Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday Woes

I am so tired today. I slept horribly last night and had to get up this morning to bang out some work-work before heading back to the courthouse. We only sat in trial from 11-4:30 today (and throw in a lunch), but it is exhausting. I can't explain why, really. I have a bit of a headache, which is either from the lack of sleep, the trial, or both... and I get to do it all again tomorrow. At least deliberations start then, so I'll get to talk a lot more than I have been.

Dinner tonight is at Birches, an eclectic little restaurant in Canton. I'd been there once before with Dave, John and Chris(tine), but that was almost a year ago. I think I'll drink myself to sleep. I can't wait.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Juror Number Three

That's me.

The morning started strangely. Just as I arrived at the courthouse, the fire alarm was sounding and the building was being evacuated. It was 28 degree weather. The plan? After about 10 minutes, the 800-some jurors were paraded through the city about 6 blocks to the safety and warmth of another government building. After another 20 minutes or so there, we marched back. We probably didn't get through with the security checks, registration, payments (we got $15 each) and the video until 11 AM. Crazy.

You know, I knew I would get called because my summons number was so low... there was just no way around it. We were watching 'Akeelah and the Bee" while we were waiting, though... so I am disappointed that I didn't get to finish the movie. Anyway, the process (although long) was pretty cool. Everything was straightforward and methodical. I answered all of their questions honestly, and before I knew it I was standing in the courtroom listening to the defense and prosecution both say that I was "acceptable." Followed by, "Please take a seat as juror number three."

I can't talk about the trial... at least not until it's done, but we did start this afternoon and it's supposed to last through Thursday. I spent my lunch break rescheduling work meetings, asking for work favors and shooting off emails. At least tomorrow I don't have to report until 10:30/11. That will give me time to work in the morning and get something useful accomplished.

Good gracious. Juror number three.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dinner and Duties

I had a great dinner after work today at Michael's Cafe in Timonium. The Chicken Marsala was delicious, and they even had my favorite wine ~ Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. Yum. Of course, it was $11 a glass... which is bloody ridiculous because the bottle is only $45 or so wholesale ($60+ in a restaurant). And being me, I told the bartender that it was ridiculous... he didn't have very much to say though. Oh well. It's nice to get to go out regularly again. I so enjoy the conversation and company. Glad I'll be doing it again on Wednesday. :)

On a reverse note, I have jury duty tomorrow. That stinks. I completely believe that serving on a jury is my civic duty - I've wanted to do it since Stephanie and I sat through a whole trial in college - but I'm not in the mood right now. Maybe I never will be. I'm so busy, and I have SO much to do at work... and, besides, I kinda like going there these days anyway. Grrrr.

At least I can wear jeans tomorrow. I love jeans.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dog Babysitting Fact #5

They all go home sooner or later.

We miss Penny.

The Best Music Meme Ever

(Yes, I know... I'm still not working...)

I pulled this from Elizabeth's blog. Neato.

Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
"Liars Everywhere" by Toad the Wet Sprocket (This must have something to do with my trust issues, I suppose.)

Will I have a happy life?"
"Shadow Stabbing" by Cake (No comment.)

What do my friends really think of me?
"It's All Understood" by Jack Johnson (That's just creepy.)

How can I make myself happy?
"If You Never Got Sick" by The Wallflowers (Ouch. So maybe I put up walls... sooo?)

What should I do with my life?
"All God's Children" by Love Spit Love (I'm interpreting this as, 'Get on with it, already!' Thoughts?)

Will I ever have children?
"Feels Like Right" by The Brand New Heavies (Holy crap. This is a yes?)

What is some good advice for me?
"An Opening for a Princess" from Once Upon a Mattress (Hahahahahahaha. [breath] Hahahahahahaha. Haha. Ha.)

How will I be remembered?
"Miss Independent" by Kelly Clarkson (OMG. I swear that I didn't cheat. I swear. I laughed out loud when this started.)

What is my signature dancing song?
"Standby" by Low (This proves I'm not cheating. What the heck does this mean? Where's 'Dancing Queen?')

What do I think my current theme song is?
"Daria" by Cake (I never would have picked this, but I see it.)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"God Bless the Child" by Gabriels Anders (I don't understand this one.)

What song will play at my funeral?
"Kid Gloves" by Rush (Wow. Anger right to the end.)

What is my day going to be like?
"It's So Easy (To Fall In Love)" by Linda Ronstadt (Uh. Oh. I have a dinner date.)

Should I publish this meme?
"Just Let Me Breathe" by Dream Theater (This song scares me. Maybe this was a 'no.' I almost cheated here because I don't like this song. The new song would have been "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" by Eddie Vedder. Either way, I think the answer is 'No.' Oh well...)

Dog Babysitting Fact #4

The dogs are smarter than I am.

I stayed up until 2:30 AM (read: moron), but the dogs had passed out long before then. To my credit, I was working most of the afternoon and evening. I have a few strategy presentations due this week, so I've been working on those.

Antonio is much lazier with Penny here, and I think Penny is so happy to be on the couch that all she's wanted to do is lay around. We played a little bit so far this morning, but it's been pretty low key around here for the last 36 hours.

A few pics:
Penny says," Seriously, you need to stop taking pictures of me. NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY on this ride."

"My nose itches."

"Oh, now you want to take pictures of me? Do you think I'm a circus monkey? I'm not posing for your stupid camera."

Penny finally tuckered out, in her Antonio-styled under-the-covers comfort.

Penny leaves us today, and she'll be missed. It wasn't too hard having two around here (no, mom... I'm not planning on getting another dog); It's good to know that it's no big deal. There's just more poop to clean up. Elliott seemed to start getting used to her being around. Last night he dared to join us on the couch for a rest on my lap. Not too bad.

Now I think we're all going to watch a movie while I get back to my presentations. C'mon all - back to the couch!

Blogger Happy Hour Photos

Snay finally posted the pictures from the Blogger Happy Hour last Wednesday. He kinda makes fun of me on his blog, but I have to remember what my mom said when I was a kid... that boys are mean when they like you. And she didn't mean like you; she meant like you-like you. Aw shucks, Snay...

Click HERE for the photos, but I like this one of me and Angie, even if it's red and blurry.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dog Babysitting Fact #3

I am very popular (at home).

Penny is doing well.... no crazy separation anxiety or anything. But BOY do my animals love me today. Antonio is a bit jealous at the attention Penny is getting. Elliott wants me to love on him, but can't help but hiss at any dog that is within his view. Penny just wants to be near me. In fact, she might be the coolest cat dog in the house. I love animals.

Dog Babysitting Fact #2

Everyone wants whatever I've got.

It was one thing to train Antonio not to stare longly at my food, or to keep the cat away from my cheese and crackers or milk... but now I have a third pair of eyes on me! Oh, darling Penelope... dog food is for doggies. Everything else is for peoples.

Dog Babysitting Fact #1

Sleeping with an additional six pound dog is really no different that sleeping with one ten pound dog.

Penny isn't used to sleeping in bed, but she's being spoiled at my house. Right now she's lounging on my bed amidst knitted blankets and sheets. They've both been out twice, and Antonio has already had some breakfast and re-burrowed underneath the bed covers. Sleeping through the night was relatively uneventful, except for beastiness of Elliott, the cat, who is not crazy about having another dog in the house.

As promised, here are a few pictures from the bonfire. The first is of (another) pallet burning.... these create some serious heat.
The second is of Jess and Russ' neighbor standing on another burning pallet (do not try this at home). It looks so... so... hellish, don't you think?


I just got back from a night at Jess' and Russ' house. I love bonfires. I am so very tired, so I'll make this short and write more tomorrow. We had a lot of people! The regulars, of course, the guy, and plenty of kidlings running rampant. It was so cold that it was hard to leave because the thought of the cold night air away from the fire was unreal. But I did come home. As I sit here now, I have exactly two dogs in my bed: Antonio and Penny. She's staying two nights so that her parents can have a mini vacation. (Photos to come tomorrow.) Oh, and Jess, I used canned dog food and her medicine went right down. Happy snowboarding!

Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm Very Timid

You all know me. Shy. Private.

WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOO!!! (You know he'll probably read this. How long does it take someone to type "Charissa Costa" into google? I mean really?) What a great night. Truly.

I need to sleep. Three glasses of wine means = DRINK WATER.

Good night, though. Gooooood night. I love you all for all of your Charissa support... I really, really do.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Exciting News From All Over

1. Nicole had her baby! Nicole is my high school buddy who played opposite me in 'Oliver!' the musical our junior year in high school. I was Oliver Twist and she was the artful Dodger. Incidentally, she was 5 months pregnant when we starred in that show... hahahahaha. This is her third baby, but first son. Mikaela is 11, Rowan is 3 (I think), and Simon is 0. I don't have photos yet, but they'll be posted when I have them.

2. Angela and JB are headed to Guatemala Saturday to pick up their daughter, Gianna! This has been a long time coming since they first heard about Gianna in June. They've visited her only once, but have been kept updated on her health and progress monthly. When they return Wednesday, she will be theirs and a US citizen. Photos will be available daily on their site.

3. We had an extremely successful blogger happy hour today. I saw so many people that I adore, and met a lot of people that I've talked to, but not met in person. Oh! And it was Angie's first happy hour, so it was very exciting for her! A few bloggers of note who I was able to spend some quality time with were Broadsheet, Jamalia, Anger Hangover, Messy Hair Girl, JWER, Danielle, Zenchick, JJT, and, of course, Snay with his hug-addiction problem. It's only a matter of time before Snay posts pics, so I'll redirect you to his blog when that happens rather than wait for them.

We were a little sad not to see Lady Friend, but we assured Anger Hangover that we love her just the same whether LF comes or not. (No, really.) And then she offered to take me to a shooting range. Do you think that was a sign or something?

4. I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT TOMORROW. With exception to Jess' mom's cat having surgery in the AM (please say a little kitty prayer), tomorrow could be a kick ass day. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bad Apples

I just wrote a beautiful post when the iTunes/Apple Updater rebooted my machine without warning. Grrrr... That's what I get for loving on iTunes. Instead of rewriting, I'll say this: Love my friends, can't wait for Thursday, and I'm looking forward to babysitting Penny this weekend. :)

On that note, I'll leave you with this super-patriotic bumper sticker. I think it's appropriate following Bush's second to last State of the Union speech.... don't you think?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Maurice's Story

Just a quick note to update you all on our dog-searching on Saturday. I've been holding off posting anything because it is Jess's story to tell, and boy does she do it well. What a weekend.

Staying In and Resting Up

So I fell a little short on my chores yesterday. I am home tonight after working until 6 PM, and I've vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen floor, and plan on going through those boxes in the hall tonight. I'm tired. I am a crazy social butterfly that needs to sleep.

Tonight? Well, I'm already in PJs. I just ate macaroni and cheese (the Pasta Roni kind), and I plan on getting some R&R. I hope to be in bed, even if not asleep, by 10 PM. I'm due a normal night's sleep.

This week I have two fun events planned. Wednesday is the first blogger happy hour of 2007. It's in Fells Point (Thanks, Danielle!) so it's a lot more convenient than the one in November. Some of my fav bloggers will be there so it should be fun. And after happy hour is my Thursday event. I'll be having drinks with a certain person I've wanted to have drinks with for awhile. Yay! Honestly, can my week get any better? All I need now is a bonfire at the Reisterstown Ranch, and I'll be all set.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Chores

Here we go again. I am going to attempt to organize my life in the matter of a day. After returning from Vegas last weekend, I've been out with friends six times, been to one bonfire and stayed home twice. Ridiculous. I have so much to do to get this apartment (and life) in order.

So here's my list of today's chores in my own pseudo-live blogging kind of way. Fun.

1. Pay Bills - done by 12:33 PM
2. Laundry - done by 5:05 PM
3. Dryel Special Laundry - started
4. Put Laundry Away
5. Trash Round-Up - done by 6:45 PM
6. Clean Bathroom - done by 2:40 PM
7. Empty Dishwasher - done by 1:30 PM
8. Clean Kitchen - started
9. Wash Floors - started
10. Vacuum Carpet
11. Put Laptop Away (for now) - done by 5:05 PM
12. Download All of Imogen Heap's Songs - started
13. Put Vaporizer in Car to Return to CJ
14. Go Through Boxes in Hall to Put in Storage
15. Put Stuff in Car for Storage
16. Eat - done by 1:30 PM
17. Make Food for Work Lunches - done by 2:40 PM (beef stroganoff)
18. Try to Copy All of Friend's iPod Songs* - delayed. Missing cable. (*I would never really do this, it's illegal.)
19. Synchronize iTunes to New Hard Drive - done by 5:05 PM (yay!)

I have to list all steps of doing laundry separately because I need to feel a sense of accomplishment as I move through the process. That... and I hate putting laundry away, so listing it as it's own chore might help me DO it.

This list may grow throughout the day, but it's a good start. It's sad that I'm starting at 12:30 though.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another Song To Love

By now you've probably all heard Carrie Underwood's new song "Before He Cheats." I was driving the first time I heard it and nearly crashed the car laughing so hard. It's hilarious. I've been cheated on before, but I spared the other person the drama of me going psychotic. I'm probably the most calm screwed-over ex ever... which, of course, is why I love this song. She does everything that every betrayed woman wants[ed] to do.

Here are the lyrics for your enjoyment, but you should really just go download it on iTunes. Just do it.

"Before He Cheats"

Right now he's probably slow dancing with a bleach blonde tramp, and she's probably getting frisky...
Right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink cause she can't shoot whiskey...
Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool-stick, showing her how to shoot a combo...

And he don't know...

That I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats...
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires...

Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

Right now, she's probably up singing some white-trash version of Shania karoke..
Right now, she's probably saying "I'm drunk" and he's a thinking that he's gonna get lucky,
Right now, he's probably dabbing on 3 dollars worth of that bathroom polo...

And he don't know...

That I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats,
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires...

Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

I might've saved a little trouble for the next girl,
Cause the next time that he cheats...

Oh, you know it won't be on me!
Ohh... not on me...

Cause I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats...
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires...

Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.

Ohh.. Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats...
Ohh... before he cheats...

Thanks, All

You guys have really come through for me on the laptop issue - thanks so much. I don't remember spilling anything on it, but I live in a house with a deaf cat, so I wouldn't put it past him. Just this morning he knocked over a water glass on my nightstand... thank goodness the water missed my phone and blackberry. That would have been a mess.

Anyway, it's a DELL Latitude D600. I don't think it's a driver issue, JJT... it's so sporadic. I can tell the "N" key is "on" (if you will) or depressed internally because occasionally I will be typing and "nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn" starts out of nowhere. When I'm not typing the mouse functionality is poor, probably for the same reason. It's sensory overload for the little machine.

My dad found a replacement keyboard online for $90, so that may be the way I go. The instructions say that installing the keyboard is an extremely fragile process though, so I am a bit doubtful at my ability to do it myself. My dad is offering to send me his laptop, switch out that hard drive and replace the keyboard himself, but I sorta feel like that's a lot of work for something that's my problem. (You are the best dad ever though, Dad.) We'll see...

I feel like I haven't posted properly in days... it's been too frustrating to use the laptop, this machine wasn't put back together yet, and so I just stopped. I don't blog at work - major no-no. So let's see.... we went to Lager's Thursday, so I have video from Sunday and Thursday to upload to Google Video. Last night I attempted to organize a work happy hour, but apparently asking work folks to drive to the Inner Harbor is a lot to ask. After too much time alone (I HATE being alone at a bar), my GF Katie showed up. We drank at J Paul's and then went over to Walt's Inn for karaoke, although we never sang because it was too crowded. I should feel sicker today because I didn't eat dinner. I feel okay though.

Today Jess and I are going to a Petco adoption place to look at a dog for her. We're taking Antonio and Penny, so it should be fun. Antonio always wins and leaves with a lot of toys when we go to a pet store. Lucky dog.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Damn Laptop

My laptop is taking its overuse out on me. The keyboard is failing one letter at a time.

I got another facial after work today (I love that girl) and then came home to a dying laptop. Letters 'K,' 'H' and 'N' work intermittently, and sometimes one key will bring up an entirely different letter. The mouse pad works on and off too.

Grrrrr... I drowned my sorrows at Lagers watching Wes and Drew with CJ, Keith and Jamie, but I'm still unhappy about the laptop. I guess it's a good thing I just cleaned up my desktop, huh?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Someone Saved My Life Tonight"

A gal (oh, wait)... a sexy, hot, exotic coworker of mine and I were discussing the lyrics to Elton John's song, "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," today and I was so amused by what I learned the song was really about.

According to Elton when he was on Oprah... this is a song about a Elton and a girl (yes, I know) he was dating when he was younger. She got pregnant, and Elton, doing the right thing, committed to marry her. Well apparently she wasn't really pregnant, but was faking the pregnancy so that he would stay with her. His friends found out and told him, and of course, he confronted her and ended the relationship.

I think this is AMUSING. I listened to the song a few times today after hearing the story, and I am honestly captivated by the relief and freedom in the words and music.

Go play it, or sing along if you know it, and let me know if you find it equally entertaining...

When I think of those East End lights, muggy nights
The curtains drawn in the little room downstairs
Prima Donna lord you really should have been there
Sitting like a princess perched in her electric chair
And it's one more beer and I don't hear you anymore
We've all gone crazy lately
My friends out there rolling round the basement floor

And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me didn't you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar-bound, hypnotized
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear

You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye

I never realised the passing hours of evening showers
A slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams
I'm strangled by your haunted social scene
Just a pawn out-played by a dominating queen
It's four o'clock in the morning
Damn it listen to me good
I'm sleeping with myself tonight
Saved in time, thank God my music's still alive

And I would have walked head on into the deep end of the river
Clinging to your stocks and bonds
Paying your H.P. demands forever
They're coming in the morning with a truck to take me home
Someone saved my life tonight, someone saved my life tonight
Someone saved my life tonight, someone saved my life tonight
Someone saved my life tonight
So save your strength and run the field you play alone

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Good News

They decided to keep me! Haha. My review went quite well today, and it looks like my next 6 months are going to be BUSY. Did I really say one of my goals in 2007 was to resume dating? When will I have time, I wonder? Ugh!

Also cool is that they upgraded my Blackberry. I had the 8700c, but I just got the new Pearl. In the photo below you'll see my Motorola KRZR K1M (which I forgot to post about when I bought it on 1/1/2007), and my new Blackberry. Aren't they a cute pair?

Four New Wes McDonough Videos Coming to a Google Video Near You

I've uploaded four more videos from this weekend. Click HERE to see them all. (As of this morning only one was showing up in the query, but as the day goes on they should all appear.)

It was honestly a very touching tribute night although I didn't get it all on video... Drew explained that he thought 'Fallen' was Wes' best song, and Wes did the same for Drew's 'The Fear.' There was quite a bit of brotherly love going on.

Here's 'Fallen' just for fun. Have a great day. :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another Day and Another Night

I didn't sleep well last night. For the last three nights I have been up until three or four in the morning. Last night I was in bed by 2 PM, but just laid there until about 4 AM. It's sick. I honestly have no idea how I got up and functioned today. I didn't fall asleep at my desk, in the car, or even nod off. I stayed relatively awake all day, which means the adrenaline must have been pumping. Thank goodness.

Tonight? I don't feel like I have much to say. Antonio has been chewing on a monstrous bone for two days now. He slept next to it in bed last night (which is against house rules, but I was distracted trying to get to sleep), and runs to it the minute he comes inside after being out. I feel a little guilty because we haven't played at all in two days, but he's happy, right?

Oh, and tomorrow I have my "annual" review, which is actually on my 90 day anniversary. I think I've done well for myself so far. I haven't messed anything up, and I've actually had a number of early successes. It's still strange getting used to a different culture, but I work on a great team and am thankful every day that I work alongside these people. I have a lot to learn from them, and I know I'll be taught well.

So wish me luck... hopefully I'll be more spunky and more "Charissa" (hat tip to Cheryl) tomorrow. Sleep well and be at peace.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Am A Regular Computer Technician

Just in case you didn't know...

I installed another hard drive in my PC today. By myself. 120 GB. I am using it to store my music and digital photography, since owning a digital camera has been the downfall of my current hard drive. I have nothing else to say... I just want you to know that I'm as proud as a peacock, and my ego is honestly too big for my cozy apartment. Haha.

The Twins Are Here!

I got a message last week that my girlfriend, Jessie, gave birth to her twins! This is the same girl that I lived with about 5-6 years ago. I completely looked up to her, and she really helped me become who I am.

Anyway, she had twin boys! Click HERE to go to her baby web site. There's also a link under "Odder Stuff" on my sidebar. We are all so thrilled for her and Shane.


Hangovers and Hanging Out

I'm so smart. In celebraton of being home, I drank a little too much last night and spent all day in misery. I didn't even drink that much in Vegas. As my mom said, "stupid." Ah, well...

Even though my stomach was questionable this evening, I took Jess up on her offer of la bonfire. (Photo above is of the fire with a pallet burning. Cool, huh?) Dear God, it was great to see everyone. It was Jess, Russ, Angie, CJ, Keith and I, along with a few neighbor folk. Lots of rides on the golf cart and stories around the fire... I was honestly in total heaven. I love going to Jess and Russ' place. Their house and property are such a nice retreat from the city. I also love that Antonio can tag along. It's nice to have him around (especially after being gone for a week), and everyone always loves him. It was a nice reunion.
Antonio was so sleepy by the end of the night. He crawled up on CJ and Angie and had the hardest time keeping his eyes open. I snapped this photo on our ride home. He usually sleeps on my lap in the car, but he was just so tired. And for the record, I don't keep a dog bed in my car. We take it to Jess and Russ' so that he doesn't have to fight Penny for her bed when we leave them alone (although we secretly think they snuggle).

I am awake right now, which proves that I'm not adjusted back to east coast time. I'm still going to put in a movie and go to bed though. Tomorrow I have to go grocery shopping, do laundry, possibly install a hard drive in my PC, and finish up some work before I return to le job on Monday. Good night, my friends. You're the best.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Home At Last

I'm home, showered and relaxed. Laundry has been started, food has been eaten, and animals have been cuddled. My mood improved as I drove those last few miles home. It was another one of those moments where it feels as if my life has a soundtrack...

"I’ve got five more hours of highway
Five more hours to go
Five more hours of highway
Till I’m in the place I know
Heaven only knows the time I’ve wasted
I’m so close now I can almost taste it
Five more hours of highway till I’m in the place I love..."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Vegas Remembered

Meetings 18
Dinners 3
Shows 1
Knowing you'll be home in less than 12 hours.... PRICELESS

I finished yesterday at 2 PM or so, and once I got to my room I didn't leave. I ordered lunch, and then dinner and beers later, and worked, worked, worked. Later on I got a bunch of calls to come out and drink, but I had to be up at 4 AM and I just don't do well in the mornings. Besides, I was just ready to come home.

Right now I am sitting at the airport, leeching off of the airport wi fi. Our plane is scheduled to take off in about an hour, and I am planning on turning on the iPod and sleeping the majority of the way home if I can manage it.

I seriously cannot WAIT to see my animals and my friends. When is the next Wes and Drew show? :) And with another blogger happy hour right around the corner (Angie & Jess are you coming?), I am excited to get back to my life. I miss you all!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Four Days Down

Today's meetings are over, which leaves me with only two formal meetings tomorrow. YEEEEEEESSSSSS!

I am back in my room, ready to get started on the 5 zillion projects that I now have on my 'to do' list and drinking this delicious Cable Car mixy drink. Yum! Except for the frequent ice headaches I am getting from drinking it too fast, it is the perfect relaxation drink.

I also stopped at the KA gift store on the way back to my room and bought the shirt that I've been pining after for almost a year now. Isn't is CUTE??

I also bought this gorgeous beer glass. I love it.

I guess I needed to treat myself and congratulate myself for a job well done. There's a chance I may have another dinner tonight, but it's an open invitation, not a requirement. I'll have to see how much I can get done after I stop blogging and get my butt in gear. :) What's on the menu? Steak, of course.

Crap Sleep Again

Yesterday kicked my butt. I had a bunch of GREAT meetings with vendors and potential vendors with a lot of great ideas on how to grow the business. By the end of the day, though, my feet were aching. My last meeting was at 5 PM, so I headed to the monorail at 5:30 PM, got back to the hotel by 6 PM, freshened up, and was in the taxi line at 6:30 PM to go to dinner. Talk about rushed.

Dinner was really good... I would say even better than Emeril's. We went to Del Frisco's... which has the typical wood paneled walls that you see in classy steak joints like Mortons. Great dinner, great wine... witty conversation. I feel really good about the business we discussed, and got MAJOR compliments on how I handled myself in a few meetings with this vendor today. I guess I really made an impression! So much so, that I think this vendor tried to recruit me, then stopped himself due to business ethics. I am flattered that he's worked with me less than three months and is that impressed, although I'm not going anywhere... my job is very challenging, and I think there is a lot of potential to make some waves where I am.

After dinner I all but passed out in bed (hence, no blogging). Wine + a day of running around like a mad woman = passed out Charissa. AGAIN, I had crap sleep. I dreamed all night that my dad (who wasn't my real dad in the dream) killed a guy that wouldn't leave me alone; then later in another dream I was being stalked by an ex (who wasn't a real ex). It was scary, this guy was sneaking into my house (which wasn't my real house) chasing me and cornerig me, and threatening to hurt my animals to get me to do what he wanted. And everytime I called 911, no one would come.

I guess this is stress over being away from home, which I still don't understand. The only time I get homesick is when I am leaving Baltimore for Ohio or visa versa. This is just odd.

Oh well, I am up early (Vegas time) because I got sick of the dreams. I may take a few ibprofens and try to get another hour of sleep. My first meeting today is at 10 AM, but I have plenty of work to do before that. Tonight? NOTHING. I'm ecstatic.

Wish me good meetings today - these are VERY important.

OH... and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Angie!! Woo-hoo. Love you, girl!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Crap Sleep

The steak last night was delicious. I had a glass or two of cabernet at dinner and a glass of champagne in our limo on the way back to the hotel (which tasted way too sweet after the red). By all accounts, I should have passed out comfortably - enough wine to make me sleepy, but not enough to be drunk.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

I had a slew of dreams last night. I was singing Wes' 'Slide from Grace' in my sleep - so weird, and then I dreamt about a parade of old friends and my grandma. She was sick in my dream, and pulled me aside to tell me how much she loved me. I think I might have woke up crying at one point - it was so real to see her and especially hard because I never got to say goodbye.

I ate a good breakfast this morning, so that should help, but I am weary. Today will be a crazy-busy day with more meetings and running around than yesterday. It will probably be the second day in a row without a real lunch, but instead a chocolate chip CLIF energy bar. Tonight I have dinner again, but I'm not looking forward to it even if it is steak at Del Frisco's. I miss home.

Last night CJ sent me a picture of her and Elliott (my cat) when she stopped in to check on him. I am grateful to have an awesome friend who will do this for me, but it made me miss my kitty. Three more full days of work and I can board a plane to come home. I don't think I've ever felt so homesick on a business trip before. It sucks.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Good Lord...

... my feet hurt. It's 6 PM PT (9 PM EST), and I just recently got back to my hotel. I spent all day in meetings and thoroughly walked two of the seven halls in the convention center. I am going to apologize in advance to those of you who asked me to bring back free stuff. This show is sensory overload, and scoping out booths for free stuff just isn't going to be on my list of 'to dos.'

I have an hour to rest and get dressed for dinner. One of my vendors is taking my boss and I to Emeril's Delmonico Steakhouse. Yum. I will order a filet (medium-rare), garlic mash-ed potatoes, and red wine. Cross your fingers and say a prayer that I don't fall asleep in my food.

UPDATE: My solution in the short term.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"O" My Goodness

WOW, was "O" good! A few of us gals went to see "O," the Cirque du Soleil show at the Bellagio. The diving, synchronized swimming, acrobatics, and gymnastics were insane. I don't know how these performers can be all of these things at the same time.

I am going to bed (10:30 PM PT, 1:30 PM EST). I don't have to be up for 8 hours, but I guess I'm not as adjusted to the time change as I thought.

Trade Show Prep and Other Fun Stuff

So I woke up at 6 AM (that's 9 AM EST) and headed over to our booth for setup. It took a LONG while, but I got to setup/design three walls of product myself, so I felt mighty proud. I was going to post some photos, but that might give away too much about where I work. We didn't spend much time walking the convention center except for arriving/leaving, but I took a few photos on our walk.
Welcome to CES!

An example of a large multimedia display. We just walked by this one; this ain't nothin'.

No idea who this guitar company is, but cool guitars, nonetheless.

This was still being setup, but it's a cool arena or ballpark booth... complete with a cheering crowd.

After a few beers at ESPN Zone in New York, New York, we walked back to MGM to work and eventually get ready for tonight. I am SOOOOO excited. Four of us gals are going to see "O" - the Cirque du Soleil that's water-themed. I have seen three Cirque shows to date (Dralion, Varekai, and Ka), and LOVE this stuff. Tonight's show will be the highlight of my trip. Well, unless a cute vendor that I like and I hit it off, then maybe..... KIDDING mom! (Sort of.)

Live from Vegas, It's Saturday Night!

I arrived. Thank God for Soduku and Wes' iPod. (I meant to buy an iPod before I came here, but MacWorld is this week and if they announce any cool new improvement to the iPods, the iPods out now may go on sale soon. Wes is awesome for loaning me his - and there are good songs on it, too!) I'm ALL for the direct flights, but 5 plus hours of sitting is wearing on your soul.

So I'll be quick. I have the coolest hotel room. It is so posh I can hardly believe it. Want photos?

I know I'm only 4'11" but I always get a king bed. Oh, the luxury! (See the striped pillow?)
A slightly angled view so that you can see the mirrors and lamps.
The glass desk, mirrored wall, and wooden artwork.
The bathroom is all this light green (like jadeite, but lighter) glass and stone.
And YES, that's a TV in the bathroom.

I love this room. If I had my dog and cat I might just stay forever.

Now it's time to test the bed. Sleep tight, my friends...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Charissa: What's In A Name?

My dad just sent me the coolest thing. (Thanks, Dad!) I always knew Wikipedia was awesome, but now they've outdone themselves. There is actually an entry on my namesake.

When people ask me where my name comes from, I tell a short story. "My parents used to be in to reading books about knights and sorcerers, and when my mom was pregnant she was reading a trilogy of books called the Deryni Chronicles. Charissa was actually a character in the first of the three books, Deryni Rising. She was an evil sorceress who assasinated the King and tried to take the throne, and she was killed in the first book." This is usually followed by, "Are you serious? Your parents named you after an evil sorceress?" To which I reply, "Yes, they did. But she was hot. That's something."

This conversation has repeated itself numerous times over the years. It's completely true and apparently very shocking to strangers. I love my name as much as I love the story about my name. It's just so me. Oh! So what did my dad send me? He sent a Wikipedia page all about Charissa of Furst, the character with my name.

Feel free to click through and read about her... I think it's fascinating. Unlike some people, I wasn't named after a favorite aunt or distant cousin. In fact, my mom will clarify that I wasn't actually named after Charissa in Deryni Rising, either - she just liked the way it looked and sounded. Either way, I feel an attraction to her... she has my name as much as I have hers. There aren't many of us out there, and when I was growing up there were many, many less.

Unfortunate fact: The author meant for Charissa to be pronounced "Kar-ISS-a" What a shame.

There's a paragraph in the book that describes how Charissa looks physically and reinforces her title as "The Shadowed One." I've always liked how the author describes her because she was petite and mystical. I just went looking for my copy so that I could quote it, but, alas, it must be in storage. Damn. Oh, and yes... that's Charissa on the cover of the book image above. That's probably about five seconds before she got herself killed. Fabulous.

And So It Is...

Today will be my last day at work for a week. Tomorrow I am headed to CES, the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. CES is America's largest annual tradeshow and not only fills the conventon center, but overflows into several hotel convention halls as well.

I am staying for a week, and although I am a techy nerd at heart and am looking forward to walking the floor, my schedule is jam-packed Monday-Thursday, all day long. On top of that, I'm not a huge fan of Vegas and all of its 'bling,' so I'll be avoiding the casinos as much as possible in lieu of convention time, meetings, room time and work dinners.

So today I work, trying frantically to get a number of things wrapped up before I leave, and tonight I pack for a week's worth of travelling. Did I mention that I got very little sleep last night? Ugh.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

No Surprise Here.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

SIX New Wes McDonough Videos!

I've just uploaded six new videos onto Google Video. My fav is below, but all of these new videos are of Wes singing SOLO at Claddagh Pub in Canton. Four of the videos are of Wes performing on the piano, which is as rare as it gets... and two videos are of Wes performing on guitar.

Click HERE for 'Dreaming With A Broken Heart' on piano with BLOOPERS! (He forgot the words!)

Click HERE for an Elton John slip-up medley!

And here's LOATHE!

Click HERE for all of the videos, or search Google Video for "Wes McDonough Solo."

Kiddie Christmas Videos

Zavier playing Harry Potter...

Jude being... well, JUDE!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Photos!

Finally some New Year's photos - straight from Angie and her blog (check her blog for some that I didn't post)! A bunch of us went over Jess and Russ' house and spent time by the campfire, in the living room and all over their property. Russ many some crazy-delicious chili, and I don't even LIKE chili. I am craving it right now as I type this. It was insanely good.

Even though these pics are of our regular group, there were a bunch of other people there as well, we just didn't take pictures of them (is that wrong?).
This is me doing the rain dance around the fire... obviously I didn't do that good of a job.
Rob, Russ and Kellie enjoying the heat.
A group of us in the living room - can you spot Antonio?
Antonio playing with Sampson... it was so funny!
CJ (she is obviously NOT posing here) and the puppy dogs: Antonio and Penny.
Me in a chair - perfect for the whole body.
Antonio and his momma giving LOVE.
CJ, Me, Angie, and Donna. Three items of note in this photo: 1. CJ looks GREAT. 2. How white am I, really? 3. Donna's eyes are OPEN! Woo-hoo! Happy New Year's Girls!

Can She Get Any Cuter?

Another email from my niece... not only does she know me well, but she is so freakin' adorable.

How cute is the "I'm an open book" comment. I mean, really?

Monday, January 01, 2007

By Request

I've mentioned this website to a few folks over time, and I always receive quizzical, yet excited looks. It's a website called Blog Slurper that allows you to create a bound book from your blog. This is such a great idea because when each of us inevitably decides to stop blogging or go on an extended hiatus, there's a way to preserve all of our years of blogging. So cool.

Click HERE for the website. I'd love to hear from anyone who's already done it, just to know how it turned out.

Five and Five

Okay, I'm making up a meme. Why not? Someone has to make these things up, right? This meme is for FIVE accomplishments in 2006 that changed your life, and FIVE goals (no weight loss goals, please) that will impact your world in 2007.

FIVE for 2006
1. Had my eye surgery. It is (still) costing me a fortune, but it has drastically changed my quality of life. I went from legally blind (pretty much) to no glasses and no contacts. I haven't been glasses free since I was in first grade.
2. Reconnected with Wes. This is significant for many, many reasons. First, it tested my ability to forgive others, and as a result of being able to do that I have earned a loyal friend who accepts me for who I am (bossiness, bitchiness, and all). It has been a surprising turn of events, but a worthwhile effort all the same. Second, I have met CJ, Angie, Donna, Drew, Jess and reconnected with Russ in the process. These people mean the world to me. I love all of you, and can't imagine my life without you in it.
3. My new job. I spent the last year or so being discontented with my work and my career. I felt like I was just sliding by and I was completely unchallenged. This fall gave me an opportunity to take my career to new heights, and although my stress levels are temporarily higher as well, I am making huge advances towards becoming the successful woman that I've worked hard to become.
4. Jill and Rob. This summer I spent a huge amount of time with Jill and Rob and it brought us crazy close. I love these two people so much, and even though I no longer see them every day, I know that we'll be friends for a long time. You two are amazing and so special to me.
5. My blog. Sounds silly - especially to those who don't blog - but this baby has given me an outlet to emote, brainstorm and dream. My writing style has really solidified, my spelling has improved and I think I'm a half-decent writer. Besides all of this, I've met so many great people because of this little 'hobby.' Thank you all for your friendship and for tuning in to read.

FIVE for 2007
1. One last eye procedure is needed. I am covered (for free) for any touch-up surgeries within one year of the three that I've had, and I need one more procedure to correct what's left of my astigmatism. It should be easy, but the new job is so far away from the eye doctor that it makes it hard to schedule an appointment. This is a priority for me in the next few months.
2. Dating resumes! I went on a dating hiatus in 2006 while I started the eye surgery process, and never really got back in the game. Don't get me wrong, I had a few dates here and there, but it's not something that I took very seriously. I'm ready to refocus this year, and I even have my eyes on a few prospects! ;)
3. Pay off bills. The new job has afforded me the extra income to take care of my old debt. I am looking forward to being free of that weight. It's about time to take care of that responsibility and live life comfortably.
4. More 5Ks! I ran a few of these in the early summer of 2006, but when the weather turned gross, I stopped. No only are these important fundraisers for special causes, but I need to improve my cardio. I'm aging (gracefully) and need to pay more attention to my health this year.
5. Accepting turning 30. My life is so great, but sometimes I reflect on the differences between what I have accomplished and what I meant to accomplish by age 30. Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic that I am the youngest member on my team at work... I have the perfect job and fabulous friends. Finding love has been relatively disappointing, but I wouldn't sacrifice what I've done and where I've gotten for what I may have missed. It's important to remember that partners should make you want to be a better person, and too many people overlook that small fact. Bring on 30. I'll be ready.

I tag everyone on my blogroll, plus Jess. Let's see how many of you READ my blog regularly!! Haha! :) Much love to you and best wishes in this new year.

December Memories

While I wait for Angie to upload photos and videos from last night, it's time to play some catch up. Here are some photos the I failed to upload this month... I couldn't help it - I was BUSY!

When Angie and I went Christmas shopping, we stopped by Sharper Image and found this vibrating chair. It's pretty cool because you work your abs and thighs just sitting on it. Of course, I just couldn't resist...

... THIS! I really couldn't help myself. You should've seen the dirty look I got from a 20-something walking by. Some people have no sense of humor.

Here's Angie on the vibrating chair. She stayed on a long time, completely impressing the cute sales guy that was stalking us.

These are the magnets we bought each other for Christmas. Green is Angie's, Blue is mine (shocker), Pink is Angie's and Black is Donna's. (In case you can't read it, mine says, "Hating you makes me all warm inside." haha.)

The boys posing with shirts Angie and I bought for them. They are so dang perfect.

AHHHHH... boy love. How cute are they?

Here's a photo of Drew singing at Jess & Russ' party.

Wes crooning for us at the same party. I can't tell you how cool private parties are!

A photo of Russ & Jess. They are the BEST!

Lastly, here's a glamor shot of me, courtesy of Angie's photoshop skillz.