Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Help me! I'm so bored!

I've been downtown and running around to a hospital group this week and today, I had to run back to Gurnee for 3 to meet someone from my office so we could make the trip down to Skokie to a lifesciences conference for exploratory business in India.

If the end of that last sentence just put you to sleep -you can imagine what I'm going through right now...

We're sitting through all of these lectures by the US Department of Commerce and IL Export offices and none of it even matters to me...:(. I got roped into it because they didn't want Prachi from our "new business" office to come down by herself.

WHICH the reason why Prachi is coming to this seminar is because she's going home for 3 weeks in May (she's from Mumbai) and she wanted to do work while she's there. We don't have any business there now - she just wanted to see if she could meet with anyone....

So - it was only logical that I requested that, when I go to Italy in May, I maybe should do some work while I'm there too:). Hey - if a day that I meet someone I can expense - why not! Unfortunately, they didn't quite agree with my logic... But I tried.

So now I'm stuck listening to this Indian guy talk about all these statistics about export business in India.

What I've learned from 2 hours of lectures so far...
- the Il Dept of export guy has a really loud voice and doesn't need a mike.
- everyone should do business in India
- the pretzels on the welcome table are pretty good, especially when you're hungry...

And trying to stay awake.....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

This Ones For Portland

So I've been wanting to try that new show Portlandia because I've seen a few blurbs so I figured I'd try to pull it up on Hulu.  It doesn't play full episodes, but it does clips.....

This clip speaks enough.

You gotta give it to Portland - here's for you, Karl!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mountain Men

Unfortunately, due to my finicky phone, I had a post on IPhone that never got posted because of some stupid excuse it gave me.... I'll try to catch you up on all that later.

In the meantime I'm back on the road - in Boston - probably stuck here for quite some time as the citizens of Chicago enjoy some type of close-down-the-city storm.  I've already had one flight cancelled - we'll see if number two get sent down the toilet as well....

But - I have to share that I just received a text from my friend Karlene (with the 6 kids out in Utah).  Those kids are hilarious and are always saying something that comes from a vivid imagination or an overactive mind - I don't know what.  Well - I know their mom pretty well so I'm sure a lot of the crazy stuff is genetic.

Today, Karlene texted me to say that the two oldest boys, Benjamin and Jeremiah, just told her "mommy, when I grow up I want to be like Miss Alison - I'm going to be a missionary mountain man!"

I have no clue what they mean.

Not one part of that statement rings true, but I've pieced together a little plausible story.

When Karlene and I were in college, we (actually SHE created it) had this pamphlet/booklet thing called "St Felicitys".  St Felicitys was awesome - the best institution ever.  It was actually the first Baptist nunnery in history and we had quite the run.

The basis of St Felicitys was a bunch (ok two) of us who were repelled by the typical girl/guy dating gooey-yucky stuff that we saw in college.  We really didn't see any purpose for men but knew that we had to reach them... after all, if anyone needed help, it was definitely the male population.  But, we couldn't just send a bunch of women out there unprepared - so we prepared them!  Prepared them with courses like basket-weaving and glassblowing and courses that were calming and you could be in control of and know what the result would be.  And then we sent them out to work with projects that you had no clue what they'd be.  We proudly displayed in the back of our brochure a list of women along with pictures of the "mission field" that they had gone too.

That was a long time ago and before someone went and stole the brochure :(  So sad.  We gave up.  Thats when Karlene went and joined, what we then thought was the mission field - but Matt's turned out to be a pretty good guy so, I can't say much there.  He actually does the dishes and helps make breakfast and is a pretty good example of what isn't normal, I think.


I think the boys somehow think that that was my purpose in my Utah visit.  I think they think I'm going to the mission field.... and all they really have out there is mountain men....

So - I've gone on-line and I've looked up some potentials and this is the one I came away with...... Thank Wikipedia.

I think our basic plan will have to be, though - he can stay out in the mountains and keep on killing and sending minks my way and I'll sacrifice by staying in the city and working so I can pay for the postage to send those minks.  Or fox, or whatever he can rustle up that week.

Other than that - I'll wait for a Merrell shod Northface jacketed mountain man to stumble my way - or should I say repel my way - or wait - does that mean he'd be repelled or I would be - or we'd just repel?


Now I close so I can pause and pray that I don't have to have an unexpected weekend in


Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Invitation

If you live in the Chicago area and if you're  interested in, well, something interesting -- here's an invite for you....

My friend Laurie, a yoga instructor in her pass-time :), is doing a fundraiser event thats "a horse of a different color"......

My Bikram-Buddy, Sylwia, tells me that Yoga, Wine and Chocolate events are the hot new thing.  I have no clue how it works but Laurie tells me its great and, honestly, I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday night!  My friend Kim and I are getting ready to sign up and, if you're in Chicago, you should join us!  Its a fund-raiser so its for a good cause - outdoor activity stuff for underpriviledged kids - you can check out the link by clicking below.

You are invited to the following event:
Attend Event
Jan 27, 2012
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
232 East Main Street
Barrington, IL 60010
The JSRF is hosting a Yoga, Wine and Chocolate Event.  No experience needed!  After a long week, relax and unwind at Nirvana studio in Barrington.  Co-instructors Laurie and Joe will pair basic yoga poses with tastings of wine and chocolate....
Read More

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter

We hope you can make it!

Jeremy Stom Remembrance Foundation
Facebook Twitter LinkedInEventbrite

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Need OUT!

Well- it's after the holidays and I intentionally let myself settle home for a week or so. Thought it would be good for me and all involved. I happily began my "normal persons" life on Jan 3, getting up, drinking coffee, getting into my car and driving to my office. It all was going so well...

Until a product update meeting this past week, Tuesday to be exact. A week after I began my normal life - it hit me - I'm not a normal life person. And how did it hit me - it was all because of a chair....

Our large conference room is directly across the hall from my cubicle -which has an empty split cubicle directly across from me with two empty desks and two empty chairs. This past Tuesday, I went into the product development meeting that I'm usually never in the office for and find myself in a sold out show - standing room only. I grab one of the last chairs in the back and a few minutes later my boss comes in and looks for a chair and then I just lost track of him.

The meeting concludes and I emerge and bee-line back to my desk to finish a cross reference I was working on. I get to my cube and find my chair gone ! Disappeared.... Vanished... Into thin air!

I go up to Jan at the front desk who has the hall in her sights and I ask her if she saw who took my chair - no. As I vent my missing chair - frustrations, a few other co-workers come up and one offers that my boss took my chair into the conference room. I stand watching and see my boss emerge and trot down to his office, leaving my cube still chairless! Didn't even think to maybe return my chair, let alone think to just take one of the unused chairs across from me. Unbelievable!

And so I spend about 30 minutes venting, returning my chair and then steal-proofing it because it just ticked me off so much!

And then I realized.... This was me boxed up in an office. Getting freaked out about a chair - even caring about a chair! On the road - I didn't even have a chair to claim. I didn't have the annoying co- workers to gossip with... I didn't even have a printer to make funny signs with...

It all leads me the conclusion that I gotta get back out on the road again.  Its always fun - until someone loses a chair......

A Spy I'm Not

So, yesterday, I did my usual stop on the way to the office (well, usual, now that I've landed butt first on my desk spinny chair in the office that I'm never usually in because I'm usually on the road).  My new stop has been Caribou rather than my beloved Starbucks.  I guess the big S just started getting old and I needed a change of pace.

So - anyways, I make my stop and hop out of my car with my nice metal mug that my BFF, Melissa, got me for my birthday or Christmas or something many moons ago (another aside - if you do Caribou, bring your reusable mug with as they give you $.50 off your tab - pretty cool!).  I start my stride into the store and land behind a gentleman who is moseying in at a lazy Thursday gait.  As I'm following him in, I'm staring at the back of his coat and concentrating on how slow he's walking and I sense two men sitting to the side of us and one of the men says "hi" but the coat in front of me doesn't respond and I'm thinking - how rude -- and -- how embarrassing.

We get up to the counter and I order my drink and as I'm standing there, someone comes up by the side of me and all of a sudden I hear "hi Alison, I don't know if you remember me", and I come out of my Thursday zone and I look over and theres a neighbor of my cousin (yes, thats YOU Debbie :).  We chat briefly and I start walking towards the door chatting with him and then we wrap up the conversation and I take off as I have a meeting to go to.

It wasn't until about 11p.m. last night when I crawled into bed and was going over my day that I realized..... That "hi" that I had heard and thought it was so embarrassing that it went unrecognized... it was by ME that it was unrecognized.  It was actually the neighbor that was saying hi to me as I walked in and I didn't even realize it and so I completely ignored the neighbor.  How embarrassing for me!

And with that story, I come to the conclusion that I have on so many previous occassions - a good spy I would not make.  I am HORRIBLE at recognizing anything or anyone that is going on around me.  If I were a spy, this would be the conversation....
Spy Boss:  "So, Alison, now that you've returned from the top secret mission that we sent you on to the meeting in Geneva, we need to debrief you."
Alison:  "Okay - sounds good"
Spy Boss: "First thing we need to know - who was at this meeting?"
Alison:  "Um - I don't know"
Spy Boss:  "Alison - we sent you to see who was there"
Alison:  "Really?  Well - I guess I saw a couple guys and maybe a woman.  I don't think I was clear that I was supposed to be noticing who was there.  Oh,  wait - no, I think I saw the woman somewhere else..."
Spy Boss:  "Okay - well, can you at least tell us what they talked about?"
Alison: "Wait - what they said - um - I kind of didn't really hear what they were saying because they had a really great buffet with shrimp and stuff.  But, MAYBE, they said something about taking over the world - but I could be wrong because I might not have heard that....."

And so the world would end because I just didn't pay attention to anyone or anything that was going on.

So - Debbie - you can tell Dan that he shouldn't take it personally that I didn't notice him and in so saying, you can relay this one little last story.

Once, about 4 years ago, I was working in D.C. over the July 4th week and that Friday I went to go home so I boarded my plane, got to my aisle seat, put my bags up and settled myself into my seat before all the nobodys started boarding the plane.  As usual, I was about the 6th or 7th in line who got on the plane so some other people had boarded.  As I sat down, I did notice, in general, that there was someone sitting in the seat across the aisle from me, about 15 inches from my right elbow.  I grab my phone and my sunglasses and start to entertain myself as the whole hoard of others start clamoring on.  As they clamor, I start getting a little perturbed by all the unusual disruptance.  For some reason people are pausing and chatting and carrying on right by my seat.  I finally look up at the people who had stopped by my seat and start to give them my "move it" glare and I find myself looking straight across the aisle directly at IL Senator Barack Obama... Yes, the Barack Obama who had been in the headlines of newspapers and news and all over because he was in the running for President and now everyone boarding the plane was wanting to offer their adoration and allegiance and here sat Alison - who didn't even notice Barack Obama.

So - if I see you in a store or somewhere and you talk to me and I don't even acknowledge you - please don't take it personally.  Just remember that I have self-admitted that I have no talent for observing even things that are directly in front of my face.  I know my talents - and I know my weaknesses and I know what jobs I should never do....

With that, I give you something that I have noticed... my adorable puppy in his new Target clearance bath towel....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Its Here!

I went into a 9 a.m meeting with the crisp, brown grass on the ground and emerged from the conference room at 11:35 to see an inch a heavy wet snow freshly laid out. And so the gloom of the office spread as each person passed the front desk and would pause to make comments regarding the impending "storm". It continued to fall throughout reports, phone calls and more front desk chats and wound up about 3 inches by going home time.

I have both puppies with me this week and they were freshly groomed yesterday so I wasn't sure they'd go out - they ended up running and bounding and going crazy at the dog park, so much that right now, about 9:30 p.m they're stretched out, sound asleep because they frolicked so hard.

We'll see what we wake up to in the morning...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Its Hard To Say Goodbye

I had an early morning treck at the dog park this morning due to an early morning grooming appt. I enjoyed the nice weather, finished, got ready, drove off with dogs - and then heard on the radio we're supposed to get 6 inches of....of....of....s-n-o-w......:(

So - I'm fondly bidding adieu to the beautiful scenes of ground and brown grass and frosted trees and weeds and...and....I can't go on - I'm verklempt...

And to boot -I jumped in the car to pick the dogs up and found my temp in the car at 63 but it went to a steady 58. 58! It's January! I don't want it to go away!

So in lieu of the snow tomorrow, I baked cupcakes for my dear friend, Jan, who is the worlds best receptionist and all around do-tasker in the office, a great friend, and a awesome Christian who always has an ear for me and sound, godly advice. She's been asking for eggnog cupcakes and I finally found the last of the nog and hope to greet her with these eggnog cupcakes with white chocolate, eggnog whipped frosting.
Or maybe it will be a massive storm and we'll all be stuck at home!:). Who am I kidding - those silly plows have been chomping at the bit for this storm!

Goodbye grass, goodbye ground, goodbye flower beds - I'll see you in March...:(.... hopefully?