Monthly Archives: January 2003

this week's stuff

We spoke to Patrick’s Grandma, Zelma, last night. She doesn’t do the email thing and every time I think to call her it is day time here and I forget when I get home, so when it popped into my head last night, well this morning at 1:30 am, I picked up the phone. She is fine, not perfect but fine. It was really nice talking to her. Anyhow, the funny thing was she said it was suppose to be 80 degrees in Mesa, AZ yesterday. It is a bit above freezing here and was actually snowing when we called. Freaky.

Last week was a bad week. Things did not go smoothly. I can no longer make out going calls from my mobile as I had a little mix-up at my bank. We were told, when we moved here, that we had a 5000 DM credit line at Volksbank. We have been operating under this assumption for 3 years. We found out, when they returned my payment to E-Plus, that this is not the case. In fact we have NO credit line. The credit line we did have was only for 3 months when we moved here. For 3 years we have let the account go a bit negative as we have to go to the bank every time we need to put money in it, which is a pain, so we tend to be erratic about it. It has never been too much until January, which was because of Christmas and being so busy when we came back. Also conspiring against us is the fact that, unlike the US, if you miss one payment to your phone company, they cut you off. very frustrating to get it all straightened out. Thank God for Jan, my colleague is the finest IT group at all of HP, who has been advising and translating for me. Thanks Jan.

Also, I am frustrated at work. I won’t go into to much detail but I am be micromanaged by some people and I don’t appreciate it. At a certainly level of management you have to step out of the detail and let the process owners, such as myself take it. I did have a major victory Friday night as Patrick and I were able to reproduce the infamous ‘web reports’ in Access. Yippee!

I haven’t heard from my mom. She has sent me a few informational emails but she is still quiet on OUR problem. It makes me sad. If I think to hard about it I cry. It feels like a rock and a hard place. Sure, we all experience those but this is with my mom. Sometimes I think that even with my talents, I am too much trouble. When things are going well, or even when things are stressful, I do an excellent job, in some cases better than others (not always and not everyone) but when things are really bad, like now, I can’t handle it. I make mistakes. I hurt people with my less than effective communication. So is it worth the good parts? I know I could change. I know I could learn, but I haven’t found a mentor. I don’t know anyone who has the time, energy or wisdom. It isn’t that I don’t know a lot of people that are able to balance it and excel, I just don’t know any that have the time or energy to help me. I ask questions, but when I am in the moment, I can’t think straight. I just want to help, to make things better for everyone that has to ‘deal’ with it, but I don’t know how to keep the balance myself. I have parts of the equation. I have learned and improved but I am at a precipice and I need a leader. Other than that, I don’t really think I am worth it. Too frustrating and demanding on an off cycle. This is what I struggle with in life. No amount of reassurance will solve it. I have to feel that I have control over myself. With that though, I do need help. Just not sure where to get it. I think I am not alone in this frustration, this goal. I think lots of people feel this way. I am just more extreme. Everything about me is extreme, that is both the benefit and the burden.

We put wheels on Susette this weekend. Now I can move her around and get a much better look. She has a new look on now. I think I will wear it this week. I’ll let you know which outfit is when I put it up on the site. The week’s outfit reminds me, somehow, of a mannequin or librarian. I am not staying librarians are stiff, it is a stereotype, which is what I was going for. It is different for me. Demure while sexy. I like it. Cheers.

my christmas vacation

Yes, it was painful but I do love it. I’ve been wanting it a long time. Patrick and I found a baby t-shirt at Le Shop in Paris that had the picture. He scanned it into the computer and then superimposed it on an image of my back. I had tried to find a place in Germany to do it but wasn’t comfortable with any where I found, that was willing to do it. The ‘star’ in Stuttgart wasn’t into something like that. Whatever. Shelby at Sacred Art was and it was wonderful. It took 4 hours and the last 1/2 hour was excruciatingly painful but I think it is beautiful so it is ok. And what do I think about how it will look in 20 years? I don’t care.

Well then, Patrick and I spent 24 days hanging out in the US this Christmas season and it was a well needed rest. I call it my Lazy-a-thon. And it was more successful than anything Jerry Lewis could have done. We started in LA for a week and a half. We still both really really love LA and would really like to move there. To us, it is beautiful. The only weird thing was that they washed the streets downtown everyday. That’s just weird and feels totally wrong for two So Cal kids that grew up with water rationing and desalinization plants. Chelsea came to visit us and we went to Disneyland and shopping and hanging out and stuff. She is tall and teenager like. In the good sense. We showed her the 10, 210, 110, 5 and 101. All things one must experience to fully take in the LA experience.

The day before Christmas we went to Gaby and Steve’s and met Ysabella. It was wonderful to stay with them and we had the family feeling we always do when visiting them. There we drank a bunch of coffee and just hung out. On Christmas day we drove down to Moorpark to spend the day and catch up with Patrick’s family. All the grandchildren are getting really big. Not surprising since we have been married 11 years though.
A few days after Christmas we flew to Chico and stayed with my friend Christine. Christine kindly, for us, kicked her daughter out of her room so we had normal bed to sleep in. I was amazed by how Indra and Miles kept their rooms clean and seemed to use the same towel multiple times. This amazement was not to last though. When I mentioned to Christine how impressed I was that she had managed to convince her kids not to use one towel a day, as both my brother and I had done in High School, she laughed. Apparently she had given them strict instruction to leave the white towels in the bathroom for the guests. Oh well. I guess in a way I am happy that kids don’t change. I mean I went through the towel phas and I turned out ok.

Patrick and I had a great time being domestic. Patrick raked leaves one day and we bought a new shower head. I folded laundry and Patrick made dinner most nights. Brent and Patrick played network video games and generally geeked out while Christine and I went to the gym a few times and drank a lot of coffee. There was no pressure and no commitments. It was wonderful. I was amazed how calm and kick back everything was. Everyone just sort of hanging out. Until school started back up. Then it kicked into high gear. You have 4 people going in all different directions. Indra and Miles aren’t old enough to drive. They each of several types of lessons a week. Christine has football and the gym. Brent tries to keep a handle on the house and takes care of the animals. They need domestic help. Christine said she wanted to keep Patrick and I in a closet because it was so nice and helpful having us. Not just from a slave standpoint but because it was nice to have other adults to interact with. It was wonderful staying with them and I really appreciated it.

Other than that, things are pretty good. The 4th annual, and likely last, Beach Party is coming up Feb 8th. We had friends for dinner last night and saw a friend’s band on Friday night. It rocked. I love my new tattoo and I am reinvigorated for work even if SOME management bugs me. It’s just the way it is. I did have a weird thing happen to me when I returned from the US. For an entire week, I could not sleep more than 8, usually 7, hours a night. Now mind you I was going to sleep by 9, but even the night I stayed up until 11, I woke up at 7 the next morning. Luckily this morning I woke up after 10 hours. I was afraid I was getting old and I had hit that plateau where you get up early every day and fall asleep by 9 every night. That would scare me. I have never been and certainly do not want to be, a morning person. Dark night, dark clothing. It works for me.

Oh and lastly, I have joined a political organization. It is called MoveOn.org and it began during the Clinton Impeachment by some software engineers in silicon valley that wanted Congress to stop wasting time and money on Monica-gate and get on with business. The have an AMAZING flash ad about what is going on in the US gov’t right now with the ‘War on Terrorism’. I don’t like to press people about their political beliefs or activities, so I will only say that I highly recommend this group or at least, that each of us speak up to our elected officials about our opinions, whatever they may be, which ever direction they may lean. It is a representative gov’t and that means they have to know how we want to be represented. Something they can only know if we contact them. MoveOn.org can help with that. Cheers