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Showing posts from October, 2010

Sixth Year Stretch

I met my husband at a Halloween party six years ago. This is what I looked like then:

I don't have any pictures of Shawn from that era. But he was, as he is, cute as anything.

NaBloPoMo starts tomorrow. Yikes. Better get my writing face on. Until tomorrow ...


I drove/rode more than 600 miles around the state this week for meetings.

And I survived. I took more than 60 pages of notes. And have more meetings and travel to come in November. I hope I can make it through ... AND with NaBloPoMo how will I keep up?

I also found out a meeting in Mississippi is set for the Monday of Thanksgiving, when I planned to be in California. I can't sort everything out until this Monday, but an already packed travel month just got a lot more complicated. No matter what I do I'm going to feel awful. And the week of my birthday.

Pre-worrying won't get me anywhere, so hopefully I can get some rest this weekend and be a little less emotional when I'm not so exhausted!

Spinning Hands

I'm a rule follower. Part of me wishes I were more flexible -- or looked out for number one a bit more. What I'm thinking of is the way I work. Basically I consider my 8:30-5 to belong to my employer (minus a half hour for lunch if I can manage). BUT I allow my employer to have MORE of my time if they want it. They pay me for that time and technically I can take unpaid leave later, but still I feel like I can't go in an hour late after coming home at 10 every night after these meetings. Even a coworker commented on it -- that I don't have to go in so early after late nights. I don't think I can let myself relax!

Tomorrow will be the last meeting, and my plans to go to New Orleans on Friday for a meeting didn't pan out -- so I will have a relaxing, regular work day in jeans on Friday. And work hours 52-60 or something like that. I've already worked nearly 40 hours and it's only Wednesday. More than 80 hours for the two week period because there was overt…

Brain Dead

Am working almost non-stop this week. Basically four 13-hour days. Last night, after the first one, I managed to lock my car and apartment keys inside my office. Thankfully I have a husband who brought me his car key and who let me in to the apartment when I finally got home (at about 10:45 p.m.). Am going to do my best to keep it a little bit more together today. Just wanted to issue that quick missive. Carry on!


On my field trip on Thursday we were in marsh, which means gnats apparently. I'm learning a lot about my new state ... and I have the bites to prove it. Of course my body is whacked out and reacts in a delayed fashion. Seriously still finding hives or welts now and flipping out about potential bed bugs. Shawn has checked the bed, we've washed all the sheets and thankfully nothing. If they are bed bug bites I probably got them in the hotel. But probably a better bet that it was the gnats, since I checked the hotel bed before I went to sleep!

The field trip was OK. Certainly better than I expected. I worried about sea sickness, but I didn't take bug spray! Like I said, I'm learning... Anyway, the beauty of the water and expansive skies never fails to amaze me. Just like when we were out on our cruise, I was blown away by the beauty of sea and sky. There was a time when it was loud on the boat and no one was near me as we skipped along the water so I sang a little bit of


Ever heard that word? Was an answer to a Mensa puzzle this weekend on our calendar. Shawn had fun calling Owen a flibbertigibbet (silly, flighty person). Maybe it will replace doofenschmirtz in our vocabulary?!

(Owen, Beth and my mom were visiting this weekend. It was fall break.)

Shawn bought a mini pumpkin at the grocery store a few weeks ago, and I used a Sharpie to give it a scary face. In practicing with my new work camera (Canon Rebel, what?!) I got this picture. And it makes the pumpkin look better, oranger (more orange?) than it is in real life. (Although it's pretty cute in real life too.)

So during this weekend's visit I practiced with the camera using my favorite model -- Owen Max! He is not as obliging as he was when he was a baby, but the camera can get action shots even when he was running around. So that was pretty cool. I'll load those and detail our adventures in a separate post (gotta get my count up!).

For now I need to scoot to the gym, then back to cont…


GRETNA, La.--From a hotel outside of New Orleans, greetings interwebs. I'm traveling for work; what else is new? Full day of work, then nearly 2-hour drive. Tomorrow early going out to capture video. Will consider linking to the video from here. Definitely from Facebook (it's obvious I have a FB page, but I haven't exactly advertised my blog among my colleagues).

I wish the hotel I'm in had stationery. I would send a letter to Shawn's grandma, who lives in Gretna, Va. Oh fun times. I'll just have to tell her that I was thinking about her. This post is proof.

Besides work I'm looking forward to my family visiting for their fall break. We'll try to sneak a peek at Mike the Tiger, take a wander around campus and probably scope out some neighborhoods. Maybe a trip over the bridge -- or even a ferry ride? Who knows what wonders await us this weekend.

Mall of Louisiana

I am up one new skirt and new jacket, and I had a lovely time with new friends who invited me to join them for an afternoon at the mall. Feels pretty weird, in a good way, given my hermit-like existence in New York ... ha!

In my work life I am forced to be more social. I use the telephone constantly (shudder), and social tendencies are bleeding over into my non-work life. I actually chatted with the guy who gave me my UPS package on Saturday -- something I would never have done in New York. My conversations with the doormen always felt stilted.

The package, by the way, contained custom frames for my OSU and UMD diplomas (yeah, only a few years behind on those). BOTH are screwed up, so I have to go through the hassle of sending them back. What was I thinking? Michaels is having a sale on framing so I think I'll go there if I can find time this week. It's so far away though, so probably not ... unless I can work that into my family's trip-to-the-Red-Stick that's happenin…

Read: The Bedwetter

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee
by Sarah Silverman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Saw this on the shelf at the library and picked it up. I'm glad I did. I like reading about other people's lives. My question about this one is -- why does Sarah Silverman never truly mention her relationship with Jimmy Kimmel? He's got a photo in the book, the break up is mentioned in a caption and the F***ing Matt Damon video she made for his show is also mentioned (she won an Emmy for it). I thought she was so personal and complete in exploring/detailing her childhood and young adult life, but she left out some of the juiciest stuff about her life as a celebrity.

My favorite line, I think, was when she was describing her depression and it wasn't about levity, poop jokes, etc. ...
"What does it feel like?" It was the first time I was prompted to articulate it. I thought about it, then said, "I feel homesick." That still feels like the most accurate des…

Read: Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Written in 2001, Allen's book contains funny techno references (Palm - ha), but the advice still stands, although clearly ways to implement in new media that weren't available upon publication.

I know this book started a lot of great thinking and productivity tricks ... the 43 folders idea especially (31 daily plus 12 monthly), which I stumbled across several years ago but never actually implemented. I think I just don't want to increase the amount of paper I encounter. I try to keep everything online. I do like the idea of getting to inbox zero, which again I think started in this book. But I use my inbox as my "@action" folder that Allen recommends creating. IF I moved the items currently in my (work) inbox to a similar folder before acting on them and archiving then yeah, I probably could rock that.

A lot of his advice is common sense, but he's so positive and…

Before and During

Today, October 15, 2010, marks one year of South Beach diet and regular exercise. Like I mentioned before, I've lost just over 50 pounds. And I thought I'd show some before and during photos (I'm not done trying to work on my body and better myself). The befores are a little embarrassing, and I didn't take any in October when I started -- I didn't want to jinx things and really didn't think I'd find success. It's amazing.

Happy Weekend!

Pretend Adulthood

Back from the business trip ... worked 16 hours yesterday with all the travel and late meeting, and 10 hours today with return travel. I am worn out and battled a fierce daylong headache after lack of food and water during the long stretch of work and meeting. I didn't get the headache completely licked until after a latte and Excedrin this morning. And there are many more trips to come ...

The room I stayed in was unbelievably gorgeous. The best part was the view of the Gulf of Mexico. Of course I was never in my room when it was daylight, so I didn't get a picture. I worked until past 10 last night and left this morning pre-7 (good thing too because of the traffic).

I took a picture from the airplane to have something to illustrate this post. Maybe my coworker will share some view photos -- she was on a higher floor and was at the hotel a couple days early. I didn't remember Galveston being so lovely when I was there for our high school graduation trip!

I am such an adul…

Stay at Home Wife

Holiday ... Celebrate ...

It's Columbus Day, which means I have the day off (being a federal employee-ish and all). Shawn doesn't ... the university takes this and other holidays as the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. I think I'd prefer that ... but having a random day off is nice.

I spent the day doing domestic chores -- laundry, errands, vacuuming, etc. I'm not sure I could do this all day every day, although add a baby or two to the mix and I think I could handle it just fine. Dreaming, dreaming ... Wishing, wishing ... stay tuned.

One of my errands was to get a library card. SUCCESS! And I checked out a couple books, so I feel like an official citizen, even more so than when I got my driver's license and registered to vote (which I still need to actually do ... I didn't participate in the Oct. 2 primaries).

The main library is so '70s (as I'm sure they all are), but it had a good vibe and was obviously very popular. I'm not sure i…

Read: White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Liked the intricacies, but got lost a few times (or bored) with the characters and story lines. Got a little preachy in places and sometimes made me feel stupid in others, which might have been the point.

I bought it in a used book store in New York, upping its cool factor for me ... and it's a book I'd been meaning to read for a while, as it generated a ton of buzz when it came out (~10 years ago?). I think the author is still on the scene, just landing a plum reviewing job or something. Not up on my literary gossip I guess.

View all my reviews

SilverMari Responds: Reader Questions

I have had a couple question comments on recent posts that I thought I'd elevate the answers to a post of its own. (I never remember to check back on posts I've commented on anyway.) Just because I could respond to these readers directly via e-mail, why not eek out another post ... and maybe someone else was wondering too!
An airboat? Is that the thing that Marlon Perkins would use to cruise through the Everglades? LOLYes - the airboat (wikipedia link) is the kind of thing they use in the Everglades. Apparently they can tip over quite easily. They didn't tell me that until we were safely back at the car. But I was glad to be wearing a PFD (personal flotation device -- or life jacket) even without that bit of information!

I had to look up the Marlin Perkins reference (wikipedia link), TV host of Wild Kingdom. Sounds like he would have used an airboat during the filming, so the answer is yes to that part of the question too!
Whatever happened to "Sage" anyway???Not s…

Dillards: Oversell

Took a field trip to the mall today. I've really been needing some black work pants. The wardrobe I'd built up is mostly too big for me now, especially where work pants are concerned.

So, we went to the "bad" mall because it has a Dillards where the second floor is entirely clearance. Not exactly what I expected. I guess it was just too overwhelming and looked more like that store that took over Walls in Cache Road Square ca. my high school years. I forget what it was called, but basically a low-rent Marshall's or Ross -- if you can imagine.

The regular part of Dillards was too posh for me and the clearance wasn't posh enough (or something). Maybe if I'd been better rested or more energetic I could have found some good stuff. What I saw was mostly not my size and all smooshed together. Other people there were having a great time though, so maybe I'll give it another chance down the line. Shoes were a bust, as there was only one pair of 11s, and I didn…


I did a defensive driving online course for work. It took several hours, so I did it over three days. It actually taught me a lot ... and I definitely look at things differently while I'm driving. What I half wish is that I didn't have to drive! It's a scary world out there and people are insane!


Chef Shawn on the griddle on Saturday cooking up some pancakes for us to enjoy. You can see in the background that our cooking accoutrement has gotten a bit out of hand. Loving it though.

Still have reservations on the work front, but I'm plowing through as best I can. And we'll see how everything turns out.

The weather has been comfortable, sunny and dry. Things I wasn't expecting. But I'll take it. Just trying to roll with the punches.

Nothing much to update. Blogging is going down the tubes for me. Hopefully I'll get a kick start of inspiration soon.

10 for Ten?

It's October 2010, or 10-10. Under the Sycamore, a photography blog I have in my reader, is posting 10 for 10 in October. I could do that from time to time. What would be great would be posting a top 10 list every day (or bottom 10!). I have a list at work going of grammatical errors I hate. I probably have at least 10. Hrm.

Eye twitching, work stressing, sleep needing girl up in here.

In November I'll be doing Nablopomo again. In October the theme is PLAY. They do post prompts every work day, but I can't commit to 31 posts in a row plus 30 in a row. So I think I'll stick with just blogging when I can in October ... what would be better is if I only blogged when I had something to say. Then I'd never blog!