Wednesday, August 31, 2005

8/31 Food

Here’s the menu from the party on the yacht (8/29). No wonder I gained weight. Since there weren’t a ton of vegetarian options, I ate a lot of caramel pecan brie, chocolate and pineapple upside down cake. Yum. Oh, and normally I drink one or two beers and that’s it. I think I built up a tolerance because I drank two cosmos on the boat and two ladykillers at Joanne’s house afterward. Yum again. (I wasn’t driving.)

The party menu: Tropical Pineapple Palm Tree Fruit Display - Cascading Mixed Fruits Displayed in Shell Bowls Served with a Rum Dipping Sauce; Warm Caramel Pecan Brie
Tray Passed Hors d’oeuvres Smoked Turkey Radicchio Rolls; Crab Cakes Served with Mango & Papaya Salsa
Exhibition Station Coconut Shrimp
DINNER Fresh Papaya Spinach Salad With Gorgonzola Cheese and Walnuts; Broccoli Bacon Salad; Caribbean Chicken With Spinach and Goat Cheese in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce; Shredded (Pulled) Kahlua Pork; Jasmine Rice With Dried Cherries and Fresh Cilantro; Chili Relleno Quiche
Exhibition Station Fried Plaintains; Assorted Breads and Butter including Cuban Bread, Banana and Zucchini Breads, Cornbread Muffins and Pineapple-Coconut Muffins
Desserts Pineapple Upside Down Cake; and of course the chocolate fondue

Coffee Service Buffet

The entire 10 days were superb. Usually at the end of a vacation I want to come home, this time I didn’t. I could have stayed in SoCal for a long time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

8/30 Back to reality

8/30 Back to reality

In many ways I’m glad to be home.

But in most ways—not so much. I loved my latest trip to SoCal so much and find it hard to face the reality of too much stuff on my desk, etc.

Surrounded by so much comedic talent is energizing and inspiring. I met a lot of new folks as well as connected with old friends. Some new folks: the New Orleans gang—fun, young, talented, and gorgeous; wonderfully crazy Erica from Chicago; Mary Pat, Margie, Brandon, Tony, and Angela from Portland (added to the Portland crew I already know and love); Dallas folks—Jill, Evan, Eric, Von (hubba hubba) and Misty (okay, hubba hubba for you too—okay, for all of you lovelies); Houston friends, even though I saw you for a short time in Milwaukee, this was the first time I’d seen you at tourney—and Troy, thanks for watching the Sat. shows with me; Buffalo Kevin who saved a shuttle spot for me and Buffalo Tim with his innocent looks; and the LA team members that I’d met for the first time, Myles, Cory, and I forgot the name of the College Team gal who could have been my daughter; New York players Caprice (a licensed clinical social worker like me), Rory and Stephanie; crap, I shouldn’t have started this list because it’s never-ending. I’ll write more later…

(Note to those who asked: My knee is much, much better. I took a cab instead of walking the last two days and there’s a definite improvement. Now to get rid of the five pounds I gained.)

Monday, August 29, 2005

8/29 Gorgeous day on the yacht

I'll fill in the details later. But Joanne's and Lynn's birthday party on the yacht in Newport Bay was a delight from start to finish. Must catch a plane now....


My friend, Bruce, picked me up at the hotel about 10:15 AM and we headed to Orange County. He's from Santa Barbara so had already been driving quite a while. What a sweetie to give me a ride.

We arrived at the yacht at just the right time, got our nametags and were allowed to board. Both of us thought that we could get used to living like this. Joanne and Lynn arrived and also our friends Debbie and David and the party began. The drinks and food were so very good that I know it's how I gained 5 pounds while I was gone. The music, delivered by a steel drum band, was unbelievable. We danced a lot.

We sat with an old neighbor of Joanne's (Nur, from Turkey) and his wife/girlfriend/lady love? who knows... But he was so funny, acted like a realtor, giving us the prices of all the homes we passed in Newport Bay and Balboa Island. Kept me laughing.

I'll get the menu from a post Joanne made on our writing bb as soon as I can find it. Unbelievable.

After four hours of delightful cruising we went to Joanne's home. I've raved about it before, but again--LOVE IT. Gorgeous, yet very comfortable. We sat out by the pool while Bruce and Lynn serenaded us with their guitars. Joanne's sisters-in-law are a stitch and I'd love to spend more time with them. Donna and Marie...lovely. Marie was especially interested in ComedySportz. They all live in Rochester NY and I hope they'll be able to attend a show in Buffalo.

After a fantastic day, Bruce dropped me back at the hotel in Hollywood where I had to pack and reminisce.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

8/28 Surrounded by talent

Wow. I'm surprised Hollywood didn't explode with all the talent that resided here this week.

Went to breakfast at Sherry's with Rachel, Ste, Steven, and Jill H. Great and cheap--the food, not us.

Then the usual pool gathering. But even more CSz'ers graced the area and I believe at one point the funny people may have outnumbered the beautiful people. We did see Rachel Hunter numbered among the B.P. and I swear I saw Bruce Willis, but was outvoted. Brandon from Portland agreed with me.

I stayed at the pool most of the day until it was time to get ready for dinner prior to going to the Iver Theatre for the final matches. A bunch of us ate at the Thai restaurant (me for the third time) because it's both cheap and delicious.

The word was that the shows were pretty close to sold out, so Troy (Houston) and I bought tickets for both shows. Turned out that all the tournament folks were able to be seated after all, but we didn't regret our decision since we had superb seats.

8 PM match: Chicago vs San Jose and Milwaukee vs Portland. And the 10:30 championship match was home team Los Angeles vs Houston. That made Troy doubly glad he had a good seat.

More later on the after party (fun) and the lack of sleep (not so much). Today I'm off to Newport Beach to frolic on a yacht for the day with friends to celebrate Joanne's and Lynn's birthdays.

Friday, August 26, 2005

8/26 Catching up, but not on sleep

Oh my, I'm tired. Got to bed at 3:30 AM and up at 8 to swim. But let's go back to yesterday....

Up early and met a bunch of people at the pool around 9. It is absolutely decadent to be sitting there or swimming while other people work. I could get used to this.

After a few hours I went for lunch with Rachel, Steven, Ste (all Chorley UK), Evan and Jill (Dallas) to IHOP. Rachel wanted to try pancakes. I think she liked them.

Steven and I then waited for the shuttle to take us to our workshop. We waited in the wrong place. Luckily Kris (Philadelphia) gave us a ride. At CSz, Phil Ward (LA) taught Film Styles. Informative and fun. We got lots of stage time as we practiced the various styles. Got a very thorough handout too.

Then to the Stella Adler theatre for Casting for the Commercial. Michael Donovan, a casting director, taught it. I learned SO MUCH. If I'd have had a head shot with me, I would have turned it in, like others did.

Went back to the Thai Restaurant with tons of people. Enjoyed the meal and the company.

Finally we had some SHOWS to watch. Richmond vs Minneapolis, Buffalo vs Philadelphia,Dallas vs New York, and Chorley vs New Orleans. All the matches were hilarious. Celebrity judges were Julia Duffy from Newhart and Designing Women, Debra Wilson from MADtv, and Jamie Alcroft from TV's Comedy Break with Mack and Jamie.

Afterward the party moved to Big Wang's. Yep, that's the name of the bar. Of course I went. I'm not going to miss seeing what that's about.

It was a great bar. Big, dirty and open. A regular corner bar in the heart of Hollywood.

I got to bed at 3:30, as I said above. When I woke up at 8 I was still tired but knew that I wanted to swim. Heather (Chicago) got there about the same time. Kevin (Minneapolis) arrived shortly after, then later Betse (Portland) and Erika (Chicago) joined us.

Friends went to In and Out Burger for lunch. Steven, also known as Jools, from Chorley wanted to try it. So I walked to Hollywood and Highland Center and had a pretzel and water. Mmm-mmm good.

My first workshop was Auditioning for the Comedic Actor. Jason (forgot his last name, but I do have his card) taught it and it was EXCELLENT. We began by all of us getting a script and then going outside. He called us in one by one and we audtioned on tape. Afterward we went through some of the tapes, but time prevented us from looking at all of them. But we all got feedback, and we all got on stage and read aloud with others. Situation comedies require a lot more thought than I realized. I do know I sucked (my words, not Jason's). But got better as time went on.

Ended up having to skip Rick's Shakespeare class. My knee just isn't getting better and I needed to get off of it for a while. More later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

8/24 Yeah I was right

I was right. It's more fun to be a participant than to have to work the tournament. I loved helping last year when Milwaukee hosted...but must admit that drinking beer and lying in the California sun is more fun.

Yesterday, continued--My first workshop was Telling the Truth About Yourself given by Sam Bennett. She works with Sam Christiansen who is well-known, apparently by everyone but me. The two hours we spent with Sam were magic. It was all about knowing who you are and being that person to the nth degree. In comedy we can play up our "faults" all the way to the red zone and it will be hilarious because we are basically being ourselves, just amped up. We went through exercises that left us with a pretty good description of ourselves. Then we practiced walking in to meet a casting director and using some of our descriptors to answer the question, "Hi, how are you?" Lots of fun.

The second one I attended was Improv Your Life that Lauren Pritchard from CSzLA held. Delightful--both Lauren and the workshop. She took the improv "rules" and applied them to everyday life in order to be more successful. Another well spent few hours.

Last night was scrimmage, and it was a highlight. People just jumped up on the stage when they felt like it and it was fun playing with other people. Mine was Dueling Soundtracks. I needed to get up on the stage because the photographer from the Times was there and shot photos of everyone Andy had interviewed.

Then we just did scenes instead of games and you could measure the fun because Bron was taping and you could hear her higher pitched laughter throughout; likewise with my lower pitch laughter. Kind of harmony.

I sat by Jill Headen from Dallas (a really nifty lady) and I think she's probably bruised because I kept elbowing her.

We did experience a little cultural dissonance when Bron was the Tab Ghost and ultimately displayed anger that someone had brought in Diet Tab. She didn't notice her redundancy until someone told her after the match.

Dick arrived during the evening and of course everything stopped when he was acknowledged. He doesn't like fanfare about himself and said a few words, then scurried up to the balcony to watch the show.

The other three Brits (Stephen, Ste and Rachel) all did well in the scenes too, Bron captured the evidence on video.

After the srimmage, CSzLA presented a Usical, based on the life of an audience member. This time it was Tony Marcellino (Portland)--the day he won a bear in the claw machine. Omigod, I almost lost control of all bodily functions. That group was freakin' amazing.

Afterward we went to the designated bar of the evening (Daddy's). I stayed for one drink and Luke (Portland) walked back to the hotel with me since we both were meeting the bus at 6 AM.

EXCEPT--I'd walked everywhere all day and my knee was causing problems. Didn't sleep a wink all night. I dreaded standing in line for hours. It saddened me, but I decided I needed to spend a day off my feet. So at 4:45 AM I wrote a note and took it down to the valet parker (almost wrote ballet parker, I'm so inundated with CSz). I didn't want Jeremy or Luke to worry about me because we'd been talking about this for days.

I did sleep from about 5:30-7 and when I woke up found a voice mail from Jeremy at 5:55 saying, "Dammit, Jer, we are going to carry you. Now get down here!" Such a sweetie, but I make about 12 of him (hyperbole, exaggeration for effect). Can't wait to hear how they did and how many of them made it on the show.

I walked across the street for coffee and a muffin and sat by the pool eating and drinking. A beautiful morning, which helped my disappointment somewhat. Then after Rach and Bron left I changed into my swimming suit and went down to the pool. Beautiful people or no beautiful people, I was going to show them an overweight, grandma body--because I LOVE to swim. Also thought it might be a nice easy way to exercise without putting any weight on the knee.

After a while the pool became busier, and most of the folks were CSz. I loved that. Brian Green and Angelo Farina arrived while I was on the phone with a friend. I said, "Gotta go. There's some guys I gotta kiss." So Milwaukee's group is here now. For a few days I was the only one. Others are Dick Chudnow, of course, and Tim Higgins, Nicole Devin, Amy Lukow, Matt Garnaas, and Lynna Knurowski (sorry if I messed that up).

Tonight a group is going to Improv Olympics--it's free, and then a bar afterward. Can't remember the name, but it's featured in the Daily Groaner, a new bar every day. Great idea.

I know I'm forgetting lots of stuff and hope others will fill in the blanks.

(Personal note: Yesterday morning a FedEx arrived for me. It was a card from my daughter, Jill, with a sizeable amount of money in it. The note basically read that she loved me and wanted me to have a great time at WC without worrying about money. Wow--somebody raised that girl right.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

8/23 Workshops begin

Today was fantastic, as were the workshops. I'm knackered right now and I need to get up at 4:30 AM so I can do my best to be on The Price Is Right. I'll skip the Jimmy Kimmel Show tomorrow night and will sleep and catch up on details...and there are plenty of those.

Monday, August 22, 2005

8/22 Universal Studios

Today I went to Universal Studios with a whole herd of folks. My roommates (Bron and Rachel didn’t go. Neither did Ste and Jools who were suffering a bit of jet lag after flying in last night and immediately going to the bowling party.)

We did indeed have a great time. One of my favorite incidents happened after the Jurassic Park ride. There was a Japanese guy holding a dinosaur up to his right cheek, pretending it was kissing him. His wife was taking a picture. Big Von from Dallas leaned in and kissed the guy on the left cheek. The guy felt the kiss but waited patiently while his giggling wife took the photo. He then turned and saw that he was being kissed by a six foot thousand inch African American dude and he burst into such a beautiful spate of laughter. It was an amazing sight. We continued to laugh long after we left that building.

Luke from Portland kept saying that he wanted to stop at a hat store he noticed earlier. So on the way out we stopped and he tried to go in, only to discover it was a fake store. He was the butt of laughter too.

On the metro trip back to the hotel, Betse Green (Portland) said she wanted to issue a subway challenge to everyone, to stand upright without touching anything from start to finish of the ride. I was busy whining about my knee so I sat and reffed. Von gave me a whistle and everything. I blew that whistle a lot because I knew it had been in Von’s mouth and it was kinda sorta like kissing him. (tee hee)

Six of the group completed the challenge successfully.

As we went up the escalator Stephen Bennett (Houston) ran up the stairs instead, accompanied by the rest of us doing the Rocky theme. We got back to the hotel with just enough time to leave for the dinner and party at CSz LA. They definitely know how to host a party. The dinner was superb…a Mexican feast with plenty of food for vegetarians (thanks, James). Three different kegs of beer—Bud Light, an ale of some sort, and Dos Equis—plus a bar where Rick Steadman served up some yummy drinks. A mariachi band played during dinner and afterward there was an Eagles cover band called the Long Run. I thought they were excellent. I’m a real Eagles fan and these guys knew what they were doing. Lots of us danced and almost everyone sang along.

Which brings me to why I’m not at the Pig and Whistle with everyone else. I’m icing my knee so I can enjoy tomorrow.

A reporter for the LA Times was there and I was interviewed extensively. Don’t know why they chose me—perhaps because I was one of the few grey-haired lovelies there. J
Doesn’t matter. It was cool anyway.

This has been a riot so far. I’m anticipating no less for the rest of the week.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Jill and kids drove me to the Hollywood Roosevelt and stuck around a little while to meet some of my friends. Bron didn’t make it while they were still here, so that was a little disappointing, but Rachel Wareing from the UK, and James Bailey from LA got to meet them. I was happy that at least someone met my daughter and grandkids, so they know I wasn’t having a “pretend” family—Jill, Kayla and Hunter are real. J The kids loved running around the big hotel and they helped me find the pool, which was the setting for part of the movie, Catch Me if You Can. Lovely place.

We walked across the street to Graumann’s Chinese Theatre and Hunter was THRILLED to see Spiderman there. We took a picture of Spidey holding H, and of course had to tip Spiderman for the privilege. Kayla saw a Mickey Mouse but didn’t want a picture until it was too late.

Then we walked across the street to a Baja Fresh for lunch and Spiderman was sitting outside with his mask off smoking a cigarette. The “other” Spidey was still across the street, so we told Hunter that the real one was there, and the one smoking was a fake superhero. He bought it.

They left soon afterward for their trip back to Castaic. I hate it when they leave, but at least I have some fun to look forward to this week. And they’ll visit me in October for a whole week, so that’s a great treat for the future.

Other CSz’ers kept arriving and we had a pool party. The place is so ultra-trendy that not even one of us went into the pool. But many enjoyed the view as the pool is bikini top optional, and some of the sunbathers were taking advantage of that rule. J The pool cabana was very cool, and very modern. We enjoyed bowling that evening at the Lucky Strike. Had a great time—and most of us bowled. Just for the record—I sucked. But that’s because I’m not a Milwaukee native. (Twisted my knee as well, and I’m paying the price as I type.)

After bowling, a large contingent went to sing karaoke, and apparently they took over the place, which didn’t surprise anyone. Some of us played Apples to Apples in the lobby. It wasn’t the Jack Reda version but still was tons of fun.

The Blossom Room is off that lobby and it’s where the first Academy Awards were held—over lunch. We poked our heads in to check it out—the door was open and it was empty. A guy in a tuxedo yelled at us. Well, when James found out about that, he was NOT a happy camper. He said anyone who wanted to see the room should follow him in there. And they did.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

8/20 Los Angeles/No Sleep

I woke up at 2:30 AM (12:30 AM Pacific Time) for my flight. So I had three hours sleep and it wasn't enough. :) But I was so excited to see Jill and family that I had lots of adrenaline. As usual it was a thrill to hear those sweet voices yell, "Grandma" when they saw me at the airport. They just keep growing...

Last night we went to a free concert at a huge park. It was Atomic Punk--a Van Halen cover band. Thousands of people were there and lots of little kids so it was a lot of fun.

It's late but I'm still awke--everyone else is sleeping. I'm so happy to be here. Tomorrow they take me to the hotel. I'll be so sad to leave the kids after only one night, but I'll see them in about six weeks in Quincy. :) That will be for a whole week and will be lovely.

Now--let the CSz party begin.

Friday, August 19, 2005

8/19 The Countdown

I'm frantically trying to finish up some projects prior to leaving tomorrow morning at 5:50 for LA. Not easy when my desk is piled high.

Am chomping on part of a Subway party sub. The company sprang for subs to celebrate us winning the Beyond the Paycheck award. There's a humongous cake too.

Have to finish editing a rather large journal, plus write a few letters for the Pres. Time's a fleeting.

(But I'm so damned excited about my vacation.)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

8/18 Fun and anxiety

Last night we had a workshop at CSz. Out of 9 people there were three of us who weren't professional players. It was good and I learned a lot. But for some stupid reason I was stiff. Hate that.

Guess I'm glad the bad performance happened during a workshop instead of a Rec League performance.

The reason anxiety is in the Title is that I began to get really anxious about my vacation vs my workload. When there's no one to do your work while your gone, a vacation can elicit some worries. So I've definitely decided to take my computer and do a little work. The days will be crammed with fun, and I'll be able to enjoy the fun a lot more knowing I'm checking my email and doing other odd jobs while I'm gone.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

8/17 Missed yesterday

Yesterday flew by, and it wasn't until this morning that I realized I hadn't blogged.

Finally finished the article for the February RCY. It used to surprise me how early magazines and journals need the articles. But now that I'm an editor and publisher, I totally understand.

I ended up with something I really liked. Because the person I was writing about was unavailable for further discussion (Europe for three weeks, or something like that), I used some of my journal notes that I'd made from 2000-2001, when I volunteered with Prison Performing Arts. After it gets published, I'll get permission to reprint it on my company's website and will post a link here. The title of it is Crime Is Easy; Shakespeare Is Hard. It's a quote from Danny who played the ghost of old King Hamlet.

Today, it's back to writing legislative blurbs for the Creative team, and copyediting the current RCY, which goes to the printer next week. The JSM is at the printer now, and I have to assign articles for the Forum newsletter. Plus I may take a bathroom break at some point.

Oh, I forgot, since I'm gone all next week I need to finish one of the online newsletters this week. Have I started it yet? Nope. Will I meet my deadline? You betcha.

Monday, August 15, 2005

8/15 Luncheon

Today ten of us went to the "Beyond the Paycheck" award luncheon. I felt proud when Jude walked to the stage to accept our award. Nice feeling.

Today was also Kayla's first day at kindergarten. Jill sent me a picture. Adorable. K was very grown up and didn't want mom taking her; she wanted to take the bus from daycare with her friends. So Jill, and other mothers, are going to follow the bus to and from school. Cute. Jill took the day off from work to do that.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

8/14 What a wild, wonderful weekend

I didn't blog yesterday because I didn't get home until almost 3 AM. I went to Chicago with Michele and Bron. Bron had performed Friday night at the Milwaukee CSz and last night with the Chicago troupe. It was a riot, seeing the people again that I'd met at last year's World Championship (hereafter WC). Plus Nate from Portland was also there, and sat with Michele and me while we watched Bron on stage.

Even though I'd only met these folks for a week last year, we know each other better than that because most of us are active on the CSz forum online. So I can't wait to regroup with tons of people in LA. I leave next Saturday.

Laughed my ass off last night (of course I wish that was literal). And it was fun getting to know Michele a little more. She's a class act, and a funny lady.

I did make the mistake of having two alcoholic drinks--a margarita with dinner and a vodka on the rocks later. My stomach killed me by the end of the trip. I'm not supposed to drink at all (stomach woes) and I usually don't. And if I want something I'll have one beer all night and that doesn't cause problems. But I learned my lesson last night about drinking.

Today I swam laps for 45 minutes and am working on an article that's due tomorrow (it's still tomorrow until after 11:59 pm Monday). And also am catching up on TV shows I'd recorded. This day is quiet and superb.

Friday, August 12, 2005

8/12 Chomping

I'm chomping on a Subway Veggie Delite and am especially enjoying the jalapenos today. Wow!

Have my door closed all day at work with a Do Not Disturb Sign. Am writing an article for a rather scholarly journal...and since you read my blog you know that's not the way I normally write. So it's taking a lot of time and concentration.

It's a topic I love, so it's worth the struggle.

Tonight I work at CSz. Bron is performing, so that will be fun.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

8/11 No time

Wow. It's unusual for me to be posting so late in the day. But today was nuts. I got my hair cut at lunchtime. And at work it was deadline after deadline.

Tonight I'm going to try to go to CSz to watch the Rec League winners play against the pros. That should be good. But I'm tired... I'll have to make my decision within the next hour. If I'm not asleep by then I'll probably go to the match.

zzzzz zzzz zzz zzzzzz

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

8/10 Weekend

I wasn't scheduled at all for CSz this weekend. Highly unusual. Normally the only time I'm not scheduled is when I'm out of town.

At one point I was supposed to go to Chicago with some friends, but some miscommunication (probably on my part) put the kibash to that. I'm invited to an all day picnic/party at other friends' home, and it sounds fun. Lots of activities, which I love. My bruises and stiffness should have gone by then. And I can make more on the volleyball court.

I also plan to finish Harry Potter. I'm such a loser. Have had it since the 16th of July and am still not finished. Don't get me wrong--it's an exciting book and I love it. Just haven't put any effort into reading lately. But Sunday I plan to sit by the pool and read.

This morning at the gym, I decided to do something other than the elliptical. Swam laps for 30 minutes. Could have done more, but had to get to work.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

8/9 Love to travel

Wow. I just booked another flight and am in travel heaven.

8/20-8/29 Los Angeles for my daughter and family, the CSz World Championship, and Joanne's and Lynn's birthday party aboard a yacht.

9/24-9/28 NYC to do a COA site review in Brooklyn (and visit friends).

10/9-10/15 Quincy and will join Jill and kids, visiting our family.

11/6-11/7 Mohonk Mountain House in the Adirondack Mountains.

Then there's Christmas and New Year's in Quincy. Wow, I need more vacation time.

And of course if Rob and Beata make it to the states sometime this year, it goes without saying that I'll take time off (without pay?).

Monday, August 08, 2005

8/8 Jane's birthday

Today is my little sister Jane's birthday. Younger than me by seven years, but a good friend of mine. I especially love it when someone asks which one of us is the older one. That's one great thing about chubby cheeks--stretches out those wrinkles. Happy birthday, Jane Alice!

As for me--wow, who knew my desk could hold so much "stuff." I'm late on two articles. One goes into the journal I edit, but I still can't be late. The other is for a small Canadian weekly newspaper. I hate being late.

The one for our journal was due to the editor (me) by 8/1 and due to an office in South Dakota by 8/15, so I do have time to write it. Except this is a scholarly journal, full of references and such. It will take me forever. Forever. I'm not exaggerating.

My bruises from the dunk tank look so much worse today. One stretches about 3/4 of the way from my wrist to my elbow. The rest are randomly scattered. There's nothing to be done about them except cover them up. That was hard to do at the gym this morning. So I pretended they weren't there.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

8/7 Quiet Sunday

I stayed home today. Swam awhile, but not for long. I guess my sinus infection has returned, and so I didn't overdo anything. Tomorrow morning I do plan to get up early and go to the gym.

Okay, so this is boring. Sorry.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

8/6 I didn't win

The company picnic was so much fun, but I didn't win any of the three grand prizes. I was so sure I would win--an all-expense-paid trip anywhere our company has a presence--probably more than 15 countries. Airfare, hotel (six nights), $1,000 spending money, and income tax paid as well. Amazing. Generous. Loving. The three employees who won were understandably absolutely thrilled. It was fun to see their joy.

And there were 25 other nice prizes (because of our 25th anniversary this year), ranging from a flat screen TV to $150 gas cards to Packer Tickets to Playstation 2 to digital cameras to portable DVD players and on and on. It was a hoot. I didn't win any of those either, but it was fine. At the end of the drawings, they gave all the non-winners a new 25th anniversary stainless-steel coffee mug which contained a $50 Target gift certificate. So we all won.

I served my time in the dunk was lots of fun but I have so many bruises all over my body. Yet I did laugh through it all...and got really mouthy which made more people plunk down their money. All the money went to a charity that the staff voted on. The COO of Cathy's House came to accept a $5,000 donation from the company as well. It was very moving.

The food was catered by Saz's and was unbelievable. They had a whole table of hot dogs and hamburgers and such for the kids. And they had ribs and baked potatoes and tons of salads, and another table with lots of seafoods. But my favorite was the dessert table which also contained an ice cream bar. Tons of drinks as well. I drank lots of water, and a few beers.

I'm very happy to work where I work. What a blessing.

Friday, August 05, 2005

8/5 Fun with Bron

Last night was so much fun. Bron (from the UK) and I met for dinner at the African Hut, which as usual was yummy. I love taking people there, because it's not the kind of restaurant you find just anywhere.

Then we went to CSz where Bron got to meet up with some old pals. She wrote about the evening on her website. And she posted some pictures too.

I'll see her again next weekend, and after that at the CSz World Championship in LA. Can't wait for that.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

8/4 Friend visiting...

Bron is visiting from the UK. She's in the US because of the CSz World Championship (WC) in LA in a few weeks. But her folks live near Madison WI (her dad got transferred here--they're from the UK too), so she always hits Milwaukee wheneve she comes to the states. We're having dinner tonight and then will go to CSz to watch a show tonight. She'll probably perform with them on Friday or Saturday of next week.

We're going to the African Hut. One of my favorite restaurants in Milwaukee. Yum. I went out for lunch today too. One of my colleagues has resigned and tomorrow is his last day. Today is definitely NOT a good eating day.

A memory just made me smile. When Jill and the kids called me on my b'day, three-year-old Hunter said, "I want to sing a Happy Birthday to You song for you, Grandma." And he began to sing... "Happy birthday to you dum dum dum, Happy birthday to you dum dum dum, Happy birthday to you dum dum dum, ..." After about 10 repititions I tried to get a word in, and he began again, "Happy birthday to you dum dum dum, ..." I laughed so hard the tears were streaming down my cheeks. It was adorable.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

8/3 Day after my day of birth

Got up early and went to the gym. Was on the elliptical for a little more than a half-hour. Felt good. Drove by the office to pick up some work to do, and on the way Robbie called from Japan. While I was talking to him another call came through but of course I didn't want to switch to it, so I just let it ring.

It was nice to hear from Rob and he apologized for being a day late with my birthday greeting. I told him I didn't expect a call at all since Beata was visiting her family in Denmark and Poland. After we finished talking I discovered the other call was from Beata, calling from Europe. Amazing that they would call at the same time from halfway around the world.

I worked from home today because the air conditioning guy had to come back. The new motor he put in yesterday was so noisy that you could feel the vibrations through the floor all through the condo. But at least the place was cool. The motor he put in today wasn't any different. So he took the whole blower system back to the shop. And I got a motor twice as large for the same price. Amazing. It's quiet and it works well.

When the summer is over, he'll come back to check on the leak in the unit that's outside. But there'll be no service charge on that, since he came out a few months ago, added more gas and put colored dye in it so he could find out where the slow leak was.

I'm so happy. And cool.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

8/2 Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is a very strange day. First of all my air conditioner broke again. This time the fan. And I can't afford to get it fixed or--god forbid--buy a new one. I've got a 10-day vacation in a few weeks in LA. A few days with Jill and family and the rest at the CSz World Championship, and another day at a friend's b'day party in Orange County--on a freakin' yacht. So I don't want to miss any of that.

But it's really hot here--95 today. So I have to do something. Here's hoping it can be repaired and that it won't cost too much. (Laugh with me now. Ha!)

And another thing. I'd expected my office to be decorated--people here always go overboard and it's so fun. But I'd forgotten that a few months ago people decided to stop doing that, and to stop bringing in tons of treats. Now the birthday person brings in stuff.

Well, I did do that. Brought in some yummy high-fat stuff from Great Harvest Bread Company. But I was still surprised when I saw no decorations. But I got a great card from people. And my boss and another female manager took me to lunch. Delicious. Way too much food today.

And I heard from several relatives and friends, so that was nice. And I'm sure my grandkids will call me. Of course, that will make my day.

Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed about the air conditioner. More later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

8/1 Three in a row

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and got to the gym by 6:20. I did 16 minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the elliptical. The ellipticals were in high demand so when one became vacant I jumped off the treadmill asap and jumped on the elliptical. Maybe tomorrow I'll just yell, "I got dibs."

Because of work I didn't stay as long as I wanted to. I kept sweating even after a cool shower. And my face stayed red until long after I arrived at the office. Damn that northern European heritage.

Don't know if I'm going tomorrow or not. It's my birthday and I might treat myself to sleeping in a little. Or perhaps I'll go to the gym anyway and treat myself to better health.

This gym is really good. Has a nice pool (I love to swim laps). And tons of space and equipment. The usual complement of gorgeous men and stunning women. But this one also has some old folks which thrills me.