To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 29, 2007

"You met the perfect guy, perfect in every way, but..."

You all know the game! I've made EVERYONE play it! It's the one that goes... "You met the perfect guy (or girl), perfect in everyway, but"... "he has to sleep in a coffin every night" OR "he wears a powder blue tux every Sunday to church" OR "she has a 3-foot tail" OR "he makes you weigh in every morning after you wake up" (my new personal favorite - thanks to Cori) "could you spend eternity with them?" You know how it goes, a you fill in the blank game to see what people's deal breakers are. It's a RAD game! It originated somewhere in the Pierside ward, I first heard it from Spencer Wixom (just to give due credit).

In real life, I guess we all play that game to some degree or another... not that I have ever met anyone perfect, nor am I remotely close on my own account, but still... on a small scale, we all kind of play that game.

Today, I had this one: 'You met the perfect guy, perfect in every way (except for the amazing amount of phlegm he's got going on daily), you've been in like with him for nearly 5 years, your roommate calls him McSteamy, he's brutally honest and has still given you the greatest compliments of your life which never appear disingenuous because they could only possibly be about you, and on a day like today when you are so sick you can barely lift your head up but still have to be at work he leaves to buy you DayQuil and Halls to keep you awake and make you feel better... BUT...

he prays to Budwiser every night!

Oh, and he has a live-in girlfriend who is 14-years his junior and looks like (or in all actually MAY be) a stripper.

Could you do it? Could I do it?

Most days, I'd say no, I have for quite some time... but, today I am massively sick, so hopefully I can make it through the day relying on my mental capabilities and not my emotional ones! I am such a sucker for people who want to take care of me!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"The Good Wife's Guide"

I got an email from the IT guy at my office. He kindly asked me to actually delete the emails that I don't need to keep. It turns out that 924 emails in my In Box are superfluous and supernumerary and taking up all together too much room. Who knew?!? Anyway, the command from the IT was immediate and mandatory. So, I conceded. I am now down to 859. Pretty good, ey? And, in doing so, I ran across this email I got that contained an actual Good Housekeeping Article from May 13, 1955 called "The Good Wife's Guide."

All this time, I thought that the reason I was still single was because I didn't have the right name for my husband all those times I prayed, nor did anyone in my immediate or extended family - somehow I am convinced that exactness in my plea is required. (FYI - I'll have you know that in this Abraham at the Altar moment in my life, my Grandmother's most recent advise is this 'I think you should marry a guy whose wife died and has a few kids, because they're generally desperate to get married.' "Desperate... just what I am looking for... a guy that is just desperate enough to have me!

That's not an exaggeration, while the quote may be paraphrased, the sentiment is dead on. And, while it's tempting to consider hanging out at the morgue in my free time, waiting to pounce on the recently widowed. I think I'll briefly contemplate some pointers from this article to see if I even want the job.

1. 'Have dinner ready this is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him all day and are concerned with his needs.' Does this still work if there is a 1-in-2 chance of eminent food poisoning???

2. 'Take 15 minutes to touch-up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair...' Ribbon??? - RAD! 'and be fresh-looking'. Fresh-looking, ey???

3. 'Be a little more gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a little lift and it is one of your duties to provide it.' Oh gosh! What could this 'good wife' say that would be interesting to men, she's been cooking and freshening all day - do you really want to hear about that???

4. 'Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by... after all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.' Women and fires... no good! No good!

5. 'Show sincerity in your desire to please him. Greet him with a warm smile. Let him talk first - remember his topics of conversation are more important that yours.' Oh brother!

6. 'Never complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment. You have no right to question him.' Do you think the diversion from Rule #6 was the impetus for the 50% (or greater) divorce rate in the country today? Can you imagine? 'You have no right... ha ha ha..."

7. 'Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.' So yelling and nagging are apparently no good!?!

8. 'A good wife always knows her place.'

I am pretty sure that the morgue is not a good place for me after all... I SO could not measure up to any first wife... and I am not sure I could handle the "you're not my real mother" thing... Where would I go if I wanted to find a husband that thought it was cool to take off his own shoes and appreciated that fact that I could buy my own shoes!?! - Ebay???

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The "other" woman...

I came in to work yesterday morning (after spending the last 4 days in NYC) and I was immediately pounced on with various and sundry tasks (seemingly of little importance, but still necessary and apparently too trivial for the men to take care of).

In the middle of receiving questions and instructions from several of the guys, the other Director came in and asked me if I wore make-up. He was serious and clearly distraught. I almost laughed because I was so not picking up whatever he was putting down. I thought for sure I was being teased about that ONE day last week when I forgot my make-up bag after Shahana (I am now 98% sure that's my personal trainer's name) worked the living ... out of me. I didn't answer him. I just cocked my head and stared at him quizzically. He told me it was important that he figure this out. I asked what he was talking about.

Then he explained. As it turns out, no one in my company ACTUALLY wants to work. They like to do "P.R." But, it isn't technically "P.R." in my office unless you can get rip roaring drunk. If it's networking to actually get work without getting sloshed, I get sent to take care of it. So, a few weeks ago, I had to go with Clint (the other Director) to this ridiculously boring meeting in L.A. He drove. Turns out the make-up powder compact that I keep in my purse fell out in his car. Last weekend he found it. He took it into his wife and told her that he found her make-up. Uh-oh. She quickly told him it wasn’t hers. In his words, the whole episode “ruined his night.” So, Clint got nervous and came into work yesterday and asked Joe if he thought the powder was mine. And, Joe said "no, she doesn't really wear make-up." What?!? What does he mean I don't wear make-up? I apologized to Clint and then totally innerved walked into Joe's office and asked what he was talking about!
Ali: Joe, why did you tell Clint I don't wear make-up?
Joe: You don't, do you?
Ali: Joe! Are you kidding?
Joe: No, come here, let me see.
Ali: Joe! This is me, WITH make-up! This is as good as it gets for me! This is the best I can look! You SO don't want to see me without make-up. I can't believe you!
Joe: What?!? I wasn’t saying… um… you look good.
Ali: Whatever!

(I also think Joe told Clint this to confess to him something that may or may not be going on. I think he was trying to assuage his own conscience - or find it, given his propensity for infidelity.)

It's been a rough month for me here! I wish the HR girl hadn't made the guys take that sexual harassment class. I had WAY more self-esteem before that blasted class!

So later on, Clint calls me into his office and said that the first part of the story was that he found the compact, but even more entertaining was his continued conversation with Joe about the said episode.

Clint: Want to hear something funny. When I told Joe that the make-up HAD to be yours, he asked me if I was having an affair with you! He seemed a little surprised and ticked off. Isn't that funny?
Ali: The thought of me having an affair with you. Yes, that's WAY funny.
Clint: What is that supposed to mean???
Payback is kind of fun. I love being evasive!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New York... New York...

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today, I want to be a part of it - new york, new york! These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray right through the very heart of it - new york, new york! I wanna wake up in a city, that doesn’t sleep and find I’m king of the hill - top of the heap. These little town blues, are melting away. Ill make a brand new start of it - in old new york. If I can make it there, Ill make it anywhere Its up to you - new york, new york... (in my head is Frank Sinatra's voice - which is WAY better than anything I can pull off... believe me!) By the way... how cheesy are the actually lyrics to that song??? This is why whenever I DO sing, I choose to make up my own lyrics. Anyway, moving on...

Oh my goodness... does it take FOREVER to get to NYC or what??? Well, it took me FOREVER. But, I got there. And, when I did it was SO blasted cold. It seems like it should have snowed... I mean it was 49 degrees! For the love of everything good and holy, I had a wool scarf, mittens, a beannie and (of course) my white wool peacoat (the cute one with the black buttons). People were looking at me funny the moment I stepped off the plane, CLEARLY no one else was prepared for snow. While I waited for the snow, it started pouring rain... turns out it has to be below 32 degrees to snow - who knew???

I met up with my sisters, which made this trip to NYC fabulous. Jennica had stolen Adam's umbrella. Kimmy loaned hers to my dad a few weeks ago. He allegedly lost it, but somehow blamed it on my mom, who as it turns out was not even in the country when the "alleged" loss occurred... whatever. And, I... well, I thought it was cold enough to snow... why would I pack an umbrella??? So, Kimmy and I had to purchase umbrellas from this toothless, yet business savvy entrepreneur who was peddling them near Grand Central Station - on the corner of 42nd and Park (or somewhere thereabouts). She pulled the bait and switch on us. She announced loudly that she was selling umbrellas for $3! $3 - what a steal, how could you go wrong with a $3 umbrella??? I already looked like a drowned rat, so I just bought one, for the same reason I wear a bra - less out of necessity and more our of the need to fit in! But, Kimmy, she needed one. She was wearing silk... animal printed silk, so cute, and SO not water friendly. (What??? We are Brinkerhoff's, it's what we do - wear really impractical clothes just for the sake of looking cute - or at least attempting to). Anyway, by the time I traversed the distance between me and the "entrepreneur", all of about 6 feet, the price had gone up to $5. I told the lady that I just wanted the $3 dollar umbrella (I mean, no one could see me, I had on a thermal and a wool sweater and THE cute white peacoat - the one with the black buttons. I looked larger than life. I was already drowning in a sea of clothes strategically picked out by me to buffer me from the snow... uh... I mean rain storm. She said she only had $5 dollar ones. Whatever, I bought it. Kimmy opted for the larger $10 one. As soon as we made our purchases and turned around to go about our business we heard the "entrepreneur" shout again 'umbrellas $3.' We all turned around and scowled at her, she smiled back (sans teeth). Each and every time Kimmy opened hers one of the... ummm... spokes??? (what would you call those) broke off, once even puncturing a whole in the umbrella... she was so cursing my dad's name. She was also jeopardizing the life of all those on the streets - when the entrepreneur said $10 for a large umbrella... she did mean LARGE! Kimmy nearly decapitated anyone over the height of 5'10. Me on the other hand. I had to hold my $5 ($3) umbrella by the base to keep it from flipping inside out. I only used it once... then I gave up!

Basically, we ate, and we shopped, and we ate again, and we shopped some more. We went to Blooms for breakfast, NY manis and pedis, shopping in Soho, and to Lombardi's Pizza... we treaded all over Manhattan and while we did a miracle happened... I purchased nothing!!! I know... I am serious about this shopping sabbatical!

There are many fabulous stores in NYC, but also lots of nutty ones. There were TONS of Halloween costumes on display. We were discussing how Halloween is just an excuse for people to dress up as a slutty... whatever they prefer. Kimmy said something that made me laugh all weekend. "Ok, the slutty nurse thing... well, I kind of get that. But, the slutty bee??? Is there some bee fantasy I am not aware of???" I made her pose...

We went to Serendipity to get frozen hot chocolate. There was a one hour wait. Within the first 5 minutes, Jennica (who is 7 months prego with her 3rd kid), sits down because she can't stand any longer. After which I announced to all the NY on-lookers that we were not forcing this ultra-pregnant sister of ours to wait for an hour and that SHE was the one who wanted to go in so badly! But, it was good... really good.

After just enough of the city, we headed to Grand Central to catch the train that traversed to Milford Connecticut so we could visit Adam and Julie and the kids, we were all dying to meet Sadie ... oh those kids... I am not sure there are any more fabulous than my nieces and nephews, and Julie and Adam's kids are no exception.

And, Connecticut is beautiful... there were many discussions about changing "the hub" (which is currently in Texas, for most of the Brinkerhoff clan). We think Connecticut has a fighting chance. It was breath-taking, especially since its autumn. I miss having seasons (even if they occasionally involve snow... eeek).

How cute is Jake in a tie?

It was so good to see all of them. Julie is the nicest of all the Brinkerhoff's (of course, we had to import for that) and we love her. She was as sweet as ever. And Adam - well, he's still Adam! Julie took us to this darling and delicious restaurant called the Rainbow Garden that was converted from an old estate into this great restaurant. On Sunday, we went to church, took a walk along the beach, made (and ate WAY too many) sugar cookies and then... my favorite part... the trying on of the costumes... oh the costumes... this is what I love most about Halloween.

Izzy - the Tiger. She is obsessed with Tigers its so cute, she's so NOT scary! In fact, she says rad 90-year-old phrases when she drops things, (i.e. "oh heavens" and "goodness gracious").

Haley - cheerleader in training.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Uh oh...

Shahana (I am 96% sure this is ACTUALLY her name), my personal trainer, came in this morning to get my butt (and arms, back, thighs and abs) in shape. It's been 2 weeks and it's already getting hard for me to come in early (and when I say early - it's not even that early - 7 A.M.).

Anyway, it's usually around 6 A.M. when I pack my bag of tricks and clothes to get ready at work. Well, I remember packing my make-up bag, but CLEARLY I didn't actually take it with me, which is tragic.

So far today here are the totals:

"Are you sick?" - 3
"Are you tired or something, you look like you're still asleep?!?" - 4

I TOTALLY knew my mom and Cori were both lying on those occasions they told me that I look fine without make-up.

Leave it to the men I work with to be brutally honest. They are kind of like children (in so many ways) - they just tell you how it is!

But, I guess that means I REALLY do have great legs! - Ha ha ha...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Road Trip!!! (Santa Barbara Style)

I love Orange County (for the most part... exceptions being: all the plastic parts, sporting accessory dogs in prada carrying cases, and of course TRAFFIC)! So, it's strange that I am always so excited to get out-of-town every chance I can get.

My parents went to Machu Pichu, Peru with their best friends, the Bodens, this week. Their best friends still live in Santa Barbara, where I grew up, so they suggested we use their house for the weekend. We took them up on the offer.

Sometimes I forget how beautiful that place is.

Surprisingly, the drive up only took two hours. Cori was a speedy one! The Bodens live in the mountains off San Marcos pass. Wendy and I are training for a 1/2 and full marathon, so we went running at the only point in the day when the sun came out - go figure. We had to run down the mountain to get to flat ground and then as soon as we got there, turn around and go back up! It was rough. When we came home Aaron was trying to help Cori alleviate her nausea due to turbulence (or get rid of her migraine)... But, to us, it looked like he was playing Kavorkian. I still don't buy that home remedy!

Then we went to play tennis. (I know - sporty gal aren't I??? - I use the term "play tennis" very loosely".) But, the only courts I know that aren't attached to a country club were the ones at my old high school. So we drove to SMHS and the gates were locked! My bright idea - scale 'em. Ok, I might be exaggerating, but I don't think so. The gates were 10' tall. Aaron, Wendy and I got over relatively uninjured, while Cori and Dan went in search of a more easily accessible court, which they found. On the way out of the tennis courts the most tragic thing happened! I got over the fence fine except for one minor detail! I had tied my sweatshirt around my waist so that I would have two free hands for scaling. Unfortunately, my sweatshirt got caught on the top on the fence in three places thereby hanging me! No joke, I was totally suspended in the air, dangling from a fence. Apparently, it WAS funny. But, not so much for me. I reached back to unhook myself and totally impaled myself in the fence. I currently have a hole in my arm and am being forced by Jonathan to go get a tetnis shot (which is what I will be having for lunch today)!. Sometimes I forget that I am neither young nor agile.

(Robin and Brett were on the phone getting directions to see us - just so you know Robin, you are in one picture - just not physically!)

We finished off the day by going down to Sterns Wharf and eating lunch at Longboards, strolling up and down State Street and heading over to La Super Rica for dinner.

For some reason, we felt like documenting all of this in a ridiculous fashion.
I love my friends! They are all super Rad! They make silly and stupid poses all for the sake of the blog!

We started the next day by taking my parents to breakfast at an IHOP in Inglewood! The surroundings were only slightly less desirable than where we had spent the previous day - but only slightly.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Intensive Language Theory

I was talking to my dear sweet friend Brooke (who is hilarious). Anyway, I was just saying how I am in this phase where I just want to avoid long, detailed, uncomfortable and probing conversations all together. (Yes, I know this is in deed very strange coming from me - but, I am just too over it lately). Anyway, she came up with the raddest idea ever!

She said to travel with an intensive language system (cds) in some, rarely spoken in the U.S., language - like Russian. The theory is that when I get into a car I can just pop in the cd and then when anyone wants to say anything all I have to say is "no no, in Russian. Everything has to be said in Russian while in this car!" Can you imagine!?!

So Rad! - I am thinking of testing it out this weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

'That Joke Never Gets Old...'

So, a little while ago I got this text message sent to me that was OBVIOUSLY not intended for me. It was from a guy I know. There are two main reasons I knew it wasn't for me. First, it was way cryptic, something about "getting cowboys" or something - sounded kind of brokeback, if you ask me. But, more importantly, it said "Hey Tami"... which, last time I check was neither my name nor any moniker I ever remember receiving. Anyway, Jonathan was in my office when this text came in and I read it aloud. I mainly just laughed thinking it was pretty funny, given the source and the situation. But, he REALLY laughed. I mean there is a high probability there was snorting involved.

But, I digress... the point is, this was like 2 weeks ago or something and Jonathan STILL finds it wildly entertaining. Since the incident I have only been called 'Tami', not my real name. I mean in every possible media, phone, email, text and all other general conversation. This is, of course, done with supreme laughter. He likes to switch up how he slips in the 'Tami' joke. It's really not THAT funny. But, today's version was pretty funny. Jonathan called while I was coming back from a meeting this morning.

Jonathan: Hey woman, where you at?
Ali: I am in San Bernardino. I am actually putting gas in my car right now and I am really glad you called.
Jonathan: What? Really? You're never glad I called. What's going on?
Ali: Well, there's this homeless man and he keeps hitting on me. I already gave the guy money. Now he's just gawking and talking.
Jonathan: laughing... breathe... laughing. So how's that working out for you? More laughing...
Ali: Quite well, actually. I am thinking of going out with him.
Jonathan: Well, at least he didn't call you Tami!!! Extreme laughing and then... wait for it... wait for it... SNORT... continuous laughing.
Ali: You're right Jonathan. The homeless guy probably does have a leg-up on that guy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Just When I Thought My Boss Couldn't Get Any More Awesome...

He pulls something like this and TOTALLY redeems himself.

Joe hired a personal trainer for the office. Three years ago when I was complaining about not having enough time to train for the marathon I was running, Joe came up with a brilliant idea. He spent $20,000 to build a gym over the warehouse. It rocks. There is a yoga mat, medicine balls, Satellite T.V., towels (that some guy washes for us every week), water, and of course state-of-the-art workout equipment. It's sweet.

But, there something about sweating in front of your co-workers that seems unnatural. So, I hardly ever use it. (At least that's my excuse). Truth be told, I HATE weight training. I am such a wanker! I have had 2 personal trainers (one time each). Both of them let me talk them out of doing anything that would be in any way productive for my body, by the mere fact that I'd say "oh, yea, I don't really want to do that." Well, after I said that to every exercise I went home thinking 'remember when I thought it was a good idea to pay for that?'

Not this girl. Her name is Shaneqah or Shoshauna or Shaunshoa... whatever, something like that. And, she used to weigh 200 pounds. Now she looks fab! And, she kicked my butt this morning. I am supposed to go to lunch with J. Flo, but I feel like I should decline, since I can't even pick up a fork. My arms feel like noodles.

Sha...whatever (the trainer) asked me about my eating habits. I told her they were a bit tragic. She asked me what I had to eat for breakfast. I told her I had a cupcake. (Damn you Cori). She was not OK with that... no more cupcakes for breakfast (or any other meal). That sucks. What about Halloween candy? Think that would work?

She did tell me that I was ridiculously bendy! Cool huh? (Well, actually she said I was highly flexible, which in my vernacular is the same thing!)

She also told me that I weigh 135 pounds less than my boss! Turns out he can't eat ANYTHING for a while.

Anyway, I off to get lunch... hopefully the fork won't cause me problems.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Football... REALLY?!?

Did you have any earthly idea that tickets to a NFL football game cost as much as $500??? That is per ticket!!!

Are you kidding me???

Apparently, I have been living in a van down by the river, because I had NO clue! None!

So, yesterday my former boss contacted me. He still misses me - aaaahhhh. And, no wonder he does. Turns out I hooked him up with tickets to see the Cowboys a few years back. (I don't remember doing this! - But, man am I a rad employee!)

So, my dad used to be the CFO for the broadcasting/advertising agency that represented the Dallas Cowboys. He did this for about 8 years, I'd say. This is why my parents transplanted to Dallas after I graduated high school. Now he's the CFO of an import/export business in Dallas... turns out they're staying there... who knew?!?

Anyway, my point is this. Had I known that all those games my dad drug me to were so flippin' expensive, I would have stood on the corner and pawned my lower level or box seat tickets. That was a lot of money for me to nap in REALLY uncomfortable seats crammed between sweaty beer drinking men!

Can you imagine how many pairs of shoes I'd have now had I known this back then?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Third Wife (a.k.a. Tuesdays and every other Friday)

So, last week I volunteered to be a part of a fundraiser at the Irvine Hilton for Mitt Romney, more in support of my dear friend M.E. Clayton, than Mitt, but nonetheless - Go Mitt! I had to leave a work a little early, which, of course, spawned numerous conversations about Mormonism, AGAIN.

The polygamy thing... the jokes about them, the supernumerary questions about "Big Love", etc. - they NEVER get old (well at least not to the guys I work with). The V.P. of my company still asks me questions every week when he's done watching "Big Love". 'Does the head wife decide how many wives a man can have?' 'In real life, do all the wives get along well?' 'Why does one dress normal and one dress fancy and one dress like a Pilgrim?' Yada Yada Yada. I have told the man COUNTLESS times that I have never met a polygamist. He swears I am lying!

Anyway, the guys started pelting me questions to ask Mitt (like I was going to see him - but, his wife Anne WAS there)...

Jonathan: Who is Mitt Romney?
Joe R: You idiot, it's that Mormon guy who is running for President.
Joe F: I like him, I am going to vote for him. Can you get your picture taken with him? We'll put it on our company website.
Clint: Can you ask him how he gets his hair to stay all perfect like that?
Joe R: Can you ask him when you can drink and ...???
Me: He's not the Prophet Joe! He is just some guy who happens to be Mormon and happens to be running for President. If I call you and ask you for money on his behalf, will you give it to me.
Joe R: Not unless he lets you loosen up your standards.
Me: Forget it.
Joe F: Can you get your picture taken with him?
Jonathan: How many wives does he have?
Clint: Yea, ask him how many wives he has!
Me: You guys, do you REALLY think if men could have tons of wives, I would STILL not be married? I swear it is only ONE wife these days.
Jonathan: You WOULD make a good third wife.
Clint: Maybe a better forth.
Joe F: Don't forget about the picture!

On that note, this weekend, we decided that for Halloween we (Robin, Wendy, Cori and I) would be wives 1, 2, 3 and 4 to our very own Warren Jeffs (a.k.a. Aaron). Why not??? It already feels like we're on the Bachelor!