Category Archives: "Working Professional"

Stories that involve Miss Sassy Pants possibly getting her professional work on at her place of gainful employment. No it is not the King Burger, thanks for asking.

Workplace Comedy & Healthy Cheetos

Some days I truly love coming to work. The rows and rows of cubicles with their little windows at the top, the pattern of FLOR carpet squares, the little old lady who closes the bathrooms for cleaning right after lunch (highest bathroom traffic time, if you didn’t know), the sound of printers and computers buzzing, the snorting or ice crunching of your neighbor, that one guy who laughs all day so the entire floor can hear him, the woman who wanders around. The every day din of corporate America is just a little pot of gold to my Monday through Friday.

Recently I discovered a very special and dedicated worker in this building. I don’t know her but I’ve encountered her in the hallways  every so often. She carries at least 3 pad-folios filled to the brim with email printouts and yellow notepads, and an additional one to two inch thick stack of paper, including anything from additional printed emails to project lists printed on legal paper, an additional notepad or two and a special bound notebook. Minimum.

Everywhere I see her, I see her with this material. It truly baffles me. There’s no way that she needs all of that in every single meeting. There’s no way she even needs half of that in all of her daily meetings. It’s just not possible. Oh and she also has a company phone, which houses all of her emails that she also has printed in mass quantities. I love seeing her huffing and puffing and rushing around the halls from meeting room to meeting room all grouchy and barely clinging to her company memorabilia. I always try to smile and say hello; when I receive a response, if I receive a response, I always think that if she just had some kind of cart, or a backpack of some kind. Or perhaps a rolling briefcase to roll around behind her from meeting to meeting, she might not be quite so grouchy.

She does have a killer tan, though. And great hair. Bless her heart.

I really love people who buck the norm and really dress to impress for work. I don’t mean that guy who doesn’t dress down on Fridays or the girl who still wears panty hose because she thinks the men will take her more seriously that way (they’re still legs). I mean the fashion forward people. The 40-something guy who wears those fancy jeans with the designer decorated pockets because he heard someone say once that chicks dig it. The mom who wears her fancy turquoise sequin-covered strappy sandals with jeans and a tank on Fridays. Presh.

Just the other day I discovered probably the sharpest dressed man in our entire building, no sarcasm. He was wearing nice looking dark jeans with the perfect amount of fading and wear on the front, white and blue pinstripe collared shirt – sleeves rolled up perfectly and untucked obviously, except for the tiny part of the shirt-tail that was tucked into his rather large belt buckle – again some designer, and the part that tied it all together: white snakeskin loafters with the long square toe. Dude looked like he was about to roll up to Mirage and get his bottle of expensive champagne and sip on it in the VIP section. For realz.

I couldn’t help complimenting him. It made me feel like I was in 9th grade, but I did it anyway.

Also all the rage lately seem to be insane-o patterned dress shirts for men with the fancy alternative pattern inside the french cuffs and collar, Al la this designer. I have to admit shamelessly that I sort of love this look. Men who wear these shirts really must be real men. Because seriously, a man who is not 100% confident that he is a man and very manly about being a man would never be seen in paisley. Am I right? I have a feeling some of my manlier friends would argue with  my point, but whatever. And it does just occur to me that typically it’s only “the management” whom/who (couldn’t figure which was right) I notice sporting this look. This could be an interesting study in psychology or something related to human behavior or whatever. Regardless, I like them. A man’s got to have a little fun, hasn’t he?

Today I went to the vending machine (because it’s a rare occurrence, obviously…my self control is super human when it comes to resisting snacks if you didn’t know) (that was sarcasm if you’re dumb) and noticed a little sign on it for the first time. The sign reads: “Just 4U” Obviously things are cooler when we abbreviate and use letters for words. “Look for these symbols to help you pick the snack that’s right for you!” In corporate vending machine speak, “right for you” means “healthier so we could maybe save money on health care, if you would only lose a little weight, you fatty.”

The symbols with which we are to gauge our snack choices include: a blue check, which indicates snacks that have 5 grams of fat or fewer; an orange check, which means it contains 15 grams of carbohydrates or less; and a green check which indicates 100 calories or less.

There is only one check next to only one food item in the entire machine, in total containing about 30 or 40 snack choices. The check is green, and it is next to the Welche’s Fruit Snacks.

I’m enjoying my Cheeto’s.

Advertisements

Well Excuuuuuuuse ME

Recently, some nice young lady posted a comment to this post of yore (wherein I complained about my terrible dye job and concluded that, for my particular professional situation, orange and pink highlights in my hair wasn’t the best look) which read something / exactly like this: “Those people with pink and orange streaks in their hair are probably a lot more interesting and unconventional individuals than you are.”

SMACK!

Scuse! Don’t I just feel put in my place! I got served, if you will, via the comments section. This chick doesn’t know me, so she has no idea how interesting or uninteresting I am. And of course I didn’t approve the comment, as is my right as administrator of this blog, but I did file it away for pensive contemplation. Plus we like to keep things positive here at Miss Sassy Pants. It is not sassy to put others down!

So what really makes a person more interesting and unconventional that others? Am I a boring conformist because I didn’t like the way pink highlights looked on me? Am I super lame because I sort of care how my bosses and other (mostly older/more experienced) corporate associates perceive me in the office before I even meet them? Hmm. If I had a long beard (aka Mr. Sassy Pants) I’d be stroking it thoughtfully right now. Much like Pai Mei (high five to anyone who gets the reference).

I’d love to take a vote on this, but I couldn’t figure out the polling tool so we’ll just analyze (leave it in the comments if you want). Since I grew up in a conservative household, there was minimal tolerance for what is known as teenagers expressing themselves. I wasn’t forced to wear collared shirts and khakis daily, but I didn’t have the urge to wear large dress-like black pants with a couple hundred chains hanging off my belt and a spiked necklace resembling a dog collar. And if I did have such an urge, it would have been met with something along the lines of “HELL NO.” There is nothing wrong with this or any other form of “self-expression” per se. It just wasn’t for me. I expressed myself by other means, wasn’t the most popular or the weirdest girl in school, escaped just fine, and now have a job which pays me handily to tinker with corporate systems all day for the betterment of the stock price. My parents taught me that others don’t necessarily perceive you as you think they do, and that you must learn to realize and adjust accordingly. And certainly, the post from the past was not a condemnation of the nice folks who color their hair all the colors of the rainbow. Good on ya, as I used to say. This is Amurica, ya’ll. You can do what you want and make up bukoo weird reasons for doing such as you please. Which means I can do as much or as little to “express myself” as I please and none of this outward self-expressions necessarily deems me more or less interesting, weird, or awesome than anyone else on the planet.

Convention is another story. Google says the definition of conventional is “following accepted customs and proprieties,” or “conforming with accepted standards.” I was uncomfortable with such striking and bold hair color (which didn’t even look good one me, something I readily admitted and still acknowledge) and chose to have it toned down to be a bit closer to my natural look, so this is me following accepted customs, proprieties, and standards according to what I know and am comfortable with. At that point, I had been working in a professional office environment for a total of almost 2 years of non-consecutive time. By then I had figured out to a certain degree how others perceive me in the office, and had decided that adding an additional layer of unconventional-ism by giving myself non-traditional hair color wasn’t something I wanted to combat. I already have a number of things “against” me in the office (in my particular career choice, given my gender, stature, etc.), so why make things harder for myself when I need to cooperate and work closely with many different kinds of people, some or even most of whom would take one look at me and my unconventional-ism and not listen to or respect anything I say, much less take me seriously. So yeah, I’m conventional. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so. Is it “bad” to be unconventional? Not at all. Does it prevent people from getting jobs? Sometimes, but sometimes it helps. That’s what makes the USA so great. Everyone is so different, and most of us are accepting of others’ unconventionality.

Maybe when I’m more established in my career and have solid work performance for a solid number of years behind me to back me up, I can be more adventurous. A [good] reputation to precede me in the [corporate] workplace would mean I could be more unconventional with my outward appearance and it would not necessarily be a hindrance. Case in point: there is a woman at this office who never (at least that I’ve seen) dresses business casual – cargo pants and t-shirts daily. She has short hair cut into what can only be called a mohawk, and dyes it frequently different shades of blond and red. Yet when people mention her in the office, they mention her solid performance, her intelligence, and her work ethic. She is smart, folks know she can get her job done and done well, and so it doesn’t really matter what she looks like. But someone my age with my limited experience and therefore non-existent reputation (except one of being the “new girl”) could be taken wrongly by the predominantly boomer-age management at this corporation and others. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but they exist for a reason. We say we won’t judge, but everyone does it. And if you acknowledge this, why put yourself at a disadvantage over others when competing for the same bonus money? I’d rather prove myself professionally first, and then shave my head and pierce my lips, nose and eyebrow, rather than have to prove myself professionally and personally because someone has a thing against piercings, tattoos, or mohawks.

Rookie issue? Yes. Once again still proving ourselves. We (rookies and everyone else) are not more or less interesting because of how we present ourselves to the world. But I’ll take conventionalism any day over losing out on a bonus and/or a raise because my competing coworker looks like Connie Conventionality and I’m Molly Mohawk (haha…just made those up). Rock on Rookies.

6 Month Adventure in NoCal

Welcome back! To me, that is. Once again I know you’re all anxiously waiting for some new sass to hit the interwebs and I am here to serve. Herewith you will find a non-brief (tried to make it brief but failed) recollection of my 6 month stint in Northern California. I went a bunch of places, ate a lot of food, and saw a lot of things. And, as a way of recording my time and adventures, I will now commence to sharing them with you. Many of these activities were conducted with friends or family members, though I may not mention them specifically. You know who you are. Here’s to you, great friends and family of mine!

In no particular order except how the events come back to me, here is 6 months in NoCal as experienced by Miss Sassy Pants:

Drove to Santa Cruz. Walked and shopped among the hippies in downtown Santa Cruz. Walked the boardwalk at Santa Cruz, spontaneously bought a too-expensive beach chair and sat on the beach to watch my first west-coast sunset. Hiked Mount Diablo, elevation 3,864 feet, approximately 5.5 miles up and 5.5 miles down. Subsequently missed meeting my future husband the next day at Fleet Week due to my inability to walk thanks to epic first hike of my life.

Drove the Golden Gate Bridge greater than or equal to 5 times (over and back). Almost crashed my car on the Golden Gate Bridge due to amazing views and taking pics while driving greater than or equal to 5 times. Walked the beach in Sausalito, parked little Rose next to a Ferrari. Had dinner on the water in Sausalito, best cracked Dungeness crab in my life.

Was a passenger in a short drive up Scenic Highway 1. Hung out the window to take gorgeous pictures and take in the salty coastal breeze. Went from wearing a tank top on one beach to huddling in a sweatshirt and scarf on another about 10 miles away. Hiked up a large hill in bare feet because the potential views were enticing and ballet flats wouldn’t cut it. The view ended up being totally worth sore feet and dirty flats. Put toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time at Muir Beach. Saw some massively huge Redwoods at Muir Woods. Drove through Muir Woods National Park. Discovered that there’s a lot of things and places named after John Muir. He was an important guy back in the day, something to do with nature and preserving or whatever. Discovered Stinson Beach accidentally along Highway 1. Stopped here and ate at an adorable little cafe – best grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Walked along the beach and wished briefly I knew how to surf. Also wished briefly I could move there and hang out on the beach at my whim like the locals. Drove to a tiny town called Fairfax to try to see their Santa Claus. I missed Santa, but I discovered some cute shops, and a neighborhood Irish bar with live legit Irish music. Drank a beer by myself at the bar just to enjoy their camaraderie and beautiful playing and singing. Got lost on the way home thanks to AT&T. Found my way thanks to my iPhone (see how I did that?).

Went to a San Francisco Giants game and watched them beat the Arizona Diamondbacks. Became an instant fan of Buster Posey because a) awesome name, b) great catcher, c) nice tush, d) cutest guy on the team. Bought a t-shirt and am a fan for life (don’t tell Grandad). Ate a healthy helping of garlic fries and paid $9 for a Miller Light, just for the experience. Enjoyed being a local while the Giants cruised their way to being World Series Champions.

Ran a 5k along San Francisco Embarcadero with thousands of other women and men to help fight and raise awareness for breast cancer. Also a good way to stay in shape and enjoy the sites and weather. Ran a 10k at Chrissy Field in the Presidio with 3,000 other women for the annual Mermaid Run. Love the free t-shirt and awesome view of Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

Went to a farmers market at San Francisco Civic Center and witnessed chickens being illegally sold from the back of a sketchy truck. Chickens were kept in paper bags with 2 holes for breathing. Ick. Enjoyed the Walnut Creek Farmers Market in late summer and early fall. Flirted with the flower man and got free sunflowers. Walked through a Berkeley street market and marveled at the amount of different organic / meat-less food. Went shopping way too many times at the “top grossing mall in California” walking distance from my apartment in downtown Walnut Creek. Vowed to eat at as many restaurants in Walnut Creek as possible in 6 months, then found my favorites within 3 weeks and went mostly to these 4 places regularly (I’m predictable and like what I like).

Went to a pirate bar, a dive bar, and an awesome house party for Halloween. Almost lost my roommate on a Carl Jr. (aka Hardees) run post-Halloween festivities. Discovered a designer outlet thanks to a coworker in an obscure corner of Concord. Went there too often, but have some great dresses for the cruise and the summer. Walked along the Marina. Walked Polk St. Went to Nick’s Crispy Tacos. Witnessed Nick’s going from daytime tex-mex haven to swanky bangin’ nightclub. Weird. Skipped work to play tourist with a friend in San Francisco. Went to Union Square, watched ice skaters, saw the huge Christmas tree, had appetizers and huge drinks atop Macy’s with a great view of the square and the skyline. Witnessed a Santa bar crawl. Never saw so many different sized and dressed Santas anywhere. Attended a Christmas party at a college friend’s apartment in the Financial District and discovered I love balconies no matter how small or weirdly placed they are – she had 8, including one in each bathroom. Walked Embarcadero many times, saw new things each time. Went in each shop on Fisherman’s Wharf, enjoyed Dungeness crab from at least 3 different restaurants. Watched the sea lions nap in the sun and bark at each other. Couldn’t find a decent San Fran Christmas ornament for my mother (still in the doghouse for this one).

Met a bunch of people who work for Google. Realized 1) it’s true that they’re all really smart, 2) I don’t want to work there despite free food and bike riding. Got a mini tour of one of the Zynga studios. Realized I’d love to have free gummy bears, soda, and cereal available to me all day, but I don’t want to work there either. Realized start-ups are super trendy and everyone wants to be in the club…it’s hard to be a corporate worker bee with all the creative types inventing the next Facebook. But they sure are fun people.

Spontaneously solo road-tripped to Monterrey just to see the bay from that side. Intended to find a quiet beach to plop down and read, and instead walked the historic district, found a massive antique store, and got a parking ticket. Realized then how close I was to Pebble Beach and cruised down Highway 1 to check out the greens. Paid a friendly gate attendant $9.50 for entrance and had probably the most beautiful 17 mile drive of my life. Didn’t even realize there was more to see than “just a golf course” and was pleasantly and amazingly surprised at all the gorgeousness. Wished I’d had a real fancy camera for about the thousandth time. Spotted George Lopez in an golf antiques and art store. Bought Poppa Pants an awesome (in my opinion) yardage guide because a) I know he’s going to go there eventually and could use this, b) I wanted to get him a souvenir, and c) it was the only thing in the club shop under $25. Had dinner at the Tap Room (at that bar in the picture) and made friends with some fairly wealthy gentlemen of leisure. We chatted college football and basketball, and I practically convinced them they loved VT as much as I do (it’s a gift). Also convinced them no one does college football like The South. South EAST that is. It’s hard to disagree with me when I speak the truth.

Made friends with a random chick and her boyfriend after my roommate drunkenly / creepily followed them to a bar. Definitely the number one most interesting way I’ve ever ended up with a good friend. Found a bunch of Hokies at the Bus Stop bar every Saturday (and one Thursday), made friends, and cheered on our boys in Orange and Maroon as we cruised our way to 11 straight victories and an ACC Championship (again). Talked smack about Stanford at work to the haters before the Orange Bowl. Talked smack about Stanford at work to the haters after the Orange Bowl. Talked smack about Cal Berkeley football all the time because they are turrible all the time.

Drove through every neighborhood in San Francisco and then realized there were more that I’d end up not seeing. Ate amazing Italian food in North Beach. Saw adorable little uniformed Italian boys playing basketball at the Catholic school. Attended the best musical / play / live performance of my life when I saw Beach Blanket Babylon, the world’s longest running musical revue. Went to the top of Coit Tower. There were a lot of stairs. Rode a trolley. Napped in Alamo Sqaure. Took multiple pictures with the Painted Ladies while listening to the Full House jam (thanks to my awesome cousin). Found the real Full House house. Drove down Lombard Street and the “crookedest street in America,” numerous times. Got stuck in San Francisco traffic a billion times, once during the first thunderstorm in years. Went shopping in Haight-Ashbury. Got scared by the panhandlers. Found some awesome deals and had yummy hot chocolate with a new good friend.

Salsa danced in the Mission. Ate mediocre Thai food in SOMA. Had a fantastic and huge brunch in Hayes Valley. Read a book on a blanket somewhere in Golden Gate Park. Got somewhat lost in Golden Gate Park. Attended a concert in Golden Gate Park. Drove the length of Golden Gate Park and discovered Ocean Beach at the end of it. Watched wind-surfers, thought it looked simultaneously thrilling and frightening, and got sand in my cowboy boots. Enjoyed a delicious meal at the Cliff House (or Cliff House). Walked part of the cliffs and once again wished for a fancy camera.

Ventured to the beautiful Napa Valley in a chauffeured town car. Thought we could handle 4 or 5 wineries and realized our error after the 3rd. Drank amazing wine. Discovered a delicious and weirdly named cheese (which I now cannot remember) in some random roadside grocery. Went to a members-only wine tasting in Sonoma. Enjoyed an unplanned road trip with girlfriends to Sonoma and all flirted shamelessly with our precious waiter at Girl and the Fig.  Found some delicious wine by picking the prettiest building along the way.

Sacrificed my future first born child to fly back to VA for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wanted, then yearned, then was desperate for Bose noise-canceling headphones. Realized flying west is definitely harder on a body and internal clock than flying east. Loved every second of my time in Frisco Bay, and couldn’t be happier to be back on the right coast. Because they just don’t do BBQ out there like they do here.

And if I left something off, it’s in my heart and mind full of happy memories!

Lasting Friendships and Corporate Lingo Bingo

I had a light bulb moment earlier today while driving back from Le Subway, my exotic lunch of choice for 90% of my work days. It was sort of a deep and insightful light bulb, and there was a moment where I was sad, nostalgic, happy, regretful, and contemplative all at once. I immediately decided to write about it, make it less of a depressing thought by sharing it with you people, and throwing in some jokes to lighten it up whilst dissecting. Because that’s my style. We are not super serious here at Miss Sassy Pants, because we don’t take our sassy pants too seriously, unless they are just seriously sassy. See how I did that? Also not sure why I used “we,” since it’s just me here in these pants. [Baa! That one was for you, Senator]

So now here I am, taking a break from wrestling and arguing with the biggest, slowest, most complicated excel spreadsheet ever (bet you didn’t know they could wrestle or argue…now you know) to get this jank down on proverbial paper. Also I challenge you to a game of corporate lingo bingo. 10 points for everyone who spots them all (also fun to play on conference calls, but that’s not for this post). Here we go.

One of the biggest take-aways from this rotational program is the human experience. It’s not necessarily all about how many muckity-mucks I schmooze with, how many high-impact initiatives I participate in, what my visibility is compared to my colleagues and peers, or my success rate (thank goodness). It’s the people I meet and interact with, how I learn to interact with different personalities, different kinds of bosses, finding my place in the work community and “life” community (aka outside of work), making new friends and forming relationships, and learning which gas station sells the cheapest gas (a moot point out here, as I sacrifice future unborn children each time I fill up). It’s the soft skills, and if my HR manager was reading this, he’s be so proud as he is always stressing to us kids in the program how important the soft skills are.

The first rotation in Richmond was easy. I had previously lived there for a good number of years, aka my entire life minus roughly 4 years of college, so suffice it to say I knew people. I knew where to go, I had friends, and I had places nearby I could easily visit and know more people. Does that make me sound ridiculously cool and popular? No? Well you’re right, I wasn’t, but my point is, I had a network, I had family, and I knew people at work from the previous summer working there. Like training wheels, this situation let me learn slowly and safely about the “real world,” as real as a world can be while living in the same town you grew up in and still living with your parents and paying no bills. Have a chuckle, and we’ll move on. Then after 6 months of regularity, good work out schedule, my designated parking spot where I parked daily, good pals, weekly lunch outings, and Law & Order marathons with my parents, not to mention close proximity to VT (very important),  it was all brought to an abrupt halt.

On to Raleigh, where I knew approximately 2 people and moved in with this random chick I found on Craig’s List (she’s awesome btw, and we’re now friends…thanks Craig). I missed my friends, having tons of Hokies nearby, and knowing which bars to go to for a cheap drink and good time. It took me a little while, but after a couple months I had new (good) friends, pals at work, my “place” socially at work, and had a routine of regular things I did and people I saw. It was like I actually lived there. Then once I got used to it and settled, I up and moved myself to California. Which, among other things, means I’d be away – far, far away from Virginia Tech during football season. Talk about depressing.

And so it seems that two times of settling, connecting, and routine-ing is enough for me to adjust how I think about and do things during these short stints of life. I have found myself frequently thinking, “well if it’s only x number of months left, what’s the point?” Why form bonds and connect with people, only to up and leave a short time later and more than likely see none of them possibly ever again, aside from Facebook updates? Luckily for me, when I think these things, I immediately recognize the depressing-ness of them and do something deliberately opposite of those thoughts. Like make plans and do something to capitalize on fun.

But then other times I can’t get motivated to make the effort to meet people or meet up with the people I have met. There’s logistics, getting to know them, figuring out if I actually like them and if they like me, if we have anything in common, forming bonds, blah blah blah. Making and maintaining friends (and especially good friends) really is a lot of work, so then I think, well I’m not staying here so why am I putting in all this effort to form relationships with people who will soon be 3,000 miles away from me? And also I’d argue that some people would feel the same about me. Why will they put in a lot of effort to reach out to me when they know I will be gone soon, when they could be making time with more permanent people? I could visit, we say, or they could visit me, at some vague point in the future. It’s not such a big world anymore that San Francisco is inaccessible from Raleigh. And I may or may not do this, but none of us are made of that kind of money. But you get the point. It’s a balance. I fight loneliness and laziness to try to find a balance between being a total loner / hermit for 6 months, and putting work into making bonds which will possibly hurt me later when severed (or at least transferred to somewhere less tangible like the interwebs). But really, this shouldn’t be the first thought after meeting new people…I mean really: “Gosh, you are nice and seem pretty cool,  I think we could be friends, but I’m not sure I want to hang out anymore for fear that I might really miss you at some indiscriminate time in the distant future, so let’s examine the ROI before we spend man-hours to take this initiative further through the development life cycle.” Right! Who does that? No one.

I have no regrets, and when I think about making plans, accepting or saying no thanks to invites, I always consider this. Which will I regret more: going and doing, or not going and not doing? We know the answer. I am grateful for my job, for the chance to live somewhere other than Richmond via company funds, and to meet as many different people and see as many new things as possible. After all, we learn from each other, do we not? And no doubt I can only benefit from forming as many friendships and strategic partnerships as possible. Whether things turn out for better or worse, I will have learned something from them, and learned more about myself. Which is apparently what the 20-something years are all about, so they say. Whoever they are. They seem to know a lot, so we’ll take their word.

So I long-winded this one a bit and went over my self-imposed word limit, but whatevs. Anyone agree or disagree with me? If you disagree, I’d say you might be weird or have issues. But I’m open minded. Plus, it’s sassy to be adventurous and to put oneself “out there,” where ever there happens to be. Go forth and be sassy.

Also, I managed 10 to 13 corporate lingo bingo words, which I’d say is decent considering the mostly personal topic. High five if you found them all.

Hey Gurl Hey! Or, WHO DAT!

Oh hey you guys. It’s been like 90 years since my last post. WHO DAT not writing regular posts as she promised a month ago. A thousand apologies, because I know you all are on drugs and in therapy now from Miss Sassy Pants withdrawal. It’s ok. I’m on drugs and in therapy for other reasons, which have kept me from writing more of this here jank and entertaining not only you and my mother, but myself as well. You don’t think I do this just for you, do you? It’s not all about you. Especially here at MSP, since it’s really all about me. And I’m not really on drugs. I got jokes, ya’ll. Anywho.

So what’s going on? How’s your mom? How’s the family? What’d Santa bring you? How many days / hours did you stick to your New Year’s resolution before you gave in and got fat again? Right! Most common NYR ever = to lose weight. My holidays were absolutely wonderful and filled with joy. Momma Sassy and I had our traditional Scrabble tournament which I am SO proud to brag / say that I won this time. High five to me. Anyone who knows my mother knows this is a huge feat because her vocabulary is, like, omigod huge. And I read like 5 books on my new Kindle within 48 hours of opening it. And Poppa Pants is happily and steadily recovering very well from his total knee replacement (badass), and if anyone has any ideas about how to get all his music to show up in iTunes on his new computer, please send me a note. I only had a couple ideas and they all failed. Seriously, email me.

Moving on. Because I’m not a huge fan of the play-by-play, “today I did this and this and this, stay tuned for more daily doings!” entries. Whatever. Later when I’m not consumed with working 24 hours per day, I’ll wax poetic about how wonderful Christmas was and how awesome it was to see the family, how much fun I had on my awesome roadtrip with a few of my favorite Hokies and closest friends to ring in 2011 and watch our beloved Hokies lose another BCS bowl game, and how tired I was after more then 48 hours of travel to get back to this crazy tax-ridden and bankrupt state of sunshine and moderate temperatures. Seriously, there’s no sarcasm there,  I really had a fab time with family, and awesome time with friends, and nearly cried when we lost that game. Sigh. And I even worked ridiculous hours during the holiday. Go me. But do check out the Coastal Wind for a play-by-play of our adventures to Savannah and Miami, including details on meals and bathroom breaks. That Mr. Smarty Pants loves sharing personal details I tell you.

Next topic. I have some breaking news to share with you! Woo! Drum roll. I am officially moving back to Raleigh, North Carolina at the end of this month. I cannot express my happiness accurately, and will not attempt to here, as it will involve a ridiculous number of exclamation points. Just trust me. I’m happy. I miss the east coast, my family, and the simple happiness that living in the south brings to me. Plus, never thought I’d say this, but I miss the humidity. My hair is so flat out here, ya’ll, it’s just strange, and I really can’t say I’m a fan. Things I will miss about this place: not much. I’m tired of paying $50 for a tank of gas for my little tiny baby car. RIDIC. Also, since my job has taken over my every waking hour these past few weeks, and will continue to do so until I move away, the sting of missing out on awesome San Francisco night life and extra-curricular activities will be lessened as I hardly leave my apartment / desk at work except to hit up my pal Bin at my favorite Modern China Cafe. He gives me free soup because I go there so often. Alone. I am so cool.

Next. There are approximately 119 days until my dear mother and I embark on our mother-daughter excursion of 2011. 119 days until she and I journey to Baltimore and set sail on one of Royal Caribbean’s gorgeous ships for a whopping 9 days. Yessir. Don’t be jealous.

Speaking of awesome cruise vacations, I am such a genius that I left my sneakers at home in VA. Haven’t been to the gym or done any form of exercise in over 10 days. Hurry up little postal workers, and brang me them shoes! It was the biggest letdown last week when I got all dressed and hyped up for boxing, only to discover I have zero pairs of shoes suitable to wear to the gym. Sad face. So instead I went to the grocery store and bought some Ruffles and My Little Pony fruit snacks. Good choices. I will be pudgy and gross and Momma will be all hot and toned thanks to her religious P90X regimen. There’s some motivation for me (and you).

Anywho. Keep checking the Coastal Wind for some newsy updates and bathroom schedules from our epic road trip to Miami. And bear with me as I attempt to get some work-life balance back in my life.  I do still love you, and I am still sassy.

Oregon just tied with Auburn, so now I’ve got to get serious about watching this game. War Eagle!

Adventures in Physical Fitness and Fatness

Being an adult (or at least, being older than 18) comes with so many perks and downfalls. One of the major downfalls is weight gain, loss of metabolism, and “filling out.” Please do not think that this is going to be one big complaint about my weight and size, because it’s so not. Stop pre-judging and just read, people. No one wishes, or should wish, to look like those skinny teenage bean-poles with no shape or musculature. Every dude I’ve ever asked (and I’ve asked a lot) prefers their women to actually have some kind of shape. Plus, being that thin makes it hard to bear children and buy adult clothes. No one wants to wear Limited Too for the rest of their lives, and petite sizes can only be so small.

Anywho. This is not meant to be a body image discussion, because as my old roomie used to say (also the originator of trife), you’ve got to love yoself in good times and bad.  Since living on the left coast, something I have noticed is that there are much fewer overweight people here than back east. This is a gross generalization, as I have clearly not done a scientific study, but it is a noticeable enough difference that I noticed. I’m not sure exactly what it is that drives this, and I can really only guess at it since I’m not one of them. But I think it’s a combination of things. Less Burger Kings, more yoga, less KFC, more vegan restaurants, no Bojangles (sad for them really), focus on fresh and local foods, less NASCAR and college football (sad again), more hiking and biking. These are general trends, and it looks like those that grow up with it have grown up healthier. Anyway, all I’m saying is that it sure is easier to eat healthier out here than back home. Not that this has made a huge or any difference in my eating habits, but it’s true.

Recently, my good ol’ nearby 24-Hour Fitness gym, walking distance from my apartment, closed for renovations. For a month. Granted, since running the 10k (sort of a while ago for those of you not up on my calendar) I sort of fell completely off the working out wagon, and really didn’t give two coots about it. But then I was super grouchy at work for too many days in a row, was completely unmotivated to do anything, eating worse than usual, was rude to someone unintentionally (rude) and feeling sloth-ish and fat. The scale told me I was edging (though slowly) towards a place I didn’t want to go. Buying jeans and work pants is no picnic y’all, and I don’t want to replace the hard-earned collection I already have. SO. It was time to take action, because nobody likes a grouchy Miss Sassy.

Not far from my now former gym is a magical place called LA Boxing. Take a second and chuckle. It’s fine, because I now have a pair of [pink] boxing gloves (I know) with which to punch you in the face! JK. But seriously. Best. Workout. Of. My. Life. Poppa Pants says I exaggerate and make statements like “Best [fill-in-the-blank] of my life!” too often and that whatever it is really couldn’t possibly be so great that it’s worthy of that qualifying greatness. And I will humbly acknowledge that he is, as usual, right about this (though I argue that I just like to express my excitement is all…”the best!” just sounds fake, but add “of my life!” and people really know you love it) BUT this time he’s wrong. Because I’m fairly certain I burned a million calories in just one hour. Not only did I burn a million(ish) calories, I took out probably a month’s worth of aggression on that thick 150 pound bag and O.M.G. did it feel good. I’m not sure I’ve ever punched anything before that day, but after the first 60 seconds of punching was over, I knew I was hooked. The best part of this is that the girls at this gym are…friendly! When’s the last time you saw a friendly girl at a gym full of gorillas? Never. And there’s perk #500.

If you’re not convinced that this is the most amazing workout ever, consider this: The kickboxing instructor shared a fantastic success story. Apparently a middle-aged man formerly extremely overweight and considering surgery, started taking her class 4 days a week just hoping to get in some kind of shape for the surgery, lost 150 pounds in 10 months. One hundred and fifty pounds, you guys. That’s a lot of pounds. That’s like losing me plus another half of me (that’s a generous comparison…go with it). Seriously.

So do I still have bad days at work? Yes. Do I still get stressed and freak out about things? Quite often. Do I still not take a lunch and work until midnight? Every day. Do I now take a break every evening to punch (and sometimes kick) everything and everyone who has put themselves in my bad graces? Absolutely. It improves my mood, I dropped 5 pounds in a week, I’m less grouchy, and now I’m more of a badass, if only in my own mind.

Real Life Rookie Year: She all on me, I think she want me

Props to lyrical genius T-Pain who gave us today’s title. I love me some T-Pain, and not because his songs speak to my soul, but because they transport me to college days and my work husband Mr. President. Whitest guy ever, yet somehow every time I hear T’s scratchy voice I think of all our good times. Love you, Pres. Anywho. Last week I hinted something about mean girls and expensive breasts, and I don’t want to disappoint. I may even tie in the lyrics. So here we go.

Since I began working for my wonderful employer, I’ve worked in a total of 3 different offices and cities. It’s not as cool as it sounds, but it is pretty cool, and therefore I am kind of cool. Among the many benefits is that I get to meet so many different people from so many different walks of life. But it seems that people from small southern towns, large northeastern metropolises (metropoli?), and those who hail from swanky northern California wine villages all have things in common. Not only are we all Americans, thriving participants of a great capitalist society, finicky voters, and struggling to pay rent and/or mortgages, we all have a little green giant inside us named Envy. Please note that I’m using “we” to include myself and all Rookies in this. Everyone has a jealous streak. Stop arguing.

When I first started working, I was so excited / trying to stay excited about working. The paycheck is awesome, the clothes are uncomfortable but it’s fun to try to be as fashionable as possible and wear cute shoes and do my hur. I looked forward to giving and receiving compliments daily, and commiserating with my fellow lady associates about bad hair days, uncomfortable but way cute skirts and shoes, and in general the camaraderie that comes with being a professional woman (read my girl-power rant here). I think perhaps we know where this is going. Women are not as friendly as I thought, and in fact a majority of them are major haters. Though I have to say, this doesn’t prevent friendly little lunches or shrill-voiced compliments as we pass each other in the hallway. It is surprising how friendly and honest a compliment or comment can sound at first. And it’s also surprising that I am even surprised at the sting which follows.

My favorite is the comment that’s not really a compliment but not actually an insult either, and usually goes something like this: “Ohhh look at those shoes!” Said with something that looks suspiciously like a sneer, this one really bites. Because what can you respond? Thank you? She didn’t actually say anything worthy of a thank you. If anything it was more of a command to whomever might be standing nearby. Perhaps they’re hideous (not likely if they’re on my feet) or perhaps she’s just so shocked by the beauty and perfection she can’t put a decent sentence together (definitely likely if they’re on my feet). Any way you look at it, it’s awkward.

My favorite happening is when I get looked over with a look that is definitely a sneer, and then get zero comments. I don’t require a compliment at any time. I know I look good, or I know I look trife, but regardless I don’t need ego boosts (though they are the warm fuzzies which sustain us). But I also don’t need rudeness. All of this trifeness comes down to jealousy. We are young. We have clear skin which is gloriously wrinkle free. We are single. We are child-less and stress-free. We go on dates. We catch your husband’s eye. We wear ridiculously good looking shoes. We haven’t let ourselves go. We are just awesome. High five to us.

You, on the other hand, are not young or single or child-less or stress-free. But listen here, ladies. Don’t be trife and stop hatin on us. We can’t help it. You had your turn as a young fabulous woman. You overcame more adversity in the workplace. You made it through bad fashion and hair in the 80s and 90s. You are happily married or happily divorced and happily raising your children. You now have Chico’s, Ann Taylor, and many other fashion choices other than Dress Barn so you can look like us. High heels are not reserved for the 20-something. Wrinkles aren’t even necessarily required, and I bet if you scowled at me less and laughed with me more, you’d have less wrinkles. Plus you make more money than us. I am nice. I will get old, and when that day comes, we can gripe in private about the new hot intern. But if I were you, I’d be nice to me and that intern. She does the copying and gets the coffee. So you should be nice. Because even though I’m no intern, I might just get you coffee when I get my own. We could be friends, and you might actually like me. Plus I could maybe babysit your kids (though not for free, sorry). And wouldn’t that be nice? But if you’re a huge biotch, passive aggressive though it may be, I notice (because I’m smart) and I am not a fan (because I’m human).

Happy hunting, rooks. Be nice to the old people, and maybe they’ll be nice to you. And to you non-rookies: be nice to us, we might be your boss one day. Yeah, I went there. Plus I know where all the good shoe sales are, and I know you want in on that action.