Friday, February 27, 2009

Guilty feelings

Why is it that I always feel guilty when I miss work because I'm sick? I started with a cold Wednesday night and Thursday nnew I was in trouble. I had the flushed face feeling and burning eyes and sore throat. But I also had a meeting that I couldn't get out of where I had to present so I knew I had to suck it up and stay at work all day. Last night went downhill with the body aches and chills. But I still insisted I had to go to work today. I do have a meeting at 3 today that I can't change because it is to set up for an international conference next Monday morning so I really have to be there. I woke up this morning and decided I would be much better off staying in bed and going in after lunch. But I felt guilty. I actually told Dan that he had to make me stay home until 12:45 so I wouldn't go to work earlier. To put this in full context, I have 41 days of paid leave right now so the time off isn't really going to cost me anything. I looked at my laundry basket and thought I should do some laundry. I had to say out loud "Stop" so I wouldn't do it. I also feel a great urge to check my email every hour to make sure nothing is too urgent. So now it is noon and I need to go get dressed and presentable so I can go to work. And I'm sure I will come home and think man I should have gone in sooner because my work will never get done.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Empty Nest Syndrome

Well if finally happened. Dan and I got a taste of empty nest syndrome last night. Whitney had two basketball games to pom at and then a dance class immediately after. Before last week, we would have been chauffeurs trying to come up with stuff to do while on the other side of Norman. But now she can drive so she took the car and left us at 5:15. We looked at each other and didn't know what to do. We ate dinner and watched some news. But the news was all "woo is me" and I can't stand that. Yes some places the economy is bad but stop saying it because it is not bad everywhere. The icing on the cake of that was talking about the oscars and how America needed escapism so they watched the oscars. The last sentence the announcer said though was it was the second lowest watched oscars ever. Want to tell me how that is America getting together to escape. But on to my story. We actually started watching a movie at 6:30. I honestly cannot remember when we watched a movie that early in the evening. It just seemed wrong. Especially since it was Pulp Fiction. That movie just screams dark late at night viewing.

We've got at least two more years of practice for a total empty nest so I'm sure we will come up with something. But man it sure was strange last night.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Academy Awards

Last night I stayed up late watching the Academy Awards. I do this every year. However I really don't know why I do it. I rarely go to movies so I don't have a vested interest in any winner. I can see pictures and make comments about dresses afterwards. I can see the list of winners in the morning. But yet I still watch the stupid show. Even after we said we weren't going to last night. If anyone can shed light on why I do this, I'd be happy to listen. Maybe next year I'll avoid it entirely if I understand why I'm still watching it after all these years.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pom Appreciation

Tuesday was pom appreciation night at the junior varsity basketball game. The girls are announced and then get a flower from a basketball player. While the team has had some problems this year, the season will be over Monday (thanks to ice makeup games.) Here's a picture of the girls who were at the game. Whitney is 2nd in the front row.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Biggest Loser Update

Here we are at the third weigh in. And the verdict is I lost another three pounds. Now I find this utterly amazing. I was thinking maybe one. But three is unheard of. This is 6.1% of my original start weight. How do I keep this up? Where is the weight going to come from? What happens when it warms up and I actually am able to walk outside? Maybe the leftover fat will turn to muscle and I will gain weight. Will I want to do that?

Too many questions. Dan says I should just go with it and don't stop because it will be hard to start up again. He's right of course. I'll keep eating what I have been and just be happy.

Overall, our building is doing really well. The new numbers haven't come out today but at the last weigh in we had lost 119 pounds overall.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Driver in the House

Congratulations to Whitney for passing her driver's test. She now is officially licensed in the State of Oklahoma to drive by herself. So watch out world, a very cautious wonderful girl is now going to drive her Dad's car.

Monday, February 16, 2009

President's Day Sale

Do you think dead president's like celebrating their day with car/mattress/and anything else sales? Not quite sure that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were that commercial. Thomas Jefferson maybe.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Long Nails

I read a story yesterday about a woman who had the world's record for longest fingernails. They were 28 feet long and I believe she had been growing them since the 70's. The reason she was in the news was that she had been in a car accident and they had broken. Later in the story it says she was thrown from an SUV and was in intensive care (way to bury the important stuff in the article). I told a woman at work this story who does nails on the side and we both wondered how she wiped her butt?

Just a little insight into what makes us laugh in an office of women at work.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Romance and Valentine's Day

I believe that people are either romantic or not. Romance is not limited to one day a year. Romance can happen all the time. I think that by designating one day to "romance" you are really forcing people to do things they don't want to do. That isn't romance. Romance is coming home to a clean kitchen when you left in a rush and it was a mess. Romance is flowers on a day when you aren't expecting it "just because I love you". Romance is a foot rub when your feet are not the prettiest because someone knows it is relaxing. Romance is telling someone you go take a bath and I'll take care of everything. Romance isn't jewelry, flowers, chocolate, expensive dinners and cards because the rest of the country is doing it.

I'm not expecting anything from my husband tomorrow. I get Valentine's Day year round.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Power of a New Laptop

I get a new laptop every few years at work. I needed one last summer but I knew Dell was coming out with a whole brand new series and I wanted to wait for it. Well it finally came out so I ordered it in December. A beautiful OU red color, with a separate 21 inch monitor and bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Very fancy I know but since I spend all day on it at work, its the least I could do for myself. So it came in last month and our IT guy tried to set it up but somehow when the quote was made for me the bluetooth card and the docking station needed to use the monitor weren't on it. So now I have a beautiful laptop that I can't use correctly. The parts were backordered for what seemed like forever but finally got here yesterday. It took the tech guy 2 hours to fix the computer and I know sit here typing on my wireless keyboard looking at this HUGE monitor not knowing what I'm doing. It is sooooo big. My eyes can't adjust to being far away from the monitor and it being bigger than 8 point on the tiny laptop screen. Plus it's speedy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tornado in the Area

When you hear tornado you immediately think take shelter. WRONG! If you work with crazy people like me, you head to the observation deck and try to see it or you go out storm chasing. Today was the first severe weather event of the 2009 season. We had tornado warnings here just a few miles away. So of course all of the crazy meteorology people go out to see if they can see it. Dan calls me to ask where it is because he's right in the middle of the warning. And I stay by my computer conveying information waiting for the storm to pass.

We do have two huge tornado shelters in our building (a big luxury in basement-less Oklahoma) but I doubt they will ever be full because half the building leaves in these events to go take photos and videos.

One of our graduate students is really big in this. You can check out his website to see how close he gets.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Works in Progress

Today Whitney had her dance Works In Progress. She's been in dance 12 years so we've been to quite a few of these. Basically it is a time where all the dance classes at the studio perform what they've been learning up to now with the recital at the end of May. For the little kids it's the first time most of them have been in front of lots of people so hopefully it helps with stage fright. For Whitney's age, it's a time to show how much they've learned and how good they are. This is the first year that Whitney is in the company classes which is the highest level at her dance studio. That means that each company dance is performed twice. So she was at the studio for 4 hours today. I watched two out of the three dance performances (she was in three and has three classes) so I saw all of her dances at least once. I'm so proud of her and what she can do. Looking back at what her first year was like and comparing it to now, you can really see how much practice and technique comes through.

I took some photos but forgive the blurriness. Only so much I can do when they are dancing.

Modern III

Funk Company (Whitney is the one on the left spinning)

Jazz Company (Whitney is the short one looking in the mirror)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Biggest Loser Update

Weigh-in today. Good news is I lost another 3 pounds. Bad news is I can not keep this up. Splurge time is coming.


We live in a world of acronyms. I work for OU CIMMS (University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies) and work closely with NOAA NSSL, SPC, ROC and WDTB (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration National Severe Storms Laboratory, Storm Prediction Center, Radar Operations Center, Warning Decision Training Branch). And then of course there are the projects we work on: AMMA, ACMAD, ARM, GRUAN. Don't even ask me what they all mean because I don't know. And it doesn't end when I leave to go home. I ask Whitney what homework she has and its APUSH (Advance Placement United States History). And then to finish the evening I watch David Letterman on CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Groundhog Day

I don't know how many of you saw the video of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg being bitten by a groundhog as he tried to pull him out of his little cubbyhole to predict how much more winter there would be. Why do we do such a stupid thing? The groundhog was rightly protesting his forced involvement in a silly prediction (how many times does it actually work). And of course there is six more weeks of winter, spring doesn't start until mid-March.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I'm not a clothes shopper. In fact I have fewer clothes than Dan does. I just can never figure out what would look good and I always forget I could get something tailored. I can't match clothes so if I have any patterned clothes I would never know what to do. So there is lots of red and black in my closet.

But what I do like shopping for is wine. In Oklahoma, you have to go to a liquor store to buy wine. I could spend hours in the store looking at all the bottles of wine they have. Wine can be intimidating. You hate to spend a lot of money on something if you don't know if you'll like it. So a couple of years ago I started to going to wine tastings at the local liquor store. Oklahoma has some very backward laws and the only way to have a tasting is to have a separate entrance and a separate room. Needless to say not many places have that. Wine tastings let you try things you never would have. I am not a big fan of red wines but over the years I can narrow down what it is I don't like and I'm much more open to try things. I enjoy the camaraderie of all of us who show up at the same time every week to try new things.

But there is more to wine than just the taste. There are all sorts of bottles and labels. Of course the marketers specifically do that to catch a woman's eye (yes I mean a woman not just anyone) and get them to try it. All sorts of names like Little Red Truck or Lipstick. They put cute animals on the labels like kangaroos and monkeys to get people to look. I admit I have purchased some of these because of that and I am always disappointed. Never buy a bottle because there is a monkey on it.

We have one store in town that carries every bottle of wine that can be purchased in Oklahoma. It is so huge I can just walk up and down and never get tired of looking. I do have my limits...I only like to spend $10/bottle. But you would be surprised at what you can find for that price that is good.

So if anyone is in Norman on a Thursday night (and sometimes Wednesday) and wants to go with me to a wine tasting, let me know.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teeth - The ultimate money eater

Yesterday I took Whitney to meet with an oral surgeon to talk about taking her wisdom teeth out. After years in braces, we certainly don't want wisdom teeth to ruin her smile. The office was most helpful it telling me how much I would owe upon the removal of the teeth. I specifically got dental insurance for her knowing this was coming up and my total will still be over $1,000. The entire procedure is more than $2,000. The dental insurance costs me $30/month. Of course if I had more children, this cost would be spread amongst all of them, but no discount for one child families. Add this to the orthodontia bill of over $5,000 and I've realized that we all missed our calling. Teeth is where the money is. Think about what just a normal visit to the dentist costs for a cleaning. Almost $100. Add in x-rays and you are up to $150. Poor Whitney had to have 5 teeth pulled for her braces over the 3 years she had them and the expander, add that to the dentist's coffers.

For those of you with more than one child, save your money. Fixing teeth is more costly than a college education. Encourage your children to go to dental school. Then they will be set for life.

P.S. Anne tell Eric he made the right choice. I'm sorry I'm complaining about his profession but I can't help it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thoughts on the Super Bowl

I don't watch professional football. I watch college so I understand the game but I really don't know anything about the pros. So I had no team that I cared about in the game. In fact, when I heard them talk about Kurt Warner I told Dan I thought he retired years ago. So I watch the game for the commercials, just like a lot of Americans. This year they just were not that good. My favorite was the grease monkeys. As Dan says, you can't go wrong with a monkey. Then I liked the Clydesdale horse, although not as good as last year. Towards the end of the game, I wasn't even paying a lot of attention to the commercials, they were that bad. It ended up being a good game however and I enjoyed the ending.

So all of the other channels had "alternative" programming. My favorite was Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl V. It started about 2pm and Whitney and I watched for 30 minutes before we had to leave to watch a dance performance. Then after the game ended, I turned it on and watched for another 30 minutes. Something about cute puppies jumping on each other, chasing their tails and eating chew toys just has to make you smile. I did miss the cat halftime show. I don't like cats so that wasn't a big loss.