Tuesday, May 31, 2005

On Vacation: Day Twenty-One

Yesterday was a holiday, so I don't have to count it against my vacation time.

Let's see ... lots to tell. Was busy yesterday as you saw by the post, and I'm happy to say that I have six postcards lined up and ready to go starting tomorrow. I thought June 1 would be a good time to start. There are a few regulars out there who are resisting for whatever reasons, but I'm sure they'll come around. Plus, I'm going to be corresponding with a few new faces as well. Cool.

Busy day today - went to the gym for my 8:30 pilates class, spent some time in the tanning booth, stopped at the grocery store, picked up today's paper which contains my third society column, and dashed into the post office to buy some stamps. Moved three more wheelbarrows full of dirt and then it clouded over and started to sprinkle. Saw that as a sign to come in and fart around on the computer for awhile. I might shower and go into the office later on. Or not. We'll see.

Be sure to check back here tomorrow to see who the very first postcard recipient shall be.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Hoarding Postcards

As I was cleaning out my car (Trucklet) yesterday, I came across a plastic envelope with road maps. It seemed oddly thick, so I opened it up and discovered a bunch of postcards that I had purchased when on vacation the past few years.

I always buy postcards when I go somewhere - to give me something to remember the place by in case I don't get any good shots myself. My intention is to put them in a scrapbook/photo album.

I haven't put anything in a scrapbook or photo album since 1994.

So what was I thinking, continuing to buy these postcards? Shit like this is just weighing me down, man. I gotta travel light. So here's the deal. I've been On Vacation for twenty days. It just so happens that I have 20 postcards. I'm going to spend the next 20 days getting rid of these postcards:

Email me your address, and I'll send you one of these fine postcards. Even if you think I already have your address, send it to me anyway. First twenty respondants get a postcard and a shout on your special day.

Don't make me beg for addresses, folks. Just fork 'em over. It's not like Trucklet and I are going to show up on your doorstep. I'm too busy going to black-tie events and picking up local politicians.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Late In The Evening ...

Remember this guy?

Well, he was at the event tonight. Since my date never showed up, I went to the party by myself. And ended up sitting next to him. We got acquainted. He came over for a drink. He just left.

My life is so fucking fascinating. I definitely have to write a book.

Friday, May 27, 2005

On Vacation: Day Twenty

What happened to Day Nineteen, you ask?

That's what I'd like to know. It was a long, productive day. Pilates class, followed by some work on the computer; the running of errands to the jeweler, the travel agency, the furniture store and the nursery; a few hours at the office so I could follow up with the little old man with the Swedish accent; dashing home to mow the lawn in between rain showers; setting out the tarp for today's mulch delivery; snarfing down a quick dinner; and then going out to meet someone from my women's group.

Except that last meeting only lasted twenty minutes. And then I ran into Jeannie and John and Joe. And before I knew it, I was drinking an Irish Car Bomb. If the story were to end badly, I would say "and that's the last thing I remember." Fortunately, the Irish Car Bomb was only preceeded by two Coronas, so I was able to keep my wits about me, and I excused myself and walked home at 11:00.

But still. Long. Full. Day.

And here I am, up and ready to tackle Day Twenty.

I'm going to putter around the yard this morning while I wait for the mulch to be delivered. Having lunch with a former co-worker who is in town for the weekend. This afternoon I would love to be able to take a nap, but I probably won't be able to relax enough for that to happen. Instead, I'll be fussing with my hair and nails in anticipation of tonight's black-tie dinner.

Photos and story some other time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

On Vacation: Day Eighteen

Today was an interesting day. Went to the gym in the morning, and then came home and made some phone calls. Had to round up a date for Friday night's black-tie event, and ended up shagging snagging my financial advisor. Of course he owns his own tux. He's going to be blown away when he sees me in that lavendar gown. Will do my damndest to get a pic of that.

Went shopping this afternoon. Needed to pick up my charm bracelet at the jewelers, and while I was at the mall I decided to look for some silver hoop earrings. Happened upon a 50% off sale, and with the in-store coupon, got an additional 15% off. Ended up getting five pairs of earrings and two costume cocktail rings for less than $50. Not bad.

Then, when I picked up the charm bracelet, they mentioned the re-setting event they are having tomorrow. I joked that I had a lovely engagement ring in my jewelry box that I no longer wore. And then I realized I wasn't joking. I've been thinking about having that diamond reset for a long time now. I think I'm going to do it.

It's time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

On Vacation: Day Seventeen

This is a new concept.

I'm at the library, using the free wi-fi network there while the cleaning lady is, well, cleaning my house. I got up and went to the 8:30 pilates class at the gym, and let me tell you, the instructor kicked my butt today. She tried a few new moves on us, and unless I'm mistaken, she truly enjoyed watching me as I jacknifed up and then slowly uncurled my body, only to throw my legs over my head and do it again. Oh yeah, she enjoyed that.

So the plan is to finally write that overdue profile. Actually the plan was to go into the office and write the profile, but they are still parading candidates around and I really don't want to be there when that happens. Like I would have gotten it done at the office anyway. At least I would have had the phone at my disposal. Although someone's cell phone just rang at the next table over. Apparently nothing is sacred.

I have another assignment for the newspaper, and this time it's a doozy. Black-tie gala on Friday. And I can bring a date. I extended the invitation to my main squeeze and he hasn't gotten back to me. He's in the middle of having the floors refinished at his house, and he's not sure if he'll be able to make it. If I don't hear anything from him by the end of the day, I'm going to my back-up date, the unemployed boy next door.

I plan on wearing the new lavender gown I picked up a few weeks ago, ever though it is still only 50 fucking degees and there doesn't seem to be a snowball's chance in hell of it warming up by the end of the week. Someone said this morning that the long term forecast for the summer is much the same - cool, dreary and rainy. I bought more tanning booth coupons.

And now, at the table on the other side of me, someone popped open a Diet Coke. If I'd known that the no food rule at the library had been suspended, I would have packed my lunch.

1:57 p.m.

I blame it on hormones.

I just ate the entire little box of Hallmark chocolates that I had gotten for Susan. The box said "Boyfriends may come and go, but chocolate is forever!" I meant to give it to her over the weekend, but forgot. Now, with PMS in full swing, those chocolates didn't stand a chance. Besides, I probably worked off those 340 calories in pilates class this morning. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. Self-delusion: it's a wonderful thing.

Monday, May 23, 2005

On Vacation: Day Sixteen

I hope I can accomplish something today.

It's not that I'm just wasting my time, but without a set schedule, I find myself wandering. Starting things and not finishing. I did manage to start and finish my laundry yesterday. I did manage to start and finish posting photos to my birthday blog. I did manage to start and finish a work-out at the gym. So I'm not totally spinning my wheels.

What shall I do today? Suggestions, anyone?

10:44 p.m.

Despite the lack of creativity and input on your part, I managed to be very productive today. It was grey and gloomy and there were even a few raindrops falling when I went outside, but I knew I wouldn't melt. I fluffed the front bed and sowed some seeds - candy tuft, rock cress and alyssum. Trained the climatis. Moved the hosta and lilies in front of the garden gate and planted the foxglove seeds. Did some weeding in the side bed. Pulled up some of those nasty, insidious ferns. Planted the gladiola bulbs. Transplanted house plants into hanging baskets. Put cuttings into water to root.

I think that was it for the yard work. Had lunch with Phil. Took time out to accept a phone call - from a company that I've been trying to get into. I think I connected with the HR director - she's trying to find something that will fit my skills - wants to be sure she places me correctly. Great. Fine. Take your time, babe. Went to yoga. Took my jacket off and several of the women commented that it looked like I had lost weight. Yeah, baby!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

On Again and Off Again and On Again

I just turned the heat on again. It really pains me to be running the furnace on May 22, but it's been 50 degrees and raining most of the weekend. And it looks like that's what it will be for the foreseeable future. It was only 62 degrees here in my bedroom. Too cold to change into my pj's. And I'm feeling conjested again.

They are interviewing candidates for my job tomorrow. I think I'll stay away from the office.

Friday, May 20, 2005

On Vacation: Day Fifteen

Q: Remind me again why I usually don't drink tequila?

A: Because it gives you the runs.

File that away in your list of "really too much information but definitely something that's good to know" things about Kenna.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

On Vacation: Day Fourteen

Good grief - am I really already on my third week of vacation? What do I have to show for it?

I've been keeping busy, but without a schedule and deadlines, I find myself wandering from task to task. Like today.

Got up and went to the gym for a pilates class at 8:30.
Wandered home around 10:00 and by 10:30 was outside doing yardwork for the next two and a half hours.
I planted more myrtle and some white lamium that I picked up at the farmer's market yesterday.
Checked the climatis and trained it through the fence.
Pulled some weeds.
Fluffed/spruced the small bed by the gate.
Transplanted the campanula that was in the shade out back.
Mixed peat moss into the compost.
Came inside to check email and get some lunch.
Tried the taking of The Nap. (Not sure how well I did - layed down at 2:00 and got up at 3:00. Not sure if I actually slept because I was thinking about the webforwarding service that expired today because I didn't renew it and half expecting the phone to ring at just the wrong time.)
Turned on the computer to check email again, and invited Dr. Phil to join me in the background.

And here I am. Now watching Oprah - the topic today is the two-headed baby that survived being separated from her second parasitic head.

So much still to be done ... writing thank you notes for my birthday party, cleaning the porch, sorting through the boxes in the basement, writing the overdue profile that I promised my boss before starting to take my unused vacation time ... and the list goes on.

I need structure.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

On Vacation: Day Thirteen

I could get used to this not working thing.

Skipped town yesterday and drove to Boston. I had such a good time meeting John there a few weeks ago, I decided to make a return trip when I could spend more time. Of course, it helped that I was tagging along with a friend who was traveling there on business. Can you say all expenses paid?

Got back around 3:00 this afternoon and promptly mowed the lawn.

[insert euphemism here]

Checked my email and my voicemail, walked to the farmer's market with Phil and his daughter, then came back home and cooked dinner together. Not a bad way to spend Day Thirteen of my vacation.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I Ache All Over

It was supposed to rain yesterday, so I didn't think I'd get much yard work done. I had gone out Friday night and by the time I went to the gym and got home on Saturday, it was nearly noon. By the time I checked email and did some surfing, it was almost 2:00. By then, it was 68 degrees and it still hadn't rained, so I thought I'd see what could be done.

Five hours later, I had:

* cleaned out the front bed
* planted 50 sprigs of pachysandra
* split my astilbe
* planted myrtle
* dug up ferns
* planted 30 bulbs
* weeded the bed around the maple tree
* planted the Easter lily

I'm glad I did it, though, because it is indeed raining this morning. Debating about whether or not to go to the gym. Wondering whether or not to go outlet shopping with Susan later on. Tonight is the season finale of Survivor so I know that I'll be parked in front of the television for that this evening.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On Vacation: Day Nine

Slept until 7:30. Wish I could have slept later - I'm still tired. Got up and went to pilates class at the gym. Interestingly enough, even though I'm now 40 I still seem to be one of the youngest people wherever I go. I'm one of the youngest in my yoga class, I'm the youngest in this pilates class, and I'm still one of the youngest in my women's group. That's one way to feel young - just hang out with older people!

Phil strolled in around 10:30. He spent the night at his girlfriend's place and was just getting up. I honestly don't know how he can sleep that long/late. With me, once the sun comes up, I'm up too.

Bagged the leaves that I'd left loose in the street yesterday. The public works guys will be so proud of me. Raked some more and pulled a few weeds but then came in. You know what? I might take a nap. Yeah - why not? Why not, indeed ...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On Vacation: Day Eight

Slept fairly well last night, but was awake by 7:00 a.m. Checked some email and took my time waking up and then went to the gym. Then I hit the tanning booth and picked up some photos at the drugstore and came home and had a leisurely breakfast around 10:00 a.m.

Phil fired up the lawnmower and I mowed the lawn and then tackled the back beds. Still lots of leaves to be raked before I can put down fresh mulch. Came in a while ago and showered. Was lounging around in my silk pj's when I heard a knock on the door. Thought it was the unemployed boy next door, so I answered it only to find one of the city's finest public works employees. What a thrill for him! They just wanted to let me know that I need to put my yard debris in a container instead of leaving it loose in the street. A little change in the rules, but I can deal.

I have my monthly women's group meeting tonight, so I'm getting ready for that. Wanted to do a lot more in the yard, but there's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

On Vacation: Day Seven

Thanks for your birthday wishes - I'll remember y'all when I finally cash in that winning lottery ticket.

So ... considering the fact that I had a work-related lunch today, I'm not so sure this constitutes Day Seven of my vacation.

And what's with the freaking "searchmiracle.com" links in that last post? I was at my parent's house, and I think my dad has some serious spyware and related crap on his computer. Hope my blog didn't catch anything.

I'm exhausted. Left the house at 9:30 this morning, drove an hour and a half, stopped to visit some old friends, got back on the road, made my lunch appointment, then back on the road, then a shopping stop (scored a new Evan Picone dress for $45.45 at the Jones New York outlet, thank you very much), and then on to meet my friend Peter for a drink, and then back on the road again and two and a half hours later - home.

And now - bed.

Monday, May 09, 2005

On Vacation: Day Six

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today I received electronic birthday greetings from:

- Brian
- the American Red Cross (a lovely message, actually - here it is:)

Dear KENNA, Just a quick note wishing you a very Happy Birthday from all of us here at the American Red Cross. On behalf of the hospital patients who have benefited from your generous Gift of Life, we thank you for everything you do to help save lives in our community. In fact, every one of your 14 donations has helped make sure that someone you may never meet gets to enjoy another birthday with their friends and family.We hope your birthday is filled with joy, and the satisfaction of knowing that you truly make a difference!

- my ex-husband
- EHarmony
- my friend Anita in Michigan

I'm on the road, so who knows what awaits me at home. I'll be sure to report on that in tomorrow's post. But for now - off to have a farewell lunch with an alumni donor. More later.

Friday, May 06, 2005

On Vacation: Day Five

It's going to be a long day.

Didn't get to bed until 12:30 or so. I was a little buzzed so I didn't fall asleep right away, and then I was awake at 5:00 a.m. Finally got up at 6:00 to get something to drink and have been up ever since. I'm trying to write this article, and it's slow going.

Just answered a knock on my door, and accepted a lovely bouquet of flowers from my friend in Seattle. What a great way to continue my birthday weekend celebration! And the party will continue tonight ... I'm not supposed to know about it, but there's going to be a party!

My friends Mary and Susan are supposedly taking me out to dinner, but I know that there is a surprise party for me. I saw an email message from the two of them to my mother - not the whole message, just the fact that she had something from them, and that got me wondering. Yesterday it was confirmed when I saw "Party for Kenna" written on my friend Lorrie's desk calendar.

I've been practicing my "I'm so surprised!" look.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

On Vacation: Day Four

Despite staying up until midnight last night, I was up and at 'em at 6:45 this morning. Continued picking up my bedroom and then off to the gym for an 8:30 pilates class. After that, tanning and a stop at the motor vehicles office to pick up a copy of my driving record. I need to submit it in order to plead out my speeding ticket by mail.

When I got home, I iced my knee for about a half hour and read a few chapters of a book. Then, the first sign of trouble in paradise. I wandered next door to chat with the unemployed boy and ask if he wanted to go out for happy hour with me. Can you believe he said no? I've never heard this man turn down a chance to drink beer! The girlfriend is having an odd effect on him. He's all proper and tame. Damn - just when I needed a playmate!

I don't know who I'm going to get to go out to the Cinco de Mayo party with me tonight. Phil said he would go out, but then he mucked it up by saying his girlfriend wants to tag along - I don't mind do I? Of course I fucking mind, you fucking idiot! It's MY fucking birthday celebration and I DON'T want to share it with your Barbie-doll girlfriend. Men are so oblivious.

Not going to let it bother me. Just going to dress myself up, drive myself out and have a fantastic time. But first - yardwork. More later.

12:30 UPDATE: Oh. My. God. Just when I think my life has taken the last twist and turn, there's another curve in the road. Turns out that not having a playmate for happy hour is a good thing. I just got a call asking me to cover an event for the paper. Fancy dinner at a really charming building in the middle of the park downtown. From 6:00 - 9:00 which will still allow me to go out to the Cinco de Mayo party I wanted to hit. And that's to my visit to the consignment shop yesterday, I have just the thing to wear! No one needs to know that I'm wearing someone else's castoffs.

Can you believe it? It just keeps getting better. I'm waiting for that other shoe to fall.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

On Vacation: Day Three

First let me relate something from the end of day two. I went to a seminar last night, and bumped into a woman that I had met earlier in the year. We've been meaning to connect ever since, but you know ... busy people, busy schedules, busy lives. She asked about my job situation and I told her I was officially on vacation and that I had every intention of taking the summer off and doing some traveling. I mentioned possibly flying to Seattle to visit a friend from high school.

"If you had a co-pilot one way, would you be willing to drive?"

She has a friend in the northwest as well, and might be interested in doing a cross-country trip, but unlike me, she won't be on vacation all summer, and so she would need to fly back after her visit. I'm seriously considering this.

After visiting my friend in Washington, I could drive down the coast ... swing back east through Phoenix ... angle north to cut through the midwest ... who knows what route I'd take. The thought has merits. More to come.

So ... day three of my vacation.

7:30 woke up and decided I wasn't going to the gym
10:00 wandered outside and aimlessly pulled a few weeds, decided it was too cold to try to do yardwork - besides, I had a lunch date
12:00 met up with Maureen for lunch
1:15 called attorney to find out whether or not I have to go to traffic court tomorrow night; thankfully, no. Cinco de Mayo celebration - here I come!
1:30 off to Target, Staples and A.C. Moore
3:00 stopped at consignment shop and got fancy top, slacks and slinky Anne Klein skirt for $7
4:30 to the gym
6:00 dinner with Phil and his daughter
7:30 finally sew missing buttons on my jacket; I'm pretty sure one button has been missing for several years - the other one came off when I was in NYC last week. Can you believe I had the buttons?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Positive Reinforcement

Day Two of my vacation:

Sleep in until 7:30 a.m.
Check email, have breakfast, wash my face
10:00 - dentist appointment
10:30 - to the gym
12:15 - home for shower and lunch; check email again
3:00 - go to the office (what?!? I thought I was on vacation!) Talk to boss about the company paying for those aptitude tests I took last week, do some follow up on the visits I made.

One of those pieces of follow up was sending digital photos to the guy I photographed on Friday. I also took the opportunity to tell him I was leaving the company. His reply?

"Thanks for the photos and I'm sorry that it didn't work at [the company] but frankly, I think you have too much talent and will thrive if given an opportunity elsewhere."

Following that, I got another email from someone else I met with while on the business trip to NYC and that person asked for the company president's email address so he could send a note. Not that it would make a difference at this point, and not that they could pay me enough to stay on, but it's just nice to know that this person thinks so highly of me that he is willing to send a note to the company president.

All in all, a very good day. Can't wait for Day Three of my vacation.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Super Nanny to the Rescue

Have you seen this show? I saw it for the first time last week, and I'm watching again tonight. I cannot believe the behavior of these kids - they are simply out of control. I have never seen such temper tantrums.

Now, never having had children of my own, I know that I have NO idea how difficult parenting can be. But I have to believe that I could do a better job than what I'm seeing on television. At least, I hope so.

A Communication Has Been Received

In today's mail, an envelope addressed to no one in particular. Inside, a half of a yellow notepad sheet with the following message:


"China Wok" Chinese Restaurent's casher had the dermatitis. he got the "sedorrheic zezema"

In case you were wondering, no, I had not been to "China Wok" and no, I am not worried about contracting "sedorrheic zezema." I can only guess that this is a strange way of bad-mouthing the restaurant in the hopes that if I was frequenting that establishment (which I wasn't) fears of getting "the dermatitis" might keep me away.

Unless they were sending me "the dermatitis" via the note and envelope ... I'm going to go wash my hands!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Ground Zero

As my audio post indicated, I was in NYC last week. While there, I visited Ground Zero and I was surprised at the sudden and strong emotions I felt. I felt this wave of grief and sadness, and tears sprang to my eyes. I took a few photos of the site and the surrounding buildings - this one came out especially well, I thought:

If you follow the link, you'll see a few of the other shots I took as well.

It's official - I am on vacation! I am not required to show up at the office tomorrow morning. Instead, I'll get up and go to the gym, and then, depending on the weather, will do some yard work. I'm scheduled to have lunch with my friend Beth and her two young daughters at 12:30 and then I will be stopping by the office before my yoga class to ask my boss to foot the bill for that silly aptitude testing I took last week.

I don't know why I didn't ask him to do so sooner. I guess maybe I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he'd helped me in some way. But I didn't learn anything new (except that I have exceptional skills when it comes to discerning pitch - despite being told by my friend Diane years ago that I was tone deaf) and the tests just confirmed what I already knew - I need to find a job where I can utilize my writing skills and where I can work collaboratively with others.

As for using the writing skills - did I tell you that I am now the back-up society columnist for my local newspaper? My first assignment was last night, and I submitted the article a few hours ago. Not a job, just a sideline, but I won't turn down the $50 they are going to pay me for the article. Not to mention the fact that I got paid to go to a party ... as Scooterdeb would say, "w00t!"