Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hacking it

I look around the perimeters of my cubicle into the windows of coworkers offices. It's depressing. As my higher-ups meet in secret, I always wonder if they talk about me, and I think back to what I might have done lately to upset the delicate balance in the office politics equilibrium.

Who hates me and would throw me under a bus at a moments notice? Who would go to bat for me when they aren't sure if I'm as right as I say I am? Who's on my side, or working in an interest that will keep me in the black?

I bet a lot of people think that working as a journalist (even though I am really not a journalist yet, although I secretly wish that people would consider me as one) that office politics and backstabbing would be less of an issue, if not marginal. I'm afraid that it's even moreso a problem. We operate in a public sphere, so perception is everything. I've found that there are some people that idolize the way others perceive them, and would sacrifice another person to that idol if necessary. That's just the way it is.

But even more discouraging is that I am uncertain whether or not I have the talent to do this. I don't know anymore. Am I leaning on my deaf ear more because I just can't produce? Am I making excuses for myself? Can I hack it?

I must've used the word "fair" around 40 kajillion times yesterday. "I'd rather be fair than want people to like me," I said. But that's not totally true. I've been careless. I've said things to people before I've had time to take them to heart, an advantage you have on the page but not socially. I've unintentionally singed a few bridges. If only I had the opportunity to proof my conversations prior to publication... alas.

All I can say is I'm sorry, but what's going unsaid is that I lack faith in myself. I make quick decisions every day that I constantly doubt. There is a three-person-deep backstop behind me that should absorb my crashes, but it fails me. Who do I have to blame but myself?

(sorry for being so cryptic, but that's just how it is.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Family bonding

Last night as we finished dinner, which is consumed in front of the TV most days, the orange kitty snuck up into Dave's lap and perched on his stomach. Then, as if not wanting to be the odd-doggie-out, Fitzgerald sandwiched himself between Dave and I, and then began sniffing and nuzzling Orange, who shut his eyes tightly and pretended not to mind for the sake of his parents.

Dawsey, the other cat you don't see much of, has been reclining in various strange spots throughout the house. Last night she camped out to the side of the stove, lately she's been spotted in the shower, on the bathroom floor, in my closet, under the desk and behind the chairs in the living area. I suggested that it's because she's taking naps in all the places that she had been wanting to before we moved. Logical enough, right?

What lovely kids we have! Below are a couple of photos of our sole non-reclusive kitty, Mr. Orange.

A Backyard Orange

Orange angry ears!

Monday, June 11, 2007

And all I cooked was this cake.

It was a balls-to-the wall weekend for me and my sweetie pie. I made Angelfood cake in record time, despite my mother's skepticism. See for yourself:

Angel food batter

Angel food cake from scratch!

I took that gorgeous, spongy creation to dinner at one of our friends' homes with some white wine macerated fruit. The lesser half of the spousal pair had made dinner, at great lengths, too. He made falafel, hummus, eggplant relish, an antipasti plate, tabbouleh and served it up with warm pita bread. Very tasty!

After dinner and conversation, which was repeatedly interrupted by an enormous and hyperactive border collie named Billy, we went home and crashed.

Saturday morning (i.e. mid afternoon) was a blur. We walked down to the local storefronts in Lakewood. Green Living is this great little shop that sells environmentally sustainable goods. We went to the local hardware store and bought two unfinished Adirondack chairs and some red enamel paint for them.

Then it twas off to the Rangers game against the Brewers. After a spectacular rally in the 9th inning, I practically bolted for the car so I could get home and catch up on my reading some more, and Dave wanted to pack for our move (WHAT A FREAK!).

Sunday was sedated, Dave went for a matinee movie and I took the dog out for a run, which he made halfway through before he petered out. I had to walk him home, and when I got back Dave had returned from the movies, so we both went out and ran together, which made me so freakin' hungry and tired. We were both starving, but we decided to go out to Home Depot and check out stuff for the new house.

By that time we were both about ready to consume each other. So we headed in the direction of Kalachandji's, which was open. Dave said that he didn't want to go into the restaurant all grubby after our run, so we went home and changed and went back to the restaurant. Best. Indian food. Ever. (at least in Dallas).

We came home in food comas, I pulled the linens off the drying line and Dave packed some more (FREAK!). Productive weekend, no?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Utterly embarassing

A lot of kids yearn to make a difference in the world, to have one of those rare opportunities to be heard by a global leader, to be understood by someone who has real power to affect change. I wonder how painful it is to be completely disregarded by that powerful leader. Want to know what it looks like? Here you go.

I have a lot of respect for Tony Blair, and although I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the intricacies of why he is so hated in Britain, he sure beats the hell out of President Bush. At least Tony Blair appears to care what the youth in this screwed up world have to say. At least he's not intently studying the nutrition facts on the back of a bag of candy. At least he looks like he's taking notes, instead of making sideways glaces at a girl who's pouring out her concerns and dreads as the state of the world she will inherit lies before her in ruin.

Only 600 more days until we elect a new president. I hope that we get it right this time.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

while on the subject of food...

... I have to gush about the most perfect foods I've found lately:

1) Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk: I love soymilk, and this is better WITH LESS THAN HALF THE CALORIES!

2) Fiber One Cereal: Lightly sweet, mixes with Almond Breeze or fat free yogurt for the perfect breakfast/snack!

3) Quaker 90 calories granola bars, Chocolate chunk: All the yumminess of a regular granola bar in a crazy-good snack-size bar, with chocolate chunks all over the place!

The perfect burrito bol

I don't get out much during the workday. I'm pretty much anchored to my desk, reading email and wasting my youth. So, on the rare occaison that I do take lunch, I make an insanely huge deal about it. I tell everyone on staff that I'll be out to lunch, and then I ask them if they want anything.

Originally, I was going to trot a short distance to a Subway sandwich shop and grab a low-cal, tasty sammich (6" turkey breast on wheat all the way with mustard). But then a co-worker asked if I wanted to go with her and her husband to Chipotle, which is a bit further, but not much.

Chipotle, which most people don't know is owned by McDonald's, has become the worldwide ambassador of the oversized burrito. Before Chipotle's genesis, though, Freebirds World Burrito dominated the Tex-Mex wrap-em-up market. Freebirds originated in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, my alma mater. Needless to say, I've always been a big Freebirds fan, and I guess I always will. But Chipotle has won me over where Freebirds couldn't: The Burrito Bol.

Now, the worst part of a burrito (at least the part that's worst for you) is the tortilla. The most fun thing about Freebirds is their selection of tasty tortillas, which are loaded with fat. This version of a burrito is best for those like me and my coworker that still dream of actually looking good in a swim suit.

How to build the perfect Chipotle Burrito Bol:

-Start with Rice. Always get the rice.
-Next, get both black and pinto beans.
-Then, add red salsa (just a smidge for the weenies).
-After that, pile on the pico de gallo (for those who don't know, it's a mixture of chopped tomato, onion and cilantro with lemon juice and black pepper).
-Then add lettuce and cheese.

You can add the fajita veggies insubstitution for one of the kinds of beans, but then you're missing out on lots of fiber and protein.

Anywho, this combination is filling, tastes AWESOME and has fewer fat and calories than any other selection on the menu. Take that!

Coo-kie? Me want Cookie!

Since the beginning of this year I've started to reform my commuting habits. I'm rising earlier to get to work in a timely fashion, and in order to do something good for the environment (and head off the unsightly sagging of my derrier) I'm taking the stairs up four floors to our offices every morning and descending them every afternoon.

For the past two weeks, though, it's been kind of a game of will. At the foot of the stairs there has been a massive chunk of a partially eaten cookie (oatmeal raisin from my observation). I know now that the stairs are serviced by our janitorial crew twice a month at most, because just this Monday the cookie had vanished. Either that or someone skipped breakfast and was desperate on their way up the stairs one morning (SWEAR TO GOD IT WASN'T ME!).

But really, the cookie's not the half of it. There's also a Ritz cracker sitting on top of an electrical box in the stairway, another victim of a misplaced, half-eaten stairway snack.

I guess eating while climbing stairs is just as bad as chewing gum while walking.