Friday, December 25, 2009

My Soul

Merry Christmas!

Being "home" in the mountains heals my soul. I'm surrounded by family, friends, and adorable animals. I feel like I can breathe here.

My best friends know that when I'm in the mountains I have basically fallen off the face of this earth. I cannot and will not be reached by phone nor will I acknowledge the outside existence of anyone or anything. It's amazing.

And, as I've gotten in the habit of doing, I'm sitting up in my parent's kitchen blogging while an old movie is playing in the backround. (Though I am cold. I've become a pansy city girl---it's always freezing up here!)

I need to get a cute little camera so that I can snap pictures and document some of the random and fun events that go on in my life. For now, all I've got is a camera phone (which explains the horrible quality of the photos below). To go over some of the highlights from my weekend thus far:

- Drinks and breakfast with my good friend, Nick. Nick is a Navy Seal who is both a badass and lovingly sleeps with stuffed animals. I adore this man and his friendship. He is currently working on this: NSWDG.

- Happy hour dinner at Centro (I can never make happy hours because I'm always working) followed by pick-up soccer with Kyle. I didn't play, but instead had a couple drinks with D-Cubed in the closed bar.

- A group of us then went out to drinks, darts, and karaoke at one of the most ghetto bars in Boulder, The Outback. I must say that I am incredible at darts. My team won some amazing feats, beating our opponents 4 games to 3. (And by winning, I mean that my partner won. I was lucky if I hit the board.) The highlight? Karaoke at 1 am on Chistmas Eve. Classy.

The guys singing "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys

I'm too old for these 5 am nights...

Then I headed up to the mountains for my soul and salvation: Family. The highlights:

- A puzzle from hell.

It's supposed to be a bird. I agonized over the corner piece
until my eyes went numb and we still haven't finished it.

- Games: Uno, Phase 10, and Scattergories. I won Scattergories in double-overtime against Alissa. "Marilyn Monroe" (double "M's") was the golden ticket.

- Dinner: prime rib, wine, chocolate chip cookies. There were other dishes, of course, but who cares about those?

- Watching some of the best movies ever: Holiday Inn, Moonstruck, The Man From Snowy River, The Angel and the Badman. And when I say watching, I mean that the movies were just playing while we were doing other things. The fact that we can quote every line from each film, on cue, helps.
"Ma, I'm getting married."
"Do you love him?"
"Good. If you love them, they drive you crazy."
"I'm Linda Mason."
"Oh, Linda Mason."

- Animals. I love the puppies (who aren't really puppies anymore) and miss them, even with all their craziness.

Toby on his throne

Savannah (ignore my alien finger, she didn't want to "stay")

- The fact that I haven't worked out in a week. I have to say that it is amazing... and a little uncomfortable. Cookies and no running shoes are an interesting mix. But the time off is rather nice.

So now it's to the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow: Brewery Bar II! Sunday: Brunch with Christy!

I'm smiling again.

Merry Christmas! I hope that you are all enjoying a relaxing holiday surrounded by love and happiness.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Professional Friendships vs. THAT Guy

Where’s the line?

Specifically, where’s the line when it comes to your personal and professional relationships with other people? Can you make personal friends in a professional setting or should you keep the two firmly separate?

I have a good friend at my office. I helped plan her wedding and even threw her bachelorette party. The party was a damn good night!

There should be nothing wrong with friends in the workplace!!

The women at my company constantly exchange new family pictures or briefly talk about our weekends. We’re all friendly and cordial, but there is a professional line. No one is showing up at each other’s doors uninvited.

But then this happened....

Our janitor came to my indoor soccer game last night. Seriously. This man, though he owns his own company and is obviously successful, can best be described as “creepy.” While I was working late and he was cleaning up, he started asking about soccer and the next thing I knew I had told him where the indoor place was. I honestly thought that he was interested in joining a team himself or something of that sort.

Stupid on my part, I know. And naïve.

So now what? Should I be concerned that this 60-year-old creepster (who has also confessed that he wants to ask out my boss… and he’s married!) is a problem or is this just a one-time experience?

I’ve been asking around and these are the responses I’ve received:

1. It’s my fault for speaking with him about any aspect my personal life in the first place. This is obviously an untrustworthy man looking for information.
     - They’re right.

2. I should inform my boss that he came to the game, uninvited, and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
     - But, I’m no longer playing on Tuesday nights for a while—is it worth getting my boss involved? I feel like this whole situation was preventable if I had paid more attention.

3. Make sure that I don’t work late when he’s supposed to clean (on Tuesday and Saturday nights). And, especially, don’t be here alone.
     - Yes, this all makes sense, but doesn’t it seem a little drastic? He’s not a stalker… yet.

Is all this worry and hooplah necessary? Even on my own part? It’s all creepy and slightly disconcerting, yes, but I made the mistake of giving him even the slightest amount of information. Besides, I don’t feel like his actions are specifically geared towards me. He’s just THAT guy.

Then again, maybe I should tell my boss… he does a crap-ass job of cleaning as it is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm an Auntie, Times Two!

My brother and sister-in-law delivered a new baby boy on Sunday morning: Andrew Thomas Vlcek.

He’s premature---9 weeks early---but both Momma and baby seem to be doing very well! He weighs 4 lbs 0 oz and is 17 in tall.

From what I heard, he will be in the nursery for the next month and a half (until about his scheduled due date) but the doctors seem confident that he will do well. Fingers crossed for his speedy growth!

Unfortunately, I haven't seen the little guy as everyone needs to rest after the last few stressful days, but I do have pictures.

Andrew's first picture
 (bath time!)

Andrew and Mommy
(Amber's smiling after an early delivery
through c-section? Incredible!)

Andrew with his big sister, Ava, and Daddy
(what is Ava staring at? maybe she pondering how to
terrorize her baby brother in the near future)

Not to be left out, here's a picture of my neice, Ava:

Ava in the pumpkin patch
(the pumpkin hat makes this complete)
Now this may speak to our generation, or it may be that my family hates talking to me, but I first found out that Amber was in labor through Facebook. Yes, Facebook. Too funny.

Congratulations, Graham and Amber!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I’m trying to figure some things out. Like, you know, life...

First of all, I’m determined to have more free time. Determined. And yet, if I have too much time on my hands I get bored. Last night I went home early, blissfully read an entire book and then went to bed. And now I feel guilty for being so unproductive.

So today I’m asking myself one question:

How do you prioritize and still not worry about the small things?

Here are the things I want to focus on, in no particular order. The point is, as a matter of fact, to actually get these things in some kind of order:

- Work
Ugh. No comment.

- Soccer
I’m giving up two of my three indoor teams. Decision made. I’m doing it. I’m not playing well and I just need a break. And yes, it will be that hard to walk away, even for a season or two.

- Running
My goal is to run another half marathon this summer and even, ideally, a full marathon. To be honest, a dream of mine is to take a trip to Montana and run in the gorgeous scenery. How cool would that be?
Montana marathons
Colorado marathons
Marathon training (gulp!)

- Reading and Studying
I work in publishing, yes, but I could always improve my grammar and copyediting skills. I’d also like to seriously study for the GRE (even though I can’t afford grad school and the thought of taking on loans scares me to death).

- Yoga, Skiing, Hiking... Anything Outdoors
I can’t sit cross-legged and I’m better at water skiing than I am at snow skiing, but still. I live in the mecca of outdoor sports and I love them!

- Cooking
I’m slowly getting better at cooking as I try new recipes, but it takes time, commitment, and money.

As you can see, I love hobbies. I support hobbies. They keep you sane and stable.

So how do I find the balance again? Where do I prioritize?

Where do I even begin?


Update on “The Goal”:
I’m off target this week and it’s only Tuesday. I’m having trouble concentrating (obviously) so we'll see how things develop.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Less is More

In working under my company's CEO for the past year, I've learned something very valuable: keeping it short and sweet is oh, so very sweet. We're all busy. We're all just treading to keep our heads above water. So do a favor for everyone and stick with "less is more."

Where does this apply the most? In order:
  1. E-mails. I have to admit that my old boss wrote pages and pages of text in her e-mails. They were exhausting! Most of this could've been covered in a 5-minute phone call, but instead she took 30-plus minutes to compose this beautiful, typo-free note that no one actually read. E-mail is intended to be a quick form of communication. Anything that involves more time should be done over the phone or in person.

  2. Phone calls. It's great to build a nice conversation—talk about the weather, their life—and then move on to the point. Again, we're all busy here. With all the chit-chat it can be easy to lose track of why you called in the first place. Most importantly, be sure to keep a pen and piece of paper nearby to scratch out any details because, trust me, you won’t remember the specifics later.

  3. Meetings. Everyone hates them. 'Nuff said.

Generally, it comes down to this: If the paperwork, issue, or person is in front of you then take care of it! It doesn't help anyone or anything to set it aside and focus on it later. It'll take more time to remember what you were doing in the first place than to just handle it and move on.

I’ll need to keep these in mind through my ongoing quest for the 40-hour work week (now, "The Goal").

Update on "The Goal":

Week #1: I hit 40 hours-ish as I was in the office at 8:30 pm Thursday night. So, I obviously didn’t succeed this week. Sigh. I guess will start fresh on Monday.