Happy Halloween! I truly do love this holiday. It celebrates candy and silliness, I’m not sure how much more “Erika” you can get than that. I also just love that today I got to go around to everyone and of our 70 employees only one person refused a piece of chocolatey deliciousness (he maintained that candy is “crap”. In his defense, though, he recently lost 40 lbs. and is trying to keep it off. He also eats very dull food every day and in my opinion doesn’t have nearly as much fun as he could). I have to disagree. Candy is many things but crap is not one of them.

It brings to mind a conversation I had with Wes last night. We were discussing our upcoming Mexico vacation and he was expressing that he always has some reservations about vacations because they are expensive (especially the way we take them!) and the money could always be used differently. I am of the mind, however, that moderation is the key and that it is not a crime to enjoy your life.

I love vacations. I truly enjoy going away with Wes and just enjoying the very “our own world” mentality we develop when it’s just the two of us in a foreign place. We have so much fun when we’re away together and I revisit the memories we make as often as I can. I have been told by every parent that I know that it’s important to enjoy married life as much as possible before kids arrive. I intend to! I feel like it’s vital to be responsible with our money but it’s also important to carve a place to focus on one another into our lives.

I just feel like at the end of my life I will not regret going on a vacation to Mexico with my scintillating husband. I will definitely not regret that extra chocolate I ate on Halloween. I will certainly not regret bringing a flop-eared little engine of destruction home and naming him Doc Holliday, and I will never regret the steps I took throughout my life to create beautiful memories for myself and my loved ones.

I think the only things I will regret are the opportunities that were before me that I was too hesitant to embrace, either out of fear or doubt. Why didn’t I kick off my shoes and run through that fountain with my kids? Why was I so scared to dance with my husband in that restaurant in Italy? Why did I never finish my graduate degree? Those are the thoughts that will echo unwanted in my head. The money we spent on a trip to Mexico will never resonate, however, because the memories and experiences will demand a greater presence.

I wish I had been this eloquent last night when discussing this with Wes. Instead, I think I said something more along the lines of, “Well, too bad. We’re going anyway and you’re going to enjoy yourself so THERE”. Thank goodness, though, that as Wes so often says, he hears what I mean not what I say.

Take That, Grumpus!!!

Today dawned misty and foreboding but it has turned into a glorious and sunny day and I’m very pleased about that. I adore the fall season. When it’s sunny the bright colors absolutely thrill me and the chilly air is not yet so cold that it makes your face feel like it’s going to fall off. I’m a very happy camper right this second.

I am currently at work (yes, blogging at work. Yes, using Microsoft Word to shield my true off-taskness from prying eyes. And finally, yes, I’m OK with it) and we have a new HR person who just started yesterday. It’s been a real trial for me in the patience department. She is bright and pleasant but I hadn’t realized a person could ask so many questions!

She is also realizing the inherent frustration that goes along with this job. My employers are very specific, and I mean VERY specific about the kind of people they are looking for and there is no wiggle room in the candidate qualifications. She is going through what I went through when I kept trying to fight the system and asking “Why can’t it be done this way?”. It feels like being a fly and constantly beating your head against the side of the jar you live in. It hurts and it’s pointless. I have found that it’s generally best to adopt a kind of dull resignation and just go with the flow, however nonsensical and utterly ridiculous that flow may be on any given day.

Another thing that’s utterly ridiculous: dog treats! Wes and I ventured to PetSmart on Sunday to buy our little Western troublemaker a new collar and leash. While we were perusing the dog treats I was dumbfounded at how any company can justify charging an exorbitant amount of money for what is essentially animal by-products. I mean, seriously, a $5 chewie stick-bone-thing? Doc can go through one of those in about 30 seconds. That’s one of the most expensive 30-second experiences ever! Our flight to Mexico isn’t even going to cost that much!

Additionally, they now have these gourmet bones that are stuffed with fillings to make them tastier, apparently. Like ham hocks stuffed with cheese and beef. The cheese is hard and the whole thing looks a lot like orange cement set in a fugly brown vase. First of all, those are sure to make me want to vomit every time I look at them. Second, my dog eats his own feces. I really don’t feel the need to glam up what he eats seeing as how the bar for what he considers palatable is set pretty low.

It amuses me that now that we’ve been dog owners for 3 whole months Wes and I are so jaded that we bought him a new collar that is too big, knowing that he’ll grow into it, as opposed to buying him a medium one now and a large one later. Back in the beginning we might have bought him a nasty cheese ham hock confection from the Delicatessen of the Macabre but now we figure he’s just going to have to be OK with eating the rawhide rolls we’ve supplied for him. He’s pretty much just happy to be where we are, chewies or no chewies.

By the way: my boss just snapped at me for locking the door to the empty office while I escorted New Girl upstairs to the kitchen. Apparently, being considerate is not one of our company’s goals. So now I’m deriving a fierce joy (the kind that can only come from minor subterfuge) from blogging at work. Ahh, strong work ethic, I never knew ye.

A Tricky Treat!

What a marvelous weekend! Sir Wesley and I carved pumpkins on Sunday and it was really messy, sometimes frustrating, but altogether it was a very satisfying experience. We selected jack-o-lantern templates from the HomeStar Runner website (HomeStar for him, Trogdor for me) and set about making our wildest pumpkin dreams come true. Wild it was, too! Wes almost sliced his finger off and I completely abolished Trogdor’s mouth. His poor fearsome teeth fell right off when I attempted to free them from his mouth. Oops. So now he’s a fearsome close-mouthed dragon.
Just because Wes and I are really dedicated to our photography, we waited until it was dark outside to take pictures of our handiwork. All told, I think we ended up taking close to 30 pictures of our pumpkins, all of which involved finding just the right exposure and space from the camera. Wes is very particular about that sort of thing. The pictures turned out great, as is evidenced above. I’m very impressed with my husband over his pumpkin carving work.
Not because he’s so great with a steak-knife (we both are, by the way, so you may not want to cross us…that is, if you’re a pumpkin…and it’s 3 days before Halloween…and we feel like carving you…never mind) but because he really sacrificed to carve that pumpkin with me. He hates getting his hands dirty. Really really really doesn’t like it and there’s not much that you can do legally that gets your hands as dirty as pumpkin-carving. I mean, wow if those pumpkin innards aren’t sticky when they dry!
Wes, however, bore it all in order to make me smile. He would vastly have preferred playing his Wii to carving jack-o-lanterns but he did it anyway. He is very sacrificial that way, and it did make me smile so mission accomplished!
We did some other fun stuff last weekend as well. We bought Doc a new collar and leash to accommodate his rapidly increasing size. They are bright blue and very fetching, if not still a little too big. He’s a good sport though and pretends not to notice. He just lifts his head and swings his tail and does his little puppy-strut the best he can. He looks so funny in his huge collar though that I can’t help but laugh. I laughed the whole way down the street this morning. What would I do without my morning Doc walk?
So now I’m back at work. I’m typing this as a Word document first and then I’ll really quickly copy and paste it into my blog so that I won’t get caught blogging at work. So tricky!

Full to the Brim

This week had been insane at work. It has been so busy I haven’t even had a chance to blog about how busy I am!

I had another career fair on Thursday and my boss got back from India on Tuesday so this week had been very helter skelter with trying to catch up. I did get to use my sales skills today though. A candidate accepted a job right before we offered him one so I got to steal him away from the other company. I spent about half an hour convincing him that our company was better and in the end he consented. Satisfied doesn’t even begin to describe how that felt.

I even received an accolade from my manager for that one. Normally my job is like working for the CIA. Every time I do something well I never hear about it but the minute I screw up the world detonates. That’s why the compliment felt so nice. That and the validation.

It’s Friday now, though. I heave a big sigh of relief as I look with anticipation (name that reference!) toward the weekend with its margaritas and visit with my mother (who is coming to stay with us Saturday night).

I hope next week is not quite as busy. I barely even had time to eat my lunch every day this week! I’m well pleased with my efforts, however, so it’s been worth it. My only regret is that I blogged far too little and have not much in the way of wit to offer you. I hope something entertaining happens over the weekend. My life is such, however, that I am never at a lack of entertainment. My life is generally very funny. Anyway, if something fun does happen I promise to regale you with the tale next week.

The Internet is Eating My Brain

It is a glorious day here, my goodness! The sky is that perfect October blue that every bride dreams of when she plans her Fall wedding. I’m very grateful for the blue sky because it means that Wes is going to be able to mow the lawn. Yippee! Our grass is officially a foot high and our tiny little house is quickly disappearing beneath the Mitchell Jungle. The grass grows so fast, though, it seems like Wes has to mow every other day! Personally, I suspect steroid use.

Anyway, moving on…The Internet is rife with distractions and for awhile it seemed I might lose myself in the depraved detritus of that squalid wasteland. I am speaking specifically about Perez Hilton. Yep, I’m ashamed to admit it but for awhile I checked his website every day, sometimes multiple time per day. It is a shameful thing for me.

Why? Well, I would like to consider myself an well-educated person. According to the Encarta quizzes I’ve taken it would appear that I am a very smart cookie and I would like to think that attending college means I’ve learned some things. Perez Hilton is not what I would consider intelligent entertainment. In fact, it is resolutely the opposite of that. It is the complete absence of social conscience and good grammar.

I am ashamed to admit that I actively sought out those lame little drawings and unnecessarily malicious commentaries on the lives of people I will never know. So, I have decided to kick the habit. Whenever I get bored at work I blog, or look up interesting things on Wikipedia, or play Scrabble (I used the word ‘canticle’ on Scrabble once. It was worth 160 points. It made my whole day) but I do not look up Perez Hilton. No sir/ma’am.

It’s just that when I read that website it felt like I was polluting my brain and I feel like that’s an unnecessary waste. I’m not advocating that you not read it, you may have better self-restraint than I do and maybe it won’t become an addicting and shameful habit for you. As for me and my brain, however, we’re gonna stick with Encarta (and lots of random trivia!).

I have also recently joined Facebook. It’s fascinating! I have reconnected with so many people I haven’t spoken to in so long! It’s really distracting at work however, because there’s a sore temptation to look up past friends and that’s probably not what they’re paying me to do. So there’s my newest distraction at work.

I have honestly wondered whether the Internet might be the worst thing to happen to the workplace. There are so many places to get lost/distracted on the Internet and I wonder how the availability of mindless gratification has affected productivity in the workplace. That would be an interesting study to do, actually.

So the point of this whole post is this: I may not be the most productive person at my company right this second, but I know what to do if you’re in a high-rise building and a hurricane or tornado strikes. I think of the two options survival knowledge is more valuable. My boss may not agree with me right now but trust me, if we’re in a hurricane (yes, in Seattle) he’ll agree really quick.