Archive | December, 2003

Only in Albuquerque

31 Dec

Thanks to my brother, Chuck, who found this interesting article about our hometown of Albuquerque, NM.

Man, I’m on a posting frenzy today.

New Year’s Resolutions

31 Dec

As promised, here are my official 2004 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Write my book. No more excuses. I’ve only been talking about it for a year. Time to get down to business.
2. Attain my driver’s license weight. Atkins, I’m back! (Although forgive me if I’m too afraid to weigh for a few weeks….) This goal will include maintaining my current regimen of weights 3x/week and cardio 3x/week.
3. Compete in an open water swim. (I had originally planned to set a goal of running a 10K, but I injured my foot last weekend and am not sure how long this injury will take to heal.)
4. Master a repertoire of Billy Joel, Elton John, and Jimmy Buffet tunes on the piano. I was classically trained for 11 years, so pop tunes provide a fresh challenge for me.
5. Take a self defense class. I’ve been talking about this for at least five years, and once again, it’s time to take action or take it off my mental check list.
6. Continue watercolor painting.

Trips I’d like to take this year include:

  • Family ski trip to Mammoth, CA in February.
  • Return to the homeland (New Mexico). It has been too long since I’ve seen Amber and my God daughter, Kylie. Plus, JB needs to experience authentic New Mexican food.
  • The East Coast Tour (as dubbed by JB), including NYC and Washington D.C.
  • Southern CA. I’m totally itching to swim in the ocean and hang on the beach.

Happy New Year, y’all! JB and I will be ringing in the New Year in Downtown Reno. We plan to jam to two of our favorite local bands (Deja Blues and Blue Haven) and then view the fireworks over the strip at midnight (weather permitting).

Merry Belated Christmas, Tucker

31 Dec

I went to Costco last night, and as I walked past the dog beds, I felt a twinge of guilt because I hadn’t given Tucker the pooch anything for Christmas. I had been looking at these beds for a while, since his current bed is the one he’s had since he was a puppy and it is in really bad shape.

So I picked out a new bed for Tucker. It is about 1.5 feet thick and is totally plush. When I brought it in for the house, I swear that pooch totally knew that I had bought him a new bed and he thought I was the best Mom ever.

I took it upstairs and plopped it down where his old bed used to be, and the pooch was super excited. He laid down on it, then stood up and sniffed all around the top of it. Then he dug his snout underneath the bed and sniffed the entire underside of it, manically wagging his tail the entire time.

And when we finally decided to go to sleep for the night, that dog curled up on his new bed and had the purest look of contentment on his face.

Now I feel redeemed for not celebrating Christmas with the pooch.

Plucky

31 Dec

I learned a new word last night. JB called me ‘Plucky’, and thanks to Dictionary.com, I now know the official definition:

pluck�y
adj. pluck�i�er, pluck�i�est
Having or showing courage and spirit in trying circumstances

I don’t know what it is about that word, but every time I hear it, I think of a chicken. Pluck pluck pluck.

A Naked Christmas

29 Dec

The theme of this year’s Christmas seemed to be nudity…. But I’ll start from the beginning of the story.

My holiday began with a trek through the Sierra mountains during a snow storm. Luckily, my work let me go a little early, but still, the normal 2 hour drive took almost 4 hours. It was snowing extremely hard at the top of the mountain, plus there was a ton of fog. Talk about excitement. I was white knuckling it the entire way.

I arrived in Folsom to find my brother and sister-in-law’s house smelling strongly of sugar. Mom and Jane had been baking up a storm, as there were all kinds of cookies and candies to behold. My nephew, Jack, greeted me with a hug, and the kid smelled of chocolate and had chocolate all over his face. Now really, isn’t that the perfect start to a holiday?!

That night, we had a dinner of prime rib, and every time we asked Jack if Santa was coming to see him, he’d say ‘Santa is right there’, pointing at the Santa decoration on the table.

It took Greg and Jane quite a while to get Jack to sleep that night because he was suddenly afraid of Santa, and whenever a dog ran past his room, he was convinced Santa had arrived.

Tucker was the only dog at the Cook family Christmas celebration without a stocking or gifts. Gosh, I’m a bad mother. But I told everyone that Tucker didn’t celebrate Christmas, and we determined that he must be a Jehovah’s Witness. Jane and Mom were nice enough to find a stocking for him and donate some of their dog’s Christmas presents to Tucker. What a lucky pooch.

Christmas morning began at 7 am, since we had a little one around. Jack was thrilled to discover that Santa had brought him a new bike, a rocking horse, and a sled that he called ‘a boat’. Jack soon became overwhelmed by all of the presents, and I had to start begging him to open another ‘surprise’. After an hour intermission for breakfast, we finished opening packages around 11:00.

As the package opening orgy was winding down, I was sitting in front of the tree, and my brother was standing about 5 inches in front of me, basically putting his butt in my face. He stood there for a good minute, and I decided that something must be done about this situation. I made a mental note that he was wearing sweats and that it’d be easy to de-pants him.

And I did.

And it was easy.

And he wasn’t wearing any underwear.

So then, my face was five inches away from my brother’s butt-crack, and my poor sister-in-law got the frontal view. I am so sorry. No sister-in-law should ever be subjected to seeing that view of her brother-in-law.

I started frantically trying to shove his pants back up, but to no avail.

And damn, was it funny. We laughed and laughed, and I was clutching my stomach and rubbing the tears out of my eyes. He then tackled me and gave me a noogie as revenge.

That night, after a dinner that featured margaritas and tamales, we played Jane’s new game called Hillarium. I totally recommend this game. It is kind of like charades, but everyone is acting something out at the same time. I learned that my Mom doesn’t know who Darth Vader is and she doesn’t know what the Moonwalk is. Oh, and Dad thought that Mr. Rogers was Roy Rogers.

The next day, after a muddy mountain bike ride, I departed for Palo Alto to enjoy the antics of JB’s family. JB had decided that we would go on a hike in the mountains (OK, they’re really hills) around Palo Alto, so as soon as I arrived, we took off for the hike.

It was really beautiful up there. Despite the fact that I lived in Northern California for 3 months about 7 years ago, I had never seen the mountainous areas, and they are beautiful, lush forests with tons of ferns and moss growing on the trees. We hiked until sunset, and then headed back to his parents’ house.

As JB’s Mom was preparing dinner, JB started rubbing his shoulder, and soon realized that he had a tick.

Let the mayhem begin.

JB’s Mom took him into the bathroom to perform the extraction, and his dad, sister, and I followed to watch the procedure. I was utterly fascinated. Being a desert girl, I had never seen a tick in action.

And then he found another tick on his side.

That was when his Mom ordered him to strip down so that he could be searched for more ticks. And he promptly stripped down to his underwear, right in front of his entire family and me.

JB’s sister and I graciously left the room, trying to give the poor guy some privacy. Meanwhile, I went into the bathroom and checked myself, gratefully finding that I was tick-free.

After it was determined that JB didn’t have any more ticks on him, it was determined that he needed to go to Urgent Care to get an antibiotic shot to prevent Lyme disease. So JB and his Mom took off, and his father, sister and I decided to go ahead and eat without them.

I totally felt like I had ticks crawling all over me while I was sitting at the dinner table, and the feeling was only calmed after I went and changed all of my clothes.

JB and his Mom returned an hour and a half and one tetanus shot later. He’s going to be alright, folks.

On Saturday, after a long run with JB, we headed to San Francisco with his family to see Golden Gate Park and the Steinhart Aquarium. We saw some really cool fish and reptiles. My favorite fish were the flashlight fish that were in a dark tank… They have these spots under their eyes that light up. Totally cool. And JB’s Dad had a flashlight handy so that we could see what the actual fish looked like since all you could see in the dark tank were the flashing lights.

Saturday also happened to be JB’s parents’ 36th anniversary. I just have to say that I think it is so awesome that both my parents and JB’s parents have had very long, successful marriages. (My parents just celebrated their 40th anniversary this summer.) In today’s society, long marriages are truly something to be cherished and to be proud of. We celebrated at a wonderful restaurant called Bogies. It had a 50s French theme, and the food was absolutely incredible. Our dinner was topped off with a dessert of Crepes Suzette. Yum.

On Sunday, JB and I had decided to go on a bike ride so that he could show me the neighborhood. It turned out to be a 30 mile bike ride, but I saw some really incredible scenery. We went up into the hills and saw more beautiful forests and gurgling creeks. And I hit a top speed of 28 miles per hour on the way back down the hill.

Sunday night, the return drive that usually takes 4.5 hours took us almost 7 hours (OK, subtract the time we stopped for dinner and then stopped at Greg and Jane’s to pick up Tucker). We managed to hit another snow storm as we were driving through the Sierras, so I spent a good hour in four wheel drive driving through a winter wonderland.

So that’s pretty much the download. It was really hard to get back into the work groove today, but I’m really looking forward to another 4 day weekend this week. JB and I don’t really have any solid plans for New Year’s, but I’m actually looking forward to a bit of R&R since I’ve been on the go a lot lately.

Oh, and you readers of LynnetteCook.com will be glad to know that my brothers and sister-in-laws gave me a digital camera for Christmas, so this site will soon have many more photos for your enjoyment and entertainment.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

24 Dec

Over the mountains
And through the snow
To Greg and Jane’s house I go…

The snow will be falling
And Dad will be calling
To see if I’m stranded in a ditch.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Three dogs were stirring
Keeping 2 year old Jack aroused.

There were eight Cooks a sleeping
Soundly under one roof
Until the dogs started saying ‘woof woof’.

It is a California Christmas
We’ll leave the snow
In Reno.

OK, people, that was my best attempt at a Christmas poem for you. As you can tell, there will be 8 humans and 3 dogs celebrating in Folsom this year. Merry Christmas! I’ll be back next week. And in the mean time, play nice, kiddies!

If you haven’t received a Christmas card from me, read my e-Christmas letter!

Feeling Fudgey

23 Dec

I made my first batch of fudge ever last night. Fudge has always been one of my favorite Christmas treats that Mom makes, and our family has long been convinced that Mom makes some of the best fudge in the entire world.

I never knew how easy it was to make fudge. I was done in less than a half an hour, and from the little bite I took of it this morning, I am pretty sure it was a success. The knowledge that I can now make Mom’s fudge is a bit dangerous, especially if I get a craving for it in the near future.

But until last night, I didn’t know what all went into fudge, and it does have the potential to send you into insulin shock or clog your artiries with un-salted butter. I made a half recipe, which required two full cups of butter and tons of sugar and chocolate. And even though it turned out delicious, I find that I’m not as inclined to dig in now that I know what it is made of.

Merry Christmas Eve’s Eve!

A Weekend of Dogs, Slopes, and Cook Soup

22 Dec

This weekend….

  • The parents were visiting, and on Friday, after a great dinner at the Atlantis Oyster Bar, I took them to see JB’s band play. I think they liked it. I know Mom was impressed how ‘coordinated’ JB was because ‘he uses both arms and both legs to play his drums’.
  • I took 4 dogs on a walk with my brother, sister-in-law, and parents. The dogs came back extremely muddy.
  • JB slept until almost 3:00 pm on Saturday, since he was up until 3:30 am the previous night. I had called him 4 times that day, thinking he was Missing In Action, when in actuality, he was doing his best impression of Sleeping Beauty.
  • Saturday night, my parents took JB and I out to eat at a really nice Italian restaurant. Afterwards, we introduced JB to a family dice game called Farkle. He kicked my butt, and gave Dad a good run for his money over first place.
  • Sunday, I went skiing with JB, Mom, Dad, both brothers, and one sister-in-law. We went to Northstar and had a great time. Mom caused the chair to stop once, and JB took out my brother Chuck by accident as he crashed on a hill with tons of moguls. Chuck then got ‘revenge’ by covering JB with snow the next time he fell. Chuck then smiled at JB and said, ‘Welcome to the family’. I guess that means JB has been properly initiated.
  • Sunday night, we had dinner at Chuck’s house, and then managed to fit six of us (Mom, Dad, Chuck, sister-in-law, JB and I) into a hot tub. We referred to it as Cook Soup. It was quite chummy.

And now I’m back to work. In my entire professional career, I’ve never had to work the week of Christmas or the week of New Year’s. This is a shock to my system. Bah humbug on work, I tell you! Is it Wednesday yet?!

80s Hair

19 Dec

I received the best Christmas card today. It was from one of our ad agencies, and using all of their creative splendor, they created their own card. The front of it has the high school senior yearbook pictures of all six people that work at the agency, in all of their 80s and early 90s big hair glory.

And then on the inside of the card, they all signed it like they would sign a yearbook, with sayings such as ‘K.I.T.’, ‘Stay Cool’, ‘Don’t ever change’, ‘You are a really cool person’, etc.

I swear their card could have been an excerpt from my high school year book. Well done, guys. Gotta love those creative types!

Mistletoe

18 Dec

When I was in high school, every year at Christmas my best friend, Amber, would give me a bunch of mistletoe with a ribbon tied around it. Mistletoe actually grew wild on her parents’ land up in the mountains.

I coveted this gift, and would strategically place the mistletoe around our house, hoping to inspire my parents and my brothers a bit. Unfortunately, I never managed to have a viable mistletoe partner around that time of the year. I remember coming up with ways to trap one of my victems under the mistletoe so that their significant other would have to kiss them.

But now that I live far away from Amber, I haven’t seen anywhere to buy mistletoe. So I finally have a viable mistletoe partner yet I don’t have any! OK, I haven’t really looked that hard, but this article sparked my memory about the annual mistletoe tradition that I once used to keep.

XOX

Oh, and speaking of traditions, Jane has informed me that we will be continuing the luminaria tradition at her house this year. And according to her comment, the neighbors won’t even think we’re crazy!

Poll Update

18 Dec

Well, we’re running neck and neck on my poll in the left hand nav. So far, we have 75 votes for facial hair on men being a definite ‘don’t’, and 64 votes for ‘I don’t care’. I guess that means that facial hair is out and I need to come up with better poll topics….

Santa’s Done Early This Year

18 Dec

As of last night, I am officially finished with my Christmas shopping! Woohoo — one full week BEFORE Christmas! That must be a new record for me. And, I’m like 90% done with Christmas cards… Too bad my schedule is looking like that other 10% won’t be getting done…

My parents arrive tomorrow, and will be spending the weekend at my house before they head over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Folsom, CA. Hence, I’ll be a bit busy. The whole family (plus JB and minus pregnant Jane, who will be there in spirit) will be skiing on Sunday. Can’t wait!

Be sure to look in the left nav for the new LynnetteCook.com poll. The last poll, asking whether or not bangs were ‘in’ or ‘out’, proved by a landslide that bangs are totally making a comeback (take that, JB). We’ll see how he fairs on this poll…

😉

The Pumpkin Pooch

17 Dec

Last night, I decided to make Pumpkin soup again. After adding all of the ingredients, I was supposed to let it simmer for 10 minutes.

So I left the kitchen, and started playing Christmas carols on the piano, having a lovely time. And then I started noticing that the whole house was starting to smell like pumpkin. Yum. Can’t wait to have some of that soup…

And I kept playing. But after a few more minutes, the smell of pumpkin got stronger, and I got up to go check on the soup.

That’s when I discovered that the soup had boiled over, and there was pumpkin soup all over the stove. And standing there catching all of the drips from the stove was Tucker the pooch. In fact, he had splatterings of pumpkin soup all over his face, and evidently REALLY likes pumpkin soup.

It took me like a half hour to clean up the mess (including my dog) and add enough liquid to the soup so that it was salvaged.

Moral of the story: Never simmer on Medium heat, unless you are constantly supervising your creation. And if Tucker ever goes on a hunger strike, you can break it with some pumpkin soup.

Non-Spanish Speaking

16 Dec

I had something really random happen to me on Sunday morning. My doorbell rang, and when I answered it, there were two people standing there clutching their Bibles out in front of them.

‘May I help you?’ I asked, preparing my speech of Thank you, but I’m comfortable with my own religion in my head.

And one of them asked me ‘Are there any Spanish speakers in your house?’

‘No.’

‘OK, well thank you then.’ And they turned and walked away.

I shut the door, absolutely baffled.

Are there new missions out there trying to save only certain demographic groups? Am I not worthy being saved because I speak English?! How random is that?!

Tempting Fate

16 Dec

Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel like you’re really tempting fate? I had one of those last night.

I was headed up the mountains to Incline Village so that I could work on my water color instructor’s website. As I started my journey up the hill, I noticed that I had just under a half tank of gas. I thought about stopping for gas, but then figured I could at least make it up the mountain.

And I did. I hit the red E about 3/4 of the way there. Now usually, my truck dies when you first hit that E, so I was a bit nervous, but I made it to her studio without any problems.

After working on her site for two hours, I was tired and hungry and ready to get home. I got back in the truck, and noticed as I was driving uphill, my gas guage was actually above the E. And gas is really expensive up in Incline Village, so I figured I’d go for it and try to make it back down the mountain, thinking to myself well, it’s mostly downhill.

Well, I made it about 5 miles into my 20 mile journey when I started going downhill again, and the gauge tilted WAY past the E. I turned off the heat, nervously watching my outdoor temperature gauge as it neared 17 degrees, and coasted the entire way down the mountain.

I was praying the entire time. Please God, PLEASE let me make it to the gas station. I swear I won’t do this again….

And He answered my prayer. Remarkably, I made it to the gas station at the bottom of the mountain, and the truck didn’t even sputter once.

God, I owe you one. Let me know the next time you need a favor.

A California Christmas

15 Dec

This year, instead of going to New Mexico as I usually do, I’ll be heading to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Northern California for Christmas.

I’m really happy that our entire family will be together for Christmas, because I know there won’t be many more years when that will be possible. But selfishly, I’ll be missing some of the little New Mexican traditions that our family has.

A Cook-style New Mexican Christmas means:

  • Spending the three days before Christmas Eve skiing in Purgatory, CO as a family. While there, we enjoy Mom’s home cookin’, hot tubbin’, and lots of slope side family bonding.
  • Spending the afternoon of Christmas Eve making luminarias with my siblings. (Translation: this is a New Mexican tradition where you put candles in paper sacks to light the way for the Christ Child.) We then set them up in front of the house, and Dad gets out his blow torch to light them, inevitably causing a few mini-bonfires in the process. Then, there are always the unspoken disputes with the neighbors about whether or not you should have your Christmas lights on when the luminarias are lit. It never fails if we leave our Christmas lights on when we leave for church, one of the neighbors comes over and unplugs them for us.
  • Going to church at Central United Methodist Church, where my parents were married, all of us kids were baptised, and where all of us grew up.
  • Eating New Mexican food on Christmas Eve at Sadie’s with my family, our family friends Jack and Marilyn, and Amber and her husband. It is family tradition to get a little bit loopy on their potent Margaritas.
  • Childhood friends stopping by, just like old times.

Now don’t get me wrong — there are some definite positives to this year’s California Christmas. In addition to the fact that all the Cooks will be together, I’m sure there will be plenty of margaritas (made by Greg, who makes a very potent marg) and New Mexican food (courtesy of my sister-in-law, Jane, a great New Mexican chef). My brother, Greg, and I have planned to do a bit of mountain biking. I won’t have to deal with airports for the first time in like five years (now that deserves one loud HALLELUJAH). Plus, I’ll be able to drive over to JB’s parents’ house in the Bay Area the day after Christmas, which is exciting.

As Mom says, every holiday you spend away from home makes the ones you do actually spend at home all the more special. Well put, Mom.

All I Want For Christmas

11 Dec

All I want for Christmas this year is a new immune system. I’ve contracted my THIRD cold in FOUR months, and am absolutely sick and tired of being sick.

I just want to be well so I can enjoy the misteltoe a bit. Is that really too much to ask?!

The e-Christmas Letter

9 Dec

For the past 4-5 years, I have sent out a Christmas letter to my friends and relatives. I figure that most of those people (or should I say the people that care to know what’s going on in my life) read this site. So, I’m getting all high tech on you and am presenting you with the information that would have gone in my Christmas letter, but it didn’t because I really didn’t feel like going through that effort this year.

Here is my bulleted list of highlights from 2003 in the Life of Lynnette (since everyone knows it’s better to do bullets rather than paragraphs online):

  • I went to Albuquerque in January to throw Amber a baby shower. Mom was the hostest with the mostest, like always.
  • In March, I spent a weekend in Vegas that I’d rather forget.
  • I became a Godmother to Amber’s baby, Kylie, who was born March 10.
  • I competed in five events for the Reno Corporate Challenge, including the mountain bike race, 3 swimming races, and the 5K run. I also competed in the 5K Race for the Cure.
  • I was lucky enough to ski for 12.5 days at 6 resorts.
  • My family celebrated my parents’ 40th anniversary at Donner Lake in June. We rented this great house on the lake, and spent four days boating, biking, hiking, eating, drinking, and doing a lot of good family bonding. It was a great time!
  • In August, I attended my 10 Year Reunion in New Mexico.
  • In September, the Cooks welcomed Audra, my new sister-in-law, into the family. Chuck and Audra were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Rancho San Rafael in Reno.
  • Dad and I took some relatives (who were in town for Chuck’s wedding) to the Virginia City Camel Races. Yeah, it was pretty darn funny. The ostrich races were even funnier than the camels.
  • This year, I took two watercolor classes from my incredible instructor, Jan Foss. Although she teaches how to paint flowers a lot, I really enjoy painting Lake Tahoe landscapes.
  • This Fall, I was thrilled to find out that my brother, Greg, and his wife, Jane are expecting a BOY in April.
  • I bought a digital piano, and have been banging on the keys ever since.
  • I vacationed with JB in Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria in November, and had a splendid time.

Oh, yeah, and the biggest piece of news is that I traded in my previous model of boyfriend for a newer deluxe version, otherwise known as JB. That decision has made a marked improvement in my life. *swoon, swoon*

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With love from,

Lynnette, Tucker the pooch, and Murray the fat cat

White Trash Blazer

8 Dec

My brother, Chuck, has what our family likes to call a ‘fleet’ of vehicles and motorized toys. He has many very nice vehicles, including a Trans Am, a Corvette, a Sierra, etc. But he has one vehicle that I like to call his White Trash Blazer.

And he does stuff like this with it:

He captioned that photo ‘I don’t like Civics’.

Good and Bad News

5 Dec

The Good News:

Scientists have discovered a Fossilised Crustacean Penis that is the oldest penis in the world. We can all rest easier knowing this. Really.

The bad news:

Drinking just a few alcoholic drinks a week will shrink your brain. So it’s your choice…. Drink some red wine to prevent a heart attack and shrink your brain, or don’t drink and increase the chance that you’ll have a heart attack.

Make up your minds, people! Google News rocks, by the way.

Happy Friday! Weekend plans are up in the air… The original plan was to go skiing, until it rained on the slopes last week. This weekend’s storm is forecasted to bring 2 feet of snow to the slopes, so perhaps I can venture out next weekend.

E-mail Conversation Excerpt

4 Dec

After I completed a project for a coworker, I e-mailed her to let her know I was finished.

Lynnette’s e-mail: Your wish is my command. It’s done.
The response: gimmetwentydollarsnow

Black Day

4 Dec

December fourth marks the second anniversary of when I was laid off. I thought I’d post what I wrote on the first anniversary as a way of commemorating how far I’ve come since my life was turned upside down.

12.04.02

One year ago today, my world fell apart. I was working for I#$*t (legally not supposed to say their name), and was scheduled for my first meeting with the Vice President in charge of our group. I was excited to show this person my stuff, and had prepared a list of my accomplishments over the 5 weeks that I had been there. That morning, I learned that everyone else on my staff also had one-on-one meetings scheduled with the VP. People started going into his office for these meetings, which were very short, and they were coming out visibly distressed. I asked one of the women what was going on, and she said that she couldn’t tell me, but that she wished me good luck. “Is it lay offs?” I asked, and to this day, I’m not sure why I even thought of it — it was truly the last thing on my mind.

She just smiled.

Around 10:30, it was my turn to go into the VP’s office. When I got to the door, I noticed the HR manager standing in the room. That was when I knew for sure we wouldn’t be talking about my accomplishments. They shut the door, and told me that they had another person from the headquarters office on the speaker phone. The VP then started launching into this speech about how they had decided to restructure the Marketing department.

No big deal. I’ve been through reorganizations before, and always came through well.

The restructuring involved moving the entire Reno Marketing department to California.

OK, they want me to move. Perhaps I can telecommute…

They then said that they had eliminated my position, and handed me a letter that started with “Your employment is being terminated, effective December 4, 2001.”

My eyes started to tear over, and my mind started racing. This was coming from the company that took 3 months to recruit me, interviewed me 12 times, and paid $20,000 to move me to Reno just 5 weeks earlier.

“You haven’t given me a chance to prove myself.” I told them. It was true. They had no idea what I had been doing the past 5 weeks.

“We know, and we feel particularly bad in this situation. I’m going to make a personal effort to see if we can place you in another position within the company,” said the VP. Those words didn’t mean anything, because when I later called to take him up on this offer, he didn’t even return my calls.

I couldn’t control the tears. I normally refuse to cry in professional situations, but this had caught me totally by surprise. They offered to move me back to Michigan, something that was against all of my goals, so I told them no.

They asked for all of my equipment back that day, and told me to leave immediately. (Luckily, they offered a handsome 3 1/2 months severance, but still, they didn’t want me around anymore). I went back to my desk and hastily packed all of my belongings into my bag. I grabbed my laptop, and the cell phone I had just received the day before, and went to my manager’s office. I stood there in her doorway with my equipment, and tears streaming down my cheeks.

“I’m so sorry — I had no say in this whatsoever,” she said. “I think they’re making a big mistake. If it helps at all, I was laid off, too.”

It didn’t help. She got up and hugged me, and then promised me that she’d make a personal effort to help me find another job. She also turned out to be a liar, as when I called her the next week, she claimed that she really didn’t know anyone in Reno that could help.

So I left. I drove straight to my brother’s work (it’s amazing I didn’t get in a wreck), and marched into his office to tell him the news. I then went home, got into my PJs, and called my parents. They were shocked, and really mad at the company. “How can they do this to you?” My mom asked. I didn’t know.

After I got off the phone with them, I poured myself a stiff drink, per Mom’s advice.

I remember waking up the next morning and feeling lost. I mourned for my job. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I sat on the couch until about 1:00, and then picked myself up and started the Great Job Search.

I think that was one of the worst days of my life. Lay offs are companies taking away all of your security and control over your life. I did manage to pick up the pieces and find another job the day my severance cut off, but it was a horrible experience that I hope I never have to relive again.

Before that experience, I thought that I was a young MBA recipient that no one would want to lay off. Not true. Not true at all. Now I’m paranoid.

My 2003 Report Card

3 Dec

I came across my New Year’s Resolutions for 2003 last night, and thought I’d do a little report card for myself.

Here they are:

1. Keep my job. Keep enjoying my job.
This may not sound like a great resolution to you, but after I moved to Reno, I had a pretty rough time, enduring one lay off (they got rid of the entire Marketing department) and then a buy-out that moved my job to Arizona (as you can see, I opted to stay in Reno). I’ve now been at my current gig for over a year, and am still loving it. Grade = A+

2. Follow the 12 week Body For Life program (started on 12-30-02, to be exact).
Well, I followed that darn program to at ‘T’, and never saw any results. It involved a full nutritional makeover and weight training combined with high intensity cardio. However, I wasn’t discouraged, and I went on to lose 25 pounds doing my own plan of maintaining a rigorous program of weight training 3 days a week and doing cardio 3 days a week. I can conclusively say that I’ve made a significant improvement in my health in 2003. Grade = A+

3. Start writing. (I’m signed up for a Creative Writing class, which starts in a few weeks).
I didn’t do as well on this one. I went to that Creative Writing class once. It was at the local community college, and I determined at the first class that hanging out with a bunch of 18 and 19 year old community college students wouldn’t really help my writing career. I have completely sketched out my idea for a book, and really all I need to do is start writing. Plus, I have religiously updated this blog, which requires a bit of writing… Grade = B

4. Save money for a house.
The house fund is alive and well, and has grown steadily over the past year. My original plan was to buy a house after the first of the year in 2004, so that may be resurrected. We’ll see. I really don’t like the house I’m currently renting, so something needs to be done in 2004. That’s for sure. Grade = A

I think I did pretty well. I’d say a healthy 3.7 GPA. Stay tuned for the 2004 resolutions, to be released on January 2.

Livin’ Up to My Last Name

3 Dec

I tried a few low-carb recipes lately that are pretty yummy. Plus, they have pumpkin, which is definitely a taste of the season.

Hearty Pumpkin Chili — Even though they refer to meat in this recipe as ‘meet’, it was pretty good. I added about 3/4 cup chili powder instead of their recommended tablespoon, and added about 2 cups of water. (Thanks to Kristen for the recipe link.)

Creamy Pumpkin Soup — This recipe was especially good, and JB even liked it, despite being a bit nervous to try ‘pumpkin’ soup.

Sorry, but there aren’t many exciting things going on right now, so I had to resort to recipes. I did go swimming last night for the first time since September. I had the entire pool to myself. I think it’s funny how people think that swimming is only a summer sport. It felt pretty good, and I’m excited to get back into my aqua groove. JB challenged me last night to a swimming race (my choice of stroke). The choice is butterfly, my man! Suit up!

On another random note, this article concludes that I can’t use my recent bout with the flu as my excuse for gaining a few pounds. Darn.

I Am Adventure Girl

1 Dec

I walked into the office today and our secretary said, ‘Lynnette, where is your stuff?’

I looked at her, and stopped, racking my brain trying to figure out what ‘stuff’ to which she was referring.

Then the lightbulb went on. I had mentioned last week that we’re decorating our office for tonight’s Open House party in the theme of ‘An America’s Adventure Place Christmas’. The final touch of our decorations was to be my sporting equipment, representing the many adventures available in the Reno-Tahoe area.

So I turned around, got back in my truck and drove home. You should have seen the look on my neighbor’s face when I got out of my truck dressed in a red dress and high heels, opened my garage, and loaded my truck with a kayak, skis, golf clubs, and a mountain bike. I then got back in my truck and left.

It was loads of fun schlepping all of this equipment around in my dress, but luckily I managed to stay pretty clean. You can call me Reno-Tahoe Adventure Girl.

So I guess you’re all wondering how meeting JB’s parents went. Let’s just say that I spent my holiday weekend with great company, enjoyed excellent food, had incredible excursions to Carmel (we explored Point Lobos State Reserve) and San Francisco (we toured ships at the Maritime National Historic Park), and I’m sad to say the weekend went by way too fast.

And I only had 852 spam e-mails to delete from my work account this morning.