Wednesday, April 30, 2008

She's making a list and checkin' it twice

Okay, not really. I'm making a list and crossing things off it. Yay! I love it when I can do that. In this instance, it's for work. I'm still playing ketchup from being out for a week with remote access to the office that those tortoises in the DSL commercial would envy (in other words, it was rrrrreeeaallllly sssssslllloooowwwww).

Now, however, I'm making another list, one that will be great to add things to. I'm going to keep track of all of the evil crap I wanted to eat but didn't. The idea will be that upon reaching certain goals maybe I can have something from that list. Today, so far, we've got:

  • A tasty, yummy, buttery croissant from Starbucks. (Boss brought us lattes and goodies this morning. Must've had an early meeting.)

  • A tasty, yummy bagel from Starbucks. Not entirely certain what kind it is but it does involve cheese. I love cheese. Luckily we have no cream cheese as I might lose this battle since I can smell this bagel from about ten feet away from the kitchen.

Hopefully I will have more to add to this list later today, as EOM is planning to do chocolate cake and champagne this afternoon. Evil evil evil office mate.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I might as well exercise, I'm in a bad mood anyway

I had that poster up on my wall for years as a kid (Garfield, don't ya know). Probably explains a lot. Although back then I didn't exercise when I was in a bad mood. Or a good mood. Or any kind of mood. As an adult, though, I've learned the hard lesson that sometimes you just gotta do it. I signed up to do the Self Challenge this year, and it started today. So I hopped on the treadmill when I got home and did 30 minutes, 5 more than the Challenge wanted. Aren't I good?

I was gone all last week at a conference up in Wenatchee, and I'm still trying to reacclimate to being home. It was very draining, with long hours on little sleep and irregular meals. I did get to stay at my mom's for the week, so that was nice to be able to visit in the few hours I was there (and awake).

Weird coincidence at the conference -- turns out that one of the CPAs that a lot of my clients work with is an old friend of mine from college, I'll call him "Big John". We were neighbors for three years so we were pretty close at the time. I haven't spoken with him in at least 15 years, so it was so odd to see him walk into the conference on the first day. I just never made the connection between the two. I'm looking forward to catching up with him once our respective work schedules settle down. He was one of those guys that you just don't realize is such a great catch until it's too late. In other words, I was too young and stupid to figure out I should've made a play for him.

Which brings me to my social life, as in it's non-existent once again. I thought maybe, but apparently I was wrong. But in other news, I heard from The Boy again. Seems that one of those "hey, it could happen scenarios" did happen. My guess was that either he was a huge jerk, or he got hit by a bus or something. Turns out he had a computer meltdown, and since he didn't have my number.... Do I believe him? Eh, maybe. I might not really care, given that he lives in Seattle and I'm thinking someone local would be best in the long run.

In the meantime, I will play with my gym equipment and do what's best for me and me alone. That's all you can really do, yes?


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Extra! Extra! Black hole discovered in Portland suburb!

My week has sucked so massively that "suck" barely describes it. A black hole over my office is the only explanation.

Bookending the fun and games is my office computer having some sort of schizophrenic breakdown. I've had the blue screen of death at least a half dozen times in the past four days. I either can't get my computer to work or it's being worked on to figure out what's wrong with it. When it does work, I'm scrambling to dash out the bare minimum of the million things that need to be done. So we missed a deadline yesterday.

My shoulders are so tight they feel like granite. My queendom for a tranquilizer.

Hope the rest of you out in CilleyLand are having a better time of it than I.


Monday, April 07, 2008

More daffs than you can shake a stick at

Yesterday my friend Sunshine and I headed down south to Amity for the annual Amity Daffodil Festival. As we had a thoroughly enjoyable time, I highly recommend the trip.

There is a daffodil show, art show, nursery sales, and buffet lunch throughout the day at the Amity Elementary School. There is also a driving tour set up to hit a half dozen or show locations in and around Amity. We ended up hitting various things at random.

After getting the lay of the land, we stopped for brunch at Ashes Cafe. The place looks small, but is much larger than you first think. They had an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet going on, so after checking to see what was in there, we both went for it. They had this amazingly thick and tasty bacon, delicious sausage, fluffy biscuits, some sausage gravy that was pretty good once you added a tad more pepper to it, scrambled eggs, thick french toast, cinnamon rolls, and breakfast potatoes. Yum yum yum yum yum. I am all about the biscuits and gravy. If there had been hashbrowns, I would've been in redneck heaven. We managed not to go back for seconds (although there was some debate about bacon). Total cost of this tasty brunch with tip was under $25 (and we tipped well).

We were the only people in there not from Amity.

After brunch, we stopped in at an antiques store around the corner that was going out of business. Most of the place was junque, but I picked up a beautiful pair of amber and sterling earrings for $20. Sunshine nabbed a great deal on a long strand of genuine pearls ($15) plus a sterling and amber pendant and chain.

From there we took a short walk around the corner and made the best stop of our trip at Coelho Winery's tasting room. This was worth the whole trip in itself. It's a small family owned winery with their tasting room located in a gorgeous old building (according to their website, built in the 1930s) right off the main drag in Amity. And they're not kidding about being small and family owned. The two manning the tasting bar are the son and daughter of the husband and wife owners. The husband and wife came over and chatted with us for more than an hour, telling us stories of their families, the wines, the history of the labels and the logo (can you spot the bunny?). On top of all of this, they have fabulous wine. I left with a bottle of Pinot Gris and their 2005 Pinot Noir, while Sunshine got their Rose, the 2006 Pinot Noir, and their Portuguese red table wine. I am saving mine for my mom's visit in May.

After a great time at Coelho, we detoured by the elementary school to see the daffodil show. I had no idea there were varieties of daffodils I've never seen before, including a few that don't necessary look like daffodils. (To give you an idea, they do look like excellent subjects for a Georgia O'Keefe painting.) Again, we were just about the only people there who aren't from Amity.

Next was the Brigittine Monastery, or "monkery" as I like to call it. They are the only Brigittine monastery in the United States, and they support themselves by making fudge and truffles. We got to sample the fudge; it was awfully darn good. The recipe comes straight from God, you know. While I like the occasional nibble of fudge, it is often too much for me, particularly if it is a chocolate fudge. My fudgey druthers lean towards the peanut butter variety, which they did not have, so instead I purchased dark chocolate truffles. I am also saving these for mom's visit.

Last, but not least, we visited the alpaca farm Wings & a Prayer. Again, very very friendly people. Mr. Alpaca Farmer Guy (whose name I just learned is Randy) came and chatted with us for a good long while as we admired the alpacas and their three Great Pyrenees, two of whom had recently had puppies sired by the third (he was quite the big stud). They have about 70 alpaca in their own herd, with the rest being boarders (i.e., people who lost to temptation and got their own alpaca after visiting the farm). Luckily, we couldn't fit an alpaca into the car (and the puppies were too young) so we escaped unscathed but knowing an awful lot more about alpacas. I should've broken out the camera for those guys. At least for the puppies.

And throughout it all, the weather cooperated to a reasonable extent with sunshine and blue sky most of the time. Who'd've thunk it in Oregon!

All in all, a great weekend for the CilleyGirl. Hope yours was too!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Zoo are you - part 5

"Hey man, I hear the Ramones might be lookin' for someone?"

It was feeding time for the elephants, and first the keepers make them do a little trick before they get to go inside.

They have elk, cougar, bald eagles, and wolves in the Great Northwest exhibit. You know, the one that looks like 80% of the Northwest.

There was a sign up for the elk and wolves that they have arthritis but not to worry, their keepers are watching them closely. So the wolf is thinking "forget the steak, pass the Tylenol."

And last, but not least, the black bear and I are ready for our naps.

Hope you enjoyed the Cilley day at the zoo!

Zoo are you - part 4

"You scoot over." "No, you scoot over."

(Hippos, in case you were wondering.)

Hello zeeba neighba!

Don't you just know that this Nile Monitor lizard speaks with a deep bass voice?

One reason this little deer came so close to me was someone's kid had dropped its sunglasses into the habitat. The deer decided they didn't taste so good.

"What are you lookin' at? Huh?"

Zoo are you - part 3

Ladies and jellyspoons, I present to you the great Malaysian Sun Bear smack down!

The only time when the answer to the question is "mommy, are they wrestling?" is "yes!"

Unlike when I was in the bat house. But it was too dark to take pics in there.

"I disapprove of disapproval being limited to only rabbits."

Zoo are you - part 2

As promised, sea lion photos.

Unfortunately, not many turned out. These are through the glass, where the sea lions were underwater.

Next up, lorikeets!!

If you haven't been to the lorikeet exhibit at the Oregon Zoo, it's in an open aviary. You can purchase little cups of nectar for $1, then the lorikeets will come land on you to drink from the cups. When people have the nectar cups, the lorikeets pretty much leave the people without the nectar cups (like me) alone. I found this one guy, though....

Who was hanging out on a piece of wood, with his little foot raised. You could just hear him thinking "I'd like a drink, please... someone? Anyone? Hold out your arm and if you have a cup of nectar I'll climb on. Hello? Is this thing on?"

I visited the tigers next. Most weren't out since it was raining, plus they are working on a new "Roar" exhibit for 2009. But this tiger was willing to come out and pose for me.

Zoo are you

It was a beautiful day to be at the zoo. If you have gills.

It was very wet, ranging between sprinkles and a decent rain. But not lots of crowds so that was good. First up were the bighorn sheep.

Where I got this great picture of a garden variety duck.

Around the corner is Stellar Cove. The sea lions were underwater at this point, so pics of them will come later. Next to the sea lions are the otters. My favorite part of my day at the zoo, as it turned out, because this cute little guy was out and about, playing with toys, frolicing in the water....

....and, as it turns out, chewing on his penis. It cracked me up, because, not shown here, are some pictures of the otter playing with a milk crate that had some floats in it. Then he would dive underwater, come back up and play with some other toys, dive back down, then float around on his back. And he started chewing up something on his tummy. I had been there for a bit at this point, watching him play, and I couldn't figure out when he'd picked up something to eat. And I'm looking and looking.... and finally realize he's not eating something, he's doing some very personal grooming. If you look really close at this next picture --

--you can see there's something bright pink in his mouth. That would be an otter rocket. Yes, it would. So then I'm standing there (taking more pictures, 'cause the big white evil bunny in my head made do it -- we're thinking it's this year's Christmas card), laughing to myself at "Otters Gone Wild", and other people are coming up to the exhibit. They're saying "look, how cute, he's chewing on something", and then they get real quiet as they realize just what he's chewing on.

No, these pictures never make the zoo brochure, do they? They like ones like this, of Mr. Polar Bear.

More to come!

Friday, April 04, 2008

If you were in my mind right now

You would hear the following conversation between me and the big white evil bunny in my head:

CilleyGirl: She deleted my comment. I'm really tempted to go post another one.

Big white evil bunny: You should absolutely do that. Be thorough. Make her cry.

CG: Yeah, that would be fun. But I'd regret it later. And you know how I hate to have regrets.

BWEB: Hence your current debt situation.

CG: Exactly. And what would be the point of throwing all of that in her virtual face?

BWEB: Other than it would be fun?

CG: Other than that.

BWEB: That's really all I've got. I am a big white evil bunny, after all. We're kind of limited in our range.

CG: Still, it is tempting. Maybe I should just be satisfied with posting it all on my blog.

BWEB: That does carry a certain level of evil fun with it.

CG: Besides, maybe she didn't even see the comment. Maybe he deleted it before she could.

BWEB: 'Cause truth is fluid for him.

CG: Exactly.

BWEB: He's slick.

CG: I know. I gave him the nickname. He had to know it was me.

BWEB: Even though you restrained yourself, it had a very evil vibe to it.

CG: It was the only way I was going to be able to let it go and get to sleep. Even after looking at all those pictures of him swelled up like Jerry Lewis on prednisone with his vacant dull eye.

BWEB: Eye. Heh. I applaud you with my big white evil bunny paws.

CG: Do you think all this talk of evil and how fun it is will be seen by Blog Guy?

BWEB: Probably.

CG: Do you think he'll think poorly of me?

BWEB: Possibly. But you do have that rule about never harming small children and animals.

CG: Which is why I phrased my comment so carefully. There is a small child involved here. Hobby spawn, if you will.

BWEB: She has his eye.

CG: Yes, yes she does. You know, I think I'm good with the whole Slick thing. Good riddance.

BWEB: I think so too. Let's go plot evil things against ________ instead.

CG: She needs a nickname.

BWEB: I think "Mrs. Danvers" would do quite nicely.

CG: Never read it. Did you?

BWEB: I'm a big white evil bunny. No opposable thumbs.

CG: Like that's ever stopped you.

BWEB: Still, it is a fitting nickname. Here, Google it.

CG: I see what you mean. I had been leaning more towards "Spinster McSourpuss".

BWEB: I bow my big white evil bunny ears to you in awe.

CG: Awww, you're too kind, big white evil bunny. I think Mrs. Danvers will do quite nicely. After all, she would get the reference.

BWEB: Mrs. Danvers it is. Excuse me while I go chew on her power cords for a while.

CG: Catch you later.

--the CilleyEvilBunnyGirl


Awww, she deleted my comment!

That's fine by me. I said what I needed to say.

I'm done. On to bigger (so many comments to make here, all of them tacky) and better things.

--the CilleyGirl

P.S. Apparently if you post something that repeatedly uses words like "dick", you immediately get a comment on your blog to the effect of "if you like dick, come check me out at ---". Tempting, but gosh, I've got somewhere else I need to be.

P.P.S. Today's CilleyGirl forecast: The weather sucks. Yes, it was nice yesterday but you live in Portland. Where the weather sucks this time of year. Tomorrow it will suck again. Sunday it will also suck. Monday it will suck intermittently, although it will be very nice in the morning because it is no longer the weekend and the weather gods like to mess with your head.

Good news is, the crowds previously anticipated to appear throughout my weekend plans are getting smaller by the raindrop. Wimps!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I had a great subject line but then I forgot it

It was a pretty good day to blow off steam in Cilley Land. My boss's birthday is tomorrow and he's taking the day off, so we threw him a birthday lunch today. Got some great Italian food brought in from Zeppo, in Lake Oswego. I had the penne porcini, penne pasta with a cream thyme sauce with porcini mushrooms and sausage. Their antipasti plates are really good too. Between the four of us, we polished off two bottles of champagne. I was lightly buzzed between 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I haven't eaten mentioned the chocolate chocolate cake. No, this wasn't on my diet. Yes, I may have Pepto Bismol later this evening.

Hopefully tomorrow I can catch up on all the work I've pushed aside for the past two weeks. Boss is heading to the beach for the weekend and is supposed to play golf in the early afternoon, so he may not even call in. Yay!

What I'm Reading:

I finally managed to finish Murder Without Reservations. Now I'm on to My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon. Yes, there was a My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding.

I've been keeping a list of the books I've read this year. So far I've read 33, for a total of 11,206 pages. We're what, about twelve weeks into the year, so roughly two and a half books a week. Evelyn Wood is my idol.

All this champagne has made me sleepy so I'm calling it a night.

Cilley Dreams!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Gut got the boot

I didn't watch the DwtS results show last night. As I said previously, I'm just not all that in to this season and the results shows are always 55 minutes of filler and five minutes of stuff worth watching (unless Barry Manilow is the musical guest, then I'm all over it). But apparently I missed one of the best shows in a long time. For those not into the show, Steve Guttenberg's partner Anna was extremely sick over the past week, so her husband Jonathan, also a pro dancer but voted off first, stood in for her in teaching the Gut the tango. They showed some little snippets of it during Monday's clips. On each results show, the judges pick the dance they liked the best from the night before to do an encore performance. This time they wanted to see the "mango" -- the tango with Steve and Jonathan performing it. I guess it was great; they played it straight (heh, no pun intended) for the most part. In the end, though, the Gut got the boot. I'm hoping he starts hanging out with Kenny Mayne as the latest member of the Dance Center team.

There were also otters on last night's show. I think the universe is behind my zoo plans for the weekend.

So, on to other bloggy things.

I'm having a hard time keeping my focus on my health. I'm within two pounds of a preliminary goal of mine. I feel like if I can get below this number that I can truly succeed in this. And I can't get there. Work's been stressful and with the early onset of spring allergy season I haven't been sleeping well and it frequently turns into insomnia. Of course, if I would remember to refill my rozerem prescription I'd have a better time of it, but I only seem to remember at 1:00 a.m. when I've been trying to sleep for three hours.

Last night I tried to distract myself from not being able to sleep by picturing myself at my goal weight. How I'd look. What I'd wear. I couldn't do it. I couldn't see beyond where I am right now. I couldn't even think of an old photo of myself that I could build on.

I've also been too focused on guys. The Boy. A couple other fantasies I've had. Thinking about how nice it would be to be part of a couple again, to have someone else who cares if I'm happy or sad or even home. Someone who gives me hugs and smootchies other than my gay stylist Brian. My pets care (and give hugs and smootchies), but it's just not the same thing.

Anyhow, the possibility that another part of my life might click into place has made other things, like my health, seem less important, less urgent. But that's not the case. I made significant choices in the past (where to go to college, what career to choose, where to go to law school) because of other people who turned out to be transitory in my life or otherwise just not worth that level of regard. I can't live my life that way. In the end, I'm the most important person in my life. I have to be. Because while I've been willing to share that position with others, so far no one else has.

Well, I know how to bring down a room, don't I?

Long story short (too late!), I need to find a way to remember why I'm doing this, what I want from it, what I need from it. Will everything else in my life click into place when I reach my goal weight? Probably not. And I'm okay with that. One thing at a time.

Sweet dreams,
the not always so CilleyGirl

What did the hoop ever do to you?

As part of my job, I am frequently on county websites. Occasionally they have they oddest things on there. Like what I found today on Lane County's website:

Signs Popping Up Where They Shouldn’t

Contacts: John Petsch, Lane County Public Works, 682-6999

The slowing real estate market has caused an increase in signs in Lane County road right-of-ways. Illegally placed signs and basketball hoops put everyone in jeopardy and they’re popping up more frequently.

Lane County Public Works crews will remove illegally placed signs and basketball hoops in right-of-ways. A poorly placed sign or basketball hoop could cause a deadly traffic accident if it obstructs the view of a motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian.

"Real estate signs, garage sale signs, estate sale signs, and other signs can create hazards on our roadways," said John Petsch, Lane County Public Works. "A large number of signs located at a major intersection can obstruct sight and creates the potential for accidents."

County road maintenance crews have been instructed to pick up any signs located in Lane County right-of-ways. Crews remove basketball hoops only after a formal complaint is made.

Please follow these guidelines when placing signs:

Signs (garage/yard/estate sales signs, political signs, real estate signs, for rent signs, items for sale or any other signs) should not be placed within Lane County road right-of-ways. In unincorporated parts of the city that means the planting area between the sidewalk and curb. In rural areas, it would be from the pavement to the fence (anywhere maintenance vehicles would drive.) Signs placed near a rural road should be placed on private property behind any utility facilities (poles, closures, etc.) or sidewalks.

Basketball hoops should be located on private property and not obstruct the vision of people on the road whether motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Also, please be aware: poorly placed basketball hoops can pose a safety risk to children playing too near the road.

If you place a sign illegally, it may be removed by Lane County Public Works. You can be reunited with your sign(s) at 3040 N. Delta Highway within 30 days of removal. But, after 30 days, the sign(s) will be destroyed.

By placing the signs properly, you can avoid unnecessary expense and hassle for yourself, save taxpayer money by saving Public Works personnel from having to handle the signs, and protect your neighbors and visitors from accidents.

I like how the stated message of the article is to warn about signs, but that basketball hoops keep cropping up. Here's the public relations office drafting up this press release -- "Signs! Signs are dangerous! Think before you sink!" -- and meanwhile Tony's over in the corner going "And basketball hoops! Don't forget to add in about the hoops! For the love of god, people, someone could lose an eye!" I'm thinking somebody has a grudge. Or a story.