The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

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

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Finally, The Weekend!

What a day at work yesterday! Our two phone menus (client and advisor) crashed right at the start of business so calls were getting dropped. We decided to route all of the client calls to our operator queue (we've been testing the option of letting clients press "0" to speak to a live person to route their calls), but out of the 10 agents we staff, 1 was on PTO and 4 called in sick!!! We then had to rush and add the operator queue skill to a bunch of domestic agents. Meanwhile, 9 virtual agents were having tech issues with their phones so they couldn't log in for 2 hours. ALSO, there were political demonstrations in India, which delayed our agents getting into the Mumbai site. Of course, as we are trying to fix the client menu, the advisor menu went down, which was dumping all the calls into one of our queues who then had to transfer the call. We were getting complaints about that process (plus calls were backing up - up to 50 waiting for 5+ minutes) so we switched to where the advisor could at least choose the product they wanted (Mutual Funds, Insurance, Annuities, Brokerage) and we then had to add those skills to all the associates in those queues. The worst was the manager who runs the Command Center was on PTO so I had to oversee all of that. I usually work 7 - 3:30 (actually it's usually 6:30 - 4 or later) but I had planned on leaving at 3:00 because Don was covering training camp and the dogs were inside from 7 to 4 - much longer than they are used to. I had to drag my laptop home and manage the process from here... Needless to say, I had a few beers last night...

Don was up and out of the house early (7:15 AM) to cover practice at training camp. He opts to drive 90 minutes each way rather than overnight in Mankato, which is great for me but I know is hard on him. The weather today is supposed to be OK - 88 with low humidity, but the temps and humidity levels are rising over the next few days with no relief in sight, so think cool thoughts for him. It's nice out right now (8:45 AM) but I know it will only get hotter, and he will be down there until about 7:00 PM (home at 8:30 or so). It's a long day for him, but it's only for a few weeks.

I am planning on hanging out with my friend Jen for the day. I don't know what we have on tap other than a pedicure (desperately needed!!) and lunch. I've talked about getting a tattoo, but I am not 100% sure on that. I just need to get out of the house for a bit. Tomorrow is going to be all about chores - laundry, house cleaning, errands, etc.

No big surprise but insurance is not going to cover part of my plastic surgery. I was, pleasantly surprised, at the price difference - $17,000 (with insurance) vs. $18,000 (without). I thought it would have been more of a difference, and it will still be a grind to get the money together, but a $1000 is not that big of a hurdle in the scheme of things. The interesting thing is that my insurance (Medica) will only cover medically needed plastic surgery within 2 years of weight loss surgery. Now that I know what I need to save means there isn't a deadline of October 5 to have insurance kick in $1000.

Off to shower up and get somewhat presentable for my day out. I've already cleaned out the fridge and made my grocery list for the week. The dishwasher is running and I have dinner planned for tonight (tilapia tacos - yum!).

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back Home

We got home at 8:00 PM (CST) on Friday after two long driving days. We spent the weekend doing laundry, restocking the fridge (can't live on ginger ale and mayo), and getting back into the groove.

I spent Saturday going to the grocery store, getting the car washed and gassed up, doing laundry/ironing and reading the latest Harry Potter book (received at noon, finished by 11:45 PM). Sunday was all about going to the gym, a few more errands and just trying to get back to a normal schedule. We took the dogs for a hike, which totally wiped them out, and getting geared up for the upcoming week.

It's moving day for my "office" (i.e. CUBE) tonight. Starting tomorrow I will be on the same floor as the departments we support. I am at an "off-site" strategic planning meeting tomorrow, which should be interesting. I won't be able to unpack until Thursday, but I think I packed pretty well so getting organized should be a breeze.

I do have "thoughts from the road" but those will have to wait until later. Off to have dinner...


Thursday, July 19, 2007

On The Road Again

One of the nice things about having a BlackBerry is that I can surf while Don drives. We are right outside of Beaver, UT - about 290 miles from Grand Junction, CO and 550 miles from Denver, which will be our stopping spot for the night.

The roads have been clear so far and the weather is great as well, albeit rather hot.

It was a bittersweet departure for us, but we know we'll be back next year. Off to enjoy the scenery of Fish Lake, UT.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And, Yet, Another Day

I could retire here. The endless days of beach walks, reading, swims in the pool, trying new restaurants. It's all good.

The best was seeing some long-time friends of my parents who were "missing" for a bit. This was a woman who arranged my brother's baby shower, who helped my parents adjust to having a new baby in the house (ME!!), whom my mom was her maid of honor... For whatever reason they fell out of touch and recently reconnected via Google. We had a wonderful lunch catching up - and I'd love to see them again. Their oldest son, Willie, was someone I got into a lot of trouble with (although I deny it) and I'd love to see him again...

Meanwhile, Don and I are getting ready for our anniversary dinner at the Wine Cask in Santa Barbara. They catered our wedding, so we always go back there for our anniversary dinner. It will be nice, but somewhat bittersweet as we get ready to head back to Minnesota. We have our reservation at a Holiday Inn Express outside of Denver for Thursday which will make our final leg easier....

Off to get ready for dinner...


Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Day in Paradise

The sun has finally come out of hiding. We've had back-to-back days of full sun, which has been nice. I have now read 3 books - "The Red Tent," "The Thirteenth Tale," and "Eat.Pray.Love." I would highly recommend all three. They are all coming-of-age stories in their own way, and I will be taking wisdom from each going forward.

My mom is here now. We've been hanging out, reading and catching up. We have found a new game for the dogs - fetch the stick on the beach. Don and I took Baja & Jager to the beach on Tuesday. It was so overcast and early and the beach was deserted. We decided to let them off-leash, which isn't something we normally do since I know not everyone loves dogs and ours can be a little hard to control when they see new people. Anyway, since there was no one on the beach, we let them off leash and Baja found a driftwood stick, about the length of your forearm. We must have tossed the stick 50 times (OK, not that many, but close) into the ocean, and they both ran after it again, and again, and again.

Both the dogs ran into the ocean, including letting waves crash over their heads. There was also a pod of dolphins about 20 yards (if that) off the shoreline that they noticed. On Thursday when we took them, we didn't see and dolphins, but Jager chased several flocks of birds, and we saw dead squid, dead lobster, and dead stingray. Luckily, they haven't tried to roll around in them!

Off to have dinner, and maybe play a game of UNO!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Safe Arrival

We arrived in Santa Barbara, safe & sound, no worse for wear. We drove from Eden Prairie, MN to Grand Junction, CO (1175 miles, 17.5 hours) the first day. The next leg - from Grand Junction to Las Vegas (511 miles, 7.5 hours) was pretty easy. Don drove that leg, and we had very little traffic and just a little road construction. The last leg, Las Vegas to Santa Barbara (364 miles, 5.75 hours) was the worst. Of course, that's the leg I drove. The traffic was horrible - bumper-to-bumper going anywhere from 10 MPH to 85 MPH. People were weaving in and out, cutting in front of cars with inches to spare, using the slow traffic/truck only lane as a passing lane. It was a very stressful drive. Between LV and Barstow, we'd be traveling at a pretty good pace and then all of a sudden, we'd have to slam on the brakes and creep along at 20 MPH for a few miles and then floor it when the traffic cleared. I'm know part of the reason it was so crazy is it was the Sunday after the 4th of July, so there was a lot of holiday traffic.

The dogs did really well. They stay in the back of the CRV and remain pretty quiet. They did get excited when we got off in Santa Barbara. I opened up the sunroof and the back windows and they were sniffing up a storm. I'd like to think they knew where they were. They had a bit of a rough patch the second day since it was so hot and the blacktop and dried out grass hurt their paws so neither of them wanted to get out and "mark."

We arrived in Santa Barbara around 5:30 PM local time. We unpacked, ordered BBQ to go (yum!) and vegged out. Both Don and I were a little testy because of the stressful last leg. A few glasses of wine and a good night's sleep seemed to remedy that. I went to Trader Joe's in the morning to stock up and then spent the rest of the day out by the pool reading and relaxing. It was overcast until around 2:30 PM, which was fine with us.

I read an entire book yesterday - "The Red Tent." If you haven't read this, you really should. It's the fictionalized story of Dinah, daughter of Joseph, from the Bible. It was a great read, and I was drawn in immediately to the story. I brought a total of 11 books (9 for me, 2 for Don).

We don't really have formal plans for today. It's overcast this morning but it's supposed to burn off earlier than it did yesterday. We will take the dogs for a beach walk early this morning and then hang by the pool again. I know, a rough job, but somebody has to do it!

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Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm So Excited!

OK, first things first, the plastic surgery consultation went very well. Both Don and I really liked the doctor and thought he did a great job explaining everything. The good news is that insurance will cover some, it's done as an outpatient procedure, I'd be off of work 2-4 weeks. The bad news is insurance doesn't cover everything, so it will be about $17,000 out of pocket. I would look at getting a full lower body lift (LBL), a breast lift (BL) with breast augmentation (BA). The one surgery won't address all my issues - I would need a second operation if I decided to get my inner thighs and arms done. I plan on checking out 2 other surgeons, but at least I know a ball-park and can start saving money.

I am leaving the office at noon today to finish up getting ready to leave tomorrow. I need to get a mani/pedi, get the car washed, pack, walk the dogs, etc. I'd love to be on the road by 6 AM, but I think it will probably be closer to 7 AM. The hotel we wanted to stay in (Grand Junction Holiday Inn Express) is sold out so we will have to travel another hour and stay at the HIE in Parachute, CO. That means it will be an 1100 mile drive tomorrow (about 16 - 17 hours with stops) but it will be a much shorter trip on Sunday - about 900 miles and 11 hours. Long days, but so worth it. We have our routine down pretty well to keep the stops short - I run to the bathroom while Don gives the dogs a potty break. When I get back, we get the dogs back in the car and I pull up to the pump for gas while Don runs to the bathroom. We can keep our stops to about 10 minutes. We do a little longer one when we feed the dogs dinner, but we even try to eat in the car so we can keep moving forward.

I am so hepped up right now - I probably didn't need the second large coffee. I can barely concentrate. It's a good thing I only have 3 more hours, because I am as jumpy as a cat on a hot tin roof! Let's Roll!!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Nerves of Jell-O

I have my consultation with a plastic surgeon at 3:00 today, and for some reason I am very nervous. I'm not sure if it's because I don't want to get my hopes up thinking insurance will pay for some of it and then come to find out the procedures are going to be $20K out of pocket if it's because I'm afraid of being judged by the surgeon or what. Regardless, I am sitting here with butterflies in my stomach and sawdust in my mouth, my palms are sweaty and my heart is pounding. At least Don thinks he'll be able to go with me, so that will be good.

We had a very nice weekend. On Saturday, we took the dogs for a walk, got the car looked at (and got 4 new tires - UGH!!) and spent time on the deck. My friends Carol and Mandy came over with their pups, Pablo and Gracie. The dogs did pretty well. We had to break them up twice but it was more posturing than anything else. I grilled chicken and Carol made pomegranate mojitos.

On Sunday, we took the tired dogs for a grooming appointment. Once we got them home we all crashed on the deck. I haven't seen the dogs so tired! They were pooped out all day. Don said they bounced back this morning pretty well, but I'm sure it will be another day or two before they are feeling frisky again.

I will try and post after my appointment. Keep your fingers crossed!!

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