Thursday, June 30, 2005

6/30 Downhill

Can't believe the year is half over. Time really does go faster when you're over the hill.

Felt really stressed today so I walked during lunch in 90 degree heat. But at least I remembered to bring a T-shirt so I wouldn't get my good shirt all sweaty. (Just my bra, underpants, slacks...)

Found out I'm not scheduled to work at CSz this weekend, so I'm going to catch up on a lot of work at CPI and perhaps relieve my stress a bit.

Shoot--Jill just called. She's taking the kids swimming and can't find their floaties. I guess I left them at Debbie's pool. It's a 45 minute drive from Jill's so I'm sure she won't be able to go get them. The kids have a dork for a grandma.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

6/29 Yikes, so much to do.

There's so much piled on my desk. But I just found out that I'm not scheduled to work at CSz this weekend, so I can put in some extra hours at my regular job. That's a good thing.

Wonder if my sibs are getting together this weekend. Probably. I'm going to be working or else hanging out at my pool--when no one else is there. I'd go home, but I have to go home the following two weekends, so can't stretch that to three. It would stress me out.

Want to see another picture Kayla took? Of course you do.

I miss the kids already. Even though they wear me out when I watch them for a long time, they mostly are so energizing. And beautiful. And loving. And sh!t, I'm crying. (No, not boo hoo hoo, just a few tears.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

6/28 Tons o' pictures

I posted many pictures of my trip to LA. However, most of the photos were actually taken by Kayla. She did a great job, especially since it was her first time and she's only five. A few examples:

Monday, June 27, 2005

6/27 Flight Woes

I'm not complaining at all about the flight delay that got me home at 11 PM instead of 9 PM. Stuff happens. And I got bumped to first class again on the ride from Burbank to Dallas/Ft. Worth. BUT I am complaining about the nose picking, talking out loud freakazoid who sat next to me. He picked his nose the entire trip, and in two hours drank four beers and a huge glass of vodka. While he watched a movie on his individual dvd player he talked to it. The movie was "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." I remember it from the 60s and it's a hilarious classic. But I'll forever remember it as the movie the nose-picking, talk-to-himself guy loves. Oh, and every time he sneezed he directed the liquid results in my direction.

I had to pretend I was asleep or I would have strangled him. And I'm very grateful he didn't touch me with his snot-enhanced hands. Ugh. (PS: the plane was full so I couldn't move.)

6/27 Personality Defects

On a pal's blogsite I saw a test that looked like fun. It is about personality defects rather than "feel good" stuff. She ended up as a Psychopath and I ended up a Televangelist. The test measures you in four areas: rational/intuitive; extroverted/introverted; brutal/gentle; arrogant/humble.

I'm intuitive/extrovert/gentle/arrogant. Yep, that's probably true.

You are 14% Rational, 81% Extroverted, 5% Brutal, and 71% Arrogant.
As the Lord as my witness, I swear upon the good book that you are indeed the TELEVANGELIST! Characterized by extreme arrogance, self-assurance, and extroversion, you would make a very charismatic leader (or a very despotic one). On top of that, you are also more intuitive than rational, predisposing you to a more spiritual or emotional outlook on life. Thus, you are thoroughly irrational. You also tend to be rather gentle and considerate of others' feelings. Clearly, you would make the perfect televangelist. Emotional, extroverted, arrogant, and gentle, you annoy the hell out of people who have to listen to the feel-good, intuitive shit spewing from your mouth. Not only that, but people may look down on you as a self-centered asshat. So while you are gentle and genuinely care about others, it is quite clear that you still care about yourself MORE. Why is your personality flawed? Because you are too damned extroverted, emotional, and arrogant. So preach your irrational message, brotha-man! I assure you, no one will be listening!

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


Your exact opposite is the Spiteful Loner.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Hippie, the Starving Artist, and the Robot.



If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.

The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on Ok Cupid

Sunday, June 26, 2005

6/26 Heading home

Todd is cooking breakfast, Kayla is taking pictures with my camera, Hunter is playing with his new toys, and Jill is in the shower. As I started typing that was the situation. But since I typed the first sentence things have changed. We've all finished breakfast, both kids have told me not to leave, and I'm almost at the crying stage. Am trying to hold off until I actually have to leave.

It's so hard to leave them.

This is one of Kayla's first pictures she took. That's Hunter's hand pointing to the beetle he squashed. The reason his finger is black is because of the icing on the Spiderman birthday cake.

On the right you'll see Kayla and Hunter with Debbie. As K saw this pic again this morning she said, "Oh, I love Debbie!"

Will follow with more pictures when I get home, and I'll make sure they're bigger on my website. For now I need to pack and shower and get ready to go. Sigh.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

6/25 Happy Birthday, Hunter!

We had a great day. All day long Hunter would say, "It's my happy birthday. Did you wrap my sword?" Yep, that's what he wanted from me. And it ended up his favorite present. Less than $5. That's always the way. He was so cute. The sword is bendable rubber of course, but he told me to be careful because it was very sharp and I could get hurt. Gotta love 3-year-olds.

His Spiderman cake gave us all purple mouths and black teeth. Sure made us laugh. And we had a super dinner with homemade taco salads. We ate outside on the patio. The weather was perfect. After dinner and cake we went to Starbucks to let the kids play in the small ampitheatre while we enjoyed our coffees. Kayla asked if she could take a picture with my digital camera. She really did a good job, so much so that I let her continue taking pictures. We have some that I'll definitely save...two were funny as well. One was a close-up of a beetle that Hunter had squashed. And the other was when she took the sleeve from a Starbucks coffee cup and put it on a doll as a crown. She put the doll on top of the toilet tank and took a great photo. I think she's got a good eye--especially for a five year old.

This has been such an awesome visit. I am ready to go home, just because I have so much to do. But it's always hard to leave. K said, "I think I'll cry this time too, Grandma." That's because I always cry when I leave.

Friday, June 24, 2005

6/24 A memorable, fun day

Kayla slept with me last night and Hunter woke us up at 6:15 AM saying, Grandma, it's time to get up. So we did.

It's been such a fun day. After baths, and picking up, we went to Starbucks for breakfast--their choice. Kayla said the only thing they can have is a bagel there, but I told them they could have anything they wanted. So Kayla had milk and chocolate covered graham crackers. Hunter had milk and a cinnamon roll. Then they played a while in the small ampitheatre. Afterwards we went to Walmart and got H another birthday present for tomorrow.

At 11:15 AM we left Santa Clarita valley for my friend Deb's house in Thousand Oaks. What a great day. She's prepared all this gorgeous and tasty food and invited other friends over. Some of these women were on the weekend cruise I took a few years back. We laughed and ate all afternoon. The kids and I did swim for a while, then they played with the "big boys"--Deb's son Cole and his friend Brendan. K and H had a ball.

Deb made chocolate fondue and we had strawberries, bananas, mango and pineapple to dip into the chocolate. And we have lots of pictures of K eating tons of strawberries with chocolate all over her face. H only ate one (because K ate the rest), but he seemed to love it.

I'd wanted to leave by 3, but we had too much fun so I'll stay until the traffic dies down on the 5. Los Angeles traffic reeks anyway, but on Friday night I'd hit all of it going up north.

One of Debbie's friends is Adrienne, who was on the TV show Frontier House on PBS. She's from Ireland and a lovely and delightful woman. Debbie and I were talking about being shallow. Debbie's really good at being shallow and I'm the deepest shallow person you can meet. Anyway, Adrienne said to the group, very sincerely, "I'm from Mailibu. You are the deepest people I know." That elicited a laugh from all of us. Loved it.

And Kayla said a good one too. Brendan said they were watching a movie and there was a bad guy on it. Kayla said, "Why is he bad? Did he forget to say 'excuse me' when he burped?" Love that one too.

In an hour or so we'll head back to Jill's. Jill and Todd are going out tonight and I'm babysitting, but I have a feeling the kids are going to be very tired. Grandma too.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

6/23 In LA

Boy oh boy am I tired. After about 3 hours of sleep I woke up at 3 AM this morning to catch a 5:50 AM flight. Slept on part of the first leg, and part of the second. On the second leg, from Dallas to Burbank CA, I was bumped to first class, and sat two rows behind Jennifer Love Hewitt. She was absolutely adorable. And very sweet as well. I didn't speak to her, but other people did and she was quite gracious.

When I arrived, there was the usual rush of pure joy as Kayla and Hunter ran toward me screaming, "Grandma! Grandma!" Is there anything more wonderful?

And then of course my own darling, Jill. She just gets more and more beautiful. We stopped for lunch at an Olive Garden in Burbank because the kids love the area...lots of things to play on outside, plus they love the chocolate mint Andes everyone gets at the end of the meal.

Now we're at their house. They got their presents I brought and are now napping. Jill's at the store ordering Hunter's birthday cake for Saturday. Todd's on the couch with a virus. I'm wearing garlic around my neck and have a cross and a silver bullet so I don't catch it. No sense taking chances.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

6/22 Poker marathon

Last night I was a bit bored, so I got into a $5 tournament on For the first time I got into a really big tournament. There were 1700 people entered and top prize was $1,000. The top 99 placers got some money.

Well, 3 1/2 hours later I was still playing. I ended up in 19th place and was paid $26.24. It felt like a million though. At the end I made some stupid plays, but I was tired and really wanted it to end. It was sure fun though. I'm sure I'll do it again.

Am sitting here eating a vegetarian tamale pie and listening to the Knack's My Sharona. Okay, it just moved on to Bob Marley's One Love/People Get Ready. I love all kind of music from Enya to Gwen Stefani to Talking Heads to Mary Chapin Carpenter. iTunes and iPod are so cool.

Yesterday was weird. I told my doc that a new med I was taking for my stomach was making me spacy, dizzy and nauseated. (Okay, spacier than usual...) Got really sick and went home and slept for two hours. Happened quickly and was over when I woke up from the nap. This morning I was fine, but now the symptoms are starting again. Can't wait to get this med out of my system.

Have two meetings this afternoon. Luckily I'm prepared. (Wild wild life by Talking Heads is on. That's one of my favorite songs. I think it's because the video was so cool.)

Tomorrow--off to LA. I'll post after I get there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

6/21 Doctor visit

I had to see my doc as a follow-up to a sinus infection I had several weeks ago. While I was there she also talked to me about my recent stomach problems. No big deal. But I can't have caffeine, chocolate or tomatoes. Three of my favorite things. And maybe I can't have citrus but we haven't really checked that one.

Aarrrgggghhh! Me--with the cast-iron stomach. All my life I've eaten anything I wanted and only had indigestion once or twice.

At least I can still eat jalapenos. And can have a beer once in a while. Hallelujah!

Monday, June 20, 2005

6/20 Late lunch

Time slipped away from me. But I got a lot done. (Besides emailing Michele about 10 times.) Finished the first edits on a hardcopy newsletter that goes to about 20,000 people in 8 or 9 countries.

Now I'm starting second edits on a Journal. That usually takes about 8 hours each time. But the articles are so interesting that it's an honor to do it. And this is the edition that contains articles by Desmond Tutu, Laura Bush and me. Wow. I'm in heady company in this issue.

Then I have to edit all the articles in another Journal where I'm the only editor. Everyone turned in their pieces, except one guy. I hope I have enough to fill the Journal. Oh, well, I'll take another slug of Maalox and write another one myself if I have to. :)

Then two press releases. I bet I won't have all this done by Wednesday. That's my self-imposed deadline because early Thursday morning I'm flying to LA for the weekend. It's Hunter's 3rd birthday on the 25th. It's neat because I was there for Kayla's in May also. First year that I've been able to be there for both.

AND--> about what I wrote yesterday. I've decided to be a free agent in the Rec League, since two out of the four on the team haven't decided yet. I'm not going to wait on answers like I did last time. That caused me some problems. So this time I want to be on a team where someone else is anxiously trying to get a decent team together. I'll be that team's handicap, but they won't mind because they'll appreciate what I do. WAIT--I've gone too far... Let's just leave it at: I'm going on the free agent list. And if no one chooses me, that's life.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

6/19 Last match

Tonight was my team's last match in the CSz Rec League. I thought the match was good. It certainly was fun.

I got a lot of good laughs. But didn't hear anything positive when we got notes afterward. Only what I did wrong.

Kind of made me sad, until I talked to other players who felt the same way.

Overall, it was a lot of fun--the whole experience. I'd like to play again, but two of my team may not return. So perhaps I should just become a free agent. Don't know.

Matt doesn't know what he wants to do and Jules says she has to check her finances. Sounds like neither really want to commit. It's hard to be on a team that's second to last. Probably every single player thinks he or she is better than that. I know I do. :)

We'll see...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

6/18 I hate it

I hate disagreements. A young man I work with at CSz wasn't doing his job--at least that's what I thought. And I spoke to him because I can't do both my job and his.

He told me I was talking to him like a child and he didn't have to listen to it. I thought about what he said, and then apologized, because that wasn't my intent--even though that's the way it panned out. When I asked him to forgive me, he wouldn't do it. Said that he won't hold it against me, but he wouldn't forgive me and that's just the way he is.

That's when it hit me that the reason I spoke to him like that is because he is a kid. I sure don't want to be disrespectful to him, but that must be the reason I did it.

He said the owner is his boss and has never told him that--insert what I said here--was part of his job. I said, "Yep, that's why I asked him to talk to you about what your job duties are." He said that was a good idea.

It had been a good day until this situation happened.

I'd never had a disagreement with this young man before. But I've always noticed that he sits at the bar and talks instead of doing what the other employees in that position do. And I've always thought that it was because he's not trained.

A few weeks ago the ref came running out of the arena two or three times looking for this guy because he had work to do. But still no one spoke to him about his work behavior.

That's too bad, because this kid started with such energy and enthusiasm. But it's quickly disappearing.

It appears I'll come out to be the villain in the melodrama, and that's okay. Many people talk about his job performance, but so far I think I'm the only one who's talked directly to him about it. Trouble is, I'm not his boss. I'm not anything except a co-worker. So I guess I'll shut up from now on.

I know the owner will take care of it now.

But damn, I hate disagreements.

Friday, June 17, 2005

6/17 Almost weekend

Tomorrow will be a good day. When the birds wake me up with their incessant singing outside my window, I can turn over and go back to sleep.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

6/16 Back to normal?

I wanted to post yesterday, but I didn't get home until after midnight. Yep, the flights were delayed. Of course.

The experience was a really good one however. The team worked well together, and we enjoyed each other's company. That always helps.

Jan, Tim, Craig and Meghan drove back to Jan and Tim's house. Jan wasn't ready to leave Craig yet, so they went home. I guess Craig and Meghan are staying until Sunday. We're all so grateful that he's doing well. Yep, we believe in miracles.

I nominated my company for a Beyond the Paycheck Award a few months back. We just got notified that we're one of the winners. I'm quite excited about this. It will be in the August 12 Milwaukee Business Journal. Someone will be visiting the company in a few weeks to take pictures and do interviews. Nifty.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

6/14 Still in Detroit

I'm spending my last night at the Hyatt. Packing up and getting some work done as well. I've had a good time here, working with Joyce and Dennis.

Plus we've had some fabulous food. Last night we ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant--so many great vegetarian choices. Tonight we ate at Adiamo (Italian for "let's go"). Wow. It was delicious. It will be hard to go back home to my grilled cheese and popcorn.

Haven't heard anything today about Craig, so I assume that means things are going well.

Monday, June 13, 2005

6/13 Craig's home

Craig's home from the hospital. But I guess it was a lot worse than I'd heard--including his life flashing before his eyes, and the whole white light thingy. That's pretty scary.

He's so grateful that Meghan's dad was there--as are we all.

Things can happen so quickly that may change a person's life forever. We're very lucky that he'll be okay.

And that's enough excitement for our week. I want to be bored now.

(Written from a Hyatt near Detroit.)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

6/12 Family matters

My nephew Craig has been in an accident in Columbus OH. He was working under a car, and the jack gave way. The car fell on him. He passed out, but luckily someone was with him and was able to jack the car up right away. We don't know much yet. He definitely has bruised lungs, but I don't know about any other injuries. If horrible and painful bruises are the extent, we are so very lucky.

He's one of my godchildren.

Right after Jan and Tim moved back to Quincy and built a new home, this happens. Craig talked once of following his parents closer to the "family enclave." Maybe he will move now. Don't know. But right now all I care about is that he'll be okay.

I should hear something tomorrow.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

6/12 A special song

If you've read my blog before you know about my friend Bruce. He's a musician, writer, and all-around talented dude. He's the nice guy who asked me to open for him in Vegas in April. Okay, enough intro... Bruce sings mostly his own songs/music when he performs but he does do a few covers. When we saw each other in Vegas I told him about Van Morrison's version of Have I Told You Lately That I Love You. It's my favorite song (at the moment). I thought Van Morrison's and Bruce's voice were so similar. When I got home I emailed the song to him (.wav file).

So I'm stranded on the tarmac at O'Hare and since we were going to sit for another hour I turned on my cell phone. Message from my friend, Joanne. She and her boyfriend Lynn were in Santa Ynez CA where Bruce was performing. She kept the message going so I could hear Bruce sing my song. And he even put my name in it.

I had been bumped to First Class, and I sat there with the biggest grin on my face. It's nice to have friends. :)

Thanks, Bruce.

Friday, June 10, 2005

6/10 Crazy day

Was at a training until 12:30--Advanced Social Work Ethics. My license is up for renewal and you need four hours of ethics training to be renewed (as well as 26 other hours of training). Got back to the office at one, wolfed down some lunch, began going through my email, then realized I had a meeting at 2. Just finished that, and now must prepare for my trip to Detroit.

I leave tomorrow (Saturday) and return Wednesday night. Lots to do. But the good thing is that I'll be in an air conditioned hotel room for four nights. Cool (in more ways than one).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

6/9 From the big loser

Well, I didn't win. Thanks for your votes everyone, especially to those who voted early and often. The winner of this semi-final round is Dunes.

I think I'll go eat worms.

6/9 I bought a fan. Yes!

Bought the biggest fan in the known universe at Home Depot. My daughter and s-i-l had thoughtfully given me a gift card for HD. (Does any other old lady LOVE Home Depot like I do? A new Lowe's is going up about a half-block from me. I am anticipating the pure joy of the grand opening.)

So my condo was nicely cooled. But the fan made so much noise I had to move it to another room. Luckily, it's so big that it cools the entire place no matter where I put it. (Thanks, Jill and Todd, for the gift card.)

I'll find out by 5 PM whether I won the blog thing or not. I'm wondering if I should buy a fancy dress and prepare an acceptance speech, just in case.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

6/8 Blog stuff

Today's the last day to vote for my blog as Blog of the Millenium.

Okay, Blog of the Ten Week Period. Wish they'd give it a good title.

Thanks for your vote.

Working hard today. Trying not to think about going home to the hot condo. At least by 11 PM it cools off fine in the place, so no real complaints. At least I can sleep well.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

6/7 Build a bridge...

and get over it. So I'm going to get over the fact that my central air conditioner stopped working yesterday and it's supposed to be over 90 degrees today.

Avon Breast Cancer Walk continued...

Saturday night was quite comfortable in our snug little tent. Jan put in her earplugs and went right to sleep. After walking a marathon I imagine she was a little knackered. I didn't sleep well at all, but it was okay. I lay there with no anxiety about needing to sleep; it was so relaxing.

For the first year I didn't hear anyone snoring. Loved it. Sleeping on the ground is a little uncomfortable sometimes when you're older, yet I just love it. I have a decent sleeping pad, and a wonderful sleeping bag. No reason for not sleeping. Except hearing the wind pick up, then dying down, then rain literally assaulting us, then stop, no wind, then the wind picking up again. Interesting. And we were dry and I felt safe.

When I got up once during the night to go to the bathroom I could see without using my flashlight. It was so quiet. Then I saw other figures wandering back and forth--some with flashlights, some without--but all in their sleeping clothes. I didn't see anyone's faces, but they all looked like women and my thought was that they were probably middle aged or older. We tend the be the overnight bathroom people.

Once again Jane and Deb had to be up before Jan and I. But we got up at nearly the same time because we wanted to have breakfast with them. They slept in the next tent, but they didn't sleep well either. But they had a very good reason since their sleeping bags were wet and they slept on plastic. If I'd known ahead of time I could have given them my bag and just slept on my pad. I didn't cover up anyway. But hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

Jan met some neat ladies as she walked on Sunday. She said they'll stay friends. We took tons of pictures of Jan crossing the finish line with her new buddies. Then we staged one of her crossing the line alone. We're already thinking of pictures for her next year's web page. Took photos of us three sisters in our Victory Shirts too. Plus some with Debbie.

Closing ceremonies were short. Everyone was beat. And it's always hard for me to stand still after being on my feet so much in two days. I could still walk well, but standing was difficult.

My favorite parts of closing ceremonies:

They talk about how every three minutes someone in the US gets diagnosed with breast cancer. And every three minutes during the walk, they randomly choose someone to get a huge pink ribbon around their neck that says Every Three Minutes...

This happens every three minutes even during the night because "cancer doesn't sleep." But during the night the ribbon is enclosed in a plastic bag and put in front of someone's tent.

I've gotten a ribbon each year. It's very moving to know that you're representing someone who was diagnosed.

The other thing I love about Closing Ceremonies is a video on the jumbo screen. It's just people saying thank you. Over and over again. One person after another. And you know you are helping to save lives.

I have to close on that.

Monday, June 06, 2005

6/6 What a way to spend a weekend

I can't help but smile when I think of spending the past weekend with my two sisters and our friend Debbie. Powerful images of valiant women keep roller-coastering through my mind. Women pushing other women in wheel chairs. Women with shaved heads marching beside other ones who are there to show support. At the Closing Ceremonies seeing a sea of pink as we wear our Victory Shirts...and seeing how many of those shirts are a different color of pink, signifying the person is a Survivor. Ah, but I'm skipping most of the story by starting at the end.

On Thursday evening Jan, Jane, Debbie and I stayed at our brother Jim's house in Aurora. He and his wife Karen love to have visitors and it shows. Felt bad about staying there because Karen's mom is in the hospital, but they insisted, and I'm glad they did. We had such a great time, including two visits to the new outlet mall there. I bought some bargain Christmas presents. We had dinner at the Red Tavern Inn. Omigod, I just had sides but was so full--Tavern Salad, baked sweet potato and grilled asparagus. Oh, and I had some onion rings as an appetizer and part of this table-sized key lime pie. No wonder I was full.

And when sibs get together, adolescent humor abounds, at least in my family. Jimmy showed us possibly the funniest video I'd ever seen. Someone on the internet did it. It involves a preacher and gas. I can't even think about it without laughing.

On Friday I was up at 6:30, I was pretty excited about the coming weekend. The four of us went to IHOP for breakfast and then into Chicago. We checked into our hotel about 12:30 and then went to the Avon Walk registration. It was fun seeing people we knew from the Walks from other years. And I got lots of hugs from staff members. My job on the weekend involves me working with staff, so I get to spend lots of time with them.

Some of the T-shirts were pretty funny. Some folks form teams for the 2-day, 40 mile walk. One team's shirts said Save These (and an arrow pointed to their breasts). Another shirt said on the front--Random Acts of Walking and on the back said--Random Acts Save Boobs. The word boob gets used a lot. Another set of shirts on a group of beautiful young women--Babes for Boobs.

But there was a serious tone too. "I walk because I cannot walk away." And a woman with no hair sported a huge smile and a T-shirt that said, "I stand because you walk." My tears started when I saw those latter two.

Yet, I laughed much more than I cried. Whenever anyone said anything about being mad or upset, our friend Deb said, "Build a bridge and get over it." Pretty funny. But even funnier was Jane's interpretation. She'd say, "Build a bridge and cross it." Then she wouldn't understand what she'd said wrong. Of course we built upon the mistake time and time again. We'd sing "Cross over the bridge." I said, "Build a bridge and jump off of it." And so on.

Just remembered my favorite T-shirt. Women wore tank shirts that said, "Tanks for the Mammaries."

We spent Friday night at the hotel and had some laughs there too. Jane and Deb had to be outside at 4:30 AM to catch the shuttle to their location. They provided medical services on the route. I had to be at work at 6 AM, so Jan and I both "slept in" until 5.

Opening ceremonies were moving, as usual, and it's always heart-touching to see so many walkers leave the staging area together to begin the Walk. There were more than 2400 women and men walking this year. (Plus there were over 600 crew members.)

My job was much easier this year than the last two. The two staff members I worked most closely with--Tanisha and Traneeka--were both professional and fun. After they introduced themselves, I said, "I'm Tajeri." Luckily they had good senses of humor. It only took a few moments for me to get their names/faces straight. As a team leader I worked closely with four other volunteers--Charmaine, Beth, Catherine and Jennifer. They were all wonderful, and willing to do whatever was needed. We didn't have nearly as many incidents this year as last, so that was a blessing.

Saturday we were drenched with intermittent thunderstorms and my poor sister Jan ended up walking through HAIL! They almost had to call a halt to the walk, but luckily didn't have to, as the storms moved through rather quickly.

Unfortunately, Jane's and Debbie's duffel bags were soaked (as were mine and Jan's), and they'd forgotten to wrap their stuff in plastic bags (guess who didn't forget). So they had to try and dry their things out. They never were able to get their sleeping bags dry, so they slept on a piece of plastic. Or rather they tried to sleep.

I think I'll stop for now and will continue in tomorrow's blog.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

6/5 Home from Chicago

I wish I'd had my laptop computer with me on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. But then I probably still wouldn't have had time to use it.

What a superb weekend! I'll write about it tomorrow. Right now I need to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

(My sisters and I already signed up for the 2006 Walk.)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

6/2 Hit me, Bloggy, one more time!

Just discovered that the winners of Blog of the Week (MKEOnline) for the past ten weeks are now in a hotly contested race to see which blog is Blog of the--what? Blog of the 10-Week Period? Whatever it's called, I'd love to make a respectable showing. Voting is allowed from June 2-8.

Problem is that I'll be on the Avon Breast Cancer Walk (and preparing for it) from tonight through June 5, and won't be able to campaign too much. So I'll put this notice here, plus will put it on two forums I frequent. And I'll email it to everyone I've ever met, and anyone I've never met. A billboard, a TV commercial, time spent on talk shows...yeah, I think it's doable.

And if I win, I will change the name of my blog. Because if I win, my life WILL be an adventure, because I'll be blogworthy.

Vote for me, please.

My slogan--a vote for me is a vote for me. Catchy, don't you think? Jer

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

6/1 Fun stuff, I think!

So busy at home getting ready for the Avon Walk. I'm doing a pretty good job of preparing. Still a lot to do tonight. And I don't know what we're doing tomorrow. We'd planned to say at my brother and s-i-l's house but her Mom is in the hospital and we don't want to be an imposition. Other options are to go to a motel or have Jan, Jane and Deb drive on up to my place and stay Thursday night here. Hope I find out soon--I'll need to change my sheets and empty the trash if company's coming.

And I just looked at the CSz website for registration for the World Championship in August. The LA folks really went out of their way to develop a website that is exciting and user-friendly. That week promises to be a lot of fun.

Right now, gotta run. Have a teleconference in three minutes.