Friday, March 28, 2008

Pure Bliss

I just got back from Habitude, a fabulous spa in Seattle, and it was so so nice - indeed, pure bliss.  My hubbie got me a gift certificate to the spa for my birthday and I've been so stressed out lately that I decided I needed a massage now.  So I booked a river rock massage for tonight after work.  I was freaking out because it started snowing around Noon (that's right, snow when it's nearly April) and I thought I would have to cancel or leave at, like, 4pm to make my appointment at 7pm.  Thankfully it stopped snowing around 3pm, however I was still worried about traffic so I left around 5pm.  I ended up getting to the spa at 5:40 - way early for my appointment.  I was going to just hang around in the steam room and read magazines and such when the host person told me they had an open appointment for a manicure.  It was only about $25, so I decided to go for it since tomorrow is the big bday celebration and who doesn't want nice nails for their bday? 

As I agreed to the manicure I mentioned something about celebrating my birthday which she replied "great, we'll get you a free spa smoothie."  Nice!  I got my nails done (a sexy dark red) and I think it's one of the best manicures I've had - they look fab.  After my manicure I sat down and flipped through the latest InStyle, then off to my massage!  I was a little nervous as it was a guy masseuse (masseur?), which I've never had before.  Thankfully, I'm pretty sure he was gay, so no need to worry. :)  And truthfully, I think it was the best massage I've ever had (not that there's much to compare to, but still).  The masseuse recommended that I come back (of course) and that I do neck stretches three time a day over the next couple of weeks.  While that seems a bit excessive to me, if it will make my neck and shoulders less sore and carry less stress, I'm willing to try it.

Now I'm off to bed for hopefully a lovely deep sleep - and more importantly, a sleep-in tomorrow morning. Mmmm...sleep. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Best of both worlds

Well, the trip is over, and despite the rainy weather it feels good to be home.  I'm back at work with lots to do, which is a bit stressful, but I'd rather be too busy than bored.  However, it makes me really quite tired, which is why I have spent my birthday doing a whole lot of nothing.  In light of the fact that I'm not getting any younger, isn't that the best way to spend a birthday?  Of course you have to do it up a bit too, which is why on Saturday a friend and I are having a big joint birthday bash.  Best of both worlds - and why not?  Here's to a week of relaxation in preparation for a fun filled Saturday night.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Houston - no no no no no, LA - yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

I am still not impressed with Houston - and at this point, probably never will be.

Tuesday was a little better than Monday, but not much.  The conference was pretty good, and I met some interesting people.  I also did a little shopping at The Galleria and found some good jeans and a pair of shorts on sale at Macys.  So far, the day was looking up.  Then in the evening I went to the NASA space center as an outing with the conference.  I debated about going as I was so tired, but thought when would I ever get the chance again so I better. Mistake.  The center was not really a lot to see, there were kids swarming all over the place, and I didn't get to go on the tram ride to tour the facility, which is the thing I really wanted to do.  The up side was that there was a bbq put on in the space center which was good, but that was about it.  When they announced that the first tour bus was leaving the facility, I practically raced to the door.

Wednesday started out a bit better.  I found out my company won two awards for the maps we turned into the map competition.  Plus I was leaving the God-forsaken city of Houston.  However the day quickly got worse as the Super Shuttle service that was picking me up to take me to the airport was late, got stuck in traffic, and I almost didn't make my plane to LA.  I would have been livid, but thankfully, on the plane my suitcase and I went.  I arrived in LA, got my suitcase, got the rental car (after waiting in life for half an hour), and drove out to my friend and her husband's house - I'll call them Meadow and Rugby

My time in LA has been fabulous - really quite relaxing.  I've been lounging around their house, which has a lovely pool and a lovely view, reading the new Sophie Kinsella book, Remember Me? and getting a tan (hopefully).  On Thursday night we went to this place called The Velvet Margarita and woo-eee did Meadow and I get drunk.  We also got holla'd at - once in the bar (Whooooooa...rooooooowwwrrr) and the second time as we were leaving the bar (You ladies need a sugar daddy?  How 'bout a nice guy?).  Only in LA :)

Since then I've been driving around their little town outside of LA, went to Hollywood today to The Grove and the Farmer's Market, and have had fro you twice (frozen yogurt, for those of you not in the know).  I've also been able to hang out with some of Meadow's and Rugby's friends, who I had met before at their wedding a couple years ago but hadn't seen since.  It's really been grand, and sort of makes me want to move to LA, though I don't think I could leave my family back in Seattle.

Tomorrow I leave back to the Emerald City and am sad to leave my friend and the lovely sunshine.  But back to reality I must go.  I'll have to gear up for the weeks ahead at work as it's likely to be very very busy.  Wish me luck.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not Impressed

I have to say, thus far, I am not impressed with Houston.  People are not nearly as hospitable as was the general impression I had, the conference has been kind of ridiculous (decent workshops, but there's just certain little things that have annoyed me), the airport is disgusting, the mall the hotel is linked to is so big I keep getting lost when trying to look for anything (which normally I would love a big mall, but even I can't take this), everything looks brown and flat, and to top it all off, it's in the Central time zone so all my shows are on a hour earlier, throwing off my schedule.  

I have to elaborate on the hospitality thing, because there is one thing that is bugging me the most.  When I arrived at the airport I waited over half an hour for my suitcase to arrive through baggage claim, then I went to a shuttle counter as I had reserved a ride to the hotel through them. They couldn't find my reservation.  Let me say that the first impression I got from the gal behind the counter was fabulous - hair all out of whack, a lazy/bitchy look on her face, and  a gold front tooth.  That's right - she had bling in her teeth.  Nice.  

I gave the girl a phone number and my first and last name and nothing.  Of course I didn't have a confirmation code with me because usually my name is enough - not a lot of people have my name, and combined with my last name it's really quite original.  So I call my husband and he gives me a code and I go back and they find it - it was under my maiden name.  Should I have possibly thought I put it under my maiden name?  Maybe, since I still haven't changed my debit card, but don't you think when this chick looked up reservations by first name for the time I specified, she could have said "the only reservation I have is for a (insert maiden name here)"?   How many people with my first name can there possibly be coming in at 5:30pm.  Give me a break.

I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Land of BBQ and Bush

The first leg of my trip has begun...I am sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to begin boarding.  I always get nervous flying - not sure why, since I've heard it's actually more dangerous to drive a car then to fly, but I'm nervous none the less.  Plus I had to check a suitcase, which I don't normally like to do - an additional worry that I'm not going to have any clothes when I get to Houston.  At least the hotel I'm staying at is in one of the largest malls in the nation, so if necessary I can buy a whole new wardrobe - I'm sure my bank account would like that.  But I did pack all my shoes in a small suitcase I'm bringing as one of my carry-ons, so at least I won't have to buy any new footwear (darn it).

I have to admit, it was quite the task to pack for this trip, since really it's two trips in one.  I had to pack a bunch of work clothes for the conference I'm attending Mon-Wed, then a bunch of fun clothes and some beach clothes for the LA portion of the trip.  I even went so far as to write out a clothes schedule for each day - if I had a polaroid camera I probably would have taken pictures of each outfit, a la Kimora Lee Simmons.  Speaking of which, I think she is so fabulous, having watched her show, Life in the Fab Lane.  She definitely knows what she wants and knows how to get it from people, which I have to say I admire a bit as I am certainly not that way.  

Anyway, I digress.  Not much longer until I board the plane to the land of BBQ and Bush - hmmm, putting it that way doesn't make me so excited to go.  It's like going into hostile territory - hopefully I come back alive. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Darn you yahoo!

I am currently watching the results show for American Idol, which I think I like better than the actual performance show.  Usually I record it and wait until the last 10 minutes to watch it so I can skip through all the commercials and lame show filler.  For some reason, this time I am watching it live, which I don't think I will ever do again - and this is why.  When I watch TV I usually also check my email and surf the internet at the same time.  I go onto Yahoo to check my inbox and what do I see - a headline spoiling who already got booted off American Idol!  Hellllooooo - just because the results are done on East Coast time doesn't mean everybody watches it at that time!  So flippin annoying. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Things have been pretty crazy at work lately, and they're only going to get crazier.  I have quite a few projects that have deadlines in early April with still a ton of work to be done.  Now mix into the pot the fact that I'm going to be out of the office all next week and it's the perfect recipe for stress.  

Despite the stress of leaving for a week, I'm really looking forward to the trip I'm taking.  The first part of the week I will be going to Houston for a conference for work.  While conferences aren't always fun, this one deals with GIS (Geographic Information Systems), which is what I use on a daily basis at work and also what my undergraduate focus was on.  Plus I'm entering some maps I created for work into a map competition at the conference, so I'm really hoping I win.  Maybe I would get a bonus!

The conference lasts only from Monday to Wednesday, at which point the second part of my trip (my actual vacation) begins.  I'm so excited to be going to LA to visit one of my best friends (and her hubbie).  They bought a house not that long ago and I'm excited to see it.  I'm also excited to lie on the beach, hopefully in the warm sun with no clouds or rain.  And I'm going to be a geek and admit I'm excited to try and spot celebrities (even D-list ones).  I need to make sure and charge my camera so I don't go to take a picture of, say, Alyssa Milano, and get the low battery flash.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How do you like dem Apples?

After quite an absence of posting, I am now blogging from my new MacBook. Yup, I made the switch from a PC to a Mac, and so far so good. It's definitely different - not bad different, just...different. It will take some getting used to, for sure, but I like it.

This switch came quite suddenly, actually. Yesterday I found out that my company has a computer purchase program where they'll buy the computer for you and you can pay them back interest free within a year. Considering the laptop I have now is about to crash, and I'm headed to Houston in a week and a half for work and don't want to lug that 15 lb brick around, I decided to just bite the bullet and get the laptop.

Other than that, not much has been going on. I've been working quite a bit, which probably explains why I haven't been blogging much. I also have been working out quite a bit - every day since Saturday in fact. It's been really good - it definitely helps to do it every day to keep my momentum going. And I alternate my workouts between running near my office and going to the gym (and doing a little DDR - Dance Dance Revolution - on my "off" days). Gold star under my name for "keeping New Years Resolutions"!