but my co-leader is so swamped I'm finding myself doing more of her job than my own and it's kind of pissing me off. I guess she feels that since I'm here only 12 1/2 more days she can pile up her work on me. But, hey, no bitterness here....I have no idea what is going to happen after I leave.

In the meantime, I am trying to keep all the balls in the air while walking on a high wire with no net. I can't wait to get off this merry-go-round. I need some serious nesting time.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Feeling Giddy

Don is home! I'm sure those in the nearby vicinity must have heard the celebration. The dogs were so cute when they realized he was home. Both slept in between us with Baja getting spooned by either Don or me at some point during the night.

It's so different than when I was there last weekend. First of all, we're in familiar surroundings with our stuff, in our house. Also, it's the entire "family" with the dogs and all. My cheeks hurt from smiling so big.

Of course, it's going to be a very busy weekend as we have the yard sale, take the dogs to the vet, have the house cleaned, sign paperwork for the house sales, etc. I also know, that after Sunday, it will be about 3 weeks before I see him again. There's going to be plenty to keep me busy, however, so it will probably go by quickly.

The other upshot of having things fall into place is that my crying jags seem to be gone. I do know that there is still a month for something to happen, and so many are telling me how amazed they are as to how easy this has been for us, that I'm almost anticipating the other shoe to drop. But I have to have faith that this is going to work out for us and it's going to be as smooth as possible.

Don's picking me up in just a few minutes to go to the vet and get the pups checked out for their trip. Hope everyone has a great weekend!