"Don't worry....Sweetie..."

Just the words you want to hear from a girl who's obviously younger than you. But, these are the words I got as I walked down the hallway at 12:30 a.m., taking the recycling down to the parking garage. I was in an oversized sweatshirt, pajamas, slippers, and was carrying three really big bags of number 2 plastic bottles, cardboard, and newspaper. They were decked out in club wear, celebrating the neighbor's 19th birthday.

As I'm heading down to the basement of the building, I'm reminded of the days where I ran around downtown in a mini-skirt, beer in hand, telling older women, "don't worry sweetie - we will quiet down soon, but you know it is your neighbor's birthday." **

My reply - "Happy Birthday, but keep in mind 50 other people in this building will be getting up to go to work in a few hours"

This skinny-mini skirt wrapped piece of ass already got to me..."Sweetie" You only use that word for two reasons: Kids and to condescend. Last I checked, I'm not a kid. But wait! There's more!

I get down to the basement, which is usually mostly empty, to find the lot almost completely full! YES! Full! Had Santee Court found so many new people to pay $100 a month for an assigned parking spot? No, birthday boy was running down to the front gate when his party friends neared to use his key card to get them into the lot.

Considering that Alex and I already scrape pennies to cover the costs of parking, and that my blood was already at boil because I was taking the recycling down, skinny girl's "Sweetie" comment, and the fact that a bunch of cars that weren't supposed to be in the lot were, but neighbor boy was parked in non-spot that makes it nearly impossible for the larger cars to get around him to get out of the garage.

I decided to chat it up with the friendly security guards. They explained they've already given neighbor boy warnings, they've spoken to management about the garage. The management company hasn't given the guards the authority to call the tow company, hasn't given the guards any way to warn people not to park there. Essentially the guards are there to make sure that no one picks up the building, relocating it to 1st and Maple. Since that's unlikely to happen, I've decided to leave my job to begin work as a security guard.

**While I admit to running around downtown, I've never owned a mini skirt. And, when older women asked me to quiet down, I did.
I went to brush my teeth this evening and Alex asked me about a Christmas present.

"Alex - the first gift should arrive tomorrow"
"Ginny - I thought you already got it"

"Oh...no...I lied to you so that I wouldn't tell you the truth"

Funny Things That Happen At Work

Someone plays with a soccer ball in the office, kicking it around one day it rolls beneath a bookshelf.

This person's phone rings and the ball is forgotten about and remains in that position for about 3 weeks.

One day this someone mentions that the soccer ball has gone missing.

I noticed it below the bookshelf. I said that I didn't have the ball. Because - why would I want a soccer ball at work. It would take time away from getting my work done (like blogging).

In any case - today...after three weeks, I gave in. I quite abruptly and crankily announced:

"That damn ball is located under neath your book shelf. It's been there for three weeks."

Is that any way to speak to the Vice-President?

It is if he's lost his damn soccer ball.
Pretty Girl Coffee

Three words that just bugged me all weekend.

The Dream:
I was working at a coffee cart located at Santee Court. I was all bundled up with fingerless gloves, a hat, scarf, coat, pants and flip flops. I was making coffee for a whole line of people. It was great! There was music playing in the background. And - hanging from the cart's rafters were my diplomas - both the college and grad school diplomas, literally flapping in the wind.

And, I woke up. I couldn't tell if I woke up right when I saw the pieces of parchment paper worth tens of thousands of dollars, or if it was because the spanish language radio station finally got to me.

In any case, the flapping parchment has really got me all shaken up!

I do have a dream to one day have my own coffee shop or coffee cart. I'd love either, because I just love the vibe of coffee houses. The art of the coffee house initially was what brought Alex and I together (www.coffeehousenetwork.com). I love coffee, and I love the idea of being the owner of my own steam wands!

Then, the politico side of me sits on my shoulder like the school-yard bully busy taking my lunch money. After I've put myself thousands upon endless thousands of dollars why on earth would I ever become an owner of a coffee cart? After professors have spent endless hours explaining the state of nature, wetland mitigation, and some good times spent reading the bible...here I am wishing and hoping to pull a shot, make a mocha...have I lost my mind?

But wait...I did study economics - and I do understand the law of supply and demand (as I work on my 2nd coffee for today). I do know that small businesses make up the backbone of the country. I do know that business is politics, and politics is business. Am I just afraid of telling people "I own my own business" not being able to say with my arms wide open...I OWN MY OWN BUSINESS!!! I MAKE COFFEE!!!

Oh my god, I am! I am! I am afraid of being a small business owner, and even worse...a failing small business owner...or EVEN WORSE: "I used to own my own business, but now I'm back, and millions of dollars in debt"

How do people get the courage to start their own businesses? In a world where too many don't have the courage to help those in the street...how do they get the courage to go it without THE MAN? Oh my god, my fingers are just shaking at the thought.

On the other hand, making coffee is more than making coffee. There's the romantic side of it - there's the love between you and the beans, the friendship between the cup and drinker, and the connection between the owner and barista. I remember the days when I used to talk to the machine @ Mud Bay Coffee....

"Come on baby...just a bit more hot water....."
"Ohhhh, ahhh yea...check out the crema on this shot"
"Goddamnit, piece of shit, good for ....please please please, just one more cup of hot water"

Electra the grinder was usually a better bet....
"Your beans smell soooooooooooo good"
"Sniffy sniffy...let me just breath it in!"

We weren't crazy - just hopped up on coffee.

In any case, making coffee just seems so natural. I miss it a lot. I'm sure I'm built for sitting on my ass, in an office, typing away. But, I miss pulling shots, yelling out coffee orders (Double tall lemon latte, non-fat, decaf....what the hell? Just drink water!) and I miss trying out all those new roasts.

I yearn to be a coffee snob!

But I can't because I have a master's degree. I have to pay off my student loans.

No coffee snobbery in the next few months for me. I will have to be a backseat coffee snob.

In the meantime I will continue to think good thoughts about Pretty Girl Coffee.

Two things - 80 Degrees and Wild Animals

Let's start with 80 degrees.
Alex and I went to pick up the Christmas Tree on Saturday. Usually, in December is a cool month - highs in the 60s. About the time we get to the tree it's 5 p.m. at night, and the idea of standing outside is as appealing as standing in line for the gyno. This, coming from a Washington Girl who ONCE walked to school in a horrendous snow storm. Anyway - this weekend the Sun was out and it was almost 80 degrees! Too hot for walking around outside in pants and a shirt and too hot to be rolling around on the ground trying to cut a tree.

This was the third time Alex and I went to get our Christmas tree. We had only one hang-up - when he went to the car to guide the tree into the back. The first year we went I got too muddy. Last year we nearly ripped the tree out of the ground because we were so frustrated in sawing back and forth. This year - things went really well. Getting it into the house was super easy, and getting the tree at the right angle went well too! Finally - a tree-getting experience where we didn't lose it and swear at the Tree!

Wild Animals
I'm starting to head down the path of not liking untamed children.

We were at Olive Garden the other night. I haven't been to an OG in quite some time and forgot that it was the only restarant in the whole wide world where parents were still allowed to bring unruly toddlers, disruptive preschools, and just flat out annoying 'tweeners, pre-teens, and teenagers. Just to the left of our table was a young couple with a 2 or 3 year old. He didn't know how to sit in the high chair and kept standing up. Then, his mother moved him to a regular chair. So - now the pesky brat had the ability to run off when Mom and Dad were busy playing with the color crayons and coloring their son's placemat.

The little thinger hid behind the serving trays, running and hitting other tables, running cirlcles around our table. All the time, Mom and Dad are still working on the placemat! Oh...I just wanted to trip the kid! Because it wasn't just running around in circles...not enough energy being wasted, he had to include a little wail with it. But, no one said a thing until the waiter grabbed a new high chair and strongly encouraged the parents to staple his ass to the seat.

Okay, okay...there was no stapling involved. But, I had my super glue ready.

The next day at Ikea, the same thing - children running around everywhere! There's a playland at the store..drop your kids off and enjoy life in coupledom! Your kid does not (DOES NOT) need to see the couches, bedding, or the sharp knives. Your kid needs to see the swingset, or knows how to hold on to your hand or the shopping cart. I was telling Alex, had I pulled any of these stunts when I was a kid, I think my mom would have stopped shy of running my pants (with my body still in them) up the flag pole.

Why, why, why must you subject us to your unruly children. They want to play, they don't want to come inside and examine silverware styles.

For this reason, I like my brothers and sisters kids...they are all flat and make up 3 colors: photographs!

Going back to work now...
When I was in grad school, I took to reading a good James Q. WIlson book with a couple of beers. I don't know if it was because drinking a couple of beers runs in the family, or if I needed the beers to get through James Q. I still like a couple of beers every now and again, but I've taken to wine! The only problem is that wine glasses are awfully small, and don't last through an evening.

You can't watch an entire baseball game with just a glass of wine or just one bottle of beer. However, you can make it through a game on two or three beers. I have to make a couple trips to the kitchen, like 5 or 6 times to refill my wine glass. I don't use the bathroom as often as I have to get up to get more wine.

This last season I found the solution to my problem...it's called the travel mug!

I heard that! The gasp of the crowd...but, hey...I like my drink with the game. And, why should I be punished if wine glasses aren't big enough to last a couple of hours.

Once the baseball season ended I couldn't bear to put the travel mug away with my glove and thundersticks. So, I put the travel mug next to my little Wednesday night "West Wing" night material. No more should the travel mug be left for spring training, the all-star game, and the magic of september.

The mug know can understand the joys of C.J. Craig, Toby, Josh, and the rest of the WW crew.

Maybe one day the travel mug will make the jump to Thursday's ER?

Stay tuned!
There's this odd split and it's only happened in the last 10 minutes. First, I get an email from Kevin with the subject line of "Cheers". I'm thinking cool...Kevin can come to my party. He's been in a clinical trial for his cancer, and I was hoping that things would go really well and there'd be this miracle of a recovery. That didn't happen.

Someone from church recently passed away. She's someone everyone knew, she was everywhere all the time. And, once I figured out who it was...well..I'm very sad.

Then, I get this email from Tim....and now I have Blogger Envy - which is way worse than penis envy (although I still haven't been convinced that it exists). I used to write in a journal every day - like four million times a day. I was worse than Bridgette Jones. And, I dropped it all, for no other reasons besides I "got too busy"

And, now when I think"got too busy" I can't help but stop cold in my tracks and think about my top two paragraphs, and how they related to my previous paragraph. Is it possible to have envy, sadness, and the continuing gigles over because @ work we were discussing how the Miami Vice theme song shaped our young lives.....

Did you see the article today about how people my age are in more debt than our parents ever were. It doesn't make me feel any better about the debt I have...I just don't feel as guilty about having to make payments for the car, insurance, bills for a stupid shoulder injury caused by my grandmother's suitcase, and a stupid graduate degree that I get to use when I'm plotting my takeover of the democracy known as the Green Party of Los Angeles County.

Was that one sentence?

Let me just point out that I don't get paid to plot to takeover the Green Party. I get paid to send out email, make phone calls, and tell clients to apply for grants.

I wish I got paid to plot. That would rock. If I could be just a Green Party operative I'd be on every door step, every elected office door, and radio show. I'd be my own hurricane.

In any case, I do have blogger envy. Tim's blog is way better than mine. Maybe now I should plot to take over blog land! I could do that...YA....I could.

I'm having a party on the 17th. I invited over 500 people. The list doesn't show it anymore because the people who replied that they weren't coming...I removed them from my invite list. See if they ever say no to me again. So, I invited 500, 50 some odd people have said yes...about 30 maybes. It's going to be a good time. There's a healthy mix of Greens, non politicos, elected staffers, people I know, people I don't know, people from church, on down the line. Should be a very good time.
It's raining, it's pouring, and no one seems to answer the phone anymore!

What's up with voice mail? People use it as a way to prioritize their phone calling (both in and out). I know that I'm guilty of letting the phone ring and ring, but I'm just too tired to answer the phone. On most days I spend nine or more hours on the phone - usually saying the same things. My job is to call as many people as I can and give them pep talk about why it's important to apply for grant funding, and to give them pointers on becoming more focused in their efforts. Some days I'm lucky and get to spend a whole 3 minutes on the phone. More often then not, I leave voice mail.

Imagine, saying the following lines 35 consecutive times:

"Hi, this is Ginny. I'm calling regarding your account with us, wanting to check in to see how things are moving along. Could you please give me a call back by friday afternoon? I'd like to check in. My number is ..... Thanks! "
Now, occasionally I change up the lines, botch the number (giving out the cell number, home phone, my dad's number, other co-workers numbers). The best is when I either forget I'm at work ("Hello?)" or forget the name of the company I work for ("Hello, this is............Ginny). It happens.

There was a time when I had to make 100 calls a week. Dreaded each and every call. Those were the days that leaving Voice Mail was done on purpose. Come in early, call west coasters. Stay late, call east coasters. But, now...thankfully it's all about quality over quantity. Now I get to spend the time talking with clients about their projects, how they came up with them, who they are working with, when they need to move forward. I get to review narratives! Who would have thought that I would be so excited to read paragraphs.

A morning funny

A client left a voice mail this morning. She is new to the internet world, and occasionally she has innocent questions about how the web works. This morning, her message was over the top and made my day.

"Ginny, could you resent your email? I had my computer turned off, and I think my computer rejects email if I don't have my computer turned on."